The Accrington & Rossendale College (Accross) Boys Football Academy are into the last four of the ESFA Cup – the FA Cup for colleges and schools – for the first time.
Some 158 teams started out in the competition in October and Accross have had to see off Myerscough, Xaverian, Carmel and Huddersfield and Wyke to get to the last eight – scoring 18 goals and only conceding three in the process.
Their quarter-final, played on Monday at Nelson FC, saw Worcester College make the trip up north.
The game started as a tense affair with little quality until, on seven minutes an Accross free kick was floated into the box to be met by the head of centre half Tom Hurst who gave the home side the lead.
The goal gave fresh impetus to the Academy side and they pressed on looking to kill off the game.
However it was Worcester who finished the half with their best chance, a low drive forcing Ryan Hallworth in the Accross goal to make a fine save.
The second half saw further dominance from Accross with chances from Tom Anderton and Nat Taylor, the two midfield players who have attracted attention from Football League sides in recent weeks.
Taylor, just selected by England Colleges for the international against Wales in March, was beginning to take a stranglehold on the game and was instrumental in the second goal.
This was scored in the 70th minute when a Jack Alderson shot was parried by the goalkeeper and fell to Jonny Hession to apply the finish.
By this point Worcester were well beaten and looking tired following their four hour journey.
And Hession swooped again to make it 3-0 and wrap up the victory in the final minutes with a low drive.
Academy Head Coach, ex-Everton midfielder Paul Lodge praised his youngsters on a fine performance.
He said: "The lads did a great job. We battled against a physically strong Worcester side and outplayed them in all departments.
"It’s a great achievement for the college and the academy provision, now one of the strongest in the country. We cant wait for the semi-final."
The Accrington & Rossendale College Football Academy gives 16-19 year olds an opportunity to undertake a full-time football programme alongside college education.
It is an outstanding environment for young players who have been released from professional clubs at 16 or who have not been noticed through the scouting system.
Trials for the September intake will be on April 20 on the college’s new 3G training facility.
For further details visit www.accrossfootball.co.uk.
The draw for the semi-finals will be made in March.