Hampton’s U15B footballers have reached the final of the English Schools’ Football Association Cup for the second successive year. Fourth Year pupil Sam Colvine reports on their semi-final victory:
Looking to replicate last year’s successful cup run, the U15B team defeated Brentwood School 3-1 to book a place in the final of the ESFA cup.
The team looked to press their opposition from kick-off, passing with precision and pace, eager to net a crucial first goal. Their energetic build up play, along with driving runs from the wingers, allowed Hampton to challenge the Brentwood keeper early in the game with powerful efforts on goal. This strategy blossomed almost immediately, as a formidable Patrick Helm shot from outside the box was spilled by the keeper, giving Fergus MacEacharn the opportunity to ease the ball into the back of the net.
It is often said that a team is most vulnerable straight after they score, yet this was certainly not the case for the U15Bs. As Brentwood attempted to play out from the back, Hampton striker Emad Khan was lurking. After a poor touch, Emad outmuscled the defender, robbing Brentwood of the ball and nonchalantly stroking a near post shot into the back of the net. Hampton had a number of chances as half-time drew closer and with almost the last kick of the half, Jude Glasson stepped up to take a corner. He floated a delightful ball in, allowing Emad to divert the ball past the outstretched arm of the keeper with a towering header and grab his second of the game. Hampton went into half-time with a 3-0 lead and a place in the final looking likely.
Going into the second half, Hampton looked to hold out rather than chase a fourth goal, unwilling to risk being caught on the counter-attack and concede. Although they initially succeeded in stifling any sign of a Brentwood attack, a creative string of passes broke the Hampton line of defence and the winger was in on goal. He quickly cut inside and finished the ball into the far corner. From that point onwards, Brentwood were the dominant force, attempting to fight their way back. However, the robust Hampton defence held strong and, although sometimes challenged by balls in from behind, they dealt calmly with any Brentwood chances. Brentwood’s goal tally increased no further and Hampton emerged 3-1 victors. The Hampton team is now looking forward to the ESFA cup final later next term – a repeat of last year’s encounter against Sandbach School.
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