An epic semi-final encounter against Forest School ended in a 3-2 victory, booking Hampton a place in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) U18 Schools’ Trophy Final for only the second time in the School’s history.
The First XI have enjoyed a strong 2022-23 season, reaching the semi-finals of their Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) competition and going one better in their ESFA competition after securing an impressive away win against a strong Forest School.
In a close and hard-fought match, Hampton took the lead in the first half with a goal from Lower Sixth Former Toby North after he headed in a free kick. A second goal quickly followed, this time from striker Adam Coombs who headed in from a corner. Hampton went into half time with a 2-0 lead, a place in the prestigious ESFA final only 45 minutes away.
After a half time team talk from Mr Burke and Mr Ritchie, the second half proved to be a nail-biting affair with Forest scoring two goals to level the match with 15 minutes left to play. However, it was to be Hampton’s day as Adam Coombs struck again to restore their lead and help the team reach the ESFA final for the second time in four years.
Having progressed through eight rounds of the competition, involving 374 teams from across the country, the First XI now wait to find out who they will meet in the final due to be played at a prestigious football league ground in May. The Hampton team hope to follow in the footsteps of the 2018-19 First XI who brought home the coveted U18 ESFA Trophy after victory in front of 700 Hampton supporters at Shrewsbury Town FC.
Director of Football, Mr David Burke, congratulated the senior footballers on their superb performance:
What a fantastic achievement for this set of players, who have grown stronger as a team since the beginning of the season through their dedication, commitment and hard work.
We are looking forward to the prospect of a great ESFA Cup Final in May, when we know we will have the support of the whole School. hopefully we can create another memorable occasion for the hampton community.
Take a look at how the day unfolded and how our First XI clinched their place in the national final:
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