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U17s beat Whitgift after enthralling penalty shoot-out

By Maxi Grindley

Hampton’s U17A team overcame Whitgift’s 1st XI on penalties after an exciting 4-4 draw.

With most of the 1st XI competing against Abingdon School, a Hampton side comprised of U16 and U17 played against their older counterparts.

Hampton started poorly, going 2-0 down within twenty minutes before recovering to go into half-time level at 2-2.

In the second half, Hampton went behind once again, but again they came back to take the lead at 4–3 before a last-minute equaliser for Whitgift ensured the tie would go to penalties.

The Hampton side, largely made up of U16s who had lost to Whitgift the week before in a tight match, started the game encouragingly, but not brilliantly, keeping the ball well and controlling possession.

The first Whitgift goal, from a corner, seemed to sucker-punch Hampton as it was quickly followed by another scrappy goal, this time a rebound on the edge of the box.

But Hampton got a goal from nowhere when Louis Instrall, one of the U17s, scored a wonderful free-kick. Another of the U17s, Denil Manuel, drew Hampton level before the break with a fine finish.

Early in the second half Hampton again fell behind but showed impressive resolve to quickly draw level. A one-two, again finished by Manuel, meant it looked as if Hampton would be going through to the next round with minutes to go.

Ultimately it was not to be, as Whitgift drew level through another rebound. All the penalty-takers showed impressive resolve and courage to volunteer to take and Hampton were the side that went through, after two great saves from goalkeeper Oscar Murphy.

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Football, Reports

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