By Sam Colvine
The U15B football team closed out a commanding 3-1 win against All Saints Academy after three first-half goals took the team through to the semi-final of the ESFA cup for the second year running.
After reaching the final of the cup last year, Hampton were clearly keen for a repeat performance, and started off with fierce intent, dominating possession and looking to make direct inroads into the All Saints defence.
This strategy immediately prevailed as a long switch ball from Theo Back was expertly controlled by Jude Glasson, who was having an outstanding match on the left wing.
He delivered a precise pass into the feet of Emad Khan, who fired powerfully into the net to make it 1-0 to the home team.
Hampton continued to grow into the game, challenging the opposition’s goalkeeper several times before – against the run of play – a long ball over the Hampton defence was brought down by the All Saints striker, who slotted into the net to bring his team level.
Hampton quickly fought back, with the rapid Patrick Helm brought down by a trip in the box, resulting in a penalty straight from the kick-off. Glasson took responsibility and calmly stroked the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from the spot.
Then just prior to the half-time whistle, Hampton were suddenly on the attack again, with Fergus MacEacharn sliding a pinpoint pass into Khan who, on the half-turn, outmuscled his marker and scored his second of the game.
After a fantastic first half, Hampton looked set to enjoy an easier second, aiming to pass the ball around to stop All Saints from launching any sort of attack. They proved successful in this and left their opponents chasing the play, tiring in the process.
As the game drew to its close, Hampton had one last chance with a goal mouth scramble, involving several of the All Saints defenders on the goal line. But somehow Hampton’s fourth goal failed to materialise as good blocking from the opposition led to a frantic clearance.
This happened to be the last play of the game as full time arrived and the U15Bs move into the semi-final of the ESFA cup for the second successive year.