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Second-half surge helps U13As to 4-2 win over St. Paul’s

By Josh Hood

Hampton’s U13A footballers came from behind to snatch an excellent win away from home, thanks in part to a brace of goals from Hayden Christian.

Although the Hampton boys hadn’t played together since January, any speculation about rustiness was immediately resolved with a dominant performance in the first ten minutes of the game.

However, as the half progressed, so did the amount of chances that fell to St Paul’s, and with the change in momentum, the St Paul’s number nine was able to find himself a pocket of space, turn and get a shot away into the bottom corner which narrowly eluded Conrad Knight in the Hampton goal.

Once again, the tide turned drastically as Hampton strode onto the front foot for the second time in the match. After a handful of opportunities for the away side, the ball was delivered into a dangerous area and a few miskicks later, found its way into the back of the net – turned in by Christian.

Following the equaliser, territory was more evenly shared between the two sides until the half time whistle.

The hard-fought battling that lit up the latter stages of the first half was still in evidence in the second with little to separate the teams. However, ten minutes into the second period, another promising ball into the box was brought down by Toby North, who then dribbled around three players and hit the ball low and hard into the bottom left hand corner.

With Hampton ahead for the first time in the match, the U13A’s trademark passing began to flourish with lots of link-up play down the wings. In one particular move, Nwoko drove down the wing and cut in only to be brought down in the penalty box.

Unfortunately the penalty was missed, but Hampton maintained the pressure and soon Nwoko played his part in yet another passing move which he finished off to give the away team the lead.

Then the match turned again. After a clearance from a corner, St Paul’s broke away and linked together a passing move before dribbling around Knight and winning a penalty before they could get a shot away. The number 9 slotted it in to the bottom left hand corner to increase the tension in the remaining 15 minutes of the match.

In the final quarter, the game resumed its former style – an open affair. So more attacking moves emerged and often Hampton saw their lead flash before their eyes with some efforts flying past, a whisker away. However, once doubt had started to creep in about who was going to win the game, a long ball was played to Christian, who flicked the ball over a defender, took it around the goalkeeper and tucked it home to ensure a convincing victory for the U13s.

“Considering you haven’t played for a few weeks,” said Hampton coach Mr Trivedi to the Hampton team, “it was a very strong and collected performance”

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