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ESFA: How the game was won

By Josh Bartholomew, Online Editor

Tactics

Tactically, Mr Mills, Mr Burke and the Hampton team played a blinder. At times, Hampton were being overrun in midfield. The solution? Bring on QPR academy representative Stathis Kalathias into the middle of the park, moving Louis Instrall to the wing.

Mr Mills – ‘The Tactician’

There was a moment in the first-half where Hampton’s tactical dilemma became clear: whenever the full-backs attacked, the team were extremely vulnerable on the counter-attack; whenever they didn’t, Hampton looked fairly ineffective going forward as Repton were able to plant greater numbers behind the ball. It seemed that there was a conscious decision to hold back, keep the score-line at 0-0 and take their chances when they inevitably came. As it happened, Repton did score in the first-half, but there can be no tactical blame apportioned.

Later in the game, it was clear that Hampton needed a focal point in attack to allow striker Shaun-Chris Joash to roam freely and try and run in behind the defence. So, the coaches brought on Rohan Hobbs, a more physical presence. It’s perhaps no coincidence that the team scored almost instantly after.

Fans

There is little doubt that Hampton’s noisy travelling support played a substantial role in this victory. As the team said, “you pulled us through that game.” The chants continued for well over two hours, much to the delight of the 1st XI.

Though the chanting was all good-natured, it was clearly a hostile atmosphere for the Repton team, which must have had an impact. 700 schoolboys will always be louder and more boisterous than the small selection of parents supporting the team from Derbyshire, and Hampton made the most of it.

A yellow wall assembled in Shrewsbury and returned with the ESFA trophy

After all, though, the Hampton fans applauded warmly as Repton received their medals – that’s sport.

Penalties

The 1st XI practice penalties after every training sessoin, and their dedication paid dividends. All four Hampton penalties (one in normal time, three in the shoot-out) were buried in the bottom corner, beating a goalkeeper who dived the correct way each time.

Tim Wallace, on the other hand, saved two of Repton’s three, and the other went over the crossbar. It was a truly admirable effort from the goalkeeper, who was also in good form during normal time.

Wallace and the team celebrate after his shoot-out heroics

Shaun-Chris Joash

Joash was always likely to play a key role in this game, and the Playstation he was given for winning the man-of-the-match award is just reward for a brilliant performance.

Joash with his man-of-the-match award and captain George Maxwell

Repton were clearly aware of his quality, committing numerous markers to him whenever he received the ball, but Joash was completely selfless and used the attention to spray the ball to wingers Freddy Hodgson and Louis Rhodes.

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