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Positives to take for U14A despite loss to Royal Russell

By Omer Demiral |

Royal Russell 3-1 Hampton |

The Hampton U14A team lost 3-1 away to Royal Russell in a very tough game.

Coming off of a 3-0 win in their season opener against Bede’s, Hampton’s U14A’s were looking to gain a winning streak. 

The game started in a chaotic manner. The ball was cleared from one end to the other as teams attempted to find a way through the all-round excellent defensive effort from both sides.

Suddenly, a ball switched from left to right was gathered by Michael Azoo who started driving towards the box. Beating the left back with his dazzling dribbling, he cut onto his left foot. In an attempt to cover the opposition, the centre-back stuck a leg out. Azoo cleverly knocked the ball past him and the outstretched leg tripped him up. A penalty was awarded in favour of Hampton. After a short discussion, it was decided that Nic Herrero would take the penalty. He calmly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, firing the ball into the bottom right corner.

After the goal, Hampton kept up the pressure. Azoo and Herrero both had shots on target and it looked like Hampton would grab themselves a second.

However, Royal Russell started to build some pressure themselves. Hampton goalkeeper Sam Ellis was forced to make several saves including three 1-on-1 opportunities.

The midfield trio of Savan Soni, Bond and Thomas Tabor really impressed during the half, working extremely hard to chase every single ball and making a great effort to get the ball to players in better attacking positions.

Close to the end of half-time, a free-kick was earned close to the edge of the box by Sam Bond. Joe Murray stepped up to take it and hit a thunderous shot that went agonisingly wide.

As the second half started Hampton had a 0-1 lead, but Royal Russell started the half brilliantly. They created chance after chance and the Hampton defence had to stay firm. Many saves were required from Theo Lloyd and he rose to the challenge.

After a while the pressure became too much to handle and a ball over the top of the defensive line was superbly volleyed home by the opposition striker.

Hampton tried to keep their head up high yet the game was being played in the wrong half.

A chance on the edge of the box appeared again for the Royal Russell striker. His shot took a massive deflection off Will Fox and bounced awkwardly into the back of the net.

Things were not looking very well for Hampton. Royal Russell was dominating the midfield and, in an attempt to turn that around, Bond was subbed back on for Nicholas Murfin.

Yet Royal Russell kept on coming. An in-swinging corner kick was headed home by the opponent’s striker after a miscommunication in terms of marking by Hampton. Hampton’s last efforts were ably fended off by Royal Russell who won the game 3-1.

A loss in the first league game is no doubt tough to take, yet there were a lot of positives to take away from the game for the Hampton U14A team.

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