By Omer Demiral
Hampton’s U15A team beat Forest School 5-1, gaining their first victory of the season.
Both teams started the match with intensity, applying pressure all over the pitch. However, the Hamptonians managed to break through the press with sharp passes in midfield, leading to the first goal of the game executed well by James Queen.
Hampton were on the front foot and the decision by manager Mr Carlos Mills to switch the formation to a 5-2-2-1 seemed to be working brilliantly. The two holding midfielders, Savan Soni and Ben Moffatt, were constantly battling, winning the ball and helping Hampton progress further up the pitch.
The second goal for Hampton came soon after, with Queen’s cross finding Nic Herrero inside the box. Herrero adjusted his feet expertly, slotting it away into the top right hand corner of the goal.
Hampton’s relentless pressure kept paying off as both wing backs, Queen and Ed Knott, fired in crosses looking to create chances. Sam Bond benefited from one of these crosses, volleying home after a seemingly endless goalmouth scramble.
Heading into the second half, Hampton were 3-0 up and threatening for more. Will Fox was replaced by Joe Downham as Michael Azoo came on for Herrero, his first game of the season for the U15A side. Charlie Helm and Rudy Mills hoped to replicate the superb performances of Soni and Knott.
The midfield continued to dominate, Josh King took on a deeper role instead of the usual, more attacking position. Yet another expert decision by Mr Mills it seemed, as King managed to give Hampton even more composure and control. Furthermore, a simply divine run by King himself led to a penalty. He stepped up and placed the ball to the opposite side of the ‘keeper’s dive without hesitation.
Hampton continued to dominate, the defensive line of Ömer Demiral, captain Joe Murray, and Downham didn’t allow Forest School out of their own half.
The composure was on display in every department, and Azoo demonstrated that in front of goal; receiving, twisting, turning and firing the ball past the keeper’s reach.
Sam Ellis, Hampton’s ‘keeper, didn’t have much to do in the second half until the closing minutes when a corner led to chaos in front of goal, with a Forest player just managing to poke the ball past Ellis’ gloves.
Speaking to the team after the game Mr Mills said: “Really proud of the performance today, but there is always room to improve. We deserved a clean sheet but for now we’ll enjoy the win and look ahead to our important cup match against Windsor Boys’ on Tuesday.”