By Omer Olcer
Hampton’s U13B team hosted the second round of the ESFA tournament against Shenfield High School. Hampton’s tactic was to start well with a goal, as starting positively was a problem they had encountered in previous matches.
Hampton dominated the first half with great play and through balls. The back four looked very organised, not letting any balls drop between the lines. Dominic Stenning was exceptional playing as a defensive midfielder and didn’t allow any dangerous play by Shenfield between the midfield and defence. Although Shenfield were very physical and loud, this didn’t put any of the Hampton boys off who had various chances before heading into the break.
In the second half, Hampton started extremely well, playing quick and sharp football in the middle third involving Dario Puljic, Nick Henebry, Josh Gauhgen and Freddie Trantor. The opposition couldn’t track the Hampton play who caused all sorts of problems for Shenfield. Unluckily though Hampton just couldn’t find the decisive goal.
Minutes left to play and Shenfield won a penalty due to a handball by Mauric Rey. However, the penalty wasn’t converted as it went too wide, much to Hampton’s luck.
With three minutes left to play, the scoreboard read 0-0 and Hampton were desperate for the winner. They worked tremendously hard and got their reward when Omer Olcer fell in the box and the ref pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. Olcer stepped up to take the 12 yard kick but the keeper went the correct way to stop Hampton progressing to the next round. Moments after the spot kick the full 90 minutes came to an end, and the game went into extra time.
In extra time Hampton fought on, determined to win this game. They found pockets and exploited the space out wide. Nevertheless, Shenfield scored a controversial goal to seal the second round of the competition. The squad was disappointed with the result but knew they had played well and worked hard. They are looking forward to being successful in this competition in future years.