By Tom Oliver
Despite some promising football, Hampton’s U16C side were ultimately held to a 1-1 draw away to Eton’s 7th XI through their own shortcomings in the finishing department. Significant improvements in organisation and build up play will no doubt have pleased coach Mr Trivedi, but suggestions were that a win would have been a fairer result against U18 opposition.
A cagey start to the game frustrated the travelling Hamptonians, although winger cum striker Ted Clarke came close to breaking the deadlock with an audacious volley on the 10 minute mark. Eton responded with a flurry of chances that stand-in goalkeeper Milo Band dealt with confidently, before the visitors were able to gain a foothold in the game through two early substitutions in midfield.
The positive momentum injected into Hampton’s play by the changes, allowed the team to generate their own series of chances. However, despite some excellent dribbles of their own, Clarke and winger Saganan Thurasingham were unable to put themselves on the scoresheet before the break.
Although dominant in possession, the side in yellow were caught on the counter by Eton late in the first half, and found themselves trailing into the break.
Further tactical switches followed at half-time, before the visitors’ Monty Robb found himself brought down in the Eton penalty box after charging past two home defenders. Robb slotted the resulting penalty cooly down the middle, sending the Eton goalkeeper diving right.
Eton’s confidence wavered in the final minutes and a series of Hampton opportunities ensued, as Thurasingham blazed a one-on-one wide, and creative midfielder Leo Hartley got in behind the Eton defence thrice, but was unable to capitalise each time.
Despite a frustrating result, there were plenty of positives to take for the U16Cs, who gave a more aggressive and fluid account of themselves, and can be pleased with aspects of the match. The team will look on next weekend’s home fixture as an opportunity to avenge Saturday’s events.