By Sam Colvine
Hampton’s First XI emerged victorious In round 4 of the ISFA Cup, in a battling tie away at Aldenham School, with a late Jack Da Costa goal securing the team a berth in the quarter finals.
The opening half saw the home side controlling much of the tempo, pinning the First XI in their own half, although rarely threatening the Hampton goal. Clearly, an element of individual magic would be necessary to break down the away defence, duly supplied by the Aldenham attacking midfielder. Jinking his way into the box, he drew a foul which earned his team a crucial opportunity from the spot. However, the taker blasted the ball over the crossbar, spurning a decisive chance for his team to take the lead.
The penalty miss, together with a typically invigorating team talk from Mr Burke at half time, raised the First XI’s morale and a period of prolonged domination ensued for Hampton. Adding to their defensive solidity in the first half, the team created a plethora of chances. Kyan Soni came particularly close, a fizzing shot from the edge of box just clearing the Aldenham crossbar.
The opposition withstood the pressure, regaining momentum and causing Hampton to give away several dangerous set-pieces. Nonetheless, they were skilfully repelled by the centre-back partnership of Jonah Blake and Josh Pye, supported ably by full-backs Sam Evans and Ben Bird.
As the minutes of normal time waned, Hampton sent a searching ball deep towards the back post, with a win looking increasingly unlikely. Theo Back adeptly gathered the ball, striking it across goal in the direction of the opportunistic Da Costa. The ball deflected off the Hampton forward and nestled in the Aldenham net, clinching an exhilarating victory for the First XI.
The team will now face Repton at home in the quarter finals.