By Omer Demiral
An eventful week for the U15A footballers culminated in a 6-3 victory against a strong a Royal Russell side in the Elgin Schools League.
This was a must win match for Hampton if they wanted to secure a top two sport in the league in order to advance to the next stage of the competition. In a strong and swift passing display, emulating some of the top academy sides, they swept aside Royal Russell School who had only lost two games heading into this fixture.
James Queen was the star man down the left-hand side, ripping through the opposition defence with his lightning pace. He was the root of the first goal for Hampton, earning a penalty after being brought down inside the box by the opposition right back. Josh King stepped up to take the penalty and coolly slotted it home sending the keeper the wrong way. Hampton’s second goal was manufactured by the pure technical brilliance displayed by Joe Downham. Picking the ball up from the left back position he progressed up the pitch, skipping past defenders effortlessly. The ball was glued to his feet as he swerved his way into the box. As he passed into the six-yard box, the ball was turned in by Ben Moffatt who got his first goal of the season.
Hampton continued their pressure, their defence not even allowing Royal Russell a sniff of a goal scoring opportunity. In the minutes before the end of the first half, Hampton got two more goals in quick succession including a much-deserved goal from Queen and another fantastic finish from Michael Azoo who scored in his fourth consecutive game.
Hampton were well in control heading into the second half. However, Charlie Helm managed to further their advantage by latching onto a loose ball and arrowing his shot into the top hand corner. Helm’s brilliant performances over the week had been rewarded with a tremendous first-time finish. Royal Russell did look a stronger side in the second half, playing with more focus and intent. They found their first goal after a brilliant save from Sam Ellis deflected onto their striker who managed to finish with his second attempt.
Hampton still managed to reply. From a throw-in, Sam Bond switched the ball straight into Helm’s feet and the build up from there was efficient and deadly. A couple of passes later Nick Herrero found the ball at his feet, and he slammed it past the keeper with his left foot. Six for Hampton. Russell managed to score two further goals, but it was nothing more than consolation as Hampton finished the game on top.
With two games left and the next round looking close than ever, Mr Carlos Mills told the team, “We are doing really well so far this season boys and we are edging closer to advancing to the next stage. We played brilliantly out there today, and I want us to carry on our form in the following weeks as we have some crucial matches coming up. It’s been a really successful week boys, well done.”
The U15A play their ISFA round four tie against Bristol Grammar School next week.