By Alex Watson
It’s been a busy term for our U13 footballers who are making excellent progress in the ISFA Cup competition.
Round 2: Hampton vs Sevenoaks School
After a first round bye, Hampton U13As hosted Sevenoaks School in the opening fixture of their ISFA journey, hoping to get their campaign off to a winning start. They were at home for the fixture and seemed to make that advantage count as they dominated the game throughout.
The scoring opened through a penalty from Alessandro C, and the lead doubled when the same player tapped home a straightforward finish.
The As kept working hard and were rewarded when the ball was squared to Marcus S, who tapped it into the open goal.
A fourth was added late in the first half, as Finley M finished clinically to make it 4-0.
Into the second half, and it wasn’t long before Hampton, who rarely took their foot off the gas, strengthened their hold on the game with Caspar S cutting in from the left wing and rifling home with a low drive into the bottom left corner.
A sixth was added as Jasper Bird tapped in a great cross, and two late well-taken goals from Rio F-T meant that the match ended with a scoreline of 8-0.
Round 3: Haileybury v Hampton
After a long bus ride, the Hampton boys were eager to get going as they faced Haileybury School in round three of the ISFA Cup, hoping to progress into the round of 16.
Hampton started strongly, and the scoring opened with a fine volley from Marcus S on the edge of the box.
Alessandro C doubled the advantage with a clinical penalty, and Casper S tapped home a rebound to take the scoreline to 3-0.
With Haileybury working doggedly as they attempted desperately to claw themselves back into the game, Rio F-T found himself on the end of a corner kick and the ball made its way into the back of the net, thanks to a remarkable scorpion kick from the big striker. He scored again shortly before the break after some great work down the left hand side from Strouts created space for a cross, which Rio F-T headed home nonchalantly.
Rio F-T, who has scored 25 goals this season in 11 games, completed his hat trick early in the second half, driving through the Haileybury defence and rifling home, following a great through ball from Balti B. A few minutes later, he once again broke through and finished clinically, to make it four for him on the day and seven for Hampton.
Alex W was the next name on the scoresheet, as he pounced on a loose ball in the box following a corner and tapped home, before a cross from the same player was finished well by Solomon to add the icing on the cake for Hampton.
They were unfortunate to concede a late goal and lose their clean sheet, but overall another very impressive performance from the U13As which saw them march on to the ISFA round of 16.
Round of 16: St John’s School v Hampton
Another away fixture for Hampton, and a fixture which would determine whether or not they secured a place in the ISFA quarter finals. However, it wouldn’t be easy, as they faced a tough, well-organised and disciplined St John’s side.
It was a tense opening passage of play, with neither team recording many attempts on goal. Hampton dominated possession but could not create many chances, with St John’s looking to catch the U13As with their searching balls over the top.
However, it was Hampton who struck first; after a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Balti B, who controlled well, shifted it on to his right foot and fired home to give Hampton the advantage.
Hampton were filled with new-found confidence, and continued to dictate the tempo of the game, not forcing anything but giving St John’s little chance to attack. At half time, the score was St John’s Leatherhead 0, Hampton 1.
St John’s came out after the break full of vigour and Hampton did well to weather the early storm, as they created a few chances, including a great solo run which resulted in a shot which was just tipped wide by goalkeeper Seb R.
However, Hampton kept battling, looking dangerous on the counter attack, and a swift attacking move resulted in goal number two, with Finley M smashing home following a cut-back.
The U13As proceeded to close out the game, as they kept their shape and allowed St John’s little time and space on the ball.
Late into the second half, and Finley M sealed the 3-0 victory with a fine strike, stealing in to win back possession high up the pitch and crashing his strike into the roof of the net from outside of the box.
And so Hampton progress to the ISFA quarter finals, where they will face Alleyn’s School away in January. An exciting new year of football awaits our U13s, as they continue in both the ESFA and ISFA cup competitions.