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Resilient U16As earn themselves a Fourth Round spot

By Omer Demiral

Following their impressive 4-0 victory over rivals Charterhouse, Hampton’s U16A team faced St Peter’s Catholic School in round three of the prestigious ESFA cup competition.

Hampton started off strong, dominating possession and forcing St Peter’s into their own half. However, throughout the first 20 minutes of the game, Hampton struggled to create clear-cut, goal scoring opportunities, leading to long spells on the ball without end product.

It was around about this time when England U16 international Josh King stepped on to the pitch and provided an instant supply of creative passing. Furthermore, his free-kick from just outside the 18-yard-box barely grazed the crossbar as Hampton continued their search for a breakthrough. Unfortunately, the goal they longed for did not arrive in the first half as the score line, heading into the break, stood at 0-0.

As the referee signalled the start of the second-half, St Peter’s seemed somewhat rejuvenated, creating a few dangerous opportunities which they failed to dispatch. Head Coach Mr Mills decided it was time for some changes around a third of the way through the second half. With these substitutions Hampton seemed to have a spring in their step, approaching the game in a more direct manner. A corner, taken from the right-hand side by Ben Moffatt was placed perfectly onto captain Joe Murray’s head, and turned in for the opener. The whole team ran to the corner flag to celebrate in unison as all their previous frustration had been converted into joy via Murray’s clinical header.

However, Hampton weren’t satisfied and they continued pressing on, looking to gain a more significant advantage over their opponents. A bursting run down the left flank by the dynamic left winger James Queen seemed certain to end in a goal until he was brought down unfairly in the box. The referee immediately signalled to the penalty spot, as the team crowded around Queen, praising him for his superb play. King stepped up to take the penalty and coolly slotted it into the bottom left corner, sending the opposition keeper the wrong way.

Soon after Josh found his second and Hampton’s third through a sizzling strike turned in unfortunately by the opposition keeper, securing Hampton’s spot in the next round.

A brilliant second-half performance spurred Hampton to a 3-0 victory over St Peter’s Catholic School and Mr Mills praised his team for their performance, “The way you stuck together throughout that match was really impressive. If we can continue that sort of performance throughout our upcoming matches, I am confident we can achieve big things.”

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