Hampshire Saturday U12 Cup

Saturday November 10th 2013
Hampshire FA U12 Challenge Cup Round 3

Basingstoke Town Colts 3 - 1 Crofton Saints Lions

West End Lane, Basingstoke

On paper this looked a very difficult challenge for the Lions. Basingstoke Town Colts are sitting pretty on top of the North East Hants Youth League U12 Premier Division, having played seven matches winning six and drawing one. They have scored 24 goals in the process whilst only conceding four. But that did not countenance for the Lion strength, spirit and determination on the day. If there was any apprehension on the part of the boys it didn’t show and, despite the inclement weather, the boys put on a great display and gave the Colts the fright of their lives.
The match didn’t start off well when the home side took a six minute lead. This did not deter the Lions who fought back tenaciously. In the 14th minute of the half Ryan Cluett levelled the scores picking up the ball midway inside the opponents half before going on to calmly slot it past the home keeper. Basingstoke were good, there was no doubt about that. They were well-organised and moved the ball well, constantly threatening the Lions down the right wing where they always seemed to have a boy over. Technically the skill levels of the home team were a touch above the Lions, but there was also a large measure of petulance from the Colts displayed towards the referee – unusual in my experience at this age level. Despite that, the Lions stuck doggedly to their task and deservedly went into the break on level terms.
The second half saw the Lions suffer another early setback. Four minutes into the half a corner from the right was well cleared by Sam Blythin in the Lions goal but the ball came back with interest and there was nothing the keeper or the defence could do. Again the Lions fought back. Their fighting spirit and physical presence was certainly rattling the Colts and this manifested itself by their constant griping at the referee. Fortunately the referee was an experienced official and was quite unmoved by their bickering. The Lions were still well in the match and it was only going to take one moment of magic or skill to get them level. Two minutes from the end of normal play that moment almost came. The Lions won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Ryan Cluett stepped up to the plate and sent in a great effort which the home keeper tipped onto the post and the chance was gone. With the game moving into added on time the Colts hit the Lions on the break and added a third goal. The 3-1 scoreline, however, did not do justice to the Lions. They were never out of the match and it was much closer than that and the Lions had been so very close to forcing the match into extra time. Overall, the Lions had done themselves, the Crofton Saints Football Club and the Mid Solent Youth Football League proud: So well done to all of the boys. Next Saturday the Lions take on the Gosport FC Bullets in the 3rd Round of the Mid Solent Youth Football League U12 Challenge Cup – it will be a nice opportunity for them to put this disappointment behind them.

No Comments




no categories


no tags