Official Trophy Supplier
by Robbie Robinson on July 12th, 2013

England and Chelsea defender Gary Cahill presented Crofton Saints Under 14's with brand new football kit for the season courtesy of Vauxhall Eden Fareham.
Cahill, who has 15 international caps, visited the boys in the Vauxhall dealership in Fareham to handover their brand new kit, as part of England team sponsor, Vauxhall’s, Youth Programme initiative.
Local Vauxhall dealer, Eden Fareham, have shown their commitment to Grass Roots Football in the area by supplying Crofton Saints with the brand new kit.

“It is vital that we support grass roots football in England for the good of the game moving forward - this is a fantastic initiative and one that the squad are proud to support.”
Robbie Robinson, Service team Manager at Vauxhall Eden Fareham said, “Supplying Crofton Saints U14s with a brand new kit is just the starting point to an exciting partnership.”

“Vauxhall’s sponsorship of Crofton Saints highlights the importance of supporting the game from the bottom at Grass Roots level to the top at the International game, and showcases just how committed Vauxhall are as a Home Nations Football sponsor.”
“As well as providing them with their new kit we will have a dedicated member of our staff working closely with the team, who will give their time and ideas to support the club. They will also provide ideas to help support the club whether it’s organising the Christmas Party or transport to games.”

The Vauxhall Youth Programme initiative follows an extensive study by HPI, commissioned by The FA and England Team Sponsor and FA Youth Partner Vauxhall Motors, to determine the factors affecting drop out within the 14-17 age group and forms part of The FA Vauxhall Youth Programme.

According to HPI Research, the main reasons for the decline in participation in this age group is due to a realisation that they are not going to play professional football, club football becoming more competitive, the lure of other pursuits and external pressures including school work, travel arrangements and part-time jobs.

To watch the kit handover and an interview with Gary Cahill use this link:

by Phil Broadway on June 14th, 2013

At this years South Hants Glass Portsmouth Youth Football League AGM, the U9 Lions came runner up out of 73 teams for the mini soccer teams Fair Play Award, an absolutely fantastic achievement and one they can feel justifiably proud of.

This is made all the more special as with the success they had last year in winning the league and runner up in the cup, they have proved that you can be successful and play the game in the right way, with good sportsmanship and humility.

The Lions were presented with a shield, a trophy and a cheque for £100.

Well done Gary, his assistants and all the boys.

by Mike Stephenson on May 7th, 2013

Saturday 4th May 2013, 2pm
The Mountbatten School, Romsey

The Crofton Saints Lions fielded two teams in this competition: The Blues and Whites. They were two equally matched sides: the Whites managed by Chris Smart and the Blues managed by Gary Fox. After a poor start the Blues acquitted themselves very well and narrowly missed making it an all-Crofton Final. Following last Thursday’s defeat in the U11 Challenge Cup it must have been a great disappointment to the Blues, but they can hold their heads high. Indeed, they were the only team to score four goals throughout the U11 League Competition when they defeated Romsey Village FC 4-0. Their opening draw against St Francis Rangers, when they did everything but score was crucial. They were unfortunate to come up against Crofton Saints White – the eventual winners - in their second match when they concede a couple of soft goals – one following a blatant hand-ball. Commiserations to all of those boys.
Crofton Saint Blue started off with a defeat and then embarked on a straight run of well-deserved wins which took them to the final against Botley Village FC - who had actually defeated them in their sixth and final league match. They too played very well. Botley Village FC were a good side, but in the final Crofton Blues were better driven on by Tommy Milchard who picked up the Man-of-the-Match award and also scored the winning goal (Tommy also scored a penalty during the leagues stages – the first penalty the boys have succeeded in converting this season! Well done Tommy). There were a number of close shaves on the Blue’s goal during the final and they did have a very late scare when a shot destined for the back of the net was brilliantly pushed over the bar by Adam playing in the blues goal. For the White’s squad this was a definite pick-up after Thursday but there is still a lot more competition to come and I believe that the coming weeks are going to be very interesting for all of the boys.

Final: Botley Village FC  0 - 1  Crofton Saints White

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Crofton Saints White     P 6    W 4    D 0    L 2    GF 7    GA 2    PTS 12

The White’s Squad: Adam, Euan, Harry, James, Max, Tommy and Scott.
A run of three straight wins was pivotal to the Blues
Scorer’s for the White’s: Tommy 6 (one penalty) Adam 2.
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Crofton Saints Blue       P 6    W 3    D 1    L 2    GF 8    GA 3    PTS 10

The Blue’s Squad: Baran, Benjamin, Ethan (Fox), Joe, Josh, Kai and Sam.
An opening draw against St Francis Rangers was crucial
Scorer’s for the Blues: Benjamin 1, Kai 3, and Josh 4.

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by Mike Stephenson on May 7th, 2013

Mid Solent Youth League U11 Cup Final
Thursday 2nd May 2013
Crofton Saints Lions v Gosport FC Arrows
Cams Alders Football Ground, Fareham - Kick Off 6.15pm

Sponsored by the Coleman Family

It was a glorious evening at Cams Alders and perfect for a game of football. Gosport Arrows got the final underway but it was Crofton Lions that showed first when awarded a free kick just outside the box – It wasn’t one of the Lions better efforts, however. Moments later the Lions were awarded another free kick when Harry O’Malley was tripped just outside the area, but it came to nothing. Less than one minute later the Lions won a corner kick on the left and Baran Sener sent in a beautiful ball which was cleared away. In the fifth minute the Lions suffered their first scare when the Lions keeper dropped an innocuous ball in the six yard area. This lead to a scramble in front of the goal, but the ball eventually went out for a goal kick. Moments later Kai Sterne sent a great through ball into the path of Tommy Milchard, but he was just unable to get on the end of it. At the other end a Lions player went down injured. After some attention he was able to carry on. Gosport were then able to make progress down the left wing through a series of throw-ins but the Lions eventually managed to get the ball back upfield. There then followed good runs by Kai Sterne and Josh Fox with Josh Fox winning yet another corner. This was followed by a decent chance when Harry O’Malley laid the ball off to Baran Sener whose well-struck shot sailed just wide of the far post. It wasn’t all one-way traffic and Gosport always looked dangerous going forward and one long ball allowed the Arrows in. Sam Blythin raced from his goal to block the attempt and the ball rebounded off the forward for a goal kick. Scott Faulkner then had to clear in front of goal and this was followed by another Arrows attack which petered out for a goal kick. It was then the Lions turn to put the Arrows under pressure. A long ball down the wing gave Scott Faulkner a chase, but quick as he was he was unable to catch the ball and it drifted out for a throw in. This was followed by a typical run by Kai Sterne and the Arrows defence was forced to knock the ball out for a corner. Adam Hatton took the corner from the right and his well struck ball was desperately palmed away for another corner at the near post. Up to this point the Lions were playing exceptionally well and their efforts were rewarded by a goal. In the 22nd minute Kai Sterne broke free from the Arrows defence and poked the ball forward. There was no great strength in the shot but it went wide of the keeper reach and crept into the corner of the far corner of the net. Moments after the restart Josh Fox had a speculative shot from distance, but it never threatened the Arrows goal. The Lions delight at taking the lead was cruelly deflated when the Arrows pulled the scores level. They moved the ball forward on the right and this resulted in a shot on goal which the Lions may have done better to defend. Less than one minute later, however, the Lions had restored their lead – and again through Kai Sterne. In the 27th minute he picked up the ball in the penalty area out on the right. He hooked the ball across the keeper and it rolled into the net very close to the far post. With three minutes remaining, plus added on time, there was still time for the Arrows to crash the ball against the Lions crossbar and to force Sam Blythin into a save. And so it was that the Lions went into the break with their noses in front - but you can never take the Arrows lightly.
Nonetheless, it was the Lions who came close to scoring again less than two minute into the second half. A superb Kai Sterne pass found Benjamin Lolljowaheer free on the right. Without breaking stride he hit it on the run with his right foot and sent a great shot flashing just wide of the near post. Benjamin is predominantly left footed so it was a brilliant effort with his ‘wrong un’! In the 35th minute the Arrows again pulled level. They were allowed to get the ball in from the right and a forward crashed it into the back of the net. The defence would have been annoyed that they should have done better, but things were to get worse. In the 38th minute the Arrows moved into the lead when more loose defending allowed the Arrows time and space to have a free shot on goal. To be truthful the Arrows were now moving up a gear and were surely in the ascendancy. The Lions were trying hard to get forward but nothing was coming off for them at that stage. For the Arrows, however, everything was now going their way. They were working hard, winning loose balls, and were putting the Lions defence under a lot of pressure. In the 45th minute the Lions again gave the Arrows time and space to hit the Lions net. It was another free shot that sailed in over Sam Blythin’s head. From then on the Lions seemed to have no answer to the Arrows constant attacks. It wasn’t that they’d given up but they were now facing incessant attacks by the rampant Arrows forwards. It was inevitable that they would score again. A shot came in from the right. Sam Blythin got his hands to the ball but could not prevent the Arrows moving into a 5-2 winning lead. One had to feel for the boys. They had tried really hard, especially in the first half. It was a massive pitch for the boys to play on and both sides had been chased and harried over every inch of it. Crucially, however, the Arrows were able to call upon eight substitutes against the Lions two, and it was inevitably that this would affect the Lions eventually - and they began to tire. Sure, it was a great disappointment for the boys, but for much of the match they had fought a brave fight and had matched and bettered the Arrows in the first half. The Lions had battled away both in midfield and going forward, and they were putting in a lot of effort on wings but without much joy. The defence had worked hard but were overwhelmed in the second half when they were really under the cosh. To be sure too, this does not represent failure. The Lions have finished third in the league and were runners up in this U11s Challenge Cup. Without doubt other teams have greater numbers and greater strength in depth – which is to their advantage - but the boys have kept going all season and there are still the tournaments to come.

Final Score: Crofton Saints Lions  2 - 5  Gosport FC Arrows

Lions Squad: Adam Hatton, Baran Sener, Benjamin Lolljowaheer, Euan Smart, Harry O’Malley, James Beadell, Joe O’Mahony, Josh Fox, Kai Sterne, Max Fawcett, Sam Blythin, Scott Faulkner and Tommy Milchard.

Lion’s scorer: Kai (2)

Referee: Bradley Pike 8/10. Linesmen: Dan Batchelor and Josh Young

by Mike Stephenson on May 1st, 2013

Saturday 27th April 2013
Mid Solent Youth League U11 Challenge Cup Semi Final
Crofton Saints U11 Lions V AFC Portchester Castles U11
Stubbington Recreation Ground

This was a game of two halves for the Lions: Dominant and dangerous in the first, but falling away defensively in the second. The Lions got the tie underway and were soon testing the visitors defence to the full. However, despite plenty of toil and endeavour from the home side it wasn’t until the 20th minute that the Lions finally got their noses in front. But not before Portchester had almost snatched a lead entirely against the run of play. A mistake in the home defence led to the visitors having a shot on goal - Fortunately the well-hit effort passed just wide of the near post. The Lions were awarded a free kick 30 yards out on their right. Adam Hatton stepped up to take the kick and blasted the ball goal-wards. Kai Sterne attempted to get his head to the ball and this seemed to distract the keeper, allowing the ball to end up in the back of the net. It was a trifle fortuitous, but no more than the Lions deserved. The Lions still pressed forward and in the 21st minute extended their lead – again through a free kick. Adam Hatton fired the ball forward and Kai Sterne picked it up just outside the six-yard-box on the right. He took the ball in his stride and lashed it into the far corner of the net.
The second half started off fairly even with both side threatening each others defence. But then the visitors began to exert severe pressure on the Lions goal and the home keeper was forced into making several last-ditch saves. The Lions defence, which had been so solid in the first half, was at sixes and sevens and looking very fragile indeed. On several occasions the Lions defence embarked on a suicidal policy of leaving it to each other in and around the six yard area and almost paid the price. They were certainly riding their luck. It didn’t mean that the Lions were spent as an attacking force and the visitors defence had to work hard to keep the Lions in check going forward. Nevertheless, one had the worrying feeling that if Portchester scored one, then they might easily score two, getting them right back in the mix. As the match ran down, the Lions never really looked close to extending their lead but were certainly doing enough in attack to help relieve the pressure on what had become a very shaky defence. This allowed them to run out winners in what could have been a much different result had Portchester managed to pull a goal or two back.

Final Score:  Crofton Saints Lions  2 - 0  AFC Portchester Castles

Lions Scorers: Adam Hatton and Kai Sterne.
The Lions will now play Gosport FC Arrows in the final at Cams Alders, Fareham, on Thursday 2nd May, Kick Off  6.15pm.

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