by Phil Broadway on November 19th, 2013

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.

by Phil Broadway on August 18th, 2013

Goalkeeper training will be restarting on Thursday 5th September at 5pm on the 3G pitch at Crofton School. Usual charge of £2.50 per person payable on the night. 

by Mike Stephenson on July 29th, 2013

End of Season Dinner and Presentation

On Friday July 26th 2013, the players and coaching staff of the Crofton Saints U11 Lion’s were graciously provided with a three course end of season dinner by our Sponsors, the Agora Restaurant of Palmerston Road Southsea. On behalf of the boys and all of those involved, we would like to extend our hearty thanks to the Proprietor and his wife, Yllmas and Nu Sener.
 
As well as receiving their end of season Mid Solent Youth Football League campaign medals three of the boys received trophies for their efforts during the 2012/2013 Season. With so many good lads in the team it had been a very difficult choice to make but the honours went to the following boys.
Supporters’ Player-of-the Season and the Players’ Player-of-the-Season
These two awards went to Harry O’Malley. An outstanding young lad who can play anywhere on the park, including in goal. A well deserved achievement and a lad who is surely destined for greater things.
 
The Most Improved Player-of-the-Season
This award went to Josh Fox, a diminutive but tenacious young lad, who can terrorise the opposition when he is running at them. Josh is also a prolific goalscorer notching up 30 goals last season.
 
The Manager’s Player-of-the-Season
The recipient of this award was Kai Sterne, the Lion’s leading goal-scorer with 66 goals netted in all competitions last season. Another lad who could go a long way.

by Charlie Charles on July 25th, 2013

The U13 Lions have a had a successful summer of tournaments with one win and a runners up placing.

The win came in the Husrtwood Rangers Tournament played on Saturday 8th June where they only conceeded one goal all day. And they were runners in the Denmead Tournament on Saturday 15th June to Havant in a closely fought final which finished 2-1.

Well done lads.

by Mike Stephenson on July 22nd, 2013

The Crofton Saints Lions U11 End of  the 2012/2013 Season summary

The Crofton Saints Lions U11 team have now completed their 2012/2013 campaign. Overall it was a largely successful season with the boys finishing in third position in the Cummins & Pope Mid Solent Youth Football League U11A Division. It had been very tight at the top, and the Lions lost only two matches throughout the season, but the eventual victors, Gosport FC Arrows, were worthy winners. The Arrows became the Lion’s nemesis later and the two sides met in the Cummins & Pope Mid Solent Youth League U11 Cup Final played at Cams Alders. The records will show that the Arrows won 5-2 on that occasion but it was much closer than that. To be fair, the scoreline does not reflect just how hard the Lion’s tried and played on that day. Another great disappointment was being eliminated in the third round of the Hampshire U11 Challenge Cup by Rushmoor Saints Tigers – the eventual winner of the Cup. The boys played below their best on that occasion and consequently suffered a 4-0 defeat.
 
The Lion’s entered seven post-season tournaments and did extremely well. These days teams at this level will often contain academy players from various local clubs and some of the competition was very, very good. Nevertheless, the Lion’s got a representative Crofton Saint’s side to the semi-finals on every occasion and on five of those occasions went on to contest a final. Of those, the boys won two and lost one in a very close match, losing out 5-4 on shoot-out penalties against Purbrook Athletic. In the other two finals, the boys lost two keenly fought and close encounters suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat in both finals. The shoot-out defeat against Purbrook Athletic – in our very own competition - was a real tragedy in some respects. During the tense shoot-out one of the Lion’s efforts struck the crossbar and the ball came down behind the line. The Purbrook keeper sportingly acknowledged that the ball had crossed the line but a goal was not given. I do not blame the referee, nor his assistant placed on the goal line to cover such events. However, my goal-line technology (I was photographing the attempts) shows that when the ball crossed the line the assistant referee’s view was obstructed by a pathetic spectator who had encroached upon the goal line, placing himself between the assistant and the goal, blocking his view. I was very aggrieved on the day. The boys had put in a lot of effort and had played extremely well over the preceding three hours to get to the final, and all of that effort was negated by a mindless spectator. At that stage the penalties were even and a disallowed goal put the Lions one behind. It was extremely disrespectful to both teams and it should not have happened. He was not a Purbrook supporter, I am pleased to say, and he was certainly not a Lion’s supporter.
 
On Friday26th July the boys will be wined and dined by our Sponsor and proprietor of the Agora Restaurant in Southsea (Yllmas Sener). On behalf of the club and the boys can I extend our sincere thanks to Yllmas for his support and sponsorship over the season just gone and we look forward to his continuing support during the coming season.
 
Can I also, once again, mention all of those unpaid and unsung people at the Crofton Saints Football Club as a whole, and those who put in a great deal of effort to stage this years well-attended six-a-side tournament (I’ve never cooked so many sausages and burgers in my whole life), without whose efforts football at grass-roots level would simply collapse. Thanks to you all.





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