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Year 9 football team secure promotion

posted 29 Apr 2016, 01:37 by Phil Broughton   [ updated 30 Apr 2016, 05:26 ]
Richmond School Sports Partnership 
Year 9 Football Championship Play Off Final 
Richmond Park Academy 2 (Levi, Carlos) Hampton Academy 1 

"We are going up, say we are going up." "Where's the champagne Sir?" came the cries from the victorious changing room. "I wouldn't waste it on you lot" was the response I gave, but I secretly wished that I had a bottle that they could spray around the room (non-alcoholic of course). They deserved it. The team sat content on the wooden benches basking in the glory of a hard-fought victory over Hampton that gained promotion to the Premiership next season. It also marked the pinnacle of a remarkable transformation from being the Borough whipping boys to a team who was undefeated through league play this season.

The first half was beautiful. Chris, Syd and Levi set the tone by popping triangles around the opposition with composure and precision that set the tone and instilled confidence for the whole team. Possession was rarely wasted, and the link up play led to some incisive passing which created three gilt-edged chances in the early stages. Emils and Jake were both profligate with their finishing when the lead-up play deserved more. The breakthrough came shortly thereafter when a slick move ended with Levi continuing his rich vain of scoring form as he whipped a devilish strike from a full 20 yards into the far corner making it 1-0. RPA pushed on and bossed the game with the back four of Jake, Hassan, Carlos and Abdul keeping a good line (if a little too deep at times), commanding possession and creating a couple of further chances. The opposition spurned their one excellent chance as Ehtsham was called into action as a long ball caught Carlos off guard and left the striker with a one on one. Ehtsham was brave and turned the strike away for a corner and preserved the lead going into half time.

Hampton came out with a lot of energy after the break and did a good job closing down RPA's space and made the second half a much tighter affair. Both teams created several chances and a phenomenal battle raged between Hampton's Chelsea midfielder and Chris, who was absolutely superb. He created several chances for himself and others, including a 30-yard volley which the keeper saved smartly. As is football's want, the game was turned on its head with 15 minutes remaining when Hampton broke with a counter attack down the left-hand side following a slip from Isaac. Abdul did a great job of holding the man up, but then let him wriggle out of the corner, grabbing a fistful of his jersey but advantage was played as he delivered a pinpoint cross as Carlos' man ducked in to finish from close range. 1-1.

The game looked to be going into a dreaded penalty shootout (which Emils desperately wanted in my discussion with him yesterday) when Carlos made amends. Chris clipped a beautiful ball in behind the fullback and Carlos brought it down, cut inside and fired inside the near post to retake the lead with less than five minutes remaining. There was still time for Ryan to come on and give away a free-kick in a dangerous area but the resulting chance was poked just wide as the final whistle sounded.

Team: Ehtsham, Carlos, Jake, Hassan, Abdul, Ryan, Hugo, Isaac, Leon, Emils, Chris, Syd, Levi, Torri