DSC_1135Harrow Way Community School vs Hounsdown U12

On the day of the Under 12 County Cup Final, at Aldershot’s EBB Stadium, the weatherman predicted a month’s rainfall in one day, he was not wrong. The rain poured on to the EBB pitch and ensured the players really needed to warm up. However, the players were ready for kick off, the teams were lead out of the tunnel in professional style, and the match was ready to begin. These were the last two teams from a 71 team pool; a high standard of football was to be expected.

The opening exchanges were very cagey as both teams struggled with ball control and their footing. It was a rare error from starting goalkeeper Jake McGowan that gifted Hounsdown the lead. The ball was played over the top and, the usually reliable keeper, slide past the ball and the striker had a tap in. Hounsdown then piled on the pressure in search of a second. McGowan was called in to action on several occasions and he didn’t disappoint, he seemed keen to make up for his earlier error.

Harrow Way started to take a foothold in the game with Sullivan, Cousins and Mussell dominating the centre of the park with neat passes and crunching challenges. Harrow Way were also looking far more comfortable at the back, Cooper and Ardron marshalling the defence to excellent effect. Hounsdown were persistently trying to use the pitches width to expose the defence but fullbacks Hampton, who had an excellent game, and Bickerton stood firm.

It was on a swift counter attack that the equaliser finally came, Sam Clash brought down about twenty-five yards out, and the stage was set for Captain Willard to show his class. He slammed the free kick into the top corner and it was game on. Harrow Way continued to hammer Hounsdown until half time, a whistle Harrow Way did not want to come.

The second half began as the first half finished, Harrow Way peppering the Hounsdown goal. However, Hounsdown were standing firm. Then, out of nowhere, Skipper Willard attacked his full back and raced past him. He was in on goal with substitutes Belbin and Griggs for company. It looked for all the world to be a goal for Harrow Way. Willard closed in on goal with his head high and looked to square the ball to Belbin. However, the Hounsdown keeper, in no mood to be beaten again, got the slightest of touches on the ball, and the grateful defenders cleared.

The deadlock was not to last however, from a corner McGowan spilled a wet ball and it was a second tap in for the striker and Hounsdown had their noses in front. Harrow Way’s heads dropped and Hounsdown smelt blood. They quickly stole a third, with a swerving, skidding shot beating the otherwise solid McGowan. Fullbacks Hampton and Bickerton, who had both been solid all night, were sacrificed for Harrow Way to go 3-4-3, and for the win.

Neat link up between Sullivan and Belbin sent Griggs racing through but he did not have the legs as the Hounsdown defence recovered. The game was killed off by a 20 yard drive that was worthy of winning any game. The game ended 4-1 to Hounsdown, but Harrow Way Community School’s year 7 team had done themselves, their parents, and their school very proud. Well done Boys.