Kings’ U16 Girls Football cruise to National Semis
The under sixteen girls football team from Kings’ School achieved a convincing win over Bedfordshire’s Redbourne Upper School this week to take them through to the last four of the National Schools Cup.
On a cold and overcast afternoon, Kings’ started strongly, regularly pressing down the left wing with Jasmine Castle Mckenzie feeding Phoebe Williams who dribbled skilfully through the opposition. In the fifth minute a Phoebe Williams cross reached Stella Gande Morgan whose powerful shot was parried well by the keeper only to be picked up by Molly Williams who finished consummately from just outside the penalty box.
Redbourne rallied and a great break was thwarted by a cracking save from Amelia Halfpenny. Within fifteen minutes, after another storming run down the right, Suhayla Jones crossed to find Stella Gande Morgan who struck a Jackie Charlton style drive from 25 yards into the top right corner; the ball still rising as it hit the top of the net.
The Kings’ team continued to battle well with Lauren Harper and Hannah Holloway dominating central defence. Livvy Mattinson protected the right flank throughout. Kate Wiseman bossed the midfield combining excellently with Alice Nichols who worked tirelessly throughout the match. Shortly before half time another strong Kings’ attack led to a class interchange between Phoebe Williams and Alice Nichols to put Kate Wiseman through who then majestically dragged the ball back to turn and rifle home from just inside the box.
Kings’ continued to dominate in the second half with Gande Morgan scoring from all of forty yards and Wiseman netting a further brace to secure a very well earned hat trick. Rolling substitutions saw Alana Mattinson, Shopie Gordon, Mary Strevens and Natalie Davey all playing important parts. A second stunning tip over the bar save from Halfpenny helped see off any limited Redborne fight back along with resolute sweeping and strong tackling from Harper.
Miss Thorp says: I couldn’t be more excited for the girls’ to progress into the semi-finals of the competition. Since working with them from last September they have truly grown in confidence and are the most focussed that I have ever seen them. They have shown superb team spirit and have performed outstandingly in each round to date. To make the finals this year would be the icing on the cake for what has been a turbulent few years for this squad competing in the national cup.
Having now reached the quarter finals three years in a row, Kings’’ are hoping this is their year!
Kings’ Boys Football progress
With two year groups left in the latter stages of the Hampshire Cup football competition, the Kings’ boys are determined to emulate the class of ’92 and lift the title of Hampshire champions. To mark the anniversary of 20 years since winning the Hampshire U16 county cup the class of 96’ will be returning to Kings’ to play a current staff team on the 21st May, for more information please go the schools homepage. The current year 11 crop have progressed through to the semi finals to face new Forest school Priestlands away. After a hard fought win against a super Connaught (Aldershot SFA) school in the quarter-finals, the team are excited to play in their first county cup semi final. After tremendous success in the ESFA cup last year the boys have learned lessons and really grown up as a team. Their experiences in previous years, where mistakes and missed opportunities have cost them, the team seem to have matured in their focus and concentration in vital games.
Vice captain James Pike writes:
As the match kicked off both sides missed some half chances but it was Connaught who took the lead on 15 minutes, when a routine free kick was not dealt with the impressive Connaught forward heading them in front. Kings’ dominated possession but found it tough to create chances against a resolute defence. At half time Kings trailed 1-0. Kings started the second half with gusto and their pressure paid off when Jack Down fought his way through three defenders, only to be felled inside the area. The same played stepped up to hammer home the penalty. As the half continued Kings’ gave away another cheap free kick which was floated to the back post, and the unmarked centre forward had time to bring the ball down and slot neatly into the far corner. With 20 minutes remaining Kings’ rang some changes from the subs bench but it was Ben Parkinson who scissor-kicked Kings’ level with a left footed strike into the top right hand corner of the net. A wonder goal. Game on. Connaught started to look tired and Kings’ piled on the pressure, Jack Down now playing left back stepping inside to slot home from the edge of the box to make it 3-2 to Kings’. Super sub Olly ‘Gunnar-Solskiar’ Hall then calmly netted two tidy finishes to seal the game and allow Kings’ to progress through.
The year 8 boys football team are also enjoying a successful season as they are through to round 6 of the ESFA schools cup where they look forward to playing Sheldon School. In round 5 the boys overcame Bay House school with a 4-1 victory. However the game was tight on a very boggy pitch and Bay House equalising a Patrick Berry-Green opener to make the finish tense. Eventually Kings’ won out with goals from Ethan Day, Jordan Evans and Luke Shaw.
In the county cup quarter final the same group of boys battled through a tough match versus John Hanson school. After taking the lead in the first half through Ethan Day and Patrick Berry-Green, John Hanson fought back to draw the match 2-2 at full time. After a stalemate in extra time the match went to penalties, Kings’ eventually winning 5-4 after successful spot kicks from Ollie Raisbeck, Jordan Evans, Ethan Day, Patrick Berry-Green and Jack Good. Head of year Mr Chainey states ‘a fantastic team effort to keep their composure under great pressure, we now have plenty to improve upon ready for the next round- very well done boys!’