School Sport: Havering boys book final spot
PUBLISHED: 11:30 23 January 2017
South East Sussex 0 Havering 4
Havering’s under-12 boys booked their place in the final of the South East England Cup with a fine win at Hastings.
The Essex Cup winners drew the short straw for their semi-final, finding themselves drawn away to a powerful South East Sussex side, but the pitch was deemed playable after an inspection.
The visitors made a strong start and were soon creating chances, only to be foiled by the Sussex keeper.
Tom Sontiminu, Finlay Welch and Jimi Gower all found the target, but on each occasion the Sussex stopper pulled off brilliant saves to somehow keep the score level for much of the first half.
It wasn’t until the introduction of substitute and man of the match Connor Mitchell that Havering managed finally to break the deadlock as his instinctive reaction to a loose ball inside the penalty area enabled him to chip the ball over the grounded keeper.
Sussex changed formation after the restart, but resilient defending from the Havering back line of Tom Pantelli, Pierce Knight and Liam Birchall kept them at bay.
And as Sussex continued to push forward they also started to take more risks at the back leaving just two defenders to guard against the Havering counter-attack which had been so successful in the first half.
And a fine move starting with Reece Stringer ended when Sontiminu’s deft first-time touch fell into the path of Mitchell who cheekily finished by poking the ball unexpectedly between the keeper and his near post for his and Havering’s second.
Havering looked to press home their advantage and a fine run from Gower was only ended with an untidy challenge inside the penalty box, which saw captain Oliver Jones step up to convert from the spot.
Mitchell rounded off a superb performance by completing his hat-trick minutes from time and Havering must now wait to see who they will meet in the final, as Maidstone & North Kent and Brighton Schools battle it out in the other semi-final.
Havering: Kieran Moore (Redden Court), Pierce Knight, Tom Pantelli (Hall Mead), Liam Birchall (Campion), Oliver Jones, Jimi Gower, Finlay Welch, Tom Sontiminu (all Coopers), Reece Stringer (Emerson Park), Connor Mitchell (Brittons Academy).
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