Aldershot Town’s Under 12s won a thrilling Hampshire Cup Final on Saturday, beating Fareham Town Pirates 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out.
The match, played over two 30-minute halves at Alton FC’s Anstey Park Enclosure, ended 2-2 in normal time after The Shots twice took the lead only to be pegged back in the closing stages. Jonno Green’s team also fell behind in the shoot-out but eventually Oscar Roberts calmly sealed a first-ever piece of silverware for The Shots’ Youth Department.
“The boys did really well just to get to the Final,” admitted the Youth Department’s Foundation Manager, Ryan Nevard, “and it was nice for them to get a reward for how well they’ve done throughout the season. The boys were brilliant, they tried to play the way we want them to and they deserved their reward. There were some really good penalties, too. There’s always pressure in a shoot-out, but they coped well and stuck them away well.”
Jake Martin’s penalty put The Shots ahead in the first-half, only for Charlie Glasspool to equalise five minutes after the break. Martin grabbed his second nine minutes later but the Pirates’ second equaliser, a couple of minutes before the final whistle, took the game to penalties.
“Fareham played very well in the second-half, credit to them,” added Youth Development Phase Manager, Stephen Mills. “It was a good game, both teams played well, and it was a good spectacle for those watching. The boys were a credit to Aldershot Town, and they prepared properly.
“They were delighted to win, and one of the boys has already taken the Trophy into his school to celebrate! That excitement is what it’s about, and it teaches them something different, when winning games isn’t something that we usually concentrate on. To come from behind in the shoot-out shows good character, and that’s not necessarily something we can teach them – it’s for them to learn, and hopefully it will stand them in good stead for the future.”
Our congratulations go to every player in the squad: Jackson Izquierdo, Joshua Gavin, Robbie Dickson, George Rathmill, Vinnie Murray, Archie Harris, George Byne, Charlie Myers, Adasara Rai, Oscar Roberts, Ross Alesbury, George Wallace, Fraser Trickey, George Griggs, Jake Martin and Charlie Deakin.