We’re nearing the business end of the youth football season and Bognor Regis Town’s under-15s and Barnham Trojans’ under-13 Blues are celebrating trophy triumphs.
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Bognor Regis Town picked up the season’s first piece of silverware by winning the Invitation Cup Final at Arundel FC against Worthing Minors.
The team started the game confidently and went ahead with a well-taken goal by Owen Chapman, who drilled home a shot low from the edge of the penalty area.
Within minutes, Worthing equalised with a towering header from a corner - and two minutes later slack defending by the Bognor
defence allowed Worthing to take the lead which they held until half-time.
With Bognor losing at half-time manager Paul Selby was looking for a vast improvement from his team in the second half and he soon got the response he wanted.
A quality strike from midfield player Ceri Marsh, cutting in from the right and thumping a shot into the top corner, put Bognor back on level terms – then two minutes later Chan Suwanta finished off a fine move with a confident finish just inside
the penalty area.
Centre-forward and top goalscorer Jake Stanley finished off a fine flowing move with a one-touch finish to put the team 4-2 up.
The confidence was flowing and the team began to knock the ball around and it was not long before Bognor scored again - with the Worthing defence in total disarray, James Tearle swivelled in the box and finished at the near post.
The game was into the final minutes when a Worthing defender handled in the penalty area and Stanley finished off a fine game with a thumping penalty to give Bognor a 6-2 victory.
The players thanked their sponsors - The Arena Sports Centre and Global Scaffolding - for their continued support.
Barnham Trojans 2 Worthing Minors 1
Barnham under-13 Blues have won the Invitation Cup.
On a cold day and on a boggy pitch, Barnham tried to play their passing game. After several chances, George Roberts went through one on one with the goalkeeper, sliding the ball into the net.
In the second half Barnham had lots of chances but were unable to finish - until George Roberts had a shot which slipped through the keeper’s legs.
Worthing scored from a free-kick with a fantastic strike, leading to a tense last ten minutes, but Barnham held on for the win.
BARNHAM: Lewis Blackman, George Rye, Regan Jennings, George Roberts, Henry Graham, George Griffiths, Alex McCarthy, Callum Tite, Ben Rose, Callum Fowler, Ben Skinner, Will Newman, Sam Holmes, Charlie Williamson(C)
After winning the south-east regional tournament and becoming area champions, Felpham Community College’s Year 7 boys’ five-a-side football team qualified for the ESFA national tournament.
It was held at the Derby Soccerdome near Pride Park featuring the final eigh teams from across the country who’d got through out of 1,200 teams.
Felpham, with captain Ollie Hambleton leading the team, qualified from the group stage as runners-up on goal difference with great performances from Dan Turner in goal and Louie Mockford-Allott. This put the team through to the final four, where they faced stiff opposition in the form of Langley Grammar school from Slough to get to the final.
Felpham went 2-0 down but made a comeback with the introduction of Charlie Sixsmith, who gave the team the energy
needed to level it at 2-2. Extra time began and Felpham were dominant until they were caught in possession and the opposition scored in the final minute.
They went on to the third place play-off against the other semi-finalists knocked out, Alameda Middle School from Bedford. Felpham won convincingly against a side who had beaten them in the group stages.
The team took part in the closing ceremony where they all received semi-finalist medals for their amazing achievement in coming third. There were match-changing performances from Ollie Humphries and Jacob Vandriel. Man of the tournament was Louie Mockford Allott after outstanding and consistent performances across all matches.
The school thanked parents and other supporters on the day for making the long trip to Derby and providing outstanding support. Superb coaching contributions came from from Jon Hughes, Luke Cooper and Chris Harris.
Pagham 0 Predators 2
On a cold afternoon, the game was physical from the off. It wasn’t long before a flick-on by Oliver found the foot of Mouse, who hit the back of the net.
A penalty was awarded to Predators after a handball but Oliver failed to convert, keeping the score 1-0 at half-time.
The second half was similar and Predators took advantage again when a loose ball found Irish, who made the score 2-0.
The game was marred by the number of yellow cards shown by the referee but Predators came out victors. Man of the match was Cook.
PREDATORS: Cook, Irish, Josling, Davies, Williams, Mouse, Birch, Hillier, Oliver, Rodway, Furlong.
Regis Rebels 1 Chi City Colts 3
Colts extended their unbeaten run to seven games with goals from Fynn Turner-Kilburn and Joseph Roman.
They attacked the Regis goal from the start and when Roman was hauled down in the box they were awarded a penalty.
Roman steped up to take the kick but for the fourth time in a row, it was not converted, the Regis keeper throwing himself to his left to beat it out.
Midway through the first half the deadlock was finally broken, Turner-Kilburn controlling the ball well in the box and drilling a right-foot shot into the corner of the net.
Regis equalised early in the second half. They broke forward from midfield and after several opportunities to clear the ball were missed, a Regis striker was left with a clear opportunity to strike at goal.
This prompted both a personnel change for the Colts which was rewarded when Turner-Kilburn scored his second, again a well-taken right-foot finish after controlling the ball in the box.
Regis were denied by a tremendous tackle by Colts centre-back Johnson. Roman finally got the goal his play deserved when he raced clear of the Regis defence and sidefooted the ball past the advancing keeper.
Hawkins and Oliver Poole set up Regan Hawkins but his shot was held by the keeper.
Colts joint men of the match were Turner-Kilburn and Johnson.
COLTS: Baxter, Mead, Johnson, Reading, Wiseman, Adams, Carter, Poole, Smith, Roman, Turner-Kilburn, Hawkins, Hewitt, Trust.
Predators Youth 2 Barnham Trojans Pumas 5
Predators had stand-in keeper Dom Humphries in goal, which left them short in midfield. Barnham were able to dominate that area, keeping the pressure on the defence.
Barnham took an early lead which they added to on the stroke of half-time.
The second half started with Predators forcing the Barnham keeper into action before their pressure told when Alex Burford headed home an Ashley Butler corner. But almost from kick-off another defence-splitting pass allowed the Barnham striker to slot home unchallenged and restore Barnham’s advantage.
The visitors added a fourth before Connor Fellows pulled one back, against the run of play, with a long-range free-kick which took a deflection. There was time for Barnham to add a fifth.
PREDATORS: Humphries, Burford, Butler, Daniels, Donner, Fellows, Hamilton, Hanslip, McCabe, Simmonds, Smith.
Pulborough Pythons 1 Chichester City Colts White 5
In their second meeting of the season the Colts started quickly and scored with a lovely strike from Jake Wells, who went on to score a quick second.
Ryan Johnson scored two more before half-time to send the Colts in 4-0 up.
Chichester found it to be tougher going in the second half and the Pythons got a goal. The Colts applied decent pressure and managed to get a fifth via an own goal.
Johnson now has 23 goals for the season and Wells claimed his first man of the match of the season.
CHICHESTER: Briant, Moore, Wilson, O’Brennan, Rawlings, Wells, Johnson, Davy, Scott, Durmush.
AFC Worthing Stars 0 Avisford Youth 1
Avisford finally got back to winning ways after two defeats. In a fiercely-fought game, both sides had chances in the first half, but both keepers were in fine form.
In the second half, Avisford started to dominate in midfield and made several chances that they couldn’t convert. However, with five minutes to go, captain Finlay Brian was fouled by a defender as he was about to cross. Brian stepped up to put away the penalty.
Avisford held on although AFC Worthing hit the post.
AVISFORD: Cummings, Longley, Green, Jones, Brian. Francis, Kill: Subs Copeland, McGinlay.