After an opening defeat and a draw in their league program, AFC U10 Hotspurs were looking to back up their pre-season form with a cup win away at Shinfield Rangers. With the wind behind, Hotspurs dominated first-half possession but their efforts went unrewarded with Charlie Ingram twice hitting the cross- bar, one a cracking 20 yard drive.
Into the 2nd half, Hotspurs couldn’t sustain the same pressure, allowing Shinfield to mount several attacks of their own. Both teams were now creating chances, the keepers dealing comfortably with what were mainly long-range efforts on goal.
With just 90 seconds left on the clock, Hotspurs lined up their 3rd consecutive corner as they searched for a winner they probably deserved. Marlon Brough floated the perfect delivery into a crowded box for man-of-the-match Eddie Dixon-Ainscough to smash the ball into the roof of the net. One-Nil Hotspurs.
But celebrations were short-lived as failure to clear the next Shinfield attack, led to a corner being conceded. Again a ball into a crowded goalmouth, followed by a mad scramble, saw Shinfield pull level with just 30 seconds remaining.
Time stood still as an unhurried Hotspurs team moved the ball slowly up the pitch, finally winning a corner with the ref looking at his watch more than the game. Another teasing Brough delivery into the crowded goalmouth, as an unlucky Shinfield defender got the final touch to put Hotspurs two – one up. The final whistle broke the ensuing silence and the Hotspurs had their win, launching themselves enthusiastically into their ritual celebration.
Team: Charlie Ingram, Eddie Dixon-Ainscough, Eidur Gudjohnsen-Mitchell, James Mennie, Jonty Priestly, Marlon Brough, Thomas Aitken-Woods, Umar Chechi