County Cup Hat Trick!
With two County Cups already secured by the Aldenham U12 and U13 teams, Tuesday evening gave the U15 side an opportunity to make it a hat-trick of wins. Our opponents Verulam had actually beaten us in the final when the boys were U13, so revenge was also on the minds of those boys who had played in that game.
The 6.00pm kick-off also ensured a bumper crowd which added to the atmosphere in a tense opening to the game. Both teams had some very talented players and unfortunately the pitch was bobbly and small which made it very hard to play the ‘beautiful game’. Verulam certainly had the better of the opening exchanges before Aldenham took control of the game. A couple of half chances went begging before we were awarded a free kick on the left edge of the box, which on another day may have been a penalty, it was that close. With James Olayinka and Xavier Amaechi standing over the ball, it was Olayinka who was favourite to take it, but thankfully the boys ignored the advice of the coaches and Amaechi whipped the ball into the far top corner of the net; a goal of real class from the Arsenal youngster. With Aldenham now well on top both Amaechi and Edu Toiny-Pendred went close to doubling the lead. However, just before Half-time it was Jonah Miller in goal who kept Verulam out with an outstanding save.
After a hectic start to the second half we made it 2-0 from a well worked corner routine. Having come agonisingly close from a different version just before it was Myles McLeod who nodded in from an Amaechi cross. However, with over half an hour to go the game was certainly not over. Verulam had some big strong boys and started to play very direct. Another Miller save kept the 2 goal lead before Verulam struck twice in two minutes to leave the game level. With Verulam certainly now in the ascendency it took the move of the match to win it. Allowing 6 man move saw Olayinka beat his man of the left wing, cut towards the by-line before cutting it back for Maurizio Pochettino Grippaldi to sweep home. With around 10 minutes to go Zico Asare (Man of the Match) marshalled the defence excellently to ensure there was no comeback for Verulam a second time. The final whistle blew to complete an amazing season for Aldenham School football.