When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Hockey youngsters reach England final
7:30am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Hampshire Sport
Trojans youngsters are through to next month’s England Hockey Under-18 Cup finals.
A gripping 5-2 win over Canterbury has put the Stoneham teenagers into the national play-offs, alongside Beeston, Cannock and host club Old Loughtonians in Essex on April 13.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for a Regional League club, though we have got a talented group of lads,” beamed manager Mike Watts.
The 5-2 scoreline would suggest a comfortable fourth round ride for Trojans – but it was anything but.
They were 2-0 up at one stage – the two goals coming from rare attacks – but had to display real qualities of character and discipline as Canterbury hit back to level.
Trojans found themselves under the cosh for large slices of the first half as Canterbury strove to retrieve the damage inflicted by an early Ben Frost strike.
When Ed Jeffery limped off with a foot injury, it looked as though Trojans might struggle to hold that early advantage.
But, while the Peter Symonds’ College drag flick specialist was icing the bruising in the dug-out, Trojans struck a stunning second goal.
The impressive Sam Gibbons sent an aerial pass on the run – a difficult technique – to Toby Edwards, who surged forward, drawing the keeper before finishing off a glorious move.
Canterbury pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time – Harry Roberts scoring amid a frantic goalmouth melee – and emerged from the break firing on all cylinders.
Trojans got Jeffrey back in the action, but were soon having to regroup as Roberts bagged an early second-half equaliser.
Canterbury’s equaliser tested Trojans’ resilience to the extreme.
But Jeffery’s dead-eye skills from a ‘yellow card’ penalty corner drag flick came to the fore as he arrowed a shot into the roof of the net.
The Kent visitors saw yellow on several occasions as Jeffery wasted a glorious chance when he send a weak penalty stroke straight at the keeper.
When Jeffery’s aerial pass laid on a fourth goal for James Watts, Trojans had a foot in the semi-finals.
And Trojans broke to score a fifth through Frost.
It was a notable victory against the youth side of a top English Premier League club.