Stephenson hits hat-trick in Islington & Camden victory against Tower Hamlets
PUBLISHED: 12:14 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:14 07 December 2016
Mark Stephenson’s hat-trick took his tally to five goals in three games as Islington & Camden Under-14s overcame Tower Hamlets 4-2 to end the year on a high.
The striker helped to set up Islington & Camden’s opening goal after 10 minutes at Hurst Avenue, collecting a pass from Mohamed Khadrun and flicking it to Rafiq Khaleel, who took a touch and sidefooted home.
The home side doubled their advantage 15 minutes later when Nathan Tshola supplied the ball for Stephenson to net his first goal of the game – but Tower Hamlets hit back with a scrambled finish just before half-time.
However, I&C reasserted control after the break as midfielder Shaun Barwoah’s incisive through ball released Stephenson, who rounded the goalkeeper and slotted into the net.
And Stephenson then completed his treble with a first-time finish after Adeyemi Adewale raced down the flank and cut the ball back for him to tap in.
Tower Hamlets – who pressed hard without creating a great deal – did pull back a late consolation goal, but it was not enough to deny their hosts victory.
Islington & Camden manager Jim de Garis said: “Tower Hamlets were big and strong, they came at us and it was a good test for our lads because it did show that we need a bit more strength in the middle of the park.”
Islington & Camden Under-13s bowed out of the English Schools FA Trophy following a dramatic game featuring three penalties away to Aldershot & Farnborough.
The home side, who took a formidable record of nine successive victories into Saturday’s tie, began at a fast pace, snapping into tackles and hitting the post early on.
Although I&C also struck the woodwork when left-back Niino Adom’s shot rattled the crossbar, they fell behind on 26 minutes when Trey Barrington conceded a penalty and the kick was converted.
It was the first goal Islington & Camden had conceded this season – but they hit back just three minutes later when Solomon Hamilton curled a stunning equaliser into the top corner.
Aldershot regained the lead after the break through a flowing crossfield move, with goalkeeper Arlo Doherty parrying the initial shot before the rebound was tucked away.
I&C were handed an opportunity to restore parity when Aaron Keto was fouled in the box, but Luc Achermann-Stanfield was foiled from the spot by the keeper’s magnificent full-length save.
That proved to be the turning point as Aldershot went on to make it 3-1 from a corner – and then miss another penalty in the closing stages.
Islington & Camden manager Jamie Houghton said: “The fact is we ran into a side who are ahead of us in terms of the team’s development. It’s now December and this was only our fourth competitive game of the season – it was Aldershot’s 10th.
“What is important is that we stay together as a team and come back strong in the new year as there’s still plenty to play for this season.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.