Islington boys miss out on English Schools final after penalty shoot-out defeat to Wandsworth
- Credit: Archant
Islington suffered the agony of a penalty shoot-out defeat as they narrowly missed out on a place in the English Schools FA seven-a-side final.
The district won their group to reach the semi-finals of the primary schools’ tournament, where they led against Wandsworth before conceding an equaliser and then losing 2-0 on spot-kicks.
Islington began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Lewisham as Stephan Mgbada and captain Han Willhoft-King gave them a two-goal lead, with the south Londoners registering a late consolation.
Freddie Brennan put Islington ahead early on against Tower Hamlets and they eventually ran out 5-0 winners with further goals by Jack Vargas, Willhoft-King, Mgbada and Cameron Walker.
A 0-0 draw with Hackney was enough for Islington to top their group and they seemed set to book their place in the final when Mgbada scrambled the ball over the line from a corner midway through the second half against Wandsworth.
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But Islington were caught on the counter-attack with a minute left and, with no further goals in extra-time, Wandsworth emerged triumphant in the shoot-out and went on to win the final against Hackney.
Islington football development manager Michael MacNeill said: “It’s a harsh way to lose but we played some very, very good football. The fact that we drew with both finalists showed we were right up there in terms of ability and performance.”
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Islington & Camden Under-13s continued their excellent start to the season by hitting nine goals without reply in their Compton Cup tie against Haringey.
Luc Achermann-Stanfield served notice of his side’s intentions in the first minute with a free-kick that crashed against the inside of the post but stayed out.
However, another dead ball delivery from Achermann-Stanfield proved decisive 10 minutes later as Haringey failed to clear a corner and Charlie Preus pounced to open the scoring.
Preus then played in Solomon Hamilton to make it 2-0 and Achermann-Stanfield dribbled past several opponents before slotting home the third Islington & Camden goal.
The floodgates opened before half-time as Achermann-Stanfield crossed to the far post for Adam Damaan to head in and Jahrel O’Neill-Henry collected a crossfield pass from Aaron Keto and fired into the far corner.
Keto – who had netted a hat-trick in the district’s previous game against Hillingdon – repeated that achievement as he dominated the second half, capitalising on a ball from Ade-Pierre James-Mattera to make it 6-0.
Achermann-Stanfield converted a spot-kick after Tommy Silva had been brought down in the penalty area and a late double from Keto completed the scoring, with James-Mattera claiming another assist.
Islington & Camden coach Andy Taylor said: “It was pleasing to see a couple of new players make their debuts and do well, which hopefully means we’re starting to build some strength in depth.
“The next challenge is to take this form into our next game against Aldershot & Farnborough [in the English Schools’ Trophy on December 3].
“They have an extremely good record so far this season and it’s our first game on the road, so we are expecting a very stiff test.”
Shaun Barwoah and Mark Stephenson both scored twice as Islington & Camden Under-14s recorded a 6-3 victory at Enfield in the Bower Cup.
Rees Jones set up Barwoah to open the scoring, but Enfield equalised and then went 2-1 up before Jones pounced on a poor clearance to drill a first-time shot home from the edge of the box.
I&C went back in front when Barwoah played Stephenson in to round the goalkeeper and Nathan Tshola fired into the bottom corner to make it 4-2, but Enfield reduced the deficit to complete a see-saw first half.
The visitors’ defence, which was well marshalled by Reece Farrell and Isaiah Works, tightened up and they kept Enfield at bay for the rest of the game.
Barwoah grabbed his second goal, sidefooting home after the keeper had parried Connor O’Malley’s effort, and Stephenson followed suit late on with a low finish.
“It was a good three points,” said I&C manager Jim de Garis. “Last season we struggled in terms of getting points on the board and we’re really improving now, we’ll give teams a good game.”