The youth football teams of HUCKNALL SPORTS are at it again!
Two weeks ago, we highlighted their achievement in winning no fewer than NINE league championship or runners-up trophies in the first half of the season in the Young Elizabethan League.
Now they have proved their worth in the Notts FA County Youth Shield tournaments, reaching two finals.
Hucknall Sports Under-15s Red, managed by Lee Sharpe, have made the Sunday Shield final for the THIRD season running.
Club chairman Alan Spray believes such a hat-trick is a first in the history of youth football in the town.
And Hucknall Sports Under-14s Black, managed by Martin Whitley, have also won through to the final of the Sunday Shield of their age group.
It’s the SEVENTH consecutive year that Sports have fielded a team in a county final.
And it’s believed to be the first time they, or any other Dispatch district club, have been represented in two county finals in the same season.
The under-15s, who top the Sunday First Division of the Notts Youth League, made their final by beating divisional rivals Calverton Miners Welfare Red 4-1 in the semis.
They took the lead with a lovely finish from Josh Brown and although they were pegged back before the break, they upped the tempo in the second period.
A terrific volley from Adam Morley restored the lead and as Sports got their passing game going, Jacob Rizdon made it 3-1 with his 13th goal of the season.
Ethan Barnes completed the scoring with a superb run from the halfway-line, beating two men and then the ‘keeper to bag his 17th of the campaign.
The victory extended Sports’s unbeaten record this term and set up a final against either Trowell Blue or Second Division leaders Kimberley Miners Welfare, who play their semi on Sunday 16th February.
Meanwhile the under-14s had to overcome local-derby rivals, LINBY RANGERS UNDER-14S, for a place in their final.
And they managed it with ease, romping to a 5-0 victory thanks to strikes from Kielen Gretton, Joe Humphreys, James Hallam, Jack Clarke and an own goal.
A 12th minute cross by skipper Matt Bloor caused a mix-up in the Linby defence that led to the own goal, which opened the scoring.
Gretton made it two with a terrific shot from a through-ball by Josh Pearson. And just after the break, another Bloor delivery teed up a fine header from Humphreys.
Wave after wave of attacks rained down on the Linby goal before Hallam smashed home to finish a six-man move. And with Sports coasting to victory, Clarke fired home from close range.
The goals capped a superb team performance, with the man-of-the-match award going to ever-busy midfield ace James Leach.
The under-14s’ final is against Blidworth Welfare on Sunday 23rd March at Arnold Town’s Eagle Valley Stadium ground.
Away from the Shield semis, most youth footballmatches involving Dispatch district sides in the Notts Youth League and Young Elizabethan League last weekend were postponed because of waterlogged pitches.
But theanded ‘keeper James Beddingham.