AFC Totton’s U15s will be in Cup Final action this weekend, when they take on Hamble Club Youth U15 Royals in the finale of the Tommy Traynor Trophy at the Stoneham Lane Football Complex in Eastleigh on Sunday afternoon.
The competition was introduced during the course of the season in order to provide additional fixtures for teams after several clubs had been unable to fulfil their league and other cup commitments, largely due to the rules regarding positive COVID tests and self-isolation.
Both sides have only had to win two matches to reach the final. AFC Totton beat Netley Royals Youth U15 in the 1st Round and were awarded a Walkover in the Quarter-Final. In the Semi-Final, they faced league champions Littleton Juniors Youth U15 Lightning, who had beaten the Young Stags 11-1 in a pre-season friendly, and then 9-1 and 2-1 in their two encounters in the U15 Division 5.
AFC TOTTON U15s Season 2021/22
But despite being a goal down at half-time, Rob Good’s team dug deep and demonstrated a strong belief in their own abilities – as well as a bucket-load of determination – to level the scores with a superb volley across the keeper, after a fine team move involving several players. That took the cup-tie to a penalty shoot-out, and the Young Stags kept their nerve and scored all five of their spot-kicks to triumph 5-3.
The Hamble-le-Rice-based Hamble Club Youth U15 Royals, who finished 3rd in the U15 Division 5 – one place above their AFC Totton counterparts – benefited from a bye into the Quarter-Finals and then overcame Littleton Juniors Youth U15s Reds by the odd goal in seven. They followed that up with a 2-1 Semi-Final victory over Marchwood Rangers Youth U15 to book their place in this weekend’s Final.
On the opening day of the league season, all the way back in early-September, Hamble Club Royals romped to an 8-1 home win over the Young Stags. But it’s testament to how far Rob Good’s charges have come in a short period of time that when they renewed hostilities in January, the two sides fought out a competitive 2-2 draw, and they will present a different proposition again when they take to the pitch on Sunday, such has been their progress as a team.
"What a fantastic achievement for our first season. All the kids have worked extremely hard and we are looking forward to it," said Rob Good, the Under-15s manager.
From everyone at AFC Totton, good luck lads!
ROAD TO THE FINAL
AFC Totton U15s
Semi-Final. Littleton Juniors Youth U15 Lightning A 1-1
*AFC Totton won 5-3 on penalties
Quarter-Final Bursledon Youth U15 Saturns H P-P
*AFC Totton awarded a Walkover
1st Round Netley Royals Youth U15 A 2-1
Hamble Club Youth U15 Royals
Semi-Final Marchwood Rangers Youth U15 H 2-1
Quarter-Final Littleton Juniors Youth U15 Reds A 4-3
By Ben Rochey-Adams