Hampshire U18s won the SW counties final last night for the first time since 2011 (team pic attached). The game was played at Wincanton FC against Somerset and marks the end to an excellent season. On a really poor surface, Somerset started brightly and were dominating possession and winning the physical battle early on. However, with Hampshire's first real attack of the game, Drew Smith (Barton Peveril) found space on the left and whipped in a fantastic cross to the back post which Josh Clark (Barton Peveril) managed to get on the end of to head home. Somerset continued to have more of the ball and almost equalized on the half hour but for a smart save from Matt Russell (Farnborough 6th) in the Hampshire goal. 5 minutes before half time a spell of Hampshire pressure led to the 2nd goal. A Drew Smith corner was powerfully headed into the net by Jordan N'Galo (Portsmouth) to make the score 2-0.
At the interval, Hampshire made 2 changes and altered the team shape and this seemed to change the pattern of the game. Somerset battled and rallied but created very little, thanks to some organised and resolute defending. As the game wore on Hampshire created several chances but failed to put the game out of sight. However, with 5 minutes left, Matt Brewer glanced in from a corner after some good movement in the box to make the game 3-0.
This result caps a fine season for the Under 18s in which the team have been superb throughout. The icing on the cake for the county is having 3 boys (Jean-Luc Ramdin - Itchen, Jordan N'Galo - Portsmouth and Alex Haynes - Barton) in the England Under 18s squad. Also, with Farnborough 6th Form winning the ESFA Colleges Cup competition this has been one of the most successful seasons for Hampshire Colleges Under 18s football for a very long time.