Having already secured a share of 1st place in Crowborough League Division A the week before, Chipstead’s U13’s Falcons team went on to complete a remarkable double by winning the League Cup last Sunday.
The final was contested against Hawkhurst United at The Beaconsfield Stadium in Hailsham. With school trips and injuries limiting the Chipstead squad to just 11 players and no subs, it made their achievement all the more impressive. Slightly against the run of play, Hawkhurst took the lead on 15 minutes. Chipstead’s keeper, Seb Silva, almost pulled off a wonder save from the onrushing striker, but the ball just had enough pace on it to creep in.
Chipstead weathered a 10-minute storm but then William Pope released Seb Starbuck through the middle, and the eventual Man of the Match lashed a 20-yarder into the roof of the net. The teams went in 1-1 at half time with the match still very much in the balance.
At the start of the second half, Chipstead started playing with more width and their football improved as a result. Rory Pocknall went close and then Charlie Clarke almost finished off a fine flowing move, just hooking over the bar. The sizeable crowd was really finding its voice now and creating a great atmosphere for the boys. Midway through the second half, Hawkhurst could only half clear an attack and George Glen curled a beauty into the far corner from just outside the box.
Now the Chipstead team began to warm to their task and James O’Connell won a penalty soon after, which Pope dispatched to the keeper’s right. At 3-1 up and with 10 minutes to go, the Falcons suddenly had a glimpse of daylight. As the clocked ticked down, Tobe Uzome rose to meet a corner and his bullet header ended up in the back of the net, albeit via a deflection off Clarke’s back.
The two full backs Conor Henderson and Felix Compton snuffed out any remaining danger and the game ended 4-1. The only thing left was for Chipstead’s indomitable skipper, Zachary Chambers, to go and lift the trophy in front of the team’s delirious supporters.
It has been a tremendous season for Chipstead’s two U13s teams and anyone interested in joining the U14s (Year 9) next season from September, should contact Jez Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org