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  • Notts U16 Boys suffer narrow defeat in National ESFA Inter County Final against Hampshire at Stoke City's ground - see Main Menu

Nottinghamshire U16 0 v 1 Hampshire U16

Nottinghamshire narrowly missed out on the national U16 Inter County title after a 1-0 defeat to Hampshire.

Hampshire started the game with great intensity and put Notts on the back foot in the early stages of the game but despite the surface at Stoke’s bet365 stadium being superb, the wind was not to be underestimated and the boys defended well as a team unit. However, as the first half developed the boys settled into the game and created some excellent chances of their own. Ross McParland was released down the right hand side and picked out a great ball to Richard Wynder at the back post who brought the ball down well and struck it sweetly, only to be blocked by a Hampshire defender. Matt North, Luke Boyd and Ben Rafferty defended well in front of Owen Broadley and continued to shut down any Hampshire attacks. Later in the half Ross McParland and Jake Wright then also made good chances for themselves but the teams went in level at half time.

The midfield trio of captain Zack Holt, Jimmy Rafferty and Jack Campbell enjoyed much more of the ball at the beginning of the second half and Notts began to play some good football. Substitute Isaac Wealthall created problems for the Hampshire defence and had a good strike deflected just wide of the post. As the lads were piling pressure on Hampshire and the opposition looked to be tiring the Notts boys were dealt a sucker blow. The Hampshire right winger did well down the right to create himself some space and then delivered a great ball into the box to their number 10 who brought the ball down on his chest and struck it hard and low into the bottom corner to put Hampshire one up. This was tough to take for the Notts boys but they showed the character they have done all season to continue looking for the equaliser. The last big chance in the game came as Jimmy Rafftery smashed a free kick onto the bar only to bounce back and hit James Gayle and narrowly go over the bar. The game finished 1-0 but despite the loss the boys did the County proud and were an absolute joy to work with.

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