Back Row (Left to right) Mark Heffernan (Team Manager), Ben Trapnell , Kean Hamilton-Jones, Sam Cheesman, Dean Cooper-Kirby, Lewis Meechan, Max Horwood, Charlie Mumford, Sam Freeman
Front Row (Left to right) Sam Holmes, Tom Lake, Tom Sloane, Charlie Costen, Katie Sherwood, Spencer Nicholson, Archie Dempsey
On Saturday February 28th 2015 a Basingstoke Schools Under 11 district football team took to a pitch for the first time in 20 years.
This was in a big way thanks to a grant which was received from the Premier League Charitable Fund which could be applied for by districts looking to set up teams.
The festival on February 28th, which took place at the BTC ground in Eastleigh, involved sides from Aldershot, Gosport and Southampton as well as ourselves.
Our first game was against Aldershot. Despite conceding an early goal we played very well from that point on and were rewarded when Charlie Mumford scored an equaliser early in the second half. At this stage it looked as we were the more likely winners. However with the last kick of the game, and with their only real chance of the second half, Aldershot scored a winner to make the score 2 – 1.
In our second game against Southampton we were caught very much on our toes by a strong, quick side who put three goals past us in the first 10 minutes. After this shock start we began to grow into the game and were rewarded when early in the second half Sam Cheesman scored to reduce the deficit to 3 – 1. Just when it looked as if we would win the second half some tired defending allowed Southamton to score 2 late goals to make the final score 5 – 1.
Our last game against Gosport was always going to be tough as they had already beaten both Aldershot and Southampton. This proved to be the case as two early goals put us once again on the back foot. This time heads went down and Gosport totally dominated the game running out 6 – 0 winners.
The squad certainly learnt a lot about the step up in standard in district football. This will stand everyone in good stead for the next Festival which is planned to take place on Saturday 25th April.