The Year 7 football team began their Hove Park careers with a very tough fixture against local rivals, Cardinal Newman, in the National Cup. The squad of 16 only had two training sessions leading up to the start of the season. A huge home crowd arrived early in anticipation to support this newly formed team playing in torrential rain.
Hove Park started extremely well, with organisation and a real determination to perform well.
The first half saw high levels of controlled possession which was moved around a strong, defensive Newman side. Well into the first half, Hove Park were awarded a free kick outside of the area. It was rocketed into the top corner by J Knight - a truly spectacular opening goal and a strike to remember. Now on the front foot, a great team move that started at the back was worked all the way forward for striker D Gibb to slot a perfect pass in for the on-rushing A Eckworth-Jones to smash home. 2-0 at half time was a much deserved lead.
The rain became heavier in the second half. Newman had changed tactics and personnel. Hove Park continued with the same set up and continued to press, making the game very difficult for Newman. Hove Park were then awarded a penalty to wrap up the game, only for the keeper to pull off a smart save. Three minutes later the character of the team came through again and they created another chance for J Matthewson to put away past the diving keeper.
Full Time 3-0 and into the next round.
It was a fantastic performance considering this team had never all played together.
Team Manager, Mr Lowrie, was quoted as saying:
"It was a brilliant all round team performance. Every player put 100% effort in. The defending was incredible in such challenging circumstances. To also score three great goals against such a strong side, and to keep a clean sheet, is the very best start we could have hoped for. These are very positive signs for the season ahead."
Man of the Match was awarded to R Patterson (C) who led by example from the start and drove attacks from the back with his clever powerful defending.