YOUTH FOOTBALL: Sacred Heart Offley’s long wait is over

Sacred Heart Offley U16s
Sacred Heart Offley U16s

Sacred Heart Offley’s decade-long wait for silverware was ended recently as they beat Ampthill Town Youth 4-0 to lift the Beds FA U16 County Cup.

With the final played at Shefford’s new ground, Heart went into the game full of confidence, having beaten Ampthill three times already during the season.

They were quickly in the ascendancy too as Jay Champkins scored the first goal after 20 minutes.

Aedan Edwards then made it 2-0 as he reacted quickest to a cross that deflected into his path, giving Sacred breathing space at the interval.

In the second period, Sacred kept dominating possession, causing problems for Ampthill’s defence.

Keeper Tom Higley was rarely troubled as the back four of Luke Hill, Alex Hake, Alex Foster and Ben Chesnutt were dominant in front of him.

The midfield was just too strong as well, showing great energy to hunt the ball down through Jamie Smith.

Daniel Blackman’s excellent vision and passing led to the third goal arriving as his sliderule pass found leading scorer and captain Stephen Shadlow out on the left hand side of the area and he notched his 29th goal of the campaign.

Heart weren’t finished yet either, as they went in search of a fourth goal with Reece Dunne, playing in his final game for the club, going close and getting in some fine crosses from the flanks.

On the right hand side, Nathan Bangs worked tirelessly and got eventually got his just reward when he outsprinted a couple of defenders to fire past former Offley keeper Devon Phelan.

Late on, Aidan Fowler and Jamie Impey replaced Jamie Smith and Bangs, as Sacred Heart finally enjoyed their long overdue celebrations.

For the full story, see the News/Gazette on sale this week.