Split loyalties as Hampstead girls face off in London Cup

Hampstead FC Under-11 girls

Hampstead FC Under-11 girls - Credit: Archant

Hampstead FC supporters had split loyalties on Sunday as the club’s Under-11 girls beat the Under-12s 2-1 to reach the final of the London Cup.

Having already beaten older counterparts Long Lane under-12s in a previous round, Hampstead under-11s were prepared for the challenge, but they struggled in the opening encounters against the physically stronger under-12s.

And it was the older girls who took the lead, following a forceful run and accurate finish, but the under-11s would level the score three minutes later, when the Hertfordshire League’s under-11 top scorer, Lola Steiner, unleashed an unstoppable shot.

After the break, the under-12s once again asserted their physical advantage, but Steiner again responded, this time with a long purposeful run that ended with a clinical finish.

Steiner could have sealed a wonderful performance with a hat-trick from a sweetly- struck free-kick which left the goalkeeper stranded, but she was denied by a headed clearance.

The last five minutes saw the under-11s penned in their own half, as the under-12s bombarded the opposition box with a succession of corners.

But goalkeeper Jessica Woodhams was equal to the pressure and her side held on for an historic win.

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Meanwhile, Hampstead’s Under-13 girls went one step further, reaching the final of the London Cup with a 2-1 win over FDP at Frederick Knight playing fields.

Facing a physically imposing team, Hampstead initially struggled to assert themselves and fell behind 1-0 at the break.

However, a rejuvenated side emerged for the restart with a positive outlook and their pressure was rewarded when Elise Smagh’s swinging corner was inadvertently converted by an FDS player.

And when FDS failed to clear another Smagh corner, Laura Hirai was on hand to smash in the loose ball and grab victory.