St John’s Wood FC crowned best five-a-side team in the country after winning FA People’s Cup
- Credit: Archant
St John’s Wood FC have been crowned the best Under-16 five-a-side team in the country after winning the FA People’s Cup in Sheffield.
The north London outfit – whose players come from Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Highgate and St John’s Wood – were one of 648 teams from across England to enter.
They have been coached together since they were six years old and have competed in the Camden and Islington Youth League from the age of nine, and they are now due to leave the club this summer.
They will finish their time together by collecting their trophy at Wembley during the FA Cup final.
Joseph Paul Wright and James Hammond have managed the team since its inception. Head coach Hammond said: “It’s an incredibly proud moment to see the boys’ youth football careers culminating in winning the biggest competition on offer.”
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St John’s Wood came through two qualifying rounds in London and then joined the winners of the Birmingham, Bristol, Hull, Luton, Manchester, Nottingham and Portsmouth competitions in the finals.
St John’s Wood won their first group game 1-0 against the Manchester champions but stuttered in their second game, being frustrated by a strong and organised team from South Bucks, who had won the Bristol heat.
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However, they bounced back to win their final group game 7-1 against a team that had previously gone unbeaten in 20 matches, progressing to the grand final on goal difference and facing Pompey Chimes.
St John’s Wood quickly settled the nerves with two early goals from Leon Morris, and Max Sosna made some superb saves while Alex Viviano put in a virtually flawless performance at the back.
Shane Cook put the game out of sight, playing a neat one-two with Josh Goldstein and slotting home to make it 3-0, before Pompey grabbed a consolation goal.
Highlights of the success are available now on the Get Inspired section of the BBC website.