With a magnificent hat-trick from Girey Alidu T J, and goals-a-piece from Mitchell Clogg and Kieran Patel, to clinch the U13s trophy this season by 5 – 2 with George Collins and Zak Wimpenny scoring for Shelley Juniors.
The photo shows the victorious Young Owls team with the trophy being presented to captain George Weaver by David Bly (far right), representing SIV.
On a fine sunny morning, at Scawthorpe Scorpions JFC’s ground, Young Owls gained an early advantage
over proceedings. Their sleek passing up front troubled the opposition defenders. With Girey and Clogg looked formidable with their physicality and swift movements.
The Owls took the lead on three minutes when Girey capitalised on an unfortunate error from Shelley goalkeeper Alfie Jenkinson. The ball had slipped away from Jenkinson’s grips and fell for Girey, who made it 1-0.
Shelley made an early substitution, with George Collins replacing Thomas Roberts. The fleet-footed and industrious winger helped Shelley to equalise on 20 minutes. Harris Walker’s free-kick delivery from midfield bobbled awkwardly inside the Young Owls’ penalty area. Collins pounced to slot the loose ball into the top-right corner.
The goal sparked the team from West Yorkshire into life.
The Owls finished the first-half 2-1 up, as Mitchell poked the ball home over an onrushing Jenkinson on 25 minutes.
The second-half produced a flurry of goals, excellent saves and near-misses.
The Owls once again pierced the Shelley rearguard a minute after the break, with Girey grabbing his second goal of the match. He turned his marker inside out while receiving a cross from the right, and calmly found the net from inside the six-yard box. Moments later, Girey drew a flying save from Jenkinson with a well-struck free-kick.
Shelley Juniors refused to be overpowered though. The West Yorkshire based side put in the effort to try and reduce the arrears. Owls’ keeper Alfie Hayes-Daubney had to be alert to keep out Sam Hirst and Wimpenny in quick succession.
Ten Minutes into the second half Girey completed his hat-trick. He created space for himself after coolly controlling Hayes-Daubney’s precise punt, and scored at the first post.
However, Wimpenny netted an immediate riposte for Shelley through a counter-attack, making it 2-4.
Both goalkeepers were called into action. Clogg was denied twice by Jenkinson’s finger-tips. Hayes-Daubney stood firm to prevent Harry Sanderson and Wimpenny from scoring in one-to-one situations. Shelley also could have bagged a third goal, but for a last-ditch goal-line clearance by an Owls defender.
Kieran Patel came off the bench to complete the scoring for the Young Owls on 64 minutes. He craftily chipped the Shelley goalie with a looping left-footer from inside the penalty area.
Shelley had two late free-kicks to conjure up a goal, but Josh Boyle and Callum Mitchell both fired off target.
Young Owls’ manager John Hinde lauded his team’s collective effort and skills. He said: “They are a very good bunch of lads, no trouble-makers, always work hard, really want to play football, and they really deserve this. The goals we took, we took very well.
“I think they wanted to win the game from the start, and they gave 100%. All you can ask is for children to enjoy themselves, and give 100%.”
He also praised the quality of play from Shelley. “They are a very good team. We haven’t played them before. I can understand why they have got to the final. Obviously, it’s an old cliché – only one team can win; but I am sure on another day, they might have won,” he added.
Well done to the officials for the day, Referee Frazer Longford, Assistant Referees Thomas Brain and Aaron Hallam, and 4th official Julian Biela.
And a big thank you to Scawthorpe Scorpions for hosting the final.