Read the report of Harriers’ latest Academy triumph!…
By Luke Thompson - 18/03/2019
Posted 7 months ago
Harriers U23s had a successful weekend as they sealed the title of the Total Motion Midland Football League U21 West.
The U23s knew that an away victory on Saturday morning against Continental Star would see them confirmed as champions with a match to spare.
Strong winds throughout the encounter laid foundations for a tricky morning of football, but Harriers would apply the early pressure as they looked to open the scoring.
With three minutes played, Andy Haynes floated a ball to the far post – the wind changed the path of the ball towards the edge of the area where AJ Bannister was waiting, striking sweetly on the volley just over the bar.
Seven minutes later would see Harriers with a penalty as Ethan Freemantle was brought down as he broke into the area – the striker stepping up and sending the keeper the wrong way to put Harriers ahead.
On 23 minutes, Freemantle would have a golden chance to double the lead – he raced through the defence and fired across the keeper, but the ball skewed wide along the surface.
“…we’ve done a professional job and it’s nice to get the league wrapped up for the lads…” Scott Mason
The half would end quietly in terms of chances for both teams, but Harriers would grab their second ten minutes after the restart – a cross to the far post was met by Connor Ryan who the ball into the roof of the net with his left.
Continental Star worked their way into the game as the game progressed and went close to pulling a goal back – a free kick on 62 minutes went inches over the bar, and a fierce shot from range was tipped smartly away by Kyle De Garis on 75 minutes.
However, Harriers held on to confirm the league title with a match to spare – the final match of the season taking place against Allscott at Aggborough on Saturday 23rd March, a 10am kick off.
Following the match, U23s manager Scott Mason was delighted with his team’s triumph.
“It was a tough game – as is any game in this league – and the conditions haven’t really helped either team, but we’ve done a professional job and it’s nice to get the league wrapped up for the lads,” said Mason.
“We know on the bench that I don’t watch penalties!
“I’ve never watched them – I have to go home and watch the footage from the camera, but it was nice for Ethan to tuck that one away”.
Striker Freemantle said he was buzzing to have secured what he and his teammates had been working all season for, telling the Harriers Academy YouTube channel: “We’re buzzing with that, we’ve worked all year round for it so it’s good to finally get our rewards now and hopefully push on again next season to retain the title.
“Even from pre-season and during the season, we’ve always talked about consistency levels because we know how good we can play as a team.
“The wind today wasn’t helping anyone but we’ve dug in and got the result.
“I skied a penalty last week so I thought that this week, I had to stand up and take it.
“It’s good to get the first goal that helped get the title!”.
Visit our website’s U23s section to find out more about our U23s programmes, as well as information on our players, results, news and more!
Click play on the video below to watch the full post-match reaction, and subscribe to the channel to stay up to date with all new videos from our Academy.