There was another fantastic display of football at Walton Hall Park on Thursday 12 April, the Sunday Under-13 Boy’s Cup final.
Upton Juniors were victorious over Bootle FC, winning the match on penalties. At the end of full-time it was 1-1, but the team claimed the cup by beating their opponents 4-3 in the shootout.
After the match, Upton manager Bill Kehoe said: “It was a hard-fought match. We started very well, but then they came back into the game. We went into half-time 1-0 up, but we could’ve been up by two. In the end though, it could’ve gone either way!”
Upton started the game off perfectly with an early goal. After just two minutes Number 2 ran down the left wing and whipped a cross into the box which was tapped in by another of his team-mates.
Upton continued to look dangerous, especially Number 8 who was causing lots of problems for Bootle’s defence. 10 minutes in, he had a terrific chance as he received a cross on the right-hand side; he continued to skip through the defenders and struck from 15 yards out. However, his attempt went off the cross bar.
It wasn’t until 20 minutes in that Bootle got a shot on goal. Number 9 had a chance from the left but it was saved by the goalkeeper.
The first half went on and both teams played well but Upton had the better of the possession. As the referee blew for half-time they walked into the dressing room still 1-0 up.
There was another early goal in the second half. This time it was for Bootle.
Their Number 9 stole the ball from Upton 40 yards away from goal. He continued to run forwards and dodged any defender in front of him. He then shot from the 18-yard box right into the centre of the net.
After equalising, Bootle started to dominate possession and had some good chances to take the lead. However, the Upton defence remained strong and held out to keep it at one all.
Bootle’s Number 9 could have been the hero of the match as he made a run on the left wing in the last minute of the match. He had a go on goal but the angle was too tight and the ball went wide.
Referee Neil Bennett then blew the final whistle and the penalty shootout commenced.
Bootle went first. Their Number 11 gave them the early lead. Upton’s Number 8 then replied by also converting his chance.
By the time Bootle got to their fourth chance it was 3-3. But, as their Number 1 shot, the Upton goalkeeper made a vital save. Upton’s Number 9 was up next and he didn’t waste the chance to put them ahead. It was now 4-3 to Upton.
Bootle’s Number 2 now had to score to keep them in the game. However, his shot went way over the cross bar and Upton became the cup champions.