U16s crowned EFL National Champions
By Derek Priestley
The Imps overcame AFC Bournemouth in the U16 EFL National Final held at Derby County Academy.
Following last weeks success against Wigan Athletic in the Northern Final the Imps came up against AFC Bournemouth in the EFL National Final.
The Imps started brightly and were on the front foot in the opening stages and went close on a couple of occasions to breaking the deadlock, at the other end the Cherries had similar chances and the first 20 minutes of the match was very evenly contested.
With 25 minutes gone the Imps forced a corner on the left, Tear delivered into the box and Hill rose at the far post to head home to put the imps in front. Tear nearly doubled the lead following a free kick fired into the near post but the keeper got across and turned it round the upright.
The Imps were looking the most likely to add to their tally but the Cherries posed a threat at the other end too and were denied an equaliser when a goal bound effort struck their own player and ran to safety.
A long ball played forward over the Imps defence saw keeper Madinski come out and do enough to put the striker off and his effort went wide of the target. The Imps were always looking to double their lead as they got in and around the Cherries penalty area but a quick break from the Cherries was halted by Tear on the half way line and he picked up a booking for his troubles.
HT: Imps 1 - 0 Cherries
The Imps were first to threaten in the second half, the keeper saving well following a Bingham effort. Bournemouth were dominating possession in their first two thirds of the pitch but the Imps were working hard as a team to deny them space and the chance to play forward in the final third.
The Imps were looking to counter when they broke up play and were doing it on regular occasions and perhaps should of added to their slender lead, Wisdom-Lockwood intercepted and found Bingham who crossed to Harrison but he couldn't steer it in.
The Cherries continued with their possession but the Imps when the did get forward were posing a serious threat but eventually the Cherries managed to work a chance down the Imps left, Frestle saved but the rebound was then cleared off the line by Hill to maintain the Imps lead.
As the match approached the final 10 minutes again the Imps picked off the ball and a great counter attacking move saw Bingham's effort whistle past the post but they weren't to be denied a couple of minutes later, Wisdom-Lockwood intercepted, with the Imps pouring forward the ball found its was to Aynsley who came inside the defender and got his shot away but somehow it was blocked however the ball fell to Bingham who blasted home to double the Imps lead.
The hard working team ethic without the ball was a masterclass in how to defend out of possession and the discipline, concentration levels and determination to keep a clean sheet was a great reward for the Imps at the end of the match when the referee brought the encounter to an end.
FT: Imps 2 - 0 Cherries
Imps Squad: Frestle, Madinski, Allison, Morrison, Sears, Cann, Aynsley, Hill, Tear, Gibbons, Armond, Priestley, Wisdom-Lockwood, Harrison, Christer, Bingham.
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