Football: St Charles Retain Catholic Cup and Complete Historic Quadruple
The Men's 1st XI football team retained the Lou Irvin London Catholic cup last week, beating a big, strong and robust Campion School, who themselves were unbeaten and chasing a treble of their own.
A cagey opening saw both teams trying to impose their physical style on the game, but it was St Charles who got the upper hand, with the presence of Sean Ndinga-Basaye and Blair Kamga in the centre of the park allowing St Charles to get a strong hold in the game. This allowed half chances for Bilal Bihi and Jose Dougan, but neither troubled the keeper. Despite this, Campion were a threat on the break and twice wSt Charles were thankful for strong defending from Adam Hamdi and Jhmali Espirit, whose timely interventions kept the score level.
The breakthrough for St Charles came in the 22nd minute,when a corner from Glenn Annang was met powerfully by the head of centre back Hamdi for his 12th goal of the season. This seemed to settle any nerves and it was St Charles who dominated the rest of the half without adding to their lead, Meron Abraham saw two efforts well saved and Kamga was inches away just before the half time whistle after excellent build up play by the powerful Dougan.
The second half started much like the first, with both team battling hard all over the pitch trying to stamp their authority on the game. With 57 minutes on the clock, a shot from the edge of the box bounced in front of stand-in keeper Daishain Moise and, despite his best efforts, crept over the line to bring the scores level. With their tails now up, St Charles were thankful to Moise, who made a good low save to his right, turning the ball round the post for a corner. With 70 plus minutes and St Charles fans willing them on, they took control of the final 20 minutes. Despite this, Campion held strong and the closest St Charles came was Hamid Noori seeing a shot blocked and a good passage of play involving Annang, Kamga and Abraham release Ndinga-Basaye, but his lob from a tight angle landed on the roof of the net.
With the game seemingly going to extra time, St Charles were awarded a penalty in the 87th minute when a cross from the left by Noori saw Abrahams get to the ball first before being unceremoniously body checked by the giant Campion centre back. Hamid Noori stepped up and confidently tucked the penalty home to spark wild celebrations amongst the travelling fans.
Final score: St Charles 2 vs 1 Campion
MOM: Sean Ndinga-Basaye
Match day squad: Daishain Moise, Stels Contonicola, Joseph Agunloye, Adam Hamdi, Jhmali Espirit, Glenn Annang, Sean Ndinga-Basaye, Blair Kamga, Bilal Bihi, Jose Dougan, Meron Abraham, Hamid Noori, Jace Osinaike, Abdul Gassaman and Joshua Dumbuya
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