Brockenhurst U17s crowned division champions as Bush Hill blown away
City of Southampton Youth League Division 2 U18
Bush Hill FC U18s 1
Brockenhurst FC U17s 4
DESPITE knowing a draw would be enough to win the league, Brockenhurst U17s showed their class while dispatching Bush Hill 4-1 to lift the title in style.
With the weather more reminiscent of late February than late May, the young Badgers came out of the blocks quickly and played their rapid brand of passing football.
The visitors looked dangerous, and Harlee Hackney went close to scoring the opener after a fine solo run through the centre of the Bush Hill defence.
Before long, Brockenhurst's superior possession paid off when Bill Hillier gathered the ball on the right-wing before riding several challenges and gliding inside. His defence-splitting pass found Samuel Shearer, who fired into the bottom corner for the opener.
Shortly afterwards, Hackney again caused mayhem in the box with his quick feet and was brought down by a poor challenge. As he has done all season, Toby Colmer slotted coolly from the spot to make it 2-0.
Bush Hill would have pulled one back just before half-time but for an outrageous point-blank save from goalkeeper Archie Nicholson. Brockenhurst took a 3-0 lead moments later when Shearer netted his second to compound the hosts' misery.
Bush Hill came out fighting after the break and, with the wind at their backs, made it 3-1 on 65 minutes with a fine glancing header into the top right-hand corner.
The young Badgers held their nerve, and they continued to play their short passing game. With 15 minutes to go, Shearer capitalised on poor decision-making to pickpocket the Bush Hill defenders and secure a classy hat-trick while clinching the game and the title.
The interrupted and protracted season began back in September 2020, and the relief was palpable after the final whistle as the title celebrations commenced.