Lyndhurst youngsters book Wembley final place

Lyndhurst Junior School Academy squad
Lyndhurst Junior School Academy squad
Michael Smith has not been included in this year's team photo

Striker omitted from Pompey team photo

  • Lyndhurst juniors to play at Wembley before the League Two play-off final
  • Youngsters booked their place after an extra-time win over Northampton at Roko
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Youngsters from Lyndhurst Junior School Academy are gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in front of a packed crowd at Wembley Stadium.

A squad of eight will play on the hallowed turf after winning the southern area final of the Kinder+Sport Football League Kids’ Cup.

The boys, who are in years five and six, beat Northampton 3-1 after extra-time at Roko last week and will play the winner of the northern area final ahead of the League Two play-off final on May 24.

For manager Keith Grandison, it will be third time lucky, as he has taken previous Lyndhurst teams to the semi-final and final in the last two years but has been on the losing side on each occasion.

He said: ‘We are chuffed to bits and I am very proud of the boys.

‘It’s a really good achievement and something that the boys will remember for the rest of their lives.

‘It will be the one chance they will get to play on the pitch at Wembley and they’re incredibly excited about it.

‘It’s the third year in a row that we’ve done well, it’s fantastic.’

Lyndhurst went 1-0 down against Northampton but Isaac Bello scored an equaliser two minutes from time to take the game into extra-time.

Lyndhurst then scored twice more thanks to goals from Lawrence Cooper and Evan Harris.

They will be presented with their trophy before Pompey’s match against Shrewsbury at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Grandison said: ‘If you get to Wembley, obviously you want to do your best to win.

‘But we’re just chuffed that we’ve reached the final.’

Lyndhurst won the local round and then they won all seven of their group games against sides representing Plymouth Argyle, Luton Town, Cheltenham Town, Dagenham & Redbridge, Stevenage and Oxford United.

Lyndhurst academy: Hayden Murray, Brandon Davis, Lawrence Cooper, Zac Brownlie, Bradley Craig, Evan Harris, Isaac Bello and Mason Garvey