Wessex League interest hotting up in Horndean’s Hampshire youth cup hat-trick starlets

Wessex League managers are showing interest in Horndean’s county youth cup hat-trick heroes.

By Simon Carter
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 10:11 am

A first half penalty from Evan Harris gave Horndean Red a 1-0 victory over Winchester City Red in the final of the Hampshire U18 Cup.

It was the squad’s third county triumph, having previously won in 2016 and 2019 while playing under the Pickwick Youth umbrella.

The only goal came when Harris was brought down by the City keeper, who was booked for the foul. Harris got up to convert his 30th league and cup goal in 22 games this season.

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Horndean Red celebrate their Hampshire Under-18 Cup final victory.

‘It was a good, competitive final,’ reported Deans boss Jason Harris. ‘It was fantastic, really close, lots of chances at both ends.

‘We had the better of the first half but Winchester came on really strong in the last 15 minutes.’

Horndean were without key midfielder Mackenzie Morgan, who broke his ankle in training in the week leading up to the final. In addition, Spencer Luff and Harry Yoxall were cup-tied.

‘This is our third Hampshire cup win,’ Harris continued, ‘and I’d say the most enjoyable.

Horndean Red. Back (from left): Jason Harris (manager), Genn Mees (goalkeeping coach), Josh Barnden, Owen Perkins, Lewis Mees, Evan Harris, Taylor Crook, Marvin Meal, Mackenzie Morgan, David Brownlie (coach), Neil Perkins (coach). Front: Joe Warren, Angelo Harris, Max Innalls, Mason Garvey, Alfie Stone, Spencer Luff, Zac Brownlie, Lawrence Cooper, Will Hall.

‘We lost five or six players to men’s football last season, but it’s really surprised me how good the lads we’ve pulled in have been.

‘We didn’t expect to win the cup this year, we did expect to win the others. And we’ve beaten some good sides this season - Baffins, who are top of our league, and Laverstock & Ford hadn’t lost before we beat them.’

This season marks the end of the squad’s time in youth football. Already, Evan Harris has become a regular in Moneyfields’ Wessex League squads after joining in mid-season.

Jason Harris revealed: ‘Moneys have been really good in letting Evan carry on playing youth football for us.

‘There’s Wessex Premier interest in a few of the boys for next season. I’ve already had requests from some managers.’

Horndean Red retain an ‘outside chance’ of a second successive Hampshire Combination East U18 division title.

They currently trail Baffins by seven points with a match in hand, with Deans having six games to go - starting at US Portsmouth tonight.

They are due to face Moneyfields on May 8, with the manager admitting his son Evan’s participation is unknown.

‘If we’re in with a chance of the title I might ask Glenn Turnbull if Evan can play. If not, I’ll leave it. But Moneys have been good - they could easily have said they didn’t want Evan to play for Horndean any more.’