FOOTBALL: Bilton Ajax celebrate Plate victory at Sixfields

Plate champions Bilton Ajax Whites Under 12s at Northampton's Sixfields stadium
Plate champions Bilton Ajax Whites Under 12s at Northampton's Sixfields stadium

Under 12s Whites beat Bugbrooke St Michael 2-1

Bilton Ajax Whites (sponsored by Pick it Pack it Send it) had beaten the best of the rest in a hard fought journey to earn their place in the NDYAL Plate final at Sixfields stadium against Bugbrooke St Michael on Saturday.

The travelling Ajax army of fans came out in their numbers from far and wide to create an unforgettable atmosphere and experience for everyone involved.

As the game kicked off, the early stages were filled with nerves for both sides trying to stamp their authority on the game with midfield battling for supremacy. Bugbrooke were the first to dominate, outnumbering the Ajax midfield and looking threatening without creating any clear chances, but they scored from a scramble in the goalmouth and were fortunate to find themselves ahead.

After Ajax had changed their shape they gradually clawed their way back into the game, the tenacious midfield poked and prodded at the Bugbrooke defence, and Ajax were unlucky not to find the net until Timmy Chang levelled matters with his usual well timed arrival, and the score remained level at half time.

In the second half the heat took its toll, but Matthew Pearson’s determination and efforts lifted the team and shortly after he stepped up to score a penalty he was awarded, taking Ajax into the lead. Ajax were having the upper hand with Reuben Lee-Stringer hitting the post and bar later, creating his own chance through sheer effort and Ajax’s reliable defence continued to pressure Bugbrooke denying them any chances.

With the game not out of reach, Bugbrooke ploughed on and created a nail-biting finish to an evenly contested final, Blayze Kenny-Costello’s shot stopping kept Ajax in it, and a few goalmouth scrambles later, Ajax squeezed through to win the Plate. A great example of youth football at its best, a tough game to lose, but a great game to win.

Man of the match: Reuben Lee-Stringer.