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Hampstead Pearl U15 vs Brentford U15 Match Report

Hampstead Pearls U15’s Fight Off Brentford’s U15’s in a Penalty Shoot Out to Advance to the Capital Girls League Cup Final

By Brian Fung

            It was an ideal Saturday morning for football, the sun was shining, and the winds were calm. The victory by Hampstead’s Pearls U15’s was no miracle. Nine courageous girls who chose not to concede, but to play the match with a squad two players short of a full team fought hard and overcame 100 minutes of football drawing  1-1 AET and being icy cool in the penalty shootout slotting in 4 penalties to Brentford’s  2.


With all odds against Hampstead, the tide started to turn within the first fifteen minutes of the match, with a goal scored by the Captain Melanie Hall after some great interchange between her and the striker Shyontae Weekes. Hampstead were definitely not going down without a fight, as  Brentford FC, with a full squad of 15, were confident of a win putting out a full 11 players on the pitch.


The Hampstead Girls drew the first blood, with Brentford fighting strongly and putting Hampstead under pressure keeping possession. Attacking without any remorse, the Hampstead defence, through discipline and intelligence managed to stave off any of the attacking presence Brentford managed to conjure up to non-critical areas. The brave defending and work of all of the team, from the front to the back  did not go unnoticed, but the efforts of India Cummins and Melanie Hall and the spectacular goal keeping of Gabriella Schmidt-Castilla, helped maintain a 1-0 lead into the second half.


The second half was no walk in the park with the Brentford quickly continuing their attack. With only nine players and tired legs Hampstead’s defence was broken with a shot from the edge of a crowded area, leaving the goalkeeper unsighted. Hampstead did not let their heads go down and managed to press on creating legitimate scoring opportunities and spectacular defensive stops. Brentford  threw everything they had at the Pearls, rotating fresh players to keep up  the attack, but the tenacity of the Hampstead prevailed and held the match, after full-time  and extra time at 1-1, resulting in a penalty shootout to decide the match.


With two spectacular saves by Gabriella Schmidt-Castilla during the penalty shoot out, and Stephanie Bell, Carla Perez, Sara Khachatourian, and Melanie Hall all converting their penalties led to a  (4-2) win on penalties and a spectacular Hampstead Pearls victory over Brentford FC.



Players and positions


Gabriella Schmitt-Castilla Goalkeeper,

Honor Nesbitt Leftback,

Carla Perez Center back,

Rudi Wilmhurst at Right back,

Stephanie Bell Sweeper,

Sara Khachatourian Left wing,

Melanie Hall Center Mid,

India Cummins Right wing

Shyontae Weekes Striker