Cambridgeshire 1-5 Essex, Thursday 16th March 2017, Kick-Off 7:45pm, Julius Martin Lane, East Anglian Counties Under 18s Championship.
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Essex Under 18s cantered to an East Anglian Counties Championship win in Cambridgeshire after five first-half goals put the home county to the sword at Soham Town Rangers FC.
Sam Mvemba, Jayde Abraham, Solomon Ogunwomoju, Max Watters and Toby Aromolaran had handed the visitors an unassailable lead by the break. Tom Thurlbourne pulled one back for the hosts in a far less eventful second period. The win lifts Essex into second place in the table and Graham Hall’s side will hope they still have a chance of catching leaders Norfolk when they visit Coggeshall Town FC on 20th April.
The first chance of the evening actually fell the way of Cambridgeshire as skipper Jake Jefferson curled wide on 4 minutes, but Essex soon got hold of the contest and took the lead ten minutes later. Abraham’s corner was headed in by Mvemba. Shortly afterwards the away side came close to a second when another Abraham corner was again met by Mvemba but, this time, Ben Hagger was on-hand to clear off the goal line.
It was 2-0 on 18 minutes. Abraham picked up a cut-back, wriggled into space and lashed a shot into the roof of the net. A chance for Cambridgeshire saw Jefferson run across the edge of the penalty area before his deflected drive dropped wide. Essex goalkeeper Jai Lewis then made a sharp stop, with Jordan Foster chipping a loose ball goalward only for Misha Djemaili to clear off the line. But Essex grabbed a fine third goal with 39 minutes played.
Nathan Douglas’ excellent right-flank cross was met by a superb header from Ogunwomoju, which fell inside the near post. Two minutes later Essex notched a fourth, the ball finding its way to Watters inside the six-yard box and he finished calmly with a low shot into the far corner. If the fourth goal hadn’t sealed the win, a fortuitous fifth on the stroke of half time certainly did.
Aromolaran’s mishit shot seemed harmless, but it bobbled beneath ‘keeper Lewis Fairley and rolled into the net. With Essex firmly in the driving seat, it’s perhaps little surprise that the second period brought very little in the way of chances.
Cambridgeshire’s Foster screwed an angled drive just wide moments before the home side pulled a goal back on 68 minutes, Thurlbourne finding space to plant a low drive into the far corner. 19 minutes from time, Essex’s Aromolaran latched onto a through ball, cut inside and pulled a fine save from substitute ‘keeper Kieran Petty in the final opportunity of note.
Essex: Jai Lewis (Rowhedge/Brightlingsea Regent), Nathan Douglas (AFC Hornchurch), Sam Mvemba (AFC Hornchurch), Kieran Gore (Thurrock), Olamiji Ayoola (AFC Hornchurch), Misha Djemaili (AFC Hornchurch), Jayde Abraham (AFC Hornchurch), Harry Hart (Hullbridge Sports), Solomon Ogunwomoju (Thurrock/Aveley), Toby Aromolaran (Tilbury), Max Watters (Thurrock). Substitutes (repeated): Tyler Richardson (Shenfield School), Ibrahim Ugradar (AFC Hornchurch), Godfrey Kambaza (AFC Hornchurch), Connor Malloy (Saffron Walden Town).
Cambridgeshire: Lewis Fairley (Cambridge City), Luke Cable (Cambridge City), Ben Hagger (Cambridge City), Luke Crisp (Newmarket Town), Michael Forde (Cambridge City), Jake Crow (Cambridge City), Alex Lyratzpoulos (Cambridge City), Louis Hook (Ely City), Jack Jefferson (Falcons), Joshua Lowe (Cambridge City), Jordan Foster (Newmarket Town). Substitutes (repeated): James Brown (Cambridge City), Kieran Petty (Mildenhall Town), Tom Thurlbourne (Cambridge City), Karl Edwards (Cambridge City), Eamon Hatoum (Cambridge City).
Referee: Jason Murfitt (Witcham).
Assistant Referees: Tim McCreadie (Ely) and Jamie Palmer (Ely).