Upshire recovered from going behind in the first minute to defeat Rochford Sports & Social and lift the Essex Sunday Junior Trophy.
The Waltham Abbey-based side scored twice inside the final five minutes to seal the win as two goals from Ross Paterson and one from brother Tyler Paterson secured the turnaround after Rhys Fatt had fired Rochford ahead inside just 48 seconds.
“The boys did really well once we were 1-0 down, to be honest, and they dug in and came back,” reflected Upshire boss Daniel Ford after the Friday-night contest at Aveley FC’s Parkside stadium. “I’m proud of them. They’re [Rochford] a good side, we are a young side and it was handy we got back to 1-1 by half time.”
It’s been a season of change for Upshire, with Ford’s team starting the season as a reserve side before the First Team unfortunately folded early in the campaign. “It was a shame,” said Ford, “but these young lads, if they stick together, can go a long way. Hopefully we can step up to the Junior Cup next season. The boys adapted really well to playing on a Friday night and took the trophy home. And now we’re going out!”
Rochford’s fast start saw Fatt burst through the defence and slot home, but the next chance went the way of Upshire, with Tommy Marchant sending a ball across the box where Dan Smith was on-hand to see his shot well blocked by goalkeeper James Gray. Upshire’s Smith then watched another effort blocked by Gray before they levelled on 27 minutes. Ross Paterson latched onto a through ball and clipped a good finish over Gray.
Rochford responded swiftly and Fatt found himself through on goal again, but he smashed just wide of the near post. An early second half opportunity for Rochford then saw Fatt and then Matt Burgess have efforts blocked on the line. Clear second-half chances were at a premium but, on 70 minutes, Upshire’s Marchant fired into the side netting. Moments later he tested Gray from range before Dan Smith shot just over from distance.
With a sea of bodies inside the six-yard box, Upshire then couldn’t quite force the ball home, but they did take the lead on 85 minutes. A pass was threaded through to Ross Paterson, who raced clear and finished low inside the near post. Two minutes into stoppage time the win was sealed when Marchant’s shot was pushed out and Tyler Paterson fired in the rebound.
Rochford Sports & Social: James Gray, Adam Barlow, Matt Ratcliff, James Cammidge, Ollie Brooke, Matt Burgess, Rhys Fatt, Connor Norton, Joe Bright, Stephen Solarin, Alex Gray. Substitutes (repeated): Jake Haines, Matt Clark, Adam Vogt, Jordan Ginty, Reece Papworth.
Upshire: Sidney Stojic, Ben Turner, Dan Smith, Gary Suchley, Tyler Paterson, Danny Haigh, Tommy Marchant, Archie Stojic, Mickey Clark, Luke Casey, Ross Paterson. Substitutes (repeated): Tom Smith, Jack Archer, James Taylor.
Referee: Joe Burgess (Castle Point).
Assistant Referees: Sven Wood (Southend-on-Sea) and Matthew Webb (Braintree).
Fourth Official: Martin Weavers (Braintree).