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Goals in each half from James Woolsgrove and Danny Mitchell proved to be enough for Colebrook Royals (Reds) to lift the Essex Under 12s Cup thanks to a 2-1 win over County Park.
County Park’s James Lynskey halved the deficit with a spot kick seven minutes from time, but Colebrook weathered late pressure to win the County Cup at the very first attempt. “It’s an amazing feeling and the boys deserved it,” beamed Colebrook Manager Adam Kaye after the game at Great Wakering Rovers FC’s Burroughs Park home.
“I thought our goals were brilliant. For the first I thought there was good link-up play down the right, a ball across and Jimmy finished it superbly. For the second goal, we had a counter-attack and ‘Pitbull’, as we called him in the programme, produced a great finish.”
Either side of their penalty consolation, County Park did trouble Colebrook, but Adam’s side stood firm to seal county glory. The boss said: “They did have a few chances. It’s always nervous, finals are always like that, but we deserved it. It wasn’t pretty, but we defended well. We were dogged and I think we were deserved winners.”
“It’s been brilliant,” added Adam of his side’s run right through to the final. “We’ve played lots of different teams we wouldn’t normally play, had seven rounds, different experiences and different challenges and, to win it, I don’t believe the boys really know how lucky they are.”
“Absolutely they can look back and say they won the County Cup. 120 teams entered and there’s one winner, which is us. It’s an amazing achievement.”
Colebrook’s lead arrived with just 7 minutes played as a ball from the right was cut back and Woolsgrove fired in a fine, low drive. Chances for County Park saw Freddie Heath tee-up Matas Klimas who shot just off-target before Heath was denied by an excellent block at the near post.
Tolu Fabamifobee then brought a good save from Colebrook goalkeeper Sam Withington on the stroke of half time. But, ten minutes after the restart, Colebrook doubled their lead. Mitchell raced forward and sent home an excellent, angled finish.
In response, County Park’s Ronnie Mann saw his shot well held by Royals’ Withington before Park came inches away when Jamie Lartice’s curling free kick hit the near post. On 53 minutes, County Park did pull one back as Lynskey drilled home from the sport, but they couldn’t quite find a leveller as Colebrook hung on for glory.
Colebrook Royals (Reds): Sam Withington, Tami Unuefa, James Woolsgrove, Harrison Burke, Danny Mitchell, Sidney Kaye, Harold William, Reuben Comerford, Michael Chukwuma. Substitutes (repeated): Noah Charlery Cao, Joshua Griesel, Mason Farrell, Bleu Jack.
County Park: Alfie Fitzeare, Jay Taylor, James Lynskey, Freddie Heath, Romir Mann, Jamie Lartice, Tolu Fabamifobee, Joshua Efobi, Amine Zafer. Substitutes: Dimi Rangelov, Eric Kutaj, Natyhan Solomon, Matas Klimas.
Referee: Calum Gray (Barking & Dagenham).
Assistant Referees: Ethan Campbell (Southend-on-Sea) and Harry Hickman (Castle Point).
Fourth Official: Riley Bott (Castle Point).