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An incredible late fightback from Laindon Athletic saw them lift the Essex Sunday Veterans Cup at the expense of Corinthians in the final at Great Wakering Rovers FC.
Sam McCarthy had put Athletic in front in the first half, but Corinthians were confident of victory thanks to a Stephen Kemp double, which they maintained until the last ten minutes. However, Nick Judd, Ben Swift and Bernard Attoh had other ideas as their strikes saw the game swing in Laindon’s favour in dramatic fashion in the closing stages.
The opening 20 minutes of the game were well-contested between the teams, though neither created any major goalscoring opportunities. The first real chance of the game came in the 22nd minute when a Laindon free kick on the edge of the box was parried into the path of a waiting Laindon attacker, but the follow-up shot came to nothing.
Athletic did open the scoring six minutes later as a great through ball was played by skipper Elliott Vile which McCarthy ran onto. His initial shot was saved, but he made no mistake in scoring from the rebound.
Corinthians nearly equalised moments later. A cross was whipped in from the right-hand side, which was met by a Corinthians head, but it went just wide. The equalizer did eventually arrive in the 33rd minute. A long ball was played forward towards the Laindon box from the left-hand side, which Laindon’s goalkeeper parried, but Kemp was there to convert the loose ball.
Both sides went into half time tied in what was an even first half. The second then opened like the first, with both teams exchanging chances against one another, but it was Corinthians who netted next. Shaun Bennett won the ball in the middle of the park and slid a neat pass into the path of Kemp, who smashed his second of the game past the ‘keeper at the front post.
It was a hectic last ten minutes, with Laindon managing to score three more goals. They equalised in the 83rd minute as a cross was whipped in from the right which was met by Judd with a thumping header. Five minutes later, Laindon took the lead through some great link up play, again from the right-hand side.
The ball was passed in to Swift, who flicked it up twice to evade defenders and volleyed the ball to the left of the goal. Laindon managed to inflict further damage as their final goal came in the fourth minute of additional time through some tricky footwork from Attoh.
He cut in from the right-hand side and dribbled into the box before smashing the ball across the ‘keeper, ensuring a dominant victory for Laindon.
Corinthians: Malcolm Dunn, Steve Kemp, Alan Frost, Adam Kenton, Ryan Hathaway, Sam Hendricks, Lee Anderson, Paul Brooker, Vincent Barker, Shaun Bennett, Chris Brown, Dan Fitch, Michael Gorman, Justin Groves, Ricky Hassan, Mark Page, Chris O’Donoghue, Paul White, Nadeem Sheikh.
Laindon Athletic: Chris Howard, Daniel Dafter, Danny Endean, Ben Sutton, Anthony Hill, Elliot Vile, John Dorney, Sam McCarthy, Nick Judd, Bernard Attoh, Daniel Clements, Paul Seymour, Dominic Rogan, Ben Swift, Chris Hilleard, Steve Corbell, Paul Shave, Shaun James, Nav Choudrey, Lee Guiver, Chris Leahy, Gary Ewers, Daniel Heale.
Referee: Simon Harwood.
Assistant Referees: Glenn Michaels and Geoffrey Randall.
Fourth Official: Kirk Edwards.