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A brand new name will be etched onto the Essex Saturday Junior Trophy as Haver Town Reserves lifted the silverware for the first ever time following a hard-earned victory against Cowley Community at Heybridge Swifts FC.
Luke Dallison and Harry Andreetti (2) put Ross Masterson’s team in control at half time, and second-half replies from Ronnie Winterflood and Michael Taylor weren't quite enough for Cowley, who were also competing in their debut final.
Cowley had the first real opening of the match on 14 minutes as Chris Wright's volley ended up just wide of the target. But Haver took the lead seven minutes later, Dallison's corner wrapping the far post and burying itself into the net. By the 26th minute, they’d doubled their advantage.
Owen Rice's strike slipped through the grasp of goalkeeper Leigham Stone and onto the post, but Andreetti was in the right place to bury the loose ball. Community almost began their fightback when Lekan Bakare was sent through on goal, only to be denied by an impressive 36th-minute block from custodian Jack Thomas.
A minute before the break, Haver moved into what would prove to be a vital three-goal advantage. Andreetti's shot on the turn found the back of the net from 15 yards, meaning it would be a long way back for Cowley to salvage anything in the second half.
Six minutes after half time, substitute Lewis Thwaites attempted to chip away at Town’s commanding interval lead with a swerving effort which finished just wide of the post. Community did then get back into the contest when an excellent, low, angled shot by another replacement, Winterflood, went in off the far post on 52 minutes.
Town maintained a threat, however, and a well-worked 69th-minute free kick saw Andreetti find fellow scorer Dallison, who cut inside and forced an impressive save from Stone. At the other end, the match was to take a potentially important twist.
On 73 minutes, Cowley made it 3-2. Taylor saw his free kick smack the bar and bounce downwards and Bakare was on-hand to ensure the ball was over the line, although the goal went to Taylor. But Haver Town were able to hold out for the rest of the game to lift the cup.
Cowley Community: Leigham Stone, Manassah Jackie, Josh Coulson, Lekan Bakare, George Anthony, Kyle Cargill, Chris Wright, Ryan Thompson-Cobham, James Allen, Allan Smith, Aiden Gentle. Substitutes (repeated): Sean Taylor, Kane Greene, Michael Taylor, Elias Tackie, Gideon Olubayo.
Haver Town Reserves: Jack Thomas, George Meany, Luke Dallison, Lewis Hammond, Harry Andreetti, Robert Rice, Owen Rice, Daniel Meany, Courtney Waller, Ben Whiting, Dane Willis. Substitutes (repeated): Brandon Richmond, Lewis Thwaites, Charly Bruce, Ronnie Winterflood, Josh Renwick-Smith.
Referee: Kevin Nicholson.
Assistant Referees: Alfie Davidson and Zara Wickert.
Fourth Official: Jack Good.