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Concord Rangers became the 2021/22 Essex Pelly Under 18s Cup winners thanks to a comfortable victory over Billericay Town.
Jack Thomson put Rangers ahead late in the first half and Quinton Zolani Dlodlo, Temiloluwa Adebato and Lucas Polybank built a deserved and unassailable lead in the second period. Lewis Browne netted a late consolation for Billericay.
The opening 15 minutes of the game were even between the sides, with neither creating any major opportunities, but the first came on 16 minutes as Concord had a shot which went over the bar. The next saw Lewis Browne’s low, goalbound, 22nd-minute effort blocked for Billericay. Concord replied quickly as Thomson’s shot along the floor was also blocked.
The Beach Boys had another opening seven minutes later when Thomson’s corner picked out Bobby Brayley, whose header at goal was desperately cleared off the goal line. At the other end in the 37th minute, Jamie McDonald ran across the edge of the penalty area and sent a strike along the ground on-target, which was well held by the Concord goalkeeper.
Just before the break, Rangers opened the scoring. A brilliant run from Thomson saw him skip through numerous challenges, round the ‘keeper and slotting home, taking Concord into half time with the lead. The first chances of the second half also fell to Rangers as Brayley and Polybank both had efforts cleared off the goal line in quick succession.
This pressure then led to them scoring another goal two minutes later. Billericay goalkeeper Jordan Williams spilled a low shot, and Dlodlo pounced on the loose ball to make it 2-0. Next to go close for Concord on 75 minutes was Brayley, who forced Williams to make another impressive, diving save. This sustained pressing from Rangers led to another goal.
This time, four minutes later, substitute Adebato burst through the Billericay defence and slammed the ball home to give Concord a three-goal cushion. Town had a chance two minutes later when George Cornwell supplied a cross which Jake Davis headed over the crossbar. But, one minute before the end of the 90, Concord’s Polybank sealed the victory, tapping home at the far post.
Billericay did manage to get a consolation goal in the fourth minute of additional time through Browne, who found space to drill into the bottom corner via a deflection, but it was Concord who lifted the cup, recording a comprehensive victory.
Billericay Town (Blacks): Jordan Williams, George Cornwell, Damian O'Connor, Josh Oteng (C), Dylan Clubb, Lewis Browne, Maxwell Appauh, Jamie McDonald, Harry Sostman, Rhian Fowler, Jack Taylor. Substitutes (repeated): Kaylen Harris, Jake Davis, Tarik Maarouf, Ollie Wells, Leo Sato-Smith.
Concord Rangers: Joseph Durrant, Alfie Whiteaker, Bobby Brayley, Jack Leech, Samuel Nagle, Samuel Carter, Lucas Polyblank, Quinton Zolani Dlodlo, Jack Thomson, Connor Polyblank, Harrison Day. Substitutes (repeated): Temiloluwa Adebayo, Finley Lewis, Matas Skarana, Samuel Ratcliff, Callum Dilliway.
Referee: Fabio Roque.
Assistant Referees: Lewis Moore and Royan Campbell.
Fourth Official: Jack Luckman.