Luke Bennett’s goal early on in the first half was enough to crown Manford Way Reserves the Essex Saturday Junior Trophy champions!
Manford Way had a chance to take the lead within 3 minutes of the game. George Green was given space on the edge of the box, but the resulting shot was screwed wide. Less than ten minutes later, Manford Way did take the lead. A headed back pass from Felsted was left short, allowing Bennett the chance to pounce and round the onrushing Owen Benham, before tapping home into an empty net.
Felsted Rovers immediately responded to going a goal behind with a chance of their own. Great work from Joel Assan down the right eventually led to the ball being played to Andrew French in the left side of the box, but his shot is fired wide of the far post.
Manford Way then had a chance to double their lead. Bennett was played in on goal just down the left side, but he couldn’t finish, and his shot was wide of the right post. In the 26th minute, Manford Way captain George Green stepped up from a freekick and curled an effort towards goal, but Felsted ‘keeper Benham saved well down to his left.
Before the half time whistle, Felsted had a couple of chances to get on level terms. First Jon Speller charged forward right back and unleashed an effort towards goal that went over the bar. Then after great work down the right, the ball was rolled across to French, whose goal-bound shot was inadvertently blocked by another Felsted player, bringing us into the half time break with Manford Way Reserves 1-0 up.
The second half kicked off with another early chance for Manford Way. This time Aaron Clements had a shot from outside the box saved by Benham down to his right. The second period wasn’t filled with notable chances for either side. There were some half chances for both teams, but nothing real of note.
Towards the end of the game, Felsted had a spell of pressure and huffed and puffed as they looked to get back into the game, but they weren’t able to convert any of their pressure. Manford Way did have the opportunity to seal the game right at the death, Bennett was once again played in on goal, but his shot hit the side netting.
The referee then blew the whistle for full time and crowned Manford Way the Essex Saturday Junior Trophy champions!
Felsted Rovers Squad: Owen Benham, Jon Speller, Sam Crow, Andrew French, Danny Sutton, Dominic King, Joel Assan, Shane Benham, Hayden Mihlenstedt, James Duckworth, Charlie Perry, Simon Curry, Josh Stone, Tom Hag, Charlie Prow.
Manford Way Reserves Squad: George Nolan, Dan Bryant, Brad Wilkins, Toby Eaton, Charlie Webb, George Green, Aaron Clements, George Moore, Charlie Thomas, Callum Thomas, Luke Bennett (12'), Sam Wiltermood, Jack Ewing, Cameron Perryer, Ant Regan, Ryan Mooney.
Referee: Oliver Headington
Assistant Referees: Ashley Diamond and John Magill Jnr
Fourth Official: Adrian Arnot
Congratulations to Manford Way Reserves for winning the 2022/23 Essex Saturday Junior Trophy! To stay up to date with all this season’s County Cup Finals, follow Essex County FA on Twitter and Instagram.