Manager Lee Burns was pleased that his team managed to win the final in the most dramatic of fashions, with two late goals securing the Essex U16 Girls Cup.
Bowers & Pitsea U15s flew out the traps and took the lead in the 2nd minute, with Kaltrina Ibrahhimi scoring from close range to give them the perfect start. Kasey Keen had an effort bounce off the crossbar in the 9th minute, before she scored her first as she finished off a brilliant run with a low finish at the near post to level things up.
Bowers & Pitsea U15s retook the lead 10 minutes later, as Aryanna Adesan curled a superb effort into the top corner. The lead didn’t last long however, as Keen once again levelled the game up with another terrific solo effort, to take the game into half time at 2-2.
The second half was a quieter affair, with the first big chance coming in the 73rd minute for the U15s, as Adesan saw an angled effort fly just wide. But just a minute later, the U15s took the lead for a third time in the game with a fantastic long-range strike from Demi Heatherington which looked to be the winner. The U16s didn’t give in and levelled the game for the third time in the 80th minute as Keen secured her hat-trick, finishing from close range after showing great composure in the box.
At this point, the game looked destined for extra time, but the U16s won it in added time as they won the ball back straight from kick-off and Holly Appleton ran through and finished well to make it 4-3 and secure Bowers & Pitsea U16s the trophy.
Manager Lee Burns was delighted with his team’s late fightback, despite him thinking his teams second half performance wasn’t as good as the first. “The second half didn’t really amount to much, we couldn’t keep the ball, but we made the three changes with 15 minutes to go and that improved us again. But then they got the third and that looked like it was going to be game over, but we managed to get back and nick the result at the end.
Bowers & Pitsea U15 Squad: Caitlin Spenner, Rebecca Harcourt, Kiera Keys, Lexi Ashton, Niamh Carpenter, Daisy Warren, Molly Dodd, Jessica McCrae, Florence Russell, Olivia Potton, Gracie Parker, Kaltrina Ibrahhimi, Demi Heatherington, Aryanna Adesan
Bowers & Pitsea U16 Squad: Jessica Balbi, Sienna-Starr Ssekandwa, Sophie Rayner, Ruby Fisher, Lexie Burns, Andrea Hall-Balina, Charlotte Bishop, Aaliyah Jackman, Stevie Roberts, Natalie Barber, Michaela Hardy, Holly Appleton, Skyla Smith, Kasey Keen
Referee: Amelia Barrett
Assistant Referees: Jason Acott and Milly Gordon
Fourth Official: Lewis Earl