A tight Essex U12 Girls Cup final was decided by an Amber Morris strike ten minutes from time as County Park lifted the trophy with a solitary goal success over Buckhurst Hill (Tigresses).
A game of few chances at Great Wakering Rovers’ Burroughs Park saw Morris pounce on a loose ball to net the decisive goal and win the contest for the Ockendon-based outfit.
“It’s really good to win this cup and I’m really pleased for the girls, they’ve worked really hard” reflected County Park boss Alan Mason after the game: “Buckhurst Hill played well and they played their part as well. It was a great game and I’m really proud of them.”
Looking back further on the challenge imposed by their opposition on the day, boss Mason added: “They certainly pushed us all the way. I hoped our girls would come through it at the end and I could tell they were nervous, but it was a great advert for girls’ football by both teams.”
It was perhaps nerves that led to something of a cagey encounter before Morris’ late decider.
There was an early opening for County Park’s Olivia Long who brought a sharp save from Tigresses ‘keeper Savannah Roos and Park’s Charlotte Bryant hit a shot just over the bar a few minutes later.
Following Morris’ match-winning goal, she had a chance to double her and her team’s tally in the closing stages but pulled a low shot just wide after a good move. However, her team had done enough to be crowned county champions at the first attempt.
“Hopefully with us being County Park’s first girls team, we can put the club’s name on the map a little bit now” wished Mason following his team’s celebrations, adding: “We’ve got our chairman and secretary here today and they’re always looking to bring in new teams to expand the name of County Park.”
Buckhurst Hill Girls (Tigresses): Savannah Roos, Olivia Brooks, Skye Moore, Sadie Castle, Bella Bristow, Faith Brooks, Betsy Webster, April Wilson, Bobbi Morris. Substitutes (repeated): Maia Reehal, Hetti Collischon, Kishi Abiodun-Opanuga, Isabella Ward, Nia Patel.
County Park Girls: Kornelija Klimabviciute, Savannah Beavis, Imogen Judd, Blossom Smith, Charlotte Bryant, Arianna Mason, Isla Richardson, Olivia Long, Amber Morris. Substitutes (repeated): Alex Hyman, Kerrigan Bowers, Ruby Franklin, Geena Virdi.
Referee: Charmaine Bent
Assistant Referees: Rose Limmer & Joy Salmon
Fourth Official: Christopher Parkinson