A goal from Reuben Cook late in extra time earned a dramatic Essex U12s Cup triumph for Wivenhoe Tempest (Blue), overcoming Hannakins Farm (Black), 2-1 at Great Wakering Rovers’ Burroughs Park.
Cook headed home just two minutes before the end of the additional period after the tie had been locked 1-1 at 60 minutes
“The boys are absolutely over the moon!” beamed Tempest boss Andrew Johnson immediately after his team’s victory, adding: “It’s the first time any team from Wivenhoe Tempest has ever reached a County Cup final and now we can say we’re the first team to ever win it!
“It was such a close game” continued Johnson following an encounter which almost went the distance in south Essex: “We had a really good start and got the goal. We went in at half-time winning, but in the second half we really struggled and Hannakins are a really good team. They got the game back to 1-1 and into extra time and obviously extra time’s always dramatic and we missed a penalty and then scored the winner with two minutes to go.”
Cook’s decisive intervention just a minute after team mate Leo Anderson saw his spot-kick agonisingly bounce off a post in what had been a tight period of extra time, but for a smart stop early in the added period from Tempest ‘keeper Jack Johnson who denied Hannakins’ Archie Moore.
Earlier, Hannakins’ Finlay Flanigan fired just wide with the first opening of the game before Tempest took a 13th-minute lead as George Morrison’s run ended with a fine angled shot into the corner.
A good save from Hannakins ‘keeper Ralphie Flewers from Tamer Guyar kept his side in the contest before half-time and there were second half opportunities for Hannakins as Adam Savvas brought a good save from Johnson before Eli Risidore fired just over the top.
However, with six minutes of the standard 60 remaining, Hannakins did level as Zak Williams-Lewis’ shot was blocked by Johnson, but Risidore was on hand to stab home the rebound to take the tie into extra time, where Cook broke Hannakins hearts with his late header to seal the silverware.
“We’re still in three other competitions so we’ve got lots of games still to play” reflected Tempest boss Johnson further following his team’s success: “We’re looking at a possible quadruple, but who knows. Going forward I’m hoping not to lose any players to Eastern Junior Alliance and other teams and we really hope we can keep them together until they’re 18 as most have been together since they were six-years old.”
Hannakins Farm (Blacks): Ralphie Flewers, Archie Moore, Cayden Wylie, Adam Savvas, Ollie Goodwin, Zak Williams-Lewis, Finlay Flanigan, Archie Monk, Aaron McLean. Substitutes (repeated): Eli Risidore, Matthew Cousins, Charlie Furber, Matthew Thomas.
Wivenhoe Tempest (Blue): Jack Johnson, Reuben Cook, Kit Matthews, Rufus Etheridge, Jude Chapman, Leo Anderson, Tamer Guyar, Ethan Zinzan, George Morrison. Substitutes (repeated): Joshua Thivett, Tyler Rowland, Charles Davies, Micah Telfer.
Referee: George Davies
Assistant Referees: Scott Vine & Chay Saggers
Fourth Official: Steven Kingston