After 70 minutes, the two teams couldn’t be separated and a goal each in extra time took us to penalties, which Billericay Town U14 Blue won to lift the Essex Andrews Under 14 Cup.
Both ‘keepers were called into action from freekicks within the first ten minutes of the game. First Buckhurst Hill ‘keeper Osei-Mensah held a freekick on the right edge of the box from Poyton. Billericay Town ‘keeper Bentley then saved a Bunyan freekick from just outside the box.
The frenetic pace of the game continued, and Billericay Town had a couple of chances in the next five minutes of the game. First Ryley Turner drove forward from centre back and unleashed a shot from 25 yards out that crashed off the crossbar. Buckhurst Hill ‘keeper Osei-Mensah was called into action again shortly after, saving well down to his right from Fennessey just inside the box.
The game then slightly slowed down with just one further chance in the first half. A great cross from the right for Buckhurst Hill landed deep at the back post and Cook rose highest, but he couldn’t direct his header on target, taking us into the break all square.
The pace of the game picked back up early in the second half, but neither team could create any major chances in the opening 15 minutes. The two ‘keepers continued to impress and keep the scores level. First Buckhurst Hill ‘keeper Osei-Mensah tipped a goal-bound cross from Risk over the bar.
Bentley then produced a brilliant save, after a deep Buckhurst Hill corner was headed towards goal, but Bentley managed to get across his line and keep the ball out before it was scrambled clear. Buckhurst Hill did have a chance to win it in the last minute, as Hart picked the ball up in the middle of the pitch and whipped an effort towards goal but he saw it go just wide, taking us into extra time.
Bentley produced another great save almost immediately in extra time, as Cook was played through on goal down the left and fired towards goal, but Bentley was equal to it and saved with his feet.
Six minutes into extra time, Billericay Town scored the opener. Jack Tobin stepped up for a freekick from just outside the edge of the box and smashed it brilliantly into the top left hand corner, in what proved to be the only other chance in the first half of extra time.
With just four minutes left, Buckhurst Hill levelled the game. McGovern picked the ball up 25 yards out and fired an unstoppable shot into the top right hand corner. The two teams couldn’t be separated in normal or extra time meaning the game headed to penalties.
The penalty shootout ended after nine penalties each and it was Billericay Town ‘keeper Josh Bentley who was the hero, saving three penalties to secure Billericay Town Blue the Essex Andrews Under 14 Cup!
Billericay Town Squad: Josh Bentley, Mateo Williams, Ryley Turner, Fred Gotobe, Joe Davies, Harrison Wickens, Austin Medlock, Joe Poyton, Ciaran Fennessey, Henry Paige, Max Brown, Jack Tobin (76’), Charlie Risk, Sam Black, Harry Heyzelden
Buckhurst Hill Squad: Chris Osei-Mensah, Billy Humphries, Henry Huckle, Daniel Osbourne, Teddy Plunger, Noah Vincent-Cook, Charlie Cook, Beau Bunyan, Max McGovern (86’), Max Hart, Sean-Connor Atafo, Blue Steadman, Harry Keeble, Keion Casimir-Allison, Joseph Foot
Referee: Simon Brickwood
Assistant Referees: Kieran Evans and Leo Goldstein
Fourth Official: Alexander Mullett