It’s been a record-breaking season for the Essex FA County Cup Finals, including the highest attendance at a BBC Essex Women’s Cup Final, successful youth finals from U12s – U18s and a visit from the Women's EURO Trophy!
The 2022/23 County Cup Final season kicked off with #GirlsFinalsDay which involved three finals, all held at Aveley FC on the same day. The Essex Under 14s Girls Cup was won by Aveley FC, thanks to a hattrick from Ayla Izzet. The second final was a dramatic all Bowers & Pitsea tie that was won by Bowers & Pitsea U16s with two goals at the death to turn the game around.
#GirlsFinalsDay was rounded off with the Essex Under 18s Girls Cup Final between Billericay Town U18 and Bowers & Pitsea U18 Red, in which an Erin Williams hattrick helped secure the trophy for Billericay.
Attention then turned to the Essex Veterans Trophy Final between Harold Hill Over 45s and Herongate Athletic Over 45s. Braces from Kevin Marsden and Leli Bajada helped Harold Hill become champions.
The next game was the first of our Senior Cup Finals, the BBC Essex Senior Cup, between Concord Rangers and Braintree Town. Over 2,400 fans attended Colchester United’s JobServe Community Stadium to watch the two teams battle it out and the Braintree Town fans were the ones celebrating at the full time whistle.
Goals from Matt Rush and Alfie Pavey either side of half time gave Braintree a 2-0 win over Concord and meant Braintree took the BBC Essex Senior Cup Trophy back to North Essex. Matt Rush was delighted to score in front of all the fans. “It was special. It was a really good turnout, and the fans were unbelievable as they have been this whole BBC Essex Senior Cup”
Braintree Town Celebrating their BBC Essex Senior Cup Triumph
There was no time to rest from the BBC Essex Senior Cup Final, as the day after it was time for the Essex Saturday Veterans Cup Final between Harold Wood Athletic and Rayleigh Town. The two sides played out a tight game and needed penalties to be separated, which Rayleigh Town won 3-1 meaning they lifted the trophy.
The following week saw Heybridge Swifts U23s and Sandon Royals battle it out for the Essex Saturday Junior Cup, which Heybridge won 1-0 after extra time, thanks to a Ryan Lynch goal.
It was then time for a County Cup Final double at Great Wakering’s Burroughs Park. First, Vincitori Vets ran out 4-0 winners in the Essex Sunday Veterans Cup vs Rochford Sports & Social Club Vets. This game was followed by the Essex Women’s Trophy, which Southend United CET won 3-1 against Toby Ladies.
We then headed to Billericay Town for the BBC Essex Saturday Premier Cup Final between Shenfield Association and Wakering Sports Reserves. Both teams played a really competitive game right until the last, but it was Shenfield Association who ran out 3-1 winners.
The next final was our second showpiece event, the BBC Essex Women’s Cup. It was a record-breaking event, being the first time it was held in a professional stadium that was played out in front of over 2,000 fans! We were also joined by the Women’s EURO Trophy that was won by the brilliant Lionesses, allowing fans to have pictures and see the trophy that was lifted at Wembley Stadium!
The Women's EURO Trophy at the BBC Essex Women's Cup Final
Billericay Town and Hashtag United Reserves were the two teams involved and an early Ruby Sealey goal was enough to secure Billericay a 1-0 win. When speaking about the final, Billericay Town boss James Gibson said “It feels fantastic [to be BBC Essex Women’s Cup Champions], everyone knows the history of the competition and it means everything to everyone at the club.”
“We had a responsibility to play football to inspire young people and young girls who we hope will develop in various pathways within the game”
The next final was the Essex Sunday Junior Trophy, played between Colebrook Royals and Valence United. Another great game saw Valence take a 3-0 lead, before Colebrook Royals fought back to 3-0 and won 5-3 in extra time.
Another Cup Final double followed, this time at Bowers & Pitsea. The Essex Sunday Junior Cup was won by Herongate Athletic 2-1 in extra time thanks to a Charlie Arnold winner. The Essex Sunday Premier Cup Final between Flyhouse Athletic and Hatch Lane United was another competitive game that saw Flyhouse come from 1-0 down to win 2-1.
Manford Way Reserves would then beat Felsted Rovers 1-0 at Heybridge Swifts’ ground to lift the Essex Saturday Junior Trophy. A spell of youth finals were next up. Firstly, the Essex Cassels Under 16s Cup, that was won by Harlow Town U16 Hawks after a dramatic late turnaround against Hutton U16.
A youth final double at Burroughs Park came next, as Wivenhoe Tempest U12 Blue lifted the Essex Under 12 Cup and County Park Girls U12 lifted the Essex Under 12 Girls Cup. The Essex Pelly Under 18s Cup Final was between Chelmsford City U18 and Concord Rangers U18 and it was the latter who were victorious.
That took us to our last County Cup Finals, a triple header back at Aveley for #YouthFinalsDay. It kicked off with the Essex Cordell Under 13 Cup between Bowers & Pitsea U13 and Canvey Island U13, which the former won 3-0. Billericay Town U14 Blue lifted the Essex Andrews Under 14s Cup after a dramatic penalty shootout win against Buckhurst Hill U14. And the final County Cup Final of the season was the Essex Rosser Under 15s Cup, won by Brentwood Town U15 against Hashtag United U15 Yellow.
Congratulations to all the teams who made it to a County Cup Final this season and a big thank you to the clubs that allowed them to be hosted of their pitches. Photos for the majority of the Cup Finals can be found by clicking here. A big thank you to WOW Hydrate who provided drinks for the players and officials throughout the 2022/23 County Cup Finals.