Match Report: ESFA Under 18 Inter County Trophy for Boys’ Final
Thursday 25 May 2017By ESFA Office
Essex County Schools’ FA 2-1 Durham County Schools’ FA (AET)
Essex County Schools’ FA are confirmed winners of the 2017 Under 18 Inter County Trophy for Boys’, following a closely fought 2-1 victory over Durham County Schools’ FA on Saturday 29th April at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Essex took an early lead in the tie through Solomon Ogunwomoju’s powerful strike from the edge of the area, in the 5th minute, after he had been superbly found by Toby Aromolaran’s through ball. Such was the ferocity of the strike, not even the fingertips of Kieran Stoker could prevent the ball from hitting the back of the net. The game ebbed and flowed from then on as Durham contrived to force a leveller. This pressure was rewarded in the 84th minute as the impressive Jayven Redmen volleyed home from approximately 12 yards out after he was picked out by a delightful chip from Aaron Duell. This finish was made all the more spectacular given the fact that the nature of the pass necessitated an over the shoulder finish, that was executed to perfection. Essex responded extremely well to the setback and two minutes into the extra time period, Solomon Ogunwomoju, netted his second of the game to seal the victory for Essex with a low finish into the far corner. Both sides deserve tremendous credit for the entertaining spectacle that they produced in front of an extremely partisan and vociferous crowd on a pristine Ricoh Arena pitch.
Both of this year’s finalists had successfully navigated four previous rounds in what is most likely to have been a long and arduous road, starting in September and culminating with this entertaining contest at the Ricoh Arena. As was the case in the previous finals, the quality of the two teams can be indicated by the degree of difficulty that each county had faced in getting to this stage. Essex had to come from behind in every fixture up to now in their run to the final. Likewise, Durham had to dig deep in their semi-final fixture to overcome Staffordshire in their respective semi-final fixture, in what appeared to be a very tight match. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge each county’s excellent reputation for developing promising sporting talent within their regions. Notably, Essex can count former Tottenham and England midfielder, Glenn Hoddle amongst their alumni. More recently, they have helped players such as Wes Thomas (Bournemouth, Birmingham, Oxford) and Michael Hector (Reading, Chelsea) along on their journey to become professional footballers. On the other hand, Durham have helped to develop Adam Reach’s footballing talents. He has since played for Middlesborough, Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday. Therefore, the stage was set for a blockbuster.
It was Durham who started the match the better of the two teams with Fraser Coolling overhit a cross when well placed. Subsequently, Jayven Redmen’s corner was headed back across goal by one of the awaiting Durham contingent before being claimed by Essex keeper, Ibrahim Ugrader. Durham were made to pay for not capitalising on their early forages forward as Essex broke the deadlock through Solomon Ogunwomoju’s powerful strike from the edge of the area, in the 5th minute, after he had been found by Toby Aromolaran’s through ball. As mentioned previously, Durham keeper Kieran Stoker could count himself unlucky to not have kept that out but the powerful effort burst through his hands. This wasn’t the first goal for Solomon Ogunwomoju this year as he had netted two hat-tricks in previous rounds. Durham sought to restore parity straight away as Jayven Redmen’s corner was headed wide by Tom Joyce. Essex launched a counter attack and won a free-kick which resulted in Misha Djemali glancing a free header wide. Further pressure from Essex resulted in Jayde Abraham’s corner being miscontrolled by Ogunwomoju from close range. In the 14th minute, Ogunwomoju had the freedom of the Ricoh but his header from Sam Mvemba’s cross was well saved by Kieran Stocker. Durham’s last clear cut chance of the first half fell to Dan Maddison who diverted a team mate’s powerful strike back towards goal but it was well saved by Ibrahim Ugrader. In the 38th minute Essex created a goalmouth scramble within the Durham area which after a few nervous moments, Durham cleared. Straight away Durham launched a counter attack from which Billy Hall’s cross was miscued by Andrei Ardelean (Durham’s captain). The final chance from the first half fell to Essex as Jayde Abraham’s corner resulted in a header being cleared off the line.
The second half commenced with Billy Hall firing wide after Durham had won a corner. Essex responded well, with Toby Aromolaran and Max Watters firing wide from promising positions. Essex then had another header cleared off the line as they looked to extend their lead. Durham began to redouble their efforts to find an equalising goal. This materialised in the form of Billy Hall’s 30-yard strike, which unfortunately for him, ended up high, wide and handsome. The game subsequently became very scrappy and as a result the game lost some of its flow. There were a couple of efforts of note for Essex, first through Tyler Richardson, who got in between both centre halves and managed to direct a header towards goal, but it was fantastically clawed away by Stoker after a great cross from Max Watters. The aforementioned Max Watters was then a whisker away from providing the assist for Solomon Ogunwomoju to double the lead but he couldn’t quite get anything on the ball. Essex were then made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal when, in the 84th minute, Jayven Redmen volleyed home from approximately 12 yards out after he was picked out by a delightful chip from Aaron Duell. This finish was made all the more spectacular given the fact that the nature of the pass necessitated an over the shoulder finish, that was executed to perfection. Thereby sending the game into extra time.
Essex took the game by the scruff of the neck and went ahead through the impressive Solomon Ogunwomoju, who fired a low side-footed shot across goal and managed to bend it into the far corner, after beating all comers. Ten minutes later Solomon Ogunwomoju had a shot saved from inside the box. Finally, Max Watters, had a shot blocked by the Durham defence.
Despite Durham’s best efforts, they were unable to make another breakthrough and Essex managed to see the game out successfully.
Full Time (AET): Essex County Schools’ FA 2-1 Durham County Schools’ FA
Essex: Ibrahim Ugrader; Nathan Douglas; Sam Mvemba; Kieran Gore; Olamiji Ayoola; Harry Hart; Jayde Abraham; Misha Djemali; Solomon Ogunwomoju; Toby Aromolaran; Max Watters; Jai Lewis; Tyler Richardson; Tom Dance; Godfrey Kambaza; Emile Acquah.
Durham: Kieran Stoker; Fraser Colling; Callum Webster; Nathan Kett; Tom Joyce; Dan Mitchell; Billy Hall; Adam Little; Andrei Ardelean (C); Jayven Redmen; Dan Maddison; Jak Hanson; Kyle Davidson; Sam Steele; Aaron Duell; Callum Smith.
Referee: Alex Harris
Assistant Referees: Dan Andrews & Alex Perkin
Fourth Official: Connor Jukes
The ESFA would like to place on record it’s thanks to the staff at the Ricoh Arena for hosting the event and 353 Photography for providing the match photos. Further thanks go to 247.tv for providing the live stream, which is available on the ESFA’s YouTube Channel, ESFA TV, as well as the students at Coventry University for their sports therapy expertise.
Images © ThreeFiveThree Photography - not to be reproduced without permission.
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