ESFA National Finals 2018 - Stoke City, Day 2
Saturday 12 May 2018By ESFA Office
Friday 11 May 2018
ESFA U18 Elite Cup Final
Brooksby Melton School 2 - 1 Shenfield School
The game opened with both sides looking to play the ball on the ground. Brooksby Melton were looking to exploit the narrower system used by Shenfield. Brooksy worked the ball down the left side through Sam Jackson, who beat Ondrey Oryema on the outside then cut back inside and curled an effort narrowly past the top corner. The Brooksby Melton trio of Sam Jackson, Jake Dumbleton and Arnold Ndiweni would cause issues for the Shenfield defence with the movement and interplay. After just twenty-five minutes, Shenfield would be forced into a change after their captain Louis Walker sustained an injury, to be replaced by Enoch Soganile. Shenfield had the next big chance after Tyler Richardson swung a ball into the box and a collision between the Brooksby Melton keeper and Max Bolton forced Jordan Wells to clear off the line. The chances started to come thick and fast after Arnold Ndiweni played Iyrwah Gooden a chipped ball that he would try and lob the goalkeeper with but would drift narrowly wide of the left post.
Arnold Ndiweni would continue to play make as he put Jake Dumbleton in on goal. The striker would use quick feet to get past the goalkeeper and roll the ball into the net. Shortly after, Brooksby Melton would be presented with another chance when Ellis Williamson played a long diagonal ball to Sam Jackson on the wing. Jackson beat his man on the inside and swung a dangerous ball the back post, where Arnold Ndiweni was charging in and was mere millimetres from converting the chance.
Shenfield were limited to shots from range as they endeavoured to level the score. The ball fell to Connor Hartwell in the final third who drove it to the edge of the box, smashing a shot toward the top left-hand corner. Warren Squires would be a relieved man as he dove across to have the ball rattle off the cross bar.
As the teams re-emerged for the second half with Brooksby Melton 1-0 in front, Shenfield would be the aggressors. They carved a number of chances with Enoch Soganile overlapping on Liam Gallacher, alas there would only be the hands of Warren Squires. Shenfield were the more assertive team after the break as they broke the Brooksby Melton play up continuously. As the clock moved on, the game became more frantic as both teams looked to work from end to end quickly and the game spent a period with the sides exchanging innocuous fouls. The match seemed to be dying off with only ten minutes to go before Shenfields’ Jake Jolliffe would pick up the ball wide on the left before powering past two men and ferociously slamming the ball from the edge of the area directly into the top left corner of the net to make it one goal apiece. The match sparked back into life as Brooksby Melton looked to regain their lead. A shot from 30 yards from Ellis Williamson would test Will Perfect in the Shenfield net. A late injury would see five minutes added for either side to avoid penalties but Brooksby Meltons Cameron Weston would hit a speculative shot that would deflect off of Jake Jolliffe and squirm into the bottom corner.
ESFA U15 PlayStation Schools' Cup for B Teams Final
Thomas Telford School 2 - 1 Hampton School
The game opened with Thomas Telford taking the ball forward. After working the ball down their left, they won a foul on the edge of the box, which was played to the back post but put it wide. In their first attack, Hampton would put the ball wide for Harris Williams who laid the ball off to Matthew Groves, who’s shot would go fast and low past the Thomas Telford keeper and into the corner of the net. The chances would start to come thick and fast as both sides began carving through the defence and forcing covering tackles. Hampton didn’t wait long before equalising, as Lewis Adams drove down to the by-line before hitting a cross that would slip through the keepers’ hands and the defence weren’t able to stop the ball crossing the line, putting the score at one a piece after only ten minutes.
As the half developed, Hampton looked to exploit their numerical advantage on the wing as Thomas Telford played a 3-5-2 formation. However, the three centre backs deployed by Thomas Telford would be able to deal with the crosses easily. There was a struggle in the first half for clear cut chances as both teams closed down well. With half time fast approaching there would be one more chance for Hampton as Matthew Groves played the ball to Jules Lockey who’s shot would flash narrowly past the post.
The second half opened with both sets of players looking sluggish as they played direct football that would produce little in the way of chances. As the game went on, Thomas Telford would find their success from dangerous crosses. Kai Mascord played a dangerous ball in, with just ten minutes to play, that would find Lewis Dickenson just four yards from goal but he would somehow find a way to miss the chance. As full time approached, Mascord swung another ball onto the head of Dickenson but the goalkeeper managed to claw it off the line. Unfortunately for the keeper, Jay Hinks was on hand to head the ball home and put Thomas Telford in front. With only added time to play it seemed that Hampton wouldn’t be able to come back, however, they had the ball in the net in added time but it was chopped off by the referee for a foul during the build-up.
ESFA U14 PlayStation Schools' Cup for B Teams
Sandbach School 2 - 2 Hampton School (4 - 3 after penalties)
The game opened with the feel of a cup final. Both teams had brought strong supports and even stronger teams. Although the opening twenty minutes didn’t produce any goals, there were numerous chances that produced great saves. The opening goal came from a through ball to Sandbach’s Dan Williams, who was closing in on the keeper before blasting a shot into the goalkeeper and off himself again before finding its way into the far corner, truly the luck of champions. With only five minutes to play before the half, Hampton would be camped in the Sandbach half. This left space in behind the defence that Ben Potter would run into before taking the ball to the by-line and floating a cross to the back post where James Johnson would battle with the defender before connecting and putting the ball in the back of the net.
The teams would re-emerge and both sides looked reinvigorated by the break. Sandbach would have the first of the chances through their winger James Johnson beating his man and playing dangerous crosses. Hampton defended with determination and looked to hit on the break at any opportunity. They managed to create space for Rohan Sahota by pressing the defence. There was a mishit clearance by the Sandbach defender that would allow Sahota to capitalise on a mix up between the goalkeeper and defenders, to slot the ball into the back of the net. As the game wore on weary legs and wild winds would make working the ball quickly a challenge. Hampton were awarded a corner kick, which caught in the wind and fell to a man on the edge of the area whose shot would cannon back off the bar. With only extra time left to play it seemed that Sandbach had the game tied up until Hampton struck a late leveller through Rohan Sahota to take the game to penalties. The shoot-out would begin with back to back misses, followed by Sandbach scoring their remaining penalties. Hampton had matched Sandbach until their final penalty, which hit the joint of the crossbar and the post.
ESFA U16 Inter County Cup for Boys
Hampshire 1 -0 Nottinghamshire
The match started with Hampshire controlling the ball. They had an early chance when Alex Cassells crossed the Daniel Bonavia but his shot would hit the post to be clutched by a great full goalkeeper. JJ McKiernan would have the next chance after rolling past two Nottinghamshire defenders and forcing a spectacular low save from Owen Broadley. Nottinghamshire then ran down the other end and had a good attempt themselves as Jimmy Rafferty sent a fizzing shot just past the post. Following a spell of each team trying to dissect the other, Nottinghamshire would get the first clear cut chance. Ross McParland was played through and managed to square the ball to Jake Wright but his shot was blocked spectacularly by Alfie Davies. The first half ended in a draw as neither side would be able to put the finishing touches to their chances.
The sides re-emerged for half time with both teams instantly re-establishing their tempo and attacking flair. Hampshire would be the more attacking side, with Cassell, McKiernan and Bonavia linking effectively. The decisive goal would eventually come from a well worked move down the right. A high cross from Jacob Phrachai was be controlled in the area by JJ McKiernan, who tuned and shot with power in to the bottom left corner. As the game moved into the final blows, Hampshire’s Stanley Wise would show his quality down the left, beating his man a number of times. Jimmy Rafferty would show great ability with his defensive positioning and distribution of the ball. The game would be a fight till the end but the referees’ whistle would close the game and crown Hampton as the ESFA Under 16 Inter County Champions.
The ESFA would like to congratulate all winners that were crowned. Thanks to all the supporters, parents and more that took the time to come to the matches and contribute to a brilliant atmosphere.
There is one more day to go at Stoke City. There are four finals to be played on Saturday and they are all available to watch live on the ESFA's youtube channel.