ESFA National Finals 2018 - Stoke City, Day 3
Monday 14 May 2018By ESFA Office
Saturday 12 May 2018
A day of Rep Team football on Saturday 12 May for ESFA Finalists
PlayStation U14 Inter County Cup for Boys
Kent CSFA 0 - 3 Merseyside CSFA
The game saw two very evenly matched sides going up against each other and playing excellent football. Kent had the better of the opening chances, crafting opportunities for Nik Krstanovic and Fin Rutherford, however, the opening goal went to Merseyside. Following a Kent corner kick, David Pellegrini closed down outside his box, then intercepted a pass on the half way line. He used his pace and strength well to get goal side of the defender and curled the ball past the keeper to give Merseyside the one goal lead. After the goal both sides continued to show their desire to play the ball on the ground and wait for their chances. Merseyside kept hold of the ball excellently, with intricate passing play. Kent looked to spread the ball over the pitch and try to exploit the flanks. The game only increased in pace after the goal, with both sides looking to grind the other down. Mersyside worked to tire the Kent side who played a magnificent high press as Kent attempted to force the Mersyside team into a physical battle that they clearly wanted to avoid. Kent were presented with a great chance with five minutes left in the half as Gus Barnes crossed to Nik Krstanovic, who hit his shot down the middle into the grateful arms of Owen Mooney.
As the sides re-emerged from the tunnel after the break it quickly became apparent that Merseyside had changed their system. Their midfield had dropped deeper and their attack was much narrower than previously. Their change paid dividends as early in the half as they denied Kent passing opportunities and gave greater support to David Pellegrini. Shortly Pellegrini would turn provider, after closing down the centre backs, a spill from the goalkeeper allowed him to pick out Lee Jonas on the edge of the area to roll the ball into an empty net. Kent came alive after the second goal, with their attack shifting up a gear. Oliver Sexton made a powerful run past two men on the edge of the area before the shot was smothered by Owen Mooney. Sexton then provided the next opportunity when he played an exquisite pass into the feet of Luca Borrello. Borrello then hit a low hard cross to the back post that Brook Ellis fell narrowly short of. Merseyside extended their lead to three after some lovely passing play found Jamie Timlin in space on the left side of the field. The young attacked then hit a shot with phenomenal curl and dip that left the goalkeeper no chance, as it started above the crossbar and landed in the far bottom corner of the net.
PlayStation Under 14 Inter County Cup for Girls
Kent CSFA 0 - 4 Lancashire CSFA
Both sides came into the game with prestigious records in this tournament, having played in the final last year. The game opened slowly with both sides looking to build into the game. The first chance fell to Lancashire, when Rebecca Beresford who curled a shot at goal the hit the inside of both posts before being cleared. This gave Lancashire confidence to grow from as they started to control the possession. A deft pass from Bethany McDonald put Tigana Gent in on goal as she side footed the ball past the keeper and into the bottom right corner to give Lancashire the lead. The game opened up after the goal with both sides looking to score. Lancashire got a corner kick which they took short to ESFA U15 international, Alyssa Mae Aherne, who curled an unexpected high shot from the corner of the area into the far top corner of the net. The spectacular goal doubled Lancashire’s Lead and gave Kent an uphill battle. Lancashire had put the ball in the net for a third time after the Kent keeper spilled a shot from Aherne into the path of Gent, however, the goal was be ruled out for offside, as the sides ultimately neutralise each other for the final few minutes of the half.
The two sides emerged for the second half and Kent looked the hungrier of the two sides. The Lancashire side passed the ball slowly at first and it gave Kent a number of chances to disrupt their rhythm. The first opportunity of the half came to Gent, who would beat the left back before working the keeper with a strong shot. A few minutes later Get managed to close down a clearance from Charlie Casey that wrong footed the goalkeeper and rolled into the bottom corner of the net. Gent would act as the focal point for the Lancashire attack, as she carved chances for herself and those around her. With ten minutes to play Kent looked powerless to resist the Lancashire attack which seemed to have a limitless supply of quality passes from Aherne and Co in the middle. Kent were limited to counter attacking chances in the remainder of the match. Lancashires fourth goal came as time was moving to the end of the match. Bethany MacDonald played an excellent pass to Tigana Gent who hit home her third of the match after a great cross by Jessica Simpson.
Under 16 Inter County Cup for Girls
Essex CSFA 0 - 1 Lancashire CSFA
The game was a tactical affair, with both sides playing a high pace and looking to assert their style on the game. Essex looked to Lauren Hart to dictate the tempo and run their midfield. The first good chance of the match feel to Tia Lissy, who was played through on goal by a long pass from Cara Milne-Redhead. The ball would bounce well for Lissy but the shot was be easily saved by Jessie Burke. Essex crafted a good chance as Poppy Binding played in Robyn Moody, Moody curled an effort toward the top corner but was denied by Lucy Williamson. Ultimately in the half neither side seemed to be able to make a sizable impact as the game produced a pass-based war of attrition. Until in the final moments when Mary Collier stole the ball of the toe of a defender before smashing a shot past the Essex keeper and giving Lancashire the lead at the break.
The match got back under way with both sides looking to regain their momentum. Lancashire will have felt unfairly treated unfairly by the timing of the break. Lancashire, having just taken the lead, were looking to build on their late goal and Essex would have been able to claim their right to the game being level at the half. The first chance of the half came after 58 minutes as Cara Milne-Redhead picked up the ball in a wide right position and crossed to Tahnee Lucas, who worked an angle for a shot that was saved by the goalkeeper. Lancashire had the next chance from a free kick in a dangerous area that was hit hard toward the top corner by Sophie Slater but was denied by an excellent save by Jessie Burke. Essex fashioned the next chance as Poppy Binding gathered a cross on the edge of the area, faked past one player and hit a shot to the keepers right that was stunningly saved. The match remained hard fought until the final whistle but the decisive goal was Mary Colliers’ moment of magic to win Lancashire’s second trophy of the day.
Under 18 Inter County Cup for Boys
Essex CSFA 2 - 1 Humberside CSFA
The day’s fourth and final game saw Essex and Humberside contest the final of the Under 18 Inter County Trophy. The match opened with a game of head tennis between the two sides which many were expecting to come to nothing. However, Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade took the ball down and found Misha Djemili who hit a rocket off his right boot that left the keeper with no chance to save and nestled in the back of the net to give Essex a one goal lead after less than five minutes. Essex continued to have the better of the opening play as they interrupted the passing lanes of Humberside and managed to stop them playing their style of football. Humberside managed to establish themselves in the match as they worked the ball well through Alfie Speed and Archie Brown. They won a freekick for a foul on the prior which the latter whipped into the box. Alex France dummied the ball before being put behind for a corner by the Essex defender. From the resulting corner the head of Levi Tarbolton, whose header cannoned of the joint of the bar and post and out away from danger. Essex would find the majority of their success down the left side of the field through Sam Mvemba and Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade who had an excellent link though out the half.
The sides re-emerged for the second half with both teams looking bright. Humberside’s Denis Istrate showed good feet to work a chance down the right early on. The first clear cut chance of the half fell to Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade, after Kieran Southgate carved some space for a cross and the intelligent striker cut in front of his man but his shot was smothered by the brave Reece Elliott. Essex put the ball in the net after Albert Keith found Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade in on goal and he finished coolly but the flag went up for offside. From the resulting free kick Humberside worked the ball wide and get Archie Brown inside the box who was brought down by Jake Joliffe for a penalty. Brown stepped up to take the spot kick and hit the ball into the top left corner of the net to level the scores. Brown got on the end of another great chance after Josh Walker played a low cross into the box that the goal scorer would fire low at the keeper. James Scammell showed his quality flying low into the corner to push the ball round the post and keep the scores level. Essex responded quickly with Callum Fitzer swinging a dangerous cross that Kieran Southgate hit toward goal. Reece Elliott got a strong hand to the ball but it would keep moving toward the net, Matty Owen beat Southgate in a footrace to the ball and send it to safety. With only three minutes to play when Albert Keith played the ball to Afolabi Soyemi-Ololade who was in plenty of space and had the goal begging but failed to make proper contact with the ball. There was a dramatic late winner for Essex as the pushed forward and Tajudeen Salawu cut the ball back to the penalty spot to be met by the onrushing Misha Djemili who mashed the ball beyond the keeper for his second of the match with the last kick of the game.
The ESFA sends it thanks to all the spectators, family and friends who came along to create a special atmosphere. We would like to pass our commiserations to all the runners up from our national finals and thank them for their passion and for contributing to some brilliant games of football. the ESFA would like to thank all the match officials from the finals who helped contribute to a special day. Finally, Congratulations are also in order for the twelve newly crowned National Champions who all put on excellent displays in the tournaments and produced some excellent moments.