Essex youngsters win warm-up
PUBLISHED: 12:49 12 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:49 12 September 2014
Under-18 friendly: London 2 Essex 3
Essex Under-18s prepared for their the new season with a fine win against neighbours London in a friendly at Cray Valley yesterday.
Barking Abbey College Owen Edobor was on target, along with Sean Clare and Charlie Little, as Essex warmed up for their competitive opener against the Amateur Football Alliance in the FA County Youth Cup on October 12.
After a tight start, the first chance fell to London’s Harry Wootten, whose low shot was deflected just wide.
Moments later, Shabazz Omefe’s angled effort was cleared off the line by Little, but the visitors grabbed the lead on 30 minutes as Edobor latched onto a ball forward and neatly side-footed past home goalkeeper Brad Morgan.
London’s Joe Cennamo fired a good chance inches wide of the near post before Essex twice went close to doubling their advantage.
Edobor’s low shot was hacked off the line by full-back Hayden Baker and Clare crashed an effort off the foot of the upright, but Graham Hall’s team did not have to wait long to increase their lead as Clare finished off a fine move with a crisp finish on 41 minutes.
The better of the opening second-half exchanges also went the way of the visitors as Malaki Toussaint’s free kick picked out the head of Kye Jude, who forced a fine stop from Charlie Cotterell.
The substitute keeper did well again moments later to block another Edobor effort, after a through ball from fellow Abbey student Paulis Ditkevicious.
London clawed their way back into the contest when halving the deficit on 73 minutes as Grant Lye took the ball past Essex ‘keeper Tyler Bonham before slotting in.
Essex’s two-goal cushion was restored within five minutes, though, as Little turned well in the area and fired a firm low shot beneath Cottrell.
The hosts were not quite finished and an intriguing finish included Kai Brewster’s brilliant, close-range volley which brought the game back to 3-2.
That proved to be the end of the scoring, but both teams enjoyed a good workout ahead of the new season, with London set to make the trip to Guernsey for their match in the national FA County Youth Cup competition.
Essex: Callum Chafer (Hornchurch), Alex Hyslop (Thurrock), Callum Edwards (Plume School), Fahad Nazor (Barking Abbey College), Kye Jude (Burnham Ramblers), Malaki Toussaint (Great Wakering Rovers), Sean Clare (Bishop’s Stortford), Charlie Little (Southend Manor), Owen Edobor (Barking Abbey College), Paulius Ditkevicious (Barking Abbey College), Ross Brazitis (Sudbury). Substitutes: Tyler Bonham (Great Wakering Rovers), Sean Hobbins (Barking Abbey College), Elliott Johnson (Tilbury).