School Sport: Essex complete clean sweep
PUBLISHED: 10:32 27 May 2015
SEESFA Under16s: Inner London 0 Essex 2
The Essex County Schools FA completed a clean sweep of the South East England Schools FA (SEESFA) competitions when their under-16 boys recorded an impressive victory over Inner London at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.
Alex Clark set Essex on their way early in the second half with a sensational strike before an own goal 11 minutes later sealed the success and meant the county added to the titles already won at under-14, under-15 and under-18s boys level and in the under-14 and under-16 girls’ categories.
“The boys were absolutely superb,” claimed coach Carl Papworth. “It was a great performance and we were very professional throughout the game.
“We started off slowly and grew into it, but our discipline defensively was superb.
“It’s amazing for the boys to have played at Craven Cottage. Thank you to Inner London for organising it. It’s been a great experience for the boys and one they’ll take on for the rest of their lives. They’ll never forget it.”
Despite their eventual triumph, Essex had to weather an early storm as their opponents carved out their first opportunity after just six minutes when Ijah Currie-Wilson squared the ball to Dylan Bolisier eight yards from goal.
Full-back Charlie Seadon saw the danger and made an excellent covering challenge to block.
Four minutes later goalkeeper Will Gibbon made his first save of the match, easily gathering Bolisier’s 25-yard shot at his near post.
And the St Clere’s schoolboy made a more impressive intervention on the quarter-hour mark to block Mothibi Penn-Kekana’s effort low to his left before the follow-up was scrambled to safety.
Essex’s first opening arrived in the 26th minute when Robert Clack’s Godfrey Kambaza worked hard to win the ball on the right flank and moved it on to Sam Warwick.
He picked out Clack’s Obina Obi and his flicked pass found its way through to Kambaza, who held off a defender to fire wide.
Play immediately switched to the opposite end, where Harvey Brinkley’s lofted pass dropped into the path of Kayne Roberts, only for the forward to snatch at the opportunity and blast over when well placed.
On the stroke of half time, Warwick was similarly off-target from captain Jake Brocklebank’s pass, but it was the visitors’ defensive work that had impressed their manager.
“We were under the cosh and they had a lot of the ball in the first 20-25 minutes, but we knew our plan and had prepared for the game and we followed the plan through,” added Papworth, who was delighted to see his team take the lead three minutes after the interval.
The goal was an outstanding individual effort from Chafford School’s Clark, who received the ball on the right-hand side from Seadon’s throw-in.
Clark brought the ball under control and then drove past a defender before smashing the ball into the corner of the net past a stationary Charlie Beadley.
Papworth added: “Alex Clark scored a great goal and he’s a very talented individual. It was fantastic the way he cut inside and then, when he struck it, the ‘keeper had no chance and he didn’t move.
“When we didn’t have the ball, we got behind the ball and then broke with pace. We hit the post in the second half as well, so it could’ve been three.”
The second goal arrived on 54 minutes as Warwick slid the ball into the path of Kambaza. He drifted in from the left-hand side and, when his initial shot was parried by Beadley, the pressure exerted by the Clack pupil forced centre-half Penn-Kekana to find the roof of his own net with his clearance.
Essex could’ve added a third when two substitutes combined, with All Saints’ Emmanuel Kouassi slipping the ball through to Ayo Oyelola, who steered his shot goalwards, before a crucial fingertip from Beadley’s outstretched left hand pushed the ball against the base of the post.
Deep into stoppage time Brinkley headed across the face of goal and the dangerous Bolisier glanced another aerial effort wide, but there was to be no comeback from Inner London.
Papworth confirmed that defeat in their previous outing had brought about resolve in his squad and, after watching his charges gleefully lift the trophy, he added: “It was a massive learning curve to have been 3-0 up and losing 4-3 against Hertfordshire in our last match.
“It really came home to roost for the boys and they learnt a lot from that day, and we emphasised that in training.”
Essex: Will Gibbon (St Clere’s), Charlie Seadon (Fitzwimarc), Toby Aromolaran (Harris Academy), Jake Brocklebank (Coopers Coborn), Ally Grant-Browning (St Thomas More), Ola Ayoola (Barking Abbey), Godfrey Kambaza (Robert Clack), Sam Smith (Trinity), Sam Warwick (William de Ferrers), Obina Ola (Robert Clack), Alex Clark (Chafford). Substitutes (repeated): Kacper Fraszczak (St Thomas More), George Cox (King John), Frank Craik (St Thomas More), Mark Omotobora (Eastbury), Ayo Oyelola (King Edward Grammar), Emmanuel Koussi (All Saints).
Inner London: Charlie Beadley (Thomas Tallis), Harvey Brinkley (Thomas Tallis), Kai Mason (Stoke Newington), Malik Onwugbowu (Kingsdale), Romani Edmonds-Green (Kingsdale), Mothbi Penn-Kekana (Kingsdale), Dylan Bolisier (St Aloyius), Deon Moore (Elmgreen), Ijah Currie-Wilson (Thomas Tallis), Kayne Roberts (Kingsdale), Bradley Kauzeni (Haberdashers). Substitutes (repeated): Kevin Nkuadio (Ernest Bevin), Gairy Howard McNally (St Matthews), Paul Kalombayi (Charter), Martin Keys (Raines Foundation), Sang-Pierre Gomez (St Aloyius), Emmanuel Omore (St Thomas Apostle).