Barking & Dagenham boys book Lester Finch final spot
- Credit: BDSFA
Barking & Dagenham's district boys took their winning run to seven games with a 3-0 win at Greenwich in the Lester Finch Trophy semi-finals.
The hosts were eager to make amends for defeat at Riverside in the Crisp Shield earlier in the season and put Barking & Dagenham under early pressure.
But the visitors weathered the storm as captain Lesecond Yeutembip - aided by Jahcorey Blair-Charles and Ibrahim Msabah - built a wall in the centre of the pitch, forcing the hosts to attack from wide.
St Peter's duo Denzel Decardi-Nelson and Chinoso Ibeh quickly turned South London forays into East London counter-attacks, with Decardi-Nelson crossing for William Ford's Chibuzo Okoli to volley and bring a fine save from the home keeper.
Ibeh brushed aside the Greenwich left-back to cross for Okoli who, once again, saw his shot saved and the rebound blazed wide by Decardi-Nelson with the goal gaping.
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The hosts had no answer to Ibeh's power and pace and another bludgeoning run and cross after 20 minutes was cleared by the panicking Greenwich defence.
The resulting Decardi-Nelson corner was partially cleared, rebounding to the St Peter's pupil who made no mistake in rifling a low right-foot shot into the bottom corner.
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More mayhem down the right from Ibeh produced yet another dangerous cross, but Blair-Charles and Decardi-Nelson couldn't quite finish it off.
Okoli also shot just wide and had a penalty shout on the stroke of half-time as it remained at 1-0.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first, with Greenwich laying siege to the visitor's goal.
Preferring to attack on their stronger left side, the hosts met Northbury's Ruari Stanton in equally determined mood and a string of interceptions and strong tackles turned defence into attack.
It remained 1-0 and tense, with a 25-yard Greenwich shot coming back off the crossbar, before Yeutembip rallied his troops and made a series of marauding runs deep into home territory.
One such run was abruptly ended on 45 minutes for a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and top scorer Decardi-Nelson saw his free-kick take a slight deflection before nestling in the bottom corner for his 17th goal of the season.
Greenwich poured forward in search of a way back, with the best chance on 51 minutes forcing a superb double save from Grafton keeper George Miller but George Miller.
A low cross into the danger area looked certain to halve the deficit, but Stanton was on hand to block the first attempt and follow-up.
Pushing forward left the hosts vulnerable to the counter and Barking & Dagenham sealed victory on 58 minutes when Blair-Charles played the ball up the left wing to Decardi-Nelson, who crossed for Ibeh to smash home a left-footed volley for a deserved goal.
Barking will meet Chelmsford & Mid-Essex in the final on July 21.
Barking & Dagenham: George Miller (Grafton), Marvellous Oppong (Northbury), Ibrahim Msabah (George Carey), Dexter Douglas (St Vincent's), Chinoso ibeh (St Peter's), Lesecond Yeutembip (Northbury), Jahcorey Blair-Charles (George Carey), Denzel Decardi-Nelson (St Peter's), Chibuzo Okoli (William Ford), Ruari Stanton (Northbury), Joel Ladegbaye (George Carey), Jayden Ikechukwu (St Vincent's).