School Sport: Sydney Russell lift Essex Schools’ Cup
PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 May 2015
Dagenham youngsters twice come from behind in triumph
Sydney Russell’s year eight boys football team were crowned Essex champions after a thrilling 4-3 extra-time win over Hutton rivals St Martin’s at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road.
The Dagenham pupils won thanks to strikes from Bradley McClenangham (2), Carlos Sanha Conduto and Dappy Okinabaloye.
And joint-manager Adam Guzda believes the cup win was a reward for the commitment he has seen from the boys this season.
“It’s been a really hard year for us. We had a few serious injuries, but luckily we got a team together and we did the job. We did what we were meant to do and I’m really proud of the boys,” said Guzda.
“They worked really hard during the whole season and in the final they showed their heart as a team.
“A big thanks to the parents, the supporters and Dagenham & Redbridge for letting us use the pitch for the final.”
Sydney Russell went into the break a goal down, but got back on level terms 14 minutes into the second half, sparking a frantic 10 minutes.
McClenangham grabbed his first after tucking home the rebound following Ayobami Tanimowo’s 30-yard drive that crashed against the bar.
St Martin’s retook the lead nine minutes later, but their joy was shortlived as, less than 120 seconds later, McClenangham scored for the second time to level it again.
The game headed into extra-time where Sanha Conduto embarked on a mazy run to put his team in front for the first time, before St Martin’s scored an equaliser.
But victory for the Dagenham school was finally sealed with four minutes remaining when Okinabaloye nodded home.
Guzda was pleased the team kept going until the end, having instructed his players to do exactly that before the match.
“I told them that we needed to play like a Bayern Munich or Real Madrid and play from the first whistle until the last!” he added.
“I told them not to stop for any moment. I reminded them that it only takes a second to score a goal, not several minutes.
“The boys followed that and kept the message in their hearts througjout the game. They were brilliant. Well done to all of them.”
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