Solomon’s brace sets up Essex success
PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 January 2017
Essex 5 West Midlands Met 2
Barking Abbey’s Solomon Ogunwomoju netted twice as a rampant second-half performance saw Essex Schools under-18s overcome West Midlands Metropolitan to reach the semi-finals of the English Schools’ Inter-County Trophy.
Essex took an early lead through Ogunwomoju but, despite enjoying much of the first-half play, they found themselves trailing by the break thanks to two goals inside a minute from Kartel O’Neil-Martin and Leonardo De Silva Torres.
However, a quickfire double by the hosts edged them back ahead thanks to Ogunwomoju and Misha Djemali and further goals from Toby Aromolaran and Max Watters sealed a place in the final four.
Essex started brightly and Watters saw an early shot blocked before the rebound was deflected wide.
Ogunwomoju then side-footed against a post following a Nathan Douglas cross and saw a curling effort deflected just wide prior to handing Essex the lead, finishing from close range having got on the end of another Douglas centre.
Two chances for West Midlands saw Shuja Mahmood’s turn and shot bring a good save from Ibrahim Ugradar before the home goalkeeper clung on to O’Neil-Martin’s long-ranger.
Then, on 32 minutes, the visitors levelled as O’Neil-Martin fired a fierce, 20-yard effort home and a defensive slip moments later handed the away side the lead, with De Silva Torres slipping in to finish into an empty net.
The hosts wasted no time in responding after the interval as Aromolaran dragged a 15-yard effort wide within three minutes, before the equaliser arrived on 53 minutes as Watters pulled a low ball into the box and Ogunwomoju found space to drill into a corner.
Within a minute the tie had turned around as Djemali latched onto a ball over the top and lobbed ‘keeper Archie Atolo into the back of the net.
It was 4-2 two minutes later as Aromolaran curled a fine effort into the top corner from 20 yards and the win was sealed on 67 minutes, with Watters grabbing Essex’s fifth as he slotted the ball beyond onrushing Atolo.
There were chances for the hosts to extend the lead as Ogunwomoju fired an angled effort wide and Tyler Richardson curled just off-target.
The final opportunity fell to West Midlands, with Mehmood finding himself through on goal but striking narrowly wide of the post.
The draw for the semi-finals will be made on January 16.
Essex: Ibrahim Ugradar (Barking Abbey), Nathan Douglas (Barking Abbey), Sam Mvemba (Barking Abbey), Kieran Gore (Shenfield), Olamiji Ayoola (Barking Abbey), Toby Aromolaran (Harris Academy), Jayde Abraham (Barking Abbey), Misha Djemali (Barking Abbey), Emile Acquah (Southend High), Max Watters (Shenfield), Solomon Ogunwomoju (Barking Abbey). Substitutes (repeated): Reece Latimer (Seevic), Warren Kayembe (Barking Abbey), Godfrey Kambaza (Barking Abbey), Humza Sheikh (Barking Abbey), Tyler Richardson (Shenfield).
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