Essex boss upset by defeat
EA Counties U16s ChampionshipCambridgeshire 1 Essex 0ESSEX boss Dave Agass was left disappointed after his Under 16s side slipped to a single-goal defeat to Cambridgeshire in the East Anglian Counties Championship, claiming: “It was a great game, in which I'm bitterly disappointed to have lost.
EA Counties U16s Championship
Cambridgeshire 1 Essex 0
ESSEX boss Dave Agass was left disappointed after his Under 16s side slipped to a single-goal defeat to Cambridgeshire in the East Anglian Counties Championship, claiming: “It was a great game, in which I'm bitterly disappointed to have lost.”
In a terrifically contested affair on a smooth Milton Road pitch, a solitary Ryan Ingrey goal in the second half proved the fine dividing line between the teams, with Agass continuing: “In the end it was just one mistake that has cost us, but Cambridgeshire were a very good side. They played some great football, but so did we and everyone seems to agree that a draw would have been a fair reflection on the game.”
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“We had a header in the second half which a few of the boys believe was over the line, but I've no complaints about that, it's just a shame we couldn't have been rewarded for our performance against a strong Cambridgeshire side who should now go on and win the competition.”
It was the visitors who took the game to their hosts early on, and a fantastic 50-yard run from Harry Larner culminated in Ross Lamb's acrobatic effort being well saved by Cambridge 'keeper Mark Winstone. The stopper was then on-song again soon afterwards to nicely block Lamb's angled drive before Senol Demirbala sent a dipping 20-yard volley inches over the top for the away team.
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Essex skimmed the crossbar mid-way through the opening period after Christy O'Donoghue's corner was flicked goalward and Larner later fired an effort just too high following a teasing O'Donoghue centre. But, as the half progressed, Cambridge began to come alive themselves and Luke Parkinson tested the gloves of Lewis Lockyer from 25 yards prior to Daniel Stopher sending strike inches wide on the stroke of half-time.
The home side's late first half momentum continued after the interval and a good move saw Jonathan Milne stab over the top following a neat run and pull back from Parkinson before the decisive goal arrived just five minutes after the restart. Reece Meyer was dispossessed by the left corner flag and Parkinson brilliantly teed-up Ingrey who planted a low shot beneath Essex goalkeeper Lockyer from six yards.
Essex responded well, but Winstone did well to cling onto Larner's header from a Jay Nash corner right on the goal-line having previously pushed a stinging Nash shot around the post. Jack Higgs' lob was also well held by Lockyer and, with only a minute remaining, Agass' boys had a chance to level when Pele Salmon cleverly flicked the ball into the penalty area but Daniel Tcheko's poked shot was just wide of the target.
There was still time for Cambridge to create a final chance too, though, and substitute 'keeper Adeoye Adekoyejo impressively got down to deny Ben Smith from an acute angle which proved academic at full time.
Essex: Lewis Lockyer (Chelmsford City), Christy O'Donoghue (Thurrock), Jamie Dicks (Chelmsford City), Harry Larner (Dagenham & Redbridge), Gareth Madden (Thurrock), Jake Brown (Maldon Town), Reece Meyer (Dagenham & Redbridge), Ryan Kay (Mauritius Sports & Pennant), Billy Rainford (Dagenham & Redbridge), Pele Salmon (Dagenham & Redbridge), Senol Demirbala (Mauritius Sports & Pennant). Substitutes (rotating): Scott McKenna (Broomfield), Adeoye Adekoyejo (Dagenham & Redbridge), Daniel Tcheko (London United), Ross Lamb (Chelmsford City), Jay Nash (Chelmsford City).
Cambridgeshire: Mark Winstone (Histon), Alex Day (Histon), Daniel Stopher (Willingham Wolves), Scott Everdell (Histon), Sam Hearn (Histon), Jonathan Milne (Chesterton Eagles), George Tolliday (Histon), Robbie Dance (Histon), Ryan Ingrey (Histon), Jack Sessions (Histon), Jack Higgs (Histon). Substitutes (rotating): Luke Parkinson (Willingham Wolves), Joe Asensi (Histon), Rhys Williams (Histon), Harri Hawkins (Histon), Ben Smith (Willingham Wolves).