In a nervy encounter against a determined Brentwood Town side, ‘Wood’s’ Under 16’s narrowly edged their EJA Cup Semi-Final 2-1 after extra time.
‘Wood’ started on the front foot missing a number of chances before taking the lead through front man Alex Morgan. A wide free kick was met by midfielder Malachy McGovern whose header lacked venom. Everyone expected the Brentwood keeper to comfortably claim the loose ball, but Morgan pounced and nicked the ball in front of Brentwood keeper to give ‘Wood’ a deserved 1-0 lead.
‘Wood’ had a goal disallowed later in half following a bizarre decision from the Referee. After waving down his assistants offside flag, Brentwood lost the ball in midfield and after a smart passage of passing play and a wonderful delivery from Dan Creese was again met by McGovern whose header found the back of the net. The Referee would then consult with his assistant during the celebrations before disallowing the goal for the offside he had previously waved down. ‘Wood’ took their 1-0 lead into the break.
In a second half that lacked any real quality for either side, ‘Wood’ dominated the possession but continuously gave poor free kicks away in positions for Brentwood to put deliveries into the box. ‘Wood’ would come to rue their missed chances and the fouls they were conceding in their own half when a Brentwood free kick wasn’t dealt with in the ‘Wood’ box and a goal mouth scramble was smashed into the back of the net. 1-1.
‘Wood’ continued to dominate proceedings but Brentwood were a constant threat on the counterattack with a new lease of life following their equaliser. However no team could find the goal to settle the tie in normal time so the game entered extra time.
With few clear cut chances throughout the extra time period, a Malachy McGovern shot from outside the box could only be parried by the Brentwood goalkeeper, but he couldn’t get enough behind the ball and the ball crept into the bottom left hand corner of the net. After a nervy last 10 minutes, ‘Wood’ held on for a 2-1 win.
Under 16 Manager Cameron Mawer commented “We were not at our best today by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel a game like today’s we would have perhaps come up short at the beginning of the season. The boys have been fantastic all year and to add this Cup final to the County Cup final they have already reached is fully deserved for their performances.
“When our backs are against the wall, the boys have developed a robustness to get results. And when you take into consideration we have scored 121 goals this season we will always be a threat going forward and will always score goals.
Mawer concluded “Malachy got our winner today which capped off an all round great performance from him. He has been an instrumental player in our team this year and determination today pulled us through when we needed him most. He was involved in both our goals and also had another disallowed with his goal tally now up to 20 for the season which is a fantastic contribution from midfield. A huge well done to all the boys and we now look forward to a big end of the season with not just 2 but 10 finals to go in 7 weeks.”