Durham 0 v 3 Essex,
Saturday 25th January 2014, Hebburn School, Kick-Off 9:15am,
English Schools FA Under 18s Inter-County Competition Semi-Final.
By Phil Sammons
TWO outstanding long-range strikes by Yeshaya Lomotey sealed Essex a place in the national final at the Ricoh Arena is Coventry in March following a comfortable victory in the last four of the English Schools FA Under 18s Inter-County Competition.
Due to continual rainfall in the north-east, the match was played at Hebburn School on a 3G surface with a 9:15am kick-off, which will have been the earliest many of the boys had ever played a competitive fixture. The initial exchanges were dominated by Durham and they, in fact, had the first real chance after 5 minutes. As the game settled down, both sides enjoyed their fair share of the play and the half time scoreline of 0-0 was a true reflection of the match.
Three minutes after the break, Lomotey gained possession and, from around 30 yards, he hit a wonder strike into the roof of the net. Durham responded to going a goal down and dominated the play for an extended period, but the hosts found Essex’s defenders hard to break down as they were limited to efforts from distance.
Essex always looked threatening on the break and, with five minutes to go, Jamie Hubit scored at the far post to put the visitors into a comfortable position. Two minutes later Lomotey sealed the match with another excellent strike from outside the box, meaning the Essex boys could look forward to another national schools final.
Essex: Luke Avenell (Colne Community College), Tyler Hubbard (Harris Academy), Mark Onyemah (Harris Academy), Luke Read (Barking Abbey), Christian Mbulu (Barking Abbey), Ellis Ashworth (St Martin’s), Liam Smith (Shenfield High), Rob Livett (Barking Abbey), Abbaise Walker (Barking Abbey), Sean Clare (Rushcroft), Jordan Clark (Havering Sixth Form). Substitutes (rotated): AJ Adelekan (Valentines High), Martynas Saltenis (Barking Abbey), Declan Rydings (Harris Academy), Jamie Hubit Luke (Barking Abbey), Yeshaya Lomotey (Shenfield High).