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Football: William Edwards win Essex Cup

Marshalls Park School 1-2 William Edwards School, Thursday 12th May 2015, Kick-Off 1:00pm, Victoria Road, Essex Chairman’s Under 13s Schools Trophy Final.

William Edwards completed back-to-back Essex County Schools Cup successes as Marshalls Park were defeated 2-1 at Dagenham & Redbridge FC’s Chigwell Construction Stadium thanks to second-half strikes from Dreh Mensah and Aron Henry.

The Grays-based school beat Highams Park to claim the Ken Aston Under 12s Cup last season and this time they sealed the Chairman’s Under 13s Trophy despite a late consolation from Alfie Parish for Marshalls Park. It also complemented their school’s triumph in the Under 13s Girls competition on penalties at the end of April.

"We’re already looking forward to next year!" proclaimed Mr Reilly after the game. "We’ve already made history at our school by winning back-to-back County Cups and now we want to make Essex history with a third successive win. The only thing we really missed out on this season was the National Cup – we lost in the Quarter-Finals – but we’ll go again next season."

The triumph went to form, with William Edwards enjoying the lion’s share of opportunities. But they had to wait until the second period to move in front. "The boys work hard" reflected Reilly. "That’s not only at school, but also in the clubs and academies they’re part of, and that showed today. It was a great occasion in the sunshine at Dagenham & Redbridge! We were fortunate to have a lot of parents and a coach full of supporters too, so it’s been a great day."

In a goalless first half at Victoria Road, William Edwards went closest to breaking the deadlock. Bradley Greene saw his close-range effort well blocked and Lewis Brougham used his skill to find space to curl an effort just wide before Marshalls Park goalkeeper William Fisher did well to hold onto Iyola Adebayo’s effort following a knock down by Greene.

It was Marshalls Park who created the last opportunity of the first half, though, with Alfie Parrish’s 20-yard free kick dropping just over the crossbar. William Edwards came close to opening the scoring eight minutes after the restart as Jack Churchyard’s header was cleared off the line and, soon afterwards, Brougham’s strong run and shot was kept out by Fisher.

The lead arrived on 61 minutes, however, courtesy of a fine move. Aron Henry’s through ball found the run of Greene and, although his shot was blocked by Fisher, Mensah was on-hand to fire the rebound into the roof of the net.

Mensah’s angled effort later clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over before the lead was doubled with 67 played. Henry’s remarkable 40-yard free kick found the back of the net despite the best efforts of ‘keeper Fisher.

There was a late response from Marshalls Park as Parrish nodded in from Jack Glenister’s dead ball in the eighth minute of added time, but that was the last action of the afternoon as William Edwards toasted their double success.

Marshalls Park (from): William Fisher, Jack Glenister, Luke Chester, Teddy Penn, Sonny Cutts, Finlay Daly, Alfie Parrish, Joshua Holmes, Alfie Fry, Ben Jones, Thomas Greene, Bailie Connelly, Thomas Goodwin, Jack Powell, Joel Bevan.

William Edwards (from): Josh Clarke, Johnny Coyte, Charlie Hare, Harrison Topliss, Ben Steward, Aron Henry, Lewis Brougham, Jack Churchyard, Iyola Adebayo, Dreh Mensah, Kobe Watson, Bradley Bennett, Bradley Greene, Jack Pegram.

Bookings: None.

Referee: Nick Hodges (Hornchurch).

Assistant Referees: Toby Stutley (Romford) and Charlie Roberts (Gidea Park).

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