Essex 2-0 London, Thursday 15th September 2016, Kick-Off 7:30pm, Mayesbrook Park, Under 18s Representative Friendly.
Well-taken first-half goals from Afolabi Moronkesi and Max Watters were enough to seal a win for boss Graham Hall’s Essex Under 18s side as they sampled their first taste of new-season action, defeating neighbours London 2-0 in a friendly at Barking FC’s Mayesbrook Park.
Preparations commenced for the start of the East Anglian Counties Championship campaign – which kicks-off against Suffolk at Stanway Rovers FC on 29th September – and the home county will certainly feel full value for their win having dominated much of the play.
An early opportunity saw Watters’ low, 20-yard drive pushed away by visiting goalkeeper Morgan Campbell before another long-range effort handed Essex a 17th-minute lead. Moronkesi picked-up a loose ball outside the area and smashed a drive into the left-hand corner. Essex’s Warren Kayembe then saw his angled drive well saved by Campbell before London’s first half-chance saw Devante Irving-Young’s dipping shot drop just over the crossbar.
The second Essex goal arrived on 28 minutes, Watters ultimately sealing the contest as he side-footed home at the far post after Moronkesi’s excellent run and centre had created the opportunity. Further first-half openings went the way of the home side as Jayde Abraham neatly turned and fired just over from the edge of the box and Watters brought another decent stop from Campbell.
A slip in the Essex rearguard allowed Kyle McDowell an effort on goal, but the forward dragged his shot disappointingly wide of the post. With just moments to go before the interval, a good ball from Essex’s Kayembe found Moronkesi, who fired inches off-target.
The second period was a quieter affair, though not without a number of substitutions as both sides looked to run the rule over some of their players. Much of the action arrived inside the final 15 minutes. A chance for London went to Teddy Deverson, whose 20-yard effort deflected just over the top, before a fine shot on the turn from Essex’s Moronkesi tested Campbell.
Essex substitute Godfrey Kambaza was at the heart of the final exchanges. Firstly he brought another decent stop from Campbell before, in the final throes of the contest, stabbing just too high following good work from Abraham.
Essex: Ibrahim Ugradar (Barking Abbey School), Sam Adcock (Hullbridge Sports), Tom Dance (Hullbridge Sports), Toby Aromolaran (Tilbury), Kieran Gore (Thurrock), Olamiji Ayoola (Barking Abbey School), Jayde Abraham (Barking Abbey School), Joel Brown-Bampoe (Barking Abbey School), Warren Kayembe (Aveley), Afolabi Moronkesi (Thurrock), Max Watters (Thurrock). Substitutes (repeated): Neil McClean (Old Southendian), Solomon Ogunwomoju (Thurrock), Godfrey Kambaza (Barking Abbey School).
London (from): Morgan Campbell, Andrew Davies, David Orisatoki, Ryan Mills, Teddy Deverson, Kevin Musinkas, Rafa Corbin, James Hassel-Ward, Ijah Currie-Wilson, Dean Humphrey, Kyle McDowell, Devante Irving-Young, Alfie Young, Martin Olaigbe.
Referee: Farai Hallam (Ilford).
Assistant Referees: Martin Quinn (Ilford) and James Allaoui (Ilford).