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Five-star Essex canter past Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 13:36 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:36 17 March 2017

Essex under-18s were convincing winners over their Cambridgeshire rivals (pic essexfa.com)

Essex under-18s were convincing winners over their Cambridgeshire rivals (pic essexfa.com)

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Cambridgeshire 1 Essex 5

Essex under-18s cantered to an East Anglian Counties Championship win after five first-half goals put the home county to the sword at Soham Town Rangers last night.

Sam Mvemba, Jayde Abraham, Solomon Ogunwomoju, Max Watters and Toby Aromolaran handed the visitors an unassailable lead by the break, before Tom Thurlbourne pulled one back for the hosts in a far less eventful second period.

And the win lifts Essex into second place in the table with Graham Hall’s side hoping they still have a chance of catching leaders Norfolk when they visit Coggeshall Town on April 20.

The first chance of the evening actually fell the way of Cambridgeshire as skipper Jake Jefferson curled wide on four minutes, but Essex soon got hold of the contest and took the lead 10 minutes later as Abraham’s corner was headed in by Mvemba.

Shortly afterwards the away side came close to a second when another Abraham corner was again met by Mvemba but, this time, Ben Hagger was on hand to clear off the goal line.

It was 2-0 on 18 minutes when Abraham picked up a cut-back, wriggled into space and lashed a shot into the roof of the net.

A chance for Cambridgeshire saw Jefferson run across the edge of the penalty area before his deflected drive dropped wide, but Essex goalkeeper Jai Lewis then made a sharp stop, with Jordan Foster chipping a loose ball goalward only for Misha Djemaili to clear off the line.

Essex grabbed a fine third goal with 39 minutes played as Nathan Douglas’ excellent right-flank cross was met by a superb header from Ogunwomoju, which fell inside the near post.

Two minutes later Essex notched a fourth, with the ball finding its way to Watters inside the six-yard box and he finished calmly with a low shot into the far corner.

If the fourth goal hadn’t sealed the win, a fortuitous fifth on the stroke of half time certainly did as Aromolaran’s mishit shot seemed harmless, but bobbled beneath Lewis Fairley and rolled into the net.

With Essex firmly in the driving seat, it was little surprise that the second period brought very little in the way of chances.

Cambridgeshire’s Foster screwed an angled drive just wide moments before the home side pulled a goal back on 68 minutes, as Thurlbourne found space to plant a low drive into the far corner.

Essex went close to a sixth 19 minutes from time, as Aromolaran latched on to a through ball, cut inside and forced a fine save from substitute ‘keeper Kieran Petty.

Essex: Jai Lewis (Rowhedge/Brightlingsea Regent), Nathan Douglas (AFC Hornchurch), Sam Mvemba (AFC Hornchurch), Kieran Gore (Thurrock), Olamiji Ayoola (AFC Hornchurch), Misha Djemaili (AFC Hornchurch), Jayde Abraham (AFC Hornchurch), Harry Hart (Hullbridge Sports), Solomon Ogunwomoju (Thurrock/Aveley), Toby Aromolaran (Tilbury), Max Watters (Thurrock). Substitutes (repeated): Tyler Richardson (Shenfield School), Ibrahim Ugradar (AFC Hornchurch), Godfrey Kambaza (AFC Hornchurch), Connor Malloy (Saffron Walden Town).

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