Essex come unstuck
PUBLISHED: 10:45 06 March 2015
East Anglian Championship: Cambs 4 Essex 2
Despite two well-taken Malaki Toussaint goals, Essex’s under-18s came unstuck in Cambridgeshire as they fell to defeat at Ely City’s Unwin Ground.
The game started at a frantic pace and the hosts led 2-1 within just six minutes before grabbing a third midway through the half.
Essex eventually hauled themselves back into the contest with 11 minutes to go, but Cambridgeshire sealed the win in added time.
The home side’s early lead arrived inside 90 seconds as Lewis Clayton’s right-flank corner was flicked into the path of Spencer Saberton, who nodded home.
But within three minutes, Essex were level, Toussaint picking up a throw-in and firing a fine effort inside the far post.
The hosts were back ahead quickly thanks to another angled drive as Joe Carden found the bottom corner and the third goal then arrived with 26 minutes played as Charlie Woolf’s through ball picked out Carden, who rounded Essex goalkeeper Ellis Holiday before slotting home.
That goal was, perhaps, a little harsh on Essex, who had been pressing, but Holiday was soon required to make a smart stop from Luke Brown.
Another half chance soon went the way of Cambridgeshire when a long ball over the top found Brown, but the striker’s mis-hit effort was gathered by Holiday.
The first chance of the second half went the way of the home side as Brown neatly turned on the edge of the area, with his half-volley bringing a save from Holiday.
As Essex looked to get back into the game and on top of proceedings, Hornchurch’s Owen Edobor pulled a fine cross back from the goal line which clubmate Jamie Cartney-Chand flicked on for Ruben Duarte to fire over.
And Duarte went close again, turning Cartney-Chand’s low ball just wide of the near post before a long ball forward found the run of Cambridgeshire’s Brown, who saw his delayed shot excellently blocked by Kye Jude.
The visitors were soon pressing again and Toussaint’s 25-yard free kick bounced back off the angle of crossbar and post before the Essex midfielder did grab his second of the night as his low drive arrowed into the bottom corner.
The home side sealed victory in the second minute of stoppage time, though, as Essex ‘keeper Holiday dallied on a backpass and Joshua Hales capitalised to divert his clearance into the net.
Essex: Ellis Holiday (East Thurrock United), Shaun Warren (Mayflower School), Rauri McIntyre (Great Wakering Rovers), Kye Jude (Burnham Ramblers), Jamie Price (East Thurrock United), Lee Green (Braintree Town), Malaki Toussaint (Great Wakering Rovers), Darren Owusu (Harris Academy), Owen Edobor (AFC Hornchurch), Jamie Cartney-Chand (AFC Hornchurch), Ruben Duarte (Tilbury). Substitutes (repeated): Charlie Spalding (Tilbury), Jake Hendy (Havering Sixth Form College), Joe Cutmore (Shenfield School).