Essex under-16s edged out in season finale
PUBLISHED: 12:15 07 April 2017
Essex 0 Amateur FA 1
Essex Under-16s ended their first campaign in the South East Counties Youth Championship in disappointing fashion as they fell to a fifth successive defeat to the Amateur Football Alliance at Aveley.
A goal eight minutes into the second half from Alliance skipper Alfie Mason proved the difference as Essex fell agonisingly short of picking up their first points in their new league surroundings.
In what is likely to be the last county representative fixture to be played at the Millers’ historic old home, a slow start to proceedings saw a first-half chance eventually fall to the Alliance.
Firstly, Mason Tunbridge was denied by debutant goalkeeper George Dugdale before Ethan Barton’s a 20-yard effort was deflected wide.
A dipping half-volley from Essex’s second debutant Callum Nightingill, one of four Hornchurch youngsters in the squad, dropped just over the top as the home county began to match their visitors, who had enjoyed the better of the first 20 minutes.
But Mason caused more problems for the visitors as his free kick was gathered well by Dugdale while he also worked his way through on goal, but shot wide under pressure.
The decisive goal on 53 minutes saw Mason slam a low shot into the corner beyond Essex’s replacement ‘keeper Tom Burke after the ball had pinged around inside the penalty area.
But having gone behind, Essex went on to enjoy their best spell as they looked to salvage something from the contest.
Good play from Dantai Demontagnac found Billy Orpwood who sent a shot into the gloves of Alliance’s own substitute goalkeeper, Cameron McAdam, before the stopper was called upon again to keep out Samir Ali’s well-struck drive.
At the other end, Essex’s Burke kept his side in the game as he parried away Jarvis Monk’s firm effort and, a minute from time, McAdam was sent off after picking up a through ball outside of his penalty area.
Initial custodian Jake Bell returned to face Ali’s resulting free-kick with an outfield player sacrificed but, as the set-piece dropped over the crossbar, Essex’s hopes of grabbing anything from the fixture had gone.
Essex: George Dugdale (Essex Schools), Denzel Adebiyi (Grays), Taylor Turner (Great Wakering), Fergal Looney (Maldon & Tiptree), Santana Porter (Thurrock), Kiah Froud (Great Wakering), George Ishmail (Hornchurch), Callum Nightingill (Hornchurch), Samir Ali (Ryan), Dantai Demontagnac (Essex Schools), Furo Gogo-Ibiama (Hornchurch). Substitutes (repeated): Charlie Munns (Hornchurch), Tom Burke (Brentwood Town), Billy Orpwood (Billericay Town).
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