Max Watters treble helps Essex down Kent in SEESFA under-18 Corinthian Casuals Trophy
PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 March 2017
Former Hall Mead pupil will next represent England schoolboys in the Centenary Shield against Scotland on Friday
A Max Watters hat-trick helped Essex Schools twice come from behind to defeat their Kent counterparts in the SEESFA under-18 Corinthian Casuals Trophy at Maplesden Noakes School in Maidstone.
Following his match-winning performance in Kent, the Shenfield High student’s next engagement will be at Cappielow Park as he represents England schoolboys in the Centenary Shield against Scotland at Greenock Morton on Friday evening.
The former Hall Mead pupil will be joined north of the border by Kent’s James O’Halloran, and it was Watters’ national colleague who opened the scoring for the hosts in this fixture as he poked Kent in front from close range on 19 minutes following a neat Connor Watson cut-back.
Prior to that, both sides had exchanged openings as Watson, for the home side, and Toby Aromolaran for Essex saw efforts drop just wide of the target.
Having gone behind, Essex responded well as Solomon Ogunwomoju brought a good save from Chris Baker in the home goal and an excellent long-range Nathan Douglas effort rattled the crossbar, with Tyler Richardson flagged offside as he stabbed home the rebound.
Eight minutes into the second half the visitors did find a leveller, Watters grabbing his first of the evening as he completed a strong run with a wonderful low finish into the far corner. It was the first of three such excellent strikes.
Ogunwomoju hit the post prior to the hosts scrambling clear and after Essex goalkeeper Ibrahim Ugradar had made a superb stop to keep out Billy Lewins.
Kent edged back ahead a minute ahead of the hour as Luke Griffiths steered the ball home from close range, with the Essex defence frantically appealing for offside.
Once again Essex reacted well to going behind and Aromolaran soon forced keeper Baker a into a good stop before a slightly fortuitous leveller on 68 minutes.
Ogunwomoju’s right-wing cross evaded everyone and dropped into the far corner. Initially the goal was flagged offside, but the goal was given after consultation between referee and assistant suggested the cross had landed in the corner unaided.
It was a stroke of fortune the Essex side arguable deserved, and they went on to win the contest with two goals inside five minutes.
Watters put his side ahead on 76 minutes, again arrowing a shot into the far corner having been found by a deep Sam Mvemba ball.
The Barking loanee then completed his trio on 82 as he evaded several challenges and smashed a low drive into the far corner from a most acute angle.
Away custodian Ugradar preserved his side’s two-goal advantage with a fine, full-stretch save and, by the time Kent stopper Baker had kept out Harry Hart in stoppage time, the three points were safely returning back over the QEII Bridge.
Essex squad: Ibrahim Ugradar (Barking Abbey), Misha Djemaili (Barking Abbey), Sam Mvemba (Barking Abbey), Nathan Douglas (Barking Abbey), Kieran Gore (Shenfield High), Olamiji Ayoola (Barking Abbey), Tom Dance (SEEVIC), Toby Aromolaran (Harris Academy), Tyler Richardson (Shenfield High), Max Watters (Shenfield High), Solomon Ogunwomoju (Barking Abbey). Substitutes (repeated): Harry Hart (Plume).