School Sport: Five-star Emerson Park win Havering Cup
PUBLISHED: 09:15 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:33 12 May 2017
Emerson Park 5 Royal Liberty 0
A hat trick from centre-back Reece Stringer helped Emerson Park’s year sevens lift the Havering Schools’ Cup as they comfortably beat Royal Liberty.
Despite Sam Higgins’ side losing to Liberty 3-2 at the start of the season, Stringer’s three goals, two of which were penalties, along with efforts from Amwar Bizimana and Dan With, helped Emerson collect their second borough title of the season, following the earlier success of the year eights.
It was clear from kick off that Emerson were the more comfortable of the two sides, and Mitch Fallows, who has recently signed a deal with Southend United, highlighted their superiority early on with a couple of strong driving runs into the final third.
The parade of fathers watching their sons represent Emerson would not have to wait long for their side to take the lead, as Bizimana was brought down by Charlie Jubber inside the box on the 13th minute, and Stringer stepped up to power the ball past Owen Duggan to give the boys in black and blue the lead.
Emerson could have doubled their advantage just seconds after the restart, as they won a corner and it would have been 2-0 if not for the work of Billy Mattocks who blocked Jack Desborough’s header on the line.
Higgins would only have to wait a few more minutes for his side’s second, though, as Danny Boot’s pumped ball into the box was spilled by Duggan and Bizimana was there to poach the ball into the back of the net.
In a desperate attempt to get his side back in the game just before half time, Liberty’s Gould picked the ball up on the edge of the box and saw his shot clip the outside of the post.
After the break, Emerson and Fallows would again come out of the blocks the quickest as the centre-back carried the ball from the halfway line and his long-range strike would sting the palms of the Liberty keeper.
Despite this, Brad Bowen’s Liberty side would have their best chance of the game just four minutes into the second half, as a corner was slapped away by Emerson keeper Husein and the ball was then pumped into the air by Stringer, before Gould’s header into the ground was intially stopped and then slapped away from the feet of the oncoming striker.
Liberty would have been able to have more shots on goal had it not been for the superb last-ditch tacking of Fallows and Stringer to deny their opposition any chance of a goal.
Emerson’s third would come from one their many corners in the second half, with Stringer getting his second of the game after 17 minutes, after Matas Skarna’s corner flashed across the face of goal and the imposing centre-back was there to smash the ball past the helpless keeper.
Just a minute later, another Skarna delivery was converted as his corner was poked to the edge of the box and substitute With was on hand to power the ball through the bodies and into the back of the net to make it 4-0.
The game still had time for another goal, and another from the spot as Matas carried the ball through the opposing defenders and was brought down in the box for referee Kirk English to give his second spot-kick.
On a hat-trick, Stringer stepped up again and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as he slotted the ball calmly into the bottom right to get his third and his team’s hands firmly on the silverware.