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Shenfield High School retain Under-19s College Open Competition after beating Rushcroft Foundation in final

PUBLISHED: 17:30 19 May 2016

Shenfield High School face the camera after winning the Essex Under-19s College Open Competition (pic: Essex FA).

Shenfield High School face the camera after winning the Essex Under-19s College Open Competition (pic: Essex FA).

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College Open Competition Final: Rushcroft Foundation School 1 Shenfield High School 3

Action from the Essex Under-19s College Open Competition between Rushcroft Foundation School (red) and Shenfield High School (pic: Essex FA).Action from the Essex Under-19s College Open Competition between Rushcroft Foundation School (red) and Shenfield High School (pic: Essex FA).

Shenfield High retained the Under-19s College Open Competition in their second season after defeating Rushcroft Foundation 3-1 at Wadham Lodge in Walthamstow on Wednesday afternoon.

Goals from Max Watters, Kieran Gore and Callum Hubble put Shenfield three goals ahead and, while Rushcroft responded through Lewis Grant’s consolation, Shenfield had done enough to win the competition which is open for both schools and colleges based in the county.

Rushcroft had defeated Shenfield, also 3-1, to win the Bryon Coomer Colleges Trophy a week earlier but, with an array of players at their disposal, Shenfield were able to name a different squad this time as the trophy returned to Alexander Lane courtesy of a solid performance.

“We knew what to expect from Rushcroft following the previous week’s game and we knew they were a talented side,” said Shenfield boss Lee Thomas after the win.

“They made it hard work for us, especially in the first 20 minutes, but we kept our discipline and goals change matches, as they say. We certainly settled down after scoring a first goal with a wonderful finish.”

The Open Competition was only introduced for the 2014/5 season and Shenfield have so far sealed success in both finals.

“It’s our competition,” smiled Thomas, who has played his part in overseeing the thriving football development at Shenfield School.

He added: “It started five years ago when we decided we’d push on with the football side of things and it’s really self-perpetuated since then.

“People see the facilities we have at the school and, of course, the success helps. We have some very good players and there were members of this squad who are in their first year with us.

“They will look to become the nucleus of our next side as we look to continue our progress, and their development.”

It was Rushcroft who enjoyed the best of the early exchanges in the rain at Wadham Lodge, and Oshun Lewis saw his low shot smothered by Shenfield goalkeeper James Alborough before the holders looked to get a grip on the contest.

A good Malaki Toussaint ball found Tarryn Allarakhia out wide and he cut in from the left and fired an angled shot just wide of the far post before George Gay’s effort zipped along the surface and was well held by Rushcroft custodian Jake Haskins.

Shenfield took the lead on 27 minutes as York Rider’s low cross found Watters, who took a touch to set himself before arrowing a low finish into the far corner.

The lead was doubled six minutes into the second half. Harry Gibbs’ cross saw Gore’s looping header bounce off the crossbar before Gibbs returned the ball into the danger area where Gore was on-hand again and, this time, he bundled the ball home.

Watters then sent a 20-yard effort just wide following Allarakhia’s corner, before Rushcroft’s task was made harder when Kye Mitchell was sent-off after receiving a second caution.

Shenfield effectively clinched the tie on 72 minutes with a third goal. Watters lobbed ‘keeper Haskins and Hubble was on-hand to nudge the ball into the unguarded goal.

Rushcroft’s reply arrived with six minutes remaining as Olajuwon Ogunwamide centred for Grant to finish well from six yards, but it was Shenfield who were able to celebrate a second successive Open Competition title.

Shenfield High School squad: James Alborough, Henri Okosi, York Rider, Malaki Toussaint, George O’Connor, Kieran Gore, Max Watters, Harry Gibbs, Lewis Scott, Callum Hubble, Tarryn Allarakhia, George Gay, Luke Bennett, Max Harbrow.

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