Emerson Park Academy bag Essex Cup under-12 honours in a penalty shoot-out drama
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 March 2019
Emerson Park Academy's year seven football team were crowned Ken Aston Essex Cup under-12 champions for the first time since 1994 after a penalty shoot-out victory against Woodlands School.
The Hornchurch-based school were held to a 2-2 draw but managed to bag the trophy with a 5-4 win on penalties.
Emerson Park had made their way to the final with victories over Drapers Academy, Marshalls Park, Notley High School, Fitzwimarc School, Debden Park and Jo Richardson Academy.
The reward was a meeting with a strong Woodlands team who has cruised to the final with a 13-0 victory in the quarter-final and 8-1 success in the semi-final.
Woodlands started well, keeping possession of the ball, but they couldn’t find a way past the dogged Emerson Park defence.
The weather conditions were poor and played a part in the opening goal of the game.
After nice build-up play from Woodlands, the ball squirmed away from Emerson goalkeeper Jakubas Jaska after he had originally made a good save.
However, Emerson Park came back strong and equalised when Simon Yetton rose highest to power in a header from a corner to make it 1-1.
The second half carried on the same way, with Woodlands trying to play down the wings and Emerson repelling their attacks.
Emerson deservedly took the lead when Riley Hargan was denied from range by the Woodlands goalkeeper and Jayden Parsons was quickest to the rebound to tuck the ball home from close range.
Attack after attack was dealt with well, but it was a surprise when the Park defence went to sleep at a corner and Woodlands grabbed an equaliser.
Woodlands pushed for a winner in normal time but found no way through but in extra-time and Emerson Park rallied and Jack Campkin smacked the post as the Woodlands goalkeeper made fantastic saves to deny Hargan and Max Featherstone from winning the match.
Frankie Senior, Featherstone, Campkin, Hargan and Yetton all calmly scored their penalties, whilst goalkeeper Jaska superbly saved one of the Woodlands efforts to clinch the trophy.
Emerson Park: Jakubas Jaska, Max Featherstone, Simon Yetton, Thierry Stewart, Jayden Parsons, Freddie Fairy, Luca Vila-Coleman, Alfie Barry, Riley Hargan, Frankie Senior, Jack Campkin, Harry Smith.