Harold Wood Cougars clinch league and cup double after late victory over Broomfield
PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 May 2019
A dramatic late goal in extra time secured victory for Harold Wood Cougars under-16s in the Chelmsford Youth Premier Division Cup Final at the weekend.
Michael Clutterbuck's sharp finish inside the box five minutes from time, following good hold-up play by Joe Mortlock, was enough to land the spoils after a tense affair against an excellent Broomfield Youth side.
Roared on by their supporters in a packed stand at Aveley FC's Parkside Stadium, Cougars' victory meant the team signed off their final season with a landmark league and cup double after winning the Chelmsford Youth Premier Division last month.
Broomfield had suffered back-to-back league defeats against Cougars and looked determined to turn the tables with a sparkling first-half display, during which they hit their opponent's crossbar three times.
However, Cougars gradually came into the match and started to launch some impressive attacks of their own. A long-range shot from Albie Porter, which went just went over the bar, was among the highlights.
In the second-half, Cougars continued to mount a wave of attacks and Clutterbuck had the ball in the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled out by the assistant referee's flag.
Broomfield also had chances, but were foiled by a defence led by braveheart centre back Josh Holmes, who played on despite picking up a leg injury, and some smart saves from Cougars' keeper Connor Walker.
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With neither team able to break the deadlock, the match went into extra time.
Broomfield created the best chance during the first half of overtime when they had a shot cleared off the line by Calum Sorrell, but in the second period it was Cougars who started to turn the screw.
A disallowed goal from Mortlock, after the ball had bizarrely rebounded off a wheel on the side of the post, was soon followed by Clutterbuck's late decisive strike.
Broomfield still had time to create two clear chances in their effort to take the game to penalties, but were unable to find the target and at the final whistle it was Cougars who were celebrating.
It was a fitting sclimax for Cougar's manager Paul Baines and his assistant Neil Butler, who have called it a day after ten years of coaching the team.
Baines said: "It has been a rollercoaster ride and I could not be more proud of what the boys have achieved."
Harold Wood Cougars: Connor Walker, Albie Porter, Josh Holmes, Alfie Parrish, Calum Sorrell, Freddie Shepherd, Frank Jubber, Michael Clutterbuck, Joe Damrell, Thomas Butler, Jack Baines.
Subs: Mojid Onifade; Joe Mortlock, Frankie Felsted, Sonny Cutts.