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Double cup final success for football academy

Rushcoft v Barking Abbey

Coomer Cup Final, Played at Aveley FC , Wednesday 25th April 2018

 Rushcroft retained the Coomer Cup with a 4-1 victory against Barking Abbey at Aveley FC’s impressive Parkview ground.

The opening exchanges of the game were very even as Rushcroft struggled to impose their preferred style of play upon a side that they have become very familiar with in recent weeks. Whether it was the occasion, the opponent’s tactics or the effects of the incessant rain and wind remains a mystery, but once into their stride they eventually gained a foothold on the cup with an impressive 2 goal salvo.

As we began to focus on the job in hand and how to go about it ?, a period of sustained pressure was eventually rewarded as Alejandro Piedrahita opened the scoring with a cooly taken and fiercely hit strike from the penalty spot. Moments later the advantage was doubled  after a slick passing movement saw the ball squared to Wyan Reid whose powerful shot gave the Barking Abbey goalkeeper little chance from the edge of the 18 yard box.

Half time Rushcroft 2 Barking Abbey 0

The half time talk was very much focussed on trying to take the game further away from the opposition by better decision making and execution with passing options, offset with a couple of tactical alterations aimed at making it harder for the opposition to play through the heart of the Rushcroft defence. Typically with football, the best laid plans are just doomed to fail as against the run of play some slack communication was punished almost immediately as Barking Abbey pulled it back to 2-1 within minutes of the restart.

To their credit, Rushcroft stayed with the half time game plan and gradually took control with some crisp interplay and one touch football. The response to the opponent’s goal was both disciplined and ultimately decisive in settling the destination of the trophy. After 70 minutes Emile Bitendua rounded off a wonderful team move with a finish reminiscent of Carlos Alberto’s famous match winning goal in the 1970 World Cup Final (If like me you can remember that far back).

 Rushcroft continued to exert pressure although a determined Barking Abbey side also continued to fight back and look dangerous on the break before Rushcroft finally sealed the game after a 6 man move saw the impressive Marcel Macdonald upended in the box . Wyan Reid ensured victory, confidentially sending the goalkeeper the wrong way for his second goal of the match.

Rushcroft played out the final minutes using the slick 4G surface to their advantage and were only denied extending their league by some good goalkeeping and dogged defending from Barking Abbey.  It was left to skipper Billy Woods to lift the trophy in front of an appreciative crowd who clearly enjoyed the efforts of both sides in an entertaining game.

Full Time Rushcroft 4 Barking Abbey 1

Rushcroft Football Academy  4 Shenfield Football Acadamy 3 (AET) Essex Open Cup Final

Rushcroft Football Academy won the Essex Open Cup in a high level and entertaining match against this years’ National Finalists Shenfield Football Academy.

The match opened with Rushcroft dominating possession and creating numerous opportunities. In the 12th minute our striker Charles Boahen finished off a slick move to give us a 1-0 lead. We continued to dominate play and in the 20th minute Marcel Mcdonald put us 2-0 ahead after a great individual dribble and shot.

Shenfield then rallied and pulled a goal back from a misplaced header by one of our players.

After a constructive half time discussion we chose to continue to press high and remain compact, this allowed us to counter press on transition if the possession was lost and hence win the ball back high up the pitch.

In the 55th Minute we were rewarded when Alejandro Piendrahita struck a wonderful curling free kick into the right hand top corner to take the score to 3-1.

Shenfield to their credit responded positively and their efforts were rewarded with a goal from a corner in the 70th minute to make the score 3-2. In the 89th minute our midfielder Wyan Reed was put through and was about to shoot inside the box when he was tackled from behind and left lying on the ground injured. Shenfield counter attacked quickly and managed to score with literally the last kick of the 90 minutes.

With momentum against us we rallied and in extra time remained composed whilst continuing to press for the decisive goal. Again with a minute remaining Malik Abdul-Lateef finished off a fluent 5 man move with a well taken goal to win an exciting match 4-3.

The whole squad were a huge credit to themselves and the school and were very empathetic to Shenfield Football Academy who played their part in a very entertaining game which would not have looked out of place as a professional football academy encounter.