The drama started as early as the second minute when a right wing corner was flicked into the path of Spencer Sabberton who nodded home. Essex were level three minutes later when Malaki Toussainy picked up a throw in on the left hand side before firing an angled shot past Nooteboom in the Cambs goal. It became three goals in six minutes just a minute later thanks to a brilliant angled drive from Joe Carden and Cambs had regained the lead. 20 minutes later Cambs increased their advantage after a brilliant through ball from Charlie Woolf. Luke Brown latched on and rounded the Essex keeper and into the net. A minute later Brown was denied his second thanks to a fine save in the Essex goal by Holiday.
Half Time Cambridgeshire U18 3-1 Essex U18
Cambs had a chance to extend their lead after 53 minutes through Brown who turned well on the edge of the area but his shot was gathered by Holiday. Essex began to pile on the pressure and on 56 minutes Ruben Duarte shot over the Cambs bar. Two minutes later and Duarte had another chance for Essex but he dragged his shot wide of the far post. Brown had another chance for Cambs but his shot was well blocked. On 68 minutes Toussaint rattled the Cambs crossbar from a free kick 25 yards out. With 11 minutes to go Essex pulled a goal back when Toussaint fired a low shot into the bottom corner. The final ten minutes became a bit frantic but Cambs sealed victory in stoppage time when Hales capitalised on a mistake by the Essex keeper, and slotted into empty net.
Full Time Cambridgeshire U18 4-2 Essex U18
1.Matthais Nooteboom (Chatteris Town) 2.Michael King 3.Harry Norman (both Histon) 4.John Griffin (Saffron Walden Town) 5.Spencer Sabberton (Histon) 6.Charlie Woolf (Hardwick/Cambridge City) 7.Joe Carden 8.Lewis Clayton 9.Luke Brown 10.Aysa Ourtilbour 11.Doydas Kairys 12.Anthony Wright - used 14.Joshua Hales – used (all Histon) 15.Alfie Ball – not used (St Neots Town)
Manager Simon Day was pleased with the performance after a couple of disappointing results and said “it was good to get back on track and give ourselves a chance of winning the competition. It was pleasing tonight that we took our chances when they arrived, something that’s been missing in previous games.”