Tons thrashed by Bowers and come runners-up in another final
PUBLISHED: 17:55 10 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:55 10 May 2015
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Essex Senior League Cup Final: Bowers & Pitsea 7 Clapton 1
For the second consecutive weekend Clapton and their excellent supporters were left heartbroken after losing another cup final – this time the Essex Senior League Cup.
Bowers & Pitsea dominated from the first whistle until the last at Great Wakering Rovers Burroughs Park and were three goals ahead at half time.
Jake Stevens, like he did during the 4-2 defeat to Barking in the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy final last Saturday, pulled one back in the second half.
However it was never going to be enough for the Old Spotted Dog outfit and their 26-year wait for more silverware goes on.
Michael Walther made three changes to the team that were beaten by Barking last weekend as Jamie Lyndon, James Briggs and Donell Onyeche came in.
Jerome Martelli, Fahad Nyanja and Abs Jarriette all missed out and that was heavily felt by Tons who were under pressure from the start.
Bowers dominated possession in the early exchanges and failed to get to grips with their hosts as Rob Small’s team had two corners inside the opening six minutes.
Clapton had the first real chance of note and perhaps should have gone ahead with seven on the clock.
A corner kick went all the way through to Lyndon, in space at the back post, and his chipped centre was met by Onyeche. However Bowers goalkeeper Martyn Guest excellently tipped away from goal.
Bowers continued to press and went close through Vince Durrant. Tons goalkeeper Pepe Diagne punched a cross clear and Durrant nodded wide.
In the 13th minute Warren Mfula got a sight at goal after Luke Wilson completely missed his kick, but the Clapton forward had his effort partially blocked and it rolled through to Guest tamely.
Walther’s team were starting to slowly grow in confidence and Eamon Payne headed Briggs free kick over the bar with quarter of an hour played.
Bowers went close again through Lewis Manor, but Lyndon was able to block. The next time they attacked, however, they would show their class.
The ball dropped for Durrant outside the area and he riffled into the bottom corner past Diagne via a slight deflection off Manor to give Small’s team a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Tons need to regroup and hold firm, but they did the complete opposite. Payne brought down Manor just inside the box and despite remonstrating from the east Londoners – referee Dean Skipper pointed to the spot.
Rob Whitnell stood over the kick and smashed it low and hard, but Diagne excellently tipped onto the crossbar. Unfortunately the rebound dropped perfectly for the Bowers forward and he nodded home in the 27th minute.
Clapton’s stopper was in great form a few minutes later too as Tom Hine linked up with Manor, but the Senegalese goalkeeper clawed away the effort from the Bowers forward.
Briggs side footed over the bar shortly afterwards before Jamie Salmon also missed the target for Bowers with the interval approaching.
Unfortunately for the Old Spotted Dog outfit they conceded again on the stroke of half time as Wilson headed home at the far post after Whitnell had flicked on Durrant’s corner kick.
Referee Skipper blew for half time soon after and Clapton came in at the break trailing by three goals.
They needed a solid start to the second period, but after three more minutes they conceded a fourth.
It was a goal of the highest quality, though, as Durrant dribbled past a couple of opponents before finding the corner.
Clapton started to push afterwards with Bowers taking a relaxed approach and they gave their Ultras something to shout about in the 54th minute.
Briggs fired the ball forward and although Scott Pethers halted Mfula in his tracks, Stevens followed up and fired past Guest to make it 4-1.
The comeback was on, but it didn’t last very long. Just four minutes after Tons had reduced the arrears, Bowers re-established their four-goal advantage.
Manor controlled on the edge of the area and threaded a pass to Durrant. He found Whitnell and he stroked the ball home first time to make it 5-1.
The pace of the game slowly significantly after that goal although Salmon nearly scored a sixth for Bowers, but Lyndon blocked brilliantly for Clapton.
Even though their side was trailing 5-1, the Tons supporters were still as loud as ever after that chance and urging their team to grab another consolation.
The closest they came was in the 86th minute when Clapton captain Luke Kanjor whipped a free kick into the box, but Guest comfortably held.
Bowers substitute Ashley Wackers-Kyriacou then added salt to the wounds by firing past Diagne in the 90th minute to make it 6-1.
Unfortunately Bowers still had time for another, but fittingly Durrant was on hand to head into the corner for his hat-trick to conclude an excellent individual display.
Referee Skipper blew for full time shortly afterwards to mean the Tons end the season with two runners-up medals.
Although they would have hoped to earn a first cup triumph since 1989, this success is something to build on for next season.
Clapton: Diagne, Lyndon, Payne, Onyeche (Greenwood 52), Kanjor, Briggs (Jones 69), Stevens, Mott, Ocran, Ricketts (Kiely 79), Mfula.
Unused substitutes: Maynard
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