Leighwood United U11s grab slice of history after beating Southend Manor in dramatic Essex Cup final

Leighwood United celebrate

Leighwood celebrate

First published in Sport by

LEIGHWOOD United Under 11s made history as they triumphed against rivals Southend Manor in a dramatic final of the county cup.

A late goal secured a 1-0 win for Leighwood in the first ever final contested between two Southend teams in the district junior league cup final.

Alfie Larkin scored the decisive winner after he hooked the ball over his shoulder into the top corner, past the backpedalling Luis Shamshoum.

Manor almost grabbed an equaliser in the dying seconds after Niyazi Sahan curled a shot against the post but Leighwood held on to claim the trophy.

Ross Galbally, who makes up Leighwood’s manage-ment team with Chris Search, said his side, which is only five years old, put in everything to get the win.

“I’m so proud of the boys. It was an amazing performance today as we dug deep when we had to get the win.”

“For the club, it’s a huge day and a huge achievement, and hopefully it’s something that the boys will remember forever.”

Manor are still in with a chance of claiming some silverware this campaign as they are competing in the League Cup final in May, while both sides are still chasing league glory.

Leighwood started the first half the better side, with both Larkin and Ben Sargent coming close to breaking the deadlock.

However, Manor grew into the match but Sahan and Lucas Nash both missed the target when the goal was gaping.

A superb double-save from Leighwood stopper Adam Sullivan kept the match goalless before Larkin’s late winner.

Galbally added: “Our aim was always to produce teams that could compete and develop, playing football in the right way.

“We want to come back again next year and win the Under 12s Cup.”

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