Action vs Essex

Sussex lose thrilling battle in Essex

Essex 3-2 Sussex

Our Under-16s Representative side concluded their South East Counties Youth Championship campaign on Sunday with a cruel defeat to Essex in Aveley.

The young Blues were leading the match with less than ten minutes remaining before Essex snatched two late goals in rapid succession to seal all three points in heart-breaking fashion, after Nicholas Lauteri and Freddie Carter scored for Sussex.

Sussex went into the game knowing that their title fight was all but over, as they needed a huge win away from home to leapfrog leaders Kent on goal difference.

The hosts were gifted a magnificent chance to take the lead inside a minute when Kyreece Lisbie capitalised on an early defensive mistake to burst through on goal, but Kyrell Lisbie’s shot was prevented by a strong covering tackle.

However, it was Sussex that drew first blood in the 10th minute through Lauteri, who dispatched a brilliant first-time finish across the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Essex’s Lisbie pairing combined dangerously again in the 25th minute down the left hand side, but Kyrell’s attempt was well held by Leo Anderson between the sticks.

Sussex started to push harder for an insurance goal as half-time approached, with Alfie Hall’s effort from the edge of the box calling Essex goalkeeper Callum McEvoy into action with five minutes of the first period remaining.

However, the home side grabbed an equaliser two minutes after the restart.

The Lisbie duo again took centre stage as Kyreece’s hard work in the box put the ball on a plate for Kyrell to slot home.

Alex Traynor could have added another for Essex eight minutes into the second half after rounding the goalkeeper, but he saw his shot blocked impressively in the six-yard box as both sides upped the tempo in search of a second goal.

Sussex skipper Freddie Carter had a great chance to nick the lead on the hour mark when the Blues were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area, and the Eastbourne Borough man duly obliged, arrowing his low strike into the bottom corner to put his side ahead once more.

However, Essex got a second equaliser with five minutes remaining, as Traynor burst through to draw level as the clock rapidly ticked down.

Two minutes later the hosts netted another with Traynor involved again, fizzing a ball across the face of goal that ricocheted over the line to break Sussex hearts at the death.

Sussex manager Gary Mansell praised his side’s efforts and work ethic after the final whistle.

“The way we approached it meant we had to work incredibly hard and we knew we’d expose ourselves,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I think because of how hard we’d worked in 80 minutes, we were a little bit fatigued at the end and it’s probably cost us the result.

“I’m disappointed with the result but pleased with how the boys applied themselves and it’s a shame they didn’t get a bit more out of it.”

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

Stats: (Essex-Sussex):
Goals: 3-2; Shots: 12-8; Shots-on-Target: 5-4; Corners: 3-4; Offsides: 5-1; Fouls: 11-23; Yellow cards: 0-2; Red cards: 0-0

Essex: McEvoy, Spink, Oakley, Smith (c), Hooker, Monk, Kyreece Lisbie, Pompeh, Traynor, Anderson, Kyrell Lisbie. Substitutes: Braney, Broadrick, Gregory.

Sussex: Anderson, Williams, O’Brien, Ward, Carter (c), Andrews, Clark, Beaconsfield, Lauteri, Hall, Peacock. Substitutes: Fuller, Nash, Mthunzi, Yeates, Powell.

Match report by Archie Griggs

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