Wotton Printers Devon Under 16 Youth Cup Final
Cranbrook United Youth U16 5 - 1 South Molton Junior U16
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 17/04/2022
Two goals from Player of the Match Shay Corrick, plus goals from George Wright, Louis Stephens and captain Joel Jackson ensured that Cranbrook ran out deserved winners in this final, which was played in the Easter Sunday morning sunshine at Coach Road in front 214 spectators, mostly parents and siblings, who had made the journey from East and North Devon. They were rewarded with a thrilling encounter, with Cranbrook having to dig deep early on before coming out on top.
The blues of Cranbrook put pressure on the South Molton back line right from the start and had two good opportunities in the first five minutes. Firstly, Neil Quessou got on the end of a free kick crossed in from the left, Jake Greening in the South Molton goal saving well. Corrick then broke clear and fizzed a low shot across Greening that just passed the far post.
It wasn’t all Cranbrook in these early stages though as, in the 9th minute South Molton’s Jake Knapman broke through their defence forcing keeper Owen Vosper to race out and clear the threat. However, in the 12th minute it was Corrick again, at the other end, with a 25 yard drive that Greening did well to hold. The game was becoming very open and both defences were having to work hard to keep the attacks at bay.
Somewhat surprisingly it was South Molton who broke the deadlock. In the 16th minute an excellent through ball from Henry Richards finding Liam Martin who raced clear, checked inside two defenders, and coolly slotted past Vosper from 12 yards. In the 22nd minute they could have been two up as Knapman broke clear again, Vosper saving with his feet.
That let off seemed to shake up the Cranbrook team who upped their tempo, put pressure on South Molton and turned the game around. Three good chances fell their way, one to Corrick who, in the 23rd minute, had the ball taken off his toe by Greening. That was followed a minute later by Josh Radford blasting just over the angle of bar and post and then Quessou headed over a cross from the right from five yards out.
In the 31st minute Cranbrook drew level, a 35 yard free kick angled in from the right found Wright unmarked in the six yard box and he passed the ball into the net to get his team back on level terms. It was all Cranbrook now. In the 35th minute Corrick headed a cross from Radford just wide of the far post. Then, in the 39th minute Corrick found Stephens with a low cross into the box, but his first tome volley was well saved by Greening.
Corrick was not to be denied, however as, in the first minute of added time, he was on the spot to head home following up a deflected shot from Alfie Down which came back off the woodwork. That last action of the half was a 20 yard angled drive from Radford which came back off the near post and the half ended with Cranbrook in the lead by two goals to one.
Within a minute of the restart Cranbrook went further ahead as Corrick turned provider for Stephens to slot from 12 yards.
Despite South Molton’s best efforts they were unable to repel the endless attacks from a now rampant Cranbrook who ensured their victory with two further goals. The fourth, in the 63rd minute, from Jackson, slotting home a through pass from substitute Evan House. Corrick capped a fine performance with his second and his teams fifth, in the 77th minute, taking the ball around Greening to gleefully roll it into the empty net.
It was almost six a minute later Howse latching on to a pass from Corrick to leave two defenders in his wake before drawing a tremendous save from Greening with his drive from 10 yards.
After 4 minutes of added time the referee blew the final whistle giving both teams much needed respite after an excellent match. The teams and officials then lined up for the Association President, Mervyn Benney, to present the trophy and medals to the participants in what had been a very entertaining game.
Star Player – Shay Corrick (Cranbrook)