Senior League Cup Final
Basildon Town capped off a remarkable season by winning the Senior League Cup, which they last won way back in 1968/69, meaning that they completed a Senior and Reserve double. Last week Basildon Town’s Reserves added the Reserve League Cup to their all-conquering Division Five Championship. The Senior side, who were crowned this season’s Division One Champions made sure they were not upstaged by wrestling the Senior League Cup from Kelvedon Hatch’s hands.
Basildon Town were simply in a different class as they went at the holders straight from kick off and it took only five minutes for them to open their account. Marcus Bowers was hauled down in the box by Lee Hamill and then stepped up to take the penalty, which was initially saved by Michael Wakefield; Bowers however made no mistake with the rebound and buried it into the back of the net.
It didn’t take long for Basildon to mount another attack with Bowers getting on the end of Charlie Kendall’s searching cross, producing an important save from Wakefield. Kelvedon Hatch were able to go close themselves inside the opening ten minutes when a free kick was narrowly headed wide by Daniel Tapper. Basildon Town however looked very dangerous going forward and a through ball directed towards Ben Smith had to be frantically knocked away before he could fire a shot off.
Lee Newton and James Burt both exchanged passes that ended up with Kelvedon Hatch winning a corner in the 18th minute but nothing further came from this incursion and the ball was soon up the other end, resulting in Ben Smith winning a corner for Basildon after his shot was tipped away by Wakefield. The Kelvedon Hatch keeper was then called into action again as he had to save a Tommy Barton header.
Kelvedon Hatch were back on level terms in the 24th minute when a ball over the top reached Lee Newton who slipped past Antony Hughes before rifling the ball home. The goal briefly lifted Kelvedon, who were looking to make it a hat-trick of Senior League Cup wins, and they started to have much more possession of the ball but were not able to really test Hughes in the Basildon goal. They had also stemmed Basildon’s attacking fervour; however this was only temporary, because in the 40th minute Jack Main punished Kelvedon’s inability to clear their lines and pounced on a loose ball and stroked it past Wakefield.
However Kelvedon nearly equalised in the closing minutes of the first half when Hughes slipped up, gifting Barton a free shot on goal, which was rolling towards the unguarded goal, before Darren Phillips was able to get back in time and clear the ball inches from the goal line. A Daniels free kick right on the stroke of half-time also troubled Hughes.
The first chance of the second half went the way of Kelvedon Hatch when Hamill fired a shot narrowly over the cross bar. Main went even closer for Basildon a few minutes later when his shot from outside the box crashed against the bar, having being tipped onto it by Wakefield. The Kelvedon keeper had done just enough to keep his side in it on that occasion but he was powerless in the 57th minute when Bowers flashed a ball across the Kelvedon goal that Ben Smith put away from close range.
After extending their lead Basildon then took their foot off the pedal a little and looked to close the game out. Apart from a Kelvedon Hatch corner in the 75th minute, which was headed clear by Phillips, the Basildon defence was rarely put under pressure and they were able to add further polish in the 82nd minute when Charlie Kendall knocked the ball in after a goal line scramble.
Basildon Town: Antony Hughes, Jamie Selby-Knight, Joe Burgess, Grant Cumming, Darren Phillips, Chris Charlery, Ben Smith (Daniel Dafter 46’), Tommy Barton, Marcus Bowers (Ashley Blackburn 79’), Jack Main (Ollie Spooner 72’), Charlie Kendall.
Scorers – Marcus Bowers (4’), Jack Main (40’), Ben Smith (57’), Charlie Kendall (82’)
Kelvedon Hatch: Michael Wakefield, Jack Munroe, Billy Munroe (Ben Gardner 75’), Daniel Tapper, Garry Smith (Joe Heath 46’), Lee Hamill (Steven Barlex 69’), Michael Daniels, Lee Newton, James Burt, Chris Muir, Ben Gibbons.
Scorer – Lee Newton (24’)