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Egerton win Val Helen League Cup

  • 02/05/22
  • By Ryan Mills
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Goals from Howard and Jones see off Troggs in thrilling cup final

Forward Josh Jones scored a late winner to help Division One leaders Egerton to cup glory on Sunday afternoon as the Eagles landed the Val Helen Division One League Cup beating title rivals Troggs 2-1 at Reachfields Stadium. Jones added to strike partner Justin Howard’s first half strike to seal what could be a memorable league and cup double for Chris Holmes’ side with the first leg now in the bag.

A crowd of over 200 made the trip down the A20 to Hythe to witness Egerton lifting their first piece of silverware since reforming two years ago in what was expected to be a closely contested clash between two of the division’s best teams this season. And the two sides did not disappoint those in attendance playing out a thrilling end-to-end contest with some great football on display.

Egerton started brightly with attacking midfielder Tom Wilkes looking to break through the Troggs stubborn defence and did well to race around the outside of his marker in the tenth minute but was unable to keep his shot down which rised over the crossbar. Shqipron Ahmetaj was allowed to push on and looked to get the ball moving forward at every opportunity and delivered two or three neat balls into the box to no avail in the opening quarter of an hour.

At the other end Harry Stow lived up to his pre-match billing as the Troggs player to watch and played a part in the Smarden’s side first real opening as the ball was eventually played square across the edge of the box but teenage striker Michael Wills was put under pressure from Egerton’s Matt Hadlum and the youngster failed to trouble Eagles goalkeeper Olly Britton.

The deadlock was eventually broken midway through the first half though when Justin Howard kept his composure to lob the ball over Troggs ‘keeper Luke Mitchell before calmly side footing home to put Egerton 1-0 ahead.

Troggs were handed a golden opportunity to get back on level terms early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty, but James Carlton’s strike from 12-yards was brilliantly saved by Britton diving low to his right to push the spot kick out for a corner and maintain his sides one-goal lead. But the villagers did get an equaliser shortly after when the lively Stow was played in one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper before picking his spot to slot the ball home and make it 1-1.

Egerton pushed on looking to regain the lead, first substitute Tyrone Calverley going close for Holmes’ side, before Jones popped up to score the winning goal five minutes before full-time finishing off a good move and converting Jack Sullivan’s well-timed through ball to win the game. A deserved victory in the end for Egerton in a match that opponents Troggs more than played their part in, and the two rivals go head-to-head again in three-weeks’ time in what could be a massive Division One title decider.

Egerton- Britton, Hadlum, Clark, J Sullivan, Jones, Wilkes, B Ahmetaj, Clucas, Howard, S Ahmetaj, Page (subs)- Derry, Bingle, Wright, Calverley, Hortal.

Troggs- Mitchell, W Naden, Austen, Allen, J Carlton, Finch, Wills, Philpott, Burden, Giles, H Stow (subs)- Burton, Hatley, Breen.