Royal Southwark ran out 4-2 winners in the Sunday Junior Trophy final after an exciting encounter with plenty of chances for both sides.
Forward Rick Johnson was the star man for the Royal’s, picking up the Player of the Match award to see off a spirited second half display from 16A, who battled to the end.
After an end to end start, Royal Southwark opened the scoring on three minutes as Rick Johnson burst down the left wing and played in Kobina Botwe who turned and curled a snapshot into the top right corner.
16A almost equalised minutes later when Royal Southwark lost possession 30 yards out and David Latunde dribbled into the penalty area but scuffed his shot wide from a tight angle.
Royal Southwark continued to push for another goal as Deen’s low free kick pinballed around 16A’s penalty area and fell to Johnson yards out with the goal unguarded but the striker missed the ball at the vital moment.
Deen made Royal Southwark’s dominance pay on 20 minutes. The forward controlled the ball on the edge of the area, produced some quick footwork and was brought down by 16A’s defender for a penalty.
Deen stepped up and doubled Royal Southwark’s lead, calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Cameron Nelmes the wrong way.
16A grew into the first half and saw more of the ball midway through the half, but they couldn’t find the final bit of quality to create a clear cut chance.
They went close just before half time as Lorenzo Cuozzo drilled a low free-kick from 20 yards against the post for their best chance of the half.
The second half got off to a blistering start with chances for both sides and it was 16A who scored first in the second period. After some quick play down the right, a drilled cross came in that Aziz Kanu tried to clear but the defender smashed the ball into his own net.
16A couldn’t level the scores, despite plenty of pressure and Royal Southwark restored their two goal lead on 55 minutes when Malachai Gayle beat the offside trap, rounded Nelmes and was brought down before Deen raced in to tap into an empty net for his second of the match.
16A continued to push for a way back into the game and were causing havoc from set-pieces and Frankie Phipps long throws bombarded Royal Southwark’s penalty area.
The long-throw tactic almost paid off with 30 minutes left as Phipps launch into the box was met by Daniel Organ in the area but Daniel Stewart leapt to clear the ball off the line, preventing a certain goal.
16A eventually got their goal after Jack Shaw burst forward and was tripped in the area, earning his side a penalty. Kane Taylor took the spot kick and curled it into the bottom corner.
Seconds later, 16A almost equalised as Chimdi Otadinma raced in to connect with a low cross at the far post, but his effort cannoned off the woodwork and was gratefully collected by Kristoff Babajide.
The momentum remained with 16A heading into the final stages of the match before Babajide went down with a serious injury that required lengthy treatment. 16A continued to press forward and were undone on the counter attack with seconds left.
Royal Southwark settled the tie with a last minute goal when Daniel Stewart broke into 16A’s half, went one on one with Nelmes but unselfishly passed round the keeper to an unmarked Johnson who tapped into an empty net and sparked ecstatic celebrations from the Royal’s supporters.
Royal Southwark FC: 4 (Botwe 3, Deen 19, 55, Johnson 90+4)
16A FC: 2 (Aziz Kanu OG, 54, Kane Taylor 71)
Royal Southwark: Kristoff Babjide, Icobina Botwe, Eku Deen, Daniel Stewart, Cllins Badru, Aziz Kanu, Melvin Adebiyi, Tommy Ayodele, Alex Ogunlade, Rick Johnson, Jeff Boadu
Subs: Bola Johnson, Yinka Falana, Jack Francisco, Malachi Gayle, William Angwa
16A FC: Cameron Nelmes, Jack Purr, Ben Sheldon, Charlie Phillips, Jack Ketteringham, Zack Taylor, David Latunde, Lorenzo Cuozzo, Chimdi Otuadinma
Subs: Dylan Tubb, Jack Shaw, Emmanual Latunde, Frankie Phipps, Daniel Organ
Mick Pitcher (Referee), Steve Guilliard (assistant), Greg Saxton (assistant), Mark Roberts (fourth official)