13 Apr 2016
The Cheshunt Under 16’s made history when they defeated Boreham Wood in the Herts County Cup Final by becoming the only side ever to win the trophy three seasons running.
In a hard fought match played at Letchworth’s Herts County Ground the boys reached the end of extra time with the match locked at 1-1 and they needed to hold their nerve to win a penalty shoot-out in which the glory went to goalkeeper Aaron Bull who pulled off three fantastic saves to make sure that the penalties which Cheshunt had converted weren’t wasted.
Cheshunt had taken the lead in the first half when Lewes Keys fired them into a first half lead after going one on one with the keeper and finishing clinically. Borehamwood hit back with an equaliser before half time to set up the nail biting penalty shoot-out.
The managers Matt Spedding and Jeff Cross, as well as coach Craig Key could not have been more delighted for their young stars of the future. Matt saying ‘I’m tremendously proud of this achievement and I think the future for the club is all the brighter because of this crop of players.’
The achievements are all the more impressive when you look at the consistency amongst the group, this is demonstrated very simply when you consider just how many of these young Ambers have played in all three of the successful sides.
Matt again pointing out ‘ When you think that Sam Cross, Aarron Bull, Lewis Key, Jodie Piano, Jamie Spedding and Byron Lall have played in all these finals; it really is a marvellous testimony to the strength of the side. On top of that we’ve had Gianni Riccardi, Charlie Hawkes, Jack Lee, Ali Doogan and Jordon Coddrington who have all appeared in two finals each and only bad luck with injuries made some miss out on all three.
It’s a fantastic achievement. Some of these boys have been playing since they were in the under 7’s together.’
Jeff Cross reflected that the season wasn’t all plain sailing and that these young players had to overcome some obstacles as well. ‘In the close season we bought in five new players and it took a little while for it to gel. We were also in the London EJA and that made life hard for the boys who were up against top opposition and had large distances to travel. The fact they stuck at it and then went on to achieve success is something everyone at Cheshunt FC should be proud about. We most certainly are.’
So what of the future for these young men; are we likely to see any of them in the senior side in the not too distant future?
Craig Key feels that is a distinct possibility and pointed out just how close this is to happening; ‘the lads were involved in the FA Youth Cup last year and that has given them a great deal of experience and will be something they have learnt from. They have won the cup this year again and are second in the London EJA. Some of them have turned out at under 21 level and they competed really well. I really do think we have every reason to be optimistic and I’d be hugely surprised if we didn’t see some of them in first team colours before too long. We won’t be letting the lads get big headed but we want them to enjoy their success this season. They deserve to be allowed to celebrate this achievement.’
Club Chairman Dean Williamson is equally delighted with the success of the younger players. ‘This season we have seen improvements at all levels of the club, but what these lads have done is remarkable and I’m very proud of them.
We want to invest in our junior teams and we think we provide a great opportunity for youngsters in the area. The hat-trick of Cup wins though is history at this club and I couldn’t be more pleased.’
Dean has asked that the boys parade their trophy before the final league match on Saturday and asks that supporters coming to the game arrive early enough to show their appreciation. ‘I know these players are proud of what they’ve done, and I know that Matt, Jeff , Craig and all the families of these players want to show their appreciation and I can’t think of a better of doing that other than a lap of honour on Saturday.’
Last word though goes to Matt ‘a great deal of hard work goes into this kind of success. The player’s families, our coaching staff and the players themselves work all year for success. I hope that as many people as possible come along on Saturday and show their appreciation. We’ve had messages and tweets on social media congratulating us on what we’ve done and I’d like to say thanks to everyone for their kind wishes. It’s absolutely brilliant.
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