Jake O’Connor (Southend) wheels away after putting his side ahead against Ferrybank.

Jake O’Connor (Southend) wheels away after putting his side ahead against Ferrybank.

Southend United – 5
Ferrybank – 2

Southend United were crowned Under 12 ‘A’ Cup champions in style in Ozier Park on Tuesday night last.

They got off to the worst possible start by conceding a goal after only two minutes of play and moments later they missed a penalty but nevertheless they went in leading 3-2 at the interval and they then dominated the second half, fully deserving of their triumph at headquarters.

Ferrybank shocked United with the opening goal of the game inside two minutes when Glen Power sprayed the ball out to the right-wing for Ian Byrne, who beat his marker before drilling a low right-footed shot past keeper Jack Byrne from 12 yards.

The Tangerines were gifted a chance to level the tie from the penalty spot less than two minutes later when Ferrybank goalkeeper Luke Byrne Doyle was forced to bring down striker Jake O’Connor inside the area, leaving referee Derek O’Brien with little option but to give a spot kick but David Ogundele fired wide.

Southend did find themselves back in the contest with an equalising goal on 15 minutes when Lee Mackey sent in a brilliant corner kick from the left and Kyle Cooke was in the right place to head past keeper Byrne Doyle from deep inside the area.

It took the champions less than four minutes to put their noses in front as Rahman Kareem slipped the ball into the penalty area on the right side for Jake O’Connor and after Ferrybank failed to clear the ball, the striker took full advantage when powering an unstoppable effort to the roof of the net.

Ferrybank didn’t leave their heads drop after going behind as they drew level on 22 minutes when Fiachra Knox did well out on the right side of the area before crossing into the path of Jack Keogh Moran and he held his nerve to fire a left-footed shot to the net at the back post.

A stunning third goal put Southend back in front less than three minutes later as David Ogundele made amends for that earlier penalty miss when his incredible left-footed volley from 35 yards flew over the head of Ferrybank’s Luke Byrne Doyle.

Southend went 4-2 in front 10 minutes into the second period when Nils Lukuku latched onto a through ball from defender Ogundele out on the right side of the penalty area and after bursting into the penalty area, the winger drilled a low right-footed shot to the far corner of the net past a helpless Luke Byrne Doyle.

Southend United ensured their cup final success in second half added time when Nils Lukuku sent in a cross from the right side of the area to the near post and Josh Cullinane steered the ball past keeper Luke Byrne Doyle from close range.

Ray Cuddihy, brother of the late Brian Cuddihy was on hand to present the cup to the victorious Tangerines team following the full time whistle much to the delight of their faithful followers and their manager Micky Robinson.

FERRYBANK:  Luke Byrne Doyle, Trevor Madigan, Scott Delahunty, Ethan Flynn, John Collins, Killian Griffin, Ian Byrne, William Halpin, Fiachra Knox, Glen Power, Jack Keogh Moran, Adam Griffin, Fionn O’Reilly, Alex Hughes.

SOUTHEND UNITED: Jack Byrne, Daniel Otobo, Lee Hearne, David Ogundele, Ryan Hayes, Raphael Akintunde, Nils Lukuku, Lee Mackey, Jake O’Connor, Rahman Kareem, Kyle Cooke, Tommi Adensia, John O’Toole, Jamie Hutchinson, Josh Cullinane, Val Igroekwul.

REFEREE: Derek O’Brien.

ASSISTANTS: Michael Wall, Adrian Scanlon.