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Corinthian 1 Sheppey United 3 Kent Senior Trophy 2019/20 final match report


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A Warren Mfula brace helped Sheppey come from behind to beat Corinthian 3-1 in the delayed 2019/20 Kent Senior Trophy final on Tuesday.

Corinthian struck first through Jack Mahoney but a Mfula double helped the Ites go in at half-time in front before Corinthian defender Ryan Sawyer put through his own net late on as Sheppey regained the trophy for the first time since 2016.

Sheppey United celebrate their Trophy win. Picture: PSP Images
Sheppey United celebrate their Trophy win. Picture: PSP Images

The first chance went the way of the Ites at Chatham's Bauvill Stadium in the third minute, winger Jefferson Aibangbee beating Corinthian keeper Aiden Prall to a loose ball, but his effort crashed against the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Aibangbee was causing problems again as his corner was glanced just wide by Sheppey skipper Billy Bennett.

But against the run of play it was Corinthian who drew first blood. Mahoney poked home after Oscar Housego’s left-wing cross had caused problems with 13 minutes played.

Corinthian now appeared to have a foothold in the game, with Josh Stirman pulling his shot wide from the edge of the area moments later.

The Corinthian team for the Trophy match. Picture: PSP Images
The Corinthian team for the Trophy match. Picture: PSP Images

The Southern Counties East title challengers threatened next midway through the first period when striker Mfula was left unmarked at a Richie Hammill free-kick, only to fail to make a significant connection on the delivery.

Dan Birch won a free-kick with a marauding run but Hamill sent the set-piece wide.

But Ernie Batten’s men did deservedly level just before the half-hour mark as Mfula headed home a sumptuous left-wing cross from recent recruit Henry Dasofunjo.

Sawyer came up from the back to get on the end of Housego’s free-kick for Corinthian on 39 minutes, however Sheppey goalkeeper Adam Molloy was not troubled by Sawyer’s shot.

Goalmouth action in the Kent Senior Trophy as the Ites attack. Picture: PSP Images
Goalmouth action in the Kent Senior Trophy as the Ites attack. Picture: PSP Images

A minute later, the Ites took the lead for the first time in the final through the same combination, with Dasofunjo’s cross being smashed past Prall by Mfula in emphatic style.

There was an altercation immediately after the goal, though, which led to Aibangbee getting a caution after an off-the-ball incident but it was his team that led at the break.

Seven minutes after the restart, Mfula tried to complete his hat-trick with a long-range strike but the ex-Dartford man’s effort was gathered comfortably by Prall.

Mfula came even closer to a third on 54 minutes after a through-ball from Bennett, only for Prall to make a fine fingertip save.

Sheppey United and Corinthian battle for honours. Picture: PSP Images
Sheppey United and Corinthian battle for honours. Picture: PSP Images

But four minutes later, Michael Golding’s men gave a real warning they were not out the contest just yet when midfielder Mahoney found space inside the box but dragged his effort inches wide of Molloy’s right-hand post.

Corinthian, who now play in Isthmian South East, had penalty appeals waved away by referee Aaron Conn as Stirman went to ground, with the Gay Dawn Farm club pushing forward in search of a leveller.

At this stage, Mfula and Prall almost seemed to be having their own personal battle though and, with 20 minutes to play, the hitman forced another superb save from the Corinthian keeper.

But the Ites did make sure of the win two minutes from time when Corinthian's Sawyer inadvertently sent a dangerous Aibangbee right-wing cross into his own net.

Sheppey United fans at Chatham on Tuesday night. Picture: PSP Images
Sheppey United fans at Chatham on Tuesday night. Picture: PSP Images

At the start of stoppage-time, Mfula had a golden chance to complete a well-deserved hat-trick but missed an open goal, before the player-of-the-match was substituted to a standing ovation moments later.

But it didn't matter much in the end, with Sheppey supporters greeting the final whistle with jubilant celebrations.

Due to the 2019/20 final being delayed because of the Covid pandemic, Sheppey could even win the Kent Senior Trophy - this time for the 2021/22 campaign - again this term.

Sheppey United celebrate winning the Kent Senior Trophy. Picture: PSP Images
Sheppey United celebrate winning the Kent Senior Trophy. Picture: PSP Images

Corinthian: Prall, Holland, Morgan, Bath, Billings (Clarke 89mins), Sawyer, James, Mahoney, Stirman (Tanner 71mins), Housego, Miller (Majoyegbe 56mins). Subs not used: Lashley, Oloyede.

Sheppey: Molloy, Birch, Tenyue, Howlett-Mundle, Sains, Hamill, Gillies (Orome 83mins), Bennett, Aibangbee, Dasofunjo, Mfula (Grant 90mins). Subs not used: Sheppard, Hagan, Northwood.

Referee: Aaron Conn

Attendance: 244

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