Chigwell torn apart by Lions
damage limitation being Chigwell’s best bet to come away from north London with pride intact. If this was a boxing match it’d been halted long before the final whistle.
Two became three just after the hour mark when a quick free-kick found Ben Joseph whose teasing low cross was touched home at the far post by Basger.
Lions were running riot with Chigwell unable to live with Pearson’s penetrative runs and movement. And while Chigwell looked overawed by the occasion and couldn’t wait for the final whistle, Lions were enjoying it.
Substitutions from both teams did not affect Lions’ free-flowing football and they added a fourth goal when Joseph’s cut-back was smashed home by Pearson.
The closing stages produced two more goals for the holders but first Hayden Smith tried his luck from fully 50 yards with Lions keeper Elvey, who played with a broken finger, doing well to pluck the ball out of the glare of the floodlights to produce an acrobatic save.
Spanish eyes were smiling as Joseph was felled in the box. Despite central defender Basger and Pearson being on hat-tricks, sentiment got the better of the Lions who gave the ball to sub Brian Estiz. Just hours before returning to his home land, he drilled the penalty into the bottom corner to become the first Spaniard to score in the final.
Pearson ensured that there would be at least one hat-trick hero as he raced through in the dying seconds to lift the ball over Rosenthal to complete a 6-0 routing.
Joint-manager Kennet described the Chigwell fans as “fantastic” and added: “Full credit to them for getting to the final. Our biggest challenge now is to become the first team to do four-in-arow next season.”
Co-boss Ben Winston said: “Considering this was our fourth final, it was the first time that we worked out how to play on the width of Wingate. We performed to a level we know we can play. When you have a centre back who scores two goals it just goes to show that we’re a footballing team.
“I felt that we deserve to win something this season. It’s been a difficult campaign but we have not under-performed. We have won two Peter Morrison Trophies and three JC Cyril Anekstein Cups in the past four years which isn’t bad.”
Chigwell manager Russell Green gave a brutality honest assessment of the game. “We were completely outclassed,” he said.
“I knew Lions were good but they played it around nicely and we just watched them. We made it easy for them. But I’m very proud of the boys for getting to the final .”
Clash of the titans: Lions midfielder Ricky Kennet ( left) and Jon Pittal
Louis Basger outjumps Pittal
Mike Pearson stole the show