Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer Schools (LOASS) Under-14 boys completed a clean sweep at the St Clere’s FC summer tournament at the weekend.
The Echo Premier League side entered two teams at the tournament and the two met in the final of the competition, with LOASS Whites triumphing over the Reds 1-0 in dramatic circumstances.
Both sides made a slow start to the competition, with the Reds playing out a 0-0 stalemate with Stones Athletic and the Whites drawing 1-1 against Leaside Colts.
The two LOASS teams went head-to-head in their next group fixture, with the Whites claiming a 1-0 victory in a tight match before going on to top the six-strong group.
Goal difference saw the Reds progress to the final in second place, edging out Leaside Colts on goal difference, with an enormous swing of 16 goals sealing the Reds’ final berth.
It was the Reds who were on top for much of the final but they ended up paying the ultimate price for their failure to take one of their numerous chances.
Whites goalkeeper Bayley Clarke – a recent addition to the squad – impressed between the sticks and repelled the Reds attacks time and time again.
With just 15 seconds left on the clock, the Whites struck the decisive blow when David Dang picked out Sami Shulton, who fired a ferocious volley beyond Reds keeper Mateen Khelifi.
Speaking afterwards, coach Michael Ryder said: “We have a really talented group of players in this age group. They are athletic and skilful and want to learn. The most positive thing is how much they enjoy their football.
“We want to thank St Clere’s. It was a great tournament, well organised, well refereed and a fantastic 3G playing surface that really encouraged skilful football. I was pleased with the way our new signings gelled so quickly with the longer established team members and we are really looking forward to the new season at Under-14 in the Essex Echo Premier League.”