Ongar Town won the Charles Charity Cup, in aid of Josh Charles and the Bone Cancer Research Trust, as they beat Buckhurst Hill by two-goals to nil.
The contest was a game of two-halves as the home side had the better chances in the first half, while Ongar Town dominated the second half and made the most of their chances, sealing a win that felt like the changing of hands ahead of Hill’s move up to Step-6 and Ongar’s rise to the EOFL Premier Division.
There was very little goal mouth action in the opening 15-minutes of the game as both sides battled well in midfield. Buckhurst had looked to get forward the earliest as they a corner was fired into the box in the 3rd-minute, but Ongar were able to head it away. The away side looked to break immediately after, but Hill defended well.
Ongar came close to breaking the deadlock in the 16th-minute as Aaron Blair forced the keeper into a good save, before the rebound was flashed inches of the far post. Buckhurst Hill got a foothold in the game, as they themselves looked to open the scoring. A free-kick was floated into the box, but headed over the bar from close range before their was a huge chance as the home side picked up the ball in the opposition box, but the forward wasn’t able to get the ball out from under his feet and Ongar were able to clear their lines.
Buckhurst continued to dominate, but they couldn’t find the opening, as Ongar did superbly to limit their shots at goal. The Ongar keeper was forced into a superb save to deny the home side from close range, before they came close again minutes later as a last ditch tackle from Ali Carter denied Buckhurst, with the resulting corner flicked wide of the far post.
Despite finding themselves on the backfoot for most of the first half, Ongar Town looked to score right at the end of the first half. Harry Rawlins looked to run into the box, but he was tugged back, before Buckhurst looked to counter in the final-minute, but a shot was well saved by the keeper.
Ongar Town made the brightest start to the second half. They had tried to play balls to Aaron Blair, but the ball wouldn’t quite fall for the forward. The early pressure soon paid off though as the deadlock was broken in the 55th-minute. Captain Mitchell McCabe picked up the ball in midfield and drove forward, before unleashing a thunderbolt shot from outside the box, that nestled in the bottom corner.
Although they fell a goal behind, Buckhurst Hill were almost in again, but couldn’t find the back of the net, before McCabe looked to double this tally for the evening as he stood over a free-kick, but the set-piece was fired just over.
The home side looked to level the game as they looked to be in on goal, but a couple of good tackles from Carter and Co. made it impossible for Buckhurst to get a shot off and Ongar were able to clear their lines. The away side continued to come forward as they looked to extend their lead, giving them a firmer grip on the game. Joshua Boxall made a good run down the left-hand side, but his cross was missed at the back post, before another cross was delivered towards the far post, but the effort was over everyone and out for a goal-kick. The pressure looked to have payed off as Ongar had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Boxall had been played through on goal and curled the ball around the keeper, but he was judged to have made a run far too early.
As the game reached the last 10-minutes, Ongar continued to come forward. Buckhurst Hill forced the keeper into a good save, but no one was close enough to tap home the rebound, before Aaron Blair looked to run through on goal a minute later, but his shot was well blocked. Just 4-minutes later, the trophy was sealed as Ongar doubled their lead. A neat one-two saw Joshua Boxall find himself in a similar position to the ruled-out goal, and like a carbon copy of that effort, he curled the ball beyond the keeper and into the back of the net, to give Town a 2-0 lead.
With little time to play, Ongar did their best to hold onto the ball and even tried to bring it forward as Blair looked to beat defenders, but Buckhurst Hill had different ideas and did their best to keep the away side at bay. Hill also tried to bring it forward, but struggled to do so, and the game was brought to an end.