Liam Tate struck a late winner to ensure Haverhill Rovers Under-12s prevailed in the Déjà vu Matchday Experience Cup at The New Croft 3G.
The match pitted the Under-12s against the Haverhill Rovers Blues Under-11s in what was a fantastic advertisement for all that is good in youth football.
The Matchday Experience Cup gave both teams the opportunity to go through the pre-match build up that the first team would undergo.
There was also a very good and appreciative crowd of around 200 spectators present to witness proceedings, which is also a new record for a youth match at The New Croft.
The game itself lived up to and even exceeded expectations. If anyone thought the players would be overawed by the occasion, they were mistaken.
Youthful exuberance and athleticism, good movement, excellent passing and some crunching tackles were in abundance and after three-quarters of the game it became apparent it would take something special to win.
And that is exactly what happened. After a sustained period of pressure from the Under-11s, the older team managed to break free.
Eight minutes from time the ball fell to Tate, who advanced deep into the opposition’s half before firing in a super strike, one worthy of winning the final and, although it was his Under-12s who prevailed, in truth there were no losers.
n Haverhill Rovers held a 4v4 festival last weekend as part of the third staging of Suffolk FA’s Silent Weekend.
Nearly 550 teams, including adults for the first time, signed up to create silent sideline areas across the county over Saturday and Sunday.