Football: Matt guides league to Wanderers win

The ELFA Under 12s team celebrate their success at the Reebok Stadium

The Under 12s winners

The East Lancashire Football Alliance Under 10s winners

First published in Sport by , Features Writer

WHALLEY Juniors ace Matt Stephenson fired a sensational goal double at the Reebok Stadium as the East Lancashire Football Alliance’s Under 12 outfit lifted the Bolton Cup.

The East Lancashire Football Alliance decided to resurrect the league’s representative squad this term, and they showcased their skills with a splendid 2-0 cup final over Hoylake.

The lads began their campaign with a one-sided 5-0 win over Ayr Boswell Colts, and a hard fought 2-1 victory over Borras Park Rangers from Wales.

In the semi-final, Michael Dale was on the mark for East Lancs in a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland outfit Dungannon and they held their nerve to lift the trophy 4-3 on penalties.

“It was a marvellous effort by the boys to win the cup,”said East Lancs Under 12s manager Barry Gregson.

“Hoylake were a strong side, with several players on the books at Tranmere and Wrexham, so it was a terrific victory.

“Matt Stephenson’s a defender so he proved he has a good eye for goal too.

“It was an amazing experience for the lads to play on the full pitch at Bolton Wanderers and to use all the facilities.” In the U10s Competition, East Lancs thrashed Hereford United 6-1, as well as defeating West Bromwich Albion 4-0 to reach the final.

But they found the Brazilian Soccer School too strong, going down 2-0.

The U14s side won their group, overcoming Barrow 4-1 and Mark Elite Academy 2-1, clinching a place in the last four against Dungannon, who proved too strong, running out 4-2 winners.

Barrow gained revenge in the Consolation Cup final, beating the East Lancs lads 2-1.

Mr Gregson added: “We hope to enter the Under12 team in the Bolton Super Cup now – they’ve had a great season.”

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