Emdad Rahman :: Mile End FC have been crowned the winners of the Newham Champions League after beating rivals Elite FC 2-1 in an entertaining final.
The final at Newham Leisure Centre was a tightly contested affair from beginning to end.
Elite had gone into the final as firm favourites having beaten their rivals twice to wrap up the league and pip Mile End to the honours. With the league sewn up Elite were determined to pull off the first double in the short history of the Champions League
A breathtaking game saw Mile End Captain Jahed scored a second half brace to put his team firmly in control but Elite hit back on the counter attack and in the dying seconds almost took the game to extra time but for a trademark save by Mike End keeper Chiggy.
The game itself was a fabulous advert for grassroots football with neither team willing to give anything away. The first half ended 0-0 with both teams staying disciplined and keeping their concentration when it was needed most.
The second half started with Jahed pushing forward and this was key as Mile End captain raced through to beat Ashley in the Elite goal.
The Elite number one was further punished as a parried save landed at the feet of Jahed who again made no mistake.
With the clock ticking Elite FC pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 and piled the pressure on Mile End and it nearly paid off but for the heroics between the sticks by goalkeeper Chiggy.
The final whistle was followed by crazy celebrations as Mile End manager Abdul Husain and his men collected their trophies. Husain said: “We believe in ourselves and that’s our strong point. We lost both games to our opponents and that cost us the league but tonight the boys lifted themselves and proved their strength of character. I’m very proud of my team.”
Champions League organiser who jointly runs the League and Cup with Habs Rahman said: “It was another great end to a fantastic campaign and our congratulations once again go to Mile End FC for winning the inaugural Champions League Cup competition.”
The awards ceremony for the league took place at the end of the night with trophies presented for the following categories:
Volunteer award: Abdul Kadir
Golden Boot: Alban (JIFA Originals) – 16 Goals
Player of the season: Jahed – Mile End FC
Golden Gloves: Ashley – Elite FC
Fair play: RB Power
Runners up: Mile End FC
Winners: Elite FC
Golden Boot: Akram (JIFA FC) – 12 goals
Player of the season: Adnaan – JIFA FC
Golden Gloves: Yasin – Newham 7’s
Fair play: New Hammers
Runners up: Newham 7’s
Winners: JIFA FC
Runners up: Urban Hero
Winners: RB Power
Runners up: Elite FC
Winners: Mile End FC