PREVIEW: Holders Three Colts take on treble-hunting Docklands Albion side

PREVIEW: Holders Three Colts take on treble-hunting Docklands Albion side

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This Thursday sees the fifth of our six Essex Alliance League cup finals taking place as we head to Dagenham & Redbridge FC to witness the climax of the Division One Cup Final. Docklands Albion will take on Three Colts looking to seal a treble this season and a clean sweep.

For Three Colts, the present holders of the Division One Cup, they will be looking to cause a stir on Thursday and be the party-poopers as they look to keep hold of the trophy they earned twelve months ago. That night, they overcame a Sporting Hackney Reserves side in a 4-1 victory which saw them secure their first silverware as a club. It’s been a season of ups and downs for the side who currently sit eighth in the league standings with seven victories from their nineteen matches played so far, a division which has proven to be incredibly tough this year. Their form in the cup competitions has been much better however as they started their defence of the trophy with a thumping 6-1 away win against a very good East Ham Inter outfit in the opening round. They then faced their final opponents from last season in the quarter-finals as they took on Sporting Hackney Reserves, edging their way through that tie in a 2-1 win. In the semi-finals they came up against a fired-up Cowley Community side but Colts managed the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win that secured their place at Dagenham & Redbridge FC for the final. Their key man is Thomas Jakob who has been involved with the club since it’s inception and is the top goalscorer with ten goals this year. However, with seven players having scored 5 or more goals this season, they are a side who share the goals around whilst often proving a difficult side to break down.

As we look into the away dressing room on Thursday, you will find a Docklands Albion side who are brimming with confidence at the moment as they stand on the threshold of a possible treble this season having already secured the Fenton Cup having come from a goal down to beat ACD United in a very high-quality cup final ten days ago. Added to that, their combination of footballing flair and passion has brought them thirteen league victories from sixteen matches so far this year and they wrapped up the league title at the weekend with a pair of 3-0 wins which gave them an unassailable lead at the top as they set themselves up for an assault on the Premier Division next year. Their run to the Division One Cup final started with a 3-1 away victory over Ryan Reserves which set them up for a semi-final against Melbourne Sports in the last four. Albion came through that tie with flying colours, securing a 3-0 win which booked them a place in the final. Tashan Benjamin and Samuel Daminabo lead the way for the club in their scorer charts with ten goals apiece which mark them out as the men to watch but they are also a side who have goals throughout the side amongst a very talented and driven group of individuals.

As we analyse the chances of each of our finalists, the one league match between these sides so far this season saw a Docklands Albion win by a 3-0 margin back in November with the second clash still to take place later this month. With that performance in mind, along with a 19 point gap between the sides in the league, the tag of favourites must fall upon the heads of the Albion side. But as our cup finals have so often proven this season, the “underdogs” don’t roll over easily and have, in fact, led in each and every final played this season so far – albeit then losing in each of those games late on. Nonetheless, trends are there to be broken and Three Colts will certainly be seeking to spring a big shock on Thursday night as they do their utmost to hang on to the silverware.

Congratulations to our appointed match officials on this final, a reward for the continued hard work put in by our referees across the season. The recently promoted and highly-regarded Tommy Breen is the man with the whistle and will be ably supported by the experienced Mark Hankin and upcoming Morgan Conn from the touchlines. Courtney Maitland completes the quartet on the evening with the fourth official duties.

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