EAST Christchurch SSC won the MA Hart Robbins Cup for the second time in their history when they just got the better of JP Morgan 2-1.

East Christchurch have excelled in cup competitions this season, winning the Mark Hart Sunday Senior Cup and reaching the quarter-finals of the prestigious FA Sunday Cup.

But JP Morgan made them work hard for their victory at Hurn Bridge.

Alex Whitehouse left JP Morgan defenders Claudio Selimi, Joe Manley and James Hardiman in his wake in the seventh minute and, as Federico Zorzi closed him down on the edge of the penalty area, the East Christchurch leading goalscorer drilled a shot narrowly wide.

JP Morgan went close when Luke Brown’s low shot came back off East Christchurch goalkeeper Marc Davies.

Ryan Roberts tried to stab in the loose ball from close range but Matt Piovan’s last-ditch challenge was just enough to force him to put his effort against the side of the post and behind.

A free-kick to the near post was headed on by Mal Thomas and the close attentions of JP Morgan keeper Nigel Dunn forced Jamie Trimble to hook the ball over the bar.

But East Christchurch went ahead in the 22nd minute. After Jack Smith was fouled wide on the left by Ben Gard, Jonny King’s free-kick to the far post eluded goalkeeper Dunn and Dan Whitehouse came in to head the ball into an empty net.

JP Morgan defended resolutely as East Christchurch continued to press and, as the first half came to a close, it was East Christchurch on the back foot.

JP Morgan equalised four minutes into the second half when stopper Davies came out of his area to challenge Roberts for a high ball.

It broke to Luke Brown who lobbed the ball into the net over defender Dan Hancock to level the contest.

Brown then dispossessed Dan Whitehouse 10 yards inside the East Christchurch half and ran through but Davies was off his line quickly to deny him.

East Christchurch took the lead again three minutes past the hour mark.

Jamie Trimble was fouled just outside the JP Morgan penalty area and, although Nigel Dunn got his hands to King’s free-kick, the ball slipped between them and dropped into the back of the net.

JP Morgan had a lucky escape in the 87th minute when King raced down the left and his cross was steered against the underside of the bar by Trimble.

There was a late scare for East Christchurch in stoppage time however. Joe Manley’s through ball enabled substitute Harry Yates to get behind the defence to drive a shot against the outside of the post.

East Christchurch SSC: Davies, Smith, Piovan, Whitehouse, Hancock (Harris, 82), Trimble, Orchard, Kennedy (Bower, 76), Whitehouse, King (Munteanu, 90), Thomas (East, 90).

JP Morgan: Dunn, Gard (Vaughan, 85), Zorzi, Hardiman, Jones (Abdelatti, 82), Manley, Selimi, O’Mullan, Roberts (Yates, 50), Brown (Evans, 72), Barth (Chigariro, 63).