The Middlesex Under 16 Cup final, was played at Reynolds Field, the splendid home of Hanwell Town FC last Thursday evening. This season’s finalists, the survivors from the 68 teams which entered the competition were Conquest and Bedfont Eagles. Conquest was formed as recently as 2012 while Bedfont Eagles were established way back in 1976. This was Eagles 3rd appearance in a Middlesex Cup final. They won this trophy in 2012-13 and 2014-15, while the squad on view in this game was successful in last season’s Under 15 Cup.
A lively, interesting and very even game was eventually won by Conquest with a goal in extra time. The proceedings began at a fast pace and the standard of football in the opening stages was excellent. Eagles had the best of the early chances. A well struck free kick taken by midfielder, Matt Morris floated just wide and then Chris Sawyer headed against the goal-post. Matt fed Reiss Spencer but Reiss’s lob finished on top of the goal net.
In the 12th minute, Tashae Andall-Gibbons hit the Bedfont post but the ball was cleared out to Reiss Spencer, who sped up the middle and slipped the ball home to give Eagles the lead.
The game settled down into a mainly midfield tussle. Conrad Worrell-Scott tried a shot from around 25 yards, which was competently dealt with by Conquest keeper, Sam Nabbad. Conquest skipper, Zak Jama netted with a low shot but was adjudged to be offside. Then Zak’s free kick brought a good diving save from Daniel Harvey.
HALF TIME SCORE: CONQUEST 0 BEDFONT EAGLES 1
Conquest drew level in the 41st minute through Tashae’s close range shot.
A well-timed interception by Alkhidri Rajab prevented Matt Morris from firing Eagles ahead again.
Conquest enjoyed a spell of domination. Zak burst through but Daniel Harvey saved at his feet. Tashae just cleared the Eagles’ bar from a tight angle. Zak squared low and hard but nobody could get a touch.
Bedfont’s Reiss Spencer had a good opportunity when he broke clear from half way but he shot straight at the keeper. Matt Morris, who covered the pitch tirelessly throughout the match, put in a good cross but Kyle Williams shot too high. Jake Mountain headed forward into the box but Sami Nabbad beat Reiss to the high bouncing ball.
Play had become scrappy as the players visibly tired. There were several instances of cramp. However, a feature was the high quality dead ball kicking of Eagles’ Matt Morris.
Sami Nabbad saved in quick succession, at close quarters, from Chris Sawyer and Hamzah Gazi.
Coree Palfrey netted for Conquest but the celebrations were cut short when it was realised that the assistant referee’s flag had been raised for some time.
Sami punched Matt Morris’s inswinging corner out from under his bar and another corner from Matt eluded several Bedfont heads.
SCORE AFTER 80 MINUTES: CONQUEST 1 BEDFONT EAGLES 1
Tashae Andall-Gibbons netted the winning goal in the second minute of extra time, when he beat the keeper to a through ball, following a bad goal kick.
The players had given everything and were very tired and play was quite desultory during the extra 20 minutes. Consequently, there were few chances. Bedfont’s Daniel Harvey saved low down following a goalmouth scramble. Advancing defender, Jake Mountain, hit Matt Morris’s corner over the bar from close range.
FINAL RESULT: CONQUEST 2 BEDFONT EAGLES 1
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor, presented the trophies and medals after the game. He chose Bedfont Eagles’ outstanding midfielder, Matt Morris, as Player of the Match.
Our grateful thanks are given to Hanwell Town FC for staging the game and for their superb hospitality. The attendance was a very healthy 264.
CONQUEST: Sami Nabbad, Hassan Malik, Samurai Evans, Tevis Panaritti, Alkhidhri Rajab, Guerin Nimi, Onur Gucluer, Coree Palfrey, Tashae Andall-Gibbons, Zak Jama (capt) and Ben Awuah.
Substitutes (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Oliver Cox and Telmo Lima.
Manager: Conor Hayden.
BEDFONT EAGLES: Daniel Harvey, Conrad Worrell-Scott, Troy Reader (capt), Kiaro Applegarth, Jake Mountain, Ryan Snook, Matt Morris, Chris Sawyer, Jack Torbett, Kyle Williams and Reiss Spencer.
Substitutes: Zac Elekes, Jay Reader, Hamzah Gazi, Mik Kapala and Samuel Kisungu.
Manager: Lee Harvey.
REFEREE: Alex Bedwell ASSISTANT REFEREES: Andy Kowalski and Mitchell Harvey FOURTH OFFICIAL: Mark Sellars.
Match photos were taken by photographer, Chris Benn and are available here.