The Middlesex u18 squad resumed their South East Counties Championship fixtures on Sunday with an away match against Sussex at the latter’s pleasant and functional Lancing HQ. This was only our second match in this season’s competition, mainly because of our success in the FA County Youth Cup. In contrast, this match would complete our host’s fixtures and as they had won all 3 of their previous matches, a victory would clinch the title for them.
Unfortunately, because of withdrawals, we were missing several key players from our FA County Youth Cup winning side.
Sussex played very well and thoroughly deserved their 2-0 victory and resultant consecutive South Eastern Championship title. The trophy was presented on the pitch, after the match by the Competition’s Secretary/Treasurer, Mark Rogers.
Our hosts took the lead in the 11th minute through Alfie Rogers, who hit an unstoppable shot into the angle of the bar and post, following good approach work by Joel Daly.
Sussex continued to hold the initiative. Joel Daly’s cross-shot just missed the far post. Our keeper, Lewis Todd saved at close range from Josh Tuck. Alfie Rogers was presented with a good chance but hit the ball too high on that occasion.
We eventually got into the match and Alex Hadjithemistou’s low shot was well saved by Sussex custodian, Dan Rose. Then Malachy McGovern crashed a shot against the home crossbar from around 25 yards.
Almost immediately the ball was moved to the other end, where Jack Newhouse’s cross shot rebounded into our net off of the far post. This was in the 29th minute.
Sussex continued to have the majority of attempts on goal. Lewis made a good save from Joel Daly’s well struck high shot and expertly covered Reece Hallard’s awkwardly bouncing long range effort. Alfie Rogers twice went close.
Jay O’Connor, who was impressive in midfield for us, created a rare shooting opportunity but Harrison Livingstone skied his shot.
Half time score: Sussex 2 Middlesex 0
We improved in the second half and had a greater share of possession. However, we could not penetrate the solid home defence sufficiently to put their keeper under pressure.
Lewis Todd pushed away 2 well struck drives from Reece Hallard. Harrison Livingstone tried a shot from around 25 yards but was off target. Then his high cross was safely taken by Dan Rose.
Lewis punched Joel Daly’s troublesome corner to safety and then saved well from Callum Kealey, following a good passing movement between the latter and Joel Daly.
Final score: Sussex 2 Middlesex 0
Our thanks are once again due to Sussex for their excellent hospitality.
SUSSEX: Dan Rose (Hastings United), Emmanuel Osei-Asomah (Lewes), Joel Colbran (Loxwood)(capt), Curtis Griffin, Josh Tuck (both Burgess Hill Town), Matt Pickering (Eastbourne Borough), Callum Kealy (Lewes), Reece Hallard, Jack Newhouse (both Worthing), Alfie Rogers and Joel Daly (both Lewes).
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition), Finton Walsh, Rob Deda, Lewis Broughton (all Whitehawk), Tom McAlpine (Burgess Hill Town) and Charlie Williamson (Worthing).
Manager: Paul Atkinson
MIDDLESEX: Lewis Todd (North Greenford United), Brandon Watts (Hampton & Richmond Borough), Alex Lafleur (Wealdstone), Jeremy Agholor (Wingate & Finchley), Ryan Kukoyi (Cheshunt) (capt), Connor Wilks (Hampton & Richmond Borough), Corey Watson (Uxbridge), Ethan Mooney (Edgware Town), Malachy McGovern (Hendon), Harrison Livingstone (Hampton & Richmond Borough) and Alex Hadjithemistou (Wingate & Finchley)
Substitutes: Jay O’Connell (Uxbridge), Zaid Al Hussaini (Bedfont & Feltham) and Callum Coulter (Bedfont Sports)(gkpr).
Manager: John Fletcher Assistant Manager: Darrel Gyngell Coaches: Wayne Little and Vince Purdue, Physio: Gary Strudwick.
REFEREE: Callum Tulley ASSISTANT REFEREES: Barry Myers and Mark Spence FOURTH OFFICIAL: Alex Daniel.
Photos from the game can be found here courtesy of Chris Benn.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT MATCH PLAYED ON SUNDAY
MIDDLESEX SUNDAY JUNIOR CUP FINAL
AFC KINGSTON 1 BAA HEATHROW 4 H.T 1-1
Goal scorers: AFC Kingston: Jack Mills (31 mins) BAA Heathrow: Jake Girt (15), Jamie Burksfield (53 pen and 70), Peter Parfitt (81).
Player of the Match: Jake Girt (BAA Heathrow)
Venue: AFC Hayes
Thanks to Mike Heavey for the information.