Middlesex took the initiative and dominated the first quarter of the match. We had several chances to score but failed to capitalise on any of them. We forced a corner in the first minute. That was the first of several successive corners. Then Malachy McGovern burst through but his final shot was marginally off target. James Taylor’s in-swinging free kick passed just wide of the post. Alex Hadjithemistou fired across goal. Lucas Sinclair fastened onto a long ball up the middle from Jack Roper but keeper Joe Cross punched clear. Malachy released Reece Crotty but no one was able to connect with Reece’s low cross.
Then, in the 21st minute, the inevitable happened and we were made to regret our wastefulness in front of goal. Louis Dillon broke away up the left and set up Craig Jeakins, who netted with aplomb to put our visitors a goal up.
We had another chance but Lucas fired wide from Alex’s pass before the AFA doubled their lead in the 23rd minute. George Maw netted from close range following a scramble in our penalty area.
We had further chances. Harvey Killeen’s shot was cleared off of the line. Reece couldn’t convert Jack Roper’s cross. A couple of close-range efforts were charged down in a spell of goalmouth action, after good approach work by Alex. Joe Cross saved brilliantly from Jay O’Connell’s 20-yard effort.
Score at half time: Middlesex 0 Amateur Football Alliance 2
The second half developed into an entertaining end to end battle, containing good passing movements from both sides. A low shot from Lucas was saved low down by AFA replacement keeper, Milvydas Lukosius. The advanced Zayn Daniels beat the keeper to the resultant corner but his header was wide.
Lucas pulled a goal back for Middlesex in the 58th minute. He forced his way past 2 defenders, won the ball and placed the ball past the keeper.
Almost immediately, Jack Roper headed a lob from Craig Jeakins out from under our cross bar but the AFA restored their 2 goal advantage after 63 minutes. Josh Bierne failed to hold a corner and the ball rebounded into our net off of Jay O’Connell.
Three minutes later, Craig Jeakins finished off an excellent move, to make the score 4-1 to our visitors.
The visiting keeper saved at Harvey Killeen’s feet but Harvey got onto the scoresheet in the 70th minute, with a well-struck shot from outside the penalty box.
We had some more chances but were not able to reduce the AFA.s lead any further. Harvey bounced the ball on the top of the visitor's bar from wide on the right. Lucas headed James Taylor’s long ball wide. Zayn Daniels fired wide from Jay’s centre. A fine move involving Lucas, Malachy, Ryan and Harvey ended in a good save by Milvydas.
Result: Middlesex 2 Amateur Football Alliance 4
The match was well controlled by referee Andrew Batten and his assistant referees, James Field and Matthew Swinburn.
Our grateful thanks are given to Bedfont & Feltham FC for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities and for their splendid hospitality.
: Lewis Todd, Jack Roper (both North Greenford United), James Taylor (Beaconsfield SYCOB), Ryan Kukoyi (Cheshunt) (capt), Zayn Daniels (Southall), Corey Watson (Uxbridge), Harvey Killeen (Hanwell Town), MalachyMcGovern (Hendon), Reece Crotty (Uxbridge), Alex Hadjithemistou (Wingate & Finchley) and Lucas Sinclair (Hayes & Yeading United).
Substitutes (replacement substitutes were used):James O’Connell (Uxbridge), Emre Top (Rap-aid Youth) and Josh Bierne (CB Hounslow United) (gkpr) who replaced Lewis Todd for 2nd half.
Manager: John Fletcher Coaches: Vince Purdue Physio: Gary Strudwick.
Joe Cross (Norseman), Ben Mackay, Ben Linter (both West Wickham), Waiel Hassen and Kobica Coker (both Enfield Town), Jack Barton (Old Ignatians), Craig Jeakins (Winchmore Hill), George Maw (West Wickham), Jaden Stephenson (Cockfosters), Matthew Morgan (Norseman) and Louis Dillon (Old Finchleians).
Substitutes: Max Bassington, Alfie Mason (both Bishop Stortford), Ekon Coker (Enfield Town), Ethan Jones and Milvydas Lukosius (Old Finchleians)(gkpr) who replaced Joe Cross for the 2nd half.
Manager: Pat Folan Coach: Bob Leeds Physio: Jameel Shah.
Photos from the match are available here, courtesy of match day photographer Chris Benn.