The Middlesex FA Under 16 team concluded its league programme for the season against the Amateur Football Alliance on Tuesday evening at Uxbridge FC. Our visitors clinched the competition title, which they also won last season, with a single goal victory in an extremely entertaining match.
Both sides played excellent football and the AFA demonstrated why they finished at the top of the table again. Middlesex also produced a pleasing performance, especially as late withdrawals by several key players left them with a squad of only 13. We pushed the AFA all the way and gave them some anxious moments in the closing stages of the match.
The first serious threat on goal came from Middlesex’s Trevan Robinson in the 10th minute. Trevan’s low drive was smothered by the excellent AFA keeper, Harry Hauserman.
Middlesex central striker Felix Amoah chased a long ball up the middle but was muscled off of it. Then Harry Hauserman left his area to head a long ball from Joe Mills away from Felix.
Damian Pawlak, in the Middlesex goal expertly saved a shot from the edge of the penalty area by Rigart Rama.
Our visitors scored the only goal of the game in the 16th minute. Bailey Stevenson outpaced our defence and squared the ball for Rigart Rama to net from close range.
Bailey then went on another incisive run and set up Rigart again but this time Sam Mason did very well to charge down the final shot.
Just before the interval, Jonathon Novak released Felix Amoah but Felix’s shot was intercepted by Ben Bellman, at the expense of a corner.
Half time score: Middlesex 0 AFA 1
Felix won the ball from AFA defender, Finn Harvey in a good position but placed his shot wide. Felix then made ground up the wing and fed Omar Mohammad, whose shot was saved.
AFA’s Ahmed Sharif seized a loose ball in our penalty area but he was thwarted by Damian and the ball was cleared. Harry Houseman dealt competently with a well struck 30 yard free kick from Joe Mills and then with a high cross from Matthew Dones.
Omar thudded a shot against Harry Houseman’s left hand post from a wide angle.
A good AFA passing movement was ended by a timely interception by Eisa Azab. Damian saved a dangerous deflected shot from Nirvan Bregu and then Nirvan put Rigart Rama’s low cross wide from close range.
Jonathon Novak was looking particularly dangerous and made a good run to set up Rene Barnes. Skipper David Ola saved the situation for the AFA.
Middlesex were now exerting considerable pressure and a goalmouth scramble produced a corner. A frenzied spell of action followed with Harry Hauserman, who had an outstanding game, making 2 good saves and several shots being charged down. The visiting defence survived some anxious moments, through desperate defending, before the ball was eventually cleared into touch, much to the relief of our AFA colleagues in the stand.
Then Jonathon shot narrowly wide and Harry saved a sharp angled shot from Rene Barnes.
Rigart Rama relieved the pressure by breaking out of defence but he shot straight at Damian. Then, when we resumed the attack, Harry saved at Trevan’s feet.
Final Score: Middlesex 0 AFA 1
Referee Jack Ohene and his Assistant Referees Simon Cudner and Dan Harvey controlled the proceedings very well.
Our heartiest congratulations were expressed to our visitors, who are worthy champions.
We were delighted to welcome Mark Rogers, the Secretary Treasurer of the South East Counties Youth Championship, who presented the winners’ trophy and mementoes to the AFA players after the match.
Middlesex FA caps were presented by Jim Bragg, Vice Chairman of the Youth Representative Sub Committee to Joe Mills and Damian Pawlak in recognition of their sixth appearance.
Our grateful thanks are once again extended to Uxbridge FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for looking after us so well.
Damian Pawlak (Hanwell Town Youth), Rhys Williams (Brook House), George Deacon, Joe Mills (both Ruislip Rangers), Sam Mason (Wealdstone), Eisa Azab (capt), Trevan Robinson, Omar Mohammad (all Brook House), Felix Amoah (Wembley Youth), Jonathon Novak (Cockfosters Youth) and Matthew Dones (Borehamwood Youth).
Substitutes (repeat substitutions were used): Rene Barnes (Hanwell Town) and Shane Kettle (Brook House).
Manager: Darrel Gyngell Assistant Manager: Remi Bignall Coaches: Vince Purdue and Danny Gyngell. Physio: Barbara Bivens.
Harry Hauserman (Wingate & Finchley), Ryan Murphy and Ben Bellman (both Cockfosters), Bradav Badjenga (Enfield Town), David Ola (capt) (Wingate & Finchley), Finn Harvey (Cockfosters), Rigart Rama (Wingate & Finchley), Billy Norton (Norseman), Bailey Stevenson (Cockfosters), Liam Mulligan and Justin Dumfeh (both Wingate & Finchley).
Substitutes: Kia Smith (Bishops Stortford), Ahmed Sharif (Norseman), Giorgi Kerenski, Nirvan Bregu (both Enfield Town) and Massimo Symeon (Wingate & Finchley).
Manager: Gary Harrowell Coach: Gar Casey Physio: Bob Leeds
Match photos are available below courtesy of Chris Benn.