Our Under 16 team continued their South East Counties Youth Championship programme last Sunday with an away fixture against Sussex. This game was played at the very pleasant Jubilee Walk ground, home of Three Bridges FC.
Unfortunately, we lost an entertaining and well-contested match by 2-0. This was our first defeat in the competition this season, giving us a record to date of played 3, won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1.
We almost took the lead in the opening 2 minutes. Felix Amoah broke down the right and crossed for Matthew Dones. However, Matthew’s goal-bound shot was deflected onto the post by Sussex defender, Dylan Jelly.
After this, our hosts had the better opportunities in the first half. Tom Chalaye went narrowly wide with a scorching drive, after being set up by Liam Brady. Then Tom put centre forward, Jake Hutchinson through but Jake was foiled by a timely interception by our skipper, Liam Bakry.
Sussex went ahead in the 25th minute through Jake Hutchinson who headed Oliver Young’s deep cross from the right back into our net.
Soon after this our keeper, Damian Pawlak made a superb save by tipping a powerful drive by Hutchinson onto his crossbar.
Then Liam Brady made a penetrating run but his finishing shot was narrowly off target and Damian Pawlak left his penalty area to kick clear from the advancing Tom Collins.
Sussex went in at the break deserving their narrow lead.
Halftime score: Sussex 1 Middlesex 0
We came into the game much more in the second half. We enjoyed a greater share of the possession with Rene Barnes particularly prominent. However, although we passed the ball around well, we were unable to manufacture very many clear scoring opportunities.
Sussex keeper, Henry Lester left his area to intercept an attack but was beaten to the ball by Rene. However, Rene’s effort on the unguarded goal was intercepted by a defender.
We came nearest to equalising in the 17th minute of the half when Rene headed a long cross against the Sussex post.
Damian Pawlak saved a low drive from Liam Brady as full time approached but Liam made the game safe for Sussex in added time when he netted Oliver Young’s low cross from close range.
Jacob Miles refereed the match very well indeed.
Final Score: Sussex 2 Middlesex 0
Henry Lester (East Grinstead Meads), Dylan Jelly (Barnham Trojans), Shane Harper (AFC Uckfield Town), Thomas Langford (Eastbourne United Assn), Luca Cocoracchio (Loxwood), Tyrese Mthunzi (Shoreham & Adur), Tom Collins (Eastbourne United Assn), Oliver Young (Loxwood), Jake Hutchinson, Tom Chalye (both Eastbourne United Assn) and Liam Brady (Barnham Trojans).
Substitutes (rolling subs were used): Brad Santos (Eastbourne United Assn), James Pool (Hastings United) and Jamie Buchanan (Three Bridges).
Manager: Paul Atkinson Assistant Manager: Ian Browne Coaches: Tom Atkinson and Dan Rose Physio: Terry Gaunt.
Damian Pawlak (Hanwell Town Youth), Philip Essandoh (Hendon Youth), Ronnie Heath (Sandgate Youth), Sam Mason (Wealdstone), Matthew Lenihan (Wembley Youth), Liam Bakry (Ruislip Rangers) (capt), Felix Amoah (Wembley Youth), Joe Mills (Ruislip Rangers), Kahlil Francis (Hendon Youth), Jonathon Novak (Cockfosters Youth) and Matthew Dones (Borehamwood Youth).
Substitutes: George Deacon (Ruislip Rangers), Shammer Swaby (Hendon Youth), Rene Barnes and Thierry Thomas-Gaye (Hendon Youth)(reserve goalkeeper).
Manager: Darrel Gyngell Coaches: Wayne Little, Vince Purdue, Danny Gyngell and Remi Bignall. Physio: Gary Strudwick.
Referee: Jacob Miles Assistant Referees: Barry Cox and Paul Rowland Fourth Official: Will Briers (all from Sussex FA).
Our thanks are given to Sussex FA for their usual fine hospitality and to Three Bridges FC for an enjoyable stay at their impressive ground.