We started our 2018 programme of adult cup finals at Hanwell Town FC’s well-appointed Powerday Stadium on Wednesday evening with the final of the Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy. This trophy is named in memory of the late Geoff Harrison, a Middlesex FA Councillor and a tireless worker for junior football, who sadly passed away in 2012. This match resulted in a new name appearing on the list of winners with Harrow Bhoys FC, who were only formed in 2016, overcoming NPL Saturday Reserves by four goals to nil.
A minute’s silence was observed before the kick off in honour of two people, who made significant contributions to the history of the competing finalists. They were Frank Matthews, Honorary President of Harrow Bhoys, who passed away on 7th March and Harry July, a star player for NPL, who ultimately lost a brave fight against cancer.
The match was territorially evenly balanced but the Bhoys’ superior firepower ensured their comfortable victory.
Urged on by an enthusiastic crowd, the players swiftly moved play from end to end. The first clear chance fell to NPL. Gus Gomez was fouled just outside the Bhoys’ penalty area but Jack Smith chipped the resulting free-kick over the crossbar.
The Bhoys took the lead in the 4th minute in a fortunate manner. A shot from prolific scorer, Jake Boggins was intercepted on the goal line by a defender, whose attempted clearance bounced off of the keeper into the net.
NPL struck back and Harrow custodian, Will Blithing just beat Dave Collins to a great through ball by Gus Gomez. The Bhoys then survived a brief spell of frenetic goalmouth action before they switched play to the other end, where a long range shot by Harry Carey was comfortably dealt with by Lewis Gallifent in the NPL goal. Lewis then cleared under pressure following a dangerous freekick from the left of his penalty area.
Harrow Bhoys then virtually made the game safe with 2 goals in just over 3 minutes. Liam O’Connor netted in the 27th minute after Lewis Gallifent had parried a shot and in the 30th minute, Harry Carey picked up a loose ball and slotted it home.
Bhoys’ defender, Conor Hynes, saved a dangerous situation with a headed clearance out of his goal area. Then Michael Lynch released Harry Carey, whose angled shot was saved high up by Lewis Gallifent.
NPL defender Jack Smith was cautioned for a tackle in a dangerous position but the resulting free kick, taken by Kevin Lynam came to nothing.
Halftime score: Harrow Bhoys 3 NPL Saturday Reserves 0
With the game numerically firmly in Harrow Bhoys’ favour, the second half was somewhat of an anti-climax and remained goalless until the very end.
Harry Carey burst into the NPL penalty box, resisted a tackle but then pushed his shot wide. A good Harrow move, involving Austin Twomey, Liam O’Connor, and Sean Sweeney ended with Lewis Gallifent’s finger-tip save from the latter’s shot. Lewis then left his penalty area to thwart Liam O’Connor. Bhoys’ substitute, George Perring was gifted the ball by Matt Robbins but wasted the chance by firing over the bar.
Harrow’s final substitute, Gary Smith, made the score 4-0 in the 86th minute. He collected the ball in his own half, raced up the middle and slotted the ball home with aplomb.
The match ended with the ball being hacked out of the Harrow goalmouth following a complicated scramble.
Referee Conor Griffin enjoyed a very good match and he and his team controlled the proceedings admirably.
Final Score: Harrow Bhoys 4 NPL Saturday Reserves 0
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Councillor, Dave Fuller, presented the medals and trophy after the match. Dave chose Harrow Bhoys striker, Harry Carey as Man of the Match.
Our thanks are due to Hanwell Town FC for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities and for their kind hospitality and help during the evening. The attendance was 178.
Will Blithing, Hubie Carolan, Austin Twomey (capt), Conor Hynes, Kevin Lynam, George Moriaty, Liam O’Connor, Michael Lynch, Jake Boggins, Harry Carey and Ellis Wynne.
Substitutes: Alex Hole, Sean Sweeney, Rory Carolan, Gary Smith (all of whom featured in the second half) and George Perring.
Manager: David Monahan Assistant Manager: Paddy Clerkin
NPL SATURDAY RESERVES
Lewis Gallifent, Toby Richards, Brad Fidler, Jack Smith, Toby Wishaw, Tan Quddus (capt), Gus Gomez, Dan Strong, Sulman Khan, Dave Collins and Andrew Grant.
Substitutes: Matt Robins, Jacob Bennett, Omri Kedem (all of whom featured in the second half), Charlie Grady and Nathan Brook.
Manager: Luke O’Neill Coach: Tan Quddus
: Conor Griffin Assistant Referees
: Callum Parrish and Michael Plumridge Fourth Official
: Alfie Futerman
Photos from the match are available below, courtesy of matchday photographer, Chris Benn.