The Middlesex FA Premier Cup Final was staged at the Lair, the superb new home of CB Hounslow United FC on Sunday morning. The protagonists, Chiswick Griffin Albion of the Chiswick & District Sunday League and NLO of the Harrow Sunday Challenge League, provided the anticipated closely fought and entertaining final.
Chiswick Griffin Albion had previously won this trophy two seasons ago, in 2015-16, while their forerunners, Chiswick Albion were successful in season 1984-85.
NLO took the lead on three occasions, only for Chiswick Griffin Albion to equalise each time, the final equaliser in the final minute of added time taking the match to a penalty kick decider.
The game was fairly even territorially for the first quarter. Although both sides produced some promising moves, neither goalkeeper was severely tested. The speedy Devante Stanley and the skilful Joel Gyasi of NLO impressed with some clever approach work.
NLO took the lead in the 25th minute through Victor Osoby, who converted Joel Gyasi’s pass from close range.
A period of NLO dominance followed, without addition to the score. A good run by Joel set up Chief Boateng, who was dispossessed by weight of numbers.
Albion surprisingly equalised after 37 minutes, through Gus Sanniez, with a tap-in from a corner. They then almost went ahead when Manny Adjei’s through ball released Mark Hartnett. NLO keeper, Ashlee Jones made a timely interception.
Halftime score: Chiswick Griffin Albion 1 NLO 1
Mark Hartnett made a good run up the left for Albion but Liam White, who joined the match after the interval, stretched but couldn’t guide the ball home.
15 minutes into the half, Joel Gyasi was felled on the edge of the Albion penalty area. Victor Osoby’s free-kick beat the wall and was fumbled by keeper Kavanagh Keadell into the net to put NLO ahead again.
This lead lasted less than a minute before a terrific cross-shot from Mark Hartnett restored equality.
Chances continued to accrue for both sides. A penetrating run by NLO left back, Kenneth Harriott set up Chief Boateng, who eventually lost possession. Gus Sanniez produced a good reflex save from Ashlee Jones, who saw the ball late, through a crowded goalmouth.
Chief Boateng finished off a good passing movement, in the 74th minute, to make the score 3-2 to NLO.
Albion pressed hard for an equaliser and played their best football of the match. A move involving Jack Brooks-Smith, Manny Adjei, and Liam White ended with the latter’s close-range effort being smothered by Ashlee Jones. Another move, between Mark Hartnett, Manny and Jack set up Liam, whose headed attempt was well saved.
NLO broke out and had a chance to make the game safe. Victor Osoby and Osoma Sanchez created the opening for Joel Gyasi, who shot straight at the keeper.
In the 5 minutes added time a low header from Liam White was saved by Ashlee and Kavanagh Keadell made a diving save from Osoma Sanchez.
Albion made the score three goals each in the last minute of added time through Manny Adjei, who finished off another good team move by planting the ball into the corner of the NLO goal.
Albion just had time to bolster their potential penalty taking power with a triple substitution before the referee ended the 90 minutes.
Score after 90 minutes: Chiswick Griffin Albion 3 NLO 3
Richard Rennix went first for Albion and hit the crossbar and then Dean Mason converted to put NLO ahead.
The next four kicks, taken by Liam White (Albion), Jemale McKenzie-Lowe (NLO), Ben Brooks-Smith (Albion) and Wilson Ferreira (NLO), were all successful.
Albion’s 4th kick, taken by Gab Jones, was saved by Ashlee Jones leaving Chief Boateng to score to secure the trophy for NLO, which he duly did.
Result of penalty shoot-out: Chiswick Albion 2 NLO 4
Referee Nathan Briggs asserted his authority from the start, with a couple of early cautions, and controlled a potentially difficult match in a very competent manner. He was well supported by his 3 colleagues.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Former President Derek Mennell, presented the medals and the cup at the conclusion of the match. Derek chose NLO defender, Jemale McKenzie-Lowe as Player of the Match.
Our grateful thanks are again given to CB Hounslow United FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and to CB Chairman, Frank James and his colleagues for their hospitality throughout the morning. The attendance was 62.
CHISWICK GRIFFIN ALBION
Kavanagh Keadell (1), Jack Brooks-Smith (2), Oscar Quaye (3), Ben Brooks-Smith (4) (capt), Sam Rolfe (5), Gus Sanniez (6), Mark Hartnett (7), Jerome Pereira (8), Richard Rennix (10), Gab Jones (11) and Manny Adjei (14).
Substitutes (repeat substitutions were used): Liam White (9), Tom Pudney (12), Joe Potter (15), Matty Potter (16) and Daniel Ferreira (17).
Managers: Mark White and Michael Osei.
Ashlee Jones (1),Tyrone Pink (2), Kenneth Harriott (3), Jemale McKenzie-Lowe (5), Jandir Da Cruz (6), Devante Stanley (7), Wilson Ferreira (8), Joel Gyasi (9), Victor Osoby (10), Dean Mason (11) and Chief Boateng (13),
Substitutes: Bradley Wood-Garness (12) and Osoma Sanchez (4).
Manager: Gil Octave Assistant Manager: Steve Hawkins.
Referee: Nathan Briggs Assistant Referees: Adam Hughes and Dani Mansour Fourth Official: John Lewis.
Photos from the match are available below, courtesy of official matchday photograpgher, Chris Benn.