The Middlesex Under 12 Cup final was staged at North Greenford United FC on Bank Holiday Monday morning. This trophy is competed for by teams of 9 players on a reduced size pitch. Matches are 30 minutes each half and repeat substitutions are used.
This season’s final was contested by Bessingby Park Rangers Tigers and Ruislip Rangers, both members of the Harrow Youth League. Ruislip Rangers had previously won this trophy on 3 occasions, the last being in season 2011-12.
These teams produced a skilful and entertaining match, which was thoroughly enjoyed by an enthusiastic and sporting crowd, in the brilliant sunshine. The soaring temperatures did not appear to influence the standard of play. Referee, Carl Gibson, stopped the action for drinks breaks at appropriate times however.
Ruislip Rangers made a flying start by scoring within the first minute. Ronan Ismailienchy did the damage with a well struck low shot.
Bessingby hit back. Alex Antiri’s shot was comfortably held by Harry Danns. Then George Harvey released Marley Rochester but Harry left his area to clear.
At the other end, Kalonji Lazare was narrowly wide with a well struck shot from Ronan’s corner and then Jamie Steyn saved Ronan’s free kick from outside the penalty box. Then Alexander Grant headed Zain Sutterwalla’s corner wide of the post.
Both sides had openings up the middle foiled by the respective advancing goalkeepers before the first drinks break midway through the half. Harry Danns thwarted Noah Softleigh-Moore and Jamie Steyn did likewise to Alexander Grant.
After drinks, Jamie saved low down from Alexander Grant. Bessingby Park’s George Harvey lost an interesting tussle with Jeremy Scholz, who cleared his lines.
The referee had cause to speak severely to Joe Reade, the Ruislip captain, after he was guilty of some particularly loud dissent.
Bessingby put pressure on Ruislip’s defence as the half time interval approached. George Harvey’s shot was charged down following a long free kick by James Payne. James dummied a free kick outside the Ruislip box, before Noah hit it over the bar. A free kick from his own half by James started a melee in the penalty area before Harry Danns collected the ball.
Half time score: Bessingby Park Rangers Tigers 0 Ruislip Rangers 1
The tempo increased after the interval and the match was even more fiercely (but sportingly) fought.
Joe Reade had the first opportunity for Ruislip but headed Danny Rainbird’s corner over. Then Jamie Steyn left his area to kick clear from Alexander Grant. At the Ruislip end, Noah played a long ball up the middle for George Harvey but Harry Danns collected it.
Alexander Grant tested James Steyn with a high shot and then James had trouble holding an awkward long free kick which was scrambled away.
Harry Danns used his feet to deal coolly with a back pass, which initially put him under pressure.
Jamie Steyn fielded a long free kick from Ethan Morgan and then pushed a nasty high bouncing shot from Fraser Benn over his cross bar.
Ruislip Rangers scored their second goal 2 minutes into added time. Jamie Steyn palmed away a corner from Raul Gupta and Fraser Benn hit the rebound from the edge of the box into the top corner of the net.
Ronan Ismailienchy tested Jamie with a bouncing shot before Bessingby Park scored in the final (6th minute) of added time with a very strange goal. A long ball, hit from deep on the left by Noah Softleigh-Moore, caused consternation in the Ruislip defence, eluded them all and finished in the net. Harry Danns appeared to have been impeded by his defenders, two of whom collided and were injured in the melee.
Final Score: Bessingby Park Rangers Tigers 1 Ruislip Rangers 2
The match was well controlled handled by referee Carl Gibson and his 3 colleagues.
The Guest of Honour, Board Member and former President of Middlesex FA, Derek Mennell presented the medals and cup after the match. He selected Ruislip Rangers goalkeeper, Harry Danns as Player of the Match.
The attendance was 181.
BESSINGBY PARK RANGERS TIGERS
Jamie Steyn, Patryk Kijewski, James Payne (capt), Harley Tanner, Alex Antiri, Cruiz Lee, George Harvey, Marley Rochester and Noah Softleigh-Moore.
Substitutes: Rohan Phillips, Jake Walker, Bradley Minkah and Reece Jones.
Manager: Pasquale Venanzio Assistant Manager: Franco Antiri.
Harry Danns, Ethan Morgan, Kalonji Lazare, Joe Reade (capt), Alexander Blake, Fraser Benn, Zain Sutterwalla, Jeremy Scholz and Ronan Ismailienchy.
Substitutes: Christian Mulindwa, Lennon MacDonald, Alexander Grant, Raul Gupta and Danny Rainbird.
Manager: Rob Benn Assistant Manager: Phil Streets
Referee: Carl Gibson Assistant Referees: Paul Savva and Yaacov Goldin Fourth Official: Geoffrey Adeboye
Photos from the game are available below courtesy of matchday photographer, Chris Benn.