The Middlesex FA Under-12 Cup final was played at Middlesex FA’s Rectory Park Headquarters last Sunday morning, 7 April.
The finalists, from the original entry of 81 teams, were Parkfield Youth and Halliford Colts. Matches in this competition are nine-a-side and played over 30 minutes each half. Halliford Colts eventually won a very entertaining encounter, which swung their way in the final quarter.
The game was evenly contested in the first half. The first keeper in action was Parkfield’s Matthew Brayne, who saved a free kick taken by the outstanding Halliford striker, Thomas Dryer. Then Matthew saved from Thomas again, when the latter tried a backheel from his team mate, Sam Riley’s drive.
Parkfield midfielder, Oliver Pope then hit a long shot which was competently handled by Halliford custodian, Dan White.
Play continued to move up and down the field in a pleasing manner. Thomas Dryer was prominent for Halliford. An incisive run up the wing produced a corner and then he took the ball past several defenders before firing just wide under pressure. Then Parkfield’s Oliver Pope was just off target with a low drive.
Parkfield captain, Joe Booth was playing a dominant role, ably supported by his midfield colleagues, Harry Grundy and Pierce Long.
Oliver Pope tried two more long range shots at the Halliford goal, one from open play and one from a free kick. They both flew narrowly wide. In between these efforts, Harry Grundy forced Dan White into a low save.
Matthew Brayne saved Sam Riley’s high free kick. A fine move for Parkfield, involving Kear Spencer-Preston, Joe Booth and Oliver Pope finished with Dan White saving Oliver’s shot.
Thomas Dryer, beat several Parkfield defenders before being dispossessed. Then midfielder, Oliver Foskett-Gonzalez fed Thomas, whose cross into the goalmouth failed to attract a touch.
The first goal of the game arrived with less than a minute’s playing time remaining before the interval. A low free kick from outside the Parkfield penalty area, taken by Alex Kerella, went through the wall and past the diving Matthew Brayne, into the corner of the net.
Then, from the re-start, the ball was kicked upfield for Joe Booth to score from close range.
Half-Time Score: Parkfield Youth 1 Halliford Colts 1
The game remained evenly balanced during the opening exchanges of the second half. George Walker and Thomas Dryer were both marginally off target for Halliford and Dan White, in the Halliford goal, saved from Patrick Keary and Kear Spencer-Preston. A shot from Colts’ Henry Cooke was charged down and Oliver Foskett-Gonzalez hit the rebound wide. A glancing header from by Thomas Dryer from George Walker’s centre was saved by Matthew Brayne.
Halliford Colts regained the lead in the 46th minute. Thomas Dryer was fouled in the penalty area and took the kick himself. Matthew Brayne got his hand to the shot but couldn’t stop it.
Parkfield’s inspirational skipper, Joe Booth was hurt but insisted on playing on.
Colts now took charge of the match. Matthew Brayne made a finger-tip save from an in-swinging corner and then saved a close-range effort from Thomas Dryer with his feet. Sam Riley cleared the Parkfield cross-bar with a free kick from around 25 yards, following a foul on Thomas Dryer.
Halliford made the score 3-1 in the 56th minute. Thomas Dryer won the ball and pushed it to Henry Cooke, who finished with some aplomb.
The final goal came in added time through Joe Sandell, who netted from close range, following more good work by Thomas Dryer.
Final Score: Parkfield Youth 1 Halliford Colts 4
Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Past President, Jim Taylor, supported by Middlesex FA Designated Safeguarding Officer, Sharon Porter, presented the Cup and mementoes at the conclusion of the match. Jim chose Joe Booth, the energetic Parkfield Youth midfielder and captain as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are due to referee Sorrel Monteiro and his colleagues, for their efficient handling of the game and to the dedicated members of the Middlesex FA Youth Cups Sub-committee and the Rectory Park Centre team for their contribution to the success of the event.
The attendance was 172.
Matthew Brayne, Keelan Sweeney, Oliver Pope, Pierce Long, Joe Booth (capt), Simon Poulton, Thomas Keane, Michael Cattini and Harry Grundy
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Matthew Premkumar, Zeyuan Wu, Kear Spencer-Preston and Patrick Keary
Manager: Dave Booth
Coach: Jim Coleman
Dan White, Christopher Coombes, Miles Matthews (capt), Sam Riley, Joe Sandell, George Walker, Henry Cooke, Oliver Foskett Gonzalez and Thomas Dryer
Substitutes: Joe Walters and Alex Kerella
Manager: Jon Cooke
Assistant Manager: John White
Coach: Adam Walker
Referee: Sorrel Monteiro
Assistant Referees: Samuel Thornton and Owen Petford
Fourth Official: Grant Nivett
CLICK HERE FOR A FULL SELECTION OF PHOTOS FROM THE GAME, COURTESY OF CHRIS BENN