The Graham Rigby Under-16 Cup final was played at the Powerday Stadium, the impressive home of Hanwell Town FC, on Thursday 4 April. The finalists, from the original entry of 52 teams, were Northwood Youth Black and St Joseph’s Youth ’88 Red. After conceding an early goal, Northwood deservedly won a lively and skilful encounter by three goals to one.
This cup is dedicated to the memory of Graham Rigby, a former Middlesex Youth FA President and Middlesex FA Life Vice President. Graham, who sadly passed away in 2017, was a tireless worker for all that is good about youth football. He would certainly have enjoyed the quality of play in this encounter, the sportsmanship displayed by both teams and atmosphere that was generated.
We were delighted to welcome to the match, as Guests of Honour, Graham’s wife, Tessa and grandson, Ben. Tessa and Ben were introduced to the teams and match officials prior to the kick off and they presented the trophy and mementoes at its conclusion.
St Joseph’s went ahead in the 7th minute, when David Pender headed home from a corner.
However, their lead lasted for barely 2 minutes before Charlie Amasanti equalised for Northwood, following good approach work by David Levy.
Play continued to flow from end to end with Northwood having the most possession with Sean Gowen and David Levy particularly prominent. However, they did not find it easy to get past St Joseph’s outstanding defensive quartet of Miheir Patel, Nalin Kerai, Ashley Louis and Kyroe Chaplin Cole. The best Northwood scoring effort, in this phase of the game, was a free kick from around 35 yards from left back Josh Moran, which just cleared the cross-bar.
Striker Edrissa Sidibeh broke clear up the middle for St Joseph’s but was brought down on the edge of the box by keeper Patrick Woulfe. Ben Brown hit the resulting free kick narrowly wide.
Kilae Crockwell put Northwood ahead in the 34th minute, with a cross shot.
Northwood hit St Joseph’s cross bar at the start of the second half but they increased their lead after 47 minutes, through Charlie Amasanti’s second goal of the match, which he headed home from David Levy’s centre.
Both sides had further chances. Kilae Crockwell skilfully worked his way through the St Joseph’s defence but was stopped by a last-ditch tackle by Nalin Kerai. David Levy made a powerful run from half way but Jack Curd bravely saved at his feet.
St Joseph’s came closest to reducing Northwood’s lead when Nalin went close with a header from Ruben Small’s cross and when Milheir Patel fired just wide following a corner.
Referee Noel Glavin controlled the proceedings very well. Noel and the members of his team combined to form an efficient unit and demonstrated exactly why they had been chosen to referee this cup final.
Ben Rigby chose Northwood’s David Levy as Player of the Match. This was an excellent choice. David, Northwood’s top goal scorer, didn’t score in this match, but he ran the game for his team, having a hand in all of their 3 goals.
Our thanks are due to Bob Fisher and his colleagues at Hanwell Town FC for the use of their fine facilities and for their tremendous work on the night. Also, our thanks are again due to the dedicated members of the Middlesex FA Youth Cups Sub-committee, for their contribution to the success the event.
The attendance was a very vocal and enthusiastic 289.
NORTHWOOD YOUTH U16 BLACK
Patrick Woulfe, Dylan Arruda, Charlie Daragon (capt), Harvey Wallace, Daniel Kershaw, Josh Moran, Sean Gowen, Padraic Byrne, Charlie Amasanti, Kilae Crockwell and David Levy
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Noah Botelho and Alex Veizi
Manager: John Gowen
Coach: Michael Woulfe
Physio: Jamie Alexander
ST JOSEPH’S YOUTH ’88 U16 RED
Jack Curd, Nalin Kerai, Ashley Louis, Kyroe Chaplin-Cole, Milheir Patel, David Pender, Aaran Patel, Franki Pashias, Satas Siddhant, Ben Brown and Edrissa Sidibeh
Substitutes: Anish Sharma, Kevin Chawey-Nartey, Tommy Warwick, Ruben Small and Pravit Sangasinha
Manager: Dino Pashias
Coaches: Rob Curd and Darren Brown
Physio: Rak Patel
Referee: Noel Glavin
Assistant Referees: Yaacov Golding and Adam Heritage
Fourth Official: Luke Partington
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE GAME, COURTESY OF CHRIS BENN