MIDDLESEX U18s STORM TO 5-2 WIN AT COLNEY HEATH
The Middlesex Under 18 team opened its South East Counties Youth Championship programme at Colney Heath FC last Sunday, with an emphatic victory over their Amateur Football Alliance counterparts.
Both sides contributed to a very entertaining match with attractive attacking football. Goals always seemed likely but we generally showed more penetration than our hosts, whose neat midfield play was usually effectively countered by our defenders.
The manner of our victory and the fine performances of many of our players will give manager John Fletcher some selection problems (albeit welcome ones), because seven more players from the successful Hanworth Villa squad should also be available for our next game, which is in the FA County Youth Cup against Berks and Bucks FA.
We were the first to pose a scoring threat, when the dangerous Trevan Robinson headed narrowly wide from a free kick taken by skipper Teo Kurtaran. Both of these players were outstanding throughout the game. Trevan’s pace repeatedly troubled the home defence, while Teo dictated play throughout the match. Teo’s use of the dead ball was excellent.
At the other end, the AFA almost took the lead when Reece Antoine-Dacosta hit our post with a low shot. However, Trevan put us ahead in the 15th minute, with a scorching thirty yard drive into the roof of the net. Harry Hauserman, in the home goal, did well to touch the ball on its way in.
Trevan then set up striker Kahlil Francis but home skipper David Ola, who also had a very good match, cleared Kahlil’s close range shot off of his goal line.
Our hosts equalised in the 20th minute through Kevonte Willoughby-Williams, who shot into the top corner of our goal from around 20 yards. Kevonte followed this up by just skimming our crossbar with another drive.
We regained the lead in the 25th minute, when our giant left back Albi Balaj outjumped the defence to head Teo’s well placed corner home.
We had further chances. A last-ditch tackle by David Ola thwarted Trevan and then Harry Hauserman punched away a long looping shot from Teo.
In the 29th minute, another corner from Teo provided Albi with his second goal, when he thumped the ball home from close range, following a goalmouth scramble, to give us a 3-1 lead.
Kahlil was unlucky to hit the home cross bar with rasping shots on two seperate occasions. In between these efforts, the AFA’s Aden Brazil tested Adam Holder with a low drive, which our keeper held at the second attempt.
Half time score: AFA 1 Middlesex 3
Kahlil got onto the scoresheet 2 minutes after the interval, when he took advantage of a defensive lapse and placed the ball into the corner of the net.
However, just 3 minutes later, the AFA reduced the arrears to 2 goals, when Aden Brazil took advantage of a persevering run by Justin Dumfeh.
This inspired the AFA, who now enjoyed their best period of the match and put our defence under considerable pressure, as they strived to cut the arrears to a single goal. Our players were up for the challenge though. Centre backs Michael Koscien and Barca Mirtahmasebi and custodian Eric Negraru, who had taken over the position at half time, stood out.
A well-placed low shot from Finn Harvey was turned around the post by Eric, who then saved at close range from the increasingly dangerous Aden Brazil.
The AFA were awarded a free kick in a dangerous central position just outside our penalty box but Eric finger-tipped Kevonte Willoughby-Williams’ well directed shot to safety.
Michael Koscien was cautioned for a high tackle, at the height of the action in the 73rd minute. However, having survived everything thrown at them by the AFA, our players now regained control.
Trevan Robinson broke away and released Kahlil Francis, whose shot was blocked on the goal line by a defender. Trevan then went on another run and cut into the box, where he was tripped. Teo took the penalty and completed the scoring by placing the ball well out of the keeper’s reach.
Final score: AFA 2 Middlesex 5
The match was very well handled by referee, Josh Burns, a product of the AFA’s Referees’ Academy. Josh is 19 years old and is currently a candidate for promotion to level 4. His decision making and man management were exemplary. His appointment to this match was ideal and benefitted both himself and the players. Josh was well supported by his experienced AFA colleagues, Terry Barnes and Adam Knight.
Our thanks are given to the officials of the AFA and to the members of Colney Heath FC for their warm hospitality. We have built up an enduring friendship with our AFA counterparts over the years and Colney Heath is always a pleasant venue to visit.
Amateur Football Alliance: Harry Hauserman (Old Owens), Ewen Bland (Cockfosters), Emeka Ukaegbu (Wandsworth Town), Finn Harvey (Cockfosters), David Ola (Old Owens) (capt), Dawid Nikol, Reece Antoine-Dacosta (both Woodford Town), Liam Mulligan (Old Stationers), Kevonte Willoughby-Williams (Wingate & Finchley), Rigert Rama and Justin Dumfeh (both Old Owens).
Substitutes (rolling subs were used): Aden Brazil (Cockfosters), Jonah Sarpong (Enfield Town) and Theo Wilson (Old Actonians),
Manager: Pat Folan Assistant Manager: Gary Harrowell
Middlesex: Adam Holder (Hayes & Yeading United), Louis Harrison-Sears, Albi Balaj (both Hanwell Town), Teo Kurtaran (Hanworth Villa) (capt), Michael Koscien (Edgware), Barca Mirtahmasebi (Hayes & Yeading United), Felix Amoah (Edgware), Lonit Talla (Uxbridge), Kahlil Francis (Edgware), Ryan Morgan (Wealdstone) and Trevan Robinson (Hanwell Town).
Substitutes: Eric Negraru (Uxbridge) (kept goal for the second half), Tyler Payne (Hanwell Town), Eisa Azab (Edgware), Ajay Pirja Pun (Sutton United) and Ali Sohrabi (Uxbridge).
Manager: John Fletcher Assistant Manager: Darrel Gyngell Physio: Gary Strudwick