The Middlesex Intermediate Cup final was hosted for us by Bedfont Sports FC on Wednesday evening last. This season’s finalists were Indian Gymkhana, who play in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League and Laleham from the Surrey Elite Intermediate League. Indian Gymkhana had previously won this trophy in 1995-96 and again in 2012-13. Laleham were formed in 2012.
This final produced a high standard of football, particularly from the skillful Indian Gymkhana team, who won more comfortably than the 3-1 score suggests.
Laleham defender Ray Curtis made an early foray into the Indian Gymkhana penalty area but his centre across the face of the goal did not attract a touch.
Gymkhana, who were very lively up front, then launched a series of attacks. Laleham keeper, Jack Darby, saved at close range from Jatinder Liddar. Jack then punched away a dangerous corner kick taken by Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram. Suraj Sharma embarked on a penetrating run and delivered a cross but Jack Darby beat Jeysiva to the ball. Jack Darby saved a header from Jatinder Liddar, following a move involving Suraj and Jeysiva.
A free-kick from an acute angle, taken by Laleham’s Matt Adams was headed over the crossbar by advanced defender, skipper Joe Cropper.
Gymkhana went ahead in the 22nd minute when Parwinder Kang netted Jeysiva’s pass.
They maintained the pressure and Joe Cropper made a good headed clearance from Jeysiva’s dangerous through ball. Jack Darby saved a fierce low shot from Parwinder with his feet.
Gurpreet Bansal headed Gymkhana’s second goal, in the 41st minute, from Terlochan Dhaliwal’s cross, following good work by Parwinder.
Halftime score: Indian Gymkhana 2 Laleham 0
Laleham reduced the arrears 5 minutes after the interval. Tejinder Randhawa made a great save from Matt Adams’ well-struck low shot but Matt netted the rebound.
There was then a fairly lengthy stoppage while Laleham keeper, Jack Darby, received treatment for an injury, which he unluckily sustained leaping the barrier behind his goal, to retrieve the ball.
A promising Laleham attack, involving Matt Adams and Jack Woods, was thwarted when the latter’s cross was scrambled away.
Gymkhana made the score 3-1 in the 56th minute when Jatinder finished off a good passing movement with a low shot.
One of several flare-ups then occurred after Gurpreet Bansal had fouled Ray Curtis. After referee James Barry had dealt appropriately with the incident, the resultant long free kick, taken by Matt Adams produced a dangerous moment for Gymkhana. Joe Cropper got his head to the ball but couldn’t keep it down sufficiently.
A movement involving several Gymkhana players allowed Parwinder to cross for Suraj to head narrowly over the bar onto the top of the net. Then Jeysiva crashed a shot against the Laleham bar.
Jatinder hit Suraj’s pass over the crossbar from a good position and Suraj netted Jeysiva’s through ball but he had started his run too early and was correctly adjudged to be offside.
Ollie Howes went near to scoring for Laleham when his glancing header, from Paul Baker’s wide free kick, just missed the far post. Then Ray Curtis made a good attacking run up the right but his cross was cleared.
The last scoring chance of the match went to Terlochan, who ran onto a long ball out of defence. Jack Darby turned his shot around the post.
Final Score: Indian Gymkhana 3 Laleham 1
Referee James Barry controlled a difficult match, in which tempers frequently ran high, in a very competent manner. He issued a total of 7 cautions during the proceedings. He was well supported by his colleagues.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Vice President John Davies, presented the medals and the cup at the conclusion of the match. John chose Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram as Player of the Match.
Our grateful thanks are again given to Bedfont Sports FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their hospitality throughout the evening. The attendance was 200.
Tejinder Randhawa, Hammad Taj, Khuram Awan, Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram, Amardip Sidhu, Gurpreet Bansal, Parwinder Kang, Suraj Sharma, Terlochan Dhaliwal, Jatinder Liddar and Gurvinder Sandhu (capt).
Substitutes (repeat substitutes were used): Kuljit Dhaliwal, Sunil Sharma, Harmeet Dhaliwal, Arkadiusz Kulis and Sukhrat Atwal.
Manager: Sam Sandhu Assistant Manager: Ashley Sandhu.
Jack Darby, Ray Curtis, Ollie Howes, Michael Dart, Joe Cropper (capt), Paul Bartholomew, Jack Woods, Chris Baker, Frankie Driver, Matt Adams and Paul Baker.
Substitutes: Dave Randall, Darrell Burgess, Charlie Lee and Luke Constable.
Managers: James McEwan and Joe Cropper.
Referee: James Barry Assistant Referees: Nigel Hickes and Sachin Patel Fourth Official: Terry Pusey.
Photos from the match are available below courtesy of official matchday photographer, Chris Benn.