Hampton & Richmond Borough U18s came back from behind to claim their first Senior Youth Cup crown last Wednesday night. The Beavers beat a Bedfont Sports team flying high in the Bostik Youth League by three goals to one to win the first Middlesex FA Cup of the 2017/18 season and the club’s first in the competition’s 18-year history. The match, played at Uxbridge FC was witnessed by 170 spectators.
After a tentative start from both teams, Hampton’s influential midfielder, Imran Uche, had the first sight of goal, driving a low shot into the hands of Bedfont’s Harvey Hayes. Just a minute later the game sprung into life. A long ball over the top caught the Hampton defence unaware and was pounced upon by the Bedfont attack. Hampton goalkeeper, Lewis Gallifent charged off his line tripping the onrushing Sarfo just outside the penalty box. An advantage was played temporarily whilst Bedfont latched on to the loose ball and fired at goal, but after the shot was blocked referee Reuben Simon brought play back to the original offence and cautioned Gallifent for his challenge. Jordan Sarfo fired the resulting free-kick straight at the wall.
Bedfont were growing into the game. Wingers Jordan Sarfo and Mo Gromri Bzait were looking increasingly menacing down the left and right side and it was Sarfo who had the next sight of goal. Nic Osbourne capitalised on some loose play by Hampton and his clever back-heel fell perfectly to the onrushing Sarfo whose his left-footed effort only managed to sting the palms of Gallifent who stopped the goalward bound shot.
Down the other end, Dylan Randall had Hampton’s first meaningful chance of the match as he drew a great reaction stop from Harvey Hayes from a deflected effort. There were a further two half chances before the halftime whistle. First, Gromri Bzait caught the ball sweetly on the half volley from just inside the penalty area but saw his shot flash wide. Then, with just a minute remaining, Hampton’s Stephan Langley got his head to a free-kick but failed to get enough power on it to trouble Hayes.
Half-time: Bedfont Sports 0-0 Hampton & Richmond Borough
Mo Gromri Bzait started the second half as he ended the first, threatening the Hampton back line. Breaking the defensive line, the winger went through on goal but after cutting back onto his left foot saw his goalbound shot blocked on the line. Finally, with 62 minutes gone, the Bedfont pressure told and Sarfo got the reward for his productive performance. Mo Gromri Bzait saw his shot saved by Gallifent but the keeper could only parry as far as Sarfo who remained composed and slotted the ball home from 12 yards.
However their lead wasn’t to last long. On 72 minutes, Bedfont cleared a Hampton corner to the edge of the box where Pierre Morrin struck an expertly placed low shot to the right of Harvey Hayes in the Bedfont goal. The ascendancy had swung and just four minutes later Hampton had turned the game on its head and it was that man Morrin again with the goal. Similar to his first goal, the playmaker picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the box and worked space for the shot before dispatching a low drive which squirmed under the goalkeeper.
Chris Sawyer attempted to get Bedfont back in the game but just minutes after he saw his effort flash past the post, Hampton had added another. On 82 minutes, Bedfont had once again failed to deal with a corner and Shadrac Malembe capitalised to slam the ball home on the volley from close range. With seconds remaining the Bedfont defence prevented any further damage, clearing a spilled shot off the goal line.
Referee Rueben Simon brought proceedings to an end and after an entertaining second half, Hampton and Richmond lifted their first ever Senior Youth Cup.
Final score: Bedfont Sports 1-3 Hampton & Richmond Borough
Bedfont Sports U18
Starting 11: Harvey Hayes; Luca Robinson, Ndinga Basaye, Will Plumridge, Harry Lal; Jordan Sarfo, Chris Sawyer, Lewis Wood, Kane Moody, Mo Gromri Bzait; Nic Osbourne (c).
Subs used: Troy Reader, Jamie Hope, Aderi Arthur Dede
Subs: Jordan Clark, Jay Reader
Hampton & Richmond Borough FC U18
Starting 11: Lewis Gallifent; Ricky Rowles, Ollie Chen, Stephan Langley, Elwin Lartey; Shadrac Malembe, Guswack Jagdev, Imran Uche, Pierre Morrin; Alfie Farrington (c), Dylan Randall.
Subs Used: Tahre Agee, Abu Allie
Subs: Joshua Gwam, Theo Clayton, Joel Cumberbatch
Referee: Reuben Simon Assistants: Satyam Toki and John Noblemunn Fourth Official: Dean Baily
Man of the match: Nic Osbourne (Bedfont Sports)
Photos taken by official Middlesex FA match day photographer, Chris Benn can be found by clicking the link below.