The Middlesex Premier Cup final was played on Tuesday evening at Earlsmead Stadium, the excellent home of Harrow Borough FC. It was contested by two Spartan South Midlands League Division 1 clubs who currently ground share, Broadfields United, the holders of the Premier Cup and Harefield United.
A hard fought, no holds barred contest, ended with a single goal victory for Broadfields. There were many bruising challenges, some of them legitimate and referee Mike Heavey was an extremely busy man. He managed a very difficult match well. Mike cautioned 7 players in total, 4 from Broadfields and 3 from Harefield. Two of the Broadfields’ players subsequently received second cautions which meant that their team had to play 5 minutes with 10 players and then 26 minutes with only 9.
Play was largely confined to midfield in the early stages of the match, with both of the tough tackling defences ensuring that their goalkeepers were not unduly troubled.
The first keeper in serious action was Harefield’s Jacob Ballheimer, who intervened after Connor Spinks had fed Billy Smith with a through ball. Then Harefield’s Samuel Shaw lofted a free kick into the Broadfield box, where keeper Matt Faley saved Tash Jordan’s low shot with his feet.
A long high free kick by Lee McManus was well taken by Jacob Ballheimer. Damion Cruickshank made progress up the wing and passed inside to Connor Spinks, whose shot was charged down for a corner.
Tash Jordan won the ball in midfield and sent Lee Clarke away but Matt Fahey left his area to kick clear. Then Matt successfully gathered the ball to end a run up the middle by Tash.
Nate Lewis-Robinson was impressive in the Broadfields defence showing good close control and making some timely interceptions.
A shot from Paul Somers from around 25 yards cleared the Harefield crossbar before the half finished with Lee McManus receiving a caution for reckless play following a high kick.
Halftime score: Broadfields United 0 Harefield United 0
Billy Smith finished a good run with a low shot which was well saved at close range by Jacob Ballheimer. There followed a period of pressure from Harefield which produced a succession of corners.
However, Broadfields scored the only goal of the game after 58 minutes. Connor Spinks received the ball from Billy Smith and hit a spectacular curling shot into the corner of the net.
Billy Smith had two scoring attempts in quick succession. He shot wide from just inside the penalty area and then cleared the bar with an angled drive.
Broadfields were reduced to 10 players in the 66th minute, when Dene Gardner received a second yellow card, for delaying the restart of play. His first caution had been for the same offence.
Matt Faley fumbled a high shot from Craig Tomkins but he was rescued by one of his defenders. Then Ryan Wharton’s long free kick was headed wide of the Broadfields post by Sean Mangan.
Broadfields had another player dismissed following a second yellow card in the 71st minute. Billy Smith was cautioned for a foul tackle almost immediately after being booked for dissent.
Harefield were unable to make their two-man advantage tell and Broadfields comfortably held onto their narrow lead, while looking dangerous on the break.
A long ball from Ryan Wharton was easily held by Matt Faley and a free kick by Samuel Shaw, after Adam Willis was brought down outside the penalty area, hit the defensive wall.
A minimum of 6 minutes additional time (which turned into 7) was allowed but during that period the only goal attempt of note was a low shot by Harefield skipper, Sean Mangan, which passed wide of the post.
Full-time score: Broadfields United 1 Harefield United 0
The Guest of Honour, Doug Douglas, Vice Chairman of Middlesex FA, presented the medals and cup after the match. He chose Broadfields United defender, Damion Cruickshank as Man of the Match.
Our thanks are due to Harrow Borough FC for allowing us the use of their facilities and for their hospitality during the evening. The attendance was 260.
Matt Faley, Damion Cruikshank, Marley Anderson-Richards, Harry Henley (capt), Sam O’Neill, Nate Lewis-Robinson, Paul Somers, Lee McManus (Ricardo Faux-James 76), Billy Smith, Connor Spinks (Jade McCrea 84) and Dene Gardner.
Substitutes not used: Dan Mehmet, Aiden Callanan and Gary Edwards,
Manager: Liam Bird Assistant Manager: Mark Barnham
Jacob Ballheimer, Elliot Dobbs, Steven Green, Ryan Wharton, Luke Baldwin (Tom Williams 91), Sean Mangan (capt), Samuel Shaw, Paul Underwood, Craig Tomkins (Lenny Farhall 74), Lee Clarke (Adam Willis 74) and Tash Jordan.
Substitutes not used: Blaise Riley-Snow and Calum Rogers.
Manager: Jason Shaw Assistant Manager: Michael Molokwu
Referee: Mike Heavey Assistant Referees: Chris Fernandes and Matthew Swinburn Fourth Official: Colin Wordsworth.
Photos from the match are available below courtesy of matchday photographer, Chris Benn.