The final of the Middlesex FA Sunday Junior Trophy was played at the County’s Rectory Park Headquarters, on Sunday last, 14th April. The finalists were Bedfont & Feltham Sunday and Highgate Albion 3rds. They produced a lively, hard-fought and very entertaining encounter from which Highgate Albion emerged victorious by the odd goal in five.
Highgate Albion went ahead in the second minute. A long throw from Shane McNamara reached Anthoney Dalton around the six yard box. The goalkeeper couldn’t hold Anthoney’s back header and the ball went out for a corner. Following the melee which ensued from the kick, Alan Callaghan let fly and found the net from just inside the penalty area.
The seemingly tireless James Stacey was Bedfont & Feltham’s outstanding player throughout the match. He was their long throw specialist and took corners from both wings. He had an impressive turn of speed and made frequent penetrating runs. In the 10th minute he challenged the Highgate keeper for a back pass, won the ball and netted an equaliser.
Both teams made good use of high free kicks into the respective penalty areas as attacking ploys and they frequently caused problems. John McNamara lofted one into the Bedfont & Feltham box, which troubled keeper Charlie Lee. Charlie dropped the ball but managed to recover it.
Highgate Albion regained the lead after 16 minutes. Explosive striker, Paul Reid made ground and squared to John McNamara, whose shot was saved by Charlie Lee. However, Anthoney Dalton netted the rebound.
Highgate Albion custodian, John Harfield, punched away a long throw in from James Stacey, despite being under considerable pressure in his goalmouth. James was launching his throws from both touchlines.
Albion then had two good scoring chances. Paul Reid burst through the middle of the Bedfont & Feltham defence but scuffed his shot, which was easily fielded by Charlie Lee. Then Anthoney Dalton shot over the bar when well placed. The awkward bounce of the ball undoubtedly contributed here.
After issuing several warnings about some rather wild tackling, referee Joe Casey judged that the time had arrived to take sterner action. The first of the several yellow cards was shown to Bedfont & Feltham’s Tyler Vuurboom. Highgate’s Sam Bryan soon followed him into Mr Casey’s book for a blatant body check.
Chris Shepard lofted the free kick awarded for this offence into the Highgate goal area, where keeper, John Harfield pushed it onto the goal frame.
Highgate skipper, Daniel Claude netted from a long free kick, taken by Jamie King but the score was disallowed for offside.
Another long free kick, from Tyler Vuurboom troubled John Harfield but he managed to push it for a corner.
Alan Callaghan scored his second goal and his team’s third, on the stroke of half time, converting Paul Reid’s pass.
Half-Time Score: Bedfont & Feltham Sunday 1 Highgate Albion 3rds 3
Things seemingly became even worse for Bedfont & Feltham, 10 minutes after the interval, when Tyler Vuurboom received a second yellow card and had to depart from the action.
However, they staged an impressive fightback and took the game to their opponents, despite being a man short.
A high cross by Highgate’s Paul Reid was parried under his cross bar by Charlie Lee who then dived forward to collect the loose ball ahead of several attackers.
Bedfont & Feltham’s Tarun Metha reduced his team’s arrears in the 65th minute, when he headed home after the ball had bounced around in the Highgate penalty box.
After another goalmouth melee, John Harfield pushed a shot from Danye Reynolds around his post. Following the resulting corner, advancing centre back Taylor Green was pulled back on the edge of the box. The free kick deflected high off of the wall for a corner.
Highgate captain, Daniel Claude left the field and was replaced by the very experienced and tough tackling, Jason Curran, who also took over the armband. Daniel returned later in the game.
Play moved up and down the field but no further goals came. Albion broke out of defence and Paul Reid’s shot was saved by Charlie Lee’s feet. James Stacey’s long throw to Tarun Metha was headed on to Perry Bowers, whose header cleared the bar. Then Jason Curran finished a run for Albion by shooting just wide. Another Albion move, involving Shane McNamara, Craig Gorrie and Luke Morgan, ended with the latter’s shot being charged down.
Bedfont & Feltham were reduced to 9 players a few minutes before the final whistle, when Chris Shepard showed his frustration by kicking an opponent and as a result, was dismissed for serious foul play.
Final Score: Bedfont & Feltham Sunday 2 Highgate Albion 3rds 3
Referee, Joe Casey, was outstanding. He controlled a potentially difficult match in a calm and efficient manner. He was ably supported by his Assistant Referees, Mitchell Payne and Charley McInerney and Fourth Official Andrew Tooley.
Guest of Honour, Derek Mennell, a Past President of Middlesex FA, was introduced to both teams and to the match officials before the game and presented the trophy and the individual mementoes afterwards. Derek chose Highgate Albion’s pacey front man, Alan Callaghan as Player of the Match.
This final was the last of 7 scheduled for our Rectory Park venue this season. Each of these games went well and were a credit to Middlesex FA. The members of the Centre Team must be commended for their outstanding contribution to this success.
Our thanks are again due to the members of the Middlesex FA Youth Cups Sub-committee and the supporting HQ team, for their hard work behind the scenes.
The match attendance was a 145.
BEDFONT & FELTHAM SUNDAY
Charlie Lee, Jason Barnes, Perry Bowers, Tyler Vuurboom, Taylor Green, Chris Shepard, Jordan O’Leary (capt), Colby O’Leary, Tarun Metha, Dayne Reynolds, James Stacey
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Ryan Pitcher, Michael Kennedy and Ben Connelly
Manager: Ricky O’Leary
Physio: Mandy O’Leary
HIGHGATE ALBION 3RDS
John Harfield, Shane McNamara, Anthony Dowsett, Daniel Deeney, Sam Bryan, Anthoney Dalton, John McNamara, Alan Callaghan, Paul Reid, Joseph O’Connor, Daniel Glaude (capt)
Substitutes: Jason Curran, Jamie King, Luke Morgan, Craig Gorrie and David Staniforth (gkpr)
Manager: John Eager
Assistant Manager: Gareth Brooks
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