The final of the Middlesex FA Under 18 Cup was played at North Greenford United’s splendid Berkeley Avenue ground on Thursday evening last, 25th April. The finalists, from the 35 original entries were Ruislip Rangers U17 Red and Teddington Athletic U18 Panthers.
Teddington Athletic took the trophy with an emphatic 5-1 victory but the younger Ruislip Rangers boys should be proud of their performance in reaching the final and of the excellent football that they played on the night.
It was a very enjoyable match to watch, with a high level of skills and plenty of commitment on display.
Teddington Athletic applied some early pressure and forced several corners, which were well taken and often gave the Ruislip Rangers defence problems. Rangers keeper, Lewis Dean, was in frequent action. Apart from dealing with corners, he made several other stops. He fielded a stinging low drive from Rowan Fenby and saved Carlos Geoghegan’s acute angled shot with his feet. He then redeemed himself. after kicking the ball out to Carlos, by saving the latter’s shot.
Teddington went ahead in the 17th minute, through Harry Short after a long throw in by Joe Ctori was headed on to him by Hal Busfield.
Ruislip hit back and Mark Webb’s header, from a corner by Joe Mills, was turned over the crossbar by keeper Ollie Roach. Then, they equalised in the 23rd minute. Joe Mills worked his way into a shooting position and hit a low drive, which went underneath Ollie Roach.
At the other end, Lewis Dean made a good double save from Rowan Fenby before Teddington regained the lead in the 28th minute. Carlos Geoghegan showed great control in flicking the ball past a defender before netting with a firm shot.
Teddington then created several more openings. A shot from Harry Short was deflected for a corner. Rowan Fenby took a pass from Carlos Geoghegan but fired just too high, under pressure. Rowan then set up Carlos but his shot was also too high.
Ruislip’s Joe Mills was unlucky when his low drive from outside the penalty area rebounded off of the goal post. Joe’s shooting chance had been made possible by a fine cross-field pass by Rene Barnes. Another good pass by Rene released Mark Webb, who netted but was adjudged offside. Then keeper, Ollie Roach, saved Mark’s header from Joe Mills’ cross.
On the stroke of half time, Harry Short scored his second goal and his team’s third, with a great finish from Rowan Fenby’s long ball. This decisive strike, obviously gave Ruislip a very difficult task in the second half.
Half time score: Ruislip Rangers U17 Red 1 Teddington Athletic U18 Panthers 3
Rene Barnes tested Ollie Roach with a well struck low shot before Teddington resumed the attack. A move involving Jack Stallard and Jack Owen concluded when Lewis Dean saved Ali Highmoor’s low shot. Rowan Fenby’s low cross produced a scrambled corner.
Jason Noone finished a penetrating run in the 55th minute by adding Teddington’s 4th goal.
Play moved up and down the field and both sides had good openings. Ruislip’s Milo McNulty shot over from close range. Lewis Deane palmed away Jason Noone’s shot from an acute angle. Ollie Roach coped well with George Scrutton’s awkwardly bouncing long shot. A run through the middle by Mark Webb set up Josh Scott, whose shot was deflected for a corner. A lofted drive by Joe Mills was well saved by Ollie Roach.
The final goal of the match was scored by Teddington Athletic in the 76th minute. Jason Noone demonstrated good control and passed to Carlos Georghegan, who had recently re-entered the fray, after a rest on the bench. Carlos also controlled the ball skilfully before hitting it home.,
Ruislip Rangers kept plugging away. Ollie Roach saved from Rene Barnes. Joe Mills was marginally high with a free kick from a dangerous position and Ollie saved from Joe, after good approach work by the latter player.
Final Score: Ruislip Rangers U17 Red 1 Teddington Athletic U18 Panthers 5
Referee, Jack Ohene controlled the match admirably, ably assisted by his experienced support team.
Guest of Honour, Barbara Bivens, a Middlesex FA Board Member and Chair of the Competitions Committee, was introduced to both teams and to the match officials before the game and presented the trophy and the individual mementoes afterwards. She selected Teddington Athletic forward, Harry Short as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to North Greenford United FC for the use of their fine facilities and for their great hospitality.
The attendance was 143.
RUISLIP RANGERS U17 RED
Lewis Dean, George Scrutton (capt), Eddie Kagkwo, Liam Bakry, Kyle King, Connor Warwick, Rene Barnes, Mark Webb, Marlon Simpson, Charlie John and Joe Mills.
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Milo McNulty, George Deacon, Harry Sullivan, Josh Scott and Louis Davies,
Manager: Martin Deacon
Assistant Manager: Mac McNulty
Coach: Steve Scrutton
Physio: Ian Dean
TEDDINGTON ATHLETIC U18 PANTHERS
Ollie Roach, Toby Middleton, Ali Highmoor, Jake Berry (capt), Hal Busfield, Harry Short, Carlos Geoghegan, Rowan Fenby, Daniel de Silva, Joe Ctori and Ted James.
Substitutes: Jude Hollis, Jack Stallard, Jack Owen, Jason Noone and Jamie Bullen.
Manager: Paul Stallard
Assistant Manager: Adam Busfield
Physio: Paul Roach
Referee: Jack Ohene
Assistant Referees: Wilson Jaso and John Noblemunn
Fourth Official: Michael Oakes
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