Pitshanger Reserves Win Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy
History was made on Thursday evening, 21 March, with the staging of the first Middlesex FA cup final at our new Rectory Park headquarters.
Fittingly, this was the final of the Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy, named in memory of a dedicated worker in the cause of grassroots football. Geoff, who was a Middlesex FA councillor and the County historian, was also Southall FC club secretary for many years. He took a particular pride in his club’s matchday programme, which was among the best of the time at non-league level. Sadly, Geoff passed away in 2012.
As usual, Geoff’s wife Rowena attended the match as our Guest of Honour. She was accompanied by their son, Owen. We are always delighted to see both of them and also, on other occasions, Owen’s brother Tom.
This final was fought out by two sides that play in Division 2 of the Middlesex County League, AFC Hanwell & Hayes and Pitshanger Dynamo Reserves. They are both fairly new teams. AFC Hanwell & Hayes was formed in 2015 and although the Pitshanger Dynamo club have been around since 1972, this particular team was formed in 2013.
These teams produced a lively, hard fought and entertaining encounter that was eventually won 3-2 by Pitshanger Dynamo Reserves.
Pitshanger were in control throughout the first-half, during which Hanwell & Hayes didn’t manage a serious shot on goal. Pitshanger exerted early pressure and forced several corners. Hanwell & Hayes ‘keeper, Gary McLelland was kept busy. He saved the dangerous and hard- working Dom Barber’s low shot, at the foot of his post, at the expense of another corner. He then fielded Alex Clark’s long free-kick into the penalty area, ahead of several challengers.
Pitshanger Dynamo went ahead after 15 minutes through Ben Des Vignes who, having been released by a great pass by Ed Hick, took the ball on and placed it carefully wide of the ‘keeper.
There was further action in the Hanwell & Hayes goalmouth, including Jack Starmer heading over the bar from a free-kick from wide on the left, before Ed Hick increased Pitshanger’s lead from close range in the 20th minute.
Ed Hick was narrowly wide with a low shot and Gary McLelland grabbed the ball ahead on the incoming Dom Barber. Then, Dom shot wide from a promising position.
There were appeals for a penalty during a rare Hanwell & Hayes attack, when the ball struck the hand of a grounded Pitshanger player. The referee rightly decided that there was no attempt to handle.
Ed Hick cleared the Hanwell & Hayes cross bar with a free-kick and Anthony Smith’s shot went across the Pitshanger goal and passed wide of the far post.
Half-Time Score: AFC Hanwell & Hayes 0 Pitshanger Dynamo Reserves 2
AFC Hanwell & Hayes came out after the break, seemingly revitalised and took the game to Pitshanger. Therefore, play in the second-half followed an entirely different pattern territorially.
It came as no surprise when, after several of their attacks had been repelled, Hanwell & Hayes pulled a goal back, through a cross shot into the far corner of the net by David Warner.
Play now swung from end to end and Pitshanger’s Michael Roche shot wide from close range, after a shot had rebounded to him.
Ben Des Vignes restored Pitshanger’s two-goal advantage exactly midway through the half. The ball was pushed out to him on the edge of the penalty box by a Hanwell & Hayes defender and he hammered it spectacularly, first time, into the roof of the net.
Pitshanger’s substitute midfielder, Ritchie Rennix cleared the cross bar with a free-kick before Hanwell & Hayes launched a series of attacks, which caused considerable anxiety in the Pitshanger camp. They forced a succession of corners, one of which was headed off of the goalline by Harry Brantingham.
Pitshanger ‘keeper Sam Vaux saved well, low down, from Dan Church’s free-kick. Then Andrew Burton burst through the Pitshanger rear-guard but Vaux saved with his feet.
In added-time, Michael Warner drove a free-kick into the Pitshanger penalty area, where the referee spotted a holding infringement by a defender. Dan Church converted the penalty kick with aplomb.
Hanwell & Hayes mounted a last ferocious attack but Pitshanger held on thanks to ‘keeper Vaux, who thwarted Dan Church at close range, right on the final whistle.
Final Score: AFC Hanwell & Hayes 2 Pitshanger Dynamo Reserves 3
Referee Sam Gregory and his team must be complimented for the firm grip that they kept on the proceedings.
Our Guest of Honour, Rowena Harrison, presented the Trophy and mementoes, on the field, at the conclusion of the match. She and Owen chose Pitshanger striker Ben Des Vignes as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are due to our Rectory Park centre team and all of the committee volunteers for enabling this event to function so well. The attendance was 113.
AFC HANWELL & HAYES
Gary McLelland, Imran Fatih, Sachin Sabharwal, James Terry, Paul Casey (capt), Anthony Smith, David Warner, Malachi Mullings, Daniel Church, Elliott Stewart and Michael Warner
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition) Daniel Conboy, Andrew Burton, Jermaine Rehill and Robbie Barrett. Jordan Antoniou (sub goalkeeper) was not used
Manager: Robert Parillon
Coaches: Arron Courtney and Graham Warner
Physio: Richard Parillon
PITSHANGER DYNAMO RESERVES
Sam Vaux, Danny Pass, John Shea, Nathan Meyer, Sam Rolfe, Jack Starmer, Harry Brantingham, Alex Clark, Ed Hick, Dom Barber and Ben Des Vignes
Substitutes: Ritchie Rennix, Antonio Barati, Lloyd Halliwell, Michael Roche and Simon Parker (all used)
Manager: Kieran Collins
Coaches: Phil Gallagher and Tom Pudney
Physio: Charlie Piggott
Referee: Sam Gregory
Assistant Referees: Fadi Mansour and Satyam Toki
Fourth Official: Mike Corcoran
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A FULL SELECTION OF IMAGES, COURTESY OF MIKE HEAVEY