The final of the Middlesex FA Sunday Premier Cup was played at Hounslow Sports Club’s Green Lane venue on Sunday morning last, 28th April. The finalists, from an original entry of 17 teams, were Highgate Albion, who play in the Premier Division of the Barnet Sunday League and Old Southall Sunday, from the Middlesex County Sunday Premier League.
Old Southall won a bad tempered and disappointingly scrappy game by two goals to one. Referee, Mike Smith, kept calm and controlled the proceedings well. In doing so, he issued 5 yellow cards and 2 red ones to Highgate Albion and 4 yellow cards to Old Southall.
The early exchanges were unexceptional. Brandon McKenna made a good run from midfield for Highgate and fed Lewis Toomey, who squared low across an empty six yard box. A long free kick by Old Southall’s James McCluskey was punched high for a corner by Stephen Holt. A low shot by Brandon McKenna was saved by the Old Southall keeper.
In the 26th minute, Old Southall striker George Isaac, broke clear of the Highgate defence. He was pulled back, just outside the penalty area, by Highgate centre back, Ian Maitland, who was unsurprisingly shown a red card.
The Old Southall keeper, Garnei O’Neill, made a double save during a spell of action in his penalty box, which he brought to a conclusion by falling on the ball. There were loud and prolonged appeals for a penalty, when the ball was hit against an Old Southall defender from close range and bounced over the goal line. The referee, who was well positioned, thought otherwise and awarded a corner kick. A back heel by James Espirit from the corner kick, was saved by the keeper.
Prince M’Bengui was prominent in midfield for Old Southall. He released George Isaac, who was thwarted by some timely defending by Rob Buckley.
Another back heel by James Espirit set up Ashley Dray, whose shot was charged down. A further shot by Ashley, from around 25 yards, was just wide. A high free kick, taken in a wide right position by Bradley Osborne, was headed against the Old Southall cross bar by Michael Coffey. Then Bradley set up Tage Kennedy, whose shot was charged down.
Half time score: Highgate Albion 0 Old Southall Sunday 0
Brandon McKenna made a strong run and cut in but ran the ball out of play.
A good passing movement by Old Southall ended with an offside decision. However, they went ahead in the 59th minute through George Isaac, who netted from an acute angle after being released by Prince M’Bengui.
Tage Kennedy burst through for Highgate but was defeated by weight of defensive numbers. The keeper claimed the ball.
Bilal Butt scored a second goal for Old Southall in the 61st minute, when he lobbed home a loose ball. Bilal then went close to scoring again from a Prince M’Bengui pass but Stephen Holt pushed his shot around the goal post.
A couple of efforts for Highgate Albion were wide – A volley by Anton Johnson from James Espirit’s cross and a shot from around 30 yards by Sam Adams.
Highgate Albion pulled a goal back in the 85th minute. The goalkeeper flapped at a high ball into the box by Kyle Brindle and James Espirit volleyed home.
With a few minutes of the match remaining, Prince M’Bengui broke clear through the middle of the Highgate defence and was brought down on the edge of the box by Kyle Brindle. Referee Smith judged this to be a cautionable offence. However, as Kyle had received a yellow card earlier in the match, he also had to depart from the action.
Final Score: Highgate Albion 1 Old Southall Sunday 2
Referee, Mike Smith had a very good match. His positioning and decision making were excellent and he stayed calm under considerable pressure. He was well backed up by his support team.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Past President, Jim Taylor, supported by FA Councillor John Noblemunn, was introduced to the teams and match officials before the game and presented the cup and the individual mementoes afterwards. Jim chose the lively Old Southall Sunday striker, George Isaac, as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are due to Stephen Hosmer and his colleagues at Hounslow Sports Club for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their splendid hospitality on the day.
The attendance was 63.
Stephen Holt, Tage Kennedy, Ian Maitland (capt), Rob Buckley, Michael Coffey, Kyle Brindle, Ashley Dray, Bradley Osborne, Brandon McKenna, James Espirit and Lewis Toomey.
Substitutes: (repeat substitutions are used in this competition): Muhemba Excellence, Sam Adams, Eric Sowonola, Anton Johnson and Kevin Abbe.
Manager: Adam Shahein
Coaches: Akinola Fayoyin and Jely Kikamba
OLD SOUTHALL SUNDAY
Garnei O’Neill, Amar Toor, Ryan Jones, Gurtaj Bahd (capt), Leon Lecky, Harvey Pasma, James McCluskey, Prince M’Bengui, Ibrahim Zaheed, George Isaac and Bilal Butt.
Substitutes: Jay Dave, Aman Chagger, Mohmin Zaheed and Mohammed Riaz.
Manager: Dalvear Virdee
Assistant Manager: Mo Dikuiza
Referee: Mike Smith
Assistant Referees: Callum Parrish and Ali Matour
Fourth Official: Daniel Harvey
Click here for a full selection of photos, courtesy of chris Benn