The Middlesex Under 16 players kicked off their South East Counties Youth Championship programme last Sunday, 24th November with a home game at Rectory Park against our good friends from the Amateur Football Alliance.
Our visitors won an entertaining match by the convincing score of 4-0. This margin flattered them a little. Both sides played some good football in midfield but the AFA were much more incisive in the last third of the pitch.
The AFA started brightly and took the lead in the 6th minute. Max Frangiamore tested our keeper, Jayden St Paul with a high shot, which was palmed away for a corner. Harrison Holding’s corner kick was headed down by captain Zak Bradshaw to Ben Ssengo, who netted from close range.
Ben Ssengo had another chance from Stefanos Georgiou’s cross but his shot was diverted wide of the goal by a defender.
Our visitors doubled their lead in the 23rd minute. Efezino Owhe played a great ball up the middle to Ben Ssengo, who brushed off the attentions of two defenders and lobbed the ball over Jayden into the net.
Manager, Darrel Gyngel introduced Anitoda Mano to the centre of our defence. This certainly made a difference and Anitoda soon made several important tackles.
Middlesex now forced several corners. These were well taken, from both wings, by Owen Walsh but were not capitalised on. A similar comment could be applied to Reinaldo Araujo’s neat approach work.
Ruben Doherty was well placed in front of goal but shot straight at the AFA keeper.
The AFA scored a third goal in the time added on before the interval, following some fine approach work. Harrison Holding dummied over Max Frangiamore’s pass, clearing the way for Zak Bradshaw to convert.
Half time score: Middlesex 0 Amateur Football Alliance 3
Both sides had chances after the interval. The visiting keeper saved at Ruben Doherty’s feet and Servet Bala went close with a half volley. At the other end, Middlesex keeper, Patryk Niznik saved low down from Stefanos Georgiou, after the latter’s penetrating run.
Owen Walsh put a dangerous free kick into the AFA goalmouth but the weight of defensive numbers prevented Servet from producing a telling finish. Then a diving Patryk dealt with Efezino Owhe’s good low drive.
AFA keeper, Dan Weaver, did well to tip a testing long shot from Sam Rogers over his cross bar. Soon afterwards, Frankie Major went close, also from long range.
Max Frangiamore’s threatening run finished with Anotida Mano intercepting his finishing shot.
Patryk Niznik came out after a loose ball in the 70th minute, failed to gather it and brought Zak Bradshaw down. Ben Ssengo completed his hat trick by converting the penalty for the AFA’s 4th goal.
Two minutes later, Middlesex were awarded a penalty for handball. Unfortunately, Ruben Doherty’s shot was too near to the keeper at a saveable height.
The closing minutes of the match saw a good save by each goalkeeper, Dan Weaver at Kaci Richard’s feet and Patryk Niznik from Zak Bradshaw.
Referee Steve Hart controlled the proceedings effectively and with good humour. He was ably assisted by Adrian West and Daniel Harvey.
Final score: Middlesex 0 Amateur Football Alliance 4
Middlesex: Jayden St Paul (Sandgate), Hosam Rouas (Magix), Jayden Goodfellow (Acton & Ealing Whistlers), Frankie Major (Sandgate) (capt), Shahzaman Ahmed (Ruislip Rangers), Oliver Connor (Hadley Rangers), Reinaldo Araujo (Brentford CST), Owen Walsh (Whitton Wanderers), Servet Bala (Magix), Ruben Doherty (Uxbridge) and Sam Rogers (Hadley Rangers).
Substitutes (rolling substitutions were used and everyone played): Anitoda Mano (Hayes & Yeading United), Darragh O’Keeffe (Acton & Ealing Whistlers), Kaci Richard (Hanwell Town), Freddie Halpin (Acton & Ealing Whistlers), Patryk Niznik (Old Isleworthians) (gkpr) (played for second half).
Manager: Darrel Gyngell Coach: Wayne Little Physio: Gary Strudwick
Amateur Football Alliance: Dan Weaver (Ware FC), Stefanos Georgiou (Enfield Town), Dylan Hodge-Barnett (Bishop’s Stortford), Freddie Griffiths (Bishop’s Stortford), Ikenna Nwosu (Ware FC), Zak Bradshaw (Ware FC) (capt), Harrison Holding (Ware FC), Efezino Owhe (Enfield Town), Ben Ssengo (Bishop’s Stortford), Max Frangiamore (Enfield FC) and Tom Barrett (Ware FC).
Substitutes: Alexander Pace (Enfield Town), Arlie Baker (Enfield Town) and Frankie Pinion (Ware FC).
Manager: Pat Folan Coach: Gary Casey Physio: Bob Leeds
Referee: Steve Hart Assistant Referees: Adrian West and Daniel Harvey