MFA Photographer, Chris Benn turned his attention to the semi-final of the Middlesex Sunday Junior Cup between Ivy Leaf WD Seconds and Larkspur Rovers Sunday Reserves. This was played at Cranford Community College on Sunday last, 6th June.
Larkspur Rovers had reached the semi-finals by way of victories over Surely Wood (9-0 away), FC Griffin Park (6-2 home) and Court Park United (on penalties after a 2-2 home draw). Ivy Leaf had a bye in round 1 and had then beaten North London Colts (on penalties after a 1-1 home draw) and Reality (5-1 away).
This match turned out to be an excellent one to choose to visit. It was a keenly contested cup tie between two good sides, both of whom were obviously dedicated to progressing to the final. It was another tie which underlined the wisdom of the decision to continue with this season’s cup competitions. The balance of power changed continuously but Ivy Leaf surrendered the initiative at two important junctures in play, eventually losing the tie.
James May puts Ivy Leaf 1-0 up
Although both sides had early scoring opportunities, Ivy Leaf had the edge in the first half and went ahead in the 22nd minute, following a good move, which was started and finished by James May. James released Jake Girt up the right wing and was on hand to convert Jake’s low cross.
Ivy Leaf remained in control as the interval approached. However, 2 minutes before the break, their captain, defender Ben Robins unwisely chose to prolong an argument with referee Ahmad Rafique and was awarded a ten minute spell in the “sin bin”.
Simeon Fearon of Larkspur makes it 1-1
This obviously unsettled the hosts, who came under pressure as their captain’s enforced absence continued into the second half. Larkspur’s Tom Smith headed just wide and then forced Ivy Leaf keeper Nathan Dyos into a diving save. Then, with Ivy Leaf still down to 10 men, Simeon Fearon equalised from close range.
The visitors continued to dominate play and took the lead in the 60th minute, through a header by Anthony Ball.
Anthony Ball puts Larkspur 2-1 ahead
Ivy Leaf fought back and in the 73rd minute, Dean Tuckwell equalised after visiting custodian, Charlie Moone had parried a header from James May.
Dean Tuckwell levels for Ivy Leaf at 2-2
Score after 90 minutes: Ivy Leaf WD Seconds 2 Larkspur Rovers Sunday Reserves 2
Ivy Leaf established an early lead in the penalty shoot-out only to lose the tie by failing to convert their last two kicks.
Jordan Trimm scored for Ivy Leaf with the first kick but Anthony Ball, who had earlier scored for Larkspur, now completely missed the target.
Mark Smith (Ivy Leaf) and Ryan Durrant (Larkspur) both scored, as did Paul Murphy (Ivy Leaf) and Jayden Walker (Larkspur), leaving Ivy Leaf ahead after 3 kicks each.
James May puts his penalty kick wide
Then events turned against the home side. Goal-scorer James May put his shot wide and Ben McCarron was on target for the visitors.
Simeon Fearon converts the winning penalty...
Unfortunately for Ivy Leaf, worse was to follow. Charlie Moone saved Charlie Rogers’ kick, leaving Simeon Fearon to shoot Larkspur Rovers into the final.
...and now the celebrations
Result of Penalty shoot-out: Ivy Leaf WD Seconds 3 Larkspur Rovers Sunday Reserves 4
The other semi-final in this competition was won convincingly by Hanworth Sports who beat Twickenham Town 7-0. The final is scheduled for Sunday, 27th June at Rectory Park (ko 4pm).
The finalists in two other Middlesex FA Sunday competitions were also decided on the day.
In the Sunday Intermediate Cup, Grenfell Athletic beat ProPanthers 1-0 at home, while The Vine overcame Whetstone Wanderers U23 2-0, on the latter’s ground. Whetstone were fortunate to be drawn at home in all four of their games in the competition. This final is scheduled for Sunday, 20th June at Rectory Park (ko 4pm).
The final of the Sunday Junior Trophy will be between Hampton Terriers, who beat Enfield United 3-2 at home and Highgate Albion 3rds, who overcame Farr 3-1 at home. This final will also be at Rectory Park on 27th June (ko 11 am).
Our official photographer Chris Benn, as ever, has provided some fantastic imagery from the game. If using these photos please give credit.
Chris has selected 10 highlight images which can be found here.
Readers wishing to view the full gallery of images can find these here.