The first of the 2020/21 season’s Middlesex FA cup finals was contested on Wednesday last 19th May, when Bedfont Sports FC hosted the Senior Challenge Cup Final. We were certain to have a new name on the Cup because neither of the finalists, Hanwell Town and Harefield United had previously won the competition. The chosen venue was another first for this, our senior competition.
The limited all ticket attendance of 295 was treated to a match worthy of the occasion. Hanwell Town deserved their single goal victory in a well contested and absorbing contest, but Harefield United pushed them all the way.
Action in the Harefield United Goalmouth
The first half was goalless but far from devoid of goalmouth incident. The outstanding moments were two excellent close range stops by the respective custodians. Hanwell Town keeper, Hugo Sobte, did well to keep out a header by Tashan Jordan. This was, at least, equalled by Harefield United’s Cian Moore’s fantastic save to thwart Marcus Mealing. Cian, who was the busiest of the two keepers, had a very good match, displaying confident handling throughout.
A save by Harefield United's Cian Moore from Marcus Mealing
Scott Davies went close for Harefield United on the half hour, just skimming the bar with a thunderous drive. However, the end-to-end nature of the play was illustrated by a sequence of events, immediately before the interval. An almighty scramble in the United goalmouth eventually ended with Cian Moore emerging, clutching the ball. It was immediately transferred to the other end of the field, where Tashan Jordan put Richard Pacquette through on goal. It took the very strong left leg of keeper, Hugo Sobte to keep the scores level.
Half time score: Hanwell Town 0 Harefield United 0
Hanwell Town made an aggressive start to the second half, bringing two good saves from Cian Moore. A Marcus Mealing header from Dan Carr’s lofted pass was just too high. Then Gianni Crichlow finished a penetrating run with a drive which flew just past the United post.
Ashley Nzala’s individual runs were giving United problems. A dangerous situation, when he cut in from the left, was averted by massed defending. Then, another of his raids ended with him hitting the ball just over the bar.
Hugo Sobte, under pressure, keeps out Tashan Jordan's header
Harefield United hit back and Dave Porcher drove low and dangerously across goal and a good probing run by Femi Ogunsola was halted by weight of numbers.
The match winning goal arrived after 72 minutes, when Edon Pruti outjumped everybody else in the United penalty area, to head home an excellent cross from Joel Jacobs.
Edon Pruti heads the only goal of the game
Harefield pressed hard for an equaliser and put Hanwell under considerable pressure. In the 76th minute, referee Michael Smith, who controlled events admirably, was forced to issue his first caution. The recipient was goal-scorer, Edon Pruti, who left Mike with no option, by attempting to delay a restart by kicking the ball away.
Edon’s teammate, Marcus Mealing followed him into the referee’s notebook, for a foul in the 87th minute. 2 minutes later he was joined by Harefield’s skipper, Sean Mangan, also for a foul.
5 minutes additional time was announced and in the 2nd of these, Richard Pacquette’s header, following Sean Mangan’s run into the Hanwell penalty area, was saved by Hugo Sobte. Then some desperate defending by Hanwell’s Komal Lewellyn-Reid earned him a caution.
Full time score: Hanwell Town 1 Harefield United 0
A delighted Bob Fisher, Hanwell Town chairman, and his committee with the cup
Referee Michael Smith and his assistant referees, Chris Potter and Ahmad Rafique formed a very effective team. Chris Fernandes performed the fourth official’s duties with considerable aplomb.
Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor, chose Hanwell Town’s Edon Pruti as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to Bedfont Sports for allowing us the use of their superb facilities and to Terry Reader and his colleagues for their invaluable assistance during the evening. The club’s facilities are a fitting legacy to the late great Dave Reader, who sadly passed away during the season.
The success of the evening can also be attributed to the members of the Middlesex FA Adult County Cups Committee present on the night and also to the considerable organisational skills of Samanta Read and her colleagues at County HQ.
HANWELL TOWN FC
Hugo Sobte, Dan Carr, Joel Jacobs, Terlochan Singh, Will Wambeek (Kormal Lewellyn-Reid 64 min), Edon Pruti, Jack Hutchinson, Harry Rush (capt), Marcus Mealing, Gianni Crichlow and Ashley Nzala.
Unused substitutes: Trevan Robinson, Harvey Killeen, Callum Woodcock and George Nicholas.
HAREFIELD UNITED FC
Cian Moore, Dave Porcher, Steven Green, Scott Davies, Austin Schofield, Sean Mangan (capt), Tashan Jordan, Richard Pacquette, Femi Ogunsola (Lenny Farhall 71 min), Samuel Shaw and Thomas Payne (Gurkan Gorkman 87 mins).
Unused substitutes: Petrit Krasniqi, Luke Baldwin and Jacob Ballheimer (goalkeeper).
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 6 highlight images which can be found here.
Readers wishing to view the full gallery of images can find these here.