The teams enter the arena


Jim Taylor

The Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy final, the third of this season’s Middlesex FA finals, was played last Wednesday, 30th March, at Green Lane Sports & Social Club, home of CB Hounslow United FC.  The teams involved were Staines Lammas Old Boys and Larkspur Rovers Saturday Reserves.   Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) covered the game.

The Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy was named in memory of a dedicated worker in the cause of grass-roots 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.   This year’s final marked the 10th anniversary of Geoff’s death.

We were delighted to welcome Geoff’s wife, Rowena as our Guest of Honour and were pleased to see her looking so fit and well, after a two seasons’ lock-down enforced absence.   She was accompanied by Owen, one of their two sons.   Rowena and Owen were presented to all 3 teams before the game and chose the Player of the Match and presented the trophy and individual mementoes afterwards.

The pre-match presentation

22 teams entered the competition this season.

After receiving a bye in round 1, Staines Lammas Old Boys reached the final stage of this season’s competition by beating Kinja Youth Men (2-1 away) in round 2, Wiseman West (3-0 home) in the quarter-final and last season’s winners, Old Hat (2-1 home) in the semi-final.   Staines Lammas Old Boys play in Division 4 of the Guildford & Woking Alliance League.

Larkspur Rovers Saturday Reserves reached the final by beating Lpossa (1-0 home) in round 1, Starlight Reserves (walk-over) in round 2, AFC Hampton   (5-1 away) in the quarter-final and Whistlers (1-0 away) in the semi-final.   They compete in Division 3 of the Middlesex County League.

This was a really enjoyable final, played on a bitterly cold evening.  Play moved rapidly up and down the field and there were plenty of goalmouth incidents and lots of near misses, in addition to the 5 goals which were scored.  Larkspur Rovers were the better team in the first half and went in at the interval, with a 2-0 lead.   However, Staines Lammas reorganised, stepped up several gears and won the match 3-2.   The teams were encouraged by an enthusiastic and vociferous but good-natured crowd, who created a splendid atmosphere.

The toss

Levi Jefford was put through by Tommy Butler and netted for Staines Lammas in the 5th minute but was adjudged to be offside.

Larkspur’s Diogo Castro, who is a fine exponent of dead-ball kicking, hit a free kick from wide inside his own half into the Staines Lammas penalty area.   Luke Hodge turned the ball over the bar.

Tayshawn Modeste Frimpong's volley puts Larkspur ahead...

Soon afterwards, in the 10th minute, Diogo replicated this kick, from the same position.   This time Tayshawn Modeste Frimpong volleyed home to put Larkspur ahead.

...and he celebrates

A good Larkspur move involving Aiden Hurley and Reece Dixon set up Luke Hodge, who again shot too high.

Jimmy Graham of Staines Lammas burst clear and rode 2 challenges before being brought down outside the box.  He took the free kick himself but didn’t over-extend keeper, Owen McNally. 

Larkspur Rovers now dominated possession.   A header by Reece Dixon from a long free kick from the right was saved high up by keeper Ben Long.   Tayshawn ran through the middle but was eventually dispossessed.   Reece released Tayshawn, who hit his shot too high.  Nathaniel Davies’ run into the box was halted by a last-ditch tackle.  

Reece Dixon’s free kick, from a central position about 25 yards from goal, evaded the Staines Lammas defensive wall but was saved by Ben Long.   Tayshawn went on a run and was again dispossessed.   The ball fell to Reece, whose shot was saved.   A long free kick by Luke Hodge was also held by Ben Long.

Luke Hodge scores Larkspur's second goal

Just before the conclusion of the 2 minutes added at the end of the first half, Luke Hodge hit Larkspur Rovers’ second goal.   Rovers really should have had more goals but did appear to be totally in charge at this stage of the match.

Half time score: Staines Lammas Old Boys 0   Larkspur Rovers Reserves 2

Staines Lammas changed their formation for the second half and immediately got into the rhythm that had been missing in the first half.   Their most significant change was to introduce Maurice Black up front, to partner Levi Jefford.

Levi Jefford lets fly...

Larkspur had cause to regret their first half wastefulness within 4 minutes of the restart, when a rocket shot by Levi Jefford, from around 25 yards, hit the back of their net.

...and scores Staines Lammas' first goal

Play continued to move briskly from end to end but Staines Lammas now looked the most likely side to score.   A long-range effort by Larkspur’s Tom Smith was comfortably taken by Ben Long.   Then a drive by Staines Lammas’ Joseph Dennard was turned around the post by Owen McNally.

Levi Jefford headed Tommy Butler’s corner wide of the Larkspur post.   Then good approach work by Jimmy Graham and Maurice Black set up Levi, who brought a close range save from Owen McNally.

Andrew Smith (3) makes it 2-2

Andrew Smith netted from close range for Staines Lammas, to level the scores in the 62nd minute.

Ben Long makes an important save from Reece Dixon

Staines Lammas custodian, Ben Long made an important close range save, low down from Reece Dixon in the 68th minute.

Levi Jefford scores the winning goal for Staines Lammas

Levi Jefford stabbed home the winning goal in the 78th minute.

Some more opportunities were created but Staines Lammas preserved their lead without too much trouble.

Final Score: Staines Lammas Old Boys 3   Larkspur Rovers Reserves 2

The winners with the trophy

Referee Andrew Tooley had an excellent match.  He received good support from his Assistant Referees, Daniel Harvey and Danny Tomkins.  4th Official, Denis Hasanaj also contributed to the efficient control of the match, supervising the technical areas and wrestling successfully with the electronic numbers board, despite plenty of “helpful” advice from the adjacent spectators.

Rowena and Owen Harrison chose Levi Jefford of Staines Lammas as Player of the Match.

Our thanks are due to CB Hounslow United FC and Lampton Leisure for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their invaluable assistance on the day.

Staines Lammas Old Boys: Ben Long, Darren Swabey, Dean Guy, Billy Davis, Andrew Smith, Dave Randall, Jimmy Graham, Sam Bennett, Joseph Dennard, Levi Jefford and Tommy Butler.

Rolling substitutes: Reagan Bamford, Karl Morgan, Brandon Sewell, Maurice Black and Aaron Boardman.

Joint Managers: Peter Crowder and Steve Coates   Coaches: Jason Hall and Alex Kerr   Physio: Steve Ball.

Larkspur Rovers Reserves: Owen McNally, Sam Cheshire, Tom Smith, Chris Housego, Sajeev Rajendran, Reece Dixon, Tayshawn Modeste Frimpong, Diogo Castro, Luke Hodge, Nathaniel Davies and Aiden Hurley.

Rolling substitutes: Stephen Graves, Stephen Sullivan, Charlie Moone, Michael O’Dwyer and Godfrey Kalemara.

Manager: Ron Durrant   Coaches: Stephen Sullivan, Tony Hayes and Gary Isley  Physio: Richard Parillon.

Attendance: 183

We thank Chris & Jim for braving the bitterly cold late March evening for this Final. As customary our dynamic duo have selected their favourite shots from the match, all of which can be found throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of photography from the match.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album courtesy of Chris Benn