The toss


Jim Taylor
The first ever Middlesex FA Girls U18 County Cup Competition kicked off at the weekend.

The Middlesex FA Youth Cups Sub-Committee have broken new ground this season by introducing a cup competition for U18 Girls’ teams.   It commenced with the quarter final round on Saturday morning last, 15th January and our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) took in the tie between Ruislip Rangers Clarets and Borehamwood 2000 Reds.   The venue was the well-appointed Kings College Playing Fields in Ruislip.

The conditions were not ideal.  The pitch was heavy and was shrouded in light fog for most of the game.   Nevertheless, the girls produced a competitive and entertaining match.

Borehamwood had more of the possession in the first half.   The skilful and industrious Valerie Umalin was prominent, initiating most of her side’s moves.   On one occasion she worked her way through the home defence but goalkeeper Diva Shah saved at her feet. 

However, Borehamwood didn’t utilize their possession and their only other real scoring attempt came from Rosie Makamian, whose long-range effort was off target.

Ellen Atkinson's long shot from the right puts Rangers ahead

In contrast, Ruislip Rangers made the most of their opportunities and scored twice.   In the 11th minute a long cross/shot from wide on the right by Ellen Atkinson sailed over the defence into the Borehamwood goal.

Megan Sargent (15) puts Rangers 2-0 ahead

Then, in the final minute of the half, Megan Sargent hit the ball into the roof of the visitors’ net, following a corner.

Half time score: Ruislip Rangers Clarets 2   Borehamwood 2000 0

The second half was a complete contrast to the first period.   Ruislip Rangers dominated play but did not add to their goal tally.   The heavy pitch contributed to their failure to score again.   The strikers were frequently unable to get the power into their shots required to beat goalkeeper Ellie Steward.   Ellie had a very good game and her defenders also made several good blocks and interceptions.

 Ruislip Rangers applied pressure straight from the kick off.   A low shot from Ellie Wright was blocked.  Then Ellen Atkinson released Megan Sargent, who set off down the wing and cut in.   However, her final touch allowed the goalkeeper to gather the ball.   Alanna Bowry collected a pass from Megan Sargent and brought a diving save from the keeper.   Alanna then fed Rachel Lamb, whose high shot was saved.

Ellie Steward saves from Kirsty Young (14)

Ellie Steward, in the Borehamwood goal continued to be busy.  She made two saves from Kirsty Young and another two, one from a free kick, from Ellie Wright.

Ruislip Rangers’ approach work, with Megan Sargent, Alanna Bowry and Charlotte Workman outstanding, was now dominating the game.   Megan broke through but was stopped by a timely tackle.   Kirsty Young headed wide from Charlotte’s corner.   Passes from Megan in turn released Alanna, who shot narrowly wide, Charlotte, whose run through the middle forced a corner and Alanna again, who was well tackled by Sara Hooda.

Ellie saves from Alanna Bowry with her feet

Rangers kept up the pressure but still could not add to their lead.   Ellie Steward saved shots with her feet from both Charlotte and Alanna and then Kitty Hodges cleared a shot from Alanna off of her goal line.   Ellie safely gathered a long-range effort by Annabel Hemmings and Alanna fired just wide of the far post with a cross shot.

Diva Shah saves from Valerie Umalin in the closing minutes

The visitors hit back during the closing minutes and Valerie Umalin twice tested the Ruislip keeper, Diva Shah.

Diva is about to thwart Valerie (23) again

Final Score: Ruislip Rangers Clarets 2   Borehamwood 2000 Reds 0

This was an enjoyable match, containing plenty of skilful football from both teams, which was appreciated by the sizeable gathering of spectators.  The game was played in a very good spirit and all of the players and coaches involved were a credit to their clubs.

Referee Kepa Garmendia keeps a close eye on the proceedings

Eighteen-year-old referee Kepa Garmendia enjoyed an excellent match.   He used his fitness to his advantage.   He moved around the pitch well and his decisions were spot on.    He really looked the part and should progress well as a referee.

RUISLIP RANGERS CLARETS: Diva Shah, Rachel Lamb, Ellie Wright, Ciara Gowen, Lauren McCarthy, Ciara Moore, Annabel Hemmings, Charlotte Workman, Eloise Linklater, Grace Grantham and Ellen Atkinson.

Substitutes (rolling substitutions are employed in this competition): Abigail Sieber, Kirsty Young, Megan Sargent and Alanna Bowry.

The Ruislip Rangers team

BOREHAM WOOD 2000 REDS: Ellie Steward, Katie Branigan, Naomi Turner, Rosie Makamian, Sara Hooda, Valerie Umalin, Tyanna Tulloch, Kitty Hodges, Rhiannon Rodrigues, Taylor Embleton, Lia Evans.

Substitutes: Yasmin Pickford, Ibiso Harry-Brown and Jemma Hyman.

The Borehamwood team

REFEREE: Kepa Garmendia.


The results of the other matches played in the competition that morning were:

Broomwood FC (Youth) Amazons  8      Molesey Juniors Girls           2

Kinja Youth Girls Hailstorm            5      Watford Ladies Youth Harts 4

SEMI FINALS DRAW (scheduled for Saturday, 19th March)

Ruislip Rangers Girls Claret v Kinja Youth Girls Hailstorm

Broomwood FC (Youth) Amazons v London City Lionesses Kent PDP

As always we would like to thanks Chris and Jim for giving up their time on this cold January morning to take in a historic match for the County Cups programme. As ever Chris and Jim have identified their favourite shots from the match as shown throughout the report, alongside this Chris has kindly provided the full album of photography below.

Chris & Jim's picks

Full Album courtesy of Chris Benn

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