The last 2 matches in the 25 Cup competitions organised by Middlesex FA this season were contested at Rectory Park on Sunday, 22nd May. They were the finals of our Under 15 and Under 16 Cups.
We started the day with the Jimmy Dyson U15 Cup Final between Northwood Youth Elite and Isleworthians Youth Whites.
This Cup was first played for during the 1980-81 season, when it was won by Beaumont FC. Because of the pandemic, this is the first final in the competition to be played since 2019.
77 teams entered this season.
Northwood Youth Elite currently play in the Watford Friendly League and Isleworthians Youth Whites in the Surrey Youth League Premier Division.
Northwood Youth Elite experienced a varied route to the final of this season’s competition. They received a bye in round 1 and a walkover against ELA FC in round 2. They beat Hadley Youth EJA 8-1 at home in round 3 and the GAP 1-0 away in round 4. They won a penalty shoot-out to decide their quarter-final with Broadwater United, after a 2-2 away draw and then they beat Ruislip Rangers Reds 2-0 at home in the semi-final.
Isleworthians Youth Whites also received a bye in round 1 and their subsequent progress to the final was impressive, scoring 30 goals and conceding 1. They beat Celtic Whites 11-0 away in round 2, NPL Youth City 8-0 at home in round 3, Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth 1-0 at home in round 4, Harefield United Youth 6-0 at home in the quarter-final and Parkfield Youth Red 4-1 away in the semi-final.
The duration of matches in this cup is 40 minutes each way.
The weather for this match was very different to that which we experienced on the previous wet Sunday at Rectory Park. It was pleasantly warm and set to become warmer. The 10.30 am kick off was ideal. The match got off to a hectic start with Isleworthians scoring in the first minute and Northwood equalising almost immediately. Isleworthians scored again midway through the first half and then dominated the second period to win 5-1.
lsleworthians made the best possible start, scoring in the first minute. Rory Williams netted, after goalkeeper Rishi Morjaria had saved Archie Burnett’s shot.
Rory Williams scores for Isleworthians in the first minute
Isleworthians kept up the pressure and Jack O’Shea Bashford shot narrowly wide.
Northwood equalised in the 4th minute, through Tobi Faleye, who finished a good move from close range.
Tobi Faleye (19) equalises for Northwood
Isleworthians went straight back onto the attack and Jack O’Shea Bashford hit a shot just wide from the edge of the penalty box. Then the keeper saved from Antwone Brown at the cost of a corner. Jack had two more scoring attempts, one was saved and the other was wide of the target.
Alli Tafuro (20) shoots...
Isleworthians regained the lead in the 22nd minute through Alli Tafuro, who hit a low drive though a crowd of players, following a corner.
Nehemiah Kargbo’s low shot from around 25 yards went just past the Northwood post.
In a rare Northwood attack, Isleworthians keeper, Marcel Staines saved at Rowan Daly’s feet.
Jack O’Shea Bashford had a shot charged down. The Northwood custodian, Rishi Morjaria made a good double save. He stopped a shot by Haris Hazbic and then saved from Jack, who had fastened onto the rebound. The first half finished with a long-range drive from Archie Burnett, which was just off target.
Rishi Morjaria saves from Jack O'Shea Bashford (far right)
Half time score: Northwood Youth Elite 1 Isleworthians Youth Whites 2
Northwood mounted the first attack of the second half and a corner from Matthew Pinching troubled keeper, Marcel Staines. The ball ran loose but the chance was not taken.
Isleworthians continued to dominate possession with Jack O’Shea Bashford prominent. He had consecutive shots charged down by a defender and then saved by the keeper. He then set up Rory Williams, whose shot was saved by the keeper’s legs.
Tao Bouget-Kotlar's shot goes in for Isleworthian's third goal...
Isleworthians increased their lead in the 48th minute with a curling drive into the corner of the net by top scorer, Tao Bouget-Kotlar.
...He wheels away in triumph...
...and celebrates with the supporters
Isleworthians were now well in control and there followed some periods of frantic action in the Northwood penalty area. Haris Hazbic and Robert Sehgal both had shots blocked and then Haris brought a fine save from Rishi Morjaria.
Theo Behe broke clear for Northwood but he was thwarted by Marcel Staines, who bravely dived at his feet.
Jack O'Shea Bashford shoots...
Jack O’Shea Bashford drove home Isleworthians’ 4th goal in the 56th minute, following a great long ball from Keiron Rose.
The sustained attack was keeping Rishi Morjaria, the Northwood keeper, very busy. He made further saves from Haris Hazbic, Nehemiah Kargbo and Antwone Brown.
Haris Hazbic worked his way into the penalty area before netting Isleworthians’ 5th goal, in the 68th minute.
Haris Hazbic hits Isleworthians' fifth goal
Northwood had two late chances but low shots by Tobi Faleye and Kingston Hall were both saved by Marcel Staines.
Final score: Northwood Youth Elite 1 Isleworthians Youth Whites 5
Referee Michael Partridge and his team handled the game in an exemplary manner.
The Guest of Honour was Middlesex FA Board Member and Past President, Derek Mennell. Derek was introduced to the members of both teams and the match officials before the match and presented the Cup and personal mementoes afterwards. He chose the Northwood goalkeeper, Rishi Morjaria as Player of the Match. Derek told me that he counted 14 good saves by Rishi in the second half alone.
Northwood Youth Elite: Rishi Morjaria, Frankie Coffey, Riley Hilaire Clarke, Chase Matthews (capt), Lucas Crofts, Matthew Pinching, Sean Reade, Theo Behe, Tobi Faleye, Cameron Barber and Freddie Ford.
Rolling substitutes: Kingston Hall, Menelaos Telemachou, Rowan Daly and Joseph Boyaram.
Manager: James Hall
Isleworthians Youth: Marcel Staines, Pavel Bakunovich, Keiron Rose, Rory Williams, Archie Burnett, Cass Fried-Jones, Robert Sengal, Harry Atkins, Tao Bouget-Kotlar (capt), Jack O’Shea Bashford and Alli Tafuro.
Rolling substitutes: Jack Greenspan, Haris Hazbic, Yannick Bamba, Antwone Brown and Nehemiah Kargbo.
Manager: Bruno Bouget Coach: Stuart Burnett.
Referee: Michael Partridge Assistant Referees: Gemma Day and Barry Berndes Fourth Official: Michael Berchie.
As always we thank Chris & Jim for their time, they have selected their favourite shots from the match as shown throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly provided us with a full range of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn