The team captains and match officials


Jim Taylor

The Middlesex FA U18 Girls’ Cup semi-finals were contested last Saturday, 19th March.   Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) took in the tie between Ruislip Rangers Clarets and Kinja Youth Hailstorms.   The match was played in front of a sizeable attendance from both clubs, on a beautiful spring morning at Kings College Playing Fields in Ruislip. 

Ruislip Rangers had beaten Boreham Wood 2000, 2-0 at home in their semi-final of this inaugural competition and Kinja Youth had recorded a thrilling 5-4 home victory against Watford Ladies Youth Herts.

The three teams


Ruislip Rangers dominated the early possession in an entertaining and close match but Kinja came into the game as the first half progressed.   The second period was evenly balanced but no goals were forthcoming and it appeared that penalty kicks were going to be needed to determine which team progressed to the final.   However, with just 5 minutes of the 90 remaining, Rangers were awarded a penalty, which they converted.   Then, in the final minute they made it 2-0.

Ruislip Rangers went on to the attack immediately and created several scoring chances.   Eloise Linklater fired a shot narrowly wide.   Annabel Hemmings ran clear of the defence but her shot went across the goal and wide of the far post.   Krystal Follett headed just wide from Charlotte Workman’s corner.

Krystal Follett (10) heads just wide


Kinja goalkeeper, Amrita D’Souza pushed Charlotte Workman’s free kick onto her crossbar.   Krystal Follett hit a shot wide.   Ciara Moore was tripped outside the penalty box.  Krystal took the resultant free kick, which was deflected for a corner.   Charlotte Worman’s corner kick went across goal and wide of the far post.

Rangers’ custodian, Diva Shah had her first touch in the 21st minute, when a long ball was kicked into her box.

Kinja now got into the match and remarkably, were the dominant team for the remainder of the half.   The first half could be described as “a game of two quarters”.   Housna Souani chased a through ball from Hermine Henriksen into the Ruislip penalty area but was beaten to it by Diva Shah.   Diva then saved a low shot from Sesmi Gintota, a free kick from Michaela Jackson and a long-range effort from Faustina Tavassoli.

Shani McKenzie went clear 25 yards out but didn’t hit her shot cleanly.

Half time score: Ruislip Rangers Clarets 0   Kinja Youth Hailstorms 0

An evenly balanced second half was mainly contested in midfield.   Kinja had 2 early chances.   A good through ball from Sesmi Gintota released Shani McKenzie, who was thwarted by the advancing keeper.   Then Sesmi hit a long shot wide.

Ruislip keeper Diva Shah thwarts Shani McKenzie


At the other end, a dangerous high cross by Krystal Follett was taken, at the second attempt by Kinja goalkeeper, Amrita D’Souza, despite the attentions of the Rangers’ strikers.   Then Amrita saved a volley from Krystal.

A spell of Kinja pressure followed and during a goalmouth melee, following a corner, a Rangers’ defender headed onto her own crossbar.   The rebound was caught by keeper, Diva Shah.

A Ruislip defender heads onto her crossbar


Krystal Follett puts Ruislip ahead from the penalty spot


The scoring deadlock was broken in the 85th minute.  Ruislip Rangers were awarded a penalty for handball and Krystal Follett converted the kick.

Kirsty Young shoots...


Kinja fought back and forced consecutive corners but Kirsty Young scored just before the final whistle, to make the game safe for Rangers.

...and Rangers go 2-0 up


Final Score: Ruislip Rangers Clarets 2   Kinja Youth Hailstorms 0

The celebrations


The game was played in a very good spirit and contained much skilful play by both sides.   All of the players and coaches involved and the parents and supporters were a credit to their clubs.   It was a pleasure to be there.

Referee Kepa Garmendia controlled the match efficiently.   He was well supported by his assistant referees.   Hopefully, we will be seeing a lot more of all three of them, in the future.

The coin toss


Ruislip Rangers Clarets: Diva Shah, Rachel Lamb, Ellie Wright (capt), Ciara Gowen, Lauren McCarthy, Krystal Follett, Ciara Moore, Annabel Hemmings, Charlotte Workman, Amy Hayes and Eloise Linklater.

Rolling substitutes: Kirsty Young, Megan Sargent, Grace Grantham and Ellen Atkinson.

Manager: Mick McCarthy   Assistant Managers: Damon Wright and John Gowen.

Kinja Youth Hailstorms: Amrita D’Souza, Marine Leonard, Scarlett Formosa, Greta Hay, Michaela Jackson (capt), Hermine Henriksen, Shani McKenzie, Sesmi Gintota, Housna Souani, Jess Shahrabany and Maya Kerai.

Rolling substitutes: Aurore Chauveau Bredeche and Faustina Tavassoli.

Manager: Mohamed Jama   Assistant Managers: Mihai Lapedatu and John Jaramillo.

Referee: Kepa Garmendia.   Assistant Referees: Matthew Dyachuk and Niall O’Kane.

The result of the other semi-final in this competition was Broomwood (Youth) Amazons 3   London City Lionesses Kent PDP 7.   The final will be at Middlesex FA Headquarters, Rectory Park, Northolt on Saturday, 7th May (KO 4.30 pm).

As always we thank Chris & Jim for giving up their valuable time to cover this game. Chris and Jim have selected some of their favourite snaps from the match, which can be viewed throughout this report, Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn