The Sunday Premier Cup final, the second of this season’s Middlesex FA finals, was played last Sunday, 27th March, at Bedfont Sports Club. The teams involved were the holders, Takers FC and Club Assyria. Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) covered the game.
Takers FC demolished Shire United 7-0 in last season’s final, at the same venue. After receiving a bye in round 1, they had reached the final stage of this season’s competition by beating Shotime FC (2-1 home) in round 2, Abbey (2-1 away) in the quarter final and Highgate Albion (in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw) in the semi-final. They play in the Premier Division of the Barnet Sunday League.
Club Assyria reached the final by beating Westbourne United (3-2 home) in round 1, Indian Gymkhana Sunday (6-1 home) in Round 2, Larkspur Rovers Sunday (4-2 away) in the quarter final and Gower All Stars (in a penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw) in the semi-final. They play in the Sunday Premier Division of the Middlesex County League.
20 teams entered the Sunday Premier Cup this season.
This was an excellent final, with both sides serving up skilful and entertaining football. Takers went ahead after an exhilarating opening half an hour, which seemed to flash past. Club Assyria equalised to make the score 1-1 at the interval. It remained that way, until Takers regained the lead in the 75th minute. They added another goal with 5 minutes of normal time remaining, to register a deserved 3-1 victory.
Takers made a hesitant start and Club Assyria put them under pressure in the early stages to manufacture some openings. Their best chance went to Alex Joseph, whose shot was off target.
Alex Joseph (9) misses an early chance for Club Assyria
Takers then came into the match and gradually assumed control. A long free kick by Jack Smith found Rhys Ellis, who flicked the ball over goalkeeper Hussain Osman. Defender Danny Gelyanah got back to stop it crossing the goal line. Then Hussain, under pressure, dropped a cross which ran loose but he retrieved the situation.
Danny Gelyanah (12) comes to the rescue after a lob has beaten his keeper
Jack Smith’s through ball released Harry Healey, who was dispossessed by weight of numbers before he could bring the ball under control. Jack, who was supplying some searching through balls, then released Montel Shalders- Gayle, whose shot was well saved by the keeper.
Club Assyria's Hussain Osman saves from Montel Shalders-Gayle (14)
Harry Healey took advantage of a good long ball to put Takers ahead in the 31st minute.
Daniel O'Brien foils Shaun Aram (7)
Shaun Aram had a chance for Club Assyria but Takers’ keeper, Daniel O’Brien saved with his feet.
Takers resumed the attack and a well worked free kick move set up Rhys Ellis but his shot was blocked. Another free kick, taken by Fabio Nunes was covered by the keeper.
Shaun Aram crosses for Alex Joseph (9) to equalise for Club Assyria
It appeared, at this stage, that Takers were going to tighten their grip on the match. However, in the 38th minute, Club Assyria equalised, when Alex Joseph netted from close range, after Shaun Aram had broken away down the wing.
Each team had a further scoring chance, as the interval approached. Hussain Osman made a great save from Harry Healey’s low shot, pushing it onto his post. Then Shaun Aram finished a good move by shooting just over the Takers’ bar.
Half time score: Takers FC 1 Club Assyria 1
Takers had further scoring attempts. Rhys Ellis’ shot from around 25 yards was just wide. Then Montel Shalders-Gayle’s close-range shot, from Fabio Nunes’ pass, was saved by the goalkeeper.
At the other end, Bilal Butt’s flick released Shaun Arum but the latter’s run was halted by good defensive work. Then Shaun fired over from close range. Next, a good move, involving Bilal, Shaun and Alex Joseph produced a corner.
Harry Healey was just off target for Takers, following some good approach work. Then, Club Assyria’s keeper made a brave double save in a goalmouth melee.
Caoilin McGettigan (15) shoots...
In the 75th minute, Caoilin Mcgettigan put Takers 2-1 ahead from a tight angle, after he had been forced wide following a defence splitting run.
4 minutes later, Harry Healey smashed a first time shot, from Jack Smith’s pass, against the Club Assyria’s bar. Then, in the 85th minute, Caoilin ran through the defence. His shot was parried but Jack Smith slammed the rebound home to increase Takers’ lead to 3-1.
Jack Smith has slammed home the rebound from Caoilin's shot to make it 3-1
Takers finished with a flourish. Jack Smith found space to receive Harry Healey’s pass and test the keeper, who saved at the expense of a corner. Then Harry’s angled snap shot went just wide into the side netting. He then forced the keeper to save low down. Finally, in added time, Riccardo Clarke-Rowe rattled the goal’s framework.
Final Score: Takers FC 3 Club Assyria 1
Referee Joseph Casey controlled proceedings very efficiently. His handling allowed the match to flow and enhanced its entertainment value. He was well supported by his team of assistants.
Guest of Honour, Derek Mennell, a Director and Past President of Middlesex FA chose Jack Smith of Takers FC as Player of the Match.
We are indebted to Bedfont Sports FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their kind assistance on the day.
Takers FC: Daniel O’Brien, Shane Mahon, Aldis Alui, Rhys Ellis (capt), Wayne Hodges, Fabio Nunes, Montel Shalders-Gayle, Danny Slevin, Riccardo Clarke-Rowe, Jack Smith and Harry Healey.
Rolling substitutes: Reanu Grossett, Hodje Almeida-Joaquim, Caoilin Mcgettigan, Carlos Ribeiro and Kamal McEwan.
Manager: Reece Manning Assistant Manager: Tosin Lawanson. Coaches: Nehemia Houslin, Jack Chatterley and Diamond. Physio: Kim Harris.
Club Assyria: Hussain Osman, Stephen Robin, Michael Hiskail, Gabriel Joseph, Alan Samoo, Shaun Aram, Jorge Hedley, Alex Joseph, Edward Simon (capt), Danny Gelyanah and Bilal Butt.
Rolling substitutes: Adam Khoshaba, Hani Marko. Ashur Joseph, Joseph Okusaga and Anwar Semlali.
Manager: Joseph Yousif Coaches: Sargis Deryawish, Ben Enwiya and Salim Osman. Physio: Andreas Nicolaou.
Referee: Joseph Casey Assistant Referees: Sachin Patel and Grisha Zeigermaher Fourth Official: Andre Johnson-Small.
We thank Chris & Jim for spending their Sunday at Bedfont Sports with us, as usual Chris & Jim have identified their favourite shots of the match, Chris has also kindly supplied a full album of imagery.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album, Courtesy of Chris Benn
Highlights to follow shortly