THE FIRST MIDDLESEX FA YOUTH TROPHY FINALS ARE PLAYED
The first ever finals of our new competitions for the boys’ teams of Middlesex affiliated clubs, playing in the lower divisions of their leagues, were played at Rectory Park on Sunday, 15th May. These competitions were introduced to provide an extra level, with an increased chance of cup success for these teams. They were planned to commence last season and a round was actually played before the arrival of the pandemic. There are 3 trophies, at U12, U13 and U14 level.
Our third match was the final of the Ron Plunkett U14 Trophy between Norsemen Youth Blue and Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth Colts.
34 teams entered this season’s competition.
Norsemen Youth Blue received a bye in the first round and then progressed to the final by defeating Highgate & Muswell Hill Avengers 6-1 away in the second round, Football Samurai Red 13-0 at home in the third round, Ickenham Youth White on penalties after a 1-1 away draw in the quarter-final and Kensington Dragons Youth Red 6-1 away in the semi-final.
Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth Colts also received a bye in the first round. They went on to beat FC Startz Vapors Yellow 8-4 away in the second round, Pinnstars White 17-0 at home in the third round, Acton Ealing Whistlers Youth Red 3-1 away in the quarter-final and Highgate & Muswell Hill Tigers 9-0 at home in the semi-final.
Norsemen Youth Blue play in the Mid Herts Rural Minors League Division 1 while Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth Colts compete in the Surrey Youth League Conference Division.
Matches in this competition are played over 35 minutes each half.
The rain continued throughout this match. However, the miserable conditions did not affect the quality of the football and a well contested and entertaining struggle ensued. Norsemen went ahead in the second minute but the scores were level at a goal each at the half time interval. A goal apiece in the second half took the match to a penalty shoot-out, which was won by Hampton & Richmond Borough.
This was the second of the day’s three Youth Trophy matches which needed to be decided by penalty kicks. The other one would have met the same fate but for a goal in added time.
Norsemen top scorer, George Gruenewald, added another goal to his season’s total by giving his side the lead in the second minute.
Hampton countered and a run through the middle by their leading scorer, Alfie Robert, was countered by a good tackle from Freddie Tidiman.
Hampton equalised in the 12th minute, through Harry Musgrave, who dribbled through the defence and placed his shot, from outside the penalty area, into the top corner of the goal.
The respective defences were largely in control for the remainder of the half and restricted scoring chances.
Good saves by the Norsemen keeper, Arthur Weaver, thwarted both Alfie Robert and Deven Wadwhani, twice.
Norsemen’s Theo Zamba shot on the turn but was just off target and Julian Black worked his way across the front of the goal but his final shot was also wide.
Half time score: Norsemen Youth 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth 1
Norsemen took the initiative at the start of the second half. George Gruenewald’s low shot was wide. Then a free kick from Montgomery Miller evaded everyone in the Hampton penalty box.
Jake Coles stretched for a cross-field pass but could only direct the ball to Hampton goalkeeper, Ozzie Beynon. A long-range effort by Theo Zamba was parried by Ozzie.
Norsemen custodian, Arthur Weaver got his body in the way of a close range shot from William Burton. Daniel Garguilo released Arjun Banerjee, whose cross was cut out by a Norsemen defender.
William Burton set up Alfie Robert, who shot into the corner of the net to give Hampton the lead in the 56th minute.
Arthur Weaver palmed a dangerous free kick, from William Burton, out from under his crossbar.
Norsemen made the score 2-2 after 61 minutes. Julian Black carried the ball through the defence, lost it but regained possession and was tripped inside the penalty area. Montgomery Miller netted the resulting penalty kick.
Freddie Tidiman made a penetrating run and passed to Theo Zamba, whose effort produced a corner. A number of corners followed at both ends of the field, as the contestants strived for a winning goal. The defences prevailed though and we went to a penalty shoot-out.
Score at fulltime: Norsemen Youth 2 Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth 2
Norsemen went first in the penalty shoot-out and Montgomery Miller was successful with his kick. Then his keeper, Arthur Weaver saved Arjun Banerjee’s kick for Hampton.
Hampton keeper, Ozzie Beynon saved Norsemen’s second penalty, taken by Theo Zamba. Deven Wadwhani scored for Hampton to level the score at 1-1, after 2 penalties each.
The third pair, Harry Hales of Norsemen and Odin Skytte of Hampton both scored.
Ozzie Beynon saved Theo Law’s kick, the 4th for Norsemen and Alfie Robert scored for Hampton.
Ozzie Beynon got a hand to Freddie Tidiman’s kick but couldn’t stop it. Harry Musgrave then converted his kick to win the Trophy for Hampton.
Result of penalty shoot-out: Norsemen Youth 3 Hampton & Richmond Borough 4
Referee Matthew Doyle controlled the match well, with the firm hand which was required. He was ably supported by his team of assistants.
This Trophy is named after Ron Plunkett, who was a player, a manager, a referee and a prominent league officer. Ron was dedicated to grass roots football, especially to making the game accessible and enjoyable to all of its participants, regardless of their abilities. Ron is now sadly no longer with us. We were delighted to welcome Pauline, his wife to the final, as Guest of Honour. She was accompanied by their son Gareth and daughter Caroline. They were introduced to the teams and match officials before kick off and presented the Trophy and individual mementoes at the end of the match. Between them, they chose Hampton & Richmond striker, Alfie Robert as Player of the Match.
The match attendance was 118.
Norsemen Youth Blue: Arthur Weaver, Taylan Hasan, Luke Tyrimos (capt), Freddie Tidiman, Nikhil Theocharous, Harry Hales, Theo Law, Montgomery Miller, George Gruenewald, Julian Black and Theo Zamba.
Rolling substitutes: David Lamba, Jack Coles and Danny Pearce.
Manager: Theo Zamba Coach: Peter Miller.
Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth Colts: Ozzie Beynon, Saul Hester, Harry Clark (capt), Lucas Robinson, Daniel Garguilo, William Burton, Gil Seymor, Harry Musgrave, Arjun Banerjee, Alfie Robert and Deven Wadwahani.
Rolling substitutes: Odin Skytte, Felix Lancy and Dorian Gashi.
Manager: Luke Burton Coach: Paul Thomas
Referee: Matthew Doyle Assistant Referees: Mathew Dyachuck and Anthony Matthew Fourth Official: Hasan Ali.
As ever we thank Chris & Jim for their support through another day of Finals. Chris & Jim have identified some of their favourite shots from the match, whilst Chris has very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.