The first round of this season’s Middlesex Sunday Intermediate Cup was played on the morning of Sunday, 23rd October and your roving team watched the tie at Harrow Recreation Ground, between Harrow St Marys Sunday and Ivy Leaf WD.
The weather was appalling, with the rain pouring down and the light so poor that the floodlights would have been used, if any had been available. The players and the referee were soaked to the skin within a few minutes. However, the visiting team thrived in the conditions and served up some really good football. They were 5-0 up at halftime, when the rain relented and added another goal immediately after the interval. They remained in command and had further chances without adding to their score.
Ivy Leaf took the lead in the second minute through Lewis Nobes, whose shot from the right wing entered the net via a defender.
...and Ivy Leaf go one up
Harrow St Marys hit back and a dangerous free kick from the left was cleared. Ivy Leaf stormed back and Curtis Tunstall released Paul Murphy, who forced a corner. This led to another corner, which was deflected onto a post.
Ivy Leaf doubled their lead in the 10th minute, through a shot from outside the box by Curtis Tunstall.
Three minutes later, Marcus Gibbs chipped the ball over the advancing keeper but it went just wide.
A long free kick into the Ivy Leaf box was headed wide and a drive at the other end was turned around his post by home keeper, Brendan Prior. Brendan then saved shots from Connor Tunstall and Marcus Gibbs.
Marcus Gibbs (9) makes it 3-0
However, Ivy Leaf increased their lead to 3-0, in the 30th minute, when Marcus Gibbs netted from Lewis Nobes’ corner.
Marcus netted again a minute later but was adjudged to be offside. Then Curtis Tunstall fired narrowly wide of the post.
Curtis Tunstall takes a free kick...
Curtis scored the visitors’ 4th goal in the 36th minute, with a well struck free kick, given for a foul outside the box.
...and scores Ivy Leaf's fourth goal
The Ivy Leaf custodian, Jamie Cooper was called into action, stopping an awkwardly bouncing shot from Louis Homan. Then home keeper, Brendan Prior saved lowdown from Marcus Gibbs.
Paul Murphy (7) nets Ivy Leaf's fifth goal
Curtis Tunstall volleyed a corner over the Harrow bar and then contributed to his side’s 5th goal in the 44th minute. He played a great one-two with Paul Murphy, who coolly applied the finishing touch.
Score at half time: Harrow St Marys 0 Ivy Leaf WD 5
Within a minute of the restart, Marcus Gibbs converted a superb pass from Oliver O’Neill for Ivy Leaf’s 6th goal.
The visitors continued to make chances but amazingly didn’t add to their goal tally. Keeper Brendan Prior saved at Paul Murphy’s feet and then stopped Curtis Tunstall’s drive. A move involving Jake Girt and Curtis put Marcus Gibbs through but he was unable to make the vital final touch. Then a shot from Lewis Nobes was too high.
Jamie Cooper leaves his line...
Ivy Leaf keeper, Jamie Cooper left his line to make a save at the feet of Kareem Campbell. Both players were hurt in the challenge but both resumed after receiving attention.
...and saves at the feet of Kareen Campbell
Ivy Leaf substitute, Jake Girt was now playing a prominent part on the left. Defender, Oliver O’Neill, who had an excellent match, released him up the wing but Marcus Gibbs hit Jake’s low cross narrowly wide.
A long-range ball from Oliver O’Neil just eluded Marcus. Then keeper, Brendan Prior palmed Jake’s shot away, after the latter had been put through by Curtis Tunstall. Next, one of Oliver’s crosses into the box was headed wide by Jamie Burksfield and another was met by Curtis but saved by the keeper. Then Jamie Burksfield shot wide on the turn from Jake Girt’s pass.
Harrow St Marys had an opportunity when they won a free kick just outside Ivy Leaf’s penalty area but Ryan Ward hit his shot over the crossbar.
Further chances fell to Ivy Leaf. Jamie Burksfield shot low across the goal area. Curtis fed Jake, whose curling shot was just wide. Finally, Curtis and Jake combined to set up Marcus Gibbs, whose shot was blocked.
Result: Harrow St Marys 0 Ivy Leaf WD 6
Referee Mike Berchie had an excellent game and was always in complete control. As I was watching him braving the rain with the players, I wondered, not for the first time at a game, if a referee’s presence is ever appreciated as much as it should be.
Harrow St Marys: Brendan Prior, Lee Kelley, Ryan Ward (capt), Jack Card, Jack Turner, Louis Homan, Bliss Simpson, Kareem Campbell, Sancho Edwards, Sumran Kaul and Daniel Clark-Samuel.
Rolling substitutes: Jacob Formosa, Kristian Edwards and Mohamed Mohamed.
Ivy Leaf WD: Jamie Cooper, Daniel Gibbs, Oliver O’Neill, Jose Kanua-Perez, Peter Parfit, Mark Smith (capt), Paul Murphy, Connor Tunstall, Marcus Gibbs, Curtis Tunstall and Lewis Nobes.
Rolling substitutes: Jamie Burksfield, Jake Girt, Reece Jerham, Daniel Rea and Ryan Egan
We thank Chris & Jim for braving the elements to cover this match. They have selected a variety of shots from the match, all of which can be found throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly found provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn