FC Deportivo Galicia became the third club to qualify for this season’s Middlesex Senior Charity Cup semi-finals, by beating Ashford Town (Middlesex) in their quarter final match, at the Robert Parker Stadium on Tuesday last, 21st March. Your roving team were there.
After a cagey start the teams settled down and produced a close and hard-fought encounter, made additionally interesting by the difference in their respective styles of play. The visitors relied mainly on a short passing game, while the hosts were generally more direct in their build-up.
Deportivo had reached the quarter-final stage by winning a penalty shoot-out against Bedfont, after a 2-2 away draw in round 1, followed by a 5-0 home victory against London Samurai Rovers in round 2.
Ashford Town (Middlesex) had been given a clear run to the quarter-finals by receiving a bye in round 1 and a walk-over in round 2, following Hanworth Villa’s withdrawal from the competition.
The first half was goalless. Deportivo took the lead in the 64th minute and added a second goal in the 1st minute of added time. The Tangerines scored a consolation goal in the 4th minute of added time, seconds before the final whistle.
The opening exchanges were played out in midfield and the first goalmouth action came with an Ashford Town corner kick in the 10th minute.
Fabio Suarez saves from Ben Peden
Then Fabio Suarez, in the visitors’ goal, saved Ben Peden’s low angled shot.
Ashford defender, Nathaniel Kenlock, was hurt in a collision. He was very dazed and after a lengthy stoppage for treatment, he was substituted in the 16th minute.
Fabio Suarez left his penalty area to challenge Javin Dougan and brought him down. The keeper received a caution. The resulting freekick, taken by Ricky Johnson, was deflected for a corner.
Fabio Suarez leaves his area to challenge Javin Dougan...
Deportivo’s Naim Mejdoubi cut in along the goal-line but his low cross was cleared.
Naim Mejdoubi cuts in along the goal line
There was another lengthy stoppage, for treatment to an injury to Deportivo’s Fran Naut, following a clash with Ashford skipper, Dale Burnham, who was cautioned.
Ashford Town forced a series of corners but could not break through the visitors’ defence.
A pass from Deportivo’s Alvaro Castano sent Naim down the wing but his cross didn’t find the oncoming Matthew Orobio.
From the 34th minute, we had the unusual situation of both goalkeepers being on yellow cards and for similar offences. The Tangerines’ custodian, Alfie McMaster joined his opposite number in the referees’ notebook, after he had left his box and brought down an oncoming opponent.
Lindell Stewart (10) shoots...
Lindell Stewart worked into a good position and brought a diving save from Fabio Suarez, who then scrambled to his feet to stop Ricky Johnson’s follow-up shot from the rebound.
...and then saves Ricky Johnson's follow up shot
Ashford forced a couple more corners. The first one was headed behind by a defender and Fabio leapt to take Dale Burnham’s header from the second one.
Alvaro Castano burst through the middle but a defender’s foot deflected his shot for a corner.
Ashford’s Lindell Stewart was cautioned for kicking the ball away.
The stoppages for injuries were the chief cause of the additional 8 minutes added at the end of the first half.
Half time score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 0 FC Deportivo Galicia 0
After Ashford had survived some early pressure, the play moved to the other end, where Shaun Keane’s low angled shot was taken by Fabio Suarez.
Alfie McMaster turns a shot over his crossbar
Alfie McMaster made a great save by turning a fierce drive over his crossbar.
Matthew Orobio put Deportivo ahead in the 64th minute with a low drive into the corner of the home net.
...to put Deportivo ahead
Lindell Stewart hit the Deportivo bar and then Chad Goulter shot over it from close range. Lindell’s volley from Nathaniel Mensah’s cross was saved. Nathaniel and Chad mounted an attack, which was thwarted by Dani Rios.
Anton Fernandez shoots...
The visitors then kept the Ashford defence occupied with a series of attacks and then extended their lead, in the 1st minute of added time, when Anton Fernandez smashed the ball home from an acute angle.
...and scores Deportivo's second goal
Nathaniel Mensah scored Ashford’s consolation goal, from Dale Burnham’s pass, with what was almost the last kick of the match.
Nathanial Mensah nets Ashford Town's consolation goal
Final score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1 FC Deportivo Galicia 2
Referee, Nicholas Churcher controlled the match well and his experienced Assistant Referees, produced their customary highly efficient performances.
TEAM LINE UPS:
Ashford Town (Middlesex): Alfie McMaster, Shaun Keane, Nathaniel Kenlock (Jaden Edwards 16 mins), Johnny Fitzgerald, Dale Burnham, Ben Peden, Reuel Powell-Downey (Nathaniel Mensah 72), Michael Melanarkitis (Wayne Ridgley 60), Ricky Johnson, Lindell Stewart and Javin Dougan (Chad Goulter 60).
Unused substitute: Liam Balmer
FC Deportivo Galicia: Fabio Suarez, Fran Naut, Sam Andon (David Cabas 89), Dylan Thomas, Dani Rios, Yusef Elarmawi, Gabriel Onuto, Matthew Orobio, Alvaro Castano (Amar Chopra 83), Juan Devia and Naim Mejdoubi (Koshey Ebwisuva 75).
Unused substitutes: Ren Fujino and Anton Fernandez.
Referee: Nicholas Churcher Assistant Referees: Jack Ohene and Mervyn Hughes.
Match Sponsor: Russell Grant – The Lord of Ashford in Middlesex.
FC Deportivo Galicia will play Northwood away in the semi-finals. The other semi -final will be between Hanwell Town and the winners of the outstanding Broadfields United v North Greenford United quarter-final.
We thank Chris & Jim for covering this match, as ever they have selected their favourite shots from the game, Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim’s Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris benn