The Middlesex FA Premier Cup final was contested on the evening of Wednesday, 5th April, at Bedfont Sports FC, between Rayners Lane and British Airways. Both of these clubs currently play at non-league step 6, in Division One of the Combined Counties League. Rayners Lane FC were formed in 1933 while British Airways started as the BOAC Speedbird Club in 1947.
The Middlesex Premier Cup was first competed for in the 1980-81 season, when it was won by Yeading FC, who were then members of the Middlesex League.
18 teams entered the competition for the current season. Rayners Lane and British Airways both received a bye in round 1.
British Airways reached the final by beating the holders, FC Deportivo Galicia 3-2 (at home) in round 2, Brook House 4-0 (away) in the quarter-final and Uxbridge U23 team (away) in a penalty shoot-out, following a 1-1 draw.
Rayners Lane had played all of their matches at home and had beaten Rising Ballers Kensington 3-0, Hillingdon Borough 4-1 and Enfield Borough 3-0.
Rayners Lane took the initiative early on and were 2-0 ahead by the 17th minute of the game. At this stage, the so called Rayners Lane “Ultras” rather spoiled things by setting off flares behind the goal. There was no further scoring and the game became scrappy during the second half.
Jake Tabor hit the ball into the side netting of the British Airways goal in the first minute. Rayners Lane kept up the pressure and Robert Magwood headed over the bar from a corner.
Jake Tabor puts Rayners Lane ahead…
Rayners Lane took the lead in the 14th minute. Ollie Lawford made a run up the wing and squared the ball to Jake Tabor, who shot on the turn into the corner of the net.
…and celebrates with his team-mates
Jake scored his and Rayners Lane’s second goal just 3 minutes later. He went on a run, cut in and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Jake hits Rayners Lane’s second goal
BA keeper, Ben Clargo, punched away Jake’s in-swinging corner.
Then Jake connected with Ollie Lawford’s ball into the box but Ben saved from close range.
British Airways got into the match. Rayners Lane goalkeeper, Charlie Patmore left his penalty area to head away from striker, Edward Clements.
Charlie Patmore saves a header from McCauley Wheatley
Charlie then saved a bullet header from BA defender, McCauley Wheatley, who had advanced up-field for a corner.
James Barnett had two scoring attempts for BA. He fired wide and then his low shot was saved.
Rayners Lane’s Ian Vangu was fouled in a wide position just outside the BA box. Ben Clargo knocked down the resulting well struck free kick from Jake Tabor.
Half-time score: Rayners Lane 2 British Airways 0
Jake Tabor was prominent in a series of Rayners Lane attacks. He released Sidney Gueye through the middle and the latter forced a corner, despite overhitting his final touch. Ben Clargo took a long ball of off Jake’s head. Then Jake’s run through the middle was halted by a timely tackle by Louis Spearing.
A confrontation between Ian Vangu and keeper Ben Clargo
As the second half progressed, the standard of football deteriorated and the match became increasingly scrappy, with play being frequently stopped for various reasons. Referee Conor Griffin had to administer several warnings and eventually cautioned 6 players, 3 from each side.
British Airways made the first of their permitted substitutions in the 63rd minute and the fifth and final one in the 77th minute. Rayners Lane then followed with four substitutions, starting in the 83rd minute.
In the 65th minute, Ben Clargo brought down Sidney Gueye, just outside his penalty area and received a yellow card. Jake Tabor hit the freekick over the crossbar.
A long-range swirling freekick by BA’s Harry Tubb was kept out, with some difficulty, by Charlie Patmore.
A good move by BA, their best of the game, involving several players, ended with Tyler Hayles shooting wide.
Sidney Gueye then headed a cross from Ade Adewale against a BA goalpost.
A good advantage played by the referee allowed Rayners Lane substitute, Archie Oates to ride a foul and progress into the penalty area, where his final touch let him down.
Final score: Rayners Lane 2 British Airways 0
The game was very well controlled by referee Conor Griffin and his team.
The match officials warming up
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Vice Chairman, Doug Douglas was introduced to both teams and the match officials prior to the match and he presented the cup and mementoes afterwards. Doug chose Rayners Lane striker, Jake Tabor, as Player of the Match.
Doug Douglas presents Jake Tabor with Player of the Match award
Our thanks are given once more to Bedfont Sports FC for the use of their splendid facilities and for their excellent hospitality on the day.
Rayners Lane: Charlie Patmore, Ade Adewale, Louis Bamgboye, Luke Peerless, Kyle Clifford, Robert Magwood (capt), Ollie Lawford (Dan Griggs 85 mins), Ian Vangu (Mahad Osman 91), Sidney Gueye (Jack Allen 93), Frankie Bircham (Archie Oates 83) and Jake Tabor.
Unused substitute: Alex Ward.
Manager: Scott Patmore Coaches: Andy Hemington and Cory Charles Physio: Fade Oki
British Airways: Ben Clargo, Reiss Jones (Spencer Maw 76), Louis Spearing (Reiss Corr 66), McCauley Wheatley, Harry Tubb (capt), Peter Parfitt, Mourad Jarraz (Shaun Aram 75), Alfie Finnon (Reiss Spencer-Parsons 77), Edward Clements, Tyler Hayles and James Barnett (Callum Coen 63).
Manager: Jason Owens Assistant Manager: Robert Pearce
Referee: Conor Griffin Assistant Referees: Mike Heavey and Joseph Casey Fourth Official : Michael Oakes
We thank Jim for covering the game, we also welcomed Andrew Waller to Bedfont Sports to capture images from the match. Photos can be purchased from Andrew using the below link to his website.
Andrew Waller Images
Photography - Andrew Waller