SL BENFICA CAPTURE THE GEOFF HARRISON JUNIOR TROPHY IN STYLE
The Middlesex FA Junior Trophy final was contested on Wednesday, 29th March, at the excellent Silver Jubilee Park, the home of both Hendon and Edgware & Kingsbury FCs. The teams involved were SL Benfica and CB Hounslow United Third Team, who both currently play in the Combination Division of the Middlesex County League.
The Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy is named to honour the memory of a dedicated worker for grass-roots football. Geoff was a Middlesex FA Councillor and the County Historian. He was also, for many years, the Club Secretary at Southall FC, where his many roles included the production of the club programme, which gained the reputation as one of the best in the non-league game. This year’s final marked the 11th anniversary of Geoff’s passing.
We were delighted, as usual, to welcome as Guests of Honour, Geoff’s wife Rowena and Owen, one of his two sons. Rowena and Owen were presented to both teams and to the match officials, before the kick-off. They then chose the Player of the Match and presented the Trophy and individual mementoes, after the game.
The Middlesex Junior Trophy was first competed for in season 1986-87, when it was won by White Swan FC.
18 teams entered the competition this season. Both teams received a bye in the first round.
SL Benfica enjoyed a varied route to the final, consisting of 2 resounding victories and a penalty shoot-out win. They beat Lpossa 10-1 at home in round 2, Acton Ealing Whistlers White on penalties, after a 5-5 home draw in the quarter-finals and West Palops 8-0 away in the semi-finals.
CB Hounslow United Thirds beat Sudbury Court 6-0 away in round 2, had a walk-over against Tansley Saturday Veterans Seconds in the quarter-finals and beat NPL Saturday Thirds 1-0 away, in the quarter-finals.
SL Benfica dominated this final with a superb display of attacking football. They exhibited good pace and skills and were too much for CB, on the night. CB battled gamely and kept their opponents at bay for the first 31 minutes of the match. The score was still 1-0 at the interval but by then Benfica were in complete control. They added a further five goals in the second half, without reply, to win 6-0. They were cheered on by a large enthusiastic following, which formed the greater part of the attendance. Although these supporters were noisy, they were impeccably behaved.
The first effort on goal came in the first minute, from CB’s Kieron Horrill but his shot went high over the bar.
Then, at the other end, Marco Raposo made a threatening run but he was intercepted by CB defender, Renel Downie. Marco then took a free kick, from the left of the box, which went across the goalmouth and out of play. Yousef Yahya tried a shot but was off target.
CB keeper, Luke Munns saved a low shot from Marco Raposo but the ball ran loose and Renel Downie cleared off of the goal-line.
CB responded by mounting a couple of threatening attacks. Kieron Horrill’s free kick from a central position started a goalmouth scramble, which finished with a flag for off-side. Then Billy Hall fed Jack Bridges, who worked his way through the defence and fired narrowly wide.
Marco Raposo had a great chance to put his side ahead. He won the ball in the CB penalty area but with just the keeper to beat, he fired wide.
There was a long stoppage in play, beginning in the 25th minute, after CB defenders, Renel Downie and Keith Gallagher, clashed heads. They both had to leave the field for further treatment and Keith returned to play on with a bandaged heade..
CB’s Bilal Amar’s free kick from exactly on the half-way line bounced through to the Benfica keeper. Then Mark Jadunath’s goalward bound shot unluckily hit Jack Bridges.
Marco Raposo put Benfica ahead in the 31st minute. He was released on the left, by Cristiano Valadares’ pass and cut inside to hit a curling shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Benfica now assumed control of the match. Marco embarked on a tricky run, which took him along the front of the CB penalty area. He eventually shot on the turn but Luke Munns saved.
Marco then released Egidio Mahmoud, who crossed for Bruno Gomes, whose shot was wide.
A long free kick by CB’s Mark Jadunath bounced in the crowded box and out over the goal-line.
CB’s Matthew Mullins received a yellow card for pulling back Kyron Marcano.
Egidio Mahmoud won the ball just outside the box but his shot was charged down. Aleson Fernandes headed wide from a corner. Thiago Brito made progress through the middle but pulled his shot wide. Cristiano Valadares’ long shot was deflected for a corner, which led to 2 shots being blocked.
Half time score: SL Benfica 1 CB Hounslow United Thirds 0
Benfica resumed their offensive. Egidio Mahmoud squared the ball across the penalty area but it was hacked away. However, Egidio soon had another chance and in the 48th minute, despatched the ball, with his left foot, into the bottom corner of the net to make the score 2-0.
Thiago Brito burst through the middle and lobbed over the keeper but just wide of the goal.
Benfica added a third goal in the 54th minute, again through Egidio’s left foot. His fierce drive found the corner of the net, from around 25 yards.
Thiago Brito released Timi Fasehun, whose low shot was saved with difficulty by Luke Munns.
CB’s Luke Beckwith then talked his way into a 10 minutes’ spell in the sin bin.
Marco Raposo squared for Timi Fasehun to net Benfica’s 4th goal from close range. This was in the 68th minute.
After 75 minutes, Bruno Gomes headed home Timi Fasehun’s cross from the left, for Benfica’s 5th goal.
CB’s Jevonte Deabreau now took a turn in the sin bin.
Benfica’s Hamza Goulamhoussein twice released Yousef Yahya. Yousef fired wide from the first opportunity and then keeper Luke Munns saved with his feet. The rebound was collected by Egidio Mahmoud, who released Timi Fasehun, who shot wide.
Luke Munns brought Timi down in the penalty area, in the 87th minute and Bruno Gomez converted from the penalty spot.
Final Score: SL Benfica 6 CB Hounslow United Thirds 0
The match was very well controlled by referee Mark Jolley and his team.
It rained throughout the game and didn’t abate for the presentations. Nevertheless, Rowena and Owen Harrison braved the elements to do the honours. They chose Benfica striker, Egidio Mahmoud, as Player of the Match, from several serious contenders.
We thank Hendon and Edgware & Kingsbury FCs for the use of their fantastic venue.
TEAM LINE-UPS: SL Benfica: Darlynson Goncalves, Lucas Souza, Marco Raposo (capt), Egidio Mahmoud, Ben Waters, Yousef Yahya, Cristiano Valadares, Kyron Marcano, Thiago Brito, Sidiney Pinto and Aleson Fernandes.
Rolling substitutes: Hamsa Goulamhoussein, Shylo Toussaint, Diogo de Jesus, Bruno Gomes and Timi Fasehun.
Manager: Ricky Nelson Coaches: Joao dos Santos, Terry Raposo and Alex Corder.
CB Hounslow United Thirds: Luke Munns, Renel Downie, Keith Gallagher, Matthew Mullins, Jobe Smith, Dale Bridges, Jack Bridges, Billy Hall, Jevonte Deabreau, Kieron Horrill and Mark Jadunath.
Rolling substitutes: Luke Beckwith, Callum Walter, Bilal Amar, Lee Lloyd and Paulo de Souza Dias.
Manager: Kevin Lloyd Assistant Manager: Vijay Kumar Coach: Rudie Downey Physio: Stephen Donnelly..
Referee: Mark Jolley Assistant Referees: Ricky Ansher and Darren Fenner Fourth Official : Anthony Cox.
We thank Chris & Jim for covering the game on a particularly wet evening. As ever they have selected their favourite shots from the game, and Chris has very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Full album courtesy of Chris BennPhotography - Chris Benn