Middlesex FA Graham Rigby Under 16 Cup final took place on Thursday, 30th March, at the Powerday Stadium, the home of Hanwell Town FC. This season’s finalists were Parkfield Youth Red and Isleworthians Youth White. Parkfield were formed in 1945 and currently play in the Premier Division of the Harrow Youth League. Isleworthians came into existence 50 years later. They play in the Premier Elite Division of the Surrey Youth League and are the current holders of the Middlesex Under 15 Cup.
The Under 16 Youth Cup was first competed for in season 1971-72, when it was won by Oxford & Kilburn FC. 60 teams entered the competition for season 2022-23.
Both teams notched up very impressive records in reaching the final. Parkfield scored 27 goals in their 5 matches while conceding just 3. Isleworthians, who played a game less, as they received a bye in the first round, didn’t concede a goal until their semi-final. They scored 18 goals in their 4 games.
Parkfield beat Haynes Harriers Warriors 4-0 (H), Enfield Town Youth 10-1 (A), Brook House Youth Red 6-1 (A), Brentham Colts Red 3-1 (A) and Sandgate Youth 4-0 (A).
Isleworthians overcame Spelthorne Sports Youth Rangers 12-0 (A), White Star (Youth) Blue 3-0 (A), Broadwater United 1-0 (A) and AFC Wembley Youth Red 2-1 (A).
A minute’s silence was observed before the match, in memory of Edward Vidakovic, who was a family member of one of the Isleworthians’ players and who sadly passed away on 21st March.
Matches in this competition consist of 40 minutes each half.
Both sides served up some very attractive football in an evenly balanced and competitive encounter. The ball flowed pleasantly up and down the field throughout but all of the goals were scored in the first half. Parkfield went ahead in the 3rd minute. Isleworthians equalised in the 12th minute but Parkfield regained the lead 6 minutes before the interval.
The game got off to a frenetic start and there was action in both penalty boxes before Parkfield took the lead in the 3rd minute. Following a throw-in from the right-hand corner of the pitch, the ball was hit into the Isleworthians’ goalmouth for Joe Booth to net.
Joe Booth (2nd right) puts Parkfield ahead
Isleworthians hit back. A long free kick by Cass Fried-Jones swirled in the wind but was well held by keeper, Matt Brayne. Keiron Rose fired narrowly wide. Cass Fried-Jones released Thabo Kuaho, whose shot was saved. Then Jack O’Shea-Bashford just failed to connect with a good ball into the box by Thabo.
Matt Brayne holds on to Cass Fried-Jones' free kick
The same duo was responsible for Isleworthians’ equaliser, in the 12th minute Jack fastened onto Thabo’s ball though the middle and netted.
Jack O'Shea-Bashford picks up a through ball to equalise
A long diagonal ball from Parkfield’s Freddie Taylor found John-Gabriel Ayinde-Azeez, who headed wide.
Tao Bouget-Kotlar fed Cass Fried-Jones, whose shot was off target.
Isleworthians’ custodian, Marcel Staines saved at Danny Killeen’s feet.
Marcel Staines saves at Danny Killeen's feet
Jack O’Shea-Bashford released Cass Fried-Jones but a good interception by Parkfield’s Oliver Pope saved the situation. Oliver was enjoying an impressive match in midfield with some firm tackles and impressive distribution.
Oliver Pope (6) makes one of many interceptions
Ali Tafuro (20) shoots...
Cass Fried Jones crossed for Ali Tafuro, whose shot brought a fine flying save from Matt Brayne.
Cass Fried-Jones connects with Thabo Kuaho's corner kick...
Thabo Kuaho’s corner kick, resulting from Matt’s save, was met on the half-volley by Cass but he cleared the crossbar.
...but he shoots too high
Parkfield forced a series of corners, which produced chances. Jamie Dwyer and then Jerry Oklinnu both went close.
Andre Changunda (8) shoots...
They regained the lead in the 34th minute, through Andre Changunda’s shot, which bounced awkwardly for the keeper.
...and scores the winning goal
Andre then tried another long shot but the keeper had it covered.
The Parkfield keeper, Matt Brayne saved a high long shot from Rory Williams. Keelan Sweeney produced an important tackle to dispossess Jack O’Shea-Bashford.
At the other end, Freddie Taylor set up Andre Changunda, whose shot was blocked on the goal-line, bringing an eventful first period to a close.
Half time score: Parkfield Youth Red 2 Isleworthians Youth White 1
Chances continued to come. Keelan Sweeney’s pass put Andre Changunda through but he shot wide. Then, Jack O’Shea-Bashford fired wide from Tao Bouget-Kotlar’s pass.
A spell of Parkfield pressure produced a series of corners. Freddie Taylor’s crosses created a couple of chances for Jamie Dwyer, who fired wide and then had a shot deflected for another corner. Andre Changunda had a good low shot turned around the post by keeper, Marcel Staines.
There was a stoppage in the 56th minute, to enable Danny Killeen to receive treatment. He had to be replaced.
Pressure from Oliver Pope, who continued to dominate the midfield, produced another corner for Parkfield. Oliver then sent Joe Booth on a tricky run, which finished with Joe’s shot being deflected wide of the post. Kyan Christopher-Purcell’s close-range effort was saved by the keeper.
Joe Booth won the ball from the Isleworth keeper, who did well to recover and save Joe’s shot on the turn. Oliver Pope took the ball through the defence but shot narrowly wide. Jerry Oklinnu finished a penetrating run by shooting straight at the keeper. Jerry made another run but his cross didn’t attract any takers.
Cass Fried-Jones got to a long free kick into the Parkfield box but he directed his header wide.
Joe Booth and John-Gabriel Ayinde-Azeez both went close for Parkfield.
The last shot of the match came from Jack O’Shea-Bashford, who tried a free kick from more than 40 yards but was just wide.
Final Score: Parkfield Youth Red 2 Isleworthians Youth White 1
The match was well handled by referee James Smith and his team.
The match officials and team captains
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Finance Director, Steve Grover, was introduced to both teams and to the match officials before the kick off and presented the Cup and mementoes after the game.
Steve chose stylish Parkfield midfielder, Oliver Pope, who had an outstanding game, as Player of the Match.
Our grateful thanks are given to Hanwell Town FC, for putting their fine facilities at our disposal and for their excellent hospitality during the evening.
TEAM LINE-UPS: Parkfield Youth: Matt Brayne, Jamie Dwyer, Rio McFallane, Keelan Sweeney, Freddie Taylor, Oliver Pope, Joe Booth, Danny Killeen, Jerry Oklinnu, Andre Changunda and John-Gabriel Ayinde-Azeez.
Rolling substitutes: Bawan Rashed, Austin Kiboma, Kyan Christopher-Purcell, Yasin Buenadicha-Merali and Freddie Peploe.
Manager: John McFarlane Coach: Jim Coleman
Isleworthians Youth White: Marcel Staines, Nehemiah Kargbo, Yannick Bamba, Keiron Rose, Rory Williams, Archie Burnett, Cass Fried-Jones, Tao Bouget-Kotlar, Harry Atkin, Thabo Kuaho and Jack O’Shea-Bashford.
Rolling substitutes: Jack Greenspan, Haris Hazbic, Robert Sehgal, Eric Millan and Ali Tafuro
Manager: Bruno Bouget Assistant Manager: Stuart Burnett.
Referee: James Smith Assistant Referees: Niall O’Kane and Michael Corcoran Fourth Official : Nima Hosseinali.
History repeats itself
After the match, an interesting coincidence was pointed out to me by Hanwell Town Secretary Clive Cooke. The Middlesex Under 16 cup final was played on this same ground on 31 March, 2016, when Hanwell Town Under 16 team beat their Wembley FC counterparts. The only goal of that game was scored by Harvey Killeen, with a spectacular volley. Now, almost exactly 7 years later, his younger brother Danny has now collected a winners’ medal in the same competition, playing for Parkfield. Incidentally, Harvey is currently performing brilliantly for North Greenford United and is still scoring spectacular goals.
We thanks Chris & Jim for covering this match, and as ever they have selected their favourite shots. Chris has also kindly provided a full album of imagery from the game.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn