SPRINGFIELD WIN JUNIOR CUP IN SHOOT-OUT
The final of the Middlesex FA Junior Cup took place on the wet evening of Wednesday, 12th April at Silver Jubilee Park, the home of Hendon and Edgware & Kingsbury FCs. The teams involved were Springfield and the current holders of the cup, Hayes & Hillingdon. Both of the clubs are members of the Middlesex County League. Springfield currently compete in Division 1 North/West while Hayes & Hillingdon are in Division 1 South/West.
The Junior Cup was first competed for in the 1891-92 season, when it was won by Millwall Athletic Reserves. It is the second oldest of our current cup competitions, starting just three years after the Senior Challenge Cup.
34 teams entered the competition for the current season. Both clubs had received byes in round 1.
Springfield reached the final by beating Ickenham in a penalty shoot-out, after a 2-2 home draw in round 2, Hilltop Reserves 3-2 (H) in round 3, Kensington Dragons Blues 3-1 (H) in the quarter-final and Sporting Duet M 3-0 (A) in the semi-final.
Hayes & Hillingdon received a walk-over against West London Wanderers FC in round 2 and then won against London Titans 3-1 (H) in round 3, Wiseman West 4-3 (H) in the quarter-final and Illyrian 3-0 (H) in the semi-final.
The teams were very evenly matched and produced a tense hard-fought game, played in front of an enthusiastic and vocal crowd. However, the respective defences generally held the upper hand and scoring chances were limited. Springfield took the lead on the stroke of half-time but Hayes & Hillingdon fought back and equalised from the penalty spot, 9 minutes into the second half. No further goals were forthcoming, so the deadlock had to be broken by a penalty shoot-out.
The first serious attack came from Hayes & Hillingdon in the 7th minute. Jake Edmunds cut in and passed to Conor Gleeson, who beat a defender and shot across the goal. Springfield keeper, Rob Beschizza punched the ball away.
Springfield’s Daniel Horgan won the ball from Hayes & Hillingdon’s custodian, Sam Deacon but skipper, Joe Shepherd saved the situation by heading off of the goal-line.
A shot from Conor Gleeson was scrambled away for a corner to Hayes & Hillingdon. Then Jake Edmunds crossed for Conor, whose shot was saved.
Springfield’s Benedict O’Mahoney went close, with a rocket shot from around 30 yards.
Then Frank Lynam made a good run up the left for Springfield but his cross was cleared.
In the 33rd minute, H & H’s Danny McDonnell was booked for a foul. The resulting freekick from Luke Horgan was headed clear by Joe Clifton.
Jake Edmunds’ shot on the turn was saved by Rob Beschizza.
Springfield took the lead in the added time before the interval, through Daniel Fitzgerald, who headed home from Daniel Horgan’s freekick.
In addition to Danny McDonnell, yellow cards were shown in the first half, to his team-mate, Joe Shepherd and to Springfield’s Neil McNamara.
Half-time score: Springfield 1 Hayes & Hillingdon 0
Two minutes after the interval, Hayes & Hillingdon’s Charlie Casey was cautioned for simulation.
Hayes & Hillingdon equalised in the 54th minute. Conor Gleeson was tripped just inside the box and Jake Edmunds hit the penalty low into the corner of the net.
Joe Shepherd crossed for Charlie Casey, who shot narrowly wide. Then Joe Clifton headed wide from Connor Goodliffe’s corner.
Springfield’s Frank Lynam released Daniel Fitzgerald up the wing but Daniel’s centre did not find any takers.
Springfield’s Luke Aldridge was cautioned for a foul on Conor Gleeson. The resulting long range freekick by Joe Shepherd didn’t cause any problems.
Jake Edmunds’ well struck shot was brilliantly saved by Rob Beschizza at the expense of a corner.
Springfield’s Mark Peacock was the sixth and final yellow card recipient of the match in the 81st minute.
Score after 90 minutes: Springfield 1 Hayes & Hillingdon 1
Springfield went first in the penalty shoot-out and although Sam Deacon got his hands to Daniel Horgan’s shot, he couldn’t stop it. Joe Shepherd converted his kick to keep the scores level.
Jamie Somers scored with Springfield’s second shot and then Rob Beschizza dived to his right to save from Jake Edmunds, to make the score after 2 shots each, 2-1 to Springfield.
The third pair of penalty takers, Chris Somers and Conor Gleeson were both successful.
Daniel Somers smashed Springfield’s 4th kick against the crossbar and Luke Jones scored for Hayes & Hillingdon to level the penalty score at 3 each.
The fifth pair of penalty takers, Luke Horgan and Connor Goodliffe both converted their kicks to take the competition to sudden-death.
Liam O’Brien then netted for Springfield but H & H’s Tyler Randall hit his shot high over the crossbar.
Result of Penalty shoot-out: Springfield 5 Hayes & Hillingdon 4
Our congratulations are given to Springfield on their well-earned victory. Also, our condolences are due to Hayes & Hillingdon. They twice fought back valiantly but eventually had to relinquish the trophy which they won so impressively last season.
The game was very well refereed by Alex Molloy, with good support from his team.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor was introduced to the teams and the match officials prior to the match and presented the cup and individual mementoes afterwards. John chose Hayes & Hillingdon midfielder, Connor Goodliffe as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to Hendon and to Edgware & Kingsbury FCs for allowing us the use of their superb facilities.
Springfield: Rob Beschizza, Daniel Fitzgerald, Neil McNamara, Conor McBreen, Luke Horgan, Luke Aldridge, Frank Lynam, Benedict O’Mahoney, Daniel Horgan, Daniel Somers (capt) and Liam O’Brien.
Rolling substitutes: Mark Peacock, Chris Somers, Jamie Somers, Alfie Smith and Connor Roche.
Manager: Aiden Lynam Coaches: Chris Somers, Johnny Fitzgerald and Liam Holly Physio: Harry Joyce.
Hayes & Hillingdon: Sam Deacon, Joe Shepherd (capt), Joe Clifton, Connor Cookson, Danny McDonnell, Stuart Williams, Mike Gunster, Connor Goodliffe, Jake Edmunds, Sam Baigent and Conor Gleeson.
Rolling substitutes: Conor Odell, Luke Jones, Chris Kyriakides, Tyler Randall and Charlie Casey.
Manager: Gavin Shepherd Coaches: Dean McDonnell, Chris Everley and Conor Shaw Physio: Adam Matthews.
Referee: Alex Molloy Assistant Referees: Mohammed Shabib Shohel and Garrett Eeles. Fourth Official: Salah Muhammad.
As ever, we thank Chris & Jim for covering this match on a wet evening. They have selected their favourite shots of the match, Chris has also kindly provided a full album of imagery.
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn