The Isthmian League fixture list for Saturday, 23rd December, contained arguably the oldest ongoing fixture between two Middlesex clubs, Southall FC versus Uxbridge FC. Both clubs were formed in 1871 and played each other in October of that year. This match, which resulted in a 1-0 victory for Uxbridge, was Southall’s first ever fixture and possibly Uxbridge’s as well. Your roving team went along to Burnham FC’s 1878 Stadium, Southall’s current home, for the latest episode in this long running saga.
The history behind this fixture was recognised in 2021, when the clubs played a preseason match for The Hubert Heron Cup, a trophy put up by Uxbridge FC to commemorate both clubs’ 150th birthdays. Hubert was Uxbridge FC’s first superstar, their captain and an England international in the 1870s. This game was won 2-1 by Southall, who are still the holders. The hope was to play the match annually but the promotion of Southall to the same division as Uxbridge has meant that the competition for the trophy has had to be put on hold.
Uxbridge held the upper hand in last season’s meetings between the 2 clubs, winning 2-1 in both league fixtures. However, before Saturday’s encounter, Southall led the way in the Isthmian League South Central Division. They were third in the table, with 36 points and 11 wins and just 3 defeats from their 17 matches. Uxbridge, whose form has been spasmodic after a good start, were in 6th position, with 28 points. They had shown some good recent form, winning their previous two matches.
Southall won this hard fought and interesting match by 3 goals to 1. Unusually, the first two goals of the match, the ‘Alls’ opener after 9 minutes and the Reds’ equaliser 17 minutes later, were scored by backheels. Southall regained the lead from the penalty spot in the 38th minute and then resisted their visitors’ attempts to equalise, before making sure of the points in the 84th minute.
Southall went ahead with the first serious raid of the match, when Anthony O’Connor finished off some good approach work, by backheeling the ball home.
Anthony O'Connor (9) backheels...
... to put Southall ahead
The ‘All continued their offensive. Dameon Mark finished a run up the wing with a good cross, which didn’t find a recipient. Jaden Thompson-Brissett’s freekick from the edge of the box cleared the crossbar.
At the other end, Southall keeper. Michael Edegbe beat George Moore to Mahlondo Martin’s long ball into the Southall penalty area and was hurt in the process.
Jaden Thompson-Brissett worked into a dangerous position but was foiled by a timely tackle by Alexander Paine.
The Reds equalised in the 28th minute, through skipper, Shaun Preddie, who netted from close range, following a corner. Shaun’s scoring touch, in the crowded goalmouth, was also a backheel.
Shaun Preddie backheels...
... and Uxbridge go level
Uxbridge custodian, Andew McCorkell, made a low diving save from Jaden Thompson-Brissett.
Jaden Thompson-Brissett shoots...
... and Andrew McCorkell saves
Southall went ahead again in the 38th minute. Their goalkeeper, Michael Edegbe, left his area to kick clear from the oncoming Daniel Williams. The strength of Michael’s kick propelled the ball into the Uxbridge penalty area, where it found Anthony O’Connor, who was fouled. Jaden converted the resulting spot kick.
Michael Edegbe leaves his box to kick clear and into the Uxbridge box...
... and Anthony O'Connor is fouled...
... then Jaden Thompson-Brissett converts the penalty
As the interval approached, Alan Hedley broke into the home box but was thwarted by Michael Edegbe, who cushioned the ball with his feet as Alan was in the act of shooting.
Half-time score: Southall 2 Uxbridge 1
The Reds immediately pushed for an equaliser. Michael Edegbe turned George Moore’s long shot over the bar. George took the resulting corner, which was eventually cleared.
Anthony O’Connor broke away up the right for Southall but his cross didn’t find a colleague. Then Anthony got his head to Darreon Mark’s excellent cross but couldn’t quite guide it home.
Anthony O'Connor can't quite guide his header home from Darreon Mark's cross
Uxbridge resumed the pressure but were rarely able to make an impression on the resolute and well organised home defence. When they did manage to do so, they were then faced by the dominant Michael Edegbe. Furthermore, Michael was then able to use his huge kick to move the action to the Uxbridge end of the field, when needed.
Southall made the points safe in the 84th minute, when Jaden Thompson-Brissett was released by Anthony O’Connor and struck his shot home for his side’s third goal.
Jaden Thompson-Brissett shoots...
Result: Southall 3 Uxbridge 1
... to make the score 3-1
: Michael Edegbe, Dimmi Savva, Abdul Nurein, Ryan Hope, David Amate, Joshua Green, Jaden Thompson-Brissett (Connor Holland 90 mins), Bill Montague (Tariq Al-Sadi 74), Anthony O’Connor (capt), Brendan Matthew and Darreon Mark (Kevin Diomande 72).
: Shyon Dennis and Luke Heneghan.
: Max Howell Coaches: Jesse Smith, Darron Wilkinson GK Coach Josh Stroud Assistant Coach: Harry Howell Physios: Bren Briggs and Don Bennett.
: Andrew McCorkell, Luke Paris, Joshua Andrew, Alan Hedley, James Gurteen, Shaun Preddie (capt) (Ollie Spencer 85), Kensley Maloney (Alex Witham 72), Alexander Paine, Daniel Williams, George Moore and Mahlondo Martin (Rhys Murrell-Williamson 73).
: Glenn Yala and Lewis Cole.
: Danny Edwards
Assistant Manager: Fred Cummings
Coaches: Luke Brooks-Smith and John Carroll
GK Coach: Shaka Mighal
Physio: Joseph Peacock.
Referee: Benjamin McDonald
Assistant Referees: Jordan Crichlow and Nik Garside.
I am indebted, not for the first time, to Gary Drew, the Southall Programme Editor, for some of the statistical information in this report. Gary’s programme is a credit to his club and a statistician’s and report writer’s dream.
Both clubs completed their 2 match Christmas programme on Boxing Day. I was pleased to accept an invitation to visit Uxbridge, at their recently refurbished Honeycroft ground, where they entertained Ascot United, in an eventful game. The Reds went a goal down in the 38th minute and then pressed for an equaliser, against 10 men, throughout the second half. They eventually made the breakthrough, to level the scores, in the 88th minute.
Southall visited fellow Middlesex club, Northwood and won 2-1. Their two victories over the Christmas period took them to second place in the league table, level on points with leaders, Chertsey Town and third placed, Raynes Park Vale. Southall have played a game more than the other two clubs. Unfortunately, Uxbridge dropped to tenth place.
Another Middlesex club, Hanworth Villa, enjoyed a successful holiday period, recording victories over Ashford Town (Middlesex) (5-3 away) and Chipstead (3-1 at home). Consequently, they have climbed to 6th place.
Report: Jim Taylor
Photography: Chris Benn