NORTH GREENFORD UNITED PROGRESS IN SENIOR CHALLENGE CUP
The concluding match in Round 2 of this season’s Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup competition, was played on Tuesday, 20th December, between North Greenford United and Hendon. Round 2 was scheduled for completion during the week commencing on 7th November but the various differing spells of inclement weather had considerably extended its time span. Your roving team attended the match, which had previously been postponed three times and had been switched to Hendon’s excellent Silver Jubilee Park with its 3G pitch.
North Greenford United had reached this round of the competition with a thumping 7-2 home win against Broadfields United. Hendon had received a bye in round 1.
Hendon have won the Middlesex Senior Cup on 16 occasions. Their last success was in 2018, when they beat Staines Town in a penalty shoot-out at Uxbridge FC’s Honeycroft ground, following a goalless draw after extra time.
Both teams played entertaining football and produced an interesting and competitive game. Hendon had most of the possession in the first half and led by a single goal at half time. They had other chances but failed to take any of them. During the interval, two of the home officials correctly prophesised to me that their team would regret this wastefulness. North Greenford stepped up their game after the interval and equalised on the hour. After this, the action was confined mainly to midfield and relatively few goalscoring opportunities were created. The Blues (who were actually wearing grey and orange shirts for this game) took one of these opportunities to win the match, with 7 minutes of normal time remaining.
Hendon took the initiative from the kick off and in the first minute a cross into the North Greenford box by Solomon Sambou troubled keeper Sam House. Then Frank Keita fired narrowly wide.
In the 5th minute, Joe White was felled in a central position, just outside the box. Shaun Lucien fired the resultant free kick just over the bar.
Then a high shot from the left wing by the overlapping Giovanni Palmer, who was providing the visiting defence with problems, passed over the angle of the goal frame.
At the other end, Harry McCorkell fired a low shot past the post and then put a high ball across the Hendon goalmouth, without getting a touch.
Then, Solomon Sambou released Giovanni Palmer up the Hendon left again but the latter’s low shot went wide. However, the Greens went ahead in the 15th minute through Josh Dawodu, who was on hand to net the rebound, after Giovanni’s shot had been blocked.
Blues’ keeper, Sam House saved Joe White’s attempt to lob him. Then Joe chased and retrieved a seemingly dead ball and crossed it for Frank Keita, who headed wide.
Hendon continued to apply pressure and Joe White, in particular, troubled the Blues’ defence. He broke through and tested Sam House from the edge of the box.
Joe then crossed for Frank Keita, whose header went back across the goal and wide of the upright. Joe was then thwarted by Sam House, who saved with his feet in a one-on-one situation.
Josh Dawodu had a goalward bound attempt diverted for a corner and Sam House saved low down from Shaun Lucien.
Half time score: Hendon 1 North Greenford United 0
North Greenford found their rhythm in the second half and enjoyed much more of the play. Substitute, Ademide Baruwa just missed with a shot across goal.
The Blues equalised in the 60th minute, through midfielder, Charlie Mitchell, who finished a good team move by shooting into the roof of the net.
Joe White put the ball into the net for Hendon 3 minutes later but the score was disallowed for offside.
The game now developed into a midfield battle and scoring chances became less frequent. The Greens’ custodian, Marcin Brzozowski saved at Morgan Cooper’s feet.
A very well-judged defensive interception by Blues’ Joe Mills on Liam Brooks kept the scores level.
Harry McCorkell’s header, from a cross, just cleared the Hendon crossbar.
The winning goal came in the 82nd minute from a well struck Harvey Killeen free kick, taken from just outside the penalty box.
Final Score: Hendon 1 North Greenford United 2
Hendon: Marcin Brzozowski, Josh Dawodu (Gabriel Odunaike 76 mins), Giovanni Palmer, Dave Diedhiou, Tarik Moore, Guri Demuria (Arthur Iontton 55), Kieron Forbes, Solomon Sambou (Liam Brooks 66), Joe White, Frank Keita (Luca Allinson 76) and Shaun Lucien (Rhodell Gordon 56).
Manager: Lee Allinson Assistant Manager: Cameron Mawer.
North Greenford United: Sam House (capt), Austin Schofield (Ademide Baruwa 51), Tyrique Rashid-Springer (George Harmes 83), Georgie Brown, Joe Gritt, Joe Mills, Charlie Mitchell, Harry McCorkell, Perry Price (Qasim Khan 32), Harvey Killeen and Morgan Cooper.
Unused substitutes: Samuel Brown and Elliot Byrne.
Joint Managers: Paul Mills and Gary Brown.
Referee: Sobastian Frazer Assistant Referees: Michael Oakes and Michael Heavey.
Sobastian controlled the match very well indeed. He was well supported by the two Michaels. Our older readers will remember that Mike Heavey refereed the final of this competition, between Hanwell Town and Harrow Borough, at the Beveree in 2015
Hendon FC produced a superb 28 page programme for the game, featuring a 4 page spread on the club’s history in the competition, containing a large selection of photographs from some of their final appearances.
North Greenford United will play Harrow Borough (away) in the Quarter Final on 10th January, 2023.
The other quarter final matches are:-
Wealdstone v Brentford B
Hayes & Yeading United v Southall
Northwood v Enfield Town
We thank Chris and Jim for giving up their time to cover this game on a cold December night, as ever they have selected their favourite images from the night. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the game.