The toss


Jim Taylor

The Middlesex FA Youth Cup Competitions resumed on Sunday, 8 January, after their Christmas break and your reporting team chose the Graham Rigby Under 16 Cup 3rd round match between Bedfont Eagles and AFC Wembley Youth Red.

After receiving a bye in round 1 of this season’s competition, Bedfont Eagles beat Acton Ealing Whistlers Youth Red 5-2 at home in round 2.   AFC Wembley Youth Red had progressed to round 3 by beating Elite London Red 1-0 at home and then Wembley Youth Red 2-0 away.

The match was played on Bedfont Sports’ splendid 3G main pitch at Bedfont Rec.   Although the day’s proposed programme of matches on the adjacent grass pitches, was disrupted by the recent heavy rainfall, this match naturally went ahead.  However, the conditions were far from pleasant.   The dazzling low early sunshine quickly gave way to thick cloud and frequent squally heavy rain showers, which merged into a steady downpour in the later stages of the match.

The gloom descends. The pavilion clock is right

The game made a slow start and was then disrupted by a long break in play following an unfortunate clash of heads between opposing players.   AFC Wembley went ahead in the 20th minute and scored twice more, to hold a comfortable 3-0 lead at the interval.   Eagles came more into the game at the start of the second half.   However, AFC Wembley added a 4th goal midway through the half and thereafter completely dominated the proceedings, to finish 8-0 winners against an increasingly dispirited home side.

Most of the play was in midfield for the opening 15 minutes or so of the match, with little goalmouth action.   A couple of long free kicks, into the Eagles’ penalty area, bounced harmlessly behind for goal-kicks.   A clash of heads between AFC Wembley’s Aseel Albrek and Eagles’ Billy Nixon resulted in neither player taking any further part in the match.

A nasty clash of heads

D'Jhanni Smith put AFC Wembley ahead in the 20th minute, with an explosive shot from wide on the right.

D'Jhanni Smith's wide angled shot puts Wembley 1-0 ahead

The second Wembley goal followed 5 minutes later, when Jack Tucker netted directly from an in-swinging corner.

Jack Tucker's inswinging corner finds the net

Basit Omary shoots...

Four minutes later, skipper Basit Omari’s low shot from around 25 yards, eluded keeper, Matthew Johnston, for Wembley’s third goal.

...and Wembley go 3-0 ahead

The visitors had further chances to increase their lead before the interval.   Elliot Richards’ drive hit an upright.   A move, involving Luca Bailey and Jack Tucker, set up Rian Chotai, who fired wide.   Then Luca collected a pass from Jack and worked his way through the Eagles’ rear-guard before shooting past the post.   A long-range effort from Elliot Richards went close.

Andreas Raul-Avram saves from Nojus Mykolaitis (9)

At the other end, a high shot by Haydn Crow was comfortably held by Andreas Raul-Avram.   Andreas then thwarted Nojus Mykolaitis with a close range save, just before the half-time whistle.

Score at half time: Bedfont Eagles 0   AFC Wembley Youth Red 3

Callahan Keadell had a good chance for Bedfont but defender, Farris Naeem deflected his shot over the bar.

Eagles’ keeper, Matthew Johnston beat Luca Bailey to Mirza Ashraf’s long diagonal ball into the box.

Luca Bailey (13) scores Wembley's fourth goal

However, Wembley’s 4th goal came in the 60th minute.   Mirza, Jamal Bangura and Luca combined in a move, which finished with Luca placing the ball wide of the keeper.

Matthew Johnston saves from Jamal Bangura

AFC Wembley created further chances.  Mirza released Jamal, whose low shot was saved by Matthew Johnston.

Mirza then set up Basit Omari, who shot past the post.   Then Matthew saved low down from Basit.

Basit Omari goes through the Eagles' defence...

Basit took the ball through the defence and beat the goalkeeper low down, to net Wembley’s 5th goal, in the 67th minute.

...and scores Wembley's fifth goal

Bedfont then changed their goalkeeper, bringing on Ben Newman for the gallant Matthew Johnston.

The rain now turned into a torrent, as Wembley continued to slice through the home defence.   Jamal Bangura and Mirza Ashraf both fired wide and Ben Newman saved Mirza’s low shot.

Jamal Bangura rounds the keeper before netting Wembley's sixth goal

Jamal took the ball around the keeper and netted Wembley’s 6th goal in the 78th minute and almost immediately, Rian Chotai added a 7th.   Mirza walked in the 8th goal in the 3rd minute of stoppage time.

Rian Chotai (8) hits Wembley's seventh goal

Final Score: FC Bedfont Eagles 0   AFC Wembley Youth Red 8


Bedfont Eagles: Matthew Johnston, Charlie Cain, Oliver Goff, Charlie Borg, Adam Hanford, Haydn Crow, Nojus Mykolaitis, Billy Nixon, George Sanders, Callahan Keadell and Dennis Bailey.

Substitutes (rolling substitutes were used): Andrew Lee, Anthony Bold, Joe Cooper, Robert Long and Ben Newman (goalkeeper)

AFC Wembley Red: Andreas Raul-Avram, Rian Chotai, Jack Tucker, Shend Citaku, Naylen Hassan, Luca Bailey, Aseel Albrek, Elliot Richards, Jamal Bangura, Basit Omari (capt) and Edward Ridley.

Substitutes: Farris Naeem, D’Jhanni Smith and Mirza Ashraf.

Referee: Mick Corcoran, who had an excellent match.   His friendly but firm demeanour was impressive.   I hope that he was eventually able to decipher the details of his cautions from his very soggy notebook.

We thank Chris & Jim for braving the damp conditions to cover this match up, as ever they have sat down together and reviewed Chris' captures, selecting their favourite images which can be found throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn