The winners with the cup


Jim Taylor

The finals of the Middlesex FA Under 12, Under 13 and Under 14 Trophies were contested on Sunday, 21st May at Rectory Park.   These competitions were introduced to provide an extra level, with an increased chance of success, for the boys’ teams of Middlesex affiliated clubs, playing in the lower divisions of their leagues.    This is the second season that these finals have been held.   Although the three competitions commenced in season 2020-21, only one round could be played in that season, before the arrival of the covid pandemic.

Our last match of a busy day was the final of the Ron Plunkett U14 Trophy between Harrow Stars and AEK Youth Black.

Both finalists are members of the Watford Friendly League.   Harrow Stars play in the Blue Division, where they finished the season in 4th place with 33 points from 18 matches.   AEK are in the White Division and also finished in 4th place, with 21 points from 12 games.

45 teams entered this season’s competition.   Both teams received a bye in Round 1.

Both sides had impressive runs to the final, producing some excellent performances.   They   played most of their matches away from home, only getting one home tie each.

Harrow Stars reached the final with victories over Wealdstone Youth Green 5-0 (away) in round 2, Norseman Youth 4-2 (away) in round 3, London Eagles Youth Red 3-1 (away) in the quarter-final and Harrow St Mary’s Youth Red in a penalty shoot-out, after a 1-1 home semi-final draw.

AEK Youth Black beat Kensington Dragons Youth Red 8-2 (away) in round 2, Ashford Town (Middlesex) Juniors 8-0 (away) in round 3, Northwood Youth Blue 4-1 (at home) in the quarter-final and Brook House Youth Red 3-2 (away) in the semi-final.

A very watchable and sportingly contested final ended in a convincing victory for AEK.   They took an early lead from the penalty spot, doubled it just before interval and put the game out of Stars’ reach with a third goal at the start of the second half.   They scored further goals midway through the second half and then just before the final whistle, to win 5-0.

Matches in this competition are played over 35 minutes in each half.

Harrow Stars had the first shot on goal, a freekick from wide on the right, taken by Stefan Sorodoc, which keeper Theo Charalambous saved.

AEK go ahead from the penalty spot

AEK took the lead in the 5th minute.   They were awarded a penalty for handball and their top scorer, Lucca Chrysostomou, blasted the ball into the top corner of the net.

Then Tristan Ramdarshan worked himself into a good position but shot just wide.

A well struck freekick by Stars’ Raul Fuslea, from the right of the box was headed away.

Theo Charalambous saves high up from Raul Fuslea

Another dangerous freekick from Raul was well taken high up, under pressure, by keeper, Theo Charalambous.

Stars’ Corey Boston-Griffiths cut in and pushed the ball past the keeper but his low shot into the goalmouth was cleared.

AEK net but the referee has spotted a push

Then a cross-shot from AEK’s Michael Asante was deflected for a corner.   Marcos Musni netted in the resulting goalmouth action but the referee had already whistled for a push.

Then Lucca shot on the turn but didn’t quite connect cleanly and keeper, Benji Norman, easily gathered his shot.

Lucca Chrysostomou is fouled outside the D...

Lucca was fouled just outside the penalty D in the 29th minute.   He took the freekick and hit it into the corner of the net, to double his team’s lead.

...and hits the free kick into the corner of the net to make the score 2-0

Lucca hit a low drive wide of the upright.   Nahimia Zenebe made an incisive run and set up Lucca, whose shot was saved.

Lucca released Tristan, who progressed up the wing but his shot was intercepted for a corner.   A melee resulted during which Zak Haralambous’ shot was deflected wide.

Half-time score: Harrow Stars 0   AEK Youth Black 2

Tristan Ramdarshan (10) shoots...

AEK further increased their lead 2 minutes after the interval through Tristan Ramdarshan’s shot into the far corner of the net.

...and makes the score 3-0

Angel Miya (12) shoots...

Marcus Musni set up Angel Miya, whose shot was taken high up by the keeper.

...and Benji Norman saves high up

Then Angel Miya set up Sami Safdar, who lobbed over the keeper for AEK’s 4th goal.

Sami Safdar (out of picture) lobs the keeper for AEK's fourth goal

A good 3 player move by Stars’ finished with Stefan Sorodoc shooting just too high.

Angel Miya’s long shot was saved by Benji Norman.   Jonatan Qevani’s header, from a corner, was blocked on the Stars’ goal-line.

A low drive by Stars’ Corey Boston-Griffiths was saved by the diving Theo Charalambous.

Sami Safdar (middle) makes it 5-0

Sami Safdar s netted his 2nd goal and his side’s 5th in the 70th minute, with a high angled shot.

Final score: Harrow Stars 0   AEK Youth Black 5

The winners with the cup

Our congratulations are given to AEK Youth Black on the successful conclusion to their cup campaign.   Harrow Stars also deserve our congratulations, for reaching the final and for not giving up, despite the circumstances.   Both teams should be proud of themselves.

Our congratulations are also given to referee Mohammed Kausar and his team for their prestigious appointment to the final and for the manner in which they controlled it.

We were delighted to welcome, as Guest of Honour, Pauline Plunkett, the wife of Ron Blunkett, together with their son, Gareth and their daughter, Caroline.   They were introduced to the teams and match officials before the kick off and presented the Trophy and mementoes afterwards.   Pauline picked AEK midfielder, Michael Asante as the Player of the Match.  


Harrow Stars: Benji Norman, Adrian Mitrea, Raul Fuslea, Jayden Patel-Lawson, Stefan Sorodoc, Denis Torac, Mason Headley, Corey Boston-Griffiths, Jaiden Halai, Reece Pierre-Dixon and Fabian Mohorea.

Rolling substitutes: Josiah Henshaw, Josh Ganatra, Obirichi Uchendu, Bogdan Torcatu and Ayman Abdulkadir.

Manager: Raymond Santamaria   Coaches: Richard Lawson, Ali Abdulkadir and Omar Ali.

AEK Youth Black: Theo Charalambous, Angel Miya, Zak Haralambous,  Savvas Jr Marneros, Arjon Hasanaj, Jonatan Qevani, Nahimia Zenebe, Marcus Musni, Lucca  Chrysostomou, Michael Asante and Tristan Ramdarshan.

Rolling substitutes; George Ioannou, Kai Seon, Sami Safdar, Henry Isaacs and Rocco Issaias.

Manager: Stathi Marneros    Coach: Marino Charalambous.

Referee: Mohammed Kausar   Assistant Referees: Matthew Dyachuk and Kissi Williams Fourth Official : Sorrel Monteiro.

Attendance: 198

Thank you to Chris & Kim for covering this game, as ever they have selected their favourite shots from the match. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn

Photography - Chris Benn