The preliminaries


Jim Taylor

The first semi-final of this season’s Middlesex Under 12 Cup, between Ashford Town (Middlesex) Warriors and Bessingby Park Rangers Reds, was played on Sunday last, 5th March.   Your roving team covered the match at Short Lane, Stanwell on an overcast but dry morning.

62 teams entered this season’s Under 12 Cup competition.   Ashford Town Warriors received a bye in the first round and then won a penalty shoot-out, after a 1-1 away draw with Halliford Colts.   They beat Panthera Red 3-2 at home in round 3 and then won another penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final, this time against Whetstone Wanderers Tigers, after a 1-1 away draw.   

Bessingby Park Rangers Reds route to the semi-final was impressive.   They recorded a 6-1 home victory over Omonia Youth Gold in round 1, a 14-2 away win against London Athletic White in round 2 and a 3-0 away win against Chiswick FFF Red in round 3.   They had a walkover against their quarter final opponents, Cademy White.

Matches in this competition are played over 30 minutes each half, with 9 players on each side.   Rolling substitutions are used.

The spectators were treated to an exciting cup tie, between two very good sides.   The match officials also played their part.  Referee Dave Sampson’s handling was impeccable and he was very well supported by his assistant referees.

Ashford Town had the better of the first half and could have led by more than just their single goal at the interval.   However, Bessingby Park moved up a gear and equalised less than 2 minutes after the resumption.   The Warriors regained the lead in the 9th minute of the half but Rangers equalised again to take the match to a penalty shoot-out, which they won.

Ashford Town went onto the attack immediately and Oliver Ethan picked up a clearance and was narrowly wide with a low drive.   Then Bessingby keeper, Louie Wright saved low down at close range from Liam Cowell.  

Louie Wright saves from Liam Cowell

The visitors broke out and Joss Harvey won the ball and fired just past the post.

Liam Cowell's (21) header finds the net, but the score was disallowed

The Warriors continued to press.   Liam Cowell headed home from a free-kick in the 14th minute but was adjudged to be offside.   Then Ethan Oliver cleared the bar with a lob and Ollie Kempner-Monk’s throw in across the visitors’ goalmouth failed to attract a touch.

Henry Tanner's header...

The Warriors took the lead in the 20th minute, through Henry Tanner’s header from Ethan’s aerial pass.

...puts Ashford ahead

A long free kick by Ethan Oliver was well taken, high up and under pressure, by keeper Louie Wright.

Louie Wright saves well under pressure

A long-range effort by Daniel Bangard was fielded by Malachy Parker but the only real threat by Bessingby, in a first half dominated by the Warriors, came from Albie Carroll, who made some dangerous breaks up the left wing.

Half time score: Ashford Town Warriors 1   Bessingby Park Rangers Reds 0

Daniel Bangard (8) equalises from the penalty spot

Bessingby Park Rangers took the initiative at the beginning of the second half, which commenced with a melee in the Ashford goalmouth.   The ball was cleared but Bessingby came back immediately and Niall Baker was put through and was brought down by the keeper.   Daniel Bangard hit the spot kick into the roof of the net.

Albie Carroll burst through the middle but was adjudged to be offside.

At the other end, Louie Wright left his area to kick clear of the oncoming home strikers.

Ethan Oliver's (10) free kick restores Ashford's lead

Ethan Oliver restored Ashford’s lead, in the 39th minute, with a well struck free-kick from the left, which the keeper got his hands to but couldn’t keep out.

Louie Wright held a long shot and then a dangerous corner from Ethan.

Malachy Parker saved a low shot from Daniel Bangard.   Then Daniel beat Malachy to Albie Carroll’s pass but didn’t manage to direct the ball into the net.

Harry Reynolds worked his way through the Rangers’ defence but his shot just missed the upright.

Albie Carroll shoots...

A very good move involving Joss Harvey and Diego Chinyowa set up Albie Carroll to make the score 2-2, in the 49th minute. make the score two each

Malachy Parker tipped Daniel Bangard’s free-kick over his crossbar.

A timely interception by Ethan Oliver thwarted Daniel, who had been set up by Albie.

Score at full-time: Ashford Town Warriors 2   Bessingby Park Rangers Reds 2

Bessingby Park Rangers went first in the penalty shoot-out.   Albie Carroll’s first shot was straight at Malachy Parker, who saved.   However, Malachy had come off of his goal-line in doing so.   Albie was successful with the retake.

Louie Wright saves Teddy Twitchen's penalty

Louie Wright saved Ashford’s first shot, taken by Teddy Twitchen.

Malachy Parker saves from Joss Harvey

Malachy saved from Joss Harvey and then Ollie Kempner-Monk converted his kick to level the scores at 1-1 after 2 penalties each.   Louie Wright got to Ollie’s shot but couldn’t prevent it crossing the goal- line.

Louie Wright almost saves Ollie Kempner-Monk's penalty

Daniel Bungard converted Bessingby’s 3rd penalty, which Malachy managed to touch and then Louie saved Henry Tanner’s shot.

Diego Chinyowa converts Bessingby's 4th penalty

Diego Chinyowa made no mistake with the visitors’ 4th penalty.   The result of the tie was then decided when Ethan Oliver hit an upright with his kick.

Ethan Oliver hits the post with his kick

Result of Penalty Shoot-out: Bessingby Park Rangers Reds 3   Ashford Town Warriors 1


Ashford Town (Middlesex) Warriors: Malachy Parker, Zak Rainford, Ollie Kempner-Monk (capt), Luca Brief, Taylan Steel, Henry Tanner, Harry Reynolds, Ethan Oliver, Teddy Twitchen and Liam Cowell.

Bessingby Park Rangers Reds: Louie Wright, Archie Leeming, Niall Baker, Diego Chinyowa, Albie Carroll, Daniel Bangard, Joss Harvey, Tate Cadore, Simas Rasimas, Rishil Bharadwa and Olly Doona (capt).

Referee: David Sampson   Assistant Referees: Luca van Dorp and Jack Renahan.

The final of this competition, is scheduled for Sunday, 14th May at Middlesex FA’s Rectory Park HQ.   Bessingby Park Rangers will play either London Athletic Red or Parks (Youth) FC, who will be contesting the other semi-final on Sunday next, 12th March.

We thank Chris & Jim for covering this match, as is custom, they have selected their favourite shots from the game. Chris has alos very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.

Chris & Jim's picks

Full album courtesy of Chris Benn