The final of this season’s Jeff Ritson Senior Youth Cup was played on Bedfont Sports FC’s splendid 3G pitch on the evening of Thursday, 16th March. This season’s finalists were the Under 18 teams of Uxbridge and Cockfosters.
Jeff Ritson, a former President of Middlesex Youth FA, was an enthusiastic and tireless worker for all football but particularly youth football in the County. It is entirely appropriate that his name lives on with this cup, which is competed for by clubs at the pinnacle of Middlesex youth football.
The Jeff Ritson Senior Youth Cup was first played for in season 2000-01, when it was won by Edgware Town Last season’s winners were Bedfont Sports, who beat AFC Hayes 4-0 in the final at North Greenford United FC’s Berkeley Fields.
23 teams entered the competition this season.
Uxbridge, who are members of the Isthmian Youth League West Division, received a bye in the first round. They beat Bedfont Sports 5-1 away, in round 2 and then had a walkover against Hayes & Yeading United in Round 3. They then won their semi-final at Brook House Reserves by 9 goals to one.
Cockfosters, who play in the Southern Counties Floodlit Youth League, reached the final without conceding a goal, despite being drawn away in all of their matches. They beat PFC Youth 6-0, Harefield United 3-0, Potters Bar Town Youth 2-0 and Hanwell Town 2-0.
The match officials and team captains
The spectators were treated to a fast high-quality game, in which both sides played attractive attacking football. The first half was generally evenly contested but Cockfosters eventually gained control and led at the interval, by a goal scored in the 37th minute. They scored again in the 56th minute and made the game safe with a third goal with 20 minutes left.
Uxbridge looked the more dangerous in the early stages. They came closest to scoring through Dylan Payne’s long free-kick into the Cockfosters penalty box, which was diverted for a corner.
Both sides were playing excellent football as Cockfosters came into the game. Cathal Fee cut in and worked his way along the Uxbridge goal-line to force a corner.
A long ball into the Uxbridge box was crucially intercepted by Ranvier Jamgotre.
Isaac Perry heads against the Cockfosters' post
Isaac Perry headed Dylan Payne’s long free-kick against the Cockfosters’ post but was adjudged offside.
Luca Gordon (blue far left) cuts in and fires low...
Luca Gordon was involved in most of Cockfoster’s attacks. His free-kick from wide on the right was cleared. He tried a shot from almost 30 yards out, which flew high over the crossbar. Then he cut in and fired low across the goalmouth.
...across the Uxbridge goalmouth
There was a lengthy spell of action in the Cockfosters’ penalty area. Uxbridge won a free-kick wide on the right. Keeper, Neo Donogue turned Dylan Payne’s kick for a corner. Neo then punched out Lucas Hardy’s corner from the left for another corner, also taken by Lucas, this time on the right. This was headed wide of the post.
Neo Donague deals with a corner from Lucas Hardy
Luca Gordon got involved again. He progressed through the middle and released Cathal Fee, who was unable to keep the ball in play.
Then Junior Moses took the ball past several defenders to the goal-line and cut it back for Luca, who rolled the ball just wide of the far post.
Luca Gordon (17) goes past a defender...
Luca Gordon put Cockfosters ahead in the 37th minute. He received the ball from Cathal Fee, took it past a couple of defenders and slipped the ball into the corner of the goal.
...and nets Cockfosters' first goal
Half time score: Uxbridge 0 Cockfosters 1
Cockfosters resumed the attack. Luca Rosen fed Cathal Fee but keeper Max Gawronski held Cathal’s fierce angled drive.
Caspar Fusco (out of picture) nets Cockfosters' second goal from an acute angle
Caspar Fusco doubled Cockfosters’ lead 11 minutes after the interval, with a low first-time shot from an acute angle.
Conal Cassidy dives to head Luca Gordon's free kick...
Another shot from Caspar flew narrowly wide. A superb free-kick into the Uxbridge box, from Luca Gordon, was headed just past the far post by a diving Conal Cassidy.
Substitute, Jordan Kandanda broke clear for Uxbridge but his shot was blocked.
Junior Moses cuts in and shoots...
Junior Moses cut in and netted Cockfosters’ 3rd goal in the 70th minute, after he had been released by Luca Rosen.
...to score Cockfosters' third goal
Junior then embarked on a penetrating run but his final pass didn’t reach its target.
Play became a little scrappy as the clock ran down. Cockfosters incurred two unnecessary yellow cards, Lucas Gordon for a late tackle in the 83rd minute and Mikey Omirou for time wasting in the 90th minute!
Final score: Uxbridge 0 Cockfosters 3
Referee Grisha Zeigermaher and his team controlled the game well.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor was introduced to the teams and match officials before the game and he presented the cup and mementoes afterwards. He chose the outstanding Cockfosters’ defender, Junior Moses as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to Bedfont Sports for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their kind hospitality.
The attendance was 150.
Uxbridge: Max Gawronski, Taylor Gale (capt), Thomas Sores-Feyisitan, Ranvier Jamgotre, Isaac Perry, Shae Cooper (Nico Martucci 80), Lucas Hardy, Dylan Payne, Jacob Aviss (Jordan Kandana 60), Jordan Renner Thomas (Reece Butler 64) and Kai James (Aston Ellard 64).
Unused Substitutes: Alfie Essex,
Manager: Adam Strange Assistant Manager: Dennis Millward Coach: Andrew Carrano.
Cockfosters: Neo Donogue, Junior Moses, Charlie Savage (capt) (Quinton Ejechi 90), Conal Cassidy, Abdel Gumaa, Cathal Fee (Pavle Koprivica 87), Archie Jolly, Caspar Fusco (Kuell Weekes 75), Luca Rosen (Uriel Tyrell 87), Jibril Sharmarke (Mikey Omirou 82) and Luca Gordon.
Manager: Vas Chiotis Assistant Manager: Keith Savage Assistant Coach & Physio: Omi Omirou.
Referee: Grisha Zeigermaher Assistant Referees: Silvio Fernandes and Rohan Chotai Fourth Official: Melkamu Anshebo.
Thank you to Chris & Jim for joining us at the first of our 2022/23 Finals, as ever they have selected their favourite shots from the match, which can be viewed throughout the report. Chris has also kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn