The preliminaries


Jim Taylor

The semi-finals of this season’s Middlesex Under 12 Jim Taylor Trophy were contested on Sunday last, 12th March.   Your roving team covered the match between Whitton Wanderers Youth Eagles and Omonia Youth Green, on a pleasant spring morning, at Nelson School Playing Field, Whitton.

49 teams entered this season’s competition.  Neither of the teams from this match was engaged in round 1.   Whitton Wanderers Eagles received a bye and Omonia Green had a walkover against Forest United Red.   Omonia Green didn’t have to play in round 2 either, receiving another walk over, this time against Wealdstone Youth Purple.   Whitton Wanderers Eagles recorded a 4-1 away victory at Sandgate Youth Colts.

Both sides had home victories in round 3.   Omonia beat Parkfield Youth Blue by a single goal and Eagles overcame NPL Youth Rays 4-0.   In the quarter finals, Eagles beat their fellow club team, the Hawks 6-1, while Omonia beat the Junior Bees 3-2 at home.

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

The teams produced a very close and exciting cup-tie, played in a sporting manner.   The game was goalless at half-time.   Omonia took the lead in the 5th minute of the second half.   The Eagles equalised 10 minutes later and scored the winning goal with 5 minutes of normal time remaining.   Referee George Allman managed the proceedings admirably.

Theron Petrou saves Rio Washington's (10) cross shot

The Eagles threatened first, in an evenly balanced first half.   Rio Washington’s cross shot was saved by keeper, Theron Petrou.

Rio was then put through by Luka Grahovak but was just unable to keep the ball in play.

A close range shot from Omonia’s Leo Albrecht was diverted for a corner.

Luka Grahovak's free kick clears the bar

Luka Grahovak cleared the Omonia crossbar with a free-kick, awarded for handball in a central position.

Omonia’s Cos Hadjimanolis made a good run up-field but was well tackled by Arthur Woods. 

Luka’s close-range shot was blocked and then a ball from Ethan Jeffreys flew across the Omonia goalmouth, without attracting a touch.

Theron saves at close range from Liam Gaffney

Theron Petrou saved at close range from Liam Gaffney.

Cos Hadjimanous breaks away upfield

An Eagles freekick was cleared to Cos Hadjimanolis, who broke away upfield but he was eventually crowded out.

Chris Jacovw’s long shot was deflected for a corner to Omonia.

Half time score: Whitton Wanderers Eagles 0   Omonia Youth Green 0

Luka's free kick clears the crossbar

The ever-dangerous Luka Grahovak started the second half with two scoring attempts for the Eagles.   His freekick cleared the crossbar and then his long-range drive was just wide.

The keeper saves Cos' free kick...

Omonia went ahead in the 35th minute.   Leo Albrecht was tripped on the edge of the penalty box.   Cos’s resulting freekick was saved but the ball rebounded to Chris Jacovw, who forced it home.

...and Chris Jacovw forces home the rebound

The Eagles hit back.   Ethan Jeffreys won the ball from a defender before shooting just wide.   They then forced 2 consecutive corners.   Omonia’s Nick Andrews cleared the second one off of his goal-line.   Then keeper, Theron Petrou kicked clear from George Keeley.

Ethan Jeffreys (9) equalises for the Eagles...

Ethan Jeffreys capitalised on some hesitancy in the Omonia defence and equalised for the Eagles, from close range, in the 45th minute.

...and celebrates

Cos made another run up the middle but was eventually dispossessed by Ted Dolan.   A long freekick by Jordan Krase was taken by keeper Tyler Brackenbury.

Luka takes a long free kick...

The Eagles took the lead in the 55th minute, through Luke Grahovak, whose long free-kick slipped through the goalkeeper’s hands.

...and scores the winning goal

The Eagles then had further scoring chances.   A good move, involving George Keeley, Joseph La Cherie and Ethan Jeffreys, finished with Ethan shooting wide.   Then Theron Petrou saved high up from Luka.

Chris' shot hits the crossbar

Omonia pressed hard for an equaliser.   Chris Jacovw’s free-kick from the right rattled the home crossbar.

Tyler Brackenbury saves from Leo Albrecht (5)

Ted Dolan hacked a loose ball away, after Tyler Brackenbury had made a good low save.   Then Tyler saved well from Leo Albrecht, who had burst through the middle.

Score at full-time: Whitton Wanderers Eagles 2   Omonia Youth Green 1


Whitton Wanderers Eagles: Tyler Brackenbury, Ted Dolan (capt), Arthur Woods, Jack Madigan, Luka Grahovak, Joseph La Cherie, George Keeley, Rio Washington and Ethan Jeffreys.

Rolling substitutes: Frank Madigan, Liam Gaffney, Edy Dobush, Kyle Williams and Jacob Akhlaghi-Hayes.

Omonia Green: Theron Petrou, Stefainos Nicolaou, Chris Jacovw, Cos, Hadjimanolis (capt), Christian Demetriou, Nick Andrews, Leo Albrecht, Andreas Pyrkov and Lysanthros Petrou.

Rolling substitutes: Mathew Nicalaou, Harry Paraseva and Jordan Krase.

Referee: George Allman                                                                                                                            

The final of this competition is scheduled for Sunday, 21st May at Middlesex FA’s Rectory Park HQ.    The Eagles will play Sport London E Benfica Youth, who beat Chiswick FFF White 2-0, in the other semi-final.

Thank you to Chris & Jim for covering this match, the pair have also selected their favourite shots which can be seen throughout the report. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the game.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album Courtesy of Chris Ben