The final of the Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup, our oldest and most prestigious competition, was played last Wednesday evening, 19th April at the Powerday Stadium, the home of Hanwell Town FC. The teams involved were Hayes and Yeading United FC and Harrow Borough FC.
Our Senior Challenge Cup has been running since 1888. The first winners were Clapton FC and Hendon FC have won it the most times (15).
Hayes and Yeading United were formed in 2007 by a merger between Hayes FC and Yeading FC. Their best season in this cup, prior to this one, was 2010-11, when they lost 3-2 to Staines Town in the final. Before the merger, Hayes had been winners 9 times (the last time being in season 1999-2000) and runners up on 10 occasions, while Yeading had experienced 2 final wins and a penalty shoot-out final defeat.
Harrow Borough had recorded 3 final victories. They beat Wealdstone 2-0 in 1983, Wembley 1-0 in 1993 and Hanwell Town 1-0 in 2015. They were finalists against Uxbridge (0-3) in 2001 and Brentford B Team (0-4) at Griffin Park in 2019.
23 teams entered this season’s competition. Both teams had a bye in round 1.
Hayes & Yeading United reached the final by beating Hampton & Richmond Borough 3-1 (A) in round 2, Southall 3-0 (H) in the quarter-final and Brentford B Team 1-0 (H) in the semi-final.
Harrow Borough beat Hanwell Town 5-3 (A) in round 2, received a walk-over in the quarter-final, due to North Greenford United’s withdrawal and then beat Enfield Town 2-1 (A) in the semi-final.
Both clubs are competing at Step 3 of the Non-League Pyramid. in the Southern League Premier South Division this season. Hayes & Yeading United have just missed out on a promotion play-off place, while Harrow Borough have experienced an indifferent season and will finish the season in a relegation position. They are reasonably upbeat about this and see it as a chance to reorganise and bounce back. We all wish them success in this venture. Harrow Borough progressed to round 4 in this season’s FA Trophy, before losing a penalty shoot-out to eventual finalists, FC Halifax Town.
Harrow Borough made a bright start but were unable to trouble the Hayes & Yeading United defence unduly. The game was even for the first quarter but United took control after they went ahead in the 27th minute. They soon doubled their lead and were 2-0 ahead at the interval. They added a 3rd goal, 11 minutes into the second half and then things got even more difficult for Borough, when they were immediately reduced to 10 men by a red card. United added 2 further goals to finish convincing 5-0 winners.
Jack Smith catches a Boro corner
Jack Smith in the United goal was quickly in action. He touched a low shot from Anointed Chukwu for a corner and then safely took a couple of high crosses, one a corner kick.
United net, but the goal is ruled out for offside
United came into the match and Roger James tried a shot, which was too high. Then, in the 16th minute, Amos Nasha netted with a low drive but the goal was disallowed for offside against another United player.
Harrow Borough went close in the 22nd minute, when Kai Omoko Brosnan’s header, from Anointed Chukwu’s cross flew narrowly wide.
Johnny Allotey made a good run for Borough up the left but his cross didn’t find any takers.
Reece Cole heads United's first goal
Hayes & Yeading United went ahead in the 27th minute through Reece Cole, who headed home Hassan Jalloh’s perfect cross to the far post.
Jerry Wiltshire (5) heads United's second goal
United doubled their lead just over 3 minutes later, through Jerry Wiltshire, who headed home Reece Cole’s wide freekick.
Anointed Chukwu goes close
Borough’s Anointed Chukwa beat the United keeper to a through ball but shot wide from an acute angle. Unfortunately, Anointed was hurt in the process and had to be substituted.
In the 40th minute, Reece Cole’s freekick from wide on the right again found Jerry Wiltshire. This time Jerry’s header just missed the far post.
Borough’s Billy Leonard hit a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area straight at keeper, Jack Smith.
In added time, United’s Cole Brown fed Taylor Miles, who shot across the goalmouth and out beyond the far post.
Half time score: Hayes & Yeading United 2 Harrow Borough 0
A dangerous run by Reece Cole ended with his shot being blocked on the goal-line.
Roger James set up Hassan Jalloh, who took the ball around the Harrow Borough keeper, Jacob Knightsbridge only for skipper, Sam Adenole to clear off of the line.
Jerry Wiltshire shoots...
Jerry Wiltshire put United 3 goals ahead in the 56th minute, with a shot from just inside the penalty box. Borough’s James Ewington protested rather too forcibly about the goal and received a red card for foul and abusive language.
...and scores United's third goal
6 minutes later, Moses Emmanuel scored United’s 4th goal. A cross-field pass put him in the clear and he took the ball on and hit it past the oncoming Jacob Knightsbridge, from the edge of the box.
Moses Emmanuel hits United's fourth goal
Roger James was put through by Cole Brown and brought a low save from Jacob Knightsbridge. Roger James had a couple more scoring attempts. The keeper saved the first one from close range and then he shot narrowly wide.
Jacob Knightsbridge saves Roger James' low shot
Moses Emmanuel made the score 5-0 in added time, when he picked up a through ball and smashed it home.
Moses Emmanuel smashes United's fifth goal home
Final score: Hayes & Yeading United 5 Harrow Borough 0
Referee Fadi Mansour and his team controlled the proceedings very well.
The team captains and match officials
Middlesex FA President, John Davies, who was the Guest of Honour was introduced to the teams and match officials before the kick-off and presented the cup and mementoes after the match. John chose Hayes & Yeading central defender, Jerry Wiltshire as Player of the Match.
Our grateful thanks are given to the Hanwell Town FC management for allowing us to use their splendid facilities and for the assistance and hospitality, which they provided on the night.
The attendance was 504.
Hayes & Yeading United: Jack Smith, Cole Brown, Luke Warner-Ely, Reece Cole (Jamie Hanlon 63 mins), Jerry Wiltshire, Paul Field, Amos Nasha (Jean-Baptiste Fischer 62), Hassan Jalloh (Luke Brophy 88), Moses Emmanuel (capt), Roger James, Taylor Miles (Hikram Olaiya 84).
Manager: Paul Hughes Assistant Managers: Ritchie Hanlon and Peter Holmes Goalkeeper Coach: Delroy Preddie Physio: Gus Payne.
Harrow Borough: Jacob Knightsbridge, Sam Adenola (capt), Ahmet Biler, Izunna Ikebuasi (Keegan Bloom 66), Sonny Hart, Sahid Nallo (Ben De Lacy-Turner 46), Kai Omoko Brosnan, Billy Leonard, Anointed Chukwu (James Ewington 37), Johnny Allotey and Isiah Noel-Williams (Jaden Sharman 72),
Unused substitute: Lovre Drazic.
Manager: Steve Baker Assistant Manager: Darron Wilkinson Coach: Marc Charles-Smith Physio:Isha Mantri.
Referee: Fadi Mansour Assistant Referees: Dani Mansour and Robert Alderton 4th Official: Thomas Healy.
We thank Chris & Jim for covering the Final, and as ever they have selected their favourite shots from the match. Chris has also kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn