NORTH GREENFORD UNITED FALL AT THE LAST HURDLE
The final of the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup was played on the afternoon of Bank Holiday Monday, 8th May at Stag Meadow, the picturesque home of Windsor FC. The teams involved were North Greenford United and Flackwell Heath. Your roving team attended by the kind invitation of Alan Constable, the Secretary of the Combined Counties League.
Both clubs are currently playing in the Premier Division North of the League. Flackwell Heath finished the season in 5th Place, on 70 points from their 38 matches, while North Greenford United were 8th, with 58 points.
North Greenford United had reached the final by beating Fleet Town 6-2 at home in round 1, Berks County in a penalty shoot-out in round 2 after a 2-2 home draw, Alton 3-0 away in round 3, Abbey Rangers 4-1 away in the quarter-final and FA Vase finalists, Ascot United in another penalty shoot-out, after a 2-2 away draw, in the semi-final..
Flackwell Heath who have completed their first season in the CCL, beat Farnham Town 2-1 away, Reading City 2-0 away, Kingsbury & Edgware 2-1 at home, Colliers Wood United in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless away draw and Holyport 2-0 away.
North Greenford United made a good start to the game by taking the lead inside the first minute. They scored a second goal in the 10th minute. Flackwell Heath fought back and reduced the arrears in the 21st minute. They finished the first half strongly and had further scoring opportunities. The Heathens took control of the game after the interval, equalised in the 50th minute and went ahead 10 minutes later. Things got worse for United in the 62nd minute, when they were reduced to 10 men by a dismissal. Flackwell Heath added further goals in the 66th and 73rd minutes to finish as convincing 5-2 winners.
Charlie Mitchell intercepted a defender’s pass and netted from the edge of the penalty area to put North Greenford ahead after just 50 seconds.
The Blues were forced to make a substitution in the 6th minute, when Ben Dunkwu replaced Joe Mills, who suffered a recurrence of a previous injury.
They doubled their lead in the 10th minute, through Harry McCorkell, at the far post, after Charlie Mitchell’s corner from the left was headed on across goal to him by Austin Schofield.
Qasim Khan burst into the Heathens’ box and went down when tackled but United’s appeals for a penalty were rejected.
An incisive United move involving Harry McCorkell, Harvey Killeen and Charlie Mitchell ended with Charlie’s shot being blocked.
The Heathen’s reduced the arrears in the 21st minute. Kieran Jordan’s pass found Ryan Avery, who took the ball on and crossed for Reece Cameron to score with a well-directed header.
Harry McCorkell fed Charlie Mitchell but his through ball was collected by Heathen’s keeper, Jack Brooker before Qasim Khan could reach it. Ben Dunkwu and Harry then set up Charlie but the keeper saved at the latter’s feet.
Flackwell Heath now began to dominate play. Abdel El Jalaoui passed to Phil Pryor, whose long ball into the box from the left, was taken by Sam House. Then Phil’s long cross-field ball found Kieran Jordan, whose shot across goal narrowly missed the far post.
Sam House made a very good close-range save from Jack Shakespeare, who had worked himself into a shooting position.
Abdel fired just wide from the edge of the box. Jack Shakespeare fought his way past two defenders but Sam gathered the ball.
Flackwell Heath had two good scoring chances, in the 3 minutes of added time before the interval.
Callum Mapley’s free kick was charged down and rebounded to Abdel, who shot wide from a good position.
Then Reece Cameron drove wide after Kieran Jordan’s shot had been blocked.
Half time score: North Greenford United 2 Flackwell Heath 1
Callum Mapley equalised for the Heathens in the 50th minute. Matty Ayres’ freekick into the box was headed down by Abdel and Mark Nisbet pushed the ball back for Callum to hit it into the corner of the net.
Matty Ayres’ cross found Abdel but Sam House saved his shot.
Charlie Mitchell set up Conor Molyneaux but the Heathen’s keeper parried his low shot.
Flackwell Heath took the lead in the 60th minute. A freekick from wide on the left initiated a protracted goalmouth melee, during which Sam House twice stopped the ball entering his net before Callum Mapley headed it home.
Two minutes later, United’s Simeon Beckford was shown a second yellow card, following a challenge on Jack Shakespeare.
The Heathens’ made the score 4-2 in the 66th minute. Reece Cameron’s shot, following a corner, hit the bar and bounced down onto the goal-line. Colin Mugoya-Tabingwa headed the loose ball home.
In the 73rd minute, Jack Shakespeare was tripped in a central position, outside the box. Callum Mapley took the freekick and completed his hat-trick and scored his sides’ 5th goal, with a low drive into the bottom corner of the net, via the post.
Final score: North Greenford United 2 Flackwell Heath 5
Callum Mapley of Flackwell Heath was chosen as Player of the Match.
The attendance was 440.
North Greenford United: Sam House (capt), Simeon Beckford, Sam Molyneaux (Perry Price 74 mins), Austin Schofield, Georgie Brown, Joe Mills (Ben Dunkwu 6), Charlie Mitchell, Harry McCorkell (Shaan Popat 74), Qasim Khan (Ryan Burke 86), Harvey Killeen and Conor Molyneaux (Harrison Okwu 63).
Managers: Paul Mills and Gary Brown Coaches Terry Schofield, Mark Warwick and Simon Wright Physio: Dino Pashias.
Flackwell Heath: Jack Brooker, Ryan Avery, Phil Pryor, Colin Mugoya-Tabingwa, Callum Mapley, Mark Nisbet (capt), Kieran Jordan (Ben Fraser 76), Matty Ayres (Lucas Surpanu 90), Reece Cameron (Fabian Driffill 81), Jack Shakespeare and Abdel El Jalaoui (Jamie Ayres 67).
Unused substitute: Jamie Essex.
Manager: Chris Ayres Assistant Manager: Paul Shone Coaches :Keith Ryan and Tom Burton Physio: Stacia Murray.
Referee: Pat Nixon Assistant Referees: Steve Williams and Matthew Funnell 4th Official: Maros Valko
We thank Chris & Jim for giving up their bank holiday to cover this game. As ever, they have selected their favourite shots from the match. Chris has also kindly provided a full album of imagery from the game.
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn