The final of Middlesex FA’s foremost Sunday cup competition, the Sunday Premier Cup was played on Thursday, 18th May at Northwood FC’s Skyline Roofing Stadium. The teams involved were Heavy Hitters and Highgate Albion, both of which play in the Premier Division of the Barnet Sunday League. Albion have won the division while Heavy Hitters are in 4th place, with one game left to play. A victory in this match would move them into 3rd place.
The Middlesex Sunday Premier Cup was first played for in the 1977-78 season, when it was won by Kilburn Seniors.
16 teams entered the competition this season.
Heavy Hitters, amazingly in only their second season as a club, reached the final by beating Gowers All Stars 3-0 (away) in round 1, Panda FC 1-0 (away) in the quarter-final and Highgate Albion Seconds 4-2 (at home) in the semi-final.
Highgate Albion beat Abbey 9-1 (away) in round 1, Club Assyria 2-1 (away) in the quarter-final and Grenfell Athletic 4-2 (at home) in the semi-final.
The teams produced a hard fought and entertaining match, which contained plenty of skilful play. It portrayed the best in Sunday football. Highgate Albion had the bulk of possession in the first half but didn’t manage to score until 4 minutes before the interval. The game followed a similar pattern in the second half, with Albion being even more profligate with their chances. This, together with some good defending by Heavy Hitters, prevented any further score until Albion doubled their lead in the 75th minute. Albion then added two further goals, before Heavy Fitters got one back in the 89th minute. Albion completed the scoring to make it 5-1, a minute later.
Highgate Albion went onto the attack immediately. Leon Lobjoit’s first shot on goal, from outside the box, was too high. Then Alvin Kyeremeh tried a low drive, which keeper, Lewis Pontin turned around his goalpost. Lewis then dived into a forest of legs to take a low cross.
Good approach work, involving Alvin Kyeremeh and Richard Ennin allowed Pele Riley to set up Solomon Ofori, who brought a close range save from Lewis Pontin.
Leon Lobjoit followed up with two more shots, one of which was too high and another narrowly wide.
Shehzad Anwar worked through the defence and fed Richard Ennin, whose shot was blocked by Heavy Hitters’ skipper, Mardi Ekemezuma-Edwards.
Charlie Clarke was brought down during a Heavy Hitters’ attack. The resulting free kick, taken by Cain Dwyer was cleared.
The aggression of Richard Ennin and Leon Lobjoit continued to stretch the Hitters defence.
Lonit Talla's free kick...
In the 41st minute Lonit Talla put a long freekick into the Hitters’ box. The ball was played back to Leon, who netted the first goal.
...is played back to Leon Lobjoit (9) who puts Albion ahead
Shehzad Anwar hooked the ball wide from close range.
Half-time score: Heavy Hitters 0 Highgate Albion 1
A spell of attacking by the Hitters, immediately after the break, saw Albion’s Charlie Taylor take a dangerous high cross, while being subjected to considerable pressure. He then saved a shot by Fabion Simms, from around 25 yards.
...and Charlie Taylor saves
Lonit Talla set up Leon Lobjoit, who was eventually dispossessed by the weight of numbers.
Shehzad Anwar's (24) low shot is saved by Lewis Pontin
Highgate Albion then had a succession of chances. Shehzad Anwar’s low shot was saved.
Louie Remi set up Leon but keeper Lewis Pontin saved at his feet. Lonit Talla worked through but was dispossessed. Lewis Pontin saved low down from Louie Remi. Tage Kennedy cut in from the wing but his shot was turned over the bar for a corner.
Lewis Pontin saves from Louis Remi (14)...
Albion doubled their lead in the 75th minute through Tage Kennedy, who gained possession and netted, after the goalkeeper had saved Louie Remi’s drive.
...but Tage Kennedy (23) nets
Four minutes later, Albion scored their 3rd goal. Tage took the ball up the wing, cut in and laid the ball on for Louie Remi to fire home from the edge of the box.
In the 83rd minute, Excellence Muhemba was brought down just outside the box. Louie hit the defensive wall with the freekick and then hit the rebound wide.
Leon Lobjoit scores Albion's fourth goal
However, in the 85th minute, Leon Lobjoit scored Albion’s 4th goal and his 2nd, following good work by Excellence.
Rhys Watson scores for heavy hitters
Rhys Watson ran through the middle and scored for Heavy Hitters in the 89th minute.
Leon Lobjoit (9) completes his hat-trick with Albion's fifth goal
Leon Lobjoit was put through by Lonit Talla in the 90th minute, made the score 5-1 and completed his hat-trick.
Albion had 2 further scoring attempts before the final whistle. Leon’s freekick was turned over for a corner by Lewis Pontin and then Louie Remi crossed for Excellence, who shot over the bar.
Final score: Heavy Hitters 1 Highgate Albion 5
Our congratulations are due to Highgate Albion on their victory and also our commiserations and thanks to Heavy Hitters for their contribution to an enjoyable match. I am sure that we will see more of them in the future. This victory gives Albion a quadruple this season, as they have already won the London Sunday Challenge Cup, the Barnet Sunday League Premier Division title and the League’s Roger Jones Senior Challenge Cup.
Referee, Andrew Tooley controlled this physical game very well. He exerted his authority and clearly demonstrated his level of tolerance early in the game. The players responded. He received excellent support from his team.
The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Director, Nigel Hickes was introduced to the teams and the match officials before kick-off and he presented the cup and mementoes after the match. Nigel chose Highgate Albion striker, Leon Lobjoit, as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to Northwood FC for allowing us the use of their excellent facilities for the game.
Heavy Hitters: Lewis Pontin, Cain Dwyer, Charlie Clarke, Rhys Watson, Anthony Sanderson, Mardi Ekemezuma-Edwards (capt), Fabion Simms, Dylan Kitteridge-Loblack, Jason Banton, Denis Reddin and Jahvarn Stewart.
Rolling substitutes: Ali Tas, Liam Nolan, Nadir Hamad, Damon Rendell and Charles Ariwa.
Manager: Aaron Latouche Coaches: Alan Sado, Rowland Ashitey and Nigel Da Silva Physio: Saarah Akhlaq.
Highgate Albion: Charles Taylor, Aaron Scott, Ian Maitland (capt), Billy Hayes, Alvin Kyeremeh, Shehzad Anwar, Lonit Talla, Richard Ennin, Leon Lobjoit, Pele Riley and Soplomon Ofori.
Rolling substitutes: Tage Kennedy, Ashley Dray, Alexandru Gavriloaia, Excellence Muhemba and Louie Remi.
Manager: Adam Shahein Coaches: Dane Christie and Paul Leach
We thank Chris and Jim for covering this entertaining final at Northwood. As ever they have selected their favourite shots from the match, some of which can be found in the report. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery of the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn