The finals of the Middlesex FA Under 12, Under 13 and Under 14 Youth Cups were all contested on Sunday, 14th May at Rectory Park. Our third match was the JN Smith Under 14 Cup final between Ickenham Youth United and Edgware & Kingsbury.
Ickenham Youth United competed in the Wycombe & South Bucks Minor League Division One this season and having completed their programme will probably finish in second place. Edgware & Kingsbury are in the Black Division of the Eastern Junior Alliance and with 4 games still to play, will finish in a mid-table position.
The Middlesex Under 14 Youth Cup was first competed for in the 1969-70 season, when it was won by Heston CA.
56 teams entered this season’s competition.
Ickenham Youth United reached the final by beating TAP Red in a penalty shoot-out after a goalless home draw in round 1, Ealing United White 6-0 (at home) in round 2, Kefa FC 4-2 (away) in round 3, Total Futbol 2-1 (at home) in the quarter-final and Enfield Town Youth 2-1 (away) in the semi-final.
Edgware & Kingsbury recorded victories over Wealdstone Youth Blue 13-0 (away) in round 1, Wealdstone Youth White 4-0 (at home) in round 2, Parkfield Youth Red 2-1 (at home) in round 3, and Hampton & Richmond Borough Youth 2-1 (at home) in the quarter-final. They were awarded a walk-over against Elite London FC in the semi-final.
This competitive and entertaining match was evenly balanced during the goalless first half. Ickenham made the vital breakthrough 10 minutes into the second half and added to their lead in the 62nd minute of the match. They sealed victory with a third goal, scored in added time.
The duration of matches in this competition is 35 minutes each half. Rolling substitutes are used.
Tomas Gunasekera clears off the goal line
We nearly commenced with a freak goal. Edgware centre back, Tomas Gunasekera was forced to clear the rebound off of his goal-line, after Reuben Nornoo had charged down a clearance from goalkeeper Tommy Canter.
Tomas Gunasekera's challenge forces Jeevan Khera to hurry his shot
Tomas was soon in action again. Ickenham striker, Jeevan Khera, chased a through ball up the middle and Tomas’ challenge was sufficient to force him to shoot hurriedly wide.
At the other end, Ickenham’s Rylie McQueen dribbled impressively past a couple of defenders but his left footed shot was off target.
Jeevan Khera chased a through ball but was thwarted by Edgware keeper, Tommy Canter.
Tommy was then hurt, saving at Jeevan’s feet and required attention.
Finley Brooks heads a corner onto the bar
Ickenham’s Caleb Wright released the speedy Reuben Nornoo, who was intercepted at the cost of a corner, which was headed against the bar by Finley Brooks and eventually cleared.
Edgware enjoyed a spell of pressure. Jack Stone’s long-range effort was too high. Owain Perry’s high shot, from around 35 yards, was taken underneath his crossbar by Ickenham custodian, Pratik Sharma. Jack Stone embarked on a couple of dribbles but neither produced a goal. Aaran Vadher made an incisive run and crossed but Theo Devoti’s shot cleared the bar.
Half-time score: Ickenham Youth United 0 Edgware & Kingsbury 0
Coincidentally, the second half started in a fairly similar fashion to the first half. Edgware’s Theo Devoti blocked the Ickenham keepers’ clearance but this time the ball rebounded just past the post.
Luca Amaldi released Theo, whose lob just cleared the Ickenham crossbar.
Caleb Wright's free kick bounces off the bar...
In the 44th minute, Edgware centre back, Tomas Gunasekera, who had impressed so far with his solid defending and good distribution, was penalised for holding, on the right of the penalty box. Jeevan Khera won possession, after the resulting freekick by Caleb Wright, had bounced down from the crossbar and netted to give Ickenham the lead.
...and is netted by Jeevan Khera (out of picture)
Joseph Copplestone burst into the Ickenham box and passed to Jack Stone but keeper, Pratik Sharma, saved his shot. Jack evaded a lunge and took the ball to the bye-line but his cross was intercepted. Pratik made a good save from Theo Devoti’s low shot, following another cross from Jack.
Connor Haire heads wide from corner
A shot by Ickenham’s Hiroki Tagami was blocked for a corner. Connor Haire’s header from the corner kick passed just outside the upright.
Jack Stone tried a long range shot for Edgware but it was off target.
Jeevan Khera takes the ball around the keeper...
Jeevan Khera added a second goal for Ickenham in the 62nd minute. He intercepted a pass, ran on, took the ball around the keeper and netted.
...and nets Ickenham's second goal
During added time, Reuben Nornoo went on a run and cut in but was foiled by Tommy Canter at the cost of a corner. Jude Flemming headed the corner home for Ickenham’s third goal.
Jude Flemming (2) heads Ickenham's third goal
Final score: Ickenham Youth United 3 Edgware & Kingsbury 0
Our thanks are due to both teams and to the match officials for an enjoyable final. Congratulations are given to winners, Ickenham Youth United and also commiserations to their sporting opponents, Edgware & Kingsbury, who didn’t give up and continued to play football right to the end, when the odds were against them.
The game was very well handled by referee, Kevin Guy, who received good support from his three assistants.
We were again very pleased to welcome our Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Honorary Member, Robin Machell, who had travelled up from West Sussex to perform the duty at this final and the preceding one. Robin was introduced to all three teams before the kick off and presented the cup and mementoes after the match. He selected Ickenham midfielder, Connor Haire as Player of the Match.
Ickenham Youth United: Pratik Sharma, Alfie Shepherd, Jude Flemming, Lucas Mowberry, Connor Haire, Jeevan Khera, Finley Brooks, Alfie Clark, Caleb Wright, Hiroki Tagami and Reuben Nornoo.
Rolling substitutes: Zac Harvey, Oliver Edwards and Kian Rowlands.
Manager: James Brooks Coach: Scott Mowberry.
Edgware & Kingsbury: Tommy Canter, Drew Albert, Joseph Copplestone, Luca Amaldi, Aaran Vadher, Owain Perry, Jack Stone, Lewis Cunningham, Theo Devoti, Tomas Gunasekera and Rylie McQueen.
Rolling substitutes: Andrew Nworah, Dylan McLoughan, Taylor Williamson-Ousby, Uriel Hirsch and Ty Lesser.
Manager: Flavia Arnaldi Coaches: Graeme Carter and Kez Soornack.
Referee: Kevin Guy Assistant Referees: Orin Miller and Franklyn Dennis Fourth Official : Harry Jacobs.
We thank Chris & Jim for covering this final, as ever they have selected their favourite shots from the game, some of which can be seen throughout this report. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album courtesy of Chris Benn
Photography - Chris Benn