The first round of this season’s Middlesex Intermediate Cup was contested on Saturday 25th November and your roving team chose the match at Lord Halsbury Memorial Playing Fields, Northolt, between two stalwarts of Middlesex grassroots football, Larkspur Rovers and CB Hounslow United Senior Reserves. CB were formed in 1989 and Rovers have been in existence for over 50 years.
It was an entertaining encounter, full of incidents, albeit some of them the outcome of defensive errors. It was a cold but bright afternoon and the low sun was troublesome at times. Larkspur Rovers went into a very early 3-0 lead and appeared to have the match won. However, after the remainder of the first half had remained scoreless, the home defence gifted CB two goals. Larkspur soon made the score 4-2 but then put themselves under pressure again by conceded a penalty for handball, which was converted. However, they held onto their slender lead for the final 9 minutes, which included the 5 minutes added time.
Larkspur Rovers went ahead in the 7th minute. Liam Walford took the ball through the middle and the advancing keeper, Lee Brompton, saved with his feet. However, the ball rebounded for Liam, who netted.
A minute later Jaeru Constance Kelly shot into the corner of the net from the edge of the penalty box, to make the score 2-0.
Jaeru Constance Kelly (7) hits Larkspur's second goal
Just 3 minutes after that, the score became 3-0, after Omar Sargvon had cut in and placed the ball past the keeper from close range.
Omar Sargvon (11) cuts in...
... and scores Larkspur's third
That completed the scoring in the first half. The best of the attempts on goal continued to come from the home side.
The prominent Jaeru made a run up the wing and combined with Omar to set up Tyrone Godwyn. Lee saved low down at the expense of a corner.
CB’s Adam Knight tested Larkspur keeper, Mark Blower, with an angled shot.
Larkspurs’ Liam Walford was thwarted by Lee Brompton’s dive at his feet and Jaeru shot narrowly wide of the far upright following his run up the right.
Jaeru Constance Kelly (7) shoots...
Half time score: Larkspur Rovers 3 CB Hounslow United Senior Reserves 0
Five minutes after the resumption, a good move between Liam Walford and Tyrone Godwyn finished with Liam testing Lee Brompton, who turned his shot onto the crossbar and over for a corner. At that stage it appeared that their superior passing was taking Rovers to a comfortable victory.
However, in the 55th minute, a Larkspur defender presented the ball to Josh Anderson, who tapped the ball home from close range.
Josh Anderson (7) tabs CB's first goal home
Liam Walford intercepted a pass but with a clear view on goal, hit the ball wide. Liam then shot wide from an acute angle. Then Lee Brompton saved Omar Sargyon’s low shot.
Liam Walford shoots wide from an acute angle
Larkspur Rovers continued to make things difficult for themselves. In the 65th minute, hesitation in their defence, during which several players had an opportunity to clear, gave Josh Anderson the chance to reduce his side’s deficit to a single goal.
Josh Anderson (7) nets CB's second goal
That situation only lasted for 5 minutes before Salman Uddin burst through the middle for Rovers. Lee Brompton came out of his area to confront him but Salman won the ball in the tackle and ran the ball into the net.
Salman Uddin runs Larkspur's fourth goal into the net
Emotions were now running high and there was a mass confrontation, which referee Mark Sennett dealt with, using his whistle and yellow card.
Salman Uddin ran through the CB defence again but Lee Brompton bravely saved at his feet, getting hurt in the process and requiring attention.
CB again reduced their arrears to just one goal in the 86th minute, when Luke Gilbert blasted a penalty for hands, into the top of the Larkspur net.
Luke Gilbert (hidden) blasts home a penalty kick for CB's third goal
The only remaining scoring attempts came from Larkspur Rovers. Liam Walford shot over the bar, after being put through by Salman Uddin. Then Salman was played through but hit his effort past the upright.
Salman Uddin shoots past the upright
Experienced referee, Mark Sennett controlled the proceedings with his usual efficiency.
Result: Larkspur Rovers 4 CB Hounslow United Senior Reserves 3
Larkspur Rovers: Mark Blower, Anthony Byfield (capt), Liam McKinley, Tunde Akinpelu, Ajan Mohanaranjan, Jaeru Constance Kelly, Callum Bennett, Lathoujan Jeyathevan, Tyrone Godwyn, Omar Sargvon and Liam Walford.
Rolling substitutes: Kamyus Metrane, Reece Edwards-Gayle, Salman Uddin, Vinusan Vasanthakumar and Bradley Morris.
CB Hounslow United Senior Reserves: Lee Brompton, Nate Rose, Shane O’Connell, Mark Peters (capt}, Matt Oluwaseyi, Billy Hall, Josh Anderson, Luke Gilbert, Adam Knight, Nathan Munro and Connor Miller.
Rolling substitutes: Dawid Pilarczyk, Kayden Fitzgerald, Jack Bridges and Ash Gurung.
Report: Jim Taylor
Photography: Chris Benn