The teams take the field


Jim Taylor

Ten Middlesex clubs were in action in the Second Qualifying Round of the Isuzu FA Vase, on the weekend of 23rd / 24th September.   Your roving reporting team took the opportunity to attend a tie involving two of them.

We visited the Middlesex Stadium, Hillingdon Borough’s impressively refurbished ground, on Saturday 23rd, for their match against Bedfont Sports.    The visitors eventually won a very watchable match, played in pleasant surroundings on a fine autumn afternoon, by 5-0.   However, they were tested initially and had to fight hard to establish their superiority over the Borough, who are a step below them in the Non-League Pyramid.   Sports scored their first goal in the 40th minute of an evenly contested first half.   Then, despite a fighting performance by their hosts, they took a firm grip on the match as the second half progressed.   Hillingdon Borough were certainly not disgraced and contributed to an enjoyable afternoon.

Bedfont Sports made the early running, without achieving a breakthrough.  

A Hillingdon Borough attack in the 10th minute, saw Makael Scott head a cross back to Wagih Eldakhakhny but Triston Foster couldn’t quite reach the subsequent touch on.

The visitors then put together some promising moves.   Efraim Difuamna-Ngungi outjumped the defence to reach Mark Bitmead’s freekick up the middle but he headed wide.   Mark fastened onto a loose ball and made ground but his cross wasn’t utilised.   Jake Beck Nardoni showed excellent control but his low shot was wide.  Thomas Kanek fastened onto Mark Bitmead’s through ball but his finish was just off target.

In the 40th minute, a defender earned a booking by bringing down Max Webb, in a central position 30 yards out.   Mark Bitmead beat keeper Zak Green with the resulting freekick, which bounced on its way into the corner of the net, to put Sports 1-0 ahead.

Mark Bitmead's free kick puts Bedfont Sports 1-0 ahead

Just before the interval, Borough’s Maniang Done Diang won the ball and crossed for Triston Foster to test Henry Poole with a volley.

Score at half time:  Hillingdon Borough 0   Bedfont Sports 1

After some Bedfont Sports pressure, play switched to the other end, where a volley from Wagih Eldakhakhny brought a great save from Henry Poole.

Wagih Eldakhakhny volleys and Henry Poole saves brilliantly

Sports resumed the attack.   Good work by Jordan Ireland, Josh Eatwell and Efraim Difuamna-Ngungi ended with Jordan being fouled outside the box.   Zak Green comfortably saved Mark’s freekick.   Jordan then fed Mark, whose shot was blocked by the massed defence.

Jake Beck Nardoni doubled Sports’ lead in the 60th minute by converting Mark’s low cross from close range.

Mark Bitmead crosses and Jake Beck Nardoni scores Sports' second goal

Efraim got to Josh Eatwell’s centre but his header lacked direction.   Mark’s 30- yard freekick was too high.

Efraim Difuamna-Ngungi's header is unsuccessful

At the other end, Makael Scott netted with a cross shot but was adjudged offside.

Max Webb made a couple of good goalscoring attempts for the visitors.   He cleared the crossbar with a shot on the turn and then fired low across goal and past the far post.

In the 67th minute, Mark Bitmead set up substitute Aston Greaver to net Bedfont’s 3rd goal.

Aston Greaver connects with Mark Bitmead's pass to put Sports 3-0 up

Aston hit his second and his side’s 4th goal by shooting low across the keeper in the 82nd minute.

Aston (16) shoots and makes the score 4-0

Almost immediately, following a corner kick, Efraim prodded the ball home to make the score 5-0.   This was Efraim’s second goal for Sports, who had scored  on his debut a week previously.

Efraim (11) prods the ball home for Sports' fifth goal

Although Max Webb and Josh Eatwell had further attempts on the home goal, that concluded the scoring.

Final Score:  Hillingdon Borough 0   Bedfont Sports 5


Hillingdon Borough: Zak Green (capt), Erand Saraqi, Alexander Chemali, Sherif Ibrahim, Josh Pearson, Akbar Saeed, Wagih Eldakhakhny, Makael Scott, Romario Martin, Triston Foster and Maniang Done Diang

Substitutes: Amir El Harrak (46 min), Luis Olivera (46), George Rice (73) Tyriq Davis (79 min) and Calvin Moses

Manager: Ali Abdulkadir   Coach: Ben Burlikowsk    Physio: Rhian Williams

Bedfont Sports: Henry Poole, Rylan Myers, Josh Eatwell, Max Webb, Stephen Langley, Scott Weight, Mark Bitmead, Jordan Ireland (capt), Jake Beck Nardoni, Thomas Kaneck and Efraim Difuamna-Ngungi

Substitutes: Aston Greaver (72 min), Kyle Eakin (79), Oscar Kruczkicwicz (86), Harrison Livingstone and Alfie Lal

Manager: Barry Chapman   Assistant Manager: Alfie Chapman   Coach: Luke Russell   Physio: Andy Nolan

Referee: Jake Bloom

Bedfont Sports will now play Hassocks FC, from Sussex, at home on 21st October.

Four other Middlesex clubs came through the round successfully to play in the 1st Round Proper, three of them by winning penalty shoot-outs.   Wembley recorded a 4-0 away victory at Harpenden Town.   This follows their 5-1 home win against Long Crendon in the 1st Qualifying Round.

Hilltop and Edgware & Kingsbury both beat fellow Middlesex teams in penalty shoot-outs, after 1-1 home draws.   Hilltop beat Brook House 4-3 and Edgware & Kingsbury beat British Airways 3-1.

Rising Ballers Kensington also drew 1-1, against Wellingborough Whitworth and then won their shoot out 4-3.

The other Middlesex teams to exit the competition were Broadfields United, who lost 2-0 at home to Virginia Water and FC Deportivo Galicia, who went down 8-0 at Wellingborough Town.

Chris & Jim's Picks

Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn

Photography provided by Chris Benn