Junior Trophy final match photo


Jim Taylor

This season’s Middlesex FA Junior Trophy final was staged on Wednesday, 27th March, at Hanworth Villa’s EcoGlow Stadium, better known to afficionados of Middlesex football as “The Ranch”. The finalists were Eastcote British Legion and Townmead, who both currently play in the Middlesex County League, the former in the Jeff Nardin Division and the latter in the Combination.

The Geoff Harrison Junior Trophy is named to honour the memory of a dedicated worker for grass-roots football.   Geoff was a Middlesex FA Councillor and the County Historian. He was also, for many years, the Club Secretary at Southall FC, where his many roles included the production of the club programme, which gained the reputation as one of the best in the non-league game. This year’s final marked the 12th anniversary of Geoff’s passing. We are usually pleased to welcome Geoff’s wife. Rowena to this final but unfortunately, she couldn’t make it this year. 

The Middlesex Junior Trophy was first competed for in season 1986-87, when it was won by White Swan FC.

The holders were SL Benfica, who turned in a superb performance last season, to overwhelm CB Hounslow United 3rds 6-0; in front of 193 people at Silver Jubilee Park.
16 teams entered the competition this season.  

Townfield, who were formed in 2014 are celebrating their 10th anniversary with their first ever cup final appearance. Circumstances handed them two walk-overs on their path to the final. Ealing Trailfinders withdrew from round 1 and LPFC Old Boys from their semi final. Townfield beat Feltham Town 2-0 (away) in the quarter final.

Eastcote British Legion had been drawn at home in every round. They beat AFC Heathrow 3-0 in round 1, Jamrock Vets Shamrock 2-1 in the quarter final and FC Sunbury 1-0 in the semi final.

The Guest of Honour was Middlesex FA Director, Liam Walshe. Liam has achieved fame as Head Coach of the successful Middlesex FA Referees Academy since 2009.  Liam was presented to both teams and to the match officials before the kick off. He walked onto the field to tune “Eye of the Tiger”, at his request. He chose the Player of the Match and presented the Cup and the individual mementoes afterwards. An interesting and evenly contested match was won by a single goal, scored by Eastcote British Legion in the 32nd minute. The pace of the match increased as Townmead chased an equaliser. However, Eastcote had the better chances during the second half and would have increased their lead if it hadn’t been for several good stops by the Townmead goalkeeper.

Tom Hunt’s long freekick into the Townmead penalty area was headed over the crossbar by Ryan Doherty. Then Conor Henry burst into the Townmead box but went down under pressure. The referee correctly turned down the slightly hesitant appeals for a penalty.

Then Townsend keeper, Sandro Da Silva pushed Conor Henry’s header over his crossbar.

Conor Henry heads...

... and Sandro Da Silva saves

Townmead skipper, Tanvir Badyal was cautioned for a foul in the 23rd minute. The resulting long freekick by Ross McHugh was punched out by Sandro Da Silva.

The Legion’s Jack Blackman’s dangerous run was halted by a timely tackle.   

At the other end, a long freekick from a central position by Thomas Mansi was headed out.

A concerted attack by the Legion saw shots by Ross McHugh and Jack Thornborough blocked. Ishmael Adams then cleared off of the goal-line.

However, Eastcote British Legion scored in the 32nd minute, when following a reflex save by Sandro Da Silva the ball rebounded to Tom Hunt, who netted from close range.

Sandro Da Silva saves from close range...

... but Tom Hunt (obscured by #10) nets

Townmead’s Harry O’Reilly was felled in a central position and took the freekick himself. Eastcote keeper, Aaron Myers saved.

Zakharia Belbachir stooped low to head wide of the Eastcote upright.

Eastcote skipper, Ben Dawson fouled Zakharia wide on the left. Cody Howes took the freekick, which was headed onto the crossbar by Asah Freeman.

Asah Freeman's (2) header hits the Eastcote crossbar

Half time score: Eastcote British Legion 1 Townmead 0  

Legion custodian Aaron Myers saved at Mark Venier’s feet.

Aaron Myers saves at Mark Vernier's (hidden) feet

Conor Henry brought a high save from Sandro Da Silva and Harry Baulch’s shot was blocked.

Sandro Da Silva saves high up from Conor Henry

Townmead defender. Matthew Taylor went up-field for a long freekick but Aaron Myers saved his header.

Jack Blackman crashed a freekick, from 30 yards, against the Townmead crossbar.

Jack Blackman's (out of picture) free-kick hits the Townmead crossbar

Asah Freeman released Harry O’Reilly up the wing but Aaron Myers saved low down.

Thomas Mansi put a freekick into the Legion box but Aaron fell on the ball, in the ensuing melee.

Sandro Da Silva dived to turn Marco Antiri’s low drive around the post.

Almost immediately, Sandro made another diving save, this time from Josh Worley.

Sandro then saved again, to stop Jack Blackman’s freekick, which was deflected by the defensive wall.

Eastcote keeper, Aaron Myers saved Zakharia’s long shot.

A well struck freekick by Billy Adcock cleared the Townmead bar. It dipped just too late, landing on the top of the net.

Final Score: Eastcote British Legion 1 Townmead 0

Referee, Andre Johnson-Small controlled the match in a calm and assured manner. He was well supported by his team. Incidentally, further congratulations are due to assistant referee, Sam Rose, on his recent award as the Barnet Sunday Football League’s Young Referee of the Year.

The Guest of Honour, Liam Walshe chose Townmead goalkeeper, Sandro Da Silva as Player of the Match.

Sandro Da Silva receives the player of the match award

Our thanks are due to Hanworth Villa FC, for the use of their fine facilities and to Secretary, Dave Brown and his colleagues, for their excellent hospitality on the night.

The winners with the trophy


Eastcote British Legion: Aaron Myers, Ryan Doherty, Jack Adcock, Ben Dawson (capt), Tom Hunt, Harry Baulch, Josh Worley, Jack Blackman, Jack Thornborough, Ross McHugh and Conor Henry.

Rolling substitutes: Billy Adcock, Ted Beavis, Marco Antiri, George Thornborough and Kyle King.

Manager: Tyrone Adcock  Coach: Alan Prior.

Townmead: Sandro Da Silva, Mark Venier, Matthew Taylor, Ishmael Adams, Alfie Martin, Thomas Mansi, Tanvir Badyal (capt), Cody Howes, Asah Freeman, Harry O’Reilly and Zakharia Belbachir.

Rolling substitutes: Joe Gordon, Gordon Halligan, Jack O’Neill, Alfie Allen and Zeeshan Azhar.

Manager: Benn Day.  

Referee: Andre Johnson-Small   

Assistant Referees: Jake Martin and Sam Rose 

Fourth Official: Pavel Krastev.

Attendance: 233

Report: Jim Taylor

Photography: Chris Benn