Premier Cup final match photo


Jim Taylor

This season’s Middlesex FA Premier Cup final was played last Wednesday evening, 10th April at Hanwell Town’s Powerday Stadium, between Brook House and Rising Ballers Kensington. Both of these clubs are members of the Combined Counties League and currently play in Division One. We extended a warm welcome to our old friend, Brian Barry, who was representing the League.

The Middlesex Premier Cup was first competed for in the 1980-81 season, when it was won by Yeading FC, who were then members of the Middlesex League. The current holders are Rayners Lane, who defeated British Airways 2-0, in the final at Bedfont Sports FC.

This season’s Middlesex Premier Cup Competition is being sponsored by The Gym Kitchen and we were delighted to welcome that company’s founder, Segun Akinwoleola to the final, as a Guest of Honour. Segun has been a supporter of grassroots football for many years. He has been a Middlesex FA Councillor since July 2017 and is also a member of the County’s Commercial Advisory Board.

20 teams entered the competition for the current season. Brook House and Rising Ballers both received a bye in round 1.

Brook House FC was formed in 1974. The club changed its name to AFC Hayes in 2007 but reverted to its original name in 2022. Rising Ballers Kensington are a comparatively new club, established in 2012 as AFC Hillgate. They have since had several name changes. The last one was at the start of the 2022-23 season, when they changed from Kensington & Ealing Borough to their present title.

Brook House reached this season’s final via penalty shoot-outs in both round 2 and in the quarter-final, after finishing level in away ties against FC Deportivo Galicia (1-1) and then Shepherds Bush (2-2). The experience gained, especially from the 14-13 scoreline in the latter shoot out, could well have been useful, as this evening’s events reached their conclusion. They then pipped last season’s beaten finalists, British Airways 3-2, at home, in the semi-final.

Rising Ballers beat Harrow Borough U23s 3-2 (away) in round 2, CB Hounslow United 2-0 (away) in the quarter-final and Kensington Dragons 3-1 (at home) in the semi-final.

Both teams played attractive football and produced an entertaining and well contested game, the result of which was completely unpredictable until the very last kick. Although all of the scoring was done from the penalty spot, neither team adopted a defensive attitude. The ball was moved skilfully and rapidly up and down the pitch. There were a number of timely tackles by the respective defensive units and both goalkeepers had very good matches. Brook House went ahead from a penalty kick in the 7th minute and held their lead until Rising Ballers equalised in the time added at the end of the first half. There was no further score and the match went to a dramatic penalty shoot-out which eventually went the way of Brook House.

The first scoring attempt came from Rising Ballers’ Kushon Lewis-Thomas, whose header was intercepted by a defender. Then Abdel Mouman Sahnoun’s long freekick into the box was comfortably taken Brook House keeper, Adam Childs.

In the 7th minute, Trey Pender-Brown made a run into the Rising Ballers’ penalty area, where he was tripped by Aaron Braine-Edwards. Mark Richards converted the resulting penalty kick by hitting the ball powerfully straight down the middle, into the centre of the net.

Trey Pender-Brown is brought down...

... and Mark Richards converts the penalty

A move initiated by a freekick from wide on the right by Abdel Mouman Sahnoun finished with Adam Charles saving Tyler Hayles’ high shot.

A well-timed tackle by Zak Otoo thwarted Trey Pender-Brown, at the expense of a corner.

Abdel worked through the Brook House defence, into a shooting position but he didn’t connect cleanly and his effort went past the upright.

Kushon Lewis-Thomas netted but was ruled offside. Abdel hit a freekick into the Brook House defensive wall.

Abdel Sahnoun hits a free-kick into the wall

Ballers’ Youssef Bouimane brought down the dangerous Lincoln Gilmartin. The resulting freekick was blocked. Mark Richards set up Trey Pender-Brown, whose shot was scrambled away.

A Brook House attack, involving Shakur Farah and Szymon Reddin, ended with Ballers’ keeper, Tommy Kelly saving high up from Mark Richards.

A timely tackle by outstanding Ballers’ defender, Zak Otoo, thwarted the dangerous Mark Richards.

Then, in the second minute of added time prior to the break, Tyler Hayles equalised for Rising Ballers, by converting the penalty, awarded for a handling offence by Mike Koscien.

Tyler Hayles equalises from the penalty spot

Half-time score: Brook House 1 Rising Ballers Kensington 1

Ballers’ Ben Sarr cleared the crossbar, with a header from Abdel Mouman Sahnoun’s corner kick. 

Abdel released Tyler Hayles, whose shot was blocked and went out for a corner.

The game did not flow so easily, as the second half progressed. The frequent introduction of substitutes being partially responsible for this.

Kushon Lewis-Thomas connected with Mo Abdi’s low cross but his effort was just wide.

Abdel burst through into a good shooting position but chose to make a pass, which was intercepted.

Adam Childs saved Abdel’s low angled shot and Shakur Farah completed the clearance.

A timely tackle by Shane Kettle halted Abdel’s dangerous run.   

Adam Childs left his area to make an interception, which he completed by heading clear. 

Adam quickly adjusted his position to make a brilliant save from Bilal Bakali’s deflected drive.

Bilal Bikali shoots...

... and Adam Childs saves

Abdel’s incisive run ended with Carter McLaughlin clearing his shot off of the goal-line.

Score after 90 minutes: Brook House 1 Rising Ballers Kensington 1

The penalty shoot-outs provided a nail-biting finale to the evening’s proceedings.

Brook House went first and captain, Mike Koscien converted his kick. Adam Childs then put his team into the driving seat by saving Bilal Bakali’s shot.

Both of the second pair of penalty takers, Shakur Farah and Saeed Darankai, were successful.

Shane Kettle converted Brook House’s third shot and then Adam Childs put his side in an almost unassailable position by diving to his left to save superbly from Abdelah Sahnoun.

Adam saves Abdelah Sahnoun's penalty

However, with the success of his penalty required to clinch victory for his side, Mo Ali saw his shot hit the post and rebound along the front of the goal and out of play beyond the opposite upright. Abdel Mouman Sahnoun then converted for Rising Ballers.

Mo Ali's penalty rebounds along the goal line after hitting the post

Next, with Brook House’s victory now within his grasp, Nico Rasura hit his shot over the crossbar. Tyler Hayles then converted his kick to take the shoot-out to sudden death.
Harrison Woods, who had been introduced in the 87th minute of the match, converted for Brook House. Then Adam Childs won the cup for Brook House, with his third save of the shoot-outs, this time diving to repel Sean Basaye’s shot.

Adam dives to save from Sean Basaye

Result of Penalty Shoot-out: Brook House 4 Rising Ballers Kensington 3

The 3rd team on the pitch contributed to an memorable game. Referee, Sobastian Frazer handled the game in his usual decisive and confident manner. To quote the County Referees’ Academy supremo, Liam Walshe, “He gave the two first half penalties in a strong Perlugi Corlina fashion’. The assistant referees and the 4th official also played their part, although I got the impression that Fadi Mansour was in danger of losing control of the substitutes board, at one point.

The Guests of Honour, Segun Akinwoleola and Middlesex FA Chairman, John Taylor were introduced to both teams and to the match officials, prior to the kick off and presented the trophy and mementoes afterwards. Unsurprisingly, they chose Brook House goalkeeper, Adam Childs, as Player of the Match.

Adam Childs is congratulated

Our thanks are given to Hanwell Town FC, for allowing us the use of their splendid facilities and to Chairman, Bob Fisher and his colleagues for their excellent hospitality on the day.

Our thanks are also due to the Middlesex Wing RAF Air Cadet Band, who entertained the crowd, before the match and during the half time break. The band, which was under the direction of Wing Bandmaster, Sgt Daniel Hill RAFAC, is comprised of cadets from squadrons throughout the county of Middlesex. We look forward to enjoying them again at future finals.

The winners with the cup


Brook House: Adam Childs, Mike Koscien (capt), Carter McLaughlin, Treston Powell (Jade McCrea 92 mins), James Pilcher (Nico Rasura 77), Shakur Farah, Szymon Reddin (Mo Ali 57), Shane Kettle, Mark Richards (Ricardo Adewuyi 68), Trey Pender-Brown (Harrison Woods 87) and Lincoln Gilmartin.                                                                                                     
Manager: Robert Russell   

Coaches: Lester Pyle, Martin McLaughlin and James Edwick   

Physio: Hasan Baig.

Rising Ballers Kensington: Tommy Kelly, Mo Abdi, Zak Otoo, Ben Sarr, Aaron Braine-Edwards, Sean Basaye (capt), Saeed Darankai, Youssef Bouimane (Bilal Bakali 84), Kushon Lewis-Thomas (Abdelah Sahnoun 68), Abdel Mouman Sahnoun and Tyler Hayles.

Unused substitutes: Ali Haddadji, Zoraiz Khan and Sangjoon Baek.

Manager: Mo Bakali   

Assistant Managers: Omar Bakali, Fabio Saurez and Nick Tapp   

Physio: Melanie Sanchez.

Referee: Sobastian Frazer   Assistant Referees: Alex Molloy and Ali Matour   Fourth Official : Fadi Mansour,

Attendance: 268

Report: Jim Taylor

Photography: Chris Benn