Senior Challenge Cup


Jim Taylor

The Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup has progressed to the Quarter Final stage and two of the ties were contested on Tuesday, 9th January. Both of last season’s finalists, convincing winners, Hayes & Yeading United and their final opponents, Harrow Borough, were in home action.

Hayes & Yeading United hosted St Panteleimon, while Harrow Borough took on current Middlesex Premier Cup holders, Rayners Lane. Your Roving Team visited the SKYex Community Stadium to watch United’s continuing defence of their Trophy. We were warmly welcomed by Chairman Dev Jassi, Director of Football Tony O’Driscoll and their colleagues.

The visitors, who currently sit in third place in the Premier Division of the Spartan South Midlands League, had reached this stage of the competition with 2 home victories. They had beaten Wembley 3-1 in Round 1 and Bedfont Sports 3-2 in Round 2. United received a bye in Round 1 and had then beaten Brentford B Team 2-0, at home, in Round 2.

St Panteleimon FC was formed in 2015 and had progressed to Step 5 status via the Middlesex County and Combined Counties Leagues. They have experienced a nomadic existence so far and currently groundshare with Hertford Town FC at Hertingfordbury Park.

The match was played on a bitterly cold evening but the supporters who braved the elements were rewarded with an entertaining match, between two sides intent on playing attractive passing football. United had more of the possession but did not capitalise on their approach work. The only goal of the game was scored in the 72nd minute, by United’s Paul Field. However, St Panteleimon almost took the tie to a penalty shoot-out, when they came very close to equalising in the 89th minute.

The visitors made the early running. Ivan Machado was released up the middle and shot wide from outside the penalty area. Then Jonathan Moura’s long shot was on target but was comfortably saved by keeper Jacob Adams.

Jacob Adams saves Jonathan Moura's long shot

Next, a freekick from wide on the left was headed just wide by defender, Darrol Wupe, who had advanced up-field.

United now started to dictate the flow of play. Cole Brown was prominent on the left, with some incisive overlapping runs and dangerous crosses. He combined particularly well with debutant Tobias Braney.

Cole was brought down wide on the left of the box but the resultant freekick, taken by Louis Dunne, was headed away. A cross from Louis found Ben Heath but the ball was scrambled clear. A freekick, taken from a central position, 30 yards out, was dealt with by the visitors’ defence.

Keeper, Lincon Marques kept out a low drive from Ben Heath with his legs, at the expense of a corner. United kept pressing but St Panteleimon defended well and Lincon blocked another shot from Ben Heath. Cole Brown released Tobias Braney, whose cross shot was taken low down by the keeper.

Lincon Marques keeps out Ben Heath's (18) drive

United’s appeals for a penalty, when Ben Heath went down in the visitors’ penalty box, were turned down.

Brown and Braney combined in another dangerous move but the ball was hacked away. United had dominated proceedings for most of the first period but were unable to breach the visitors’ defence, which had made some important interceptions.

Half-time score: Hayes & Yeading United 0 St Panteleimon 0

Tobias Braney broke into the visitors’ box early in the second half, but his battle for possession with a defender allowed keeper, Lincon Marques to gather the ball.

The 'keeper takes Tobias Braney's cross-shot low down

St Panteleimon’s Jonathan Moura tried a speculative long-range shot, which Jacob Adams fielded comfortably.

A low angled shot from United’s Roger James was held at the second attempt by the keeper. This was Roger’s last contribution to the game before United manager, Mark Molesey changed things around with a triple substitution in the 56th minute.

Lincon Marques saves from Roger James (out of picture)

Two of the replacements were involved almost immediately. Michael Fernandes made a run and fed Norman Wabo, whose shot was saved. Michael then set up Tobias Braney but the keeper saved at his feet.

United scored the only goal of the game, in the 72nd minute. Paul Field and Michael Fernandes combined well on the right. Michael’s ball into the box was deflected to Norman Wabo, whose shot was saved by Lincon Marques. However, the ball rebounded to Paul, who netted from close range.

The 'keeper saves from Norman Wabo (9)...

... but Paul Field (14) nets the rebound

Lincon Marques made good saves from Omar Rowe and Luke Gambin and then Norman Wabo was foiled by substitute defender Germaine Duc’s timely interception.

With St Panteleimon now throwing all of their defenders forward, Lincon Marques left his area to kick clear from Norman Wabo. Then another good interception by Germaine Duc thwarted Michael Fernandes.

In the final minute of normal time, Darrol Wupe set up Courtney Massay, whose shot from the edge of the box was deflected onto the United crossbar by a defender. The ball rebounded to Ivan Machado, who headed wide of the open goal.

Courtney Massay shoots...

... his shot rebounds from the Hayes & Yeading bar...

... and Ivan Machado heads over

During added time, Lincon pushed Luke Gambin’s low drive around the post. 

Lincon Marques pushes Luke Gambin's (10) low drive around the post

Finally, Michael Fernandes made progress on the right and set up Norman Wabo, who shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Result: Hayes & Yeading United 1 St Panteleimon 0

Referee Fadi Mansour and his assistant referees controlled the proceedings calmly and efficiently throughout the match.


Hayes & Yeading United: Jacob Adams, Cole Brown (Norman Wabo 56 mins), Marvel Ekpiteta (capt), Jerry Wiltshire, Tobias Braney (Luke Gambin 67), Ferdinand Okoh, Paul Field, Roger James (Omar Rowe 56), Louis Dunne, Amos Nasha and Ben Heath (Michael Fernandes 56).

Unused substitute: Tyler Cook 

Manager: Mark Molesley.

St Panteleimon: Lincon Marques, Malachi Soile, Clayton Afonso (capt), Toib Adeyemi, Jonathan Moura (Germaine Duc 77), Joao Praes (Thomas Magnitis 84), Ivan Machado, Nico Freitas (Walid Hirsi  70), Flavio Gyawu, Courtney Massey and Darrol Wupe.

Unused substitutes: Javarn Bernard, Ricardo Portello.

Manager: Costas Mina

Referee: Fadi Mansour   Assistant Referees: Rob Alderton and Mohammed Kauser. 

Attendance: 82

The other quarter final tie played that evening, resulted in a convincing 4-0 win for Rayners Lane, with a hat trick from Elliott Buchanan and a goal from Kyel Reid.

The remaining Senior Challenge Cup Quarter Final matches are scheduled as follows:

23 Jan - Hendon v Northwood
30 Jan - Barnet v North Greenford United

Report: Jim Taylor

Photography: Chris Benn