Junior Cup match photo


Jim Taylor

The final of the Middlesex Junior Cup took place on the evening of Wednesday, 8th May at Bedfont Sports FC.  The teams involved were SL Benfica, who are members of the Middlesex County League and Norsemen AFC, who play in the Amateur Football Combination. 

The Middlesex Junior Cup was first competed for in the 1891-92 season, when it was won by Millwall Athletic Reserves. It is the second oldest of our existing cup competitions, starting just three years after the Senior Challenge Cup.

32 teams entered the competition for the current season.  

SL Benfica were formed in 1981 and Norsemen in 1895.

SL Benfica reached the final by beating Harrow Bhoys 8-0 at home in round 1, St Lawrence Youth 4-3 at home in round 2, Anubis in a penalty shoot-out, after a 4-4 away draw in the quarter-final and London Cheetahs 2-1 away in the semi-final.

Norsemen AFC recorded victories over Ickenham FC 5-0 away, Goan United 4-2 at home, Ruislip Town Red 5-0 at home and NPL Saturday Seconds 8-1 away.

The opening stages of the match were fairly evenly contested. Norsemen went into an early lead, through a rather fortunate goal. However, Benfica scored 3 times late in the first half to take control of the game. Benfica added 2 more goals after the interval to finish comfortable 5-1 winners.

Thiago Brito released a shot across the face of the Norsemen goal, in the first minute.

Then Norsemen’s Kyle Mentesh tried a long shot, which Benfica keeper Luis Silva took low down.

The Benfica captain. Egidio Mahmoud fired wide.

Kyle Mentesh sped up the wing but his cross was too high for his teammate Cem Ertol.

Wilgner Souza just cleared the Norsemen crossbar with a freekick from the penalty D.

In the 15th minute, Kyle Mentesh put Norsemen ahead, with a shot on the turn which slipped through the unfortunate Luis Silva’s hands. 

Kyle Mentesh's (out of picture) shot slips through Luis Silva's hands to put Norsemen ahead

Benfica’s Lucas Souza made a penetrating run and cut in but shot into the side netting.

Kyle Mentesh broke clear but was halted by a timely tackle, at the cost of a corner.

Laye Sangare burst into Norsemen’s penalty box but shot straight at keeper, Jack Robery.

A timely clearance by Charles Lever foiled Laye.

David Geeene fed Kyle Mentesh, whose long-range shot wasn’t hit well enough to trouble Luis Silva. Then Kyle’s shot, from the edge of the box, was too high.

Egidio Mahmoud was thwarted by Uistanlei Souza’s well-timed tackle.

Lucas Souza equalised for Benfica in the 37th minute, with a cross shot, following a solo run.

Lucas Souza (26) shoots to level the scores

Benfica went ahead less than 2 minutes later through Laye, who had been released by a good pass inside his marker.

Laye Sangara puts Benfica ahead

In the 44th minute, great ball control by Rafael Santos took him past 2 opponents, including the goalkeeper, before he netted from an acute angle, to score Benfica’s third goal.

Rafael Santos rounds the keeper...

... and nets Benfica's third goal

Half-time score: SL Benfica 3 Norsemen AFC 1

A good pass by Thiago Brito set up Brandon Talla, who was foiled by Charncey Dash’s sliding tackle.

Brandon Talla is foiled by Charncey Dash's sliding tackle

At the other end, a good tackle by Sidiney Pinto thwarted Kyle Mentesh, at the expense of a corner.

Benfica keeper, Luis Silva, did well to win the ball during a frantic goalmouth melee.

On the hour, Thiago Brito hit a half-volley, from just inside the penalty box, into the roof of the net for Benfica’s 4th goal.

Thiago Brito's shot beats the keeper for Benfica's fourth goal

A tricky run by Benfica’s Rafael Santos was halted by weight of defensive numbers.

Wilgner Souza’s freekick was charged down and rebounded to Egidio, who fired wide of an open goal.

Egidio Mahmoud (10) fires wide of an open goal

Benfica’s 5th goal arrived in the 66th minute. A good through pass found Rafael Santos, whose shot was saved. The ball rebounded to Egidio, who netted.

Rafael Santos' shot is saved...

... and Egidio nets the rebound

Benfica continued to enjoy the bulk of the possession and had further scoring chances. Norsemen’s keeper, Jack Robery left his area to kick clear from Laye Sangare. Bruno Gomes had a shot blocked and another headed for a corner. However, they didn’t add to their score.

Final score: SL Benfica 5 Norsemen AFC 1

The winners with the cup

The match officials had a good match. Middlesex Referees’ Academy Co-ordinator, Liam Walshe summed it up well and I quote. “Another solid delivery by the officials, who were led by referee, Joe Alborough. His first caution after 2 minutes set the scene and the players knew who was in charge! However, he was not over officious. He showed empathy and respect to both sides and ensured that we all enjoyed the cup final.”

The Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Vice President, Robin Filkins was introduced to the teams and the match officials prior to the match and presented the cup and individual mementoes afterwards. Robin chose Benfica’s skilful and influential midfielder, Thiago Brito as Player of the Match.

Our thanks are given to Bedfont Sports for the use of their superb facilities and for their hospitality on the night.  


SL Benfica: Luis Silva, Ben Waters, Lucas Souza, Sidiney Pinto, Brandon Talla, Mohand Hussein, Wilgner Souza, Egidio Mahmoud (capt), Thiago Brito. Laye Sangere and Rafael Santos.

Rolling substitutes: Bilal Amah, Glaidstony Souza, Helder Manessim, Mohammed Alizaie and Bruno Gomes.

Manager: Ricky Nelson   

Coaches: Joao Ribero and Ismail Carr.

Norsemen AFC: Jack Robery, Sion Hardy, Charles Lever, Charncey Dash, Tom Collier, Charlie King (capt), Jake Lawrence, David Greene, Christian Hutchings, Cem Ertol and Kyle Mentesh.

Rolling substitutes: Ross Jenkins, Louis Burlton, Alfie Lloyd, Uistanlei Souza and James Hall.

Manager: Jack Robery   

Coach: Tom Collier. 

Referee: Joe Alborough   

Assistant Referees: Luke Partington and David Jones. 

Fourth Official: Daniel Harvey.

Attendance: 76

Report: Jim Taylor

Photography: Chris Benn