Under-14 Rep. Team into last eight

Middlesex 4-1 Norfolk

English Schools' FA Inter-County TrophyU14vNorfolk251117

Saturday 25th November 2017

A strong second half performance helped Middlesex into the quarter-finals of the English Schools’ FA Trophy. The hosts started cautiously against a confident Norfolk side, who passed the ball well without troubling the Seaxes defence. In the 15th minute Middlesex scored an excellent counter-attacking goal; Reiss Walker caught a cross and quickly threw the ball to wing-back Zak Sturge who burst down the left flank, beating three players then crossing the ball to striker Henry Okenia who volleyed past the Norfolk goalkeeper from the edge of the penalty area. 

Middlesex grew in confidence and played some lovely football as they kept possession of the ball, but were unable to make their dominance count. On the stroke of half time, Middlesex took their foot off the pedal as a Norfolk striker pounced on to a loose ball and slotted the ball into the net, ensuring the game was level at the interval. 

Middlesex exploded out of their blocks in the second half, immediately winning the ball from the visitors. Middlesex midfielders Kai Williams and Martino Morgan-Germain dictated play and moved the ball well while substitute Ervis Sherrniku displayed his own skills.

Matthew Anderson - the smallest player on the pitch - became a big problem for Norfolk as he found himself everywhere on the pitch and started to dictate play, feeding some lovely balls into his team mates. The quick-footed Ervis Sherrniku scored the Seaxes second goal 20 minutes into the second half,  latching on to a loose ball and scoring with finesse.

At this point, Middlesex were in cruise control. What looked like a cross from Felix Frimpong lobbed the Norfolk ‘keeper from the wing. After the game, Frimpong said that he meant it. The scoring was completed when Jamie Sacopon scored his first County goal of the season and Middlesex’s fourth on the day, making a thunderous run then rounding the ‘keeper.

Middlesex manager Dean Sylvester observed that “this was a great all-round team performance.  The boys can go all the way to the finals if they continue to perform in such a professional manner.” Middlesex face Hampshire away next for a place in the semi-finals.

Squad: Reiss Walker, Zak Sturge, Dajuan Deans, D'vonte Bristol, Tobi Ogundega, Felix Frimpong, Martino Morgan-Germain, Kai Williams, Makel Brazille, Henry Okenia, Jamie Sacopon, Ervis Sherrniku, James Penny, Matthew Anderson

U16 Rep. Team knocked out of national cup

Middlesex 1-3 Essex

English Schools' FA Inter-County Trophy
Saturday 25th November 2017

Middlesex went out of the English Schools FA Inter County Trophy at the Second Round stage, losing 3 -1 at home to Essex. Middlesex will be disappointed as there were large periods of the game where they dominated play but were unable to capitalise on some excellent goalscoring opportunities that fell their way.

The opening minutes were uneventful before Middlesex’s Shammar Swaby was adjudged to have been just offside when through on goal while Thierry Thomas-Gaye in the Middlesex goal rushed off his goal-line to prevent Essex from having a shot on target.

Essex opened the scoring in the 9th minute when a corner from the left was headed clear and from the resulting corner from the right, the ball was headed home at the far post. The Middlesex response was immediate and within two minutes they were level when Hadi Issa found Swaby outside the Essex penalty area and he took a touch before drilling the ball home.

Within a minute Essex almost regained the lead from a corner that crossed the Middlesex goal-line but none of their players reacted quickly enough to tab the ball in.

A visiting defender was shown a yellow card in the 14th minute for a lunging tackle on Kahlil Francis two yards outside the Essex penalty area and from the resulting free-kick Louie Adedeji saw shot his effort on target palmed away and cleared.
Thomas-Gaye superbly blocked an Essex attempt on goal in the 22nd minute before Chandler Harris was substituted by Rahul Bhundia after picking up a knock after a strong challenge in the middle of the park.

In the 24th minute, Essex regained the lead when a shot from the edge of the Middlesex penalty area took a deflection past the despairing dive of Thomas-Gaye in the Seaxes' goal. Minutes later Thomas-Gaye prevented Essex from extending their lead by once again rushing off his goal line and making himself big by blocking another attempt on goal.

In the 30th minute, Essex did make it 3 -1 when a cross from the right was headed home unchallenged at the far post.    

Middlesex went close to reducing the deficit when Swaby won the ball on the right and passed to Kahlil Francis but he was unable to score from an acute angle before Swaby saw his effort just before half time clear the Essex crossbar.         

Issa was replaced by Harris who re-entered the field at the start of the second half and Middlesex started brightly with Shane Kettle seeing his header saved from a Swaby cross from the left by-line.

In the 48th minute, with the game becoming more physical, the referee booked a player from each side after an off-the-ball confrontation. With Middlesex needing an early goal to get back into the game, it was Essex who almost extended their lead in the 50th minute, seeing a looping header go inches wide of the post.

The lively Swaby saw his shot on the half volley palmed away before Francis saw his headed effort on goal go just wide. With Middlesex pressing forward substitution Jojo Thabo was very unlucky to see his effort when through on goal hit the foot of the left-hand post and seeing his follow up effort go wide. Minutes later substitute Dominic D’Souza found Thabo but his effort with just the goalkeeper to beat went wide.

Essex picked up their third yellow card of the game for dissent in the 73rd minute but with Middlesex unable to muster another meaningful attempt on the Essex goal in the final 10 minutes the visitors went through to the next round.

The Seaxes' final game of 2017 will be away to Kent next Saturday in the SEESFA LC Hill Trophy where they will be looking for another three points.

Middlesex: Louie Adedeji, Eisa Azab (Captain), Rahul Bhundia, Dominic D’Souza, Jack Egan, Jojo Thabo, Kahlil Francis, Chandler Harris, Hadi Issa, Shane Kettle, Nathan Omar Mohamed, Shammar Swaby, Thierry Thomas-Gaye

U16 Rep Team too strong for Sussex

Middlesex 3-1 Sussex

LC Hill Trophy, Group 1
Saturday 11th November 2017

The Middlesex SFA U16 squad won for the first time this season, coming from behind to beat Sussex U16 3-1 in a highly enjoyable game. Sussex dominated the opening 20 minutes of play and will be disappointed that their early dominance was not rewarded with more than one goal. Sussex had the first attempts on goal but their initial shots either cleared the bar or struck the post.

Hadi Issa almost put Middlesex ahead against the run of play in the sixth minute but his shot on target from the edge of the Sussex penalty area was cleared off the goal-line. Barely a minute later, Sussex took a deserved lead from just inside the Middlesex penalty area, giving Thierry Thomas-Gaye in the Middlesex goal no chance. 

Sussex almost doubled their lead in the 12th minute having a shot on target blocked and then seeing a follow-up shot cleared off the Middlesex goalline. The Seaxes were under pressure and Sussex went close with a header that went inches wide before Thomas-Gave did well blocking an attempt on goal at his near post and conceding a corner before reacting quickly to block another attempt on goal.

Middlesex were slowly coming to terms with the conditions and pace of the game and began making chances of their own. Issa saw his half-volley from a Shammar Swaby cross from the right in the 25th minute go wide before Rahul Bhundia saw his effort on target deflected for a corner. Louie Adedeji found himself forward and linked up well with a neat one-two and receiving the ball, saw his attempt on goal blocked for another corner. From the set-piece the ball was emphatically headed home by Shane Kettle who rose and powerfully headed the ball home to make it 1-1 in the 28th minute. The equaliser appeared to galvanise the Middlesex team and Swaby went close to giving the home side the lead with a header that cleared the Sussex crossbar before he went even closer from an Issa cross that was just tipped over the Sussex crossbar for another corner. 

From the resulting corner Kettle superbly volleyed Issa’s cross into the bottom right hand corner of the Sussex goal to give Middlesex the lead in the 35th minute and claim his second goal of the game. With Middlesex now playing some lovely football, Adedeji saw his effort on goal well saved from a free-kick before Omar Mohamed saw his effort turned around the foot of the Sussex goal for a corner.

At the start of the second half Middlesex made two substitutions, with Kahlil Francis and Chandler Harris coming on to bolster the Seaxes' midfield. The opening 10 minutes of the second period saw little goalmouth action at either end other than a Sussex shot that cleared the Middlesex crossbar. in the 54th minute, Dominic D’Souza replaced Issa who had worked tirelessly throughout the game; the change brought some fresh legs to the Middlesex right flank. Sussex had an equaliser ruled out for off-side in the 57th minute before Francis almost extended Middlesex’s lead went through on goal but saw his shot saved. 

Middlesex extended their lead in the 65th minute when Jack Egan’s fine pass from midfield found Francis on the left and holding off a defender, he found the bottom right hand corner of the net with a powerful shot across the Sussex goal that gave their goalkeeper no chance. Adedeji saw his shot saved after a jinxing run in which he beat three Sussex players before D’Souza went close with a shot that flew across the Sussex six yard box and went inches wide. 

With just two minutes remaining, Adedeji blocked a shot on goal preventing a nervous end to the game enabling Middlesex to see out the closing minutes to record an impressive victory.
Middlesex: Louie Adedeji, Eisa Azab (Captain), Rahul Bhundia, Dominic D’Souza, Jack Egan, Kahlil Francis, Chandler Harris, Hadi Issa, Shane Kettle, Daniel McNair, Omar Mohamed, Philip Essandoh, Shammar Swaby, Thierry Thomas-Gaye