An outstanding first half performance and a hat-trick from Elthorne Park’s Lily Peterson helped the Middlesex U16 Girls Representative Squad to become South-East regional champions on Saturday 18 May. The Seaxes lifted the Victoria Dodds Trophy after winning 4-2 away to Sussex in a match played at Three Bridges FC.

Middlesex took an early lead when Libby Monaghan (Bishop Ramsay) and Lily Peterson (Elthorne Park) combined, with the former finding the net. Peterson then doubled her side’s advantage, helped by an assist from India Nwodo-Shittu (Wren Academy). Elisia Huetson Varnava (Highlands) then gave Middlesex a 3-0 lead.

Sussex had won the match between these two teams by two goals to one back in February and came back strongly, scoring either side of half time to set up a grandstand finish. However, with five minutes of the match remaining, superb play from Huetson Varnava created an opportunity for Peterson to complete her hat-trick, which was duly taken.

As a result, Middlesex won the regional championship for the first time since 2010-11 and the third time overall. This is an impressive achievement, made all the more noteworthy by the fact that the squad played only one ‘home’ match all season. The Seaxes were drawn away to Kent and eventual runners-up Gloucestershire in the ESFA Inter-County Trophy while finishing second in the South Group of the SEESFA competition meant Middlesex had to travel to Norfolk in the semi-finals of the Victoria Dodds Trophy. The squad’s subsequent 4-3 win away to a squad who had enjoyed a 100% record in their group was an outstanding result.

Becoming the best Representative Squad in the South-East isn’t something that just happens. All of the players who have pulled on the amber shirt this season have contributed and it is thanks to the hard work of those players and the volunteer coaches and administrative staff, plus the support of the players’ parents that the trophy was won. The Association is hugely proud of everyone involved in this season’s squads. We would also like to thank our colleagues at the Sussex Schools’ FA and everyone at Three Bridges FC for their hospitality on the day and for staging the Final at such an excellent venue.