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