Under-14 squad exit ESFA Trophy

The Middlesex Schools’ FA Under-14 Representative Team bowed out of the ESFA Playstation Inter-County Trophy following a 3-1 defeat in Oxfordshire.

Middlesex nearly had a dream start to this cup tie, which was played under floodlights at Milton United FC, when Brent’s Cai Burrows intercepted and put a slide rule pass to Damani Ayre to put him in on goal. Ayre outpaced the defense and smashed the ball past the goalkeeper only to see it come back off the post.

Shortly afterwards, Middlesex captain Leo Grace combined with Michael Adjei down the right, who passed to Keiano Josephs who shot inches wide of the post. Middlesex kept up the pressure, with debutant Ben Sullivan in outstanding form, breaking up attacks and then countering with Reece Weekes down the left. Sullivan fizzed over a cross and though Josephs lost his marker his header flew just over the bar. Middlesex pinned the hosts in their half as midfielder Kyle Matthews saw a volley well saved but the Seaxes couldn’t score and the first half ended 0-0.

Having survived the pressure Oxfordshire began to hit the Seaxes on the counter-attack. Jordan Gugan made a good save and Middlesex skipper Leo Grace cleared a shot off the line to keep the score level. Kieran Ali impressed on his debut in midfield but Oxfordshire sensed this might be their day and against the run of play scored on the break to lead 1-0.

Middlesex battled bravely but conceded again from two set pieces, which put the hosts firmly in the driving seat at 3-0. Altan Aydin scored the goal of the game with a 25 yard drive into the top corner but it was too late for Middlesex and served only as a consolation.

Read more: Under-14 squad exit ESFA Trophy

Solid start for County U15 Squad

The opening game for the Middlesex Schools’ FA U15 Representative Team saw them earn a 1-1 draw at home to a good Kent side. 

In relatively poor conditions, the game started with both teams finding their feet early on and a lot of the play in the middle of the pitch.  It was Kent who made the opening break through with an excellent strike, giving keeper Rhys Jones no chance at all.  However, the lead was short lived as Middlesex fought their way back into the game.  Not long after conceding, Middlesex won a free kick on the right hand side of the box.  With Kent caught napping, a quick free kick was taken and Henry Histon beat the keeper from 16 yards with a great curling effort. 

The second half saw Middlesex grow in strength, despite the pitch and conditions worsening.  The team had a number of chances to take the lead with Michael Panford and Robbie Joseph coming very close on.  Despite all the Middlesex pressure and a couple of counter attacks from Kent's attacking corners, the game finished 1-1.  The match represents a solid start to the season with lots of positives.  Standout performances were from Rawn Seale, Michael Panford and Ryan Kirwan.

Middlesex: Rhys Jones (Bishopshalt), Nathan Bishop (The Harefield Academy), Dylan Singh (Queens Park CS), Ryan Kirwan (the Harefield Academy), Jordan Green (Jewish Free School), Josh Bennai (Gunnersbury), Rawn Seale (Ruislip High), Ryan Corr (Cardinal Wiseman), Jack Raines (Abbotsfield), Henry Histon (Gunnersbury), Michael Panford (Preston Manor High School), Remy Beckford (Highgate Wood Arts College), Shaquille Ishmael (Kingsbury high School), Robbie Joseph (Feltham), Harry Russell (Jewish Free School) and Ashleigh Hibbert (Kingsbury High School).

U16 Rep. Team beaten by Kent

After making a promising start to the season with a 2-0 friendly win over Essex, the Middlesex U16 Representative Team were looking to push on in their first competitive game against Kent. 

After a nervy start, Middlesex started to get a foothold in the game with Harry Rush (Harefield Academy) and Hussein Vakili (Chiswick School) starting to control the midfield with great energy. Although getting to grips with the tempo of the game, the side fell behind after conceding a free kick just outside the box which found its way into the bottom corner despite goalkeeper Bradley Luckett's (Vyners School) best efforts. This did not affect the side for too long however as they bounced back almost immediately after Samir Bajja (Isleworth and Syon School) placed home well after a penalty box scramble from a corner. Again Kent took the lead after a mistimed clearance just before half time to give them a 2-1 lead at the interval.

Middlesex came out firing at the start of the second half but again a lack of concentration saw them fall further behind and leave themselves with a real uphill battle for the second half. Goalkeeper George Simpson (Highlands School) made two fantastic saves to deny the visitors and give a glimmer of hope which Harry Rush (Harefield Academy) built on when he volleyed spectacularly into the top corner from a knock down from a well worked play from Middlesex which gave them a small chance of an unlikely comeback. Kent snuffed that out with a fourth goal towards the end of the game and as players became tired and Middlesex pushed in a last gamble to try and salvage something the game became more open with a host of chances for both sides. A commendable effort by all the boys but alas they came up slightly short.