Rep. Team beaten in nine goal thriller

The Middlesex Schools’ FA Under-14 Representative Team were defeated by their Sussex counterparts after a spectacular fixture in Brighton.

Ahead of this match, the teams posed together for a remembrance photo in honour of the Christmas Truce which occurred during the First World War but it was more like the Alamo for the visitors as Sussex immediately went on the attack.

Sussex took the lead after 20 minutes. Then after good work from Leo Grace, Damani Ayre was pulled back as he slipped away from his marker. Reece Weekes stepped up and hit an unstoppable 30 yard screamer into the top corner. Weeks’ effort was a contender for goal of the season and levelled the match at 1-1. The home fans and Sussex were stunned by the wonder strike but regrouped and surged ahead scoring twice quickly just before half time.

Middlesex made changes at the break introducing Kieran Ali in midfield and Emile Hohmann in attack. They both made an instant impact. Ali started to win the battle in midfield pressing and Hohmann was involved in the build-up releasing Weekes out wide on the left. Weekes whipped in the cross and Cai Burrows leapt at the far post to head home 3-2.

The balance of the game had changed and Middlesex were dominant. Hohmann combined well with Rasharn Rampton on the right who threaded the ball to Rahzir Smith-Jones. Jones jinked past two defenders and then unleashed a fierce left foot curling shot into the far corner to make the score 3-3.

Read more: Rep. Team beaten in nine goal thriller

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).