THE FINAL OF THE MIDDLESEX FA SENIOR CHARITY CUP WAS PLAYED AT HANWELL TOWN FC’S POWERDAY STADIUM, ON WEDNESDAY 7TH MAY.
This season’s finalists, from an original entry of 21 teams, were Ashford Town (Middlesex) and Uxbridge, both of whom currently play in the Bostik League South Central Division.
Uxbridge, who were formed in 1871 have an impressive record in this cup. Before this season, they had won it on six previous occasions, the most recent being in season 2013/14, when they beat Wembley 3-1 at the latter’s Vale Farm ground. They have also reached the final on nine other occasions.
Ashford Town were formed in 1958 and have won this trophy three times. The most recent of these victories was during the 2016/17 season, against Wealdstone, who they beat 2-1 at Hanwell Town FC. However, their 2011/12 victory over Northwood, at Wealdstone FC, will long remain in the memory of those who witnessed it. Inspired by half-time substitute, Kofi Lockhart-Adams, who scored a hat-trick, the Tangerines overcame a three-goal deficit to level at 4-4, before winning the penalty shoot-out.
Uxbridge won this, the last of our cup finals for this season, by 2 goals to 1. After an evenly contested first-half, they took control of the match after the interval and entertained the crowd with some attractive and cultured play to deservedly take the trophy for a seventh time.
After a tentative start by both teams, Ashford Town took the initiative and gave the Uxbridge defence some anxious moments. Mark Bitmead was foiled by a timely interception by David Thomas. Jack Beadle cut in and brought a good save low down, from Paul McCarthy. Then the Uxbridge 'keeper saved at close range from Mark Bitmead, who had connected with Jack Beadle’s low cross.
Paul then made another fine save, when he dived to stop Mark’s free-kick, from 25 yards, at the foot of his left-hand post. The Uxbridge 'keeper then held an awkwardly bouncing shot from Scott Weight at the second attempt.
The game was now becoming more competitive and referee Neil Morrison, who had an excellent match, cautioned Uxbridge’s Mitchell Wiseman, for holding, in the 28th minute. He was followed into the referee’s note book, eight minutes later, by team-mate Luke Maguire, for dissent.
Ashford Town went ahead in the 41st minute. Elliott Poley got a touch to Jack Beadle’s shot to deflect it past the unsighted Paul McCarthy.
Uxbridge equalised two minutes later through Prince M’Bengui, who out-jumped the defence to head home Tyrone Pink’s high cross from the left wing.
Uxbridge’s Kevin Warner was cautioned for an over enthusiastic tackle, just before the half-time whistle.
Half-Time Score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1 Uxbridge 1
Uxbridge started the half on the offensive. Radu Stefanoaica, who was introduced into the action immediately after the interval, went close from Prince M’Bengui’s pass following good approach work by Hafid Bounyafe. Then Hafid set up Prince, whose low shot was saved.
A shot by Mark Bitmead was punched away by Paul McCarthy and at the other end, Prince’s 30-yard free-kick was taken low down by Ashford custodian, Tyler Tobin.
Uxbridge took the lead after 70 minutes through a fine individual goal by Tyrone Pink. Tyrone cut in from the right, ran through the Ashford defence and scored with a low shot.
Ashford took the initiative as time ran out but they were unable to break through the Uxbridge rearguard. Mark Bitmead shot narrowly wide and Paul McCarthy saved at close range from James Cottee in the final minutes of normal time. This pattern continued during the eight minutes of added time.
Final Score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1 Uxbridge 2
The proceeds of this match will be donated to the Middlesex FA’s Official Charity Partner for the 2018/19 season, St Luke’s Hospice, who were represented at the match by Tim Ridgwell. Tim joined the Guest of Honour, Middlesex FA Chairman John Taylor, in meeting the teams before the kick off and presenting the cup and individual mementoes afterwards. They chose Tyrone Pink of Uxbridge as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are due to Hanwell Town FC for allowing us the use of their fine facilities and for their splendid hospitality on the day.
The attendance was 234.
ASHFORD TOWN (MIDDLESEX)
Tyler Tobin (capt), Samad Kazi, Tom Dilloway, Scott Weight, Adam Baigent, Elliott Poley, Nebay Haile, Gurkan Gokman, Mark Bidmead, Tom Brunton and Jack Beadle
Substitutes: James Cottee (for Gurkan Gokman 65 min) and Kofi Lockhart-Adams (for Mark Bitmead 86 min). Steven Loveridge, Nathan Pooley and Matthew Surmon (gkpr) were not used.
Manager: Ben Murray
Coaches: Mark Green, Russell Canderton and Steve Honey
Physio: Martin O’Connell
Paul McCarthy (capt), Andrew Whorms, Ben Peden, Mitchell Wiseman, David Thomas, Kevin Warner, Luke Maguire, Prince M’Bengui, Craige Tomkins, Tyrone Pink and Hafid Bounyafe
Substitutes: Radu Stefanoaica (for Kevin Warner 46 min). Hakeem Nuama, Charlie Cahill, Cory Watson and Dragos Stefanoaica (gkpr) were not used.
Manager: Kevin Warner
Coaches: Paul McCarthy and David Thomas
Referee: Neil Morrison.
Assistant Referees: Chris Felton and Tom Simmons
Fourth Official: Sobastian Frazer