25 Oct 22

BSFL Junior Challenge Cup Final. Highgate Albion 3rds vs Highgate Albion 4ths.

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BSFL Junior Challenge Cup Final. Highgate Albion 3rds vs Highgate Albion 4ths.

Highgate Albion 4ths began the brighter of the two teams, with Neo Rodney immediately causing the opposition problems, looking to run in behind. He broke the offside trap early on, forcing a smart save from the 3rds goalkeeper Jamie Roberts.

In the early stages of the final, there was no doubt the 4ths had settled quicker, playing some impressive football and winning the midfield battle. An early corner swung in low from Chelsea Sabine was not cleared by the player on the front post, and the ball somehow found its way into the far corner giving the 4ths a deserved 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.

The 4ths continued to boss the midfield with their superior work rate and tenacity. Jake Casey was causing the 3rds plenty of problems picking up pockets of space and impressing with his close control and link-up play. Only a smart stop from Roberts denied Casey a deserved goal. The 4ths continued to dominate when a hopeful ball was put into the box, which seemed to surprise Roberts, who could only parry the ball out. Casey subsequently reacted quickest to prod the ball home making it 2-0 to Highgate Albion 4ths.

Finally, Highgate Albion 3rds launched an attack with Alan Callaghan battling with Freddie Palmer, which resulted in the 3rds forcing Henrique Santana into a save, all be it, a simple one.

The 4ths continued to boss the midfield, which saw Rodney spring the offside trap, but Roberts stood tall once again and kept his team alive. The 3rds launched a rare breakaway, where Callaghan found himself alone near the bye line, producing a sumptuous bit of skill to evade Palmer and pull it back for Emmanuel Yeboah who was in the right place to make it Highgate Albion 3rds 1-2 Highgate Albion 4ths.

On the stroke of halftime, following great work from Ben Julian, Javan Wright-Keizer squandered a great opportunity to make it 2-2.

HT Highgate Albion 3rds 1-2 Highgate Albion 4ths

The best side in the first half was undoubtedly the 4ths, but a moment of brilliance from Callaghan bought the game alive. The 3rds star striker again sprung the offside trap soon in the 2nd half, but his lobbed effort agonisingly bounced back off the crossbar and was cleared from danger. The 3rds were finally showing the belief they could win the game.

Highgate 4ths then built a promising attack, which led to Jason Rice releasing Rodney, who smashed the ball past Roberts, restoring the two-goal cushion for Highgate Albion 4ths.

Following Rodney’s goal, the 3rds tried to exert more pressure to get back in the game, but Michael Cox and the rest of the defence held firm. The 4ths again showed their class with Rice delivering an inch-perfect ball to release Rodney, who showed some fancy footwork before being bought down and earning his side a penalty. The subsequent penalty was saved by Roberts, who continued to keep his team alive.

Despite an improved performance from the 3rds in the 2nd half, the 4ths continued to look dangerous every time they went forward, with substitute Kyle Kidd impressing during his 2nd half cameo. Highgate Albion 3rds continue to try and drag themselves back into the game, but the 4ths defence held firm, deservedly winning the BSFL Junior Challenge Cup.

FT Highgate Albion 3rds 1-3 Highgate Albion 4ths.

Highgate Albion III

Roberts, Sparks, Stubley, King, M Yeboah, Goswami, Aggrey-Adams, Yeboah, Julian, Laughton, Callaghan

Subs: Wright-Keizer, Suleiman, Waul, Vallis, Mubia

Highgate Albion IV

Santana, Cox (C), Palmer, Ali, Husseyin, Kelly, Sabine, Casey, Rice, Hicks, Rodney

Subs: Swain, Smyth, Dill, Kidd, Sellar

M.O.M Jake Casey

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