BBFA U16 v Middlesex

Berks and Bucks Under 16's Kick Off season with 6-1 win in Cyril Butler Memorial Trophy

The Berks & Bucks FA U16 Representative Squad entertained their counterparts from the Middlesex FA to contest the annual Cyril Butler Memorial Trophy at Wilks Park the home of Flackwell Heath FC on Wed 24th Sep 2014.

On a mild evening with a touch of autumn in the air, and a playing surface prepared immaculately by the Flackwell Heath FC ground-staff, the 2 teams came into this game hoping to get a winning start to the 2014/15 campaign. 

The B&BFA U16 Management team usually use this game as an indicator of how much quality they have in their own side as Middlesex FA which is the second largest Association in the country with a large and densely populated catchment area and a long tradition for producing talented footballing sides provide a stern test. The games against them are usually highly contested and competitive affairs and produce some great encounters.

From almost the very start of the game Berks & Bucks began to control the play all over the park with quick incisive football, movement and a tenacious will to gain possession and keep the ball. The front two of Alex Colverd (Penn & Tylers) and Tyrell Murray (Flackwell Heath) and strongly supported by the midfield quartet of Gerge Asamundu & Jake Eshelby (Basingstoke), Samir Regragui (Windsor) & Martin Lancaster (Penn & Tyler’s) immediately began to ask serious questions of the away team’s defence. After a period of continual pressure, the front two finally got their just rewards when after some great link-up play Alex Colverd with the aid of a Middlesex defender slotted home to make it 1-0. Realising their overall dominance Berks & Bucks began to play some “very easy on the eye” football and went further ahead when Colverd put through Tyrell Murray to score with a tidy finish.

With Hugo Sobte (Windsor) in the home sides goal and a back- four of Kyle Collymore & Charlie Barnett (Windsor) and Theo Alexander and Tyler Gregory (Flackwell Heath) they formed a formidable and impenetrable barrier for the away side to overcome and considering the short time that they have played together, look and play with great authority and composure. With no further goals the home side went in at half-time as 2-0 leaders.

Expecting an early second half onslaught from Middlesex after the inevitable “motivational” half-time team talk delivered by management in the away dressing room, the Berks & Bucks management decided to freshen up the side whilst resting several of the personnel who had given there all in the first period.  Rory London (Woodley Saints), Aaron Hillier, Aaron Nesbeth, George Smith and Jordan Mooney (Basingstoke), all came on for the second half and quickly accustomed themselves to the pace and tempo of the game and their introduction did not disrupt the balance or overall dynamics of the side and their contribution only added positively  to the Berks & Bucks overall game.

After only 3 minutes of the restart Aaron Nesbeth had put the home side three up with a superb cross shot which should have “killed off” the opposition but to Middlesex’s credit they now began to play their best period of football in the match. However 5 minutes of mayhem in the visitor’s defence which, saw them concede another 3 goals. The first coming from Aaron Hillier, reacting the quickest when his shot rebounded out from the keeper to put the ball in the top of the net, then Alex Colverd added to his tally with a superb finish from an acute angle followed by a outstanding chip from Tyrell Murray to make the score 6-0 and the result now rapidly turning into a formality.

In the closing stages, Middlesex tried to rally and after a strong run and cross into the home team’s penalty area they managed to score a consolation goal through Peter Unwaifo (Princes Park FC) when the home side uncharacteristically failed to clear their lines

There is no denying that this was a great result as Middlesex, if they had been allowed to play,  would surely have made formidable opponents and we saw glimpses of their potential in the style and in the performances of the many gifted individuals they had on display. They are also to be congratulated for contributing to a game that was a great advert for youth county football and was played in the true spirit of the game and devoid of any disciplinary problems.

The Cyril Butler Trophy was presented to the Berks & Bucks Captain, Samir Regragui by the Trophy donor’s family in an after-match ceremony in Flackwell Heath FC’s Clubhouse.

Managers and Coaches are always banging on about “heart & desire”; “win your personal battles”, “Keep it simple” etc. etc. and these attributes and many more were abundantly evident and continually executed throughout this particular game by the Berks & Bucks team. All of the sixteen man squad should be immensely proud of what they achieved during this encounter and have now set themselves a formidable standard to consistently emulate and achieve.

After such a great performance and result the squad can now approach the forthcoming South & West Counties Championship season with justifiable confidence and in extremely great shape.

The motto of one of the Merseyside clubs is now most appropriate, if the squad now wish to go on and achieve their ultimate goal this season. They must now take this message into every game – “Nils satis nisi optimum” – “Nothing but the best will do” just as they have consistently demonstrated throughout this fixture!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Officers, Officials, Managers, Players and Supporters of the Middlesex U16 Representative Squad and wish them every success in this season’s U16 South & East Counties Championship.

I would also like to thank the Officials and management of Flackwell Heath FC for their outstanding hospitality and use of their facilities. Finally, a special thanks must also go to the club’s caterers for the food and beverage provided and to the ground-staff for the superb playing surface – Thank you all!

Tony Corcoran

AJ Corcoran MBE
B&BFA U16 Representative Squad