On Wednesday night Westfield FC squared up against Hampton & Richmond Borough FC in the 2nd qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup and Woking Park.
Westfield went into the match unbeaten with 2 League wins, a League Cup win and two FA Youth Cup wins over Shoreham and Chertsey Town. But the night didn’t start well with skipper and Centre-back Michael Hagen being ruled out before the match.
The game started at a frantic pace and it was the Beavers that were on top early as Westfield were finding it hard to get into there passing game.
A couple of half chance were created by the Beavers, but nothing of note until the 11th minute when Abdul Rajab fired home off the underside of the crossbar from 15 yards. It was a sloppy goal to give away, well taken, but avoidable.
This somewhat got Westfield moving and the match became more even. On 24 minutes Westfield should have been level when a fine ball over the top of the square Beavers backline came to Adam Khan and he raced onto it. Getting to the ball as it bounced high on the edge of the box, he tried to lift it over the keeper, but the away number 1 stood firm and saved reaching high to parry the ball down and collect at a second chance.
It was now tit for tat as both sides gave as good as they got with the away side slightly edging the contest.
On 39 minutes the Beavers added a second in controversial circumstances. A clear free-kick was missed by the referee when Mitchell Smith was pull down in the middle of the park going forward and the ball broke and was instantly played wide right. The backline was caught out by moving forward at the time and also clearly thinking that Smith would get a free-kick.
Left –back Calvin Camara was caught out of position and then to make matters worse slipped as he tried to make up the lost ground, which allowed time for the Beavers winger to send over a inch perfect cross for Enoch Soganile to head home unmarked from 6 yards.
A minute later the game was basically over. With heads now down, Victor Cardenas gifted the ball to Soganile 25 yards out and he travelled to the edge of the box and easily scored.
The collective groan on the pitch and in the crowd was deafening. Having had worked very hard to get themselves back into the game, not on the scoreboard, but in general play and in the space of 60 seconds had conceded two goals.
As the 2nd half started, Westfield moved up a notch. The Borough took their foot of the gas a little and the game now started to go the way of the home team.
On 50 minutes Khan missed a simple chance after a Aidan King cross picked him out, but his shot from 6 yards missed the target.
The Beavers then should have once and for all wrapped up the match 5 minutes later, when after a great run going past 2 or 3 Westfield players the Borough midfielder fluffed his shot to hit it softly from 10 yards at Westfield keeper Leo Sergiou.
Westfield then had the best period of the match and over the next 20 minutes Khan had another 2 excellent chance to score as did sub Jason Dwumfuo. These were all better than half chances with the first by Khan and Dwumfuo being one-on-ones with the keeper.
The Beavers were now sitting back and looking not to concede, but they failed to register another shot on target for the last 40 minutes of the match. But to be fair they had scored their goals early and Westfield had just the same number of chances but in the end failed to hit the back of the net which ultimately was the difference as it so often is.
Man of the Match: Elijah Dixon
WESTFIELD FC HAMPTON & RICH
0 GOALS 3
5 SHOTS ON TARGET 4
5 SHOTS OFF TARGET 7
8 FREES FOR 15
4 CORNERS 5
4 OFFSIDE 4
1 YELLOW CARDS 1
0 RED CARDS 0