The following preliminary squad has been named ahead of Saturday's FA Inter-League Cup Semi-Final which takes place at Uxbridge F.C., Honeycroft, Horton Road, West Drayton UB7 8HX. kick-off 2.00pm. (tel 01895 -443557)
It will be reduced to the 16 man squad on Wednesday 21 March.
A full match report is below - congratulations to David Cross and his superb Rep Team who defeated the Thames Valley Premier League 5-4 yesterday (3rd Feb) in another absolutely thrilling match played in appalling wet conditions but watched by a crowd of 100+. The semi Final draw sees us with a home tie against the winners of North Riding vs Isle of Man (playing Sunday 18th Feb).
The game kicked off and the first 10 minutes or so were even with perhaps the TVPL having the slight advantage of possession. This all changed in the 10th minute following the award of a free kick on the edge of the TVPL box after a heavy challenge. Up steps Stuart Holt of Meads to curl a beauty into the bottom corner 1-0. It was all AFC we were now controlling the midfield, our passing stretching the TVPL side and an almost identical free kick saw another Holt cracker fly inches wide. It was one way traffic and two more good chances went begging – would the AFC rue this, you bet they would – with TVPL making a telling and decisive break which led to Charlie Cain of Meads bringing down an opponent as he raced into the box…….Penalty……. 1-1.
Would this affect the AFC, not likely as the ever impressive Chris Heritage of Hampton and Ryan Bright of Meads began to boss the midfield and three great chances fell to Holt & Heritage but neither were able to apply that finishing touch. The pressure had to tell and so it did when after 30 minutes, a magnificent twenty yard pile-driver from Ellis McLennon of Sutts flew past the TVPL keeper before he could move 2-1.
This spurred TVPL into almost non-stop pressure and keeper Parlett came to the rescue on a number of occasions pushing one against the post and clear, before with a flying save. thwarting another effort for a corner. It was one-way traffic and Parlett again managed to tip another long range effort round the post. The AFC then give away a needless foul 30 yards out and up steps TVPL’s No 11, Donegan who fires the free kick over Parlett, the effort crashing off then cross bar, where the lurking McKie gratefully bundled the ball over the line. 2-2. Only three minutes to the half time whistle and were both teams going to settle for the draw, not the AFC, following yet another free kick, about 30 yards out the towering Holt smashes his header home 3-2.
HALF – TIME.
Manager Cross must have again worked his magic at half time as the team emerged in rampaging form and left back Charlie Cain of Meads fizzes a great shot past the keeper only for a defender to somehow clear it off the goal line, the AFC crowd are very vocal indeed!! The game settles into an end to end battle and the AFC unfortunately keep running offside, tiredness is now affecting both teams and changes are afoot. TVPL make a couple of key changes which seems to install new life into the tired limbs of their team mates. After 67 minutes a sudden break sees Heritage embark on yet another mazy dribble and a superb cross sees McLennon’s goal bound drive somehow tipped over by the TVPL keeper.
Time is creeping past, sub Walsh of Clapham replaces club mate Wakeford in defence, can the AFC hold onto to their slender lead – you bet they can and increase it they did, as on 75 minutes that man Heritage again in a replica dribble, torments the TVPL defence before crossing for McLennon to fire home 4-2. Surely with so many heavy legs the AFC had to hold that two gaol cushion. But this competition has already shown it has goals a plenty and once again a needless foul in the box results in another penalty to TVPL, which is dispatched 4-3. Now the pressure mounts and manager Cross makes his first change bringing on George Proctor of Sutts to replace the tiring Holt as TVPL make their third and final change, they have chanced it by adding a forward at the expense of a defender.
We move into the last 10 minutes and the TVPL pressure is relentless but skipper Aidan Chapman of Meads holds his defensive group together but the AFC supporters are getting frustrated and worried that their team won’t hold out………………..well cometh the hour cometh that man Heritage again, as a rare AFC attack sees the TVPL keeper hack the ball clear well out of his area, but only to Chris Heritage 40 yards out, one step to the left and one to the right, shoot we scream, with the keeper well out of position, he fires a dipping shot which crashes against the cross bar and falls agonisingly on the line………….but super sub Proctor manages to win the race and taps home from 6 inches 5-3. The AFC contingent go absolutely wild, what a game, the excitement is unbelievable. Two minutes plus stoppages to hold out – surely Aidan and his colleagues can cope. In an instant the AFC crowd are silenced as Langford of TVPL went on a heritage like run, evading tackle after tackle before planting a cracker past Parlett. 5-4.
Please not extra time – let’s just hold out, 5 minutes of added time seems like 15 as TVPL attack and attack and the AFC make their last change, Jones of Meads for Bright to eat up a few seconds. Chances fly inches wide and Parlett again smothers a close range effort. The support from the crowd is deafening, blow that whistle ref, we cry and finally he does, Yet another absolute classic sees the AFC team march into the semi-finals were they have been drawn at home to the winners of North Riding vs Isle of Man, which is being played on Sunday 18th February. A very set of tired players and jubilant supporters then ate and drank in the Casuals bar, who had put on an excellent day for both teams and need to receive huge thanks for allowing us to use their facilities.
The squad for Saturday's FA Inter-League Cup quarter-final against the Thames Valley Premier League has been announced. The game will take place at Corinthian-Casuals F.C. with a 3.00pm kick-off. The following players have been selected:
The Rep team fixtures are as follows:-
17th January AFC v Oxford University (Friendly)
@ Parmiters School, High Elms Lane, Garston, Watford WD25 0UU KO 7.30pm
24th January Arthurian League v AFC (Argonaut Trophy)
3rd February AFC v winners of Cambridgeshire County League or Thames Valley League (FA Inter League QF)
@ Corinthian Casuals FC. King George's Field, Queen Mary's Close, Tolworth, Surrey KT6 7NA ,
3rd March AFC v Hertfordshire County League (Argonaut Trophy)
The AFC Representative XI defeated The Bedford County League 5-4 aet in a thrilling game of end to end football, on Saturday 25th November. They now await the QF draw made by the FA on 13th December 2017.
Bedfordshire County League 4 Amateur Football Combination 5
Chris HERITAGE 12", Charlie CAIN 95", Ryan BRIGHT 100", 110", Ellis MCLENNON 120"
The game kicked off and the first 20 minutes it was AFC in the ascendency attack after attack, playing some wonderful fluid football and passing the ball ‘Pep style’. There was only one team in it and it came as no surprise when Chris Heritage flicked a through ball past the keeper after 12 minutes. 0-1. So far so good, but two glaring open goal misses came and went in that glorious opening half hour. Would the AFC rue those two missed chances – only time would tell. Bedford gradually came more into the game and it was a very welcome half time that saw the AFC holding onto their slender lead, but only just.
The second half started much as the first had ended, with Bedford pressure and the AFC defence being tested, but not seriously threatened, marshalled by my man of the match – the towering Aiden Chapman (Meads). Manager Cross made a substitution in the 55th minute replacing a tiring Chris Holt (Meads), who had ploughed a largely one man spearhead up front, with George Proctor (Sutts). Bedford continued their dominance, changing their players with a full complement of substitutes and finally they were rewarded with the equalising goal, a header from a corner. 1-1. The game ebbed and flowed but it was obvious to all that this match was destined for the extra 30 minutes, so it proved.
Manager David Cross had to get the energy levels back into the players, Chris Heritage was struggling with cramp, but once again due to the lack of substitutes, through late and unforgiveable cry offs, the AFC were left to soldier on through the pain that such a high paced game on a big pitch would bring. Still soldier on they did. Within 5 minutes of the restart the AFC took the lead following a rare attack when Charlie Cain fired home 1-2. Euphoria amongst the supporters – short lived as within a minute Bedford had equalised. Players from both teams were getting very tired indeed.
Then suddenly picking the ball up wide on the right wing Ryan Bright (Meads) began what was the replica of the Barnes dribble against Brazil, weaving this way and that, riding tackle after tackle, before planting a screamer in the bottom corner 2-3. Two minutes to the mid ET break, could they hold on, no as yet again Bedford just wouldn’t give up and equalised with an own goal from a corner 3-3. Half time 3-3, with just 15 minutes remaining before the dreaded penalties.
Three minutes into the second half the roof came off the clubhouse, as the home crowd went ballistic, Bedford scoring their fourth, when their best forward player fired home 4-3. The AFC players were now running on empty but somehow managed to attack once again and from another mazy run, caused a rash challenge, as Ellis McLennon (Sutts) was felled in the box ‘PENALTY we screamed’, the ref no more than a few yards away pointed instantly to the spot. Up stepped Ryan Bright to send the keeper the wrong way 4-4. At this point, with just three minutes left on the clock, penalties seemed the obvious outcome.
Minutes ticked away until with just 30 seconds to go, manager Cross made his final switch bringing on sub keeper Chris Parlett (Sutts) for the excellent Henry Warne (Dorking). We supporters thought this a strange move, as Warne had played solidly throughout, deserving his moment of glory with the penalties. This stoppage and substitution must have unnerved Bedford, because out of the blue a misplaced defensive pass was seized upon by Ellis McLennon, to chip the keeper from fully 20 yards 4-5. This time it was the away end that took the roof off – even good old Geoff Lence had seen nothing like it in his 50+ years of watching AFA football. Final whistle almost instantly and amidst scenes of complete exhaustion and euphoria the team crawled back to the dressing rooms for a very, very well-deserved drink and shower.
Round 2 fixtures:
(† Cumberland County League fielded an entire team selected from Workington Athletic, in contravention of competition rules which restrict selection to seven per club in the squad, and five in the starting line-up.
Manager David Cross has finalised his squad (due to more late cry offs) for this coming Saturday's (25th Nov) FA Inter League Cup match . It goes without saying that many AFC Officers & VP's will be in attendance to cheer the team on - however please attend if you have no other pressing engagement. The squad is as follows:-
AFC Squad v Bedforshire County League (Cranfield FC, Crawley Road, Bedford, MK43 0AA) ko 3pm
Manager David Cross
Upcoming AFC Rep team Fixtures 2017/18
15th November 2017 (HOME) Argonaut Trophy / Steve Langley Trophy
AFC V Southern Amateur League
@ Corinthian Casuals 7.30pm kick off
25th November 2017 (AWAY) FA Inter League Round 2
Bedfordshire County League v AFC
@ Cranfield United FC ,
Crawley Rd, Cranfield, Bedford MK43 0AA
Kick off 3pm
17th January (HOME) FRIENDLY
AFC v Oxford University KO TBA
Parmiters School, Garston, Watford, Herts
Well done to the below who have been Selected to represent the AFC on Saturday 30 September in the FA Inter League Cup.