The final game of the Football season proved to be a gripping end-to-end battle, but one which saw John Lyon’s 1st XI miss out on the Middlesex Schools’ Cup.
Having drawn the match against Twyford High School 2-2 in regular time, it took another 20 minutes for the opposition to pick open John Lyon’s defence, eventually running out 5-2 winners.
The match was played at John Lyon’s Sudbury Playing Fields on Wednesday 28th March 2018.
The first half began with John Lyon having the best of both territory and possession on a very wet and slippery surface. Despite an early injury which saw Kamaal Ahmed stretchered off, the pressure eventually told and substitute Jonathan Abraha was on hand to neatly slot in a well worked move from down the right.
After taking the lead John Lyon looked comfortable in all areas of the pitch, but just before half time confusion over an offside ruling allowed Twyford to score to level the match.
The equaliser gave Twyford the boost they had needed and they began the second half strongly, playing a high line and moving the ball forward quickly. It didn’t take long for their striker (who would prove to be the man of the match) to send a chip over the John Lyon goalkeeper to take the lead.
With the lead, Twyford were able to take control of the match and for periods looked the most likely to score again, drawing excellent saves from Rohan Luthra in the John Lyon goal, but with time running out and John Lyon committing more to attack, another good ball into the area was enough for substitute David Gagea to level the match and take it to extra-time.
In the opening minutes of extra-time John Lyon looked the most likely, with a number of good attempts on goal, but Twyford found the net again before the turnaround before striking twice more in the final ten minutes.
The 5-2 final scoreline belied the equal quality of the teams for the majority of the match, with the deciding factor ultimately the quality of the Twyford striker who scored two and set up a third.
Reflecting on the match, Director of Sport and 1st XI coach, Mr Kevin Paradise, said: “This team has been on learning curve over the past two years and the cup final was a great occasion to show how far they have come. The boys played with a positivity playing out from the back creating two very good chances early on and this pattern continued particularly throughout the first half. Both teams were competitive in all areas of the field and throughout the match all aspects of the match were very closely contested. Not the final result we wanted, but our boys should be proud of what they have achieved and how they conducted themselves.
“Reaching the final of this year’s Middlesex Schools’ Cup has set a benchmark for future year groups at John Lyon. The boys were a credit to the School and of course themselves. They should be proud of what they have achieved and should look back upon their performance in the final with no regrets.”
Rohan Luthra (1), Ben Tate (2), Louis Frankel (3), Jack Yelle (4), Tom Salter (5), Joao Costa (6), Kamaal Ahmed (7), Ariwajoye Agbede (8), Charlie Thomson (9), Munthir Alzarrad (10), Ed Davey (11)
Substitutes (all used)
Jonathan Abraha, David Gagea, Shourya Suri