Under-14s bounce back in style

Brent 5-1 Camden & Islington

Middlesex Schools' FA Bower Cup, 7th October 2017

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Brent's Under-14 squad continued the new season with a home fixture against Camden & Islington District, keen to put last week's away defeat to Barnet behind them. 

The game with high intensity and a high tempo from both teams. This made the first ten minutes of the game a little scrappy but highly competitive. 

Brent were resilient and after this frenetic period, began to control possession and take the game to Camden. The defensive unit of James Wall (Captain), Romario Rowe, Aaron Williams and Jamie Alcantata-Sacopon looked solid and were showing great composure on the ball, passing out from the back when possible and winning any balls that came into Brent's defensive third with well timed challenges and strong defensive headers. This allowed the midfield of Joel Desmond, Malikai Ekpenyong, Mamadou Diallo, Marc Valderrama and Richardo Rus to dominate their opponents. They were resolute and relishing the battle, showing fantastic desire to win first and second balls. Desmond, Ekpenyong and Diallo made some great early tackles and interceptions to set the tone and all of the midfield five showed some classy touches to create space and set up attacks for lone striker, Jamian Russell.

The first goal came in the 16th minute after some great work down Brent's right hand side from Wall, Diallo and Russell and the first corner of the game was won. Diallo whipped in a dangerous delivery and Rowe rose above everyone to win a towering header and dispatch the ball to give Brent a deserved lead and make it 1-0. 

Brent were now playing with confidence but still had to be wary of a Camden team that were still showing strength and ability when going forward. The couple of chances the visitors did create were swept up by goalkeeper Kyro Taylor, who showed calmness and assurance throughout.

The game continued in the same vein until the 33rd minute when Russell received the ball with his back to goal, resisted the defender's challenge and with a sharp turn got a powerful shot away, the Camden goalkeeper could only parry it into the path of first half substitute Tyrese Okello, who slotted the ball away with a calm finish to make to game 2-0. 

Read more: Under-14s bounce back in style

Under-15s start season with a win

Brent 4-2 Barnet 

Middlesex Schools' Star Shield, 30th September 2017

Brent's Under-15 squad started the season strongly, defeating Barnet 4-2 in their first match in the Star Shield.

Brent started well, keeping possession and making Barnet chase the ball for most of the opening ten minutes.

PyrreClarkeCroppedThe first goal for Brent came 15 minutes into the game. Pyerre (pictured) received the ball 40 yards from goal, drove past two midfielders before striking the ball from distance, into the top corner of the net, past the stranded goalkeeper.

Moments later Brent got their second as Tofan ran on to a back pass, rounding the Barnet keeper to score.

Brent continued to press their visitors, preventing Barnet from retaining possession. Their high tempo approach paid off when Brent midfielder Marhad won the ball in the middle, looked up, then lobbed the Barnet keeper from outside the penalty area.

Seconds before half-time, it was Sam's turn to add to Brent's lead as he passed the ball into the back of the net to put his team 4-0 ahead.

The second half saw Brent concede two goals as they took their foot off the gas. However, despite that, manager Dean Sylvester was happy with the team's performance. He commented "they moved the ball well and worked for each other. I believe the boys will have a successful season as long as they continue to play as a team." 

Squad: Coren, Simon, Ricardo, Ibrahim, Pyerre, Bruno, Marhad, Kieron, Dylan,  Tofan, Sam, Amaan, Lorcan, Cadell. The team attend Queens Park,Wembley High, Ark Academy, Capital City and Crest Academy.  

Under-14s beaten at Barnet

Barnet 5-1 Brent

Middlesex Schools' FA Bower Cup, 30th September 2017

Having won the Middlesex inter-district league ut Under-13 last season, Brent's Under-14 squad were excited about their first game of the season away to Barnet, who had finished as runners-up.

The game began with both teams working hard to get a grip on the game and the frenetic pace made it difficult for Brent to maintain possession. After 10 minutes of the first half Barnet scored after Brent goalkeeper Aaron did terrifically well to block a shot, only for the rebound to fall perfectly for the Barnet striker, who the slotted it home with a calm and collected finish.

Brent reacted brilliantly and were on top for the rest of the half, with Tyrese and Jamie having chances saved or cleared. However, the team could not find a goal meaning that at half time the game remained 1-0 to Barnet.

The second half in a similar vein to the first with Barnet securing possession and after a few minutes of the second half, a long ball over the top allowed Barnet to score their second goal and double their lead.

Brent showed passion and desire as they battled to get back into the game. However, Barnet were clinical and every chance they created ended in a goal. With about 10 minutes to go the game was 5-0 to Barnet and over as a contest.

However, Brent continued to work hard and thanks to great work from Jeremy down the left hand side, Brent were rewarded for the persistence, TJ slotting the ball home with a tidy finish to ensure Brent ended the scoring.

Coach Kim James said, " The result was not a total reflection of the game but Barnet were deserved winners. As a team we did not create enough chances and some individual errors cost us three goals today. The staff and the team understand where we have gone wrong and as a collective we will work hard to ensure we bounce back and show why we were champions last year."

Squad:Josh (Captain), Aaron, Isaac, Malikai, TJ, James, Jaime, Joel , Mamadou , Richardo, Jeremy , Tyrese , Jamian , Aidan, Sean, Omar

Schools: Wembley High School Technology College, Kingsbury High, Queens Park Community School, Saint Gregory's High School, Michaela Community School, Ark Academy

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