Hounslow 2-1 Brent
8th September 2018, Friendly
The Brent Schools' FA's new intake of Under-11 players made a promising start to their season in a friendly away to Hounslow, who will be one of their Middlesex League opponents.
Brent made an assured start, passing the ball out from the back with freedom and control. They created multiple chances with Le'Kai, Armend and Troy all coming close but not able to get past a solid 'keeper and the left hand goalpost. Several goalmouth scrambles ensued and Brent still couldn't score but kept their resolve. Even after making substitutions, Brent kept playing in a patient but positive manner with Dhyan's tricks and skills causing problems on the right and Jack showing composure on the left. However, Hounslow scored first just before half time when a swift counter attack caught Brent unaware led to a composed finish into the bottom right hand corner.
The second half continued in a similar vein. Hounslow defended with dogged determination as Brent pushed for the equaliser. Kulungi came on and was dangerous up front, but couldn't find a way past the Hounslow keeper. Brent's pressing was relentless, giving Hounslow little time on the ball. This led to more chances with the right hand post and crossbar shaking from two further opportunities. Another sucker punch ensued when a risky pass at the back was intercepted and a Hounslow forward banged the ball home for 2-0.
Brent responded immediately and another relentless attack led to a save, a block and finally Bernardo powering home via a deflection.
Brent pushed in the final 5 minutes and had thre more chances with Armend's shot from the edge of the box going just wide on the final whistle. An excellent team performance from all involved in Brent's squad and an excellent rearguard display from Hounslow led to an enthralling game. Brent coach Paul Woodford commented: “The team played with confidence, passing well and showing flair. I am very proud of them”.
In a great advert for girls football, the Brent Schools' FA Under-11 Girls squad went into the summer break on a high after a deserved victory over Ruislip Rangers at Capital City Academy.
Played in scorching conditions. the game was far closer than the scoreline suggests. Sophie Kew showed why she won the 'Most Improved Player' award, driving forward from defense to start the scoring with a 25 year drive into the left hand corner of the net.
Ruislip then countered and keeper Milly-May Blue made a superb diving save to keep Brent in front. Brent extended their lead when a great move led to a penalty. Keely Dibley-Dias passed to debut girl Chloe O' Donoghue who dribbled into midfield and played a pinpoint pass to Maya Rosenberg in the box. Rosenberg beat her marker and blasted the ball goalwards only for a defender to handle. Brent skipper Giuseppina Carnavale stepped up and rifled the spot kick home. 2-0.
Carnavale increased her side's lead further with a terrific strike from the edge of the box just before the break to make it 3-0.
After the restart, Rangers enjoyed their best spell in the game passing well and only superb defending by Raya McIntosh and Matilda Easterby and Elizabeth Ulusele kept them at bay. Brent introduced Tammy Nathanial in attack and would have extended their lead further with a great volley but the superb Rangers keeper made a fantastic save.
Next, Simone Silva combined with the skilful Kathleen Santos Ferreira but despite outpacing the defence, the Brent pair were denied when the Rangers keeper pulled off another brilliant reflex save.
Although Brent were ahead, the game was in the balance as Ruislip pressed for the all-important next goal. The game was finally settled with a superb solo effort by Carnavale dribbling down the left past two defenders and curling the ball into the top corner to complete the scoring.
Brent coach Chris Ampofo observed that: "It was great to see how much the Brent team has progressed this season. They all contributed and showed real courage and composure against a good Ruislip side."
Brent: Giuseppina Carnevale (capt), Keely Dibley-Dias, Elizabeth Ulusele, Tammy Nathanial, Milly-May Blue, Simone Silva, Kathleen Santos Ferreira, Sophie Kew, Matilda Easterby, Raya McIntosh