Youth Alliance Cup
Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Doughty, O’Donnell, Olley, Bewick, Walker, Sharif, Henry-Francis, Andrade.
Frankie Sutherland was unavailable after picking up a knee injury whilst involved with the Republic of Ireland, but congratulations to Michael Doughty for his call-up to the Welsh U19’s and also to 16 year-old Gareth Deane who was named recently in the Northern Ireland squad to play Slovakia. Jordan Walker came in for Frankie Sutherland and Marcel Henry-Francis started up-front instead of Adam Francis. Roy Francis was there with Gerry and Denis Rofe, the former Leyton Orient and Leicester full back was also spotted. The other members of the Saturday Morning Crew were; Alan Barnes, Robbie Bennett, Roger Stokes and Sean.
Despite some rather indifferent performances at Osterley in recent years, the pitch looked in good shape and the R’s really do have an abundance of pace in the side. A good run by Bruno Andrade down the left saw him shoot just past the far post. Brentford had their first attack after 8 minutes which forced Gareth Deane out and then make a very good save with his legs. At the other end, Andrade picked up speed down the left and his ball in to Henry-Francis was knocked over the bar. There was a deft ball from Doughty to Andrade, who then made for the bye-line and his cross found an unmarked Mo Sharif to head neatly into the net. The home side equalised in somewhat unusual fashion when Gareth Deane’s launched a kick, high in the air, but with no distance, which then I think hit one of our defenders and a Brentford player was on hand to take advantage and squeeze the ball into the net !
Michael Doughty took a free kick which must of been all of 30 yards, which dipped and cleared the bar by about 12ins or so. Doughty was again involved and his lovely through ball reached Henry-Francis , and just when I thought he was going to round the keeper, he stroked it low into the back of the net to put Rangers 2-1 up. The R’s almost got a third when another excellent run by Bruno Andrade resulted in his shot bouncing off the crossbar. But Brentford were also creating chances and Gareth Deane had to make two good saves with the space of a couple of minutes.
We heard at half-time that Bradley Simmons’s injury will see him out of action for another four months or so. I think it was Robbie who spotted ex-QPR keeper, Jack Middleton as one of the Brentford subs. I saw him at Upton Park in the FA Youth Cup 4th Round tie last season. He had replaced Jon Miles at the last moment after he had injured himself in the pre-match warm up. He had previously made his debut for the U18’s at the age of 15 against Barnet last October.
Into the 2nd half, and Michael Doughty received the ball close to the edge of the box, and after looking up, his effort went just over the bar. Steve Gallen replaced Jordan Walker with ‘Bags’ Graham. Brentford were having more possession as we sat a little deeper. Sam Bewick took our next corner and the ball eventually found Doughty outside the penalty area. He took it on his chest and belted the ball, but this time it was well over the bar. Brentford almost levelled following a corner. A low ball in evaded our defence and Deane was very alert and very quick when he moved from one post to the other to smother the ball and suffocate the danger. Then Rangers hit the crossbar again when Sam Bewick belted one following good work by Bruno Andrade.
Brentford were then guilty of trying to walk the ball into net and eventually it was booted wide. Steve Gallen made his second change with the introduction of Adam Francis at the expense of Marcel Henry-Francis who had worked tirelessly up-front. A Brentford player received a second yellow card (we didn’t know why the referee had booked him earlier ?), after a big of niggling with I think, Sam Bewick, who was also booked. In the closing stages, Bruno Andrade picked up the ball in the Rangers half and took off up-field and as he entered the Brentford penalty area, he pulled the trigger, but unfortunately the ball ended up in the side netting. A good win at Osterley against the league leaders which got our Youth Alliance Cup campaign off to an excellent start.
Well done everyone.