Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Doughty, O’Donnell, Olley, Bewick, Gibbons, Henry-Francis, Andrade, Sharif.
Harlington was overcast and amazingly for the training ground at any time of the year, there was no wind ! We learnt that the Reserves had lost 3-5 to Hayes & Yeading during the week. Mo Sharif scored 2 and James White the other. Gareth Deane played in the third UEFA qualifying Round for the Northern Ireland U17’s and since then, the 16 year-old keeper has been called up for the U21 squad for the International against Scotland at St. Partick’s Firhill Stadium on 17th November. Well done and good luck to him.
Rangers were soon pressing and as the ball was won back, Michael Harriman bombed down the left and his cross into the box was headed just wide. There was a brief scare however after Michael Doughty had lost possession in midfield, Northampton broke forward and as Gareth Deane came charging out, the ball was lobbed just wide. The R’s soon took the lead through Mo Sharif. Some lovely control from him as he chested the ball down, rounded the keeper and neatly slotted home. QPR were dominating the game and Sam Bewick pulled the trigger from close on 30 yards which went just inches wide. Steve Gallen made an early change when Luke Olley was replaced by Taylor Parmenter.
Michael Doughty really has had a superb start to the season, he has tremendous strength and as he evaded some meaty challenges, the referee eventually signalled a foul. As his free kick was dipping, the keeper knocked the ball onto the bar. At the other end, Gareth Deane was back in action after the ball took a wicked swerve from 25 yards which forced him to dive to his right to make the save. The R’s doubled their lead after around 15 minutes when Mo Sharif squared the ball in the box and Marcel Henry-Francis was well placed to fire low into the net.
Michael Doughty took a corner, the ball came back to him, he cut in, crossed it and Mo Sharif almost got his head to it as it swerved out for a goal kick. Half-time: 2-0.
The canteen had closed at 11am for some reason and as the 2nd half kicked off, the dark clouds continued to clear which then allowed the welcome introduction of some very bright sunshine. Michael Doughty made the third goal when he knocked the ball across the box and Marcel Henry-Francis was in a good position to knock it into the net. Northampton could of pulled one back when they rattled the crossbar from about 10 yards. Frankie Sutherland came on for Bruno Andrade and Jordan Gibbons then took up a wide position. Mo Sharif fired in a dipping drive which forced the keeper down gripping the ball firmly to his chest. He then scored the R’s fourth and his second of the match to put the result even further beyond doubt. The final R’s substitution was Marcel Henry-Francis being replaced by ‘Bags’ Graham.
I think that’s now eleven straight league and cup wins so far which is a magnificent achievement. The Saturday Morning Crew were well represented and also included Alan Barnes, Rob Bennett, Froods, Clive Kingham, Roger Stokes, Joe English plus Pat and Tom Harrison.