A 0-0 draw at Harlington last Saturday was enough to secure the Football League Youth Alliance League Championship. Rangers were up against second place Millwall who themselves had needed a victory by a big margin do deny us the title.
There was a good turnout from the Saturday Morning Crew which included Alan Barnes, Robbie Bennett, Roger Stokes, Big Paul, Sean, Joe English and Gordon Macey.
Team: Deane, Harriman, Sanderson, Walker, Parmenter, O’Donnell, Bewick, Gibbons, Sharif, Henry-Francis, Andrade
The R’s first real effort came when Mo Sharif cut in and his shot was palmed away by the keeper. Rangers really needed to get the measure of the strong wind as it continued to affect the game. Despite this, QPR were to dominate the 1st half and the only slight concern for Gareth Deane that I can recall, was when he had to push away a lofted free kick. At the other end, a one-two on the left let in Mo Sharif who’s low drive forced the keeper down to make the save. There was still time for Jordan Walker to screw wide after receiving the ball in a good position on the edge of the box. The referee blew his whistle and we headed off to our second vantage point.
Into the 2nd half and Mo Sharif did very well to knock back a lofted ball from close to the bye-line. He then drilled the ball across the 6-yard box and just past the far post. With two players on him, Sam Bewick made an excellent run and did well to force a corner. Gareth Deane made his second and last save of the match in similar circumstances to his other one before the interval. This time though he fell awkwardly after superbly jumping high to palm out a dangerous free kick. Thankfully there was no damage done and he was soon able to continue. A Sam Bewick free kick caused all sorts of problems which resulted in a big scramble in the Millwall box before the ball went out for a corner. The referee brought an end to the proceedings and after clapping the players off, Alan and I headed for Roger’s car.
They finished on 52 points which was 3 points ahead of Millwall, scoring 51 goals in the process and conceding just 16. In fact out of the 22 league games, they won 16 and drew 4. Once again, well done and congratulations to Steve Gallen, all the coaches and the whole squad on such a magnificent season.
Meanwhile, over on another pitch, Marc Bircham’s U16’s defeated Brentford 2-1 and when I saw him sprinting towards the dressing room after the game I had a feeling where he was heading next ! Later, I saw him outside the away end at Vicarage Road and apparently Steve Gallen was also there. Maybe the QPR Board will now sit up and take notice ?