QPR U18 (0) – Gillingham U18 (0)

Two days earlier a small contingent of the Saturday Morning Mob witnessed one of the best performances of the season. Despite some of the regulars being rested, the 3-0 victory against Leyton Orient clinched the runners-up spot courtesy of 2nd half goals from Josh Parker, Javonne Molloy and Max Ehmer. They lined up as follows: Bulmer, Mirzai, Harriman, Morley, Waters, Davenport, Bewick, Sutherland, Graham, Molloy and Parker.

Keith Ryan again made numerous changes for this final U18’s fixture on Bank Holiday Monday with Ed Harris returning as captain. The weather was overcast with some early intermittent rain.
Team: Bulmer, Cox, Waters, Brittain, Harris, Olley, Perring, Ehmer, Fernandez, Nanetti, Molloy.
Subs: Morley, Bailey, Smith, Davenport, Parker.

Played on the 1st team training pitch, the game kicked off 3 minutes late. About 20 minutes into the match, the R’s should of been awarded a penalty after what looked like a blatant handball ! Elliott Cox was making plenty of sorties upfield and knocking over good balls into the box. At the other end, Gillingham had a very good chance when Bulmer saved well after the ball was blasted low from close range. Joe Brittain had a powerful shot deflected just wide of the post. The best moment of the match was an absolutely wonderful dummy by Christian Nanetti which then enabled Elliott Cox to cross into the box but the opportunity was blocked. It remained 0-0 at half time.

Danny Davenport replaced Joe Brittain after the interval. There was some controversy in the very 1st minute of the re-start following a lovely over-the-top ball from Max Ehmer. The Gills keeper came charging out of his area to avert the danger but it looked like the ball had struck his arm. Danny Fernandez got into a good position to pull the trigger but scuffed his shot wide. However, it was the visitors who could of snatched the game with a flurry of opportunities in the closing stages.

The Monday Morning Mob also included Alan Barnes, Robbie Bennett, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham, Big Paul, Joe English and Ron Hill. Although they lost their final game against Millwall 3-0, Southend had already landed the title after five straight wins. Well done to all the players that have worn the Hoops this season and good luck to those that are moving on.

Steve Russell