Brent girls survive late scare to win opening league contest of season

The Brent-Under 11 girls squad which won their opening league fixture 1-0 against Lewisham at the we

The Brent-Under 11 girls squad which won their opening league fixture 1-0 against Lewisham at the weekend - Credit: Archant

Coach Joe Khalfi hailed a job well done after Brent’s Under-11 girls survived a late scare to beat Lewisham in their first group game of the London League on Saturday.

In windswept conditions Susan Uwaifo’s goal midway through the first half was enough to clinch victory over their south London visitors, who missed a penalty in the dying minutes.

Khalfi was impressed with both his side’s clean sheet and their ability to make the most of one of the game’s few clear-cut openings.

“To win 1-0 is perfect,” he said. “We showed how brilliantly we can defend and also that we have enough quality to take the smallest opportunities to finish off teams with as much quality as Lewisham.”

Captain Jada Pollendine and player of the match Angel Acheampong stood out at the heart of the home defence in what was a nervous start before Brent slowly got on top.

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Approaching the midway point of the half Jennifer Grey’s through-ball split Lewisham’s two central defenders and sent Uwaifo through on goal only for the keeper to brilliantly parry the shot to safety.

Uwaifo was not to be denied for long, though, as she received the resulting throw, spun her marker and delicately lifted the ball over the onrushing custodian to put Brent in front.

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The second half proved more open, but the speed and tackling of Pollendine and Acheampong again frustrated Lewisham’s forward line, while Brent kept possession well in midfield without managing to prise a clear opening.

A couple of good claims by debutant keeper Chloe Angel late on seemed to have confirmed Brent’s narrow win until, with three minutes left, Lewisham won a penalty for handball.

But the chance was spurned as Lewisham’s striker blazed the spot-kick over the bar and the hosts held out to take the points.

Brent squad: Chloe Angel. Jada Pollendine (Byron Court), Angel Acheampong (Princess Frederica), Edie Surman (Maple Walk), Nia Brown (Sudbury), Susan Uwaifo, Jennifer Grey, (St Robert Southwell), Noelani Agyeman (Our Lady of Lourdes), Maya Pires (Mount Stewart), Lauren Thompson (Malorees).

Elsewhere, it was a story of setbacks for Brent’s other sides.

The Under-12 boys went down 5-2 away to Hackney in the London Cup, while the Under-11 boys were on the wrong end of a 4-1 scoreline against Harrow and the Under-12 girls were also beaten.

Meanwhile, it was a bittersweet day for St Gregory’s Felix Amoah as he represented Middlesex in the quarter-finals of the National Cup.

Amoah, one of several Brent players in the Middlesex ranks, certainly had his shooting boots on as he bagged a four-timer, but it proved in vain as they went down 7-4 to Bedfordshire.

- The FA skills team are hosting sessions at Willesden sports centre. The sessions are for five to 11-year-olds and will take place on Tuesday at 10-12pm and 1-3pm.

There is a girls’ only session in the morning and a mixed session in the afternoon.

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