03:00PM, Thursday 19 March 2020
There was plenty of apprehension in the air ahead of kick-off, but there needn’t have been for Cookham Dean Youth Cavaliers u11s who swept to a 4-1 win over Windsor Swifts in their East Berks Alliance Cup semi-final on Saturday.
The side, who are playing a year up in the u12s East Berkshire League, are undefeated so far this season and now through to the final of the Alliance Cup, however, it's likely the coronavirus outbreak will deny them the chance of finishing the season and lifting the cup.
In light of the current situation conversations did take place between the two clubs as to whether the match should go ahead, but both sides agreed to play and the teams were rewarded with fine spring sunshine.
Cookham started the game really fast and quickly settled any nerves when Mason Leech ran in off his left wing to slot past the keeper to make it 1-0. Momentum was now with the visitors, and, under the backdrop of Windsor Castle, Cookham soon made it 2-0, Mason again using his pace to outstrip the Windsor defence before finishing well past the keeper.
Their midfield was brilliantly marshalled by Maks Wolski and Jack Ruddick who released the pacy front three time and again. A third goal followed before half-time for the club’s top scorer, Theo Cuthbert. He reacted quickest to a shot that rebounded to him and slotted home from five yards.
At half-time Cookham had one foot in the cup final, but the Windsor team emerged determined to make a fist of this semi-final.
And that mentality was rewarded when a slide rule pass bisected the Cookham defence and was finished off well by the Windsor striker. He might have grabbed another back minutes later but this time dragged his shot narrowly wide under pressure from Cookham’s keeper Tom Moulder.
The miss would prove costly as Cookham restored their three goal advantage 10 minutes from time when Jaden Brown fed the ball through for Indie Halstead who tapped home after his initial shot was saved.
Cookham then defended with heart, with captain Matteo Cedrola and Ben Phillips making acrobatic clearances. Jayden Dennison and George Norris couldn’t play in the fixture but still showed great support for their teammates from the touchline.
Thames Valley Football Development League matches have been suspended until further notice, however, games did go ahead last weekend.
In the u10s TVDFL competition the Golden Eagles u10s lost a close game 3-2 against Harefield United. The Eagles came storming back in the second half with goals from Mohamed Christian-Fares and Yaseen Kamaly.
In other u10s matches Singh Sabha defeated Thames Valley Youth 2-1, the Explorer Blues beat 4FuturePro 2-1 and the Delaford Colts Whites beat Cookham Dean Rebels 3-0.
At u11s level the Golden Eagles lost 5-4 to the Chalfont Saints, with Gabbie Cardoso (two), Daniel Carty and Malakai Morton on target.
The result of the day came from the Golden Eagles Flyer who played some excellent football to beat the Burnham Junior Sabres Whites 9-0. A stunning goal from Rijad Krasniqi kicked things off while their other scorers were Kobey Muller, MmolokiChiwiyu, Taylor Blakely and Frankie Runham.
Elsewhere Townmead Youth edged out Harefield United Youth 2-1 and FC Holyport Hawks beat Maidenhead United Junior Cobras 4-0. S4K Wolves beat Townmead Youth 4-2 and RedKore Reds Explorers drew 1-1. The Chalfont Saints Pythons thrashed Frontline 7-0.
The Golden Eagles u14s ran out 6-0 winners over a depleted Downley Dynamos Whites this weekend. Sam Hopkins, Elson Haxhaj, Esar Deol, Hamid Mrehe and Rimaz Lathif all scored.
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Members of staff at Wexham Park Hospital have tested positive for coronavirus, and the elderly care ward affected has been closed to new admissions for two weeks.