MIDDLESEX CHARITY CUP QUARTER-FINAL
Rayners Lane 2
Craige Tomkins hit a hat-trick – but teenage starlet Curtis Chappell stole the show as Uxbridge reached the last four of the Middlesex Charity Cup last night.
Chappell upstaged his more experienced team-mate when, having been plucked straight from the youth team into first XI action he celebrated a dream debut with a wonder strike as Hellenic League East visitors Rayner Lane were despatched 6-2 on another rain-sodden night at Honeycroft.
The youngster also hit the woodwork in a performance ended just before the hour by cramp.
Starved of football by the recent bad weather and keen to retain the trophy won last season, Chappell aside, reds’ boss Tony Choules fielded a team of familiar faces including former Brentford striker Chris Moore and they overwhelmed their visitors from Tithe Farm in a one-sided first half.
Matt Woods had already seen a second-minute effort ruled out for offside when Tomkins opened the floodgates with the first of his treble on 20 minutes.
Chappell came within inches of doubling the advantage three minutes later when he capitalized on hesitant defending to nip in ahead of his marker and lob Lane keeper Simon Stainsby only for the effort to cannon to safety off the post. His goal celebrations would not be kept waiting for long.
However, it was Matt Woods who scored the second four minutes later with a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner after the ball was touched into his path by Callum Madigan.
This was just an appetizer for Chappell’s magic moment on the half hour. We had already seen glimpses of his blistering pace when the ball was played out to the right once more and he left the full-back standing before unleashing a bullet of a right foot shot which flashed across Stainsby and in off the far post.
The visitors’ keeper denied Woods in a one-on one situation soon afterwards, but when the home striker was tripped on his next foray into the box in first half stoppage time, Tomkins thumped home the fourth from the spot.
His hat-trick was completed with a close-range shot into the roof of the net within four minutes of the restart, but faced with the prospect of conceding a cricket score Lane mounted a spirited rally.
McPherson came off the bench to finish their best move of the match with a crisp strike 19 minutes from time before firing another chance straight at reds’ keeper Paul McCarthy.
An excellent second did arrive though when Paul Leslie battled through two challenges before delivering an inch perfect cross for Chaudry to head back across goal and inside the near post.
McCarthy saved brilliantly from Lane skipper Callum McCarroll to prevent a third, but Uxbridge had the last laugh as Kieran Knight made it six at the second attempt in stoppage-time.