A mix of weather and emotions set the stage for a thrilling encounter as Hilltop FC faced off against Harefield United FC at The Middlesex Stadium on Saturday afternoon. This marked Hilltop FC’s first home game of the season, and the players entered the stadium with a range of feelings, ranging from anticipation to determination.
The day was adorned with the promise of a beautiful pitch, and as the players stepped onto the turf, the atmosphere was fuelled with optimism. The first half saw a slow start, with an early mistake that led to conceding a goal within the first 15 minutes. However, Hilltop FC swiftly rallied in response to the competition, determined to show their skills in this local Derby against a competitive opponent like Harefield United FC.
The significance of the game was not lost on the players, as it was a cup fixture against a team that had consistently dominated the pitch in the past. The lingering nerves from the previous Tuesday’s game seemed to have a subtle impact, but Hilltop FC gradually picked up the pace and started to exert their presence on the field.
Fortune for the Hilltop FC boys arose as a penalty opportunity emerged in the first half, offering a chance for Hilltop FC to level the score. However, the excitement was short-lived, as the linesman’s decision resulted in the cancellation of the penalty. Undeterred, the players pressed on, their abilities coming to the forefront as the team spirit continued to grow.
Around the 30-minute mark, two more opportunities presented themselves, with one shot going wide and the other saved by Harefield United FC’s impressive goalkeeper. Despite their best efforts, nerves were highlighting. Yet, luck for the Hilltop FC boys began to turn just moments before halftime, as a well-earned penalty was awarded to Hilltop FC in the 44th minute. Jordy Mumbiny, displaying nerves of steel, stepped up and confidently shot the ball into the bottom left corner, equalising the score at 1-1.
In the halftime dressing room, frustration over conceding an early goal was visible. The management’s pep talk rekindled the players’ self-belief and determination, setting the tone for a sensational second-half performance.
The spark that had been missing in the previous game reappeared as the second half commenced. Just 10 minutes in, a corner kick was met by a fantastic finish from Luqmaan Cusmaan in the 62nd minute, giving Hilltop FC the lead at 2-1. The unity and coordination on display allowed them to seize control of the match.
As the game wore on, Hilltop FC’s confidence grew exponentially. At 66’ minutes, a brilliantly executed play involving Hussein Mahdi and Jordy resulted in a spectacular goal. Hussein Mahdi lifted the ball over Harefield United’s defenders, allowing Jordy to execute a magnificent shot into the top corner of the net, extending the lead to 3-1.
With a 3-1 advantage, Hilltop FC continued to dictate the game’s tempo, dominating possession and utilising their fitness advantage to their benefit. As the match drew to a close, Hilltop FC’s persistence paid off yet again at 73’ minutes when Jordy completed his hat trick with an excellent finish, sealing a 4-1 victory. Jordy’s exceptional performance earned him a well-deserved hat trick, and he was fittingly awarded the man of the match title.
The final whistle brought cheers of celebration as Hilltop FC secured their first-ever home win against Harefield United FC. The impressive display showcased the squad’s unity, tactical skillfulness, and unwavering determination. As the team reflects on this remarkable victory, the focus shifts to the next match against Edgware & Kingsbury FC on Tuesday. With newfound confidence, Hilltop FC sets its sights on maintaining the momentum and continuing their journey towards an impactful season.
Written by Faisa Mohamed