The Hillingdon Borough under-18s have completed a season of unprecedented success.
Having won the Watford Friendly League (where they have competed as Harrow Stars), the boys, who range in ages from 16 to 18, had three cup finals to look forward to; the Middlesex County Cup, The Watford Friendly U18 League Cup and the U18 Challenge Cup.
In the Middlesex County Cup on the 11th of May, the young Boro side played Enfield at North Greenford United’s Berkeley Fields ground. Having spent eight years at the academy of Reading FC and good spells with Crystal Palace and Watford FC, Makael Scott equalised for Hillingdon from Watford FC WHS scholar’s Tyler Witter’s pinpoint cross. Scott is currently attracting interest from scouts active in the English Football League as well as Chinese football’s Chinese Super League and has scored over 50 goals between the U18s and First XI in the 2022-2023 season.
Some unusually generous Boro defending allowed Enfield to go up 3-2 before the ex-Luton Town and MK Dons midfielder William Ascough clawed one back for Hillingdon after the Enfield ‘keeper spilled a freekick from Boro’s centre half, Southampton FC trialist Hayden Barnes. Despite a man of the match performance from captain Kade Smith, also of Watford FC WHS and a player who’s attracting interest from Mississippi State University in the United States, the final score was Enfield Borough 3 Hillingdon Borough 2.
With only three days to recover, Ali Abdulkadir and Ben Burlikowski’s U18s next faced Edmonton in the Watford Friendly League Cup at Harvesters in St. Albans. The prolific Makael Scott scored twice in the first 15 minutes and the equally prolific Kade Smith added a marker from 12 yards and latched onto a detailed delivery from Boro goalkeeper Sam Buckland to put the Hillmen up 4-2 at the interval. In the second half, Will Ascough scored again with the Hillingdon Borough goal-scoring rounded off by 16 year-old Mirko Jovanović, a young player attracting the interest of League 1 Leyton Orient.
Only Histon and Finchley’s under-18s stood between Hillingdon Borough’s youngsters and an unprecedented league and cup treble on Non-League Finals Day. Despite conceding first, Boro were once again victorious after braces from Makael Scott, Kade Smith and a third in as many cup finals for Will Ascough from midfield completing a 5-3 win for the Hillmen. Outstanding performances by Watford FC WHS’s Mohammed Abdulkadir in midfield and fullback Alexandre Chemali ensured more trophy cabinet activity for Hillingdon’s U18s.
With the Challenge Cup added to the League Cup and Watford Friendly League U18 winning season, Hillingdon Borough’s youth completed the first U18 treble in a club history that dates back to 1872.
Planning is now underway for the 2023-2024 season at the Middlesex Stadium where it is expected that many of the U18s will make the step into men’s football with the Boro First XI in the Cherry Red Records Combined Counties Football League. More news about the future of Hillingdon Borough Football Club will follow in the coming weeks.