Old Meads up the ante to move three points from league rivals
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Hamptonians 1 Old Meadonians 2
Two goals from young striker Leon Smith at Hampton on Saturday saw Old Meadonians up the ante and put a further three points between them and second placed Old Hamptonians.
For good measure Meads’ coach Paul Rumley’s ploy of playing three up front but with the experienced Colin Hawkins slipping in just behind Leon Smith and his namesake Kevin paid of as Hawkins supplied passes for both goals.
The hosts who had just ended a mini-blip of two league defeats on the trot with a good semi-final win to put them into the final off the A.F.A. senior cup, appeared to be taken by surprise as the visitors, still without their skipper and play-maker Jack Costello, pressed them unceremoniously from the onset.
Hamptonians were denied a single chance in the first half, while, at the same time, Meads, although only creating half chances, had them on the ropes, forcing eight corners. Meads were also unlucky with three clever free-kicks taken by mid-fielder Kevin Quinn.
Their best opportunities came on twenty five minutes as the Hampton keeper made two brilliant saves, the first from Leon Smith’s narrow angle drive and when Hawkins hit the rebound.
Meads were taught a sharp lesson of how to capitalise on territorial advantage when the hosts, on one of their few forays up field, with barely a minute to go to half time won a corner of their own whence the ball was back headed over Kris Sayers into the net.
Meads’ resolution has always been their strong point and, on the restart, they proceeded to steam-roller the hosts but without luck until with twenty minutes to go Hawkins released Leon Smith to score from close in. Ten minutes later once more it was Hawkins who put the ball over a flat defence for Smith to out pace all-comers, round the keeper and smash the ball home.
A little late in the day Hamptonians mounted an attack for a clearance to be hammered onto the bar from the edge of the area but this undeserved equaliser was not to be. The MoM award went to Leon Smith.
Team: Sayers, Salanson, Pointer, McCombe, Glover, Rhone, Hugh Jones, Quinn, Hawkins, L. Smith, K. Smith.
March 20, 2007