‘Damp Squib’ Of A Final Should Have Been Show Piece Event
Greenland Cup Final - Old Meadonians 0 Old Owens 2
That this report will be more about what happened off the field than on it is unfortunate but correct in the circumstances. In the event neither the organisers, the participants, the hosts Kew Association nor the handful of spectators will be totally happy with this season’s preseason champions cup, the Greenland Cup and especially the damp squib of a final which is usually a show piece event for the Amateur Football Alliance.
Primarily the A.F.A. must have been fed up with the lack of interest from eligible clubs. There were so few of last season’s champions available for the competition that Meads had to play just one game to get to the final.
Next, Owens set out for Ham from their Hertfordshire fastness only half an hour before Meads had set out to travel a fifth of the distance to the venue just beyond Richmond. Consequently they arrived an hour after kick off time leaving Meads cooling their heels for an hour and a half.
The third disgruntled party was no doubt Kew who had prepared a good pitch and roped off a considerable area around it only to find that less than a dozen spectators turned up. Even Owens’ victory was in reality somewhat Pyrrhic as it was gained at the expense of a tarnished reputation:
Yes, eventually they played the better football and seen in isolation from other facts they deserved their win but who can say what might have happened if Meads had not had to wait so long for them to arrive. As it was Meads did go off the boil in the second half when it appeared that Owens were fitter and lasted longer but there was a hint of a bad taste in the mouth.
Even so Meads started well and after five minutes were unlucky when Mike Richards’ overhead kick from an acute angle just beat the far post with the keeper groping. Before twenty minutes were gone Leon Smith was just over with a lob and Peter Eguae had a rasping drive from the edge of the area brilliantly tipped over by the Owens’ keeper.
Fifteen into the second half Meads began to flag and Owens to assert themselves, slowly but surely increasing their share of possession, feeding their mobile strikers and giving strong support. For Meads’ back four, well marshalled by Dan Salanson, it was akin to putting a finger in a dike to prevent a flood.
At this point Meads’ attack was sparking spasmodically and their midfield showing little cohesion with the result that traffic tended to be one way. Inevitably the reward for Owens came with twenty minutes to go and almost immediately a killer second was deflected into the net by a defender.
For Meads, busy rebuilding, this match was another brick in place but with the league programme looming they need to accelerate their renaissance.
Team:- Toyne, Salanson, Hanley, Pointer, Graham, Eguae, Thompson, Lloyd, (J.Lovell), Glover, L.Smith, Richards.
September 9, 2008