Score-line Tells Nothing of Drama On Riverside Lands
Amateur Football Alliance Senior Cup: Old Meadonians 5 Old Parkonians 2 aet
This score-line tells nothing of the drama fought out on Riverside Lands on Saturday when Old Meadonians came back from a two-goal deficit because the one attribute they clung onto was their will to win. For seventy minutes they struggled to string more than three passes together against a moderate Old Parkonians side from division two of the Southern Amateur League.
Not that Parks played them off the pitch; they didn’t have to as Meads’ low level of competence allowed the visitors to concentrate on snuffing out the hosts’ main threat which came from pace men Leon Smith up front and Peter Eguae and Ed Glover in midfield and exploit Meads’ leaden footed defence, by getting in behind them as they wished. During the first half against the wind when the ball needed to be worked out of defence their was a distinct lack of cohesive cooperation which added to Meads’ woes.
After various alarums and excursions it was no surprise, therefore, that the visitors took the lead on fifteen minutes when a corner from the right was headed in, although Glover who came out of the incident sporting a cauliflower ear from a clash with the scorer had grounds for feeling aggrieved. Even with the wind in the second half Meads remained under extreme pressure and the pattern of the first fifteen minutes of the match was neatly replicated as a half clearance was battered into the far corner from just inside the area to give the visitors a deserved cushion.
Ten minutes later Meads’ keeper Shannon Toyne had had to save Meads on more than one occasion but then a sea change took place. Whether it was wrought by the knowledge that a quintet of players in the reserve team on the adjoining pitch and who possessed thirteen A.F.A. senior cup winning medals between them might be pressing for a comeback or the fact that the visitors ran out of steam is difficult to say but fullback Luke Graham started to unravel Parks’ defence on the right. Not content with prompting from the wing he pressed on caught a loose ball on the half volley and rifled it into the top far corner.
Instantly Jed Lloyd on the other flank joined the party, his deflected shot from ten yards going in-off to take the game into extra time. The only blip in Meads’ campaign to punish Parks’ effrontery came five minutes into the extra period when keeper Shannon Toyne brilliantly saved a harshly donated penalty at full stretch. The visitors were finally taught a lesson in staying power as first Leon Smith headed in Dan Caran’s cross, then Peter Eguae got his reward for his non stop running, worming his way through from thirty yards out and rounding the keeper and Luke Graham rounded things off by hanging a ‘come and get me’ onto the top of the far post and thence into the net.
The news that midfielder Pete Lovell would be out for six weeks with a broken metatarsal was alleviated by the heartening performance of sub Dan Caran and stalwart Dan Bond’s completion of a full outing for the reserves after long term injury. Luke Graham was named MoM.
Team: Toyne, Graham, Pilcher, Palmer, Lloyd, Glover, Thompson, Lovell, (Caran), Gerrish, Eguae, Smith.
December 23, 2008