Worst First Team Football Game On Riverside Lands For Many A Year
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Meadonians 1 Old Aloysians 0
It was just as well that the visit of a Sky Sports camera team to Riverside Lands on Saturday was in order to film referee Lorraine Deschamps and not the teams on show because they were subject to the worst game of first team football seen at the Lands for many a year.
There might have been some excuse for the performance of Aloysians, who seemed unable to do anything to belie their parlous position, scrabbling as they are at the foot of the table, eight points adrift of safety. However, although Meads always looked capable of better things, in the first half they also appeared hell-bent on handing over the points, despite having the majority of possession. It was well for the hosts that keeper Simon Greening who incidentally works for Sky was on brilliant form, making a half dozen major saves; otherwise, fortuitously for Meads as fast as they supplied the chances, Aloysians spurned them.
The most bizarre incident of the half came late on when Greening’s aerobatics were undermined by a daisy-cutting back pass tantalisingly just out of his reach into the path of a lurking Aloysian who, with the open goal inviting fifteen yards away, planted the ball onto the bar and back into the grateful arms of the keeper as if it were a well practiced party trick. Meads undoubtedly missed the playmaking prompting of coach Jack Costello, carrying a niggling injury and perhaps, more tellingly, the cunning of striker Colin Hawkins, away on family business, who has struck up a rewarding partnership with Alex Jones. Although not open to prying ears, Meads’ half-time talk never generates hot air but nonetheless is always cogent and on this occasion probably took the pragmatic line that ends would justify the means and the points were more important than the method of getting them. Certainly, there was a more measured approach from the restart as if players had been advised not to get dragged down but to roll up sleeves and win individual exchanges as a priority.
It was not long before Will Gerrish brought an excellent save from the Aloysian keeper with a twenty yard effort and then, with half an hour to go, ex-Aloysian Nick Jones almost broke the deadlock, peeling off beyond the far post to cushion a narrow angle volley which was tipped over. Ten minutes later he was again unlucky with a cross shot which hit the bar for Dwayne Rhone to net the rebound. Meads can count themselves lucky to have taken the points which move them up to second place but must now profit from this experience if they are to progress against third placed, and fancied, Minchendenians and league leaders, Bealonians in the next two weeks. Simon Greening was named MoM.
Team: Greening, Pointer, Palmer, Thompson, Glover, (D. Smith), Gerrish, N. Jones, Quinn, Rhone, Eguae, A. Jones.
February 23, 2010