Old Mead's Hard Grafting Secures Welcome Three Points
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Suttonians 0 Old Meadonians 1 (Eguae)
Old Meadonians started the quest to recapture their palmy days of the ‘noughties’ with a more than welcome three points gained with some hard grafting interspersed with seat of pants defence against promotees Old Suttonians at Cheam on Saturday.
With co-manager Paul Rumley away on a scouting trip Rory Vermeulen was in sole charge and he was sparing with outright praise in his post match assessment of Meads’ overall performance because of the nature of some of the defending, suggesting work in progress.
There was never going to be more than one goal in it between hosts who had gained promotion six points clear of a chasing pack of four with a miserly goals against tally of fourteen. However, since Sutts’ goal difference last season was nineteen more than that of Meads for the same period, in the circumstances, three points are not to be sniffed at and, because Meads limited Sutts to four half chances against six clear cut ones to themselves, the points were fully deserved. Meads’ squad has been bolstered by the return from two years in Europe of former Amateur Football Alliance Footballer of the Year Ali McCombe and centre back Richie Pilcher after a season in the Hellenic League.
The absence of strikers Ed Glover and Alex Jones meant that the pacy Peter Eguae ploughed a lone but not unproductive furrow up front, with Jack Costello tucked in just behind, in a fluid three, five, one, one formation, giving the midfield ample opportunity to flood forward in support of the vanguard. Meads nearly reaped an early dividend five minutes in as Costello put Eguae in to round the keeper only to find himself pushed too wide to capitalise.
Ten minutes later after a round of exploratory exchanges Eguae again proved himself too hot to handle by showing a clean pair of heels for his angled shot squeeze past the far post. With fifteen minutes to go to halftime the hosts suddenly found their feet and new signing in goal Gary Robinson earned his keep with a smart save down by the post to herald a ten minute roasting which saw the visitors saved by the bell at the interval.
The second half took the same pattern with Meads gradually increasing pressure but without fruition but coming near when Pilcher’s cleverly disguised pass was relayed by Costello into the path of Nick Jones who was just wide and Costello’s twenty yard cracker was brilliantly saved by the home keeper. However, with twelve minutes to go Eguae was third time lucky as a compact triangular move involving Jamie Thomas and Luke Graham gave him an overlap on the right to score from a narrow angle. Once more Sutts put in a ferocious but belated power-play and McCombe, fresh off the bench, showed he’d lost none of his natural ability to save the day by miraculously heading off the line and to safety via the post. Laurie Pointer was named MoM.
Team: Robinson, Pointer, Palmer, (McCombe), Pilcher, Watson, Jones, Gerrish, Thomas, Rhone, (Graham), Costello, Eguae.
September 14, 2010