Visitors Snatch Points With 'Wonder Strike'
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Meadonians 2 Old Hamptonians 3
Following the rather fortuitous three points they pouched last week Old Meadonians suffered the reverse side of the coin at Riverside Lands on Saturday when they had a certain point and possibly three snatched from them by a wonder strike in the final quarter of their needle match with Old Hamptonians.
Over the past dozen years Hamptonians have not won more than a handful of the twenty five odd meetings between the two sides but this was a different Hampton, hungry, combative and fit for purpose as they won the important first half battle for the midfield to go in at halftime deservedly two up with goals worthy of the occasion, albeit each with that minute margin between success and failure that rubs salt in.
Yet despite the visitors first half dominance in midfield, such was the efficiency of the hosts’ rearguard that the most Meads’ goalie, Gary Robinson, had to do during the whole game was to pick the ball out of the net and that as two shots came from over the horizon, calibrated to dip just under the bar.
But Meads’ motto has long been, ‘look in the score book,’ so why should it not apply when they are on the losing end. In the opening sparring exchanges before the visitors scored their all important first twenty minutes in, Meads’ striker Peter Eguae had been unlucky with a narrow angle cross shot which beat the far post and shortly after was foiled in a one on one by an alert bit of keeping.
The visitors broke the deadlock when a partial clearance was whipped back in from the right and deftly deflected over Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson into the far top corner. As Hampton took a firm grip the second came five minutes later as the ball was laid back from the left and launched into the roof of the net from fully thirty-five yards.
At the break raised voices were plainly audible as joint managers Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen let their feelings be felt. The effect was electric as Meads emerged with sleeves rolled up ready and eager to put the world to right. No longer was Hampton territory a no go area as the midfield, together with the associated psychological area of doubt, was reclaimed.
Ten minutes later veteran Kevin Quinn, not content with harrying one Hampton defender into a hasty transfer of the ball, immediately set about the recipient of the rather hot potato and, when the ball went loose, Chris Thomas took on the keeper and won. Now Meads put on former leading goal scorer Colin Hawkins and moved Quinn back to midfield and began to swarm all over the faltering visitors.
With twenty minutes to go Eguae was pulled down in the area, Hawkins converted the equaliser and Meads were on the crest of a wave. However, there was a twist in this tale as with fifteen minutes to go a huge punt by the visiting keeper was headed on and another rocket was launched into the top of the net, this time from thirty yards, to douse home hopes.
Team: Robinson, Pointer, McCombe, Thompson, (Graham), Watson, (Rhone), N.Jones, (Hawkins), Gerrish, Costello, Quinn, Eguae.
September 23, 2010