Old Meads Win After Going Two Down
AFA Senior Cup 2nd Round - Old Meadonians 5 Enfield Old Grammarians 2
Old Meadonians cruised into the third round of the A.F.A. Senior Cup at Riverside Lands on Saturday, but not until they had been given a scare by Enfield Old Grammarians from two divisions below who shook them up by taking a two goal lead in twenty five minutes.
In the end things proved more comfortable than promised early on and even had the luxury of a Jack Costello miss from the spot. The story of this game is that for perhaps the first time this season Meads showed a constant steadfastness moving forward, the momentum for which came from non stop probing from the mid-field, keeping the visitors on the back foot and good leadership of this six man attack from in-form Alex Jones backed by Costello in close support.
The Enfield defence did their best, and to a large extent early on were successful in causing a tangling traffic jam around their area, leaving their solitary but persistent striker up front to run down the flow of hopeful long balls pumped out of defence. The first spanner in the works of the hosts’ smooth well oiled operation came on twenty minutes when a speculative punt into their area caused momentary indecision and Enfield's lone ranger gleefully profited.
Spanner number two was just five minutes behind as a sweet twenty yard strike gave Gary Robinson no chance. However, this was a resolute Meads who barely hesitated in their stride and thought they’d pulled one back five minutes later only to find that mid-fielder Andy Thompson hadn’t beaten the offside trap after all. Still the pressure was relentless and with five minutes to go to half time it was Enfield’s turn to be confused when Chris Thomas’ cross was headed past his own keeper by a defender.
More might have followed but Thomas was stopped by the half-time whistle as he closed on the keeper in a one on one. Even this set-back didn’t deter Meads as, on the restart, they carried on where they’d left off, camping in enemy territory and cutting off, in mid-field, all escape routes for the now flagging visitors.
Ten minutes on, their first reward came when Costello burst the net for the equaliser from fifteen yards after being put through the middle by Will Gerrish. Five minutes later Thompson went on another charge into the area and was felled to go down like a giraffe on ice. However Costello’s kick was telegraphed, had none of this kicker’s usual venom and was well saved. However now Enfield had been fought almost to a standstill and, following ten minutes continuing pressure, Costello supplied a pinpoint corner for Thompson to power a header into the net.
With twenty minutes to go sub Kevin Quinn came on and, with almost his first touch, cushioned a header from a cross for Meads’ fourth. Then with just five minutes to go Costello staked his unrivalled claim to the MoM award by notching a fifth with a trade-mark thirty yard lob which stranded the keeper. In their post-match briefing coaches Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen were lavish with their praise for the mid-fielders, Chris Thomas, Will Gerrish, Andy Thompson and Steve Watson, in particular Thomas and Watson and also noted a rejuvenated performance from full back Luke Graham.
Team: Robinson, D. Rhone, Palmer, Pointer, Graham, Thomas, (N. Jones), Gerrish, Thompson, (Quinn), Watson, Costello, A. Jones.
November 10, 2010