Old Meads Come Home With Draw From Southgate Stronghold
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Minchendenians 2 Old Meadonians 2
Old Meadonians’ Saturday visit to Old Minchendenians’ Southgate stronghold produced a blip in their resolution down to needing a good half hour to warm up. In fact during this period when cohesion was at a premium Meads had striker Ed Glover, making his first start after a five month lay off with knee ligament trouble, to thank for giving them an early and somewhat fortuitous lead.
On the quarter hour, as he burst onto a cross from the right, he was clipped and got up to score from the spot. The home grounds-man had a direct hand in hamstringing Meads’ main weapon, the speedy strike-force of Glover and Peter Eguae, by decreeing that the larger of the two available pitches was unfit, and thus restricting movement. Consequently, throughout, play was end to end with neither team taking command for long as next it was the hosts’ turn to prosper.
With only five minutes to the break their bulky but agile striker tricked his way past two attempted interceptions to level matters. To emphasise the see-saw aspect of exchanges Meads almost scored from the restart as Eguae just failed to disentangle the ball from under his feet within striking distance of goal and from an immediate break-away the hosts forced a poor clearance and the ball was scrambled into the net for the lead. Fifteen minutes on Meads at last began to play with conviction and equalised when former Ryman star, veteran Kevin Quinn, was played into the box by Andy Thompson to finish crisply into the far corner.
Now the visitors were putting on a power-play which looked set fair to give them a late winner but the best they do was a good call for another penalty as mid-fielder Will Gerrish was clobbered in the area. Post match, coach Rory Vermeulen pronounced himself slightly disappointed that Meads, back in pursuit of the league title, had marginally failed to show quite the same hunger that had brought them three cup wins and twelve goals to three against in the past three weeks. However, his co-manager Paul Rumley begged to differ, averring that, despite the fact that Minchendenians are hovering perilously just above the relegation zone, they had played well enough to merit their draw. He also added that, although league leaders, Albanian, topped Meads at present by two points with a game in hand and could now concentrate on the league having lost interest in all cups, it was still all to play for, there was plenty of time for many a slip and it depended on who kept their nerve.
Team: Robinson, Graham, (Rhone), McCombe, Pointer, Jones, Costello, Gerrish, Thompson, Quinn, Glover, Eguae.
February 2, 2011