Old Carthusians Deserve The Spoils
Amateur Football Alliance Senior Cup Quarter Fina - Old Meadonians 2 Old Carthusians 4
Four time winners of the Amateur Football Alliance Senior Cup in the last dozen years, Old Meadonians’ present campaign came to an end at Riverside Lands on Saturday as they were ushered out of the competition by high flying Old Carthusians from the Public Schools’ Arthurian League. The visitors, fresh from a run of three recent league and cup doubles and at present having a league tally of nineteen goals to two against, showed they had forgotten none of the skills passed on by their illustrious footballing forebears by mastering conditions in which a fiercely gusting wind made it hazardous to essay a pass of more than twenty yards. On that count alone, as well as their concerted and high work-rate there can be no doubt that Carthusians deserved the spoils.
However, it would be misleading to take the score too much on its face value as this was more of a closely contested tug of war which the younger and fitter visitors shaded rather than waltzed their experienced hosts. It could be contended that there were doubts attached to the provenance of the penalty awarded the visitors after half an hour, their second was a free-kick which bounded wind driven diagonally thirty five yards point to point but on the way through a packed penalty area took a fortuitous deflection into the far corner and the two final goals which came after Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson had turned his ankle rendering him walking wounded. Firstly it has to be said that the goal which broke the opening period of attrition remains a mystery as, when a visiting striker took the ball through to a one on one with Robinson, the referee was thirty yards behind play and shielded from the incident by the striker, he was not flagged by his better placed assistant and there was no appeal.
Nonetheless the ref made the award but given circumstances which might have warranted either a yellow or even a red card he issued neither. Waiving tradition Robinson stayed between the posts and the ball was buried avariciously. Meads had to wait till ten minutes into the second half for the equaliser which came from midfielder Will Gerrish who gloriously volleyed Jack Costello’s cross into the roof of the net. Five minutes later Carthusians’ ‘Barnes Wallis’ effort snatched the lead back, following which the resilient hosts were unlucky as strikers Colin Hawkins and Ed Glover took turns to shave posts. Still refusing to roll over Meads levelled again ten minutes later when Andy Thompson charged and applied a cushioned volley to another Costello cross.
Then, with twenty minutes to go and the hosts seemingly lasting the pace, came Robinson’s telling injury and a metaphoric second lightning strike as another free-kick from the same position descended out of the stratosphere into the far top corner of Meads net with six minutes to the final whistle. True to their tradition, Meads’ coaches then blooded twenty year old striker, Jeusy Netto, who promptly proceeded to dazzle with a sinuous twenty yard dash from the right only being thwarted on the goal line within five yards of the near post. The final touch to an excellent contest came in added time when the visitors iced their cake with a fourth. For almost a century Public Schools football suffered from the scattering of its talent to the four winds, buoyed up solely by the annual Arthur Dunn Cup but the inception of the Arthurian League in the nineteen sixties changed that for the better. It would certainly be a fillip for the A.F.A. Senior Cup if Old Carthusians were now to add it to the F.A. Cup and two F.A. Amateur Cups in their trophy cabinet.
Team: Robinson, N. Jones, Pointer, McCombe, Rhone, (Netto), Costello, Gerrish, Thompson, Quinn, Hawkins, Glover.
February 9, 2011