Old Meads Triumph In A Taxing Season
Amateur Football Combination - Old Meadonians 5 Parkfield 2
Old Meadonians’ penultimate league match of the season typified the steadfast resolution which has carried them to triumph in a taxing season and was backed up by a determination not to slacken off determined effort.
With the wind coming off the river and at their backs in the first half, mid-table Parkfield proved troublesome visitors to Riverside Lands, showing that they too could be resilient by scoring two in reply to Meads’ early opener and giving their hosts a thorough going examination to go in worthy half-time leaders.
For a change Meads had the luxury of already having pocketed the title to enable them to blood second team stalwart Adam Goode and have fourth team young pretender Jack Pearce on the bench in company with another two’s-man Misha Mantel and veteran Dermot Jordan. It took the hosts just five minutes to go into the lead as mid-fielder Andy Thompson swept through on the right and his cross was sweetly volleyed in at the far post by wide-man Dwayne Rhone.
This was a signal for the visitors to take advantage of an unusual degree of hesitancy in Meads’ back line, lay siege and bounce back with two highly merited goals. Their first came just before the half hour when a diagonal cross was neatly headed back across the goal whence it was eagerly headed in. Five minutes later came the second, a slightly more simple affair in which a corner was played out to the edge of the area and rifled in. During this period Meads had to make do with counter attacks led by pacy Peter Eguae which merely yielded a meagre two half-chances and, on top of that, Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson had to make one of his specialty saves, clawing a twenty yard free-kick round the post. Even with the usual half-time no go zone it was plain to see that coach Paul Rumley was relaxed about the eventual outcome as he allowed his colleague Rory Vermeulen to take charge of proceedings.
He listed a surfeit of shortcomings and left no doubt as to where the remedy lay. Now it was the hosts’ turn to camp in enemy territory and see what the visitors were made of by hogging the ball. Ten minutes of intensive probing by Eguae aided and abetted by Kevin Quinn who relished in reverting to his old Ryman position up front revealed Parkfield’s soft under-belly. With a knifing thrust down the left Eguae put his marker on the back foot, turned him inside out, cut in and unleashed a twenty five yard cross shot which ripped into the far corner. There was half an hour left to go when a disquieting incident highlighted the hidden dangers of hard ground. Misha Mantel had only just come on in mid-field when minutes later he was having to be helped off to be taken to hospital to emerge with crutches and a diagnosis of muscle damage and a trapped nerve. His place was taken by Dermot Jordan but the change to four at the back did nothing to inhibit Meads’ momentum.
Ten minutes later Meads took an inevitable lead courtesy of a Quinn flicked header from a diagonal cross and then came the moment that broke Parkfield’s resistance. Iconic playmaker Jack Costello took a square cross-field pass on the halfway line, advanced five paces and, looking up to see the Parkfield goalie off his line, with Beckhamesque precision, looped the ball over the stranded keeper and under the bar.
There was still time for Jack Pearce to play a cameo out of position up front, lead the line well, bring a full length save from the visiting keeper with a raking shot from just outside the area and be rewarded with a tap in as he reacted quickest when the Parkfield keeper blocked Jordan’s header from a corner. Gary Robinson was given the MoM award for his vital first half save.
Team: Robinson, Goode, Pointer, McCombe, Grahame, (Mantel), (Jordan), Gerrish, Thompson, Costello, Rhone, Quinn, ( J. Pearce), Eguae.
May 11, 2011