Old Meads 0 Nottsborough 3
"You can't win anything with kids."
Having completed a series of three friendlies which enabled them to give trials to six prospective new signings and with no fewer than ten of their squad unavailable, the Greenland pre-season champions cup gave Old Meadonians the golden opportunity to allow their thrusting youngsters to cut their teeth against one of the most powerful and successful teams in the Amateur Football Alliance, Southern Amateur League Nottsborough at Riverside Lands on Saturday.
If Meads are to extend their twelve year rich seam of silver-ware they will most certainly have to enlarge their depleted squad to be able to maintain the extensive rotation on which their multiple successes of the recent past have been based. However, with an even mix of youth and experience this match amply demonstrated how not to do it. Within fifteen minutes of the kick-off, two juvenile pieces of defending, countenanced if not exactly perpetrated, it has to be said, by the more experienced element in the team, gave the visitors a two goal lead which strangled in childhood any attempt by Meads’ youngsters to strut their stuff.
The echo of the referee’s opening whistle had not died away before the visitors’ only aimless punt forward of the whole match was ushered back towards Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson. Since the ball hardly had the legs to come within fifteen yards of the area Robinson’s dash was in vain as a visiting striker rounded him to put the ball into an empty net. The second goal was hardly less embarrassing and when, just before half time, the Graduates fashioned a third chance by their own skilful endeavours and this was finished off by an acute angled lob from the left into the far top corner, the game was over as a competition. The rest of the match was a lesson in how to deal with adversity with a minor share of possession as the visitors hogged a good seventy percent by strength on the ball and off the ball support. There was no further score as Meads’ defence was tested no further whether because the visitors had no need to extend their lead or not is unknown. In his post match briefing coach Paul Rumley was impressed by what he saw of the youngsters.
Team: Robinson, Oumast, McCombe, Willis, Bloxham, (S. Kemp), Matthews, Gerrish, Eguae, Neto, Hawkins, (C. Jones), Philips.
September 1, 2011