Old Meadonians 3 U.C.L. Accademicals 2
Meads need last-gasp winner to secure the points
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
This was not the mean Meads’ machine that methodically dismantled a hapless and woeful Old Salvatorians last week and the Accies, on this showing at least, are only just behind their teams which won back to back A.F.A. Senior Cups at the millennium and of the early noughties which fought some epic battles with Meads. Even so, on Saturday the hosts were almost welcoming to Riverside Lands, giving too much respect to the visitors and almost selling the pass, only to be rescued by a frenetic power-play in the last twenty minutes which clawed back two goals to clinch the points in a display which showed Meads’ other important trait, their innate tenacity.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring after only ten minutes when Craig Jones, not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, latched onto a short pass back to Accies’ keeper, rounded him and was deadly from a narrow angle. Meads’ problem was that their back three were hard put to find a constructive way of playing the ball out of defence because of a natural lack of free flowing movement in front of them. However, it still took the Accies’ studious approach a good half hour to bear fruit when their central striker was put in through the middle to win the one on one with keeper Gary Robinson. On the restart the Accies carried on where they’d left off and although Robinson didn’t really have a shot to save in the whole match, in this period, his goal was constantly under threat as Meads’ high line meant their back three constantly having to douse embryonic one on ones.
It was too good to last, however, and, fifteen minutes into the second half, a bout of pass the parcel ended with Robinson being left holding the baby. He had no time to clear and a tap in ensued for the visitors’ deserved second. With fellow coach, Paul Rumley away on a scouting trip, Rory Vermeulen took a brave gamble with just under half an hour to go. He decided on all out attack and put on Ed Glover, just back from injury and new signing Moses Phillips to reinforce the front line with electrifying results. Immediately Accies were knocked out of their stride and looked as if they’d shot their bolt. Glover’s pace on the left and Phillips’ strength and penetration on the right carved great holes in the visitors’ defence. Shots rained in and around their net and Craig Jones hit the post. Not to be denied he was soon on the score sheet as his opportunism coupled with quick reaction saw him notch his third in two games for the equaliser. Meads continued to plaster the visitors whose keeper kept them in the game with three excellent saves. There were just five minutes to go when Mike Richards took the MoM award with a rocket into the roof of the net from twenty-five yards.
September 20, 2011