football old meads chiswick

Old Meadonians 2 Albanian 2

Depleted Meads make life difficult for themselves

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Old Meadonians

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It's All About The Beautiful Game - Old Meadonians' past, present and future

Amateur Football Combination Premier Division

Old Meadonians will be disappointed with a match which saw them come back from a two goal deficit to share the points with visitors to Riverside Lands, Albanian, on Saturday. They should never have needed the heartening come-back, for the simple reason that their modest guests were handed both their goals on a silver platter.

For Meads’ coaches, Rory Vermeulen and Paul Rumley, the season so far has been a matter of, ‘needs must where the Devil drives’, with their squad reduced by five from the off and now having lost thrusting mid-fielder Mike Richards to the Emirates, those in the Middle East rather than North London.

However, with few experienced players available to rejuvenate a midfield which, on Saturday at least, appeared in need of transfusion and only occasionally spluttered into full throttle, lone striker Craig Jones was left without support to plough a solitary fruitless furrow up front.

Even Meads’ solid gold play-maker, Jack Costello, was a bit out of sorts, finding it difficult to find Craig Jones with his raking crosses and on more than one occasion putting the ball too close to the keeper. At the back, the home defence, masterfully led by Ali McCombe, was proving capable of dealing with anything thrown at it, but sterility further forward was compounded when, on the half hour, the basic mistake of failing to check across the line allowed the referee’s assistant to wave in an Albanian striker to round Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson for a shock lead which was taken into the second half.

Ten minutes after the restart an even more charitable gift was accepted by the visitors. An innocuous free-kick from forty yards out on the left wended its way unhindered into the far corner of the net without a metaphoric Meadonian finger being raised to intercept. There was just thirty minutes to go when Meads’ managing duo showed they were still the same adventurers who, six years ago, at the end of a season when Meads were winning a back-log of eight matches to snatch another league title, had elevated Albert Adomah from the fourth team to the first team bench. He was then top scorer for two seasons and has since progressed to Bristol City and the Ghana squad. This time it was the turn of third team improvers, mid-fielder Will Hardy and striker Nick Wilson who came off the bench to lend impetus to Meads’ push with promising contributions.

By this time Jack Costello was finding his touch as the visitors were fraying at the edges from Meads’ steady pressure, two bookings the result. Twice Costello just failed to get the ball up and down from twenty yard free-kicks as it scraped the bar. With fifteen minutes to go the break-through came. Peter Eguae went clear on the left and fed Misha Mantel on the edge of the area for him to dummy his marker across him, step back outside and calmly plant the ball into the far corner. With just five minutes to go the equaliser came from another free-kick. For the third time Kevin Quinn feinted to curl in a left footer and stepped over the ball and Costello put a prodigious bender round the extended wall. Defenders Ali McCombe and John Shea were jointly given the MoM award.

Team: Robinson, Shea, McCombe, N. Jones, Quinn, Costello, Grahame, (Hardy), Gerrish, Mantell, Eguae, C. Jones, (Wilson).

October 21, 2011