New signings help Meads scrape to victory
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
It is opportune that Old Meadonians should jump to the head of the queue just when their emaciated squad is putting on a bit of fat to help them over the long winter haul ahead.
It’s already a dog eat dog fight in the upper echelons of the table and thus the six points Meads have dropped so far could be crucial. Saturday’s starting line-up for the return with struggling Old Salvatorians at Riverside Lands boasted no fewer than three Meads’ debutants, all signed in the last fourteen days and all in mid-field.
Compared with the shortage in the ranks of last season’ squad, these new signings, together with the return to fitness of Jeusy Netto who was on the bench, the imminent return of Liam Palmer from suspension and Andy Thompson from long term injury, should see Meads in comparative clover.
Salvos, although languishing at the bottom of the table, have adjusted to the pace at the top table since Meads reduced them to tatters in the opening match of the season and even showed they could teach their hosts a thing or two. In fact they took a surprise lead on twenty minutes when the dozy Meads’ wall took its time getting organised and a twenty yard free kick was in the net before they’d woken up.
Meads’ equaliser ten minutes later was cutting edge perfection. In form striker Ed Glover picked up a Meads’ clearance ten yards inside his own half on the right and spread the ball across field to new boy Mack Swann. Swann’s swift one two with Peter Eguae put him clear to skim a precise low cross which the non-stop Glover met at the far post to volley into the roof of the net.
Five minutes before the break Glover gave proof positive of his rich seam of form, courtesy of a magic elixir by eluding his marker on the edge of the area. As he went round the keeper, the latter took him out with a body check to concede the penalty which he duly converted himself. Mysteriously, the referee chose to issue only a yellow card for what was a blatant professional foul in a one on one situation.
This incident seemed to unnerve Meads for the second period as, uncharacteristically, they ceased to play with the same purpose and metaphorically took their eye off the ball, spraying their passes and even over-elaborating on occasion. Fortunately the assistant’s flag saved them from punishment as the man who beat keeper Gary Robinson with twenty minutes to go was ruled off-side.
The consistent work of John Shea earned him the MoM award but coaches Paul Rumley and Rory expressed themselves more than pleased with sparkling performances from Matt Tull and twin brothers Andrew and Mack Swann in Meads’ shirts for the first time.
Team: Robinson, Shea, McCombe, Pointer, Quinn, Tull, Gerrish, A. Swann, M. Swann, (N. Jones), Eguae, (Netto), Glover, (Pearce)
November 9, 2011