Injury hit Meads stay top of the league
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
Old Meadonians kept out of the clutches of a chasing pack of no less than five teams at their heels, all of which have enough games in hand to snap them up, with a calm and collected win over a Bealonians side, struggling in an earlier stage of rebuilding than their Saturday guests from Chiswick.
Meads’ line-up and tactics reflected the fact that coach Paul Rumley was flying solo while, for a change, his colleague Rory Vermeulen was looking to the club’s future recruitment needs on a trip more readily associated with crystal ball gazing than scouting. Rumley’s avuncular exterior and his seeming to coax rather than coach or even coerce, conceal an astute foot-balling brain but that, above all, both he and Vermeulen are motivators.
On Saturday Rumley’s answer to a Meads’ squad diminished by injury was to have a solid three at the back, Lawrie Pointer and Ali McCombe, bolstered by the return from purdah of Liam Palmer, blanket the midfield with five including wing-backs and give the freedom of any space up front to flyers Peter Eguae and Ed Glover.
This meant the order of the day was attrition with mostly half chances available but of these Meads achieved a ratio of five to one in their favour. However, they had to wait till five minutes before the interval for the break-through which came from Kevin Quinn’s in-swinging corner. The referee was on the point of giving an indirect free-kick as Glover was menaced by a dangerously high boot but fortunately he delayed his decision long enough for Palmer to celebrate his come-back with a sweet volley.
In the second half chances fell to Mack Swann who was just wide with a header from Misha Mantel’s cross and Glover and Quinn were both unlucky with volleys. Meads’ second came when Eguae found room on the left and pulled the ball back for Mack Swann to make no mistake from ten yards.
Beals’ consolation goal in injury time was neatly worked and a late show of promise. Matt Tull was made MoM for his tireless work in mid-field. Meads now leave the league trail for three weeks to play in three cups, in the hope that dog will eat dog in their absence.
Team: Robinson, Pointer, McCombe, Palmer, M. Swann, (Goode), Tull, N. Jones, Quinn, (A. Swann), Mantel, Eguae, Glover.
November 16, 2011