Meads slip up despite dominating
Amateur Football Alliance Middlesex & Essex Senior Cup
The road to football success is paved with truisms, aka clichés, and one which Old Meadonians will no doubt relearn is: It doesn’t matter how much you hog possession and dominate territorially, if you don’t register in the score book and then fail to defend in a basic set piece you won’t prosper. Saturday’s match, this time with Meads hosting on Riverside Lands and in the cup, was a back to back clash with an Old Hamptonians side seeking revenge for last week’s league defeat. However, with Meads fielding a side with six forced changes and giving a debut to Steve Kemp, son of star first teamer in the eighties Brian Kemp, the stage was set for a stiff tussle. It was in fact a stormer with Hamptonians fielding a stronger side than last week, reiterating their ability to defend in depth and, at least with the stiff breeze behind them in the first half exchanging blow for blow with their hosts. Overall Meads created three or four chances to the visitors’ one especially in the second half when they dominated but must have despaired seeing the ball in the visitors’ net. In fact they never did and with just fifteen minutes to go a magnificently struck corner from the right was resolutely met by Hampton’s huge mid-fielder and rocketed into the roof of the net for the winner. In his post match briefing coach Paul Rumley was philosophical as ever. He did not begrudge Old Hamptonians their deserved victory or the rub of the green, as Meads had so benefited in the past. The team had come off a string of nine straight wins, were still in two cups and were well placed to defend their league title. He also took comfort in seeing Steve Kemp acquitting himself confidently and staking a claim for a place in the squad and mid-fielder Andy Thompson on the bench after three months out with a groin injury. He just smiled when it was suggested that the first post Christmas training session might consist of nose to tail exercises in defending against set pieces.
Team: Robinson, Kemp, Pointer, McCombe, Quinn, N. Jones, Tull, Barry, Mantell, (Turner), Glover, C. Jones. Sub. (not used) Thompson.
December 14, 2011