Meads labour to unconvincing win
London Old Boys Senior Cup
Old Meadonians halted their mini slide into the red with a curate's egg of a win against Lancing Old Boys on the well manicured sumptuously grassed green swards of Kingston University sports ground at Tolworth on Saturday to go into the hat for the fourth round of the London Old Boys Senior Cup.
However, the post match verdict was very much ‘could do better’ as all the hosts had to offer was basic skill backed by the enthusiasm of their public school forebears of pre Webb Ellis vintage. This yielded them a meagre one shot on target throughout, with which Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson dealt with comfortably and even their equaliser had a hefty element of luck attached. A shot from fifteen yards was going nowhere important but took a massive deflection to fly ten yards back off a defender past an astonished Robinson.
Virtually at full strength Meads still made heavy weather of their task and should have capitalised on the attacking possession they had to put the hosts out of their misery. The score-line was consequently unconvincing: At the back, although they were given plenty of exercise, Messrs Pointer, McCombe and Palmer were rarely stretched and never looked like conceding by conventional means. The central mid-field was efficient and wing-backs Andrew and Matt Swann shuttled the ball accurately on the periphery. However, the whole structure was too firmly compartmentalised and lacking the necessary fluidity to lay persistent siege, leading to Craig Jones, spearheading the attack, often being left to his own devices.
Lancing had obviously done some homework on Craig Jones because from the kick-off he was man-marked but his innate ability to find space with darting runs made him the most likely source of success. Even before he scored on twenty minutes he was twice just wide from narrow angles. Now he took a ball on the right just inside the area, dummied to go outside his marker, cut back inside him and rolled the ball into the far corner. It was then that Meads might have put clear water between them and pursuit as almost immediately Andrew Swann headed a Jack Costello corner just over and Nick Jones scraped the bar from twenty five yards.
The opening of the second half saw the hosts mount their most sustained attack lasting a good fifteen minutes with Meads feeding on breaks-away, ending in a marginally deserved equaliser. It was time for the visitors to reassert themselves which they did to restore their lead with fifteen minutes to go. Costello found Matt Swann on the right and his deep cross was headed back across the keeper by Craig Jones. Liam Palmer skimmed the bar with a powerful header but there was no further score. Ali McCombe and Craig Jones shared the MoM award.
Team: Robinson, Pointer, McCombe, Palmer, A. Swann, Costello, Shea, N. Jones, M. Swann, (Mantel), Eguae, (Glover), C. Jones, (Hawkins).
January 17, 2012