Old Minchendians 0 Old Meadonians 1
The sparse facts that can be gleaned from this score-line conceal an absolutely cracking, close and fairly fought game between two sides who were neck and neck mid-table and are still separated by just one point. Although, by taking the points away to Old Minchendenians, Meads leapt three places to second in the table, this move has merely served to highlight the gulf between the league leaders, Honourable Artillery Company who incidentally lost on Saturday, and the chasing pack, a small matter of seven points.
This result hinged around two ‘champagne moments’ one in each half. The first came after thirty minutes of constant pressure by the hosts who used the slight slope and heftier wind to advantage and to bring out the best in the visitors’ defence: Speedster, Peter Eguae, withdrawn to screen the rearguard, mistimed his tackle in the area only for keeper Gary Robinson, with a supreme effort, to hurl himself left, low and far to save a well struck spot kick.
On the restart, it was the visitors’ turn, with the elements in their favour to put Minches under the cosh. Unlike the hosts who, even when applying a tourniquet in the first half could not afford to push their luck for fear of reprisal through the rangy pace of Ed Glover in tandem with Craig Jones, Meads could now hold a high line and in the next ten minutes alone Jones was twice unlucky and shortly afterwards Andy Thompson hit the bar with a header from a long throw-in. By now Glover had run himself into the ground and came off for Eguae’s speed to be unleashed and Jordan Mace strengthened the mid-field. The second ‘champagne moment’ came in the seventieth minute when play-maker Jack Costello, long hailed by Meads’ coaches as the best striker of the ball in the Amateur Football Alliance, took a square ball from Eguae and hit a thirty-five yard pile-driver into the top corner to snatch the winner.
In their post-match briefing, joint coaches, Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen were full of cautious enthusiasm for this performance, praising the team’s attitude, giving no one less than eight out of ten for input and emphasising the task ahead as the achievement of consistency. Keeper, Gary Robinson and mid-fielder, Jack Costello were joint MoM award winners.
Squad: Robinson, Pointer, McCombe, Thompson, Shea, Costello, Chapman, Gerrish, Eguae, C. Jones, Glover, Gowers, Allen, Mace,
November 7, 2012