Old Meadonians 2 Albanian 1
Old Meadonians, desperately clinging to their remote championship chances, made heavy work of disposing of a feisty but underpowered challenge from endangered bottom club Albanian at Riverside lands on Saturday.
Meads are having to dredge deep to patch up cracks in their wearied squad but even the talented youngsters drafted in to under-pin their final push can only do a certain amount to reinforce widening fault lines epitomised by the lack of support for the man on the ball and this certainly hampered efforts to dispose of the moderate visitors on Saturday.
It is also a fact that there had to be something in reserve for the coming rematch with Old Hamptonians in the London Old Boys Cup Final at the Champion Hill home of Dulwich Hamlet on the following Wednesday. Consequently, after taking the lead on the half hour, when tireless mid-fielder Will Gerrish beat advancing Albanian keeper Stuart Henry to a through ball, the hosts sat back and were most welcoming to a side which was streets behind them in class, giving Albanian all the encouragement they needed to share the spoils if not triumph.
The upshot was that, aided by three class saves from their keeper, the visitors not only kept Meads at bay but equalized with just under half an hour to go. However, even this was gift-wrapped. The visitors attacked down the right and, when they had the ball hemmed in, Meads’ keeper Garry Robinson was handed a poison chalice of a back pass on his left foot.
Under pressure from a marauding striker his emergency clearance was quickly crossed back into the middle to be slotted into the empty net. Meads then some how found an extra gear and with ten minutes to go Jack Costello put Matt Allen away down the right and Ed Glover zoomed in to volley his perfectly weighted cross into the top corner. Will Gerrish was named MoM.
Squad: Robinson, Shea, Pointer, McCombe, Quinn, Bright, Gerrish, N. Jones, Mantel, Costello, Allen, Glover, A. Jones, Thompson.
April 16, 2013