Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
Bealonians 1 Old Meadonians 3
Old Meadonians survived a comedy of errors at far flung Fairlop to outstay their hosts Bealonians’ welcome and, eventually outlast them after a first half which saw three missed penalties, only two by Meads and the teams tied at the break with an own goal each to their credit.
Meads are now atop the A.F.C. premier division with both games won and, albeit temporarily, ostensibly sitting pretty.
However, on Saturday, in reality they were in need of coach Rory Vermeulen’s half-time counselling after pleading guilty to giving the ball away unnecessarily when trying to force the issue rather than patiently building on their early shading of possession. Vermelen’s message was simple: With accompanying speed up front, the long ball over the top should only be used sparingly and strategically to prevent opponents from maintaining a high defensive line.
Meads were awarded the first penalty for hand ball on fifteen minutes but, in a false dawn shoot out between the Jones boys, Craig Jones was outguessed by Beal’s aptly named Tom Jones who roared across the goal to save at a stretch. Beals took the next spot kick ten minutes later, after a harsh hand ball decision; appropriately, it came back off the bar.
The visitors then trod on a lurking banana skin when, during a Beal’s counter-attack, a break-down in communications led to centre back John Shea cushioning his header into an empty net instead of keeper Garry Robinson’s arms. Fortunately it took Meads just five minutes to equalise, a home defender heading Jack Costello’s free-kick past his own keeper under pressure from Craig Jones.
The drama was not over, however; on forty minutes, Mischa Mantel was put in by a ball from Jake Gowers but before he could get his shot away he was felled just inside the area only for the hosts’ Jones to show his namesake he was not averse to being unusual by saving again from the spot. The visitors were altogether more purposeful throughout the second half as they needed to be to grind down their resolute hosts. They kept the ball and the timely injection of Matt Allen’s pace strengthened Meads’ push. Their constant pressure began to find Beals’ fitness level wanting. Even so, in was not until the seventieth minute that they broke the deadlock, when Craig Jones redeemed himself by heading in Matt Allen’s cross.
The icing was put on the cake with five minutes to go as sub Jordan Mace re-acted the quickest in a goal-mouth scramble. Veteran Kevin Quinn was named M.o.M.
Squad: Robinson, Makoukou, Shea, McCombe, Quinn, Costello, Gowers, Chapman, Mantel, Bright, C. Jones, Allen, Mace, Clarke.
September 17, 2013