Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
Honourable Artillery Company 1 Old Meadonians 4
On Saturday Old Meadonians put their clock back five years with a vengeance by setting out to shock and over-awe Honourable Artillery Company in their green oasis at Moorgate in the City.
Having had their hosts watched, Meads’ co-coaches Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen knew them to be big, physical within the laws and reliant on power and thus they set out to match them blow for blow, toe to toe with a starting line-up of four at the back, with the solid centre provided by Ali McCombe and Matt O’Sullivan, celebrating their selection for the league representative side, marksman Craig Jones soloing up front and five in midfield including the speedy Ed Glover wide in space on the left ready to swoop in support of Jones.
This left youngsters Matt Allen, Ryan Bright and Jake Gowers on the bench, one greyhound and two border collies, all thorough bred, angrily straining at the leash and eagerly waiting for Rumley and Vermeulen to ‘Cry Havoc’. From the whistle this was an intense affair with Meads taking the game to the hosts and steady pressure told when, on twenty minutes Jones stranded the keeper with a lob from the edge of the area which came back off the bar.
Then almost immediately an Aidan Chapman long throw was flapped at by the home keeper and, although the ball ended up in the net, without the aid of ‘Hawkeye’ the referee rightly gave the goalie the benefit of the doubt and awarded a goal kick. Up to now HAC’s attacks were mostly foundering on Meads blanket mid-field and the sum of their efforts so far had been a header from a freekick, covered easily by keeper Gary Robinson but on the half hour they bared their teeth again to win a corner on the right.
With swirling movement in a crowded area a near post cross was swept on and deflected past an unsighted Robinson for the hosts to take a lead which was not entirely merited. Now Meads needed to be on their mettle as HAC swarmed all over them, winning five corners in a ten minute power play. This temporary stranglehold was broken by Jones who slowed heart rates with a typical poacher’s goal after the home keeper spilt a bouncer perpetrated when Glover met Jack Costello’s free=kick from the right with a near-post flying flick between his legs .
Half-time talk was of administering more of the same medicine and benefitting from the timely equaliser and this basic aim was realised as, within five minutes of the restart, Glover cut in from his erie on the left, stooped like the natural predator he is and fired the ball into the far corner. Ten minutes on Meads let slip Allen and Bright to exploit the gaps engineered by their heavy armoured core in HAC’s now creaking midfield, Glover moving into centre mid-field for Allen to take his role coming from deep, followed rapidly by Gowers to rub more salt into the hosts’ wounds. It was Allen who broke the back of the hosts’ resistance with fifteen minutes to go, outpacing all-comers on the left and when the keeper blocked his near post shot he quickly squared the ball for Jones to notch his second. Jones was put through the middle on eighty five minute to wrap up the demolition job. There was a triple tie for the MoM award between Jones, Glover and Jack Costello.
Squad:- Robinson, Costello, O’Sullivan, McCombe, Mantel, Shea, Chapman, Gerrish, Thompson, Glover, C. Jones, Allen, Bright, Gowers.
October 9, 2013