London Old Boys Senior Cup
Old Wokingians 2 Old Meadonians 2 aet
Old Meadonians had one of their most successful Saturdays with seven of the teams winning and the remaining two drawing. What a pity one of the teams which drew was the first team who, as holders of the London Old Boys Senior Cup, should have been favourites to beat Old Wokingians from two divisions below.
However, the hosts were of a different opinion. They are on the crest of a giant roller, having just won promotion magisterially by a clear twelve points with a massive goal difference of forty nine and are unbeaten this season. On the day they were well organised and disciplined, matching Meads’ four five one line up into the bargain, taking them to extra time and only losing in the shoot-out.
And yet the full story is more complicated: The visitors still outplayed their hosts for a huge seventy percent of the game with Ryan Bright relishing a start, running riot on the right and laying on a hat-trick of chances, only for this serene performance to be undermined by two large lapses of concentration by the eventual victors. From the start Meads took the game to Wokingians with sweeping movements which harnessed the speed of Craig Jones up front and Matt Allen and Bright in mid-field. Together with the trio’s combined speed of thought they enjoyed superb prompting from the back by play-maker Jack Costello.
However, four or five untaken half chances were all Meads could muster by the half hour when their guard dropped momentarily and a square defence was pierced through the middle for the hosts to take the lead. Now it was the visitors on the wrack and misguidedly substituting their hitherto tried and tested means of clearing their lines through patient football with more direct methods which too often gifted the ball to their well organised hosts who used it to turn the screw. Fortunately for Meads their defending at corners was in good shape and they survived further punishment, saved by the bell at half-time, only to get a cold douche and dressing down from seething solo coach Paul Rumley who contained himself by pointing to the contrast between their methods for the first half hour compared with the haphazard last fifteen minutes of the first half.
On the restart smarting Meads immediately set about retrieving the situation and, with Bright leading the hosts a merry dance, Wokingians were battered for the rest of the game. Ten minutes in came a simply executed move of stunning effect. Jones, came deep to take a pass into the centre circle, laid the ball first time out to Costello on the right and his instant skimmer down the line put Bright away to cut in to the bye-line and centre for the sprinting Jones to complete the square explosively.
Ten minutes later, another four man move put Meads deservedly in front. This time clever interplay between Aidan Chapman and Costello enabled the latter to release the effervescent Bright and his perfectly timed cut-back allowed Jones to jink past two defenders for his cross shot to be turned in by a hapless defender. Five minutes later Bright again pulled the ball back, this time for Ed Glover, on for Andy Thompson, to shiver the timbers of the crossbar with a twenty yard thunderbolt. Extra time was ushered in by the same Wokingians striker taking advantage of misunderstanding in Meads’ central defence which was obviously left dazzled by the heroics of their colleagues up front. He scored with the last kick of full time.
The hosts only just managed to hold on desperately for the next thirty minutes but were finally edged out thanks to Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson who saved two of their shoot-out penalties, one with a brilliant full length finger-tipped dive, for a mention in dispatches. Ryan Bright was unanimously applauded as MoM.
Squad:- Robinson, Costello, McCombe, O’Sullivan, Mace, Bright, Shea, Chapman, Thompson, Allen, C. Jones, Glover.
October 16, 2013