London Old Boys Senior Cup
Old Suttonians 2 Old Meadonians 3
Another cup win for Old Meadonians, this week in what is virtually the A.F.C. league cup, the London Old Boys Senior Cup, as they beat Old Suttonians who are struggling to keep a foothold in the premier division, by a slightly wider margin than that suggested by the score-line.
However, herein lies the rub: In early cup rounds the opposition is more often not going to trouble the top and upper middle echelon premier division clubs who can almost reach the quarter finals without having their metal tested or even their appetite whetted.
A high flown comparison can be made with the theory that, in Ancient Rome, the winners of civil wars were more likely to be those protagonists who raised their armies in the tougher theatres of the west rather than the softer more lush areas in the east of the Roman Empire. This year Meads have been no exception to this rough rule of thumb as has been amply demonstrated by the lack of support offered to the man on the ball and the consequential carelessness they have show in their ball distribution, while still being able to carry the day.
The message to Meads’ joint coaches, Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen, must be that bad habits which go unpunished in competition could become ingrained unless sorted out on the training ground. Having said this, in his post-match briefing Rumley stressed that the hosts were better than their lowly league position suggests and were just shaded by Meads’ sharper cutting edge in mid-field and up front.
On Saturday, after an even twenty minutes skirmishing, Sutts took the wind out of their guests’ sails and the lead when indecision in the visitors’ defence saw a giant mix up ending with a careless clearance rebounding off a friend into the net. This signalled a torrid ten minutes, only ending when the gods smiled on Garry Robinson for a deflected ball to come back off the post straight into his arms. His quick throw to Matt O’Sullivan turned defence into instant attack as the ball was immediately transferred to Matt Allen on the right for him to storm down to the bye-line and pull it back for the oncoming Will Gerrish to convert emphatically from ten yards.
Now it was Meads’ turn to dominate and with five minutes to go to the interval take the lead. This time O’Sullivan set Ed Glover free on the right and Craig Jones put the finishing touch to a pinpoint cross with a crisp first time shot from just inside the box. Ten minutes into the second half the persistent hosts were back in the game as their striker found himself mysteriously clear and in the referee’s good books to notch from fifteen yards.
A triple substitution of Jake Gowers for Allen, Jordan Mace for Ryan Bright and Jack Costello for limping Gerrish was just the medicine needed for Meads to buckle down and grind out the winner which was well worth waiting for but did not come till there were just ten minutes on the clock. Jordan Mace won the ball inside Meads’ half with a crunching tackle and fed Jones on the edge of the box with a defence splitting forty yard pass. Jones took the ball on his chest, swivelled and with no hesitation lofted it into the top corner of the net. Will Gerrish and Aidan Chapman were joint MoM.
Squad: Robinson, O’Sullivan, Pointer, McCombe, Mantel, Allen, Gerrish, Bright, Chapman, Jones, Glover, Gowers, Mace, Costello.
November 21, 2013