London Old Boys Senior Cup Semi-Final
The game was unfortunately marred when Old Reigatians, from two divisions below Meads, finding themselves beyond recall and five down at half time, decided to kick themselves out of further trouble on the restart, three of the visitors having to go off with injuries. In particular Meads’ mid-fielder Misha Mantel is now hobbling on crutches having suffered from a particularly horrendous challenge which might well have merited dismissal.
Meads’ first goal came just ten minutes in when Ryan Bright put the ball over a square defence for Champion to outpace all-comers and lob the keeper. Number two came five minutes later, a repeat performance, with Champion putting the keeper under pressure to hoover up the spillage and tuck the ball in from a narrow angle. At this point the hosts showed that, while they were slow on the turn at the back, they could turn defence into attack, forcing Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson to make a smart save with a shot from the edge of the area.
On the half hour Champion completed his hat-trick speeding in from the left to shoot across the keeper. Meads’ fourth followed shortly when a Jack Costello corner was headed back across the goal by Aidan Chapman where centre-back Ali McCombe cushioned the ball on his thigh and volleyed into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Finally, just before the break, Chapman put Reigatians firmly in their place with a crisp shot from just inside the box. Half-time talk of not letting up soon became keep out of trouble as the visitors sustained casualties due to some weak refereeing from ten minutes after the restart.
The hosts scored their goal with half an hour to go from a free-kick pumped into the area with the loose ball being poked in from short range. Meads had to thank the roll on roll on system for saving them from finishing with ten men as Fred Champion came back on to claim the MoM award with a cracking volley from left to right across the goalie into the far corner.
Squad: Robinson, Mace, McCombe, O’Sullivan, Quinn, Bright, Chapman, Gerrish, Mantel, Champion, Glover, Allen, Costello, Pointer
March 19, 2014