London Old Boys Senior Cup Semi-Final
Old Salvatorians 0 Old Meadonians 1
The remnants of an Old Meadonians’ squad, riven with injuries and missing eight first choice members, took on the task of mending the holes in their league record and fortuitously came away with three points from the Met Police ground at Bushey the home of lowly Old Salvatorians who demonstrated amply why, at present, they are struggling at the bottom of the table, though with games in hand.
For Meads this was the first game of a make or break end of season run in of seven matches in which, to make any impression on the top two who are nine and eight points ahead, they can’t afford to drop a point themselves and need others to be less fortunate. However, tandem coaches, Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen could only praise the team’s attitude as they had them fired up and ready to go with their pre-match instructions, getting them out of the blocks for a bright first twenty minutes.
However, it only realised just two half chances, notably one for mid-fielder Rupert Cope to clip the outside of the post with a cross shot from the left and a flying header by Ed Glover which was just past the post. In fact Meads might easily have been three up at half time with mid-fielder John Shea having a good shout for a penalty turned down when he was put in by Jack Costello and was bundled to the ground five minutes before the break. That estimate has to be adjusted to 3-1 as Salvos, always a touch team, showed they could break quickly and forced Meads’ Gary Robinson into a superb full length save to turn a stinger from twenty yards round the post.
The second half saw Meads maintaining the intensity of their input but facing hosts who retreated in their bolt hole and looked to the visitors to overreach themselves and fall for sucker retaliation. Reward came with twenty minutes to go when the home keeper flapped at an accurate in-swinging corner from Kevin Quinn and quick thinking by Aidan Chapman saw him loop a header over the stranded goalie from just inside the area. Still Meads kept up the siege only to be denied a clincher five minutes later when mid-fielder come stand-in striker Jack Costello appeared to have beaten the offside trap to glance in a header only to be whistled up. The last teen minutes saw a revival by Salvos as Meads gave away too many free-kicks within range of goal and the hosts laid down a blanket bombardment for Robinson to save the visitors again. Dave Brennan was named MoM.
Squad: Robinson, Mace, Chapman, O’Sullivan, Quinn, Bright, Brennan, Shea, Cope, Costello, Glover, Ene, Wilson.
March 26, 2014