Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
Old Salvatorians 4 Old Meadonians 1
In a real ‘dog eat dog’ weekend it was underdogs, Old Salvatorians, languishing near the bottom of the table, having lost four of their first six league games who eagerly gobbled up league leaders Old Meadonians to tip them off the top as Meads made a regular dog’s dinner of defending their status at Bushey on Saturday.
However, this was only after the league leaders, for the second time this season, fell on their own sword, to make things even easier for the hosts who have long been a touch team, to dominate proceedings. From the whistle Meads, employing the same fluid four, three, three energy based formation as last week in which it was important for the front runners to work as a cohesive unit, found instead that their attack lacked purpose and lost possession too easily. For their part, for the first fifteen minutes Salvos readily took up the slack provided by the visitors and were first to the ball although still making no impression on Meads’ defence.
At this point against the run of play Meads were offered a life-line when, in a mini push, the ball dropped to Fred Champion on the edge of the home area and his instant curler beyond the keeper gave the visitors an undeserved lead. Even this ‘manna from heaven’ failed to galvanise Meads and conversely did nothing to dampen Salvos’ spirit.
They came back at Meads and on thirty five minutes, confusion in the visitors’ defence caused Matt O’Sullivan’s last act on the pitch to be a reflex touch over of a goal bound shot. Reserve keeper Tim Lee brilliantly pushed the resultant spot kick over the bar. At this point Meads’ attack did perk up with the home keeper saving well from Champion and a Craig Jones header being just over the bar. However, this only postponed the inevitable as, even after manager Rory Vermeulen read the Riot Act at the interval, Meads were put on the rack, ultimately conceding four goals.