After a four week sojourn on the trail of the three cups that they enter, on Saturday Old Meadonians travelled to Southgate hoping to play catch up in a resumed league programme against mid-table Old Minchendenians who are in the process of rebuilding the team that had won them the A.F.C. Premiership twice and the A.F A. Senior Cup in the last four seasons.
However, Meads’ had a pre-match set back when versatile defender Lawrie Pointer, coming back from injury, broke down in the warm-up and hopes were dented by hosts who, despite still needing to fully find their feet and being behind the eight ball for three quarters of the match, never gave up and snatched two points from the visitors courtesy of a fortuitous drop of the ball and some naïve last minute defending. Meads were two up at half time thanks to two excellent headers from centre back Ali McCombe, the first, towering, on twenty five minutes, from Kevin Quinn’s in-swinging corner and the second, opportunist, ten minutes later when John Shea headed a deep corner back across goal for McCombe to finish at the far post.
Meads started the second half in control and five minutes in were unlucky when the ball came back off the underside of the bar from a Craig Jones twenty yard free-kick. Almost immediately Aidan Chapman had a shot cleared of the line and then they had the chance to expand their cushion on the hour when Craig Jones rounded the keeper only to put the ball past the post after getting a giant bobble from the cut up pitch. With twenty minutes to go the persevering hosts put on a mini-blitz with which the visitors were coping admirably until a Minches’ corner was headed clear but hit sub Jack Holmes on the back and fell nicely for a strike from the edge of the box to thread through traffic past the unsighted Meads’ keeper Gary Robinson.
Worse was to come as with five minutes to go shell shocked Meads, instead of shutting up shop were suckered into over-extending themselves and a swift counter saw a Minches’ striker rounding Robinson for the equaliser. Post match the hosts were much more hospitable in their revamped bar but had to wait for Meads’ joint coach, the usually sanguine Paul Rumley to appear after he had found it necessary to take a solo stroll around the ground to allow his head to clear and his equilibrium to return. However, return he did to demonstrate that his sagacity was capable of dealing with the raw edges left on a squad sore over the debilitating negative rub of the green.
Squad: Robinson, Mace, O’Sullivan, McCombe, Quinn, Brennan, Shea, Chapman, Gowers, Glover, Jones, Goode, Holmes.