football old meads chiswick

Amateur Football Combination Premier Division

Old Meadonians 4 Old Salvatorians 1

Sports in Chiswick

Old Meadonians

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It's All About The Beautiful Game - Old Meadonians' past, present and future

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Plus Ca Change for Salvos at Riverside Lands

For one member of the press corps there was a deal of déjà vu about this visit of Old Salvatorians to Riverside Lands, for, even stretching back half a century to his first team days, Salvos had always been a ‘touch team’ capable of playing dazzling football and putting any team to the sword if they got on top. However, by nature they had also been brittle and, if put under pressure themselves, they could catastrophically crumble, from the ‘Achilles Heels’ of their feet of clay upwards, as happened on Saturday, to put Old Meadonians atop the table on goal difference. Although the first half share of the ball was even, from the outset, the visitors were more lively than the somewhat lethargic hosts, closing down space when they lost the ball and, when in possession, beavering for each other off the ball. This lead to Salvos being given the ball time and again as their hosts found options for the safe destination of passes minimal. Thus Salvos took a deserved lead on the half hour when Meads donated the ball to them unnecessarily in mid-field and it was relayed through a jagged defence to be slotted past debutant reserve keeper Joe Beharie from just inside the area.

At half-time the press were not allowed into earshot but apparently Meads’ joint coach Paul Rumley, flying solo with his colleague Rory Vermeulen on a mystery scouting trip in Bermuda, demanded more quality around the visitors penalty area and, of course, a more dependable supply of the ball from mid-field. This is just what he got instantly and the scene was set for a siege of Salvos’ goal which lasted for the duration. Hence with mid-fielders John Shea and Dave Brennan snapping at the visitors’ heels it was now Salvos’ turn to see how they would fare without a share of the ball. Twenty minutes on Brennan won a corner on the right and Jack Holmes who had been targeting the far post with his medium paced in-swingers surprised the defence with swerving daisy cutter to the near post where the charging Shea hooked the ball in.

Now Ryan Bright who had taken a knock came off and the pace of Ed Glover was added to Meads’ armoury for the half nelson they had on Salvos to progressively become a stranglehold. The hosts took the lead with twenty minutes to go as the visitors’ keeper slipped making a clearance and put the ball to Meads’ right back Adam Goode who took a touch, looked up and lobbed the keeper from forty yards out. Meads’ third came as Holmes, spotting space down the left set off like a scolded cat, outpacing three would be ambushes in fifty yards and his centre was punched clear by a fist belonging to a defender whose name entered the ref’s book after Craig Jones had sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

The coup de grace was administered with five minutes to go when sub Aidan Chapman split the visitors’ defence with slide rule accuracy for Craig Jones to round the keeper and notch his second and Meads’ fourth. Almost as satisfying as the result, for supporters of football in the round, as it were, must have been the fact that that laws of the game were firmly and admirably administered by genial regular visitor to Riverside Lands, senior referee, Malcolm Edwards, ably aided by a pair of international assistant peace-keepers, one from Kosovo and one from the U.S. Paul Rumley named John Shea MoM and went off to his cubby-hole to contemplate the task of motivating his squad for the end of season feeding frenzy.

Squad: Beharie, Goode, McCombe, O’Sullivan, Quinn, Gowers (Chapman), Shea, Brennan, Holmes, Bright (Glover) (A. Jones), C. Jones.

February 17, 2015