Honourable Artillery Company 2 Old Meadonians 1
Meads must now await the result of the remaining match of the season when Old Hamptonians who can still overtake H.A.C. are hosts to Old Suttonians on Wednesday evening, to know whether they will have slipped down the table to third place. Either way, this season, Vermeulen and his partner Paul Rumley will have fallen below the highest of standards they set themselves in averaging more than one honour per season doing their scintillating reign, leaving Meads’ trophy cabinet bulging with a total of sixteen pieces of extra silver-ware in all.
Given the bald fact that the A.F.C. Premier Division Championship was at stake this game came nowhere near to emulating the pulsating engagement between protagonists battling for promotion to the F.A. Premiership at Griffin Park the night before. For Meads, the answer could have been seen by any one watching three days earlier as the remains of their injury riven squad hammered pretenders from mid-table, Old Suttonians 4-nil, with, standing idle beside them on the touchline, no fewer than seven members of Meads’ injury list which is as long as your arm.
However, on Saturday the game was bitty, full of untaken half chances and, far from pulsating, looked in need of resuscitation. As time went by against the stiff breeze in the first half Meads defended well, and it looked as if goals would have to come from mistakes rather than genius. Meads had the better of the opening half hour but then shook the hosts by taking the lead as striker Leon Smith showed his strength by holding the ball up for percipient Jake Gowers to burst on to Smith’s lay-back and score from the edge of the area. H.A.C.’s equaliser came just on the hour when Meads failed to clear a corner and the ball was stabbed in from a close melee. The hosts’ winner came with fifteen minutes to go when an unexpected interception allowed a lone ranger through to beat Gary Robinson from close in. There was consolation for Meads in a gem of a performance from ever reliable Jake Gowers.
May 12, 2015