Meads Extend League Lead to Five Points
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division: U.C.L. Academicals 0 Old Meadonians 4
Old Meadonians rose to a five point lead at the top of the Amateur Football Combination Premier Division with an emphatic four nil win over University College Academicals at the Accies’ magnificent London Colney spread on Saturday.
Even so, this match was anything but a routine rout, as it had more than a share of peculiarities and yet the score still reflected the share of play each side enjoyed. Because this sporting complex is on exposed open ground, the elements are hardly welcoming and the temperature can be as cold as the frozen steppes. This meant that opening exchanges were necessarily halting due to players needing to take special care to warm to the conditions.
Thus it was the hosts who had the first chance when their central striker intercepted a rare misplaced pass by Matt Britner and raced through the middle. As he neared the area Meads’ keeper, the wily Gary Robinson, timed his advance to perfection leaving his opponent no option but to essay a hurried lob which clipped the bar and went over. A second but nonetheless important effect of climatic conditions occurred when, almost instantly, right back and playmaker Jack Costello came off with a strained hamstring to be replaced by Sam Campbell to good effect.
On the stroke of halftime it was Campbell’s own sweeping pass up to Daniel Donovan which he followed to take the return on the overlap and centre. The predatory Craig Jones crisply applied the finishing touch with a volley at the far post to put Meads in with the lead at the interval.
Meads were thoroughly warmed to the task by the start of the second period and, ten minutes in, doubled their lead when left back Charlie Caine, emulating his colleague on the right, crossed for midfielder Nick Jones to sweep the ball in from six yards. With just under half an hour to go Ed Glover came on to turn the screw. Caine looped in an in-swinging corner from the right and Glover leaped above all to crash a downwards header which was questionably cleared off the line, but even as Meads were appealing for the goal, Sam Campbell fired the ball back into the net to save the referee any blushes.
Simon Richardson replaced Ryan Bright and become the scorer of Meads’ fourth and the most bizarre goal of the day and possibly the whole season. He ran onto a through ball and was flagged for off-side but since the ball had gone to the keeper, the referee quite rightly waved play on for advantage. At this point the goalie who was advancing to the edge of the area chose to fall on his own sword. His indecisive roll out was intercepted by Richardson who, after looking up to see the ref still waving him on, calmly lifted the ball into the net for the coup de grace.
December 3, 2016