Albanian nightmare for Meads
AFC Premier Division Old Meadonians F C. 1 Albanian F.C. 2
In an unusually bumbling display of benevolence Old Meadonians handed second placed Albanians three points at Riverside Lands on Saturday. However, while the visitors were both surprised and grateful, they are unlikely to unseat Meads or U.C.L. as prime championship contenders as the latter have too many games in hand and in any case still have to play each other twice in what will virtually be play-offs for the title.
It is also too early for the vultures to start circling Meads as they were without elements which have been vital to their effort this season. The central core of their defence, Ian Williamson and Brian Hanley were both missing and this meant that, although veteran Dermot Jordan was a steadying influence, the normally serene world of sweeper Dan Salanson was disturbed as he found himself unable to devote time to his normal role. The upshot was that a mid-field without unflappables Steve Kearney and John Pointon was too busy helping out the defence to allow playmakers Jack Costello and Dwayne Rhone to give adequate support to strikers Colin Hawkins and Ed Glover both of whom were diffident on the day.
The whole was compounded as Albanians found they could give away as many corners as they liked in the knowledge that their outstanding keeper Neil Mason was equal to the occasion. For their part the visitors played neat controlled football without showing overmuch penetration and Meads, despite their shortcomings, still managed to carve out enough openings to win the game twice over only for the usually lethal Glover, Hawkins and Kevin all to spurn chances to make the points safe.
Even Albanians’ first goal, fifteen minutes into the second half came as Meads’ mercurial keeper Kris Sayers misjudged James Concannon’s looping header while tipping it over the bar. Meads’ answered immediately when Glover volleyed in Costello’s cross from the right but the visitors deservedly regained the lead as John-Paul Ryan headed in David Murphy’s cross with five minutes to go.
Team: Sayers, Salanson, Jordan, McGuinness, Rhone, (Leiper) Costello, Bond, (Pearce), Cope, Quinn, Hawkins, Glover.
Meads are in the final of the AFA Senior Cup. They will be playing against Polytechnic at Southbank CUACO Sports Grounds, Turney Road Dulwich on 9th April. A coach leaves Riverside Club at 12.15. K.O. 3pm
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March 31, 2005