Old Meads skeleton squad hold Albanians to a draw
Old Meadonians 2 Old Albanians 2
A rash of early season injuries which has left Old Meadonians six short of their best squad had the champions drawing the second game in defence of their title at Riverside Lands on Saturday.
However, Albanians who finished third and were the only team to beat Meads in the league last season have an improved squad and must have been the more disappointed at the close after the hosts twice clawed back a one goal deficit.
The score-line does not say it all, however, as Meads had a good first half shout for a penalty turned down and would argue that Albanians’ first goal came following a palpable foul. Meads shaded the early exchanges but were inclined to rely on their height and weight advantage by lumping the ball forward where, without the pace of striker Colin Hawkins, out for three weeks with a dislocated shoulder, they were short of penetration.
On twenty minutes the visitors took an unexpected lead. Dave Butler was forty yards out and about to pass back to keeper Kris Sayers when he was robbed in suspicious circumstances, leaving Sayers stranded on the edge of the area to be comfortably lobbed. Shortly afterwards Dwayne Rhone was fed on the right and cut in past two defenders only to be hauled back by the neck in the area to no avail. With five minutes of the first half left skipper Jack Costello whipped in a shot from twenty five yards which skimmed the bar. Albanians drew first blood in the second half, hitting the bar after ten minutes but Meads relaxed and took the game to the visitors in a more controlled manner.
Ten minutes of concerted pressure saw Kevin Quinn pushed off the ball in the area and Costello scored from the spot. Five minutes later Albanians were ahead again as indecision in Meads’ area allowed the ball to be swept in from close range. There was just five minutes on the clock when Rhone saved the day by bundling in a cross from the right.
October 4, 2005