Old Mead's back on top form with cup final win
Amateur Football Alliance Middlesex & Essex Senior Cup Final
- Old Meadonians 5 Broomfield 0
In a repeat of last year’s A.F.A. Middlesex and Essex Senior Cup Final a rejuvenated Old Meadonians took ample revenge for the loss they suffered at the hands of Broomfield in the 2005 final by handing out a five-nil drubbing to the Southern Amateur League champions.
That this has been a season ravaged by injury for Meads was shown by the sight of two of the squad limping into the dugout on crutches. On the pitch, however, the team, thoroughly prepared by coach Paul Rumley and manager Rory Vermeulen, demonstrated that they had fully recovered from their last two disappointing results and were in no mood to trifle.
Broomfield were rarely allowed to show their true form. They were snuffed out in mid-field, were held in a vice like grip up front and, when, after sturdy resistance, they tired, were uncompromisingly put to the sword.
Meads gambled by pushing mid-fielder Kevin Quinn forward in support of strikers Ed Glover and Colin Hawkins and this was a masterstroke. Quinn was everywhere, closing down in mid-field, closely supporting Hawkins and Glover and finally recalled his early career as a Ryman predator with a scintillating second half hat trick. For a match which was riveting throughout there were three incidents of high drama which punctuated play like thunderclaps.
The first took place on fifteen minutes when a block tackle near the halfway line sent the ball spiralling into the wind over Meads’ young apprentice keeper Lee Coneybear. Coneybear, brought up from a lower side and groomed as stand-in for the injured Kris Sayers, back peddled desperately and, arching backwards, somehow clawed the ball from behind himself round the post. It was a truly memorable save and a heart stopping moment.
Early exchanges were, as usual, exploratory but it was to be Hawkins’ ability to hold the ball up which turned the trick for Meads. On twenty minutes he chested the ball down and his overhead kick, tucked inside the full back, gave Glover the overlap for the first clinically taken goal. Just ten minutes later came the second magic moment as Hawkins received the ball thirty yards out and, with no more than a glance up, dipped a volley into the far top corner to take Meads in two up at half time.
Half time talk was rightly for there to be no let up and no one was to take anything for granted and so on the restart it was business as usual, with Meads dominant against the wind. Ten minutes later came magic moment number three and it was Quinn who provided it. Spotting the Broomfield keeper off his line, he delivered a perfectly weighted forty-five yard lob which bounced into the net.
Fifteen minutes later Quinn’s instincts had brought him another two, both from space on the left and both comfortably taken. Fresh legs brought a further twisting of the rack as Albert Adomah’s speed took him clear for his shot to be just wide. With the shouts from the management encouraging a clean sheet, Broomfield saw their last chance of a consolation goal disappear as Dave Butler headed off the line with minutes to go.
It was a good sight to see Meads’ skipper Jack Costello come on as one of the subs after eight weeks out with injury and interesting to note that there were five other members of the squad missing from the lineup.This was an excellent game of football, keenly and fairly contested and well refereed by a good team of three officials. The team nominated Kevin Quinn as MoM.
Team: Coneybear, Hanley, Butler, McCombe, Russell, (Costello), Hugh Jones, Bond, Quinn, Rhone, (Lovell), Glover, (Adomah), Hawkins.
March 28, 2006