Old Mead's win Greenland Cup
Greenland Cup Final - Old Meadonians 2 Old Hamptonians 1
By winning the preseason Greenland Cup at Fairlop on Saturday Old Meadonians have thrown down an early gauntlet and placed a fourth trophy in their display cabinet for the duration of the season.
The Greenland Cup competition is the Amateur Football Alliance version of the Champions Cup and as such one would hope for the final to be the first show case of the football year.
Any chance of this coming to pass was banished as a fairly full strength Old Meadonians who, incidentally, had qualified three times over for the competition, took a firm hold on all sectors of play and reduced their hapless opposition to bystanders for the majority of the match.
True, Old Hamptonians never gave up the fight; for the fifty five minutes when Meads spurned numerous chances to take the lead and five minutes before the final whistle when they cut the deficit they did have a glimmer of hope of an upset. But theirs’ was the struggle of prey in the grip of a hungry predator.
Don’t be fooled by the score-line; Meads could have been three or four up before halftime with striker Leon Smith going close on ten minutes and then in quick succession with new signing Will Gerrish heading Laurie pointer’s freekick just over and Colin Hawkins’ narrow angle shot being superbly saved by Hampton’s in form goalie James Holdsworth.
Before halftime Holdsworth had made two more excellent saves to which he added three from very close range in the second half to be my Man of the Match, just shading Meads’ young striker Leon Smith.
Smith must take the Man of the Competition award with nine goals, including two hat tricks, from four games. The other factor, besides the in form Hampton keeper, which kept the score down was that Smith, having suffered abrasions to a ring finger before the kick off under a new law, took a blow on the nose early on which left him groggy throughout.
However, machinelike Meads who had the air of a side which knows that there will be another chance along in a minute had to wait till ten minutes into the second half for their first goal. A flurry of passes between Hawkins and Smith just outside the area left the latter clear to close and finish calmly from ten yards.
Meads had already had eight fruitless corners when with twenty minutes to go skipper Jack Costello launched yet another which the towering Alex Hugh Jones headed back across for Smith to nod his second. Meads then decided to relax and Kris Sayers in goal was forced to make a good save before with five minutes to go Olli Freeman bundled in Hampton’s consolation from five yards.
September 20, 2006