Patience is the essence as Old Mead’s bed down

AFA Premier Division - Southgate County Old Boys 4 Old Meadonians 6


Old Mead's linch pin announced A.F.A. Player of the Year

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Sports in Chiswick

Old Meadonians

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That Old Meadonians are a team in transition is manifested by the fact that in their last two games they have conceded almost half the number of their total league goals against for last season. Coach Paul Rumley insists that patience is the essence of his immediate approach, pointing out that there are five new members in the squad which is bedding down nicely but needs nurturing.

As part of this policy Rumley spent a fair amount of pre-match time with brothers Leon and Dwayne Smith who, in the absence of the experience of injured striker Colin Hawkins, were to renew the fruitful partnership they enjoyed in the second team last season.

The result was a step up in their off the ball activity which was a major factor in taking pressure off a somewhat hesitant defence, two goals from Leon Smith and one from Dwayne. Not a bad return. The backbone of Meads’ squad is tried and trusted and boasts, in Rumley’s own words, the most influential amateur footballer in London, skipper and mid-fielder Jack Costello, who already has four goals this season and three times as many assists.

Having said that, on Saturday the ship was almost lost for a ha’peth of tar as isolated individual slips gave hosts, Southgate County O.B. more than a glimpse of the prize. Promotees County, Meads opponents in the London Old Boys cup final last year, again demonstrated that they are capable of profiting from the slightest mistake by taking a 2-1 lead after twenty minutes, following Will Gerrish’s early strike from a Costello corner.

Parity was restored five minutes later when Costello snapped up a loose ball thirty yards out, swept into the area and fired a left foot rocket into the top corner. Next, Costello’s cross from the right was taken round the keeper by Leon Smith and immediately Gerrish superbly volleyed in another Costello corner. Costello’s scintillating first half finished with another raking cross, to which Leon Smith beat the keeper for number five. If you add a good shout for a penalty and a shot which looked over the line as it came down off the crossbar, this was Meads fairly rampant.

The second half saw the visitors guilty of uncharacteristically taking their foot of the accelerator, slow reaction to danger also allowing County to come back to 5-4 before with twenty minutes to go Barry McGuinness came off the bench and turned the clock back to put Dwayne Smith in to redress matters. The MoM award went to Jack Costello.

Team: Sayers, Salanson, Hanley, Hugh Jones, Pearce, (McGuinness), Gerrish, Costello, Pointer, Glover, D. Smith, L. Smith.

October 13, 2006