Lower League Minnows Give Old Meads a Fright
AFA Middlesex & Essex Senior Cup - Cardinal Manning O.B. 2 Old Meadonians 4
As usual at this time of the year cup holders Old Meadonians find themselves treading a path strewn with banana skins facing a succession of hopefuls from lower divisions attempting to topple them.
On Saturday it was the turn of Cardinal Manning O.B., from four divisions below, with enthusiasm and not a little skill, to rock Meads’ foundations with two late goals to come back from three down. It was just as well for the holders that they were able to insert iconic skipper Jack Costello, who although not fully fit weighed in with a timely brace in the second half. Nonetheless Meads still managed to spurn three good chances before, on the half hour, striker Leon Smith scored a trade-mark goal. His strength and pace enabled him to take the ball from the halfway line past three defenders, draw the keeper and put the ball into the top corner.
A lecture during the interval saw some improvement but it was another twenty minutes before this bore fruit, as a result of a double substitution, bringing on Costello and the pace of Ed Glover. Almost immediately an exchange of passes between Will Gerrish and Dwayne Rhone released Glover down the left and Costello volleyed in his cross at the far post.
Within minutes it was three. This time Costello set Henryk Jakobsson free on the right and Glover applied the finishing touch at the far post. With fifteen minutes left came a double wobble in quick succession. First a sloppy penalty was conceded and converted and then keeper Kris Sayers, obviously not recovered from a knock just prior, found himself drifting under a corner which was scooped in at the far post.
The final say went to Costello who, from twenty-five yards, put in a venomously swerving shot which deceived the keeper to redress the balance. After the final whistle coach Paul Rumley was quick to defend his players from criticism, pointing to off the field problems which have disturbed their training regime and commending them for their resilience. He added that Manning already had the scalp of one premiership club on their belt and were on a roll. The MoM award went to Leon Smith.
Team: Sayers, Salanson, McCombe, Hanley, Jakobsson, Gerrish, Pointer, (Costello), Hugh Jones, Rhone, L. Smith, D. Smith, (Glover).
November 1, 2006