Skipper's hat trick nets Old Meads a home win
Amateur Football Alliance Senior Cup - Old Meadonians 5 Pegasus 0
A timely hat trick from skipper Jack Costello, who relished a new role, in behind lone striker Leon Smith, went a long way to lightening a rather untidy performance from Old Meadonians at Riverside Lands on Saturday.
With coach Paul Rumley away on a scouting mission, it was manager Rory Vermeulen who had the task of preparing the holders for this A.F.A. Middlesex and Essex senior cup game versus lowly Pegasus, (alas unrelated to that illustrious Oxbridge amalgam of the nineteen fifties) from three divisions below. His main theme was that as they were to play an experimental four, four, one, one formation, there had to be a disciplined approach and they were to use a game which they were expected to win comfortably to hone match skills.
Perhaps his mistake was to warn that nothing should be taken for granted, because within minutes of the opening whistle, he was rueing this admonition, as Meads tore into their guests and had started to steamroller them with very little ceremony, or much order. No matter that the ball was given away regularly; they soon had it back, courtesy of their back four who brooked no restistance from a fleety, as befits their name, but light weight opposition and no matter that their attack fell foul of an elementary off-side trap, the chances were soon coming and going thick and fast.
Before Meads took the lead on the half hour, Smith had been thwarted twice by a combination of the heavy pitch and the visitors’ keeper who had an excellent game, especially in the air, and Costello beat both keeper and post from a narrow angle.
There was an element of surprise to the first goal as a clinical pass from centre back Brian Hanley bisected a flat defence and mid-fielder Dwayne Rhone scampered through to finish calmly. The comparative dangers of a one goal lead were shown, as before half time Meads had scorned two more chances and keeper Kris Sayers had pulled off an important save down by the post.
The second half started in the same vein but with the visitors’ struggles getting weaker. They eventually fell apart with half an hour to go when four goals came in a rush, numbers two and three from Costello, number four from Will Gerrish and the last from Costello who took the MoM award.
Team: Sayers, Salanson, Hanley, McCombe, Pointer, (Glover), Lovell, Gerrish, Hugh Jones, Rhone, Costello, Smith.
November 29, 2006