Old Meadonians FC, Uncategorized

Old Meadonians III vs Old Hamptonians II, AFC, 04/02/2017

The weather on Saturday 4th February was unusually calm; the Thames air serenely flowing across Riverside Lands. This good weather fiercely juxtaposed Old Meads III’s turbulent start to 2017, which has seen them hurtle ever closer to the division’s trap door. Saturday’s visitors were Hamptonians II, who had soundly beaten their hosts on Matchday One of the new year.


Player rotation was forced upon Coach Taylor this week, who himself failed a midweek fitness test with an ongoing rib problem. Centre Back Alder was away enjoying single life, leaving Charlie and Ben to hold together the centre of defence.

Things started steadily enough for Meads against a team showing large changes in personnel themselves from the previous match-up; Kearney’s pace was causing problems on the right wing in particular, but to little avail.

Shot-shy Meads were shown the value of taking a punt half an hour in, when a Hamptonians strike 20 yards out was parried out to the visitors’ forward (who successfully gambled on the impact of the sun on Meads’ keeper’s vision) following in a shot that Meads’ left-back Catlow wrongly elected not to. 0-1.


Sun-blockers such as these were in short supply at Riverside Lands last weekend.

Misery was compounded by the hosts; silent-but-deadly CB Charlie limped off, and his partner Ben was limping around also. But not only did Meads soldier through to half time without an increased deficit – parity could well have been restored. Kearney locked onto a midfield through ball, and was felled inside the Hamptonians’ box. The referee, some 30 yards away, instantly blew but was put off by the sun’s glare as to the exact location of the sporting crime – and, thus, a free kick was incorrectly awarded. The resulting strike was hit well but comfortably dealt with; HT, 0-1.

Mercurial talent Edison Zajmi entered proceedings after the break, and instantly caused problems for the visiting back line, who themselves began to struggle with the sun’s glare that beamed towards their goal. An intricate one-two on the edge of the sun-swathed penalty box presented Zajmi with a rare sight on goal, which wasn’t converted.

Meads continued to make all the running in what was a strong second 45, with Wilson and Deniau switching the plan with increasing impetus. Set pieces were won in the final third, but again not converted – and the sucker punch arrived on 90 minutes when a well-blocked Hamptonians strike looped innocuously into the air, dead centre, 25 yards from goal. A Yeboah-esque thunderbastard of a volley then sailed into the home side’s net, and another loss-to-nil was confirmed.

An improved performance yes, but a slow start and lack of attempts on goal again cost Meads in this encounter. A blend of ruthlessness and concentration will be required to stop the rot on Eltham soil this weekend.



On a damp PEC, the Rutherford B team again arrived without a football or keeping gloves between the 15 players, until Coach Jelliffe arrived with the goods. Butler were looking very professional in their approach to the warm up; Rutherford, huddled in a corner trying to keep warm, less so.

With one of the worst kit clashes in the IMS calendar, the game got underway with just one linesman. Rutherford started the better with FREEC candidate Noah Bergman crunching into a few tackles down the left hand side. Alex Lothario Rickenbach was in goal for the first half and looked solid enough, well supported by the CB duo of Dan Coxhill and Matt Higgins. How these two aren’t involved in A matches is a mystery. Rutherford went one up after half an hour when a Catlow cross snuck into the far corner, his second cross-goal in two weeks. George Tipping was bombing on well but, just like his beloved Leeds, the team were chronically missing a goal-getter up top and Rutherford’s lead was a slender one at half time.

The changes were rung at the break; Social Sec wannabe Morgan O’Connell was shoved in between the sticks while his nemesis Toby Rich was sent on up front. Rich’s movement was minimal, but it doesn’t help when ‘playmaker’ James Morgan’s passing completion % never went above 10 throughout the match. Rickenbach, now in midfield with Joe Vousden, combined well before Tipping played in Catlow who squeezed in Rutherford’s second and again wheeled away to celebrate on his own, displaying a failure to acknowledge that this is a team sport.

Butler’s riposte was immediate. A game of pinball ensued on the edge of the Rutherford penalty area before a fearsome low strike found its way through O’Connell to halve the deficit.

There have been several terrible misses in both A and B matches for the Cherries so far this term; a Themistocleous ‘effort’ against William Morris springs to mind – but what was about to unfold would top the lot. Decent build up play down the left flank resulted in Abhiraj Singh finding himself 6 yards out with the ball at his feet. Unselfishly, he squared the ball to Rich’s replacement, striker Tom ‘Loved Up’ Hollins. Hollins found a way to sky his effort way over the bar, and Butler were lucky that the football they provided didn’t end up on Epinal Way. Horrendous. There was no hiding for poor Hollins as his blockmates were in hysterics on the touchline; he was hooked off by Coach Jelliffe shortly after.

Mikey ‘Phil Ivey’ Nicholls replaced Morgan on the right flank and did a decent job down the flank with Sport-Sec-In-Waiting Ben Papuca. Papuca proved that he can, after all, last 70 minutes resisting the temptation to take his clothes off. Chances were drying up for Rutherford as panic began to set in, but MVP Higgins kept things tight at the back, helping the Cherries see the game out.

Final score 2-1, and a second win on the bounce for the B team. Butler continue to languish at the foot of the table, while Rutherford’s B Unit will face winless Elvyn on Saturday – providing enough money is pumped into the PEC floodlight meter this week.

O’Connell (GK)

Papuca, Higgins, Coxhill, Bergman

Singh, Vousden, Rickenbach, Tipping, Catlow


(Rich, Hollins, Kasap, Nicholls)