2002-03 Results - April
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26th April Egbertians
4 Accies 2nds 5 (Chris Dobson 3, Ian Roberts, Steve Hair). Accies 4ths 4 (Paul
Bernard 2, John Logie, Matt Wanford) Old Minchendenians 1. Old
Edmontonians 0 (Danny McConnell) Accies 6ths 4 (Mark Emmerson, Spencer Gore,
Matt Redman, Jim Mullins). Schadenfreude.
It's a German word, with no English equivalent. Meaning to take pleasure from
another's misfortune. For example, two weeks ago I received this email from a
member of Queen Mary's College Old Boys after their draw with our 4ths: "For
such an important game, over the 90 minutes I thought the game was played in the
correct manner.... there was nothing malicious from both sides. This is a credit
to both clubs" (so far, so good). "I think your boys will look
on this as a point gained. Even though we did not need to win this game and were
too pumped up to play our usual controlled football, we still created by far the
better chances. Your keeper deserves a big drink from your team as ... if the
pen had gone in then I'm sure we would have gone on to win 4/5 - 1 (like in the
first game at your place). Well done to your boys. For a fourth XI, I think they
are a good side but next time send your reserves to give us a meaningful game.
Well done to the boys from Camden Tech." Today
the Accies completed their league season with a 4-1 win over Minchendenians, and
then the news came through that Queen Mary's had lost their league game against
Southgate County. And with it, the league title to the Accies. Schadenfreude is
exactly that feeling you've got right now!!!!! The
Accies started well (if a little slow) with a few early doors opportunities but
nothing with any real punch. Then Old Minchendonians came back well and
Saturday 26th April
Egbertians 4 Accies 2nds 5 (Chris Dobson 3, Ian Roberts, Steve Hair).
Accies 4ths 4 (Paul Bernard 2, John Logie, Matt Wanford) Old Minchendenians 1.
Old Edmontonians 0 (Danny McConnell) Accies 6ths 4 (Mark Emmerson, Spencer Gore, Matt Redman, Jim Mullins).
Schadenfreude. It's a German word, with no English equivalent. Meaning to take pleasure from another's misfortune. For example, two weeks ago I received this email from a member of Queen Mary's College Old Boys after their draw with our 4ths:
"For such an important game, over the 90 minutes I thought the game was played in the correct manner.... there was nothing malicious from both sides. This is a credit to both clubs" (so far, so good). "I think your boys will look on this as a point gained. Even though we did not need to win this game and were too pumped up to play our usual controlled football, we still created by far the better chances. Your keeper deserves a big drink from your team as ... if the pen had gone in then I'm sure we would have gone on to win 4/5 - 1 (like in the first game at your place). Well done to your boys. For a fourth XI, I think they are a good side but next time send your reserves to give us a meaningful game. Well done to the boys from Camden Tech."
Today the Accies completed their league season with a 4-1 win over Minchendenians, and then the news came through that Queen Mary's had lost their league game against Southgate County. And with it, the league title to the Accies. Schadenfreude is exactly that feeling you've got right now!!!!!
The Accies started well (if a little slow) with a few early doors opportunities but nothing with any real punch. Then Old Minchendonians came back well andMatt Ramsden saved a shot which rebounded off the bar within the first 10 minutes. This sparked off a wake up call and within 5 mins the Accies were 1-0 up with a nice shot from John Logie. From this moment the Accies then took the game to them, playing their midfield out of the game and pressurising their defence continually a cross from the right saw Matt Wanford head home to go in at half time 2-0 up.
Early in the 2nd half was much like the beginning of the 1st, the Accies started slow and allowed our opposition to score a very good goal. Once again the 4th's responded well and saw Barndoor score 2 goals, the first a solo run through 2 defenders from a Dan Willoughby through ball. The second a header from a corner into the top corner. 4-1 with 5mins to go and the Accies had done their bit, though the extra news to come was delightfully unexpected.
The reaction was quite weird and wonderful. Having drawn the game two weeks ago Queen Mary's simply had to pick up four points from their last two games to win the league. The fourths turned up at Shenley for the last game of the season with a "demob" attitude and absolutely no expectation of a blowup from QMC - indeed - it took two phone calls to convince them of what actually happened.
For the 4ths, a fantastic end to a season that looked like being a "nearly but not quite" job - a record of 13-3-2 ought to be good enough to win the title and so it proved. Congratulations in particular to Dan Willoughby, but to all concerned.
Elsewhere, the action was at Donkey Lane, Enfield. For the 6ths a relatively comfy 4-0 win over Old Edmontonians. After a cautious start, the Accies suddenly scored three in the build-up to half-time, and thereon the only matters of import were whether the Turtle would keep a clean sheet (he did) and whether Adey or E2 would hold position in defence and not vanish upfield in search of a goal (the jury's out).
Same venue, different game for the 2nds. When I turned up to watch the final five minutes, the Accies had turned a 5-0 lead (Dobbo hat-trick) into 5-3, and quickly made it 5-4. Fewksey was babbling incoherently (moreso than usual) and headless chickens were abundant. The key (so he tells me) was Nasher (becoming more like "The Black Knight" every month) hobbling off with a dislocated shoulder (score being 5-0 at the time) and the defence suddenly descended into "one of those days". It happens, and if nothing else, it says something for timing. If you're gonna do it, do it when you're 5-0 up. The Accies held on for 5-4, and the points, and with Challoners and Albanian only drawing a good day - Albanian all but falling out of the title race and Challoners now facing two tough games against Parkfield.
No game for the 3rds, but a big day nonetheless with Camdenians and Mill Hill both facing double headers. Not good news for the Accies on the Camdenians front, with the title favourites picking up six points from their two games - just three points behind the Accies now and still with two games in hand - the title is Camdenians to lose! Better news from Mill Hill, beginning the day 6 points behind and due to play their two games in hand. They lost both - suddenly promotion is within reach - four points from the Accies remaining three games will clinch it.
Wednesday 23rd April
Accies 1sts 0 Old Meadonians 1.
A new experiment for the Accies, with our first ever league game held under lights. The simple raison d'etre being to stop all the normal hassles of midweek games kicking off at 6.30pm and give everyone plenty of time to get there. So, 7.00pm and five people present, Accies on trains, Accies in cars, Accies on sofas watching Man United and Hair standing under a floodlight unable to spot the football ground (clue - see that bit of green stuff with Old Meadonians warming up on it?).
Nevertheless, on balance a success, and an appropriate setting for a quality game of football. Old Meadonians were well up for it, having already admitted they saw it as one of their hardest games of the season, and title chasing to boot.
The game kicked off on time (just) and unsurprisingly the Accies started slowly. But after twenty minutes we started to settle into the game and reached half time having matched Meads. Into the second half and both sides were struggling to create chances until Meadonians were awarded a non-dubious penalty. The only thing clearer than Hirsty's handball was where the striker was going to put it and the Nugget dived full length to push the ball away.
Just as the game began to have a 0-0 look about it Meads broke away and then quickly switching the ball across the area their forward buried the ball at the near post from ten yards.
The Accies continued to press, and Joffsy and Dobbo both came close to an equaliser, but as the game petered out Meads held onto a 1-0 win. One more victory and they clinch the title, but it's good to have reminded ourselves there's no reason we can't compete with them next season.......
Monday 21st April
Mill Hill Village 3 Accies 3rds 2 (Steve McConnell, Ben Goodier).
Easter weekend and the only game for the Accies on the Monday. The 3rds travelled to Mill Hill Village for a game where a win would all but clinch promotion.
No such fortune - in a tight game on a bobbly, hard pitch, the Accies played most of the creative football, but also committed most of the key errors - perhaps the two going hand in hand.
The Accies opened the scoring after twenty minutes, having withstood some pressure and then broke to the other end where a deep cross saw Steve McConnell soar above no-one to head home the opener. A lead short-lived, as Mill Hill broke at the other end and equalised within a minute or so. Now the crucial fifteen minutes of the game followed, as the Accies created half a dozen excellent chances, only to find the Mill Hill keeper in superb form. Reaching half time with the scores level Mill Hill must have felt happy.
The second half started with the Accies flat, and after fifteen minutes Mill Hill took the lead, courtesy of a series of half mistakes. Yet back came the Accies, Michael Short superbly holding the ball up in the area to set up Ben Goodier's clinical finish.
Into the final fifteen minutes and a draw began to look the likely result. The Accies were creating more, but Mill Hill's defence stood firm, and there was always the danger of a breakaway. Finally with five minutes to go the deadlock was broken, a Mill Hill corner being bundled over the line with some part of a Villager's anatomy.
Hope still remains, three wins and the Accies are guaranteed promotion. But these guys don't believe in making it easy..........
Saturday 12th April
Accies 1sts 2 (Jon Houghton, Steve Hair) Parkfield 1.
Accies 2nds 0 Parkfield 2.
Accies 3rds 3 (Ben Goodier 2, Michael Short) Mill Hill Village 1.
Queen Mary College Old Boys 1 Accies 4ths 1 (Paul Bernard).
Mill Hill Village 5 Accies 5ths 1.
Accies 6ths 1 (Spencer Gore) Old Aloysians 1.
Old Aloysians 1 Accies 6ths 2 (Spencer Gore, Graham Whitworth).
The final full weekend of the season, and issues start to be clarified.
The firsts faced a crunch game against Parkfield at Shenley - with Ignatians winning again the losers faced being sucked into a relegation battle, and a nervy game was the result. Jon Houghton opened the scoring taking advantage of an "after you" miscommunication between the Parkfield keeper and defender, but a second goal always looked like it might be required. Midway through the second half Parkfield duly equalised and looked the more likely side to find a winner. But finally the worm turned and with quarter of an hour to go John Delaney broke down the left, crossed and from the resultant clearance Steve Hair nodded home the winner. Parkfield drop into a relegation space whilst the Accies safety is now assured.
No such luck for the seconds - to maintain any chance of challenging Parkfield for the Senior 5 North title a win at Shenley was needed. For eighty minutes the game had 0-0 written all over it, puncuated by moans from the grumpy old git McGuigan, but as the Accies pressed for an unlikely winner Parkfield caught us on the break, scoring once with ten minutes to go and topping it off at the death. Our best hopes probably now rest with Parkfield beating Challenors in their double header and the Accies clinching second place.
A week ago the thirds lost to Camdenians and lost control of the division. With many players missing this week for a key game against the third title contender Mill Hill Village it all seemed to be unravelling. Yet the wise man spoke and counselled that many a strange thing could happen, forsooth it is a funny old game Brian.
And so, it came to pass. With Michael Short making his debut and Si Garrett his second appearance, and Jonno Davies dragged out of a self-imposed retirement (which on this appearance one trusts he will quickly reconsider) the third team cast of a million were superb, steadily grinding out a 3-0 lead before conceding a late consolation goal. The result means a nine point lead over Mill Hill, who only have two games in hand, and was further boosted by Camdenians dropping two points in their double header against Ravenscroft. Camdenians now trail by nine points with three games in hand, and whilst their goal difference is superior, they still have a double header against Mill Hill.
For the 4ths, a huge game. A win and the title would be in their own hands, as it was a 1-1 draw was the end result. The 4th team gave it their all and commanded the game from start to finish - taking the game to Queen Mary Reserves and dictating the play. The Accies went 1-0 up after 20 mins after a clumsy spilled crossed by the keeper, from then and with the down hill slope a slight advantage QM came back into the game and their one decent shot found the back of the net 1-1.
QM were then awarded a penalty for handball (which was blatant) but a marvellous save from Fox was justice as QM didn't look like scoring in any other capacity.
Into the second half the Accies were attacking from all angles and pressurising for the majority of the half, a point blank save from their keeper in the dying seconds from a Barndoor overhead special could have given us the result we deserved but 1-1 means the pressure is now on QM to perform better in there last two games to clinch the title.
The final game of the season for the 5ths, and a disappointing 5-1 defeat away to Mill Hill Village. Since Christmas it's been tough for these guys, and a rebuilding job for next season is definitely on the cards.
Finally a double header at Shenley for the 6ths, against an Aloysians side who turned up half an hour late. From there, it was all downhill. Aloysians showed no interest in a game of football, and spend the afternoon moaning, talking garbage and trying to find trouble. A shame for they had some decent players, but frankly reduced the afternoon to a farce. The Accies drew 1-1 and won 2-1, and spent most of it wondering what the point was..........
Saturday 5th April
Old Aloysians 3 Accies 1sts 2 (John Delaney, Gareth Jones).
Accies 2nds 1 (og) Pegasus 0 (Greg Smith).
Pegasus 1 Accies 2nds 2 (Innis Pirrie, Ned Carabine).
Old Camdenians 6 Accies 3rds 0.
Old Bealonians 2 Accies 4ths 3 (Paul Bernard 3).
Old Camdenians 2 Accies 5ths 2 (John Wright, Mike Epstein).
Leyton County Old Boys 5 Accies 6ths 0.
One promotion clinched and title run boosted, one revived and one dented.
The fourths momentum rolls on, and although Dan's declaration Saturday night that they'd clinched promotion was premature (he'll claim it showed great foresight, but in fact he's innumerate), when it was confirmed on Sunday that Old Camdenians had lost it did confirm what the good sage Willoughby had forecast the night before. With Queen Mary College winning we still need two wins to clinch the league title. Paul Bernard's hat-trick sealed the win on Saturday at Bealonians.
The seconds faced Pegasus in a double header at Shenley, and engaged in some serious monkey removal. The past two seasons Pegasus have been the buffers that wiped the season, and the satisfaction of winning both games was huge. A win next week against Parkfield would be vital with all of the other contenders still having to play each other.
For the thirds, a major blow. The return against Old Camdenians could prove to be a title decider, and the Accies struggled to finish second. In the end it was simply a case that class told - all too frequently this season the Accies have started slowly and worked their way into the game, and Camdenians never allowed it - without any weaknesses Camdenians started on top and stayed there, leading 2-0 at half time and extending their lead as the second half ran out. Yet hope remains - Camdenians still trail by 10 points and whilst they have four games in hand cannot afford a slip up. Nor can the Accies in their two games against Mill Hill Village, which could prove just as vital. Mill Hill still also have to play Camdenians twice, so there's still much to happen in this division.
The firsts flirtation with relegation continues. Aloysians desperately needed three points to drag themselves a distance from the bottom two, and produced a performance to secure it. One more win would be nice........
The fifths began the process of rebuilding for next year, with a number of new faces "on trial" and grinding out a result. Slightly against the play the Accies led 2-0 after half an hour, but Old Camdenians hit back quickly and levelled the game before half time. The second half saw few chances, but most that fell came to Camdenians. In the end a fair result, just about.
No such ambiguity for the 6ths - away to Leyton County 3rds, runaway leaders of 6 North, and a side with plenty of players who clearly ought to be playing quite a few divisions higher, perhaps a legacy of being allowed to withdraw their 2nd XI much earlier in the season. Hunger and ability told as Leyton County ran out 5-0 winners. Rather a mismatch........