2002-03 Results - February
Saturday 22nd February
Accies 1sts 1 (Steve Hair) Old Aloysians 2.
Accies 2nds 1 (Innis Pirrie) Old Uxonians 0 (Ciaran Hickey).
Accies 3rds 2 (Scott Atkinson, Iain Wagstaff) Davenant Wanderers 0 (Jamie Pearson).
Accies 4ths 1(Ed Jeremy) Old Salvatorians 5.
London Hospital 4 Accies 5ths 2 (Andy Watt, Mark Hanlon).
Accies 6ths 3 (Matt Redman, Matt Glynn, Spencer Gore) HSBC 0 (Danny McConnell).
Old Bealonians Vets 3 Accies Vets 1 (Andy Edwards).
Semi final day for the 2nds and 6ths (AFA) and 4ths (LOB). As the song goes, two out of three ain't bad.
The 2nds finally wore down Old Uxonians, sealing the game with an Innis Pirrie header in the second period of extra time. Quite how the Accies hadn't scored by then no-one could tell, and hitting the woodwork three times in the final minute of normal time began to make one wonder.
Also at Shenley the 6ths completed their route to the AFA Final. If the quarter final was a backs to the wall result pulled out of the fire, this was the opposite. HSBC didn't muster a single shot worthy of the name and the only question was when the Accies would manage to put the game away. Matt Redman opened the scoring with a clinical finish, sending the keeper the wrong way by scuffing the ball in at the near post, and the Accies then dominated but couldn't score with Graham Whitworth ensuring the tension lasted. A second with fifteen minutes to go all but sealed it and Spenny Gore's last minute penalty was the icing on the cake.
No such luck for the 4ths, whose cup run came to a shuddering halt against Salvatorians. No half measures with these boys, whilst they've won seven cup games these season when they lose, they lose big time. The Accies didn't play well, Salvos did and a 5-1 defeat was the result. The old football cliche - "time to concentrate on the league" is apt - this team has a title to win and few would argue they'd deserve it.
In league play another poor performance by the 1sts. Old Aloysians might have been beneficiaries of some "interesting decisions" but the bottom line was that the Accies didn't play well, and got beaten by a side struggling to get out of relegation trouble.
The 3rds mirrored the 6ths - Davenant never looked like scoring, but the Accies struggled too. Eventually a 2-0 win eked out and Jamie Pearson a new appearance on the Golden Gloves.
Finally the 5ths, the only side playing away, fell to London Hospital, a club we'll happily avoid in future February's having recently turned over the 3rds. More goalkeeping antics, with Bobby Butlin hobbling off and being replaced by Steve Kench. But not a factor in the result - London Hospital simply deserved the win.
To Sunday and some might say the ultimate in optimism. Could the Accies Vets having failed to play for three months (once due to snow, many other times due to lack of enthusiasm) start from nothing and win a cup game. The answer was no. From the word go Old Bealonians looked the more likely to score and with the Accies far too involved in "it's not a nice flat Shenley type pitch" it was a surprise that half time came with the score at 0-0. Beals scored soon after and heads went down in a fashion I've never seen from any Accies side. Ironically Beals second seemed to spur on the Accies and for the final twenty minutes we actually started to play. Andy Edwards nicked a goal to bring it back to 2-1 with ten minutes to go, and the final throw of the dice was the desperate old "turtle at centre forward" ploy. To no avail, Beals broke away to score a third and seal the game. Credit to Ian Christopherson, who kept the Accies in it longer than they deserved, and Mike Bailey who completed his 210th minute of the weekend!!!! Lessons to be learned from this.........
Saturday 15th February
Albanian 5 Accies 1sts 1 (Mike Foster).
Accies 2nds 11 (Innis Pirrie 3, Ian Roberts 3, Mark Walker 2, Chris Dobson, Ned Carabine, Mark McGuigan) Old Manorians 0 (Pierre Carabine).
Alexandra Park 3 Accies 3rds 5 (Alex Keast 2, Gio Martelli, Iain Wagstaff, Nick Crowther).
Accies 4ths 2 (Paul Bernard 2) Old Edmontonians 0 (Steve Woodrow).
Old Edmontonians 4 Accies 4ths 9 (Paul Bernard 3, Dan Willoughby 2, Jon Logie 2, Alex Parfitt, Ed Jeremy).
Accies 5ths 1 (Dino Antoniades) Mill Hill Village 3.
Old Chigwellians vs Accies 6ths postponed.
One semi final (6ths in the LOB) postponed, one semi final won. Hopefully the first of many.
Highlight of the day were the 3rds away to Alexandra Park. Nice club, nice clubhouse, nice atmosphere. Pitch you'd expect to see on the Somme circa 1916. In the absence of Scott Atkinson (tarted off ski-ing) Phil Stewart held the reins, and with a significant slope the Accies found themselves 1-0 up after ten seconds, Nick Crowther pouncing on an error to net. A second followed midway through the half, and at half-time all looked good, though the consensus was a third goal was needed to seal it.
Five minutes into the second half and it duly arrived. Home and dried. Like ####. Five minutes later a defensive lapse saw AP pull one back, and two minutes later an AP went down in the area. The linesman had a perfect view and signalled no penalty. The referee didn't and did, commenting that "you got the ball". Errrr? 3-2 and the Accies under the cosh. Within ten minutes AP had equalised and with twenty to go it seemed the result could go only one way. Another twist in the tale, Alex Keast broke free again and squared a ball. The keeper tried and failed to shovel it into his own net and narrowly failed, so a defender completed the job. Accies leading again. Strong AP pressure followed, but the Accies now believed and with five minutes to go a fifth sealed it. Old Aloysians 3rds await in the final.
Elsewhere a mixed bag. The 6ths semi final was postponed due to a frozen pitch, and the 1sts found themselves on a bog at Firs Farm. Experience of bogs was the key, as Albanian played on and the Accies didn't. A 5-1 defeat was the result.
At Shenley goal fest time.
Fewksey reports: the 2's consolidated on last weeks cup success and prepared for their forthcoming AFA semi final with a very comfortable league win at Shenley.
Under strict instructions not to pass to Lloyd in the first 15 seconds of the match, Accies started brightly and with great purpose and vigour. We have no greater exponent of hard work than the ubiquitous young Nat Keast, who may be running with even more spring in his step this Saturday if his hot date with the bird from Canary Wharf went well.
Pirrie struck early with a shot of precision and no (little) power, quickly followed by a Dobbo header. A bit of class from young Ned (of Uncle Silas fame) made it 3-0. This became 6 by halftime with the dead ball specialist McGuigan firing in a free kick and Pirrie adding 2 more quality strikes, that's assuming his first was.
At 7-0 Manorians must have thought there was light at the end of the tunnel after 55 minutes, actually it was Walker carrying a torch and a box of tricks.
This introduction was the touch paper to rekindle the awesome firepower of Roberts who had been keeping his powder dry (as a little birdie said he has been for most of the winter). Jealous of being outgunned in the golden goals chart by a 17 stone 8 pound midfielder he snared 3 (1 whilst sitting down), much to the amusement of injured emergency substitute Vaughan who was barracking the team from the touchline like a Glaswegian drunk.
At about 4.15 pm an elephant escaped from Whipsnade zoo and flew low over the pitch to witness Walker's first strike, then circled back moments later as an amazing shot went firstly towards the goal, performed u-turns back then forward again to cross the line without touching a defending player. Your correspondent was looking away at the time, but was reliably informed the goal was a genuine one.
The back 3 of Bailey, Shrimpo and Lloyd looked very solid throughout and all that was left was to witness the poorest penalty ever seen at Shenley. McGuigan's dead ball halo slipped as he he fired a shot even our club's great leader 'The Turtle' would have stopped 9 times out of 10. And that is on astroturf. (The Fox possibly 7 times).
The final words must go to philosopher Socrates who game along to watch, and gave the following quote about the second half performance of Dobbo, make of what you will.
'Quitters never win, winners never quit. Show me a man who never wins and never quits and I'll show you an idiot'.
Eleven goals for the 4ths as well, albeit spread across a double header. 2-0 against Edmontonians in the first, then 9-4 in the second. Five goals for Paul Bernard, last year's golden boot winner getting him right in the mix. Tired legs and all of that......
For the 5ths a defeat to a mixed bag of Mill Hill Village's 2nds (cancelled) and 4ths. Fewksey reported recognising quite a few of the Mill Hill players from their 2nds earlier this season and past years. Of course, it's quite possible that Fewksey's contemporaries from a few years ago should now be playing at 5th team level, as indeed might Fewksey once his knee recovers. Or could it be with their 2nds postponed Mill Hill loaded a side? Surely not.........
Saturday 8th February
HAC 1 Accies 1sts 3 (Jon Houghton 3).
Nottsborough 0 (Ciaran Hickey) Accies 2nds 3 (Chris Dobson 2, Innis Pirrie).
Accies 3rds 1 (Phil Stewart) London Hospital 1.
London Hospital 3 Accies 3rds 2 (Ian Wagstaff, Martin Hacking).
Accies 4ths 2 (Paul Bernard, Ed Jeremy) Nottsborough 7.
Accies 5ths 2 (Mark Hanlon, Dan Coyle) Egbertians 1.
Polytechnic 2 Accies 6ths 3 (Graham Whitworth, Matt Redman, Chris Whyman.
Three AFA Cup Quarter Finals and two wins, can't complain. The 2nds draw was probably as tough as it could have been, but they produced their best performance of the season to beat Nottsborough 3-0 at Tolworth. For the 4ths facing Nottsborough 4ths at Shenley, not the same story - 3-1 down at half time - though their goals in the first half were very lucky to say the least, the sort that just about creep over the line off their shins and get deflected twice before stopping an inch over the line (hardly net busters). With 30 minutes to go the Accies pulled it back to 2-3, then Nottsborough scored a couple of good goals and whole game changed to their favour - to their credit they did have some good players and their strikers were finishing near enough every chance.
Finally to the 6ths at Poly, and the ground in Chiswick where some of us started Accies football on Sunday mornings back in the dim and distant past. Being honest, a game with a hint of daylight robbery - against the wind and up the slope the Accies took a 1-0 lead with our first chance, Chris Whyman netting, and then conceded a freak goal as a ball shot headed for the turtle's midriff shot along the ground and past (and it's a bad bounce that misses my midriff). Poly then really took over and took a 2-1 lead, only to be pegged back by Graham Whitworth and Matt Redman to take the Accies 3-2 up at half time. Skippers are often under-appreciated, but at half time Rob James made the decision that was key to the game, bringing on Chris Coates to man mark the Poly midfielder who was tearing us to shreds. It worked a treat, and he vanished from the game, with the further benefit that Kid didn't get much of the ball either! Nevertheless the pressure continued, and Poly hit the woodwork three times in the second half, yet the longer it went on the more it seemed destiny favoured the Accies. As time ran out the Accies had scored three from four chances, and Poly two from twenty odd! Spenny spent the final 20 minutes playing as a lone striker, and then admitted he'd got utterly ratted the night before, and didn't want to admit it in case he was made sub. No-one had noticed, which is probably even more worrying for the Gore..........
In league action the 1sts finally turned it around. Though whether this is good or bad the jury must debate. Falling behind 1-0 to HAC early on, the sort of battling performance that's eluded us for months came out, and Jon Houghton scored a hat-trick for a 3-1 win. Joy unrestrained in the evening, yet this produced Chantler whinging about his teeth, Gaz threatening to retire if last week's own goal isn't credited to him (despite no reasonable evidence in his favour), Hair trying to pull whilst wearing a T-shirt straight out of Play Away and most worryingly Woody's insistence on asking me "name my favourite amateur footballer". So many undertones to that it's scary. I almost prefer it when we lose.
The 3rds strong season hit a major bump. Double headers are great ways to pick up points quickly, and alas shed them. Two games against London Hospital at Shenley yielded a single, and frustrating point. Better news for the 5ths, who eked out a 2-1 win at home to Egbertians. A special mention must go to Bobby Butlin whose flying tackle almost saw him sent off for a professional foul. Ball past him and man chasing beyond, but Bobby showing technique that could have him playing fullback for England (at rugby) took his man out spectacularly. A covering defender and the strong suspicion that at 5th team level there's no such thing as a "clear goal scoring opportunity" kept our man on the pitch to see out the victory.........
Saturday 1st February
As London was paralysed by at least an inch of snow no-one played. Neil Gillard showed his true colours and went off to watch Millwall play instead. So many questions........