2002-03 Results - March
Saturday 29th March
Accies 1sts 1 (Rick Hirst) Albanian 1.
Mill Hill Village 1 Accies 2nds 0.
Accies 3rds 3 (Scott Atkinson 2, Ben Goodier) Enfield Old Grammarians 1.
Southgate County 2 Accies 4ths 5 (Jon Logie 3, Dan Willoughby, Andy Williams).
Accies 5ths 2 (Paolo Imbrauglio 2) Old Tollingtonians 4.
Accies 6ths 2 (Spencer Gore, Nick Reed) Old Ignatian 3.
Accies Vets 5 Catch 22 2.
Back to the league for all sides now, and the run in to the season. Three teams remain in contention, and good news for two of them.
For the 2nds, already mired in a five way dogfight for Senior 5 North, a visit to Mill Hill Village always had banana-skin written across it, particularly the week after the Cup Final loss and with a number of injuries. Alas it came to pass, and a game which always looked like being decided by a single goal, if any, fell the way of the home side. Yet this division probably still has some twists and turns.
The 3rds faced Enfield Old Grammarians at Shenley, with two tasks - to remove Enfield's lingering hopes and to maintain the pace ahead of Old Camdenians and Mill Hill Village. After a nervy start the Accies fell behind after 25 minutes, but quickly equalised through Ben Goodier. Into the second half and the Accies determination and power came through - Scott Atkinson took the lead with one of those gifted goals that make you wonder if he spends money on bribing keepers and the Accies added a third to make the end comfy.
At Firs Farm the 4th team went top of the league for the first time this season with a convincing 5-2 win over Southgate. 3-0 up after 15 minutes effectively killed the game before it had even got started, a classic hat-trick by Jon Logie, one with the right, one with the left (deflected but who cares) and a header made it a good day for the 4th's. A 20 yard shot from the skipper Willoughby, which tamely bounced once before it reached the keeper still went in (!!??) to make it 4-0. At 5-0 we coasted and then allowed Southgate to get 2 very dubious goals late on, one a penalty which was never, and then one a header which didn't cross the line but the ref gave it - think he felt sorry for Southgate. Fox therefore claimed a clean sheet (denied!).
The remaining games were at Shenley. For the 1sts the task remains to ensure enough points to not be dragged into any relegation dogfight, and a hardwon draw meant mission accomplished, as well as ending Albanian's remote title hopes.
For the 5ths and 6ths, time to start building for next season, with a few newcomers on view. The 5ths faced Tollingtonians and found themselves 1-0 down when skipper and keeper Bobby Butlin hobbled off with a knee injury. Five minutes later Tolly lost their keeper, but powered on to take a 3-0 lead. Valiantly the Accies fought back, and at 3-2 down with five minutes to go had a slim hope. But a breakaway goal and mistake by replacement keeper McConnell gave Tolly their fourth and, on balance, a deserved win.
For the 6ths, death by suicide. At 2-0 up against Ignatians it looked all too comfortable, so the Accies decided on the novel approach of trying to shoot at their own keeper. Tony Minoldo didn't have a save to make in the match, watched Ignatians score one, and the Accies notch two own goals as the visitors ran out 3-2 winners.
On Thursday night the Optimists faced Catch 22 at Paddington Rec. A confident, passing game was testament to the Accies ability and (perhaps more) disinclination to run around and with Jim Graven and Bob Woad livewires up front the Optimists found themselves 3-0 up. Carl Kemp's halftime team talk proved particularly inspiring as with ten minutes of the restart the now-snoozing Vets found themselves pegged back to 3-2. With Messrs Kemp, Harkins and McConnell trying their hardest to win the "suicide pass of the day" competition (Carl's backpass a narrow winner ahead of Frank's throw-in) the game suddenly looked in the balance before the Accies re-asserted themselves to run out 5-2 winners.
A special note to guesting Dan Willoughby who became the latest in a longish list of non-Veterans to look old enough to be asked by Carl if he'd reached 35 yet. Poor Dan, the answer will be yes in 2009!
Saturday 22nd March
Old Ignatian 1 Accies 1sts 1 (Steve Nash).
Old Camdenians 3 Accies 2nds 2 (Chris Dobson, Innis Pirrie).
Old Aloysians 1 Accies 3rds 2 (Gio Martelli, Phil Stewart, aet).
Accies 4ths 3 (Paul Bernard 2, Matt Wanford) Old Buckwellians 1.
Old Buckwellians 2 Accies 4ths 2 (Paul Bernard, Adam Mammon).
Accies 6ths 0 Parkfield 3.
The short version: we had three AFA Cup Finals, the 3rds won theirs, the 2nds and 6ths didn't.......
AFA Junior Cup Final - UCL Academicals 2 Old Aloysians 1 (aet) - report from Scott Atkinson
Team: Scott Atkinson (C), Pete Clothier (G), Phil Christer, Andrew Blincoe, Jim Roberts, David Wilkinson, Andy Tickle, Phil Stewart, Iain Wagstaff, Ben Goodier, Gio Martelli. Subs: Simon Bane, Derek Fowler, Martin Hacking.
We woke up on Saturday and the conditions looked ideal. Spring had arrived early and so did the Accies (at least an hour and half for most of us) to try and make sure we weren't caught cold. The pitch was big flat and surface to rival Shenley. The Accies had some supporters for a change but they were outnumbered by those from Old Aloysians.
Si Tinling dropped out the day before so the heartache and pain of dropping a guy had all been in vain and Bano was swiftly drafted in to the squad. The Accies won the toss and chose to kick into the breeze. We had been warned that the oppo had 2 good midfielders and 2 quick guys upfront. The warning was accurate. The early meet was a waste of time and the Accies just didn't get going. Stringing 2 passes together looked to be an impossible feat. One of their forwards could have given Linford Christie a run for his money and was proving too much to handle for our back line of Geordie Phil, Blincoe, Hairy Jim and David. However, despite all the pressure the first clear cut chance fell to Gio. Through one on one after a mistake by their centre back the keeper was delighted when Gio passed it gently into his arms. Was he distracted by something or someone on the sidelines? His father was there but he had also been impressed by Bano's missus and we will all have to draw our own conclusions.
Linford then missed a great chance for OA- his lob going just passed the post. Soon afterwards OA took the lead. Their right back (one of their best players) went on a mazy run which culminated in a trip by Mr. Blincoe on the edge of the area. The free kick was unstoppable and it was looking ominous for the Accies. Ben had a half chance after a rare passing movement on the right and was unfortunate not to score with header from a corner but other than that the OA goal was not troubled.
For all their pressure OA couldn't increase the lead and clear cut chances were not created. Shortly before half time they did get a chance but failed to score with a more or less open goal from 4 yards. Half time came and there were some serious words spoken. We had to up things and knew we couldn't play any worse. The breeze would be in our favour and we felt we could score. Bano came on for Hairy Jim and Des replaced Phil Christer which did provide the defence with a touch more pace. Right from the K.O. it was a different Accies side. Some flowing football and plenty of pressure gave us heart. At the back the threat was snaffled out and one thought it was a matter of time. The time duly arrived after about 60 mins. A sustained period of pressure ended with a ball knocked into the box to Gio who controlled it, turned (one might even say swivelled) and shot unerringly into the bottom corner.
That shut up the OA supporters who had been baying and singing in a drunken fashion all game. They had a club song and one about how they would f**k UCL. I think our supporters must have forgotten the words of our club song!
Waggers and Andy Tickle then started to run the midfield and there only looked to be one winner. Phil also began to get some joy down the left and put in a few crosses that unfortunately were not converted. The danger was always a possible OA break away goal but the defence stood firm and Bano and Blincoe were imperious. When the breach came Pete clothier, superb all game, produced a world class save to deny the OA striker. The whistle went for full time and the dreaded penalty shoot out looked a possibility. In the first period of ET Andy T took a clattering as the tackles started to fly and was replaced by Martin. The game was still dominated by the Accies but a goal was proving elusive as the first period drew to a close. Then the moment came that we will all remember. A corner on the right from Waggers was only half cleared straight to Phil Stewart's leg, knee, shin toe - who cares what it was as it looped up and into the top corner. 15 minutes to hold out which in the end we managed fairly comfortably. The only sour note coming when David received a Cantonaesque kick to the upper body off the ball which went unseen and unpunished by the officials.
At the fianl whistle there was pandemonium. Everybody jumped on each other in a very manly way and the trophy was ours (and soon to go on a very strange journey during the course of the evening celebrations). Well done to everybody. I can't pick a man of the match as it was a team performance and congrats to the oppo who were magnanimous in defeat.
Click on the thumbnails below for the before and after pictures of the winning team.
Tales of the aftermath:
Phil Christer: "I woke up at 1:30 at Northampton Station, with no trains going back towards London, had to get a taxi home and then I got in at 4:00am. I was sick, lost my jacket and broke my phone but managed to keep hold of my bag somehow... but my God it was worth it!!!"
Scott Atkinson: "Still in shock after the win. What a day what a night. The trophy wasn't lost although Phil's bag was. Half the trophy ended up in a KFC on Chiswick High Road being used as a drinking container and was very handy for me living just round the corner in West Hampstead (cheers Bano)."
David Wilkinson: "Pub to Hackney in 3.5 hours (I think). Leave pub (midnight, I think) - Tube to East London, Destination Whitechapel. Arrive East London, not sure where but past Romford (asleep). Bus to Trafalgar square (asleep), Tactical chunder (pavement), walk to Tottenham Ct Road (not far but my watch told me 40 minutes), bus to Homerton (asleep thankfully). Walk home (arrive 3:46). Trophy base clutched to chest throughout, now on mantelpiece. Not as far as Northampton directly but the distances were similar........
Phil Stewart: "Had a little bit of a disaster Saturday night. For some reason after I left The Walkabout I ended up on the platform of Harrow and Wealdstone tube station where I proceeded to throw my guts up. I then got kicked out the station (missed the last train) and eventually flagged down a dodgy cab. I asked to go to Chiswick but was taken to China Town!! The driver got out and told me to wait for a couple of minutes while he got his mate, I shat myself thinking I was going to get mugged or worse, so in a brief moment of clarity I did a runner (probably where I left my bag) and got another cab home."
More to follow........
AFA Intermediate Cup Final - UCL Academicals 2 Old Camdenians 3 - Fewkseys report to follow
AFA Intermediate Novets Cup Final - UCL Academicals 0 Parkfield 3 - report from Danny McConnell
Team: Rob James (C), Danny McConnell (G), Dom Sumners, Duncan Bonfield, Chris Whyman, Chris Coates, Mark Emmerson, Matt Glynn, Matt Redman, Spencer Gore, Graham Whitworth. Subs: Adrian Haysome, Nick Reed, Raman Gajree.
Disappointment for the 6ths, not so much because we lost, but in the manner of the defeat.
A beautiful day, but all a little frantic courtesy of traffic nightmares with anti-war protests and the traffic heading to the rugby at Twickenham. With kickoff ten minutes late the Accies took half an hour to reach a semblance of settling. No idea why, but on a bobbly pitch, the boys struggled to get composed and too many people seemed to be giving themselves a hard time for making mistakes. Parkfield, full of veterans harried and hustled us, and did their best to prevent us settling.
Yet the storm was weathered, and with half an hour gone we started to play as we know we can, getting the ball down and trying to spread it wide. As half time approached we began to think we'd have the upper hand, with a scoreless first half up a slight slope and into a breeze. Cue the first killer blow - with less than five minutes remaining a corner was cleared to the edge of the area. Perhaps the corner could have been gathered by the keeper, perhaps the ball could have been closed down quicker, probably the Parkfield player won't ever hit as crisp a shot again. But he did, and suddenly the Accies found themselves 1-0 down at half time.
But all was not lost - the genuine sentiment was that we'd played poorly and could step up a couple of gears, and Parkfield were at 100% already. And on a hot day would tire as the second half progressed.
Early doors this looked to be the case. For the first fifteen minutes of the second half the Accies camped in the Parkfield end, although clear chances wouldn't come. Then Parkfield broke, crossed the ball across the area where the forward hit the ball agonisingly across the face - was it going in, going wide - neither - it pinged off the far post and was buried by a following team-mate. 2-0 and game over. The belief drained out of the Accies.
We then threw caution to the wind, but without really too much hope. Chances simply wouldn't come, and Parkfield looked more likely to score on the break. With ten minutes to go they did just that.
At the final whistle the delight on Parkfield's faces were clear. A nice team and a good bunch of lads and good luck and congratulations to them. For the Accies only disappointment, but we only have ourselves to blame for a disappointing performance. You win as a team and you lose as a team and I think everyone can say they'd like to have played better. In the end it just felt we let the occasion get the better of us......
Yet overall a good cup run, and a memory to cherish. Our quarter final win was daylight robbery, and a learning experience for next season..........
In amongst the cup finals the 1sts and 4ths played league games, both with early kickoffs.
For the 1sts, the usual tale for the season. A point gained or two points lost? We'd have hoped to beat Ignatians before kickoff, but with a sending off forcing the final half hour to be played with ten men a draw was a solid result.
The 4ths played a double header at Shenley, comfortably beating Old Buckwellians in the first, and leading the second until the final minute. Then disaster as Buckwellians scored in the final minute. Four points from the day isn't bad business, but we're trying hard to make this division as tight as we can!!!!!
Saturday 15th March
Old Hamptonians 3 Accies 1sts 3 (Gareth Jones 2, Dan Chantler).
Old Challoners 1 Accies 2nds 1 (Mike Bailey).
Accies 2nds 0 (Ciaran Hickey) Old Challenors 0.
Old Aloysians 1 Accies 3rds 7 (Ben Goodier 5, Gio Martelli 2).
Accies 4ths 2 (Paul Bernard, Jon Logie) Old Aloysians 1.
Ravenscroft Old Boys 2 Accies 5ths 1 (Dino Antoniades).
Accies 6ths 2 (Graham Whitworth, Matt Glynn) Old Camdenians 0 (Danny McConnell).
Old Camdenians 0 (Danny McConnell) Accies 6ths 2 (Matt Redman, Graham Whitworth).
No cup games, but for three sides the final buildup to next week's AFA finals. And key league games.
For the 1st XI perhaps a season's ups and downs encapsulated into 90 minutes. 2-0 down after ten minutes and perhaps "here we go again". But no. Through determination, hard work and divine intervention (Chantler scored his first Accies goal from open play) the Accies worked their way back to lead 3-2 with ten minutes to go. Cue Vossy getting crocked and a backs to the wall job. Alas, not successfully, and a third 3-3 away draw for the season. A point gained or two points lost? A neat summary of a frustrating season.
A key double header for the 2nds away to Old Challoners, with both sides in title contention, and neither wishing to cede ground to Albanian or Parkfield. And frustration - whilst the Accies had the better of both games, only a share of the spoils, with two draws shared between the two teams. Not a disaster, but it leaves the remainder of the season very interesting.
No such frustration for the 3rds - in pole position in 1 North and away to Aloysians 4ths in one of those games they ought to win. And how. 7-1 was the result, boosting further a goal difference, firing a warning shot at Aloysians 3rds for the AFA Final next week and just the sort of confidence booster the Accies wanted. Perfect. Ben "I want to start in the final" Goodier chips in with five goals.......
Could the 4ths, in hot pursuit of Camdenians and Queen Mary's pull off a similar trick - also Aloysians, though at Shenley. Much harder work, and Fox's "save" for the Aloysians goal must be the best non-save I've ever seen. From twelve yards out a point blank range tip which sent the ball in a trajectory ten yards over the bar and fifteen yards behind. Then the wind hits, and this ball just stops and stops, and finally lands just under the bar. Unlucky or what! 1-0 down, and time to battle it out, and that was just the case - a 2-1 victory in the final analysis was three key points hard won.
A watershed day for the 5ths. Mark Hanlon and Steve Brown have finally had their deportation orders to Australia and so their final game for the Accies. All too familiar in result as well for the 5ths, they could've won, but didn't quite, falling 2-1 to Ravenscroft. Best of luck the boys down under......
Double headers - perfect. The 6ths faced Camdenians at Shenley, and a double clean sheet. Gotta love them. Camdenians, in all frankness, rarely threatened to score, and in the first game the Accies made steady progress to a 2-0 win, with Camdenians intent on arguing with themselves, the referee and the Accies (in that order). The second game has 0-0 written all over it, with the Accies spending the first half descending into the whinge-fest. I'm not sure my half time tactical insight ("let's stop behaving like 8 year olds") was quite what Rob wanted when he asked me for my thoughts, but the break made all the difference in the world. Second half we started playing football again, left them to keep moaning, and Matt Redman and Graham Whitworth both notched beautiful finishes as the Accies showed what they could do. Two 2-0 wins, perfect.
Saturday 8th March
Accies 2nds 5 (Mark McGuigan, Nat Keast, Chris Dobson, Simon Vaughan, og) Old Salvatorians 0 (Mark Dawson).
Old Bealonians 3 Accies 3rds 4 (Steve Nash 2, Phil Stewart, Ben Goodier).
Accies 4ths 3 (Dan Willoughby, Jon Logie, Adam Mammon) Old Bealonians 2.
Accies 5ths 0 Egbertians 1.
Spring! The bad weather finally gone, birds singing, the daffodils out and a bright new summer approaches. A day for strolling around being glad to be in the fresh air. That was Sunday. Like #### for Saturday, the day before. Cold wet, blowing a gale and the sort of afternoon made for staying under the duvet (insert own gag/comment). On such days, at places such as Hainault Rec in the cloying mud can league tables are won and lost, historically rarely by the Accies!
Such was the task for the 3rds, no flat Shenley pitches, but a hard working Old Bealonians opposition in Essex who made them fight for every goal. A thoroughly deserved 4-3 win was the sort of thing that in the past, the Accies weren't made of. One to note for other sides.
Meanwhile at Shenley, three home games. Better pitches, but still awful conditions, with a gale blowing down each pitch. Wind assistance was crucial - the 2nds turned against the elements leading 3-0, and with Salvatorians effectively beaten. A 5-0 result in the end, with a solid, confident Nugget performance to keep a clean sheet and the scoring spread around. Title aspirations remain on course.
For the 4ths, also title hunting, against the wind first half a come from 2-1 behind to win result, which keeps them on pace. 3-2 was tighter than it should've been, Paul Bernard living up to his "barn door" nickname.
No luck for the 5ths, though mainly the 6ths in disguise. With the elements in the first half the Accies struggled to take advantage, and were fortunate to turn around level. Ironically in the second half the Accies created more, and Nick Reed may have nightmares about his miss for some time. Egbertians too kept pressing, and despite the efforts of Dom "The Black Knight" Sumners eventually the only goal of the game came. A shame - a good effort by the Accies but just missing that last 5%.
Saturday 1st March
Accies 1sts 2 (Jon Houghton 2) HAC 1.
Accies 3rds 2 (Martin Hacking, Simon Vaughan) Old Camdenians 0 (Pete Clothier).
Accies 4ths 3 (Paul Bernard, Adam Mammon, Ed Jeremy) Old Camdenians 0 (Steve Woodrow).
Old Camdenians 3 Accies 4ths 1 (Ed Jeremy).
Accies 5ths 2 (Steve Brown, Paolo Imbrauglio) Hale End Athletic 2.
Hale End Athletic 4 Accies 5ths 0.
Old Chigwellians 5 Accies 6ths 0.
Semi final day for the 6ths in the London Old Boys Cup, and would there be a hangover from reaching the AFA Cup final the week before. Oh yes. With some players missing skiing, and Matt Redman showing up late with the flimsy excuse of getting mugged for his mobile en route to the game (true to form he chased the bloke for ten yards and then gave up hoping someone else would do it) the Accies started rather flat. Step up the Turtle, with a comedy show of epic proportions to concede three goals of varying incompetence in a ten minute first half spell. Matt Redman's day just got worse as he arrived at half time to find the Accies 4-0 down! Game over - Chigwellians were delighted, showing how much it meant to them - good luck to them in the final.
For the rest, league action at Shenley, and a much welcomed victory for the 1sts. Jon Houghton, on the election trail, opened the scoring after five minutes and when HAC pegged the Accies back, nailed his second and the winner. Better result, better performance.
No fixture for the 2nds, but a crunch game for the 3rds, home to Old Camdenians in a match of the two likeliest teams in 1 North. Tough game, but the Accies always looked the winners and ran out 2-0 victors. Phil Sullivan got knocked silly and ended up in Barnet casualty for a brain scan (please insert own gag here). Special mention to Phil Christer who drove his car over, gave him the keys and told him it was parked in Car Park B. Apparently there is no Car Park B at Barnet General, just what you need with a concussion - bum directions! With Enfield Old Grammarians losing the Accies go top of 1 North.
Big matches for the 4ths as well - a double header, at home, also to Camdenians. Accies 13 points behind but with 6 (!!!) games in hand and the chance to really close the gap. The first game was a comfortable 3-1 win, but Camdenians turned the tables in the second. With the Fox getting booked, giving away a penalty and claiming mistakes on the other two goals not the best of days for our animal goalkeepers. Who'd be a goalkeeper? (no, that's not an appeal - not yet anyway)......
Finally the 5ths, and a double header at home to bete noire Hale End. A 2-2 result in the first match was as good as it got, as aging legs in the second game found themselves struggling against what is basically a youth side. 4-0 Hale End.