2002-03 Results - May
Saturday 10th May
Accies 1sts 3 (Gareth Jones, Jon Houghton, Paul Bernard) Old Hamptonians 2.
Old Manorians 0 (Greg Smith) Accies 2nds 7 (Chris Dobson 2, Ned Carabine 2, Mark Walker, Innis Pirrie, Rob Melvin).
Ravenscroft Old Boys 2 Accies 3rds 2 (Greg White 2).
Two promotions up for grabs, one controlling our own destiny, the other requiring help.
The 3rds recipe was simple: secure a point away to Ravenscroft and all was secure. 2-0 up after twenty five minutes and everything looked easy. Too easy! As the Accies went into major relaxation mode Ravenscroft fought back, first to 2-1 and then to 2-2. From then on a nervy game - Scott had a chance to bury a winner and scuffed it, though a call of "time" might have helped and the game crawled through the second half until finally petering out. Point won and job done, promotion to go with the AFA Junior Cup.
No such luck for the 2nds - first job to beat Manorians by four goals to pip Albanian. Job done in a convincing 7-0 win. Then sit and hope that Challenors wouldn't pick up three points against Parkfield in a double header. Alas, not to be - Parkfield held them to a 0-0 draw in the first game, but Challenors edged the second game 2-1, to overtake the Accies for the runners-up spot.
Finally to Shenley, and the final game of the season for the 1sts after a 17 day gap. A similar pattern to the whole season with the Accies playing the better football, but not being able to put the game away. A 1-0 lead lost, then a 2-1 lead lost. At 2-2 and with the "here we go again" well in the frame it was time for something different - on comes Golden Boot winner Paul Bernard for his first team debut. With minutes to go, the result we all dreaded - Bernard tucks away the winner, and the fourths and sixths all go into hiding..........
Tuesday 6th May
Albanian 3 Accies 3rds 2 (Scott Atkinson, Martin Hacking).
Best laid plans of mice and men. Let's play a 3rd XI game under lights at Wingate and Finchley. The Accies had their chances, but against a team with few 3rd XI players, plenty of 1st XI (including one AFA Representative player) and 2nd XI players it was all a bit of a farce, though not unexpected. Poor refereeing, focusing on lecturing players for querying decisions (quite farcical seeing a referee putting finger to lips and telling someone ten years older to keep quiet for having the temerity to speak to him on the pitch) whilst taking little action against late, dangerous challenges. Accies picked up three cautions for dissent etc, Bano's being the most ridiculous I think I've ever seen (apparently supposed to stop swinging a leg mid-kick because the referee had blown for a foul, so cautioned for kicking the ball out of play) whilst having three players carried off with a variety of nasty injuries, two ending up in hospital.
In the midst of all this, some comedy defending meant we lost 3-2. Goals from Scott and Martin. Thanks are due to Wingate & Finchley, but the rest of the evening was eminently forgettable. Bitter and twisted - you bet........
Saturday 3rd May
Hale End Athletic 4 Accies 2nds 1 (Chris Dobson).
Accies 3rds 4 (Greg White 2, Dave Yeo, Scott Atkinson) Leyton County Old Boys 2.
Old Buckwellians 1Accies 6ths 1 (Nick Reed).
Crunch time for the 2nds and 3rds, good news and bad news.
The 3rds faced Leyton County at Shenley, needing four points from three games to clinch promotion, and full points to keep the pressure on Camdenians. The thirds started slowly (what's new?) and at halftime found themselves losing 2-0 (not unusual). Then they woke up and scored four unanswered goals in the second half. Job done, and wonders what their second half scoring breakdown for the season would be.
For the 2nds a key game at Hale End, and disappointment. A poor performance in the absence of Fewskey (certified after last week/at his brother's wedding - we're not sure) saw four goals shipped against Hale End. McGuigan promptly called for a cull of the old farts!
Final game of the season for the 6ths, and an apparently meaningless mid-table battle with Buckwellians. With skipper Rob James absent (on holiday/washing his hair/under the thumb - we're not sure) Chris Coates stepped into the void and dealt with all sorts. An unstoppable Buckwellians free kick (honest) saw the Accies fall surprisingly behind until Nick Reed (who must have had three Weetabix this morning) equalised with as deserving a goal for a performance as has been seen all season. The Accies couldn't score the winner, yet the cameos from the game were many - Spenny's startling miss (the only reason we didn't all call him a w####r is that the referee had already threatened to send Adey Haysome off for using the same word), Sam moaning that referees was too self important to be prepared to chat to players all game (Sam, note - it isn't "all players", it's just you, and it isn't just referees - none of us want to hear you wittering to us all game), Adrian's general passion and release of aggression perhaps not totally unconnected to his wife being eight and a half months pregnant (work it out), Kid's face as for our last minute corner he saw his keeper appearing in the penalty area (he didn't seem to want me there!) and finally, my face having sprinted back (I write these, I'll take poetic licence) from the corner - I'm sure these pitches are longer than they used to be. No trophies in the end, but it's been a fun season.............