U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2003-04 Results - January

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Saturday 31st January

Fielding eight sides in one day is quite an achievement. Cancelling all eight games is a major bummer, especially after over a hundred emails and texts to fill up the sides during the week. 

From Wednesday's snowstorm, aborting a last minute training session, to Friday's thaw and into Saturday morning's monsoon the signs were never good, and the Shenley games (1sts, 4ths and 6ths) all bit the dust Friday morning, followed by the 5ths (away to Aloysians) Friday afternoon. Saturday morning saw the demise of the 2nds (away to Edmontonians), Vets (away to HAC, who had two different pitches booked!) and the 3rds and 7ths (both away to Albanian, the former after an AFA decision to postponed the game following a pitch inspection).

And now, to cap it all, I've got to spend the afternoon shopping!

Saturday 24th January

Old Hamptonians 4 Accies 1sts 1 (Neil Gillard).

Accies 2nds 1 (Lloyd Vanson) Egbertian 1.

Accies 4ths 5 (Paul Bernard 3, Matt Wanford 2) Old Minchendenians 1.

Accies 5ths 4 (Graham Whitworth, Chris Coates, Steve Brown, Ethu Crorie) Old Aloysians 1.

Accies 6ths 3 (Will Paxton, Mike Epstein, Jimmy Atkinson) Leyton County Old Boys 1.

League action, and a rough day at the top, but good news at the bottom. No games for the 3rds (AFA game called off due a waterlogged Albanian pitch) or the 7ths (all broken).

A bad day for the firsts losing away to league leaders Hamptonians.  A great start saw Gillard head home after a flowing move and Voss' cross. Unfortunately Accies didn't play any more decent football for the next 75 minutes. Hamptonians found their rhythm quickly and played neat passing football . The oppo front two gave the defence a torrid afternoon and went in 2-1 at the break. 

In the second half the harder the Accies tried to pass the worse it got and two goals in quick succession  effectively ended the game. The Hamptonians keeper made a brilliant save from Hair's header after 70 mins and finally the Accies had some pressure. 3 good chances in the last 10 minutes should have given some consolation, but the Accies had to settle for a 4-1 loss and a humiliating one at that. Hamptonians are a good side, but beatable as we proved last season.

Disappointment and frustration for the 2nds. Playing at Shenley against Egbertians a poor first half saw the Accies turn around 1-0 down, but quickly equalised and then seemed likely to power on to victory. But the goal never came, and only a draw meant points lost in the title pursuit.

Better news for the fourths, who coasted to a 5-0 lead against Minchendenians. With Matt Ramsden having turned out at late notice to cover for a sick Fox a cheap clean sheet seemed to be within grasp. Then a late penalty and consolation for Minch. Shame!

They say that title winning teams win when they play poorly. Perhaps today the fifths proved it. Against a lively team made up Aloysians youngsters and a few wise old heads the Accies started off comatose and slowly woke up to sleepy, quiet and finally got going with about ten minutes to go.

In the first half either side could have taken the lead, before finally the Accies broke the deadlock only to get caught out as Aloysians equalised. The second half then turned on two short periods of play - Aloysians narrowly missed scoring as a scuffed shot hit first one post, ran across the goal-line, hit the other post and came out (though I did of course have it covered) before the Accies shortly after took the lead, a good back post cross finally being met by a Fifth (Chris Coates) who actually waited at the back post and then attacked the ball (normal procedure to run to the near post and then flick the ball over). Back came Aloysians and failed to convert a one-on-one only for the Accies to kill the game with a beautiful Steve Brown finish.

All that was left was the ultimate indignity. Coming up with the well known "I've done my leg so I'll have to play up front ruse" E2 limped up front, chased a ball 30 yards at full sprint, tried to square it, hit a divot, tripped over his shoe-laces and saw the ball tuck past the keeper into the far corner, where a defender failed to keep it out (E2 will claim this as his goal, and a deliberate finish). Then the limp returned. Aloysians have no idea what crime occurred! Aloysians probably deserved something, and certainly didn't deserve the margin. A quicker start is definitely needed in the rematch next week.

Finally, the sixths long elusive winning streak continued, another win, 3-1 at home to Leyton County.

Saturday 17th January

Accies 1sts 5 (Jon Houghton 2, Mark Esiri 2, Gareth Jones) Economicals 2.

Accies 2nds 2 (Ian Roberts, Simon Vaughan) Albanian 2. Accies won 5-4 on penalties.

Accies 3rds 5 (Scott Atkinson 3, Adam Parsons, Chris Groves) Old Meadonians 0 (Matt Ramsden).

Old Actonians 3 Accies 4ths 3 (Dan Willoughby, Dave Atthis, Max Lovell). Old Actonians won 4-1 on penalties.

Accies 5ths 1 (Graham Whitworth) Leyton County Old Boys 1.

Southgate County 1 Accies 6ths 3 (Will Paxton 3).

Accies 7ths 1 (Sam Samra) Old Camdenians 4.

Huge London Old Boys Cup day - quarter finals for the 1sts and 2nds, last 16 for the 3rds and 4ths, and three wins out of four, including two penalty shootouts. 

The firsts were pitted against LSE old boys and f or the second week in a row we let a weaker opposition score first after a poorly defended corner. Ten minutes later Jones intercepted the keeper's kick and crossed perfectly for Houghton to head home. Accies mounted further pressure and despite missing a penalty went in 2-1 up after Houghton dispatched a one-on-one with the keeper. Esiri scored from close range early in the second half. That should have been the end of it but an Economicals penalty gave Accies a few jitters before Jones cool strike made it 4-2. Esiri grabbed his brace and Man of the Match with 7 minutes remaining to leave the final score 5-2. We could have played much better, but at this stage of the season it's all about the right result. Bring on Hamptonians next week !

In the absence of the Fewksmeister, the 2nds faced Albanian under the command of the McGuigan, whose pre-match was handicapped by the late arrival of Mike Bailey and the kit. Youngsters! 

Into the game, and another battle against Albanian - 1-0 up as time began to run out, then Jorge had a moment and the game was heading for extra time. A goal each and a penalty shootout loomed. Rarely have Messrs Roberts, Bailey, Crotty, Pirrie and McGuigan shown such composure in front of goal, and redemption came as Jorge made a superb save to keep out Albanian's fourth, and send the Accies to the semis.

Captaincy is never easy, and brings with it the danger of taking liberties. We accept that a disproportionate number of Accies penalties are taken by skippers, but the midweek display spotted at Mile End showed how far, and unacceptable this can go. Fortunately, Waggy isn't a skipper for the Accies, and his poncy yellow gloves worn for Linklaters showed no signs of appearing for the Accies, as the thirds faced Old Meadonians at Shenley. A tight game early doors unravelled for Meadonians as the first half came to a close, and amidst the wreckage Scott Atkinson poached the umpeenth (he'll know how many, and will probably want to tell us) hat-trick of his career. One of the Meadonians managed to get cautioned, get cautioned again, and then finally lose the plot entirely, having to be escorted to the changing rooms by his team-mate. He'll have a long break coming up. Quarter finals: Old Actonians, a tough draw.

A trip to west London for the fourths, and penalties against Old Actonians. 2-0 down, clawed back to 2-1, then 3-1 down, the Accies finally managed to even the scores and take the game into extra time. With both sides knackered, and the Accies down to 10 men with Si Valentine crocked, penalties were the only option, and the Accies rapidly removed all doubts by missing two of their first three. Actonians converted all four, and that was that!

League action for the 5ths, and the hardest game of the season against Leyton County Old Boys. In a first half of few clear cut chances the Accies missed the clearest, yet trailed to a non-chance from Leyton, the Turtle spilling an easy gather to gift the first goal. The second half saw half chances at both ends, before with ten minutes to go a flick on fell to Graham Whitworth, deadly from 18 inches out. Scores even, and with Leyton County trailing by six points with a game in hand, the Accies settled for the draw.

After a run of three consecutive draws, the sixths finally got back onto winning ways with a 3-1 win away to Southgate County, Will Paxton notching a hat-trick.

Finally, more disappointment and more injuries for the plagued 7th XI, losing at home to Old Camdenians. Committed in all senses, and they probably should be. There's always next week........

Saturday 10th January

Old Parkonians 1 Accies 3 (Rick Hirst 2, Jon Houghton).

Accies 2nds 2 (Ian Roberts, Lloyd Vanson) Albanian 0 (Jorge Fernandez).

Accies 3rds 2 (Phil Stewart, Scott Atkinson) Old Buckwellians 1.

Accies 4ths (Dan Willoughby 3, Max Lovell 3) BBC 1.

Enfield Old Grammarians 1 Accies 5ths 2 (Andy Watt, Pat Laviolette).

Wood Green Old Boys 1 Accies 6ths 1 (Dave Voss).

Old Camdenians 5 Accies 7ths 1 (og).

Last 16 of the AFA Cups for the 1sts and 4ths, and success on both fronts. 

A massive game for the first team against Old Parkonians in the AFA cup last 16. The Accies made a good start only to be shocked by a Parkonians opening goal after poor defending. 1-0 down at the break the Accies reverted to 3-5-2 and were rewarded when Jones was bundled over in the area. Hirst dispatched the penalty to make it 1-1. Sterner defending allowed Accies to take control, but too often the final pass was poor. 5 minutes from time Parkonians striker was sent off for an off the ball incident and extra time was needed. 

In the first half of extra time Carabine's neat pass was clinically finished by Houghton to finally put the Accies ahead. Hirst wrapped things up with a 40 yard shot ( cross ). The right result, but should have been wrapped up in 90 minutes.

For the fourths, a variety of reports, all abusive. Scott Atkinson noted that "they seemed to win fairly easily, the opposition were so bad that Dan Willoughby scored a hat-trick". Dan himself noted that the opposition were mostly old, indeed so old Fox remembered most of them from when he was playing second team football. Damning on two fronts, but quarter finals nevertheless. The Accies won 6-1 with Max Lovell notching his first hat-trick for the Accies as well.

Top of the table league games for both the 3rds and 5ths, and more good news.

The 3rds faced leaders Old Buckwellians at Shenley, and found themselves 1-0 down after two minutes. The Accies fought back, aided by the Buckwellians keeper getting sent off, and the old guard provided the goals, Phil Stewart bagging the equaliser and Scott Atkinson the winner.

For the 5ths, an away game against Enfield Old Grammarians 4ths, and with their 1st team cancelled, some guests on their bench! The Accies managed to turn around 1-0 down, despite having the bulk of the play, but with Pat Laviolette terrorising their back four Enfield brought on the ringers. To no avail, Andy Watt equalised from a corner (doubling his career tally for the Accies in one season?) and with fifteen minutes to go Pat scored a screamer to finally open his account for the Accies. A few scares but the Accies held out for a deserved win.

League action too for the 2nds, and a hard fought 2-0 win against Albanian at Shenley. A hard fought result for the 6ths as well, drawing away to league leaders Wood Green Old Boys. Adrian Haysome got booked, and claimed it was a travesty. Seems unlikely!!

Finally, more disappointment for the 7ths. Having gone a goal down inside the first 5 minutes, the first half belonged to the Accies, by far there best half yet if only they could score! Sameer hitting the post twice, pat forcing the keeper in to probably his best ever save and Spenny continuing his drought missing chance on both sides then narrowly over the top! You could sense that it was going to be one of those days. With seven players missing at the start the last thing that was needed was more injuries, but the curse of the sevenths continued. Sameer, who until the 50th min had been man of the match pulled up with hamstring problem. Spencer only last about another 20 mins after twisting his knee. The second half just didn't live up to the first and Old Camdonians ran away 5-1 winners. The one goal game from a corner swung in by Spenny, for their centre back to stick in his own net! Anyone got any strikers going??

Saturday 3rd January

Old Woodhouseians 1 Accies 2nds 9 (Lloyd Vanson 4, Ian Roberts 2, Simon Vaughan 2, Innis Pirrie).

Citibank 0 (Matt Ramsden) Accies 3rds 8 (Scott Atkinson 2, Andrew Blincoe, Nick Crowther, Phil Stewart, Ed Jeremy, Iain Wagstaff, Michael Short).

A Happy New Year indeed.

A short programme for the Accies, with only the top three sides due to play, and further truncated when the 1st XI game was called off due to a frozen pitch. Whether alternative options were available remains to be revealed!

The 2nds faced Old Woodhouseians away, and a mismatch on a difficult pitch. After an early settling in period the Accies suddenly blitzed Woods, and with 25 minutes gone led 4-0. Half time saw the score at 5-0, and whilst Woods fought back at the start of the second half the Accies weathered the mini-storm and added another four. Lloyd Vanson was denied another shot at a double hat-trick, first by Ian Roberts pulling rank again and claiming a penalty, and then by Andy Crotty's impromptu linesman impression.

Honourable mentions go to Ian Roberts, who terrorised the Woods back four all day, opening up the space for Lloyd to nail his chances, and Simon "Scholesy" Vaughan, who bagged another brace and then happily stayed well clear of the penalty!

AFA Cup action for the 3rds, and another mismatch, winning 8-0 away to Citibank. Phil Christer made a second half appearance up front and Blincoe scored, need I say more........