Saturday 8th May
Old Aloysians 1 Accies 1sts 3 (Lloyd Vanson, Mark Esiri, Mike Foster).
Accies 3rds 3 (Ben Goodier, Iain Wagstaff, Scott Atkinson) Old Bealonians 3.
Accies 4ths 2 (Joel Dunmore, Gio Martelli) Albanian 0 (Steve Woodrow).
Optimists 0 Old Minchendenians 3 (Sunday 9th May).
A must win game for the 4ths at Shenley, needing to beat title-winners Albanian to overhaul Queen Mary College Old Boys and clinch promotion in second place.
The Accies began strongly, and throughout the game looked the likelier to score, though with Albanian fielding an AFA player (James Concannon) in midfield they were always threatening. Joel Dunmore opened the scoring in the first half, and then the Accies missed a succession of chances to extend the lead, Andy Watt going close twice and Pat Lav chesting over from 12 yards! Into the second half and Albanian started to tire as the Accies drove onwards, and with fifteen minutes to go Terry Foster jinked through the defence to set Gio Martelli up for the easiest of tap-ins.
If Friday night was a 2-2 battering ,the second game in 24 hours was a gritty comeback. It had to happen sooner or later and it did on Saturday. No, not Blincoe turning up on time, he sealed the Big Ben award by turning up 5 mins before kick off and being dropped to the bench. No what happened was we played crap. That we didn't lose is testament to the quality of the spirit to come back 3 times from a goal behind.
A slippery ball allowed us to go behind for the first time as Matt couldn't hold on to a regulation catch. Ben pulled that one back early in the second half with a scrappy goal from a corner that came off his knee/knob/hand. Chris then tried a trick on the edge of our box and we went 2-1 down, only for Waggy to embarrass the 'keeper with an involuntary lob and get us back on terms. Blincoe then came off the bench to notch his third of the season and we were 3-2 down. Fortunately Scott did the same at the right end with a quality finish and we were back on terms. But for a dodgy offside and Scott missing a more straightforward chance we would have completed an undeserved victory.
Still the final whistle meant that we were unbeaten all season and we had 3 trophies to show for a long season of effort. There were no arguments about the awards later on as Scott revelled in his role as compere, with Nick as Player's player and Ed and Adam sharing the manager's player award. Andy still tells us he has retired so a big thanks to him in particular, but at least the average age will drop below 28 now.
The firsts faced Aloysians with a distinctly scratch side, yet the team gelled quickly and worked well as a unit. Despite falling behind after 15 seconds the Accies controlled the game, with Mike Foster on his comeback bagging, Lloyd Vanson adding his first for the 1s and Esiri the third. An excellent note on which to finish the season and perhaps the sign of things to come for next year.
Finally, "sport" of a different type as the 5ths set off to conquer the Monopoly pub crawl, taking in a drink at every venue on the board (including the four stations, discounting Electric Company, trying to avoid Jail, but including numerous Water Works). Between 11am Saturday and 4am Sunday the following venues were visited (some places remain un-named, as record taking is not the easiest under the circumstances!).
The finishing positions:
Completed:- Steve Brown, Chris Slater.
Possibly completed:- Chris Whyman (round every pub, but took so long to get to Marylebone he didn't have time for a drink). Ethu Crorie (lost for last two pubs, dubious claim to have completed).
Late Starter:- Paul Campbell, Dickie Smith (Trafalgar Square), Mark Emmerson.
Fallers:- Graham Whitworth (Mayfair), Matt Glynn (Bond Street), Rob James (Bond Street), Chris Coates (Bond Street), Matt Redman (Marlborough Street).
Non starters:- Danny McConnell ("playing" 4ths), Andy Watt (playing 4ths), Andy Penfold.
Friday 7th May
Old Ignatians 2 Accies 3rds 2.
Friday night was football night for the 3rds at Wingate & Finchley and the result didn't match the quality of the football on show. Ignatians clearly were up for the fight, needing a win to stay in the promotion hunt. The Accies adopted their usual pre-match headers and volleys warm up that left Matt red faced thanks, literally thanks to a miscue and Ignatians indulged in a huddle and group warm up. This had the expected consequences as the Accies stormed into a 2-0 lead playing some tremendous football. First the Afro man Parsons, guesting up front, coolly finished from an astute through ball. Player's Player of the season Nick 'Taffy' Crowther then notched his 5th of the season at the back post from a deep Wagstaff shot, his eyes being closed to avoid the expected collision with the post.
The confidence flowed and we went looking for a 3rd. Unfortunately it didn't come and from an Accies corner Ignatians broke quickly catching us short at the back. Short of pace that is. A 30 yard shot bobbler was all that was needed to leave Matt Red faced for the second time. A rubbish 10 minutes ended with an equaliser as a half cleared corner was smashed back in and converted from inside the 6 yard box. Half time arrived just at the right time.
An commanding second half with the wind at our backs saw some of the best football of the season as Ignatians allowed us the run of the large pitch. Some comical finishing meant that it is unfair so single out one in particular. However Phil should have added miss of the season to his goal of the season, but Scott saved his blushed by insisting that nominations had closed. 6-2 would have been a fair score, but we had to settle for 2-2 and the unbeaten run intact. The only consolation being that Mike Short wasn't there to get us into legal trouble at the 16th birthday party next door.
Many thanks to Ignatians for their part in a superb end of season celebration. They've helped us out big time all season, and that they presented us with a celebratory bottle of champagne after the game says it all really.........
Monday 3rd May
Albanian 3 Accies 1sts 3 (Nat Keast 2, Jon Houghton).
"How did we not win this game"? Deja vu. The Accies created most of the chances (including Albanian's) and managed to pluck a draw from a seemingly certain victory. Deflected goal for Albanian's first, defensive lapse for the second which flew into a top corner and a farce of third which got banged in as the Accies were still building a wall. In between the Accies should've won easily, Nat Keast and Ned Carabine getting down and dirty in midfield as required, and Joffsy leading by example to come on injured off the bench and survive for 70 minutes. He for one deserved better......
Saturday 1st May
Old Salvatorians 1 Accies 1sts 1 (og).
Albanian 1 Accies 2nds 2 (James Thomas, Ian Roberts).
An all too common end of season result for the 1sts, with the "how did we not win that one" question lying over the game. Simply put Salvos needed a result and were up for it, and a scratchy Accies side weren't really. Too many people pulling in different directions, a distinct end of term feel about it and not too many people showing signs of actually wanting to enjoy a game of football, which is what it should all be about really. Nuff said.
A short journey later, and the final game for the 2nds and an object lesson on attitude. Weakened as well, but with an up-and-at-em attitude and a wish to finish the season on a high. Sterling efforts all round, and only a late consolation goal for Albanian which never really threatened the score.