Saturday 25th October
Old Reptonians 2 Accies 1sts 6 (Gareth Jones 3, Jon Houghton, Gareth Jenkins, Ned Carabine).
Accies 2nds 8 (Lloyd Vanson 5, Ian Roberts 3) Old Dorkinians 0 (Jorge Fernandez).
Accies 3rds 4 (Gio Martelli 2, Anders Lagerhammar, Phil Stewart) Old Aloysians 1.
4ths 4 (Paul Bernard 2, Anthony Locke, Si Valentine) Latymer Old Boys 0 (Steve Woodrow).
London Hospital Old Boys 0
(Danny McConnell) Accies 5ths 1 (Graham Whitworth). Accies 6ths 3 (Will
Paxton, Serge Sollo, Mike Epstein) Norsemen 1 (aet). Old Minchendenians 8
Accies 7ths 1 (Jim Mullins).
London Hospital Old Boys 0 (Danny McConnell) Accies 5ths 1 (Graham Whitworth).
Accies 6ths 3 (Will Paxton, Serge Sollo, Mike Epstein) Norsemen 1 (aet).
Old Minchendenians 8 Accies 7ths 1 (Jim Mullins).
Catch 22 4 Optimists 3 (Yvon Nolle 2, Gareth Jenkins).
Curling. A much underexposed sport where a round object inexorably glides down the middle while two sweepers either side flap around ensuring they don't make contact with it. And alas, a perfect metaphor for Messrs Woodrow and Kemp playing as a pair at the back for the Optimists against Catch 22 on the Thursday evening.
Three-nil up and four-three down. Doesn't happen very often does it? Even at Upton Park, Elland Road or Hillsborough. Well, the Optimists managed it at Paddington Rec.
A freezing night, Maida Vale floodlights, stirred by Malcolm Allison Matthewson's pre-game talk, though slightly confused by his question to the Turtle of whether he was coming or staying for corners and free kicks (no-one knows, though in fact the third option, flapping, is most common) the Optimists raced out into a 3-0 lead, with Yvon Nolle's pace up front proving too much for Catch, along with Gareth Jenkins adding a third in the first fifteen minutes. The game looked like being a major mismatch, and Catch needed some inspiration. Cometh the hour, cometh the crap clearance from the Turtle who rushing outside his area picked out a Catch player who calmly slotted from 45 yards.
3-1 up at halftime, but no lead is safe with the Optimists. The second goal produced a further "Red Sea" moment as the defence parted and allowed Catch to peg it back to 3-2, before under pressure in his own box Steve Branch lobbed a ball back head high to the Turtle on his line. Not knowing the referee didn't know the rules and would've permitted a punch (!!!) the options were to catch the ball (safe, but conceding a free kick), head it (comic, and likely to concede a goal, turtles don't jump well) into my own net or attempt the Scorpion (highly entertaining, but probably terminal), and option A seemed the safest. From the resultant indirect free kick Catch blasted the ball goalwards only to see a magnificent save turned to nothing as Mike Bailey deflected the rebound into his own net (OK, it pinged off us both and trickled in).
Even stevens now, and all to play for, but a fourth Catch goal was not short in coming. Stung into action the Accies hit the post and had several near misses but couldn't get back into the game.
Why did it happen? It's true that Mike Bailey came on at 3-0 up and played the rest of the game, but a mere co-incidence. Fitness cannot have been a problem as the team was laced with talent from throughout the club (so I'm told). Perhaps we just got bored.
What cannot be doubted is that at 7.50pm Matty was claiming this as a full blown Optimists fixture, but by the end it had degraded into a mere club friendly.
So to the Saturday, and AFA Cup action for the 1sts, 4ths and 6ths, LOB Cup action for the 2nds and league action for the rest.
Another important win for the 1sts in the AFA preliminary round. Despite 6 regular 1st team squad players missing a makeshift 11 made easy work of Old Reptonians. Again early chances were taken by Carabine, Jones and a Houghton penalty to ensure a 3-0 lead within 30 minutes. Reptonians pulled one back just before half time when the Accies were slow to clear their lines. Just after the break Jones volley slipped through the keepers hands and the game was effectively won. Jones completed the hat trick after a well worked corner and Jenkins long range shot was helped along to make it 6. Reptonians consolation came late on to make it 6-2.
There will certainly be much stronger teams in the coming rounds but an important victory with solid performances from Dubutees Vaughan and Keast as well as a good showing from Jenkins and the on fire Jones who was voted man of the match.
A comfortable win also for the 4ths, who put four past Latymer Old Boys and should've had more. Latymer rather lost the plot as the game progressed, questioning the referee's parentage and much more, two of them having an early shower and others will be finding themselves £8 lighter late in the week once the AFA have done their worst.
No such ease for the 6ths, who found themselves in extra time against Norsemen. But these guys have (mostly) stood the test of time, and outlasted their opponents to win 3-1.
Goal-fest time for the 2nds, for whom Lloyd Vanson and Ian Roberts shared eight goals. The last, a penalty, after Dorkinians keeper had made a late bid to unseat Lawrence Dallaglio, produced an uncommon dilemma - does Lloyd take it to complete his second hat-trick, or Ian for his first. Ian pulled rank and duly netted his third.
League action for the remaining sides. For the 3rds, a reprise of their AFA Junior Cup final against Old Aloysians, but not such a close result. A superb performance saw the Accies run out 4-1 winners.
A mixed bag for the 5ths away to London Hospital. Between penalty box and penalty box the Accies looked by far the best side, but inside a total abortion. Probably should've been 5-0 up by half time, and plenty more chances to score in the second, before finally with five minutes to go, Graham Whitworth (who else) figured the solution. Shoot from 35 yards. 1-0, points secured, and one very cold, and very stressed Turtle at the other end could finally relax. Muchos kudos to Andy Penfold, who despite being ill, turned up as a lone subsitute "just in case" and had the pleasure of watching for 90 minutes.......
Six wins, but the 7ths couldn't make it seven. A catalogue of disasters saw them first lose their keeper (to a higher side), then have a no-show, and finally with a bare eleven have a player hobble off after five minutes. On the positive side the first home game at Donkey Lane went off without a hitch, much credit to Sam Samra's organisation and the 7ths scored their first goal in competitive football. On the negative side Minchendenians scored eight. Small steps and it's a building process........
Saturday 18th October
Accies 1sts 2 (Jon Delaney, Rick Hirst) Albanian 0 (Mark Dawson).
Marsh 1 Accies 2nds 3 (Mo Alvarez, Jamie Topping, Lloyd Vanson).
Accies 4ths 0 Davenant Wanderers 1.
Accies 5ths 2 (Steve Brown, Graham Whitworth) Old Camdenians 2.
Old Ignatian 1 Accies 6ths 3 (Serge Sollo 2, Dave Voss).
Old Bealonians 1 Accies 7ths 1(Pat Brien).
Generally a good day, albeit with some reservations. The 1sts faced Albanian at Shenley, and many characteristics of two years ago resurfaced. 0-0 at half time in a tight game, the Accies took over in the second half and powered to a 2-0 win.
For the 2nds, the first AFA Cup game of the campaign. Despite dominating play away to Marsh 1sts the Accies found themselves in extra time, and the hard work continued. A 1-0 lead was pegged back with an own goal before finally the Accies ran out 3-1 winners.
No game for the 3rds, and a disappointing result for the 4ths. Injury ridden and inconsistent a game against Davenant Wanderers had 0-0 written all over it, before Davenant got the break and sneaked the win. Frustration too for the 5ths, 2-0 up with fifteen minutes to go, as they tired and lost shape Camdenians powered back to clinch a draw, though on balance probably a fair result.
London Old Boys Cup action for the 6ths, away to Old Ignatian, and clinching a 3-1 win. Friendly action for the fledgling 7ths, and a decent 1-1 draw away to Old Bealonians, Pat Brien poaching a late equaliser.
Saturday 11th October
Old Ignatian 0 (Mark Dawson) Accies 1sts 3 (Gareth Jones, Jon Houghton, Ned Carabine).
Accies 2nds 8 (Tim Vaughan 4, Lloyd Vanson 2, Ian Roberts 2) Old Woodhouseians 2.
Accies 3rds 7 (Jamie Topping 3, Phil Stewart, Scott Atkinson, Gio Martelli) Old Ignatian 0 (Matt Ramsden).
Albanian 3 Accies 4ths 0.
Accies 5ths 2 (Andy Watt, Graham Whitworth) Egbertians 1.
Queen Mary College Old Boys 4 Accies 6ths 1.
Old Edmontonians 2 Accies 7ths 0.
Chelsea Old Players 0 (Ian Christopherson) Optimists 2 (Pete Clothier, Simon Harris).
Early kickoffs the order of the day prior to England's epic draw in Turkey, and clearly agreeable with the higher sides.
The 1sts continued to show some good from with a 3-0 victory against Ignatians at Donkey Lane. A good start was essential and came after 20 minutes with a tidy finish from Jones on a tight angle. Hirsts cross was cleverly dummied by Delaney 5 minutes later for Houghton to score at the far post. Accies were 3-0 up at the break following a good ball from Jones enabling Carabine to finish first time. For 30 minutes of the second half the organisation was less than perfect and sustained pressuire from Ignatians deserved at least a goal. The last 15 was better with a few good positions squandered. Overall the right result but will need to work harder to overturn the top teams.
Goals galore for the 2nds and 3rds at Shenley. The 2nds also established an early 4-0 lead against Old Woodhouseians, and then Mark Walker's floodgates opened at both ends, so he had to be pulled off by Fewksey, with an 8-2 final result. Slightly garbled report from Mark Walker, a prized arse sit (I think he said) who needs to be saved for the future (anyone got some embalming fluid?).
No such charity from the 3rds - Jamie Topping, arriving from his epic journey from the far south, notched his first hat-trick for the Accies as Old Ignatian found themselves put to the sword. Phil Stewart chipped in with his third brace of the season for a comfortable win.
The 4th XI's yo yo season continues, this week a 3-0 loss away to Albanian. The pitch may have come as a surprise to some, but such is life on the road for the Accies - not every pitch is like Shenley, and the likes of Albanian will never change. At least we don't have to play on them more than once per season, but we need to find ways of grinding out results when we do.
Finally, a first win of the season for the remoulded 5ths. With 15 minutes to go a 0-0 looked on the cards, though both sides had had their chances, when Egbertians (third week on the trot) finally broke the deadlock. Five minutes later at the other end Andy Watt nailed the equaliser and soon after Graham Whitworth grabbed the winner. Possibly a draw would've been a fair result, but after last week's cup loss it balances out.
Losses for both the 6ths (away to Queen Mary College) and 7ths (away to Edmontonians). The 7ths were making their comp) and like they hadn't played much together (they haven't). Good building blocks though and much hope for the future.
Hold for an hour and beat 'em at the end". Well it won European Cups for Liverpool and Peter Reid got thirteen England caps because of it, but could it still apply to us? Could the Optimists really close down a game until well into the second half and have enough left in the tank? Might it not be better to get our noses in front and hold on for dear life (Sven theory)?
A sunny Autumn afternoon by the river in Barnes, a small bumpy, sandy pitch and an early kick-off for the England game. In a douretitive debut, and frankly it showed. A fairly even game, but the Accies looked like they needed some fitness work (they do first half the Accies struggled to get into a rhythm and chances were few and far between. By half-time frustration of Keegan-esque proportions was building and Shenley's flat, green acres seemed a long way away. Immediate improvement in the second half however as the tackles flew in and passes started to find their men. Al Price was switched up front in an effort to break the deadlock and he proved the catalyst. Two very sharp goals from Clothier (63) and Harris (78) killed the game off.
All in all quite an accomplished performance against lively opposition. A few cuts and bruises in the changing room after and Kempo had to teach their forwards a few new words. Not the strongest team we will play this season but not the weakest either.
Saturday 4th October
Hale End Athletic 3 Accies 1sts 5 (Gareth Jones 3, Ned Carabine, Mark Esiri).
Old Minchendenians 0 (Jorge Fernandez) Accies 2nds 4 (Tim Vaughan 2, Andy Crotty, Lloyd Vanson).
Old Bealonians 2 Accies 3rds 2 (Scott Atkinson, Jamie Topping).
Accies 4ths 4 (Dan Willoughby 2, Max Lovell, Jon Logie) Ignatians 0 (Ritchie Hinton).
Accies 5ths 2 (Graham Whitworth, Chris Coates) Egbertians 2, Egbertians won 5-4 on penalties.
Accies 6ths 4 (Paolo Imbrauglio 3, Tim Leeson) Old Buckwellians 2.
Old Wokingians 4 Accies 7ths 3.
After a disappointing encounter with Aloysians the 1sts bounced back with a morale boosting win over Hale End in the LOB cup. Dominating from the outset the Accies were 1-0 up within 15 minutes when Jones shot on the run left the keeper motionless. Hale End were unfortunate not to get a penalty 10 minutes later but the rest of the half was Accies. The game should have been won by half time but several chances went begging. Two Goals in 10 minutes saw the Accies pegged back but a great finish from Carabine levelled on the hour. Two minutes later Hale End scored from an obvious offside position, but the referee was unsighted. Rather than accepting the luck was against us the Accies continued to stream forward missing a handful of good chances. Three goals in the last 12 minutes saw a resounding and deserved victory. Jones completed his hat-trick and Esiri rounded things off with a matrix like diving header. The skipper will be practising against a barn door this week, but was delighted with the attitude shown throughout. Jones persistence deserved his hat-trick but notable performances from Gillard, Lloyd and Carabine ensured the right result.
A notable win too for the 2nds away to Minchendenians, though the game was marred by Mark McGuigan once again sacrificing his body for the Accies (we keep telling him we don't want it), getting his nose remodelled first by an errant elbow, then by Barnet A&E. Alas for Mark they've managed to put it back, so his looks aren't any better than before. Some consolation then in his absence the Accies completed a 4-0 win.
Chaos and confusion for the 3rds away to Old Bealonians. Only at kickoff did the home side discover their referee hadn't arrived, and then oblivious to league rules wanted to abandon the game and go home. After an hour's persuasion Beals finally agreed to play to league rules and a 2-2 draw ensued. Decent result, but somewhat unsatisfactory, and surprising, course of events.
Captain's liberties part 1. The Accies 4ths faced Ignatians at Shenley, looking to rebound from last year's reverse, and turned on a performance. The result was never in doubt, and with twenty minutes to go Dan Willoughby pulled the old "I'm the skipper and my groin is tight, I'd better go up front" routine, netting twice with Ignatians dead and buried.
Captain's liberties part 2. The fifths had a home game away from home against Egbertians in the LOB Cup, and a game of many twists and turns. Starting strongly the Accies had the better of the early first half, but Egbertians pulled their way back into what proved to be a very even game. 0-0 at half time, but the Accies quickly found themselves on the ropes only to score from a quick move finished by Graham Whitworth. Back came Egbertians, and a fierce shot was only parried by the Turtle for Egbertians to follow up and equalise. By now the temperature of the game was quite warm thank you very much, and in quick succession skipper Rob James found himself collecting two yellows, and an invitation to spend the rest of the game on the touchline.
Into extra time, and the Accies up against it - down to ten men, and Graham struggling with cramp. Even then the Accies weren't beaten, and a penalty gave them the chance to go up 2-1. Up steps Chris Coates (I'm skipper now, I'll take the penalty) and to general astonishment slotted it neatly. Too early, the referee hadn't whistled yet, so a retake equally coolly (and equally astonishingly) done. 2-1 up at the change around. Now, a siege, and finally Egbertians equalised, albeit a misshit shot that looped into the back corner of the net. All left for the Accies was to hold on for penalties, and so it came.
Never were so many quality penalties hit in a 5th XI match, and when they weren't good, they were lucky. 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, then the critical moment - Matt Glynn's penalty tipped onto the bar by the keeper. The scoring continued, 2-3, 3-3 and the Turtle faced three critical penalties - needing to score the Accies final kick and save one of the Egbertians'. First job done, no luck with the second, and a 5-4 loss. As gutting a result as I can recall.
For Dad's Army, aka the 6ths, a good result at Shenley. Last year's 6ths drew 1-1 with Old Buckwellians in the final game of the season, but the "new" version cruised to a 4-2 victory, Paolo Imbrauglio netting a hat trick assisted by speed merchant partner Nick Reed, who between them bring the average age of the team down to 47.
Finally the first ever game for the fledgling Accies 7ths. Very much a "project in development" under the management of Ethu Crorie (standing in for la Gore) they travelled to Old Wokingians. With an engine room of Sam Samra and Jim Mullins striking fear into the hearts of their team-mates the Accies jumped out to a 3-1 lead at halftime, but faded in the second half as Wokingians pulled back a 4-3 victory. But a good first step, and signs for optimism for the future.