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2004-05 Results - October

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Saturday 30th October

Accies 1sts 2 (Steve Nash, Jon Houghton) Albanian 1.

Old Vaughanians 1 Accies 2nds 2 (Gareth Jenkins, Terry Foster).

Accies 3rds 3 (Phil Stewart, Gio Martelli, Scott Atkinson) West Wickham 4.

Parkfield 2 Accies 4ths 1 (Paul Bernard).

Old Aloysians 1 Accies 5ths 2 (Graham Whitworth, Steve Brown).

Old Minchendenians 0 (Tom Lloyd) Accies 7ths 7 (Joe Coquelin 2, Spencer Gore 2, James Mullins, Dom Mignon, Matt Styant)

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes: 

Accies 2's visited a Vaughanians side struggling at the foot of the table and picked up the 3 points, albeit with a disjointed and mediocre performance. On a perfect well grassed surface in Sunbury, Accies were nowhere near their best, but still created a few openings in the early skirmishes, Field broke well into the box and shot tamely, Alex Keast headed a fine whipped cross just wide, Roberts blazed over, and Crotty stumbled after a lovely turn had created himself a great opportunity. It was however our hosts who took the lead against the run of play on the half hour, when a long ball forward wasn't fully cleared, and their most talented player created a yard of space just inside the box and cracked home a fierce drive into the bottom corner.

Even allowing for the 1-0 deficit there was no real need for panic at half time - if we could shake off our general lethargy and appreciate that the recent improved performances wouldn't actually count in today's match.

Within 3 minutes of the restart we were level from a Jenkins forty yard free kick. Not quite as good as it sounds..... A fine curling effort was delivered into the box, which (the available evidence from those individuals with an IQ over 75 suggests), evaded everyone, leaving the keeper wrongfooted (expecting a big centre-forward's touch!) as it dropped in the corner. Foster (T) and Alvarez were quickly introduced and further pressure enabled the Accies to soon take the lead through a delightful chipped finish from the sub Foster, a real moment of class. This should have been the platform to move onto a comfortable win, Nat Keast was winning tackles and breaking well on the right flank, but good chances came and went, passing moves continued to break down when the easy option wasn't chosen, and we didn't show enough aggression, hunger or work rate to claim much satisfaction in our performance. To their credit, and for a side suffering in confidence, Vaughanians battled gamely and refused to buckle, despite finishing the last 15 minutes with 10 men following a second hamstring injury.

Some can quite correctly say we picked up a win , limited the opposition to one expertly finished half chance and a couple of long range shots over 90 minutes, and could have won more convincingly. We did produce a few spells of really good stuff, but I believe most players know we can and should offer a lot more, and most importantly will need to over the coming weeks when sterner tests are to come, starting Saturday at Old Woods 1's.

3rds Report from Phil Stewart: 

All good things must come to an end and sadly that was the case on Saturday when the Accies 3rds were knocked out of the AFA Cup. Justifiably the 3rds can look back on the AFA Cup over the last two years with great pride (some of remember the darker years of the Pearson & Redican era) but they will not want to remember the game versus West Wickham.

On a warm October afternoon the Accies started slowly and soon went into reverse as Wickham scored on the break, it was harsh on Ramsden who had made a good initial block from a strong shot but the ball fell nicely for Wickham to score close in off the rebound. The Accies pulled things level when Stewart nutmegged the keeper from close in after a neat through ball by Martelli. The Accies created few other opportunities in the first half as Wickham played some decent football and it was only down to Ramsden that the score stayed level till half time. 

With an excellent keeping display he made a brilliant 'cat' like save in the first half, which he then proceeded to out do in the second half with a fantastic tip over the bar, leading him rightly to be be named Man of the Match.

The second half saw the Accies collapse, 3 goals from Wickham took the game realistically out of reach. To the Accies credit a fight back did ensue, Martelli sealed a good game with a snap shot on the turn to take the game to 4-2 and then Atkinson latched on to a direct ball which he cleverly lobbed over the charging keeper, 4-3. 

This should of led to a rampaging Accies bearing down on the Wickham goal seeking an equaliser, but sadly it never materialised. Wickham in fairness held firm and passed their way out of defence, the Accies made very little impact in the final third in the final minutes.

A good team will be judged on how it well it handles defeat, Hale End now becomes a very important fixture.

4ths Report from Steve Woodrow: 

Disaster strikes for the 4's away to a strong, but limited, Parkfield 4's in the Minor LOB Cup.

The game was late kicking off, due to an oversight by the home club not having someone to open up the changing rooms, on a pitch with the dimensions of a Shenley pitch, if not the evenness (1 in 5 slope springs readily to mind)  with the Accies kicking down the slope, with this advantage we hoped we would be able to build up a lead to defend in the second half.

After 10 minutes a break down the Parkield right, by their dummy spitting right whinger, found the Accies defence all at sea, a cross found an unmarked Parkfield forward with a simple task of heading the home side into a deserved lead, giving the veteran goalkeeper no chance, first touch was picking the ball from the net.

Normally going a goal behind stirs the 4's into action, and for a 15 minute period we were. Barndoor, living up to his moniker, managed to hit the keeper with a shot from 4 yards out, we then forced a succession of corners but Parkfield defended them well. Even though we were being out battled in the midfield Parkfield didn't create another chance in the first half. The consensus at half-time was that we were capable of much better and after a rousing talk from skipper Willoughby and a few home truths spoken the A's felt the game was not out of reach.

The second half started in much brighter fashion for the A's, due to the introduction of Joel Dunmore in central midfield and we started to gain the upper hand, more corners were forced and finally the pressure told with Barndoor meeting a perfect McConnell corner to power it past the Parkfield keeper with his head (or did it loop from his shoulder?). Game on, the Accies were back in the game and it seemed that it would then be a straightforward victory for the boys.

Alas, after the equalizer, in time honoured fashion, the side sat back and allowed Parkfield back into the game, prior to this Parkfield had been limited to a couple of long range efforts. The game turned in the 70th minute, for only the second time in the game the right whinger got the better of Wanford (having to fill in by playing left back) and looped/shinned a cross that fell perfectly over Hanlon and on to the head of the attacker who placed his header, in text book style, back across the goal to nestle in the far corner. 2-1 down and twenty minutes to go, enough time for a fight back. Unfortunatley the Accies were profligate (this has been a common word for the 4's this season) and the equaliser that was so deserved didn't materialise as chance after chance went begging, Logie and Hanlon, two in particular who could and should have scored.

The game was marred in the final 5 minutes with a bit of handbag stuff, Barndoor receiving his marching orders along with a Parkfield player for retaliation after Barndoor attempted to cut off the defenders legs at the knees.

A poor first half performance was the reason for this early cup exit against opposition that we would beat 9 times out of 10, but if you don't play to your potential against teams that are above the quality of an average 4th team we will always lose, where have we heard that before?

5ths Report from Chris Coates: 

Cue the Accies finally waking up and beginning to communicate. With runners being tracked, gaps neatly plugged and defenders wising up to Willy-One-Trick (admittedly it was a goodun), the onslaught eased and the remainder of the half was played out on a much more even keel. A firm but fair tackle that seemed to quiten one half of the show pony combo also suggested that the Accies were clawing their way back into the game.

After the turn around things looked much more positive. Using the battling midfield as a platform, the Accies were able to start stringing passing moves together and putting their defence under pressure for the first time in the game. 10 minutes in, Steve Broooon latched on to a bobbling ball and deftly hoisted it over the oncoming keeper.

Old Aloysians looked visibly stunned to have conceded an equaliser after being in complete control early on. As they tired and discipline began to ebb away, the Accies capitalised further by sending Graham tearing down the right flank. Calls for offside were ignored by the referee as Graham cut inside, rounded a stationary defence and neatly struck the ball past the keeper. The last quarter of the game was played out with some fine defending from the Accies obviously still hurting from conceding late goals in previous weeks. A few pot shots from distance was all that a dejected Aloysians could muster and the back four never really looked troubled again. A good day out all round - eventually.

7ths Report from Spencer Gore: 

Having gone into this game with maximum points, and not conceded a goal in league, the Accies were looking to keep this record going and that is just what they did. The Accies played good passing football and in the first half created many chances. They were unlucky to go in at half time only 2 - 0 up.

In the second half there superior skill and passing really was the difference. In goal Tom Lloyd kept his 4th clean sheet on the trot in the league, but did pull off a couple of great saves to maintain this record. The defence was solid as ever with Mullins slipping into the centre back slot well. He scored a 30 yard goal to top off his afternoon albeit a cross!!! 

In the middle of the park Styant scored again to stay as the teams top scorer, and Joe Coqulin netted a brace to help win the Man of the Match award. Up front Dom scored a good goal and provided well for others including a great cross in the dieing seconds for Gore to score his second of the match with a header. 

The 5 goals in the second half were the very least the Accies deserved and should have been added to. With two shot hitting the post a hatful more missed the Accies can still improve but things are looking very good indeed. Thanks must go to Alex and Sameer for reffing the match. For the second week running the opposition failed to provide a ref! Very poor performance by them!!  

Saturday 23rd October

Accies 2nds 5 (Andy Crotty, Steve Nash, Matt Field, Ian Roberts, Gareth Jones) Old Minchendenians 1.

Accies 3rds 7 (Gio Martelli 2, Michael Short 2, Adam Parsons 2, Chris Groves) Old Edmontonians 1.

Accies 4ths 5 (Paul Bernard 2, Matt Wanford, Max Lovell, Steve Hayes) Old Vaughanians 1.

Accies 5ths 4 (Hugh Carling 2, Steve Brown, Paul Campbell) Enfield Old Grammarians 3.

Accies 6ths 2 (Serge Sollo, Marcus Whitmore) Albanian 4.

Old Parmiterians 0 (Tom Lloyd) Accies 7ths 3 (Spencer Gore, Dan Oscroft, James Liang).

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes: 

On the back of two improved performances Accies were confident, but 30 seconds gone with the Accies playing into driving rain, Minchendenians right back hits a long ball into our box, a strong headed clearance to the touchline is volleyed back by the right winger to their centre forward 20+ yards out, who volleys over his right shoulder into the top corner. 1-0 down and the only positive that Nugget now has to pay his
full match fee. The visitors bold move of playing 3 strikers caused an initial period of tactical adjustment, but soon arguably assisted our play as midfielders Crotty, Nash and Jenkins found a little more time on the ball, which combined with Jones' excellent ball retention up front gave Accies a platform to play. 

The equaliser arrived on 15 minutes as a quickly taken free kick found Crotty one on one with a lumbering centre half, he accelerated away and fired home from an acute angle. A swift counterattack gave Crotty a wonderful opportunity to add a second but the finish was very tame. We didn't however have long to wait for the second goal our football had merited, as a storming break by Nat Keast, ultimately found Jones sliding in at the far post to add six inches onto his goal yardage for the season.

Turning around with the elements now in our favour, we sensed an early goal would kill the game, it arrived on cue as Crotty swung in a corner,  which was met by a towering header from Nash. Given the conditions a few tackles were flying in and the visitors became a little distracted from the task in hand and were caught napping as a copy Crotty set-piece was headed in by Field on 60 mins. Accies continued to pressure, and despite not fully adapting their pass selection to the conditions created several more good chances marred in the main by some wasteful shooting. The goal of the game was still to come, with 10 mins remaining a strong midfield tackle seized possession, the ball was stroked around and worked wide to Crotty who'd found space on the right, he advanced to execute another fine delivery that was emphatically buried by the head of Roberts, albeit stolen off the nose of the Accies crowd favourite,
whose lung busting run surely deserved better....

All in a good afternoon's work and further evidence we're starting to get back on track. Two final thoughts, one to keep the young players keen, hungry and in place, and the other scientific;

1) Despite the numerous mentions above, scoring 1 and 3 assists, Crotty should be careful of sitting back, admiring his hub cap collection and thinking all is fine and dandy. He needs to buy a pair of trousers, boss his Sat nights and work on the shooting that could have earned a hat-trick or more.

2)Apparently heading a football causes the loss of 1.2 million brain cells on each occasion, it was good to see Roberts get the reward those
thousands of hours of practise he must have put in as a kid and throughout adolescence.

Ed's note: Danny Fewkes is 35. The Accies remain committed to Care in the Community.

3rds Report from Ed Jeremy: 

The run up to their game against an in form Old Edmontonians side had not been easy for the 3rds. Thursday morning found Atkinson on all fours throwing up beneath his desk, a victim of the excess of the previous evening’s excellent 2004 AFC/LOB Annual Dinner, whilst Saturday’s fixture signalled the end of an era, with Accies legends Goodier and Short playing their final game before leaving London in search of themselves. "We are both very pleased with ourselves", they later commented. This, combined with the knowledge that we faced a team who'd claimed the rare scalp of our 2nds last season, meant the referee’s whistle signalled the start of a home match fraught with uncertainty. A little over an hour and a half later, with seven goals to the good and one to the Ramsden, such fears were proved unfounded. 

Quicker than he could say: “So Mrs Wagstaff, which one of Iain’s friends would you most like to sleep with”, Michael Short had opened the scoring with a characteristic lazy poke home. Edmontonians hit back almost immediately, with a nicely taken one on one which left the in form Ramsden with no chance. The players vehemently denied Harry’s later assertion that “the knowledge that I’d surrendered another clean sheet spurred the lads on to freely score another six”. Some of the best football of the season followed and the game was effectively over before half time, with a double coming from total footballer Martelli, as comfortable knocking them in up front as he is knocking them away at the back. 

A rousing team talk by one-on-one specialist Stewart ensured the second half was even better than the first. After Short had bent another one in undetected, MOM Parsons stamped his authority on the game with an angry yet excellent double. The angriest man in football was, unsurprisingly, angry not to get a third. After a slightly scrappy passage of play, Martelli, on a hat trick, unselfishly squared for the inspired Groves to notch the seventh and his fourth of the season. “I love women and the lads love winning” was the only comment Groves was prepared to make about the game. You can't say fairer than that. 

4ths Report from Jon Logie: 

Another week, another convincing 5-1 win for the Accies 4ths. 

Despite having a back-line consisting of players who would all consider themselves to be midfielders, and skipper Dan Willoughby making his first ever appearance in goal, the 4ths started confidently and quickly had Old Vaughanians on the backfoot. Within the first five minutes, debutant Steve Hayes had been bundled over in the box and Paul 'Barndoor' Bernard stepped up to backpass the ball into the keepers hands. Luckily the referee felt sorry for Barndoor and ordered a re-take for defensive encroachment, and Barndoor made no mistake the second time around, sending the keeper the wrong way.

With a strong wind in their favour, and confidence from last week's emphatic victory evident, the Accies knocked the ball about well, using the full width of the pitch and stretching OV's to breaking point. The second goal came after 25 minutes, a Steve McConnell corner met powerfully by Barndoor's shoulder, er, I mean head, to give a deserved 2-0 lead. Max Lovell had a goal dubiously ruled out five minutes later following a break down the right, before Jon Logie again broke down the right, crossing for McConnell who played in roaming left back Matt Wanford who calmly slotted in the third.

Playing against the wind in the second half could have caused problems, but the passing and movement from the back to the front was exceptional, and the Accies never looked under threat. Last week's hero, Max Lovell, effectively killed the cup tie 10 minutes into the second half, breaking through the offside trap to calmly slot home for 4-0. Barndoor and Joel Dunmore also had chances to add to the scoreline as a rampant Accies swept forward. Eventually Steve Hayes beat two men before drawing the keeper and stroking the ball into the bottom corner for 5-0.

Apart from a long-range effort which Willoughby pushed round the post, a classic case of 'one for the cameras', his dream of keeping a clean sheet and surpassing Fox in the Clean Sheet table looked on, until 10 minutes from time an OV's midfielder evaded two tackles and curled the ball past the diving skipper. 

5ths Report from Rob James: 

For the Accies 5ths kicking of with only 10 men, an impending monsoon, and with a propensity to drop points to in the last minute of games, against Enfield with 2 out of 2 wins, scoring 12 goals - it was always going to be a difficult game.

It was Enfield who opened the scoring after a ricochet put them through with a one on one. This was soon pegged back when Carling battled through and slipped the ball past the on-coming keeper. Enfield quickly regained the lead, capitalising on the Accies losing possession cheaply by working a well executed low cross and finish. Despite the Enfield attacking as strongly as the driving rain, the Accies drew level once again with Steve Brown nodding home a corner.

Then lightning struck - Paul Campbell finally opened with Accies account with an unstoppable volley into the top corner from 20 plus yards. This was followed by Carling grabbing a neat second, swivelling on the edge of the box and finding the inside of the post.

Early in the second half the Accies lead was reduced, as Enfield again scored from an excellent driven cross and simple finish. In an open second half both sides created more chances, the better efforts coming from the home side. However, the Accies held out thanks to a solid midfield, a few last ditch tackles, some good saves from McConnell. In the final minutes Enfield struck the post after a young substitutes slalom run - but for once this season the Accies 5ths held out.

7ths Report from Spencer Gore:  

Looking to keep up their 100% record the Accies turned up to this fixture very early (a mix up on the meet times gave them 90 mins warm up!) The extra warm up time in the pouring rain was welcomed by all the player!! Having seen that they were playing on the worst pitch they had seen, since there last visit to Mill Hill anyway, they knew that a strong ref would be needed to keep things running smoothly! Just at this point the opposition skipper jogged over to tell them that they had no ref! 

The game started and the Accies took control early on with out being able to take the lead, the conditions meant that it was a scrappy game but the whole team battled well with Joe almost breaking his leg in one early tackle. After about 20 minutes the Accies got the break they needed and Oscroft tucked away neatly from 15 yards. The only thing this seemed to do was to relax the Accies and cause them to take their foot off the accelerator, and for 10 to 15 minutes the midfield and defense battled hard to keep the advantage.

The second half started brightly with several half chances falling to the Accies, the hardest of the all falling to Spencer who did well to miss his open goal from 10 yards!! It was at this point you started to think things weren't going your way until Spencer broke free and lobbed there keeper from 20 yards, This shut up the 10 year old girl on the touch line that was still laughing from the earlier miss!  As the weather, pitch and the stand in ref all got worse, the game needed something to liven it up and a great solo effort goal by new signing James Liang did just that. I great way to finish the game 3-0 to the Accies.

Another clean sheet for the 7ths, and another win, but I feel that against the better teams in this division we'll need to battle a lot harder to earn the points. still we are yet to conceded a league goal so can't complain!

Saturday 16th October

Accies 1sts 5 (Jon Houghton 2, Lloyd Vanson, Innis Pirrie, Ned Carabine) Old Danes 0 (Dan Saxby).

Accies 2nds 3 (Alex Keast, Gareth Jenkins, Gareth Jones) Old Challoners 3.

Old Camdenians 1 Accies 3rds 4 (Chris Groves, Phil Stewart, Chris James, Michael Short).

Old Edmontonians 1 Accies 4ths 5 (Max Lovell 5).

Accies 5ths 3 (Chris Coates, Graham Whitworth, Dickie Smith) Old Edmontonians 3.

Old Edmontonians 3 Accies 6ths 1 (Nick Reed).

Accies 7ths 5 (Dom Mignon 2, Matt Styant 2, Alex Parfitt).

1sts Report from Jon Houghton: 

The 1sts followed up their good performance against Parkfield with a comfortable win over Old Danes by 5 goals to nil. On a perfect day for football and an excellent surface the Accies started commandingly and it was no surprise when they went ahead with Foster getting to the byline and pinpointing Carabine who buried the header. After some more good possession Hirst broke for the box and his drilled cross along the six yard box made an easy finish for Vanson to lash home. Houghton then broke away and his angled ball was forced home by Pirrie who had run from his own six yard area.

There was no pleasing the boss at half time and he demanded more work. The second half was more disjointed with Danes trying to make a fight of it, literally on occasions, but Hirsts clever header back across the box enabled Vanson to tee up Houghton who finished first time back across the keeper. Houghton finished the scoring with 5 minutes to go again at the far post. 

A better shape and more cohesive team is beginning to emerge and will need to continue emerging if the title is a realistic goal.

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes: 

The 2's were again in league action, welcoming high flying Challenors 1's to Shenley. The game didn't disappoint with plenty of goal mouth action and quality on display. Accies weathered a strong start from the confident visitors, began to come into the game and went ahead when Jenkins finished well after two goal bound efforts had been cleared. More was shortly to come with the game's best goal, as Nash's fine through pass found Alex Keast free on an inside left channel to fire home our second. Unfortunately we failed to consolidate and take our two
goal advantage into half time, as we lost cheap possession in midfield, and caught defensively on the wrong foot were hit by a swift counterattack that was clinically finished.

This gave Challenors renewed confidence and they took the game to the Accies after the break, however soon after his introduction on the hour,
good work by Foster on the left enabled Jones (on his long awaited return) to stab home from close range. Alas Challenors rallied again and
equalised within a minute as their newly signed key midfield playmaker (who would grace any of the AFC Premier sides - only a personal opinion
!!)was brought down fractionally inside the box, the penalty duly dispatched. Accies worked very hard off the ball and threatened on occasion, but the visitors grabbed an equaliser that their general play had merited with ten minutes left.

Apart from no clean sheet for Nugget, and the fact that we relied on two Welshmen and a Cornishman for our goals we should take the positives
from the game. The visitors were the strongest outfit we've encountered and will surely be pushing hard for promotion. They may point to a
couple of 'point blank' misses when we twice lost initial aerial challenges and then failed to track runners, but don't forget Jones had forced a fine save when clean through, and at 3-3 in the dying minutes the Challenors keeper dropped a clanger from a corner, and we were agonisingly denied a winner by two desperate blocks. 

After a difficult start to the season players are returning to the top 2 Accies sides and we are now beginning to settle and show some of the
qualities that brought success last year, though for the third week in a row, we now face a home league match against a 1st team boasting an 100%
league record! A win is requested... 

P.S A bit of fitness work for a few wouldn't go amiss. 

3rds Report from Iain Wagstaff: 

The thirds travelled to Old Camdenians amid rumours that a small boggy pitch and a superstar AFC centre forward would make three points a tall order. The Accies quickly set about proving that these rumours were greatly exaggerated going 1-0 up within 10 minutes as Chris Groves bundled home from close range. After that the first half was one way traffic as the Accies played their best football of the game in difficult conditions.

Gags about Michael Short sniffing around the box are all too prevalent this season but he continued his form of Friday night by stabbing home from short range to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes. Short turned provider just before half time as, after some good work on the left, he pulled back to Chris James who found the corner of the net from 12 yards and 3-0. Just before half time, man of the match, James himself turned provider with a delightful ball from the right which landed on Phil Stewart's head at the far post. A rare headed goal made it 4-0. 

The second half was a different story. Although the defence, once again marshalled by the 'retired' Andy Tickle, prevented Camdenians from having any clear cut chances Matt Ramsden still could not get off the mark in the Golden Gloves. An inexplicable penalty decision from the stand-in referee gave Camdenians a penalty prompting rumours that he was on McConnell's payroll. The penalty was promptly dispatched amid unrepeatable high-pitched squeals from Ramsden who is surely too far adrift to catch the likes of Fernandez and Saxby in his self-obsessed quest for the Golden Gloves.

The remainder of the second half proved uneventful as the heavy conditions and Camdenians renewed work ethic prevented further goals from the Accies. A 4-1 final scoreline was the Accies reward for a hard days work extending Stewart's 100% record as skipper to four games. Long may it continue. 

4ths Report from Jon Logie: 

The Accies 4ths notched up their first win of the season in impressive style with a 5-1 win over Old Edmontonians. The two sides had already met on the first day of the season with the match ending in a 2-2 draw, but the general feeling was that profligate finishing had cost them on the day. This was all to change as the Accies played to the Max - Lovell, that is - whose clinical finishing saw him bag all five goals in this one-sided affair. Lovell opened his account with a cool finish after a Old Ed's defender was caught napping on the ball in his own half after 10 minutes, and doubled his tally five minutes later with a low drive inside the post following good work on the left from Steve Murden and Paul Thomas. A 30 yard speculative drive that left Fox with no-chance brought Old Ed's within touching distance, but the veteran keeper made a world-class stop five minutes later to preserve the Accies one-goal advantage. In typical Accies style, a host of chances to increase the lead were missed before Lovell bagged his hat-trick following a low cross from Dan Willougby just before the break. 

A very solid defensive performance left Old Ed's with few opportunities to claw anything back, and with Tony Locke and Mark Hanlon dominating the centre of the park and Lovell's pace a constant threat, it was a case of seeing how many the Accies would score. Seasoned campaigner Si Valentine made a welcome return as sub following an injury layoff before Lovell once again displayed cool finishing in a one-on -one situation to make it four one. And with five minutes to go Lovell scored a replica goal, with skipper Willoughby doing his best to distract the defenders by screaming for the cut-back. 

"It was a great performance, and an excellent result against a solid Old Ed's team," commented Willougby. "I'm sure this will prove the springboard for our title challenge."

5ths Report from Graham Whitworth: 

For the third consecutive week, the Accies 5ths dropped points by conceding a goal in the last 2 minutes of the match. Having started very brightly and with more purpose evident than in the last couple of weeks, we went 1-0 down at the quarter of an hour mark. Last season, this side developed a habit of conceding a goal early on and then fighting back and for the remainder of the first half we threatened Old Edmontonians goal but without creating any real clear cut chances. All that seemed to be missing was the attempts on goal as we tried to pass the ball into the net rather than testing the Edmontonians diminutive keeper.

The second half brought about an early equaliser from the Accies. A fast, sweeping move started at the back, involving a number of '1-2s' from Slater, Redman, Carling and Whitworth culminated with a clinical finish from Kid, who must have mishit it for it to land in the top left corner from his untrusty left boot. 1-1. Then, inexplicably, the Accies went 2-1 down again as we were guilty of not playing to the whistle with Kid on the floor injured and an expectation that the game would be stopped. On came our subs and immediately had an impact with Dickie Smith finishing cooly after a good through ball from Dom. 2-2 and now pressing for the winner, we created a number of chances before a goal mouth scramble allowed Whitworth to nod the ball home. 3-2. All that was required now was for the Accies to play the game out but having conceded late goals in the 2 previous matches, you could feel the unease around the team as we pressed for the critical 4th goal. Frustration began to set in, with a strong case for an Accies penalty denied and then, in the last minute, a free kick was conceded 25 yards out. The inevitable came as the Edmontians striker on a hat-trick, (who apparently is a 1st team player, filling in as the Edmontonians 1st side did not have a game), hit an unstoppable drive into the top right corner. 3-3 and no time left to win the game as the referee blew his whistle straight after the kick off. 

The Accies dominated the game and played some superb football but ultimately couldn't kill the game off and we paid the price at the end, dropping what could prove to be a crucial 2 points. 

7ths Report from Sam Samra:  

The 7ths underlined their solid start to the season with a proper thumping of Ravenscroft Old Boys, 5-0. The victory was certainly made more emphatic by Ravenscroft lining up with a goalie who made a gallant attempt to win the much coveted and very competitively fought "Worst Goalie Ever to Appear at Shenley Award". However the 7's can be rightly proud of the number of chances they created, at least 1 of which led to a non-goalie error related goal.

Goal 1: Ravenscroft goalie comes rushing out to punch the ball, completely misses and Dom Mignon chips very neatly over him.

Goal 2: Feeling sorry for him after his first mishap Dom Mignon attempts a gentle pass back to the goalie who promptly slips and lets the ball meander
past him and roll just over the line.

Goal 3: Corner comes over and goalie completely misses his punch again and ball lands to Matt Styant who turns on a six pence and neatly rifles past
him.

Goal 4: Corner comes over and goalie completely misses his punch again and balls falls to Alex Parfitt who neatly volleys home from 4 yards.

Goal 5: Dan Oscroft comes off the bench to create the best goal of the game, which he puts on a plate for Matt Styant to fire home. A goal completely unrelated to goalie error.

Goalkeeping help aside the Accies totally dominated the game and credit should go to the back four who limited a lively (and distinctly "Chav") Ravenscroft forward line to a few long range pot shots and Man of the Match "Old" Phil Harden for his tireless work at the anchor of the midfield.

Saturday 9th October

Parkfield 1 Accies 1sts 3 (Jon Houghton, Simon Hayward, Mike Foster).

Accies 2nds 2 (Brenton Amedee, Ian Roberts) University of Hertfordshire 0 (Jorge Fernandez).

Accies 3rds 4 (Scott Atkinson 4) Old Parmiterians 0 (Jorge Fernandez).

Queen Mary College Old Boys 1 Accies 4ths 1 (Jon Logie).

Egbertians 2 Accies 5ths 1 (Jubril Alou).

Accies 6ths 4 (Jeffrey Mensah 4) Old Aloysians 3.

Polytechnic 3 Accies 7ths 5 (Sameer Patel 2, Phil Harden, Joe Coquelin, Dom Mignon).

Old Brentwoods 2 Optimists 0.

1sts Report from Mark McGuigan: 

On an excellent surface, the Accies started in their usual slow way and came under early pressure from an energetic and combative Parkfield side. Saxby in goal made some important early interceptions as crosses came thick and fast. The Accies started to find their rhythm though, and Gillard was influential in his first appearance in midfield. As the first half progressed the visitors gained more and more possession, and it was no surprise when Houghton smartly finished a rebound opportunity to put the Accies one up. The tackles were still of an 18 rated variety, but tempers were kept to the interval and a 1-0 lead retained. 

The second half saw a more accomplished performance form the Accies, who could have scored several more goals. As it was, good work from Houghton chasing a lost cause and crossing for Foster to gleefully thump home the second was the only extra score before Woodrow withdrew injured. A resultant free kick caused momentary disarray in the Accies defence and Parkfield got a goal back. The Accies responded well however, and a well executed free kick again by Houghton, found the head of Hayward who flicked it on into the net to put the visitors a comfortable 3-1 ahead. So it remained.

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes: 

Accies 2's first league win of the season arrived a little later than we'd hoped, but was ultimately earned fairly comfortably against University of Hertford 1's at Shenley. Starting into a stiff breeze Accies took the lead on 10 minutes as a short corner found Crotty on the edge of the box, he drove with purpose past a defender , hit the by-line to drill in a low cross that was fired home from close range by the returning Amedee. The visitors did use advantage of the strong wind to take the game to the Accies and moved the ball prettily around, but failed to seriously threaten as the Accies worked hard and closed down space limiting the oppo's attacking options. Our passing game still hadn't clicked into top gear but possession retention was much improved and we fashioned a few half chances that gave us good hope for the second half.

Encouraging lessons were learned from a week ago as we then raised the tempo and took control of the match on 55 mins when Roberts amazingly slotted a left footer home when put clean through. Hertford were now chasing the game, though as their back line became a little ragged and stretched we failed to capitalise on further good chances created. Credit to the visitors who had several talented individuals and tried to play football throughout, but overall it was a deserved win and a much needed step up in performance from the Accies whole squad of 14.

Hopefully more is still to come, and will certainly be needed to get anything out of this weekend's coming match , as the tough start to the season continues with last season's convincing Senior 4 champions and title favourites Old Challenors 1's due to visit Shenley. We must conclude with a special thanks to the man of the weekend, Jorge 'Golden Gloves' Fernandez who, in the absence of the Nugget and Harry Ramsden, was drafted in, performed admirably , and in 180 minutes on Sat surpassed by 2 the Fox's projected clean sheets for 180 games. Well done sir...

3rds Report from Scott Atkinson: 

Praemonitus pramunitus, which roughly translated is the latin maxim fourwarned is fourarmed. The origin of these wise words is unknown but Miguel de Cervantes continued them with "to be prepared is half the victory". Old Parmiterians had reneged on an early kick off time due to the number of teachers in their midst. Clearly, they were unaware of this proverb and had no Mystic Meg to foursee their destiny. All they had to do was look at the Golden Boot chart to realise danger lurked in the Accies attack (and not in the shape of Chris Groves who maintained his 100% record of missing when clean through on goal). Parsons learnt that he's fourbidden from upstaging the golden oldie with Atkinson seemingly unable to miss (although he did when striking a post and preventing a five goal haul). The four horsemen of the apocalypse that sounded the death knell for the oppo arrived in the shape of 3 one on ones (calmly slotted) and one poacher's snatch after good groundwork from Short (his name bound to appear in any sentence containing the word snatch).

This was a good all round performance from the Accies although not quite matching the form of the previous 2 weeks. James was outstanding on the right and the defence was solid. More goals could have been scored but a decent Parmiterians were unlucky not to bag one ot two. That they didn't was down mainly to keeper Jorge who followed up a clean sheet in the morning with another for us and leaving Ramsden trailing in his wake in the Golden gloves chart. We owe Jorge a huge thanks for his willingness to stand in. Ramsden will be ruing the sloppy goal from last week even more than he did on the day.

The weather fourcast four once also proved accurate but the blustery conditions did not prevent some attractive football from being played. Atkinson does not mind who scores as long as the team get 3 points!

4ths Report from Jon Logie: 

Accies 4ths gained another point against their fiercest rivals Queen Mary College Old Boys, although they will be bitterly disappointed not to have gained all three after dominating the 90 minutes. Despite not beating Queen Mary in their previous four encounters, the 4ths took the game to the opposition from the first whistle. In the opening 15 minutes the Accies had worked a number of openings, the pick of which falling to Max Lovell following a pin-point cross from midfielder Steve McConnell. Lovell's first touch was impeccable, but the finish was wayward. Minutes later, a well-worked move down the left wing involving Matt Wanford and Steve Murdan left Lovell with another opening, but his sweetly-struck half-volley rebounded off the keeper's forehead to safety. Chances for Queen Mary were few and far between, a tight pitch restricting free-flowing football in all but exceptional circumstances. The Accies defence, marshalled by Andy Watt and Chris Wall, looked unbeatable.

The second half was also tight, half chances falling to Jon Logie, Matt Wanford and Anthony Locke but a lack of composed finishing, a theme for the day, cost them dear. However the deserved breakthrough came with 25 minutes to go, man-of-the-match Steve McConnell's driven corner from the right met by Logie who powered it into the roof of the net from eight yards. Queen Mary  were spurred to greater efforts and at last started stretch the Accies back line, Steve ' Fox' Woodrow required to sprint from his line to save at the feet of a QM forward. It looked as if one would be enough until an innocuous break down the left. The QM winger cut inside his marker and unleashed a drive from a tight angle which ricocheted in off the under side of the bar and in.

A point is not a bad away result against their rivals, but once again the Accies will be ruing missed opportunities to secure their first win of the season.

5ths Report from Chris Coates: 

The great unbeaten run finally came to a disappointing end away at the Peter May Sports Centre. The first 20 minutes saw the Accies playing some neat football through the middle of the park to create one or two decent chances - Jubril and Matt Redman going very close. A scything foul on Jubril on the edge of the Egbertian area gave Matt Glynn an opportunity to test the keeper with an inswinging shot/cross. The keeper duly failed to keep hold of the ball and gave Jubril an easy tap in. The resulting argument as whether or not the ball was already over the line was one Owen and Lampard would have been proud of. Accies one up and looking good.

The goal brought Egbertians to life and with their first meaningful venture over the half way line, the ref decided to even the game up by harshly penalising Dom for challenging one of the strikers from a cross. A drilled penalty low into Danny's right hand corner saw things back to 1-1.

After the break, the Accies continued to play the better football - just not in the final third. Too many loose crosses and too many wasted free kicks/corners meant that our possession wasn't being converted into chances. An injury to Jubril seconds after our last substitution didn't make things any easier. With the Accies getting frustrated and losing shape pushing for the winner, the inevitable sucker punch came. A quick break away down their left and some hesitant defending saw a near post cross tucked away for a late winner. Despite a few final frantic last minutes, Egbertians held on and claimed all three points.

6ths Report from Bobby Butlin: 

We weren't happy. We weren't happy at all. Every other match in the whole of the Coca-Cola leagues and countless non-leagues throughout England and Wales had managed to re-arrange their kick-off times to avoid clashing with the international between the two countries, but Old Aloysians (an Irish college, apparently) had refused to move the scheduled 2.30 kick-off forward. So, we were even more annoyed when a phone call to Shenley at 2.00 said our opponents were stuck in Barnet and would be half-an-hour late!

Jeff, it seemed, was the most annoyed of all as the prospect of watching the last half-hour of the game evaporated into the last ten minutes (if we were lucky). In the space of 36 minutes he led the attack (wonderfully supported by the rest of the team) and converted a penalty, struck two sweet shots to either side of the keeper and then came up with the piece de resistence. At the start of the game I'd suggested that we should concentrate on inswinging corners to make the most of the wind that had whipped up whilst we'd been waiting for our opponents. Jeff took me completely literally and scored directly from one just before half-time!

So, 4 - 1 up and that really should have been that! However, we really must shut games down once we get into a position like that and the 2nd. half was (almost) a reversal of the first with a real "backs to the wall" defence needed as the Aloysians swept forward. They WERE skilful - perhaps too skilful and tried to "walk" the ball into the net after a succession of "Ronaldo-like" step-overs when a simple shot would have been far more effective. Full credit to the entire defence (in a new formation of 3 centre-halves and 2 wing-backs) for some very timely tackles and throwing bodies in front of the ball when required.

When Aloysians did shoot they did score some good goals. If I'd felt a bit aggrieved at the first 2 goals (having got a hand and a knee to the ball but still seen it hit the back of the net) there were few complaints about the 3rd - a beautifully curled shot from the edge of the area into the far corner.
So, 4 - 3 and still 10 minutes to go! In a thrilling cup-tie finale (to the neutral observer at least), Aloysians forced a string of corners, culminating in one shot smashing off the crossbar and follow-up scrambled away.

Cue final whistle, much celebration, a mad rush to the pavilion to the nearest TV and a chance to look forward to the next round.
Full marks to the entire team who all performed superbly, but really the man of the match voting was rather academic. I'll sort out that match ball soon, Jeff!!"

7ths Report from Sam Samra: 

A strong team performance which saw the ever improving 7ths show real character to come from 2-0 down after half an hour to eventually run out comfortable 5-3 winners. The fact that they were 2-0 down after an opening period they dominated was down to individual defensive errors including a right old clanger from stand in skipper Sam Samra. The team kept their heads well, refused to panic and were soon rewarded with a rare headed goal from the shortest player on this and many other pitches, Joe Coquelin. Dom Mignon pulled the Accies level with another headed goal at a crucial time just before half time.

The Accies defence weathered a ten minute storm at the beginning of the second half robustly, with particularly good work from "Old" Phil Harden, revelling in the Nicky Butt role at the base of the diamond. The extra quality and pace of the Accies forwards finally won through in the form of two excellent break away goals from Man of the Match Sameer Patel and one from "Old" Phil Harden. The Accies subs also made an impact on the game with Taz Hassan conceding fouls with each of his first four touches after coming on and Dan Oscroft promptly having a minor asthma attack at the end of his first run. Special mention should also go to goalie Tom Lloyd for annoying the referee with his best Neville Southall impression with socks falling down, shin pads falling out and shoe laces undoing each time he went anywhere near the ball.

Saturday 2nd October

Accies 1sts 2 (Martin Woodrow, Jon Houghton) Latymer Old Boys 2.

Old Salvatorians 1 Accies 2nds 1 (Ian Roberts).

Accies 3rds 9 (Adam Parsons 4, Michael Short 2, Scott Atkinson, Chris Groves, Gio Martelli) Old Ignatian 1.

Accies 4ths 1 (Paul Thomas) Wood Green Old Boys 6 (Jamie Hamilton og).

Leyton County Old Boys 1 Accies 5ths 1 (Matt Glynn).

Old Parmiterians 4 Accies 6ths 3 (Mike Epstein, Will Paxton, Jeffrey Mensah).

Accies 7ths 2 (Matt Styant 2) Old Edmontonians 0 (Tom Lloyd).

Old Manorians 3 Optimists 1 (Justin Kemp).

1sts Report from Jon Houghton: 

The 1st team had a 2nd successive draw to the start of their Premier campaign. Hampered by key injuries it was a further outing for the 11 who started at Hale End the week before. Things started well with Woodrow's free kick from near the by-line evading everyone including the Latymer keeper to find the top corner. Latymer then settled and after some good possession scored from outside the box with Saxby in goal a little unsighted. Accies continued to squander possession far too easily and never really looked fluent but went ahead just after the hour when good work from Hayward released Houghton whose firm volley gave the Accies the lead back.  However this just stirred Latymer who deservedly equalised from a rasping free kick from 25 yards. On paper this should have been 3 points on a superb Shenley surface but a rather sloppy display ended 2-2 with Latymer probably disappointed they didn't take more advantage of a first team yet to hit their stride. Once again Crowther looked imperious in defence to fully deserve his MOM.

2nds Report from Danny Fewkes: 

The 2's earned their first point of the season away at a spirited Salvatorians side. Accies played their best football into the wind in the first half, putting together some good moves, scoring another fine team goal from Roberts, missing a 1 yarder and creating other half chances. At this point the oppo had taken advantage of occasional hesitancy shown by the Accies(in clearing their lines or dwelling on the
ball) to pressurise, but hadn't carved out any clear chances or posed a significant threat.

We were confident at half time that with the wind at our backs, we could move up a gear and take control of the game. This event certainly failed
to materialise and to their credit Salvo's showed more hunger to fight their way back and pressurise the Accies onto the back foot. Although Roberts lobbed a good chance wide at 1-0, we didn't show the confidence required or the ability (which we know we have) to keep the ball for long stretches, and following a period of scrambled clearances their pressure finally told with 15 minutes left, as another good set piece delivery into the box was headed goal-ward and bundled in from close range. Although the equaliser was deserved we refused to buckle, and finished the match far more comfortably and confidently than the pre-goal period. Vaughan blazed just over the bar from 15 yards, Roberts just failed to latch onto a well worked free kick and a couple of free headers were wasted.

Everyone is aware that we're not quite where we know we can be with our performances, but we're off the mark and if we work hard at the right things the season can still promise much.

3rds Report from Scott Atkinson: 

The Accies 3's struggled to cope with the absence of skipper Stewart, Tinling and Goodier only managing nine goals against a spirited Ignatian side. The goals were fairly evenly spread around with one exception. Atkinson commenced proceedings with a bullet header(surely a goal of the season contender) and striking partner Short had a couple of short range pokes(as on wednesday night.) Groves showed that lightning can strike twice as he followed up last week's fluke with a mishit. He later reverted to type with an abysmal effort that led Mrs.Groves to pose the question "what happened at the end?". Quite Mrs Groves. This is the question that the 3's have to ask on an all too regular basis. Martelli claimed the last strike with his first goal in nearly a year of trying receiving enormous assistance from the keeper who pretty much chucked the ball in the net. The one exception was Parsons . In a display of greed that would put Mr. Creosote (and Blincoe) to shame he demonstrated that if you buy enough tickets for the raffle you will eventually win a cuddly toy as he chose to shoot at goal whenever he got the ball from wherever he was on the pitch. His final opta stats were :- Shots off target 37, Shots on target 26, goals 4. It should also be pointed out that Ramsden's quest to regain the golden gloves failed to get off the ground as he let in a soft one near the end.

4ths report from Ritchie Hinton: 

Not a good day for the 4ths.

1-0 down at half -time would not have been a disaster, given the fact that the opposition looked a very useful outfit, and that only half of the team who started the game were regulars in the side last season. Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite hang on, and on the stroke of half-time Wood Green doubled their lead with a fortuitous scooped shot which evaded the Accies keeper. Despite this setback, the Accies kept battling and refused to be subdued by the energetic opposition and strong headwind. Our efforts were rewarded when Paul Thomas struck to reduce the arrears to one goal. Sadly, that was as good as it got for the Accies, as the slick passing, superior fitness levels and excellent movement of the opposition took its toll, with four more goals being conceded in a difficult second half.

The return of a few players, improved match fitness levels and slightly less polished opposition will no doubt see the Accies return to winning ways soon. Team spirit is never a problem in this squad, and this poor result is sure to galvanise them into action over the coming weeks.

7ths report from Spencer Gore:  

After playing well but not getting the results preseason it was important to start the league in winning style and that's just what they did. The main problem had been the sloppiness in the first twenty minutes of matches so it was down to the manager (Spencer Gore) to sort this out and as usual he was up to the job. Firstly there was a team warm up for ten minutes before the game to get everyone working together and then there was the tactical genius to switch to the diamond formation in midfield! 

Having dropped Sameer to the bench the team started with three central midfielders and a full back in the midfield to shore things up. It worked a treat with the Accies dominating the first half even against the wind, with keeper Tom Lloyd only having to make one real save. This was helped by some solid defending particularly Dave Sigerson at centre back. Although the Accies only had about 3 or 4 chances in the first half they were never in danger and when Matt Styant scored that looked to be game over.

In the second half Sameer came on as right wing and caused lots of problems for the opposition and came close a few times. Spencer's corners couldn't be dealt with by a smaller opposition and the Accies hit the woodwork off three of them. The game was completely dominated by the Accies in the second half with the midfield running the show. The Accies managed to hit the woodwork a further 3 times and were robbed of first a goal and then the penalty as the oppo's centre back cleared off the line by simply picking up the ball and walking off with it (well nearly). No goal, no pen and 80 minutes of domination and only a one nil lead to show.

It was at this point you start to think they might get a lucky equaliser but such was the one sidedness of the game this was never really likely. But Styant slipped away his and the teams second to round off a man of the match performance and all that was left was for Oscroft to come on as sub in the last 5 minutes and go on a mazy run only to hit the post one final time.

A very good start to the season!

 

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