U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2004-05 Results - September

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Saturday 25th September

Hale End Athletic 1 Accies 1sts 1 (Innis Pirrie).

Accies 2nds 1 (Alex Keast) Old Aloysians 3.

Old Bealonians 2 Accies 3rds 5 (Scott Atkinson 3, Chris Groves, Phil Stewart).

Accies 4ths 2 (Dan Willoughby, Matt Wanford) Old Edmontonians 2.

Accies 5ths 4 (Steve Brown 2, Graham Whitworth, Andy Penfold) Hale End Athletic 2.

Accies 6ths 2 (Will Paxton, Andy Williams) Albanian 1.

1sts - Report from Mark McGuigan: 

UCL Academicals 1st team will be disappointed to have come away with only a point from this match. Although chances were few, most fell to the visitors and they should probably have been two up by half-time, despite little fluent passing in a scrappy first half. The second period was improved, and the Accies enjoyed more possession as they retained the ball better, but Hale end were always a threat and they made the Accies keeper save for the first time midway through the half. Ten minutes to go and Innis Pirrie broke the deadlock with a superb curling shot from 25 yards into the top right hand corner. With the Accies having more possession this seemed to be just a case of seeing out the 90 minutes. Hale End had other ideas though, and under pressure the visitors conceded a corner with one minute of normal time remaining. The ball was headed against the bar and the Hale End centre half headed in the rebound as Accies defenders made their first and only errors of the match. There was still time for Pirrie to try to recreate his earlier strike but this time the keeper tipped it over. 1-1 and Hale End will be happier with the point.

2nds - Report from Sergeant Major Fewkes: 

The 2's made a disappointing start to their league campaign with a rusty performance at home to Aloysians. Accies started fairly brightly with two half chances in the first fifteen minutes, but were then quickly hit by a two goal blitz within a minute that turned the game on its head. The sins of hesitation and a failure to clear the lines were in evidence, albeit combined with an unlucky deflection for the second. Accies regrouped fairly well and managed to play some decent football in patches, but without the levels of energy and urgency that are really needed to overcome a 2 goal deficit against a well organised side. The deficit was halved on the hour with a fine team goal, finished from close range by Alex Keast, and Aloysians were wobbling. Given our successes last season we were expectant then to at least move on and collect a point, but Aloysians regrouped and settled well in the last 10 minutes. Their danger from set pieces was rewarded with a 3rd goal as injury time approached.

We must take the positives out of Sat and bounce back, we'll get stronger, but there was enough talent in Saturday's side to do well in this higher division, the immediate need is for all to address their sharpness, get a little more team cohesion and get the right mentality over 90 minutes to do the job. We had a similar lesson at the start of last season and then moved upwards and onwards. We need to respond likewise in 2004-05.

3rds - Report from by Scott Atkinson: 

After losing the 18 month unbeaten home record the previous week to a strong Albanian side, the Accies needed a good result away at Bealonians to get their season back on track quickly and show they could compete at an exalted level for a third team. A tough encounter was expected as the Accies failed to beat Beals twice last year in their all conquering season. A strong side bolstered by the returning Goodier, Jeremy and Fowler was made even stronger with the presence of Tickle who had retired last year but was already making himself available to avoid nappy changing duties at home. New skipper Stewart started on the bench and saw the Accies rip into a fairly poor Beals team. After a number of early chances went begging, the new lean, mean ex skipper Atkinson raced onto a through ball from Jeremy (who was everywhere in the first half) and calmly lobbed the advancing keeper. Not long after the Accies were cruising after Groves inexplicably found the net in a one on one with the keeper having been put in by the nippy Parsons. It could have been 3 after a sublime 40 yard cross field pass from the cultured left boot of Goodier found Atkinson ghosting in at the back stick only to mistime the volley and put it high and wide. Beals were struggling all over the pitch and took to moaning at the ref and among themselves. Barely a chance was given with the defence well marshalled by Tinling and Tickle first to every challenge. 

After the captain's wise words at half time the Accies knew one more would be enough to kill the game. It duly came when Stewart came off the bench to score with his first touch. Inspirational decisions like this will surely help the 3's to further glory. Beals then scored a consolation against the run of play when their striker picked up the ball (literally) and carried it past Tickle before using his feet again to find the net. Short then made a nuisance of himself in the box (as he did last Thursday night) and won a peanut dispatched with aplomb by Atkinson who clearly has a new agenda this season. The moans from the oppo about this pen were nothing compared to the one given shortly after Parsons was upended by the keeper. It was a clear foul but as he tried to stay on his feet (greedily trying to deny the old man a hat-trick) he ended up looking like an olympic diver. Atkinson sent the keeper the wrong way (again) with Goodier losing a side bet with Stewart on which side he would aim for. Beals managed another consolation but were well beaten in the end despite their comments that we had paid the ref. They barely mustered a shot on target and with our midfield so dominant the clear chances fell to the Accies. A number of one of ones were wasted and Short again decided he would rather munch grass than shoot for goal when only 3 yards out. James had his first start and looked useful and all over the pitch the players were up to last years high standards. Stewart had achieved what Atkinson had failed to manage in two attempts and we must continue the momentum next week at home to Ignatians.

4ths - Report from Jon Logie: 

The Accies 4th's got off to a dream start in their game against Old Edmontonians at Shenley on Saturday with skipper Dan Willoughby scoring with his first touch after only three minutes. Tony Locke's flick on at the near post from an Andy Watt long throw left Willoughby with a deft volley from six yards out. However, two unlucky breaks at the back allowed Old Edmontonians to take an 2-1 lead against the run of play, before Matt Wanford ran on to a weak back pass and rammed the ball home for the equaliser just before the break. The second half was a tight affair with the Accies creating the best of the chances, Jon Logie and Tony Locke spurning two of the better opportunities to take the points following good work by Matt Redman and Matt Wanford. But for the newly-promoted Accies side missing a number of regulars, a draw will be viewed as a positive result.

5ths - Report from Steve Brown (edited slightly by Danny McConnell): 

As usual the Accies 5ths started badly, going a goal down early and saved from further deficit by a superb fingertip save from Danny McConnell. It took a Steve Brown cross to get them back in the game, which somebody or other headed in. The lead was increased when someone threw the ball in from left, and a Steve Brown flick on was luckily prodded home in the middle. Just before half time, the energetic Steve Brown finished well from a defensive error. Hale End clawed a goal back, and without looking amazingly dangerous, the slender one goal lead was precarious - the Accies defended well, with Steve Brown in particular doing some good work defending from the front and Danny McConnell making a second critical save, diving low to his right to preserve the lead with ten minutes left. Any doubt about the result was finally removed when a good passing move between some of the Accies found that man again - Steve Brown sticking the ball home with a clever and composed finish. The delight on the Accies faces was obvious, as they crowded round Steve Brown and Danny McConnell to congratulate the men who had almost single handedly won the game.

6ths - apparently can't write.

Saturday 18th September

Accies 2nds 0 Norsemen 1 (aet).

Accies 3rds 3 (Scott Atkinson 2, Michael Short) Albanian 4.

Optimists 2 BB Eagles 4.

In the past few seasons the Accies have had good availability for pre-season, and hit the ground running. Not this year!

For a variety of reasons, availability throughout the club was poor, and one fears it's come home to roost. Both the 2nds and 3rds started the season with losses, though the remaining sides had an extra week to sort their acts out. Good thing too!

The 2nds and found themselves drinking their beer on Saturday night not quite believing that they'd been eliminated from the AFA Intermediate Cup at the first hurdle. Although Norsemen were a competitive, spirited, well organised and reasonably strong side, after a tight opening half hour the Accies dominated the remainder of the 90 minutes, missing a succession of chances that could have won several cup ties. The opposition refused to buckle and then did well to rally in the first period of extra time and took the lead before the Accies responded with further significant pressure. A breakthrough did come as the outstanding Norsemen keeper was finally beaten, alas an offside decision (one of many!) ruined the day. Back to the league which should provide competitive matches each week , though sadly now only one opportunity left to make it 4 cup finals in 4 seasons for the 2's.

Disruption for the 3rds, and the long 18 month unbeaten run came to an end. The opposition, Albanian, were the highest placed side not to be promoted from this division last year, and a 4-3 loss probably augurs well. If we can get close to a result against them we'll be fine over the season.

Pre-season games are basically meaningless, but shouldn't be nonsense. But not in Wood Green it seems. The Accies had two games scheduled against Wood Green Old Boys, 5ths vs their 3rds in Wood Green, 2.30pm KO and 6ths vs 5ths at Shenley. At 2pm, the Wood Green 5th team manager phoned to tell us he didn't have a side and wouldn't be coming (quite remarkable given that Wood Green's 4ths had been let down Friday evening by Latymer Old Boys). Shortly after he turned up at their 3rd team game with six players in tow, for an "interesting conversation" with the Accies 5th team goalkeeper and (on the day) captain (guess who?!!).

As the teams were trotting out (with the 5ths clearly expecting to play with their 3rds, giving them 15+ players, and no sign of a referee in sight), yours truly was distinctly impressed, and definitely keen on making a point.

Question: "what's going on?". "We didn't have a team". Question: "so we've got a dozen people at our ground, all having travelled, waiting for a game, what are they supposed to do?". "Dunno, it's like a league game, you just cancel the bottom team" (of course, being a friendly, it's nothing to do with the league, but quoting "league rules" to yours truly probably didn't help cool me down). Question: "so are your club prepared to pay for the cost of our pitch, the referee, the teas". "Dunno, you'd need to speak to Keith or Tony (the club secretary and fixture secretary) - it's their fault anyway, they shouldn't have arranged a 5th team game so far away!". Question: "So are you going to phone them to find out?". "No, what's the point.". By now, yours truly is a loaded powder keg and primed. Question: "Are you serious?". "What's the big deal mate? I'm sure you've done this sort of thing in the past, and I'm sure you'll do it in the future".

Let's face it, by this stage I only needed a match, but this guy lobbed in a grenade, making it clear we were in "I'm all right Jack" territory. Ten other bemused, but obedient Accies were told "right boys, get your gear - we're driving up to Shenley to play the 6ths" and we did, leaving 15+ confused Wood Green Old Boys wondering what was going on. At 3.05pm, Accies 5ths vs Accies 6ths kicked off at Shenley, and we had a sensible game.

The postscript - Wood Green's fixture secretary spoke to Mark, and whilst he expressed surprise at the decision of the Accies "keeper and captain" his general attitude was "I've a club full of muppets, what can I do?". I'm guessing I won't be a guest at a Wood Green dinner any time in the future.


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