U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2005-06 Results - November

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Saturday 26th November

Old Challoners 0 (Mark Dawson) Accies 2nds 3 (Lloyd Vanson 2, og).

Old Salvatorians 1 Accies 4ths 9 (Max Lovell 3, Mark Esiri 2, Paul Bernard 2, Steve McConnell, Carl Kemp).

Sinjuns Grammarians 1 Accies 5ths 2 (Jack Hulme, og).

Bealonians 0 (Bob Woad) Accies 6ths 3 (Sameer Patel, Chi Tang, og).

Wood Green Old Boys 6 Accies 7ths 4 (Marcus Whitmore 2, Chris Olukotun, Dickie Smith).

2nds Match Report from Danny Fewkes

In the words of Frank Skinner , what a week.... On a personal note it began having to fend off a vicious assault from 1st team midfielder and AFA pin up boy Gillard (did they throw the book at him.. there's more chance of Alan Shearer visiting Soho Square) during the battle of Walthamstow (which it should be noted by all our readers was won by Watson's 3-0), but really it was the burning issues facing Accies 2s selection committee as they met in Wimbledon on a cold Thursday night that were the cause of headaches and sleepless nights. 

Would the Nugget return in nets at the expense of Tel ? If so, could Tel be accommodated elsewhere, or would the axe fall? Would the new break dancing fitness regime of the Chilean Jocko herald a recall to the starting line up? Could Crotty be relied upon for 90 mins (or indeed 120 mins) in a full blooded cup tie? Of course I could carry on boring our readers but time is of the essence so we'll conclude this section with a yes (only thanks to Emily's casting vote..), yes so no axe, yes and no.

So to Saturday, and an intriguing away tie in the last 16 of the AFA Intermediate Cup against an Old Challenors outfit who to quote Stone Cold Steve Austin , had been 'opening up large cans of whoopass over the occupants of Intermediate West', had claimed a notable scalp of Winchmore Hill in the previous round, and most intimidatingly (I'm not sure if that is a proper word - Mr Stanners??) played their home games at an unbreached fortress, which for the purposes of our report shall be called 'Fortress Eppo'. Accies tweaked their side from 2 weeks ago; Nugget returned; Tel was granted the opportunity to prove himself in the toughest position in football on the left flank (with Jenkins away and your correspondent suffering respiratory problems from the cold weather) ; Alvarez was recalled to show off his jinks and lead the line with Vanson, with the Rodent deserting his comrades to woo a young lover in Rome. 

Unsurprisingly there was a fairly tight tense start to the game. Challenors, playing with a slight slope and breeze in their favour competed across the pitch and looked to work the ball forward quickly. Accies were solid enough but didn't fully heed the prematch instruction and were a touch over elaborate in our passing, particularly given the sticky conditions and when pressed in our own half. We suffered only one scare however, on 15 minutes when the oppo striker skipped through a couple of weak challenges and forced the Nugget to produce a fine 'strong wristed' save, reaping the benefits from his day job. This wake up call heralded some attacking threat from Accies, but it was one of the defenders of the fortress who inexplicably lowered the drawbridge and enabled us to traverse the moat and breach the southern rampart with a comedy moment, lobbing his own keeper from 25 yards when pressed by Vanson. 

Perhaps a little fortunate to turn around ahead, Accies began the second half with much improved purpose and now being a yard quicker in thought and deed, took control of proceedings with an impressive display. A second goal was of course needed to settle any nerves and took a while but duly arrived on 65 minutes with Vanson utilising his pace and trickery to deliver the knock out blow with a strike of real quality. Forced to chase the game, Challenors were beginning to tire and cede cheap possession, and when caught square at the back Vanson clipped home a third to silence the vociferous home crowd and finally herald an evacuation of the fortress. The game was now stretched, Challenors drew a decent save from Nugget and earned a few corners, but in reality it was the Accies who were far the more likely to add to their tally, the boy Tel in particular indignant to not receive the ball when well placed in a 2 on 1 situation. The Ginger Prince had long since entered the fray following his 2 week absence, and all the Accies continued to impress with their work rate to see out the tie. All in a decent performance from the Accies, particularly in the second half, although the timing of the goals was probably key to thwarting the threats shown by a decent Challenors outfit (whose post match hospitality was greatly enjoyed).

We now advance to the last 8 where we finally will enjoy a home tie but our AFA Cup adventure will have to wait for now, as the defence of the LOB Cup begins at home to Glyn Old Boys this Sat. 

P.S The latest news is that it's all quiet on the Roberts front, and the more Tel campaign is gathering momentum due to my poor timekeeping. Everywhere I look the shadows yield a potential knife wielding assassin. Crotty in particular should watch out for my repsonse to some hurtful comments....the axe is mightier than the knife.

4ths Match Report from Mark Emmerson

On a freezing cold day just in view of the new Wembley arch we thumped Salvatorians 4th team 9-1. Getting out of the dressing room after lots of girly moaning about the cold was the hardest part of this AFA cup tie. The team was missing the captain but had one debutant at left back, Travis and Mark Esiri playing up front pushing Paul out onto the right side of midfield.

Playing up the hill in the first half chances appeared quite easily and a cunningly disguised pass by the bright left winger set Steve McConnell up to curl the ball neatly into the right hand corner. Paul then broke free and ran down the right hand side to set up Max to head the ball home. Mark Esiri hit a shot which was saved but managed to crawl across the line for the 3rd. 3 nil up at half time and Salvatorians were not offering much in response to a strong team playing very well.

Second half and more attacking play from the Accies. The full backs joined in, Carl storming up the pitch to hit a low shot into the left hand corner. Mark added a second and Barndoor couldn't resist a couple of runs for two good goals, even managing to round the keeper.

Salvatorians didn't give up though and got a consolation near the end when they started playing some through balls. The hat-trick of the day went to Max whose finishing in the bar was not quite so impressive.

5ths Match Report from Graham Whitworth

The curse of the kit struck yet again for the 5ths. As 11 of our 13 squad assembled in Southfields on time, Andy Penfold was in Lewisham, with the kit in the boot of his motor and Jubril was busy negotiating the use of a helicopter from Kilburn as had been recommended by skipper Kid earlier in the week. Fortunately, Sinjuns had problems of their own for this AFA cup tie, as there was no sign of the changing rooms being opened, or nets for the goals, so the warm up was conducted in the car park with the theme of keepy uppy.

As it turned out, Jubril arrived, by car at 13:45 (when we were supposed to kick off) and Penfold finally turned up 10 minutes later with the kit with the game finally kicking off half an hour late. With no time to warm up, Sinjuns were clearly hoping to catch the Accies cold early on and they probably shaded the opening exchanges, especially in terms of possession, with their central midfielders especially looking very sharp. Andy Mackay limped off for the second game in a row after only 10-15 minutes, having looked lively, and was replaced by Jubril. Sinjuns were playing five across midfield and were moving the ball quite quickly forward, and employed the use of the long ball tactic quite often. Gradually the Accies imposed themselves on the game. There were a number of quick passing movements, despite another poor playing surface, and particular damage was inflicted down the left hand side of the pitch where the Sinjuns right back struggled all match. It looked like we'd turn around with the advantage of having the wind at our backs on level terms when a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box with 5 minutes of the first half remaining. A poorly positioned wall combined with a well struck low shot and the ball apparently striking a divot (according to Pork Pie) saw the ball in the corner of the net and the Accies 1-0 down at half time.

A tactical change to match the Sinjuns five man midfield was made, with Kid assuming the holding role. This made a huge difference and the Accies proceeded to totally dominate the second half. We were comfortable at the back with E2, Rob and Sam working tirelessly, the midfield were winning a lot more of the ball with Glynn winning a lot in the air, Kid mopping up, Whyman holding onto possession and Jack and Penfold working the flanks. Jubril and Whitworth were combining well up front and it seemed only a matter of time before the Accies equalised. Jubril had at least 3 virtual one on ones but perhaps could have benefited from being told he had more time on the ball before unleashing a shot and Whitworth put a volley just past the post after good work from Jubril down the left flank. But amongst all the Accies attack, a scare against the run of play resulted in Sam Samra being forced to clear off the line after Sinjuns broke down our right hand side. 

Ironically, Sam was taken off soon after, replaced by Gary. A tactical masterstroke? Well we equalised soon after, following an Accies throw in from which Penfold passed to Whitworth who released Jubril in space down the right. Jubril beat his man and then put in a decent cross which the keeper spilled conveniently into the path of Jack for his 3rd notch of the season from a combined yardage of 10 yards! The competitiveness of the match was then raised even higher and with extra time not an option due to the late kick off, the Accies sought to avoid a penalty shoot out for the second week running. The winner came rather fortuitously. A free kick awarded just inside the Sinjuns half was struck into the box by Glynn. It struck somebody (not sure who), the keeper pushed it onto the post but the ball then rebounded back onto the keepers hand and back into the goal. A lucky goal, but definitely a deserved one. A hard fought final 10 minutes were played out and Whitworth had a chance to kill the game off, doing the hard work turning the Sinjuns defence nicely, but the subsequent flick with the outside of the right boot saw the ball skim the bar. It seemed an eternity till the final whistle was blown and the final minutes were played in particularly poor light but the character of the Accies saw them through to the last 16.

An excellent performance from everyone, especially in the second half, and most satisfying to win from behind. But, can we please have a home tie in the next round?! - we've forgotten where Shenley is and what it's like to play on a decent bit of turf!

7ths Match Report from Danny McConnell

From one extreme to another. Over the last two league games the sevenths had scored just once, and lost by the odd goal in the last few minutes.

The Accies arrived on time, and ready for kickoff, a welcome change whilst Wood Green were still playing hunt the referee (club member roped in), hunt the nets and hunt the goalkeeper. Finally they were ready for kickoff, and decided to give the Accies the benefit of the elements in the first half.

Within fifteen minutes, the Accies were 2-0 up, Chris Olukotun scoring on his debut, and Marcus Whitmore adding a second. But Wood Green looked dangerous on the break, and the continuing problem of not tracking runners was illustrated as Wood Green broke for the first goal down the left wing. The cross cum shot was half saved, but a second untracked runner was first to the ball to narrow the deficit.

Nevertheless, the Accies looked good for their lead, and likely to take the advantage they'd need into the second half. Alas, not to be, as a routine shot from outside the area was misjudged by the author, realising too late it was flying for the top corner. At half time the Accies were disappointed not to be leading.

The half time talk was about continuing the good work, but also making sure we tracked runners, and squeezed play as the gap between the defence and midfielders was growing. The latter proved prophetic, as the game was decided in the first twenty minutes of the second half. Playing with the slope Wood Green poured forward, and the Accies defence sat deeper and deeper, allowing Wood Green to build in midfield and then run at the defence in space. Frequently forwards were sprung beyond the defence, often with an attempting-to-sweep keeper stranded. Wood Green added three goals, all of them on the break.

From 5-2 down the Accies hit back, adding a third and then with five minutes to go pegging Wood Green back to 5-4. From the kickoff a Wood Green forward simply strolled through the whole midfield and defence and tucked away neatly to seal the win.

Overall, a highly frustrating result. The positives are that the Accies created chances, and looked like scoring frequently. Dickie Smith and Peter D'Agostino dominated the centre of midfield until overrun, and the Accies looked dangerous on both flanks. Defensively it was a mini horror story - yours truly often caught out whether to come out and sweep, or stay home, but too many runners breaking untracked and fitness causing an increasing gap between defence and midfield.

But all of the elements of a successful side are coming together, and if we can do the basics and put together the performance that is there, we can get results in this division.

Saturday 19th November

Latymer Old Boys 0 (Dan Saxby) Accies 1sts 3 (Rick Hirst 2, Mike Foster)

Old Bromleians 2 Accies 3rds 5 (Phil Stewart 2, Chris Groves 2, Alex Keast).

Old Aloysians 2 Accies 4ths 9 (Bob Woad 2, Mark Esiri 2, Max Lovell 2, Steve McConnell, Matt Wanford, Matt Wilson).

Old Parmiterians 1 Accies 5ths 1 (Matt Glynn, Accies won 4-2 on penalties).

Accies 7ths 0 Leyton County Old Boys 1.

1sts Match Report from Mark McGuigan

Another fine performance from the 1st team, confirming that last week's first win of the season was no flash in the pan. 

From the word go, the three pronged strike force of Gillard, Foster and Carabine put the oppostion under pressure and ensured that we played football in their half. Their efforts enabled Green and Hirst to play the football they enjoy, while Hayward and Topping were energetic on the flanks. The defence was confident and solid throughout, and the only surprise was how long it took for the Accies to go into the lead. Foster eventually was the saviour, somehow contriving to to spin the ball home with his right foot (proof of a fluke if any were necessary). Thereafter, the visitors grew further in confidence, even to the extent where Green and Hirst decided they were Beckham and Scholes, Hirst firing home first time from almost 25 yards after Green had arrowed a corner direct to him as he waited in space. A terrific goal sending the Accies in 2 up at half-time. 

The second half saw more pressure and lots of effort from the visitors, the tireless Foster earning a penalty which Hirst gleefully smote home for his second. Reporters were seen scrambling for their notebooks when McGuigan emerged from the bench for the last ten, but there was to be no further score.

3rds Match Report from Michael Short

After a disappointing draw in Walthamstow, UCL third eleven (in many peoples' eyes the class act of the club) made the long trip to Bromley to face a team many divisions below them for a place in the last 16 of the Big (as Skip likes to refer to it as..) Cup.

Characteristically for games in this competition UCL started the game with ten men. Goga had apparently enjoyed a late night on Friday and "only realised it was a 12.30 meet in Bromley at 12.00" when he rose from his drunken stupor (something the writer has now grown out of...). Anyway, any fear or apprehension in the hearts of the remaining ten was soon banished with a rousing speech from skip asking for some "Dunkirque" spirit. Accordingly, UCL started brightly and some inventive early passing (much from the writer...) saw Groves find himself in a couple of dangerous positions in front of goal. Unfortunately, and much to the consternation of the ever supportive Stewart..., Groves was not on these occasion able to trouble the goalkeeper or the scorer.

Cruelly, and against the run of play Old Bromleians found themselves the grateful recipients of a penalty (from their club referee, with whom they were on first name terms). The villain, a certain Matt Jones, claims this was a decisive factor (in what to the writer (defending high up the pitch a good 70 yards away) looked the second most clear cut penalty of all time). In any event, the pen was despatched with the familiar sissy type yelp emanating from Ramsden to signal the fact that he had again "been done by the eyes". Shortly afterwards Goga arrived to reinforce the defence and release Alvarez into a striking role from which he was able to wreak havoc with his dancing little feet.

UCL responded well to the set back and continued to make a number of chances with Groves, Alvarez and Martelli going close. The writer was then deprived of the clearest penalty of all time after being practically raped by the Old Bromleians centre half as he latched on to a through ball from Super Skip (I think?). It is a testament to his sportsmanship (more of this later..) and strength that he elected to stay on his feet and despatch a spinning, curling, swerving effort that finished closer to the corner flag than the goal. 

A goal down at half time, talk in the camp was positive and with Murds feeling an old back injury there was something of a reshuffle, with Alvarez moving back to right midfield and Murds assuming a striking role which he took to with some ease. Early in the second half the UCL pressure finally told and an equaliser arrived courtesy of Captain Fantastic Stewart. The provider of the goal, was none other than the writer who at the second time of asking played a perfectly weighted pass through the home defence. Given that the writer's first attempted through ball was greeted with "that was a f*ckin sh!t pass" (it was actually a difficult half volley pass to make..) from Stewart it would have been no surprise if he looked to pass to one of his more grateful team mates.

Shortly after equalising UCL conceded the softest of goals as a nothing ball was punted into the UCL box. The ball fell kindly and Old Bromleians re took the lead with a simple finish from five yards. UCL responded quickly and within minutes Groves chased a through ball from Martelli and was rewarded with the goal he had promised in the changing room, when the home keeper struck it straight at his shin. He was later heard to have referred to it as his best finish of the season... More UCL pressure followed with the home team beginning to tire. Keast, moving like a young gazelle, made a strong run down the left (one of a number he made in the match) and fired in a sort of cross come shot (with which we have become familiar (some might say as a result of a lack of confidence in the central strikers..)) which the home keeper was unable to hold. Murds was on hand to ensure it crossed the line. I understand that Murds has magnanimously confirmed that the goal should be credited to Keast. Something I am sure the absent Atkinson (on a mid season break or something like that) would have also confirmed. 

The match then became a little ugly. The writer inadvertently upset most of the home team, and their massive home support with a late but fairly innocuous challenge on a midfield opponent. The recipient was far from happy and wanted to know if the writer "wanted to go" with him. Although the writer (by his own admission) has been in the midst of something of a dry run on and off the pitch this was not an invitation he was willing to accept. There then followed a couple of late challenges on the writer, culminating in a rather blatant attempted elbow resulting in the instant dismissal of an Old Bromleians player from the referee. 

Reduced to ten men Old Bromleians soon gave up and UCL were able to add a fourth following some clever work out wide by Alvarez and a looping header from Groves, which the goalkeeper seemed to lose in the sun. Another class finish. The fifth, and the icing on the cake some might say, soon arrived following another powerful run from Keast who slipped in Stewart for another assured finish from the skipper. Special note though must go to the writer whose clever decoy run took away a number of defenders to open up the space for Keast and Stewart.

All in all a good result in the circumstances. There is still much more to come from this team and when the writer and his young absent partner (Atkinson) dig out their scoring boots a strong winter campaign beckons.

4ths Match Report from Dan Willoughby-Smythe

The pre-match banter revolved around who's car would get nicked first from outside 'Chaville House', the conclusion was my own - needless to say when we found that the pitch we were playing on had direct views of said cars my mood lightened.. and as we walked out onto the pitch we saw 8 young 'kids' kicking a ball about, we asked them if they were our opposition and to our surprise they said yes, we thought they were waiting for an under 14's game - Mark Esiri concerned that he was old enough to be their dad.. then the manager walked over and ushered these young lads off the pitch and replaced them with a more suitable oppo.

A no show from the ref meant a last minute call to an injured Jon Logie and he obliged with the thought of a tax free 25 in his back pocket 
for 90mins work - much more than his high flying city job pays.

The game kicked off and on a slow, boggy pitch and the football was not pretty at all - lost possession and passes going astray being the general make up of the first 10mins, with a few scares in our own goal area to boot. That said we then lobbed a ball over the top which was a simple collection for the oppo's keeper, only to find the oppo keeper not interested in the slightest of picking up a muddy ball and as such we slotted home with ease.. At this point we found out that their keeper only resembled a keeper by his jersey and gloves. 

4-1 at half time and more of same in the second half to kill the game off was the general view, the Accies team obliged and at 9-1 we went searching for goal 10 only to be caught at the back as the oppo sneaked a well deserved second half consolation, credit to the opposition for persistence, and if they had played like a team and not individuals then they may have got more than 2 goals and made more of the game. 

All in all a good result even if at times our own performance was verging on comical.

5ths Match Report from Chris Coates

The LOB powers that be had handed the 5th team a tricky tie away at Old Parmiterians. With a patched up bare eleven, we turned up in E17 to find not only we would be playing against Blazing Squad's younger brothers but also that we'd have to do it minus a ref. Unperturbed, we kicked off with the bright sun on our backs and soon found we had a game on our hands. The first 15 minutes flew past with the unfamiliar line up struggling to get hold of the ball and play and meaningful football. Having repelled several attacks the Accies machine finally clicked into life and Sameer and Graham's pace up front began to trouble the young legs of the Old Parm's back line. As confidence grew, a couple of half chances came and went but little reward came from our toil. Honours even at half time and definitely a day for patience.

Kicking back into the sun from the restart, the dreaded second half slow start caught up with us again. With concentration lost, a fine mazy run from the pacy Old Parms winger left one of the strikers a relatively simple back stick tap in. The wake up call was duly noted and an agricultural challenge on Sameer gave us the chance to push on from the resulting free kick. A great delivery from Phil saw caused mild panic in the Old Parms box with Matt Glynn's cheek coming to the rescue and bundling the ball over the line. An ugly goal from a not-so-ugly player (*awaits end of season vote*) but nicely timed to get us straight back into the game. Obviously rattled, Old Parms began to bicker between themselves and had a qualified ref been on hand at least one red card would have been dished out to punish a near assault on Graham. 

Without the luxury of fresh legs to be brought on, tiring Accies limbs continued to graft and get some meaty tackles in to keep Old Parms at bay. Soaking up pressure rather than creating it on a heavy pitch proved to be a great leveller as Old Parms couldn't make their home advantage count. 

A draw would have been a fair result, but being a cup game extra time meant the hard work had to continue. More organised defending and the occasional counter attack kept the positive belief alive but the setting sun proved a fitting backdrop as both sides tailed off knowing that penalties would be the only way the game would be decided . The Old Parms 'keeper still had time to pull off a cracking save late on as my shining bonce glanced Bob's great free kick. No Captain Marvel moment so on to pens we went.

An early miss from Old Parms opened the door for us. Pork Pie, still fresh from his pre-match eye opener, managed to block the next and Graham, Kid, Matt Glynn and Bob each converted awful spot kicks to squeeze us home. Bob's golden goal tally will remain unbothered but could this be the catalyst for that elusive second career goal? 6 seasons and counting!

7ths Match Report from Danny McConnell

Slowly the team is gelling, and slowly certain mysteries are being solved. George (keen for the pre-match banter) and Dwayne managed to arrive at least fifteen minutes before kickoff, though this was blamed on Dwayne (eight minutes late he said) which left thirty seven unaccounted for, but no matter. The School of Navigation lives. At kickoff the Accies had thirteen present, waiting and keen.

The first half proved to be an even affair, with both sides creating a handful of breakaway chances, and on all occasions the strikers shooting either straight at the keeper, or wide. Neither side could establish a dominance in midfield, and a tight game was clearly on the cards. Half time and some minor tactical shuffles, mostly on the "give everyone a game" front, but plenty of opinions and thoughts from a team slowly shedding its quiet label.

The second half showed much the same pattern, and the game began to look to have 0-0 written all over it. Neither keeper looked much troubled, and neither side capable of troubling them, with both teams in cruise control.

With fifteen minutes to go, an Accies attack broke down, and Leyton broke. The threat of the teenager striker was ever present as he burst down the left wing, but more disappointing was the way his partner, at least twenty years his senior wasn't tracked down the right, and the ball was finally squared for an easy tap in. The sevenths have been here before, and looked initially ready to pack up and go home. Resignation was ready to set in and the team needed a spark, a bit of bite and edge, someone to raise passions.

In an unexpected Roy Keane In Memoriam moment, Alex Heaton provided the bite. First of all a Zola Budd moment on the Hippie midfielder and then a "I got there as soon as I could" moment on the goalscorer. The latter (last season believed to have helped Rob James look for a contact lens) took offence, and immediately squared up to Alex asking if he "wanted to make something of it?". Slightly surprised, Alex, informed him that confrontation wasn't his job, but he'd try and engage a barrister as soon as possible. The situation now degenerated to primary school playground, as Rob's Optician wandered around asking everyone "do you want a fight" and all declined (Serge considered the option, then realised this would delay his post-match cigarette and declined). Finally the Leyton skipper removed Rob's Optician to left back (the equivalent of play-time in the classroom) and the game restarted with the hitherto ignored option of a free kick (awarded by the referee some minutes before).

This fired up the Accies, and for the final ten minutes it was almost one way traffic. A couple of scrambles in the area were cleared by Leyton, and Dwayne let fly with a shot from outside the area that was almost unstoppable, save for having too much power and pinging out off the bar. Realistically, this game didn't deserve to have a single goal grace it, and a second wouldn't come.

The Accies returned to the changing rooms disappointed with the result, but pleased with the performance. We competed for 90 minutes, and can feel we deserved a share of the spoils. We can look forward to next week, and a new away ground to get lost going to - after the game George and Dwayne changed, walked out of the changing room door and took aanother wrong turning!

Saturday/Sunday 12th/13th November

Accies 1sts 2 (Mark McGuigan, Neil Gillard) HSBC 0 (Mark Dawson, aet).

Accies 2nds 3 (Tim Vaughan, Nat Keast, Adam Parsons) Pegasus 0 (Terry Foster - don't ask).

Egbertians 1 Accies 3rds 1 (Steve Black).

Accies 4ths 2 (Paul Bernard, Jon Logie) Old Parmiterians 4.

Enfield Old Grammarians 4 Accies 5ths 2 (Graham Whitworth 2).

Accies 6ths 5 (Mike Epstein, Phil Harden, Bob Woad, Chi Tang, Jules Court) Mill Hill Village 2.

Old Tollingtonians 8 Accies 7ths 0.

Accies Vets 1 Old Woodhouseians 2.

Editor's Warning: during the next few days, this section is likely to explain how Mark McGuigan came off the bench to kick-start the 1st team season, and how Terry Foster kept a clean sheet in his debut for the 2nds. Sadly, both stories are true, though which is more improbable is left to the reader to decide.

2nds Match Report from Danny Fewkes

Accies arrived at Shenley for a vital league game, certainly requiring 3 points to keep on the coat tails of the league leaders. Changes were again afoot following the cup win at Belgravians: Finch and Walker returned to their defensive duties; Vanson to lead the front line; your correspondent eased from the bench to patrol the left flank (with Jenkins moving inside to add a little more range and precision to our central midfield passing), and Crotty's midweek exertions in the Reuters rout at Paddington Rec showed his returning fitness now merited a first start of the season. It was however the goalkeeping position that provided the talking point of the day, the original recall of the Nugget, (in my opinion, lucky to be eligible following his undisciplined show of petulance against Albanian 1s) being overridden by 1s keeper Saxby failing to rise from (not in) his bed on Sat morning. Despite the lateness of the call up, given the importance of the 1s game, Nugget was released and practically being unable to disrupt our lower sides, the call could no longer wait. Tel duly answered and manfully accepted the glorious opportunity to offer his services to the cause at the rear of the team rather than the front.

The game began on a perfect Shenley surface and Accies moved ahead within 10 mins as an incisive long ball found Vanson free in the left channel to advance on goal. His initial shot was well saved but the loose ball fell kindly and was neatly tucked home by the Rodent Parsons, maintaining his fine recent scoring run. The away side almost responded immediately with their only chance of the game [and a rare opportunity for Foster to handle the ball], when a long throw was flicked on and the oncoming forward's close range header flew straight into his arms. This spurred Accies to construct several good chances, without ever being wholly convincing in our play; possibly over elaborating in working the ball through midfield and missing a slight combative edge in our attitude.

Walker's hamstring tweaked again on 35 mins and the resultant reshuffle saw Alvarez introduced, and Crotty and Parsons drop a little deeper. Turning around with a bright sun at our backs, this attacking line up took a vice like grip on proceedings, dominating territory and possession to create a succession of gilt edged chances, but amazingly the second goal obstinately refused to appear. Fittingly it was another 'special' from the in form Tim Vaughan (atoning for an earlier side footed effort onto the post when well placed) that sealed the 3 points. A quick throw high up Accies left flank found the playmaker with his back to goal, but he expertly rolled his man and curled a delightful 20 yarder past the Pegasus keeper, who had excelled throughout. Believe it or not, better was still to come and Nat Keast capped an energetic display on the right with a magnificent 30 yard run and left foot finish, lodging his annual contender for goal of the season. 

This enabled the final scoreline to far better reflect the balance of play, and with a second consecutive league clean sheet leaves Accies in good spirit as they fly off to their winter sun training camp for a week's break in preparation for vital upcoming AFA and LOB Intermediate Cup matches.

P.S Our readers may be aware of the somewhat unkind words I had for Tel's reporting skills last week, and part of the negotiated settlement of Sat morning was to offer a full retraction and consume a large portion of humble pie. This is duly done, though I'll note the 'More Tel' count has only crept to 6 votes, 4 more needed....

P.P.S Apologies for the spelling error noted in last weeks report, well spotted by one of our West London readers!

3rds Match Report from Scott Atkinson

The 3's came away from Walthamstow disappointed not to take all 3 points in a match they should have won by a country mile. The performance was far better than the previous week but the numerous missed chances proved costly as Egberts nabbed a late equaliser. After a slow start the Accies started to play some decent stuff and chances were carved out at will. With Atkinson harshly judged to be the leading contender for miss of the season several of the players took it upon themselves to spare his blushes. The first golden opportunity to take the lead came when a quick free kick put Keast in and his low cross cut out the keeper and was met by Short who somehow managed to hit the ball into the ground from a couple of yards out and then clear the crossbar. Not to be outdone Wagstaff submitted a worthy effort shooting over a gaping goal from 10 yards after Short's cut back. The Accies took a deserved lead after a fine ball from the left was glanced home by Blackie for his 3rd in 3 games.

It was disappointing to reach the break only one up but all felt the goals would come. Unfortunately the players switched off in the 2nd half and possession was conceded too easily. Although the general play was poor plenty more chances to kill the game were spurned and the inevitable happened. Moments later Blackie was clean through with a chance to win it but he confused himself and the keeper snaffled the ball. Had so many points not been dropped the Accies could have accepted a draw at a difficult away fixture but with the leaders pulling away and with so many missed chances this was probably a game the 3's had to win. Miss of the season is now wide open especially as Groves has yet to submit an entry.

Finally a word of warning - be careful asking Harry Ramsden for travel advice. Not sure if he mistakenly believes he is Superman but He told Blackie that it was possible to go to Kings X and connect to the Metropolis Line.

4ths Match Report from Mark Emmerson

The Accies 4th team faced a tough test this week against a Parmiterians side who were yet to lose in the league. Both sides came prepared, the Accies with two substitutes and Parmiterians with three (I'm glad we don't do that). The game started and Parmiterians began to attack and for the first 10 minutes had most of the ball, nothing materialised from it though and a move starting from the left with Tony putting Logie through gave the Accies a 1-0 lead. From then on we started to dominate and good runs from Max and Paul gave the opposition cause for concern but a change in defensive strategy soon eased their worry. Playing a defensive line very high up the pitch they started to get seemingly easy offside decisions and free kicks close to the half way line. A young attacker then began to run at a not quite so young Accies defender and without having to go past him struck a very good shot into the top left hand corner. The shot was made to look even better by a motionless Fox who was interrupted from watching the first team's last chance of a cup this season on the pitch in front of us.

Second half and a very low sun made it hard for the UCL players to see especially the defense who let in 3 and had to be told that they were losing. Tony did well to control a corner perfectly for a Parmiterians player to smash in and one goal could have been disallowed for a slightly late tackle on the UCL's brilliant left back. The referee appeared to react to players contesting his decisions by almost immediately giving one the other way and two bookings in quick succession seemed a result of this as Chester was shown a yellow card. The highlight of the match came in the second half when at 3-2 down a cross from the right flew over everyone except one player on the left who controlled it perfectly and gently lobbed the keeper only to see the ball hit the bar.
Hanging onto second spot in the league could prove very tough with teams like Parmiterians and William Fitt in our league but it's still a possibility if we play well.

5ths Match Report from Graham Whitworth

Donkey Lane is one of those places which really makes one appreciate playing at Shenley. With everyone arriving in excellent time (even Jubril, who staggeringly, was EARLY!) to prepare for what is always a tough match for the Accies 5ths, 20 minutes were spent wandering around the 20+ pitches trying to figure out which one we were supposed to be playing on (the home side didn't know either - sounds remarkably like the 7ths game today). 

For the last 3 seasons, there has never been more than a goal in this game but an absolutely woeful 1st half from the Accies made it look like we were going to be comfortably turned over. Gary Sangedal, showing commendable commitment to the club, had stepped off a 12 hour flight from Singapore to grace the Donkey Lane playing fields. From the way we played in the first 45, it looked like the whole team had just got off the same flight. We were 2nd to every ball, with passes not finding their targets, quiet communication and virtually no shots at a goalkeeper who, if he had a nickname, it would have been 'Flipper' due to his dodgy handling. To make matters worse, we lost Andy Mackay after 10 minutes to a hamstring injury, although Enfield also lost a player to injury following a crunching (but fair) tackle by Rob James. 2-0 down at half-time, the first Enfield goal was very soft but their second was a cracking strike, buried in the top left corner from a volley 25 yards out.

The 2nd half could not have been more different in terms of performance and commitment from the Accies. It was outstanding. From the kick off we looked like a different side with tackles flying in, movement off the ball and the ball being stroked around as nicely as was possible on the poor surface.The Accies broke back within 5 minutes. 'Flipper' spilled the ball and Whitworth pounced to get the score back to 2-1. It was then one way traffic and Enfield could feel the pressure. Matt Glynn started spraying the ball around from the middle of the park having played the first half at left midfield and made good use of Redman who came on to penetrate the left flank. The defence were looking a lot more comfortable and with 20 minutes left the Accies were level, with Whitworth sticking the ball into the roof of the net following good work from the midfield. 

There is always one turning point in games like these. I remember England V Romania in France `98 when Kevin Keegan said there was only one team that were going to win it and that was England. Everyone knew what was going to happen after that - England were going to lose. At 2-2 on pitch 7 of Donkey Lane, there was only one team that was going to win this game, and that was the Accies. But, of course, they didn't. A scramble in the Enfield penalty area saw the ball falling at Paul Campbell's feet - he was just about to bury the ball in the bottom corner of the Enfield net and finish off the game and a tremendous come back; until a cracking tackle flew in. That tackle came from Jubril. No blame being attached here as Jubril was merely using a striker's instinct and hadn't heard the call. But that was the turning point. 

What followed was heart braking and unjust (2 very common factors in the beautiful game). A foul was given against Kid, wide on the edge of the box. What on earth was that foul given for?! Argentina were kicking off at 16:45 in Switzerland, not 14:30 in Enfield. Their left winger collapsed in a heap without so much as a breath of wind touching him. Free kicked crossed in, unmarked forward, headed goal. 3-2 down, 6 minutes left. Not a side to ever give up, the Accies pressed again for an equalizer. However, with only 2 minutes left, Enfield broke away, their forward struck a shot which hit Chris Whyman in the box, the ball rebounded to the forward who would have made a good 'Flipper' as he controlled the ball with his hands and then stuck it in the net. Hand of God? Perhaps not quite as important as a World Cup Quarter Final, but this side hates to lose. 4-2 down and no time to mount a come back.

2-2 would have been a fair result, as we were awful in the first half, but superb in the second. We had played in 3 fairly comfortable wins in the preceding 3 weeks and this probably didn't help us, as Enfield were a very physical side who played with a lot more commitment than our recent opponents. But, if we want to get out of this division, we need to play for 90 minutes, especially in matches like these.

7ths Stuffing Report from Danny McConnell

A rather unfamiliar looking seventh team collected at East Finchley station for a short London Old Boys Cup run. The draw had done us no favours, pitting us against a team having won all three matches in the division above. Having utterly failed to look out of place last week, Mark McGuigan returned to the 1st team sheepskin and, as a substitute, improbable heroics, and the majority of last week's team were still in therapy following the heartbreaking last minute loss.

Shockingly, all eleven were present and correct an hour before kickoff, an event which certainly proved too much for Neil Lawrence, who suddenly, and violently started decorating the pavement, cars and even London Underground Staff with a magnificent series of technicolour yawns that were claimed to be non-alcohol related. It's a long time since I've been thrown out of a tube station car park! The Accies set off to find the ground, hidden behind the comfortingly named "Crouch End Vampires" clubhouse, a previous victim of the Accies in an AFA Senior Cup. Despite this, Waseem and Alex showed an "Academy Map Reading" talent and took half an hour to negotiate the two mile journey, eventually appearing from the North Circular too embarrassed to admit how far they'd travelled. 

It's always nice to be asked by the home team "is this the right pitch mate" and to spend your pre-match warmup clearly away dog crap. The pre-match team talk focussed on three things - not getting injured, because we had no subs, talking and communication and tracking runners, and not running out of steam so we suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final minutes. Well, one out of three ain't bad as the song didn't say.

Within ten minutes the turtle had sprung a leak, pulling a groin muscle which by turtle standards rendered him immobile. Worse still, no longer playing with the fifths, where nubile female young partners might be around to offer solace, or even massages. Meanwhile, Old Tollingtonians proved themselves to be anything but, and by various underhand methods (namely being younger, fitter and better) took the game by the scruff. 3-0 down at half time, a second half tactical adjustment kept Tolly at bay for much of the half, before five minutes of madness at the end where they added four more.

No last minute heartbreak! One out of three ain't bad!

It is safe to say the Accies were robbed - but only in that a ball disappeared in the changing rooms after the game. With a fit, or competent keeper (both is too much to ask for) a fairer scoreline might have been 3-0. Nevertheless, we wuz lucky to get nowt.

Saturday 5th November

Accies 1sts 1 (Jon Houghton) Albanian 2.

Old Belgravians 2 Accies 2nds 4 (Tim Vaughan 2, Adam Parsons, Ralph Goga).

Bealonians 3 Accies 3rds 0.

University of Hertfordshire 0 (Steve Woodrow) Accies 4ths 5 (Paul Bernard 3, Max Lovell, Steve McConnell).

Old Parkonians 0 (Tom Lloyd) Accies 5ths 4 (Jack Hulme, Andy Mackay, Graham Whitworth, Matt Glynn).

Accies 6ths 0 Leyton County Old Boys 2.

Accies 7ths 1 (Neil Lawrence) Wood Green Old Boys 2.

1sts Match Report from Mark McGuigan

Albanian in the cup... the stuff that Accies are born for, and always a tough challenge against a side who have quality and endeavour. Last season was a clean sweep for us, and the visitors came bent on revenge, encouraged by Accies' poor form and their own league leading status. The home side were up for it in terms of attitude, but unfortunately the spate of errors which has blighted the season continued. After 20 minutes the visitors were 2-0 up, Chantler rising to head into his own top corner, and then poor marking giving the Albanian centre forward a simple header from a corner after Dawson was clearly impeded. To their credit, the home side responded with vigour and imagination, and played the best football of the season so far for the 2nd period of the first half. They got a just reward when the visting keeper spilled a cross for Houghton to stab home a simple chance.

The second half was fairly even, although the Accies probably enjoyed more possession. The visitors perhaps looked more dangerous though, and the
Accies struggled to create any clear chances. Dawson saved the chance of the half with his legs, and Hirst went very close with a drive from 20 yards, but it was not to be. The AFA cup beckons next week, and McGuigan is grateful for the pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson distracting the tabloids and perhaps giving him a stay of execution.

2nds Match Report from Danny Fewkes

Firstly, the results of last weeks 'more Tel' competition. 2 votes for. Before Tel gains a modicum of satisfaction from that, I will have to qualify that those votes were both from the same person, and that person has quite a bit in common with the number 2 (or at least his IQ does). There is of course, no escape from the buffoon Roberts.....Being personally involved in some necessary if very minor editing of the report, my own take for Tel is that it was a disappointing piece of work, the original bits were not good, and any good bits certainly weren't original. So at present it's 'Less Tel' on the reporting front, at least until he can muster double figures (the voting line is still open).

So to this weeks match; the 2s eased relatively smoothly into the last 16 of the AFA Intermediate Cup, but took a step back in performance from the good form shown in recent weeks. Once again in the cup, we were on our travels, and the familiar game plan away from the manicured expansive carpet of Shenley was announced to a squad that although still strong, had several changes from our encounter with Albanian. 

Sadly Accies began poorly, giving far too much space for the opposition, both in picking players up to mark and in tracking runners from midfield. The home side took the lead on 5 minutes, when the livelier of their 2 forwards was found free 30 yards from goal. He advanced to crack a shot against the inside of the post, and the malaise of apathy that had already set into our performance allowed an oncoming Belgravian to tuck home from close range without a significant effort to prevent him. It did begin to improve, kick started on 15 mins by a sweeping move the length of the pitch, that served notice of some of the quality we have to offer.

The equaliser arrived on 20 mins, Accies worked the ball around well and Nat Keast's final pass found Tim Vaughan free to clip the ball past a stranded keeper. Old B's attacking efforts were now beginning to peter out, and Accies took the lead on the half hour with the goal of the season to date, a magnificent 40 yard volley from Tim Vaughan demonstrating 'international class of technique' (though as that was according to Jenkins I'm not sure whether it's a complement or insult...). We were now actually playing the game required in such circumstances, and the opposition defence was struggling to cope when pressurised in their own third, Parsons particularly impressive leading the line in the absence of Vanson, with his tenacity, work rate and technical ability.

The half time team talk left the players in no doubt as to the inadequacy of our start; however, there were positives to build on and a full expectation that a 2-1 lead should be added to. Added to it was, albeit with much generosity from Old B's keeper. Soon after the restart, Field's speculative 'overhit' cross was spilled leaving Parsons with a simple tap in, and the fourth goal arrived when debutant Goga's huge clearance was badly misjudged and amazingly trickled into the net. All credit to the opposition who refused to buckle and battled gamely without ever really threatening to get back into the tie. In my opinion Accies; with the notable exception of Shrimpton who had an excellent game at the back and demonstrated great attitude and experience, played a little as if in a comfort zone, not really offering as much as we should have. There was time for a late consolation goal for Belgravians, a magnificent direct free kick from nearly 30 yards that gave Ramsden no chance.

Our brief report will conclude with commendation to two individuals: firstly the excellent referee Trevor Weaver with whom the post match hospitality was enjoyably shared; and secondly to a certain Harold Ramsden. Although Harold failed to achieve his beloved clean sheet within the early moments of the game, he displayed great confidence (unbecoming of his trade as a Grimsby chip shop proprietor) throughout, nonchalantly claiming any crosses and corners that came his way, and was only denied the bar room bragging rights of 'a finger tip save' by the fact the whistle had already blown for offside. 

It's now back to league action and an vital home game for the Accies next week.

3rds Match Report from Scott Atkinson

The 3's misfired again away to a Bealonians side far stronger than they were last term. With players still absent and several new faces the side were totally outplayed in the first 45 mins by opposition who were more up for it and played to their strengths. 

Even so the half time scoreline could have been 0-0 had 2 poor goals not been conceded. Both came from corners. For the first the defence did not switch on and the marking was non-existent. For the 2nd the ball broke and the striker had far too much time to control run forward and thump the ball home. Beals deserved their lead and an improvement was needed to prevent another thrashing. 

The 2nd half was much better without being brilliant. Beals chances to score were few and far between but the Accies couldn't find the net on "one of those days". Atkinson was played in by Short and was foiled by a combination of keeper and last ditch challenge. Alvarez had a chance to lob into an empty net from distance but the ball just cleared the bar. Short had a one on one after Martelli's good work and Atkinson couldn't react fast enough to a parry from the keeper which came off his shin and went wide. Another few chances went begging and inevitably Beals broke away and scored their 3rd.

Beals were deserved victors on the day but had a chance gone in things may have been different. Not a performance to be proud off and we must hope for better things next week at another difficult away fixture.

4ths Match Report from Mark Emmerson

2 years ago playing against University of Herts 2nd team we won 2-1 but lost a car, 2 mobile phones, a watch, 30 in cash and Fox's cigarettes. This year a polite offer of locking our stuff up in the changing room was declined as everything was bundled onto the pitch and Fox's fags put behind his ear.

This year against their 1st and only team the only problems were finding the ground and who was to be a sub. Players eventually found the place and turned up one by one but only two players made it in time for Tony's warm up. This week was a completely new warm up with lots of new moves but sadly next time it will be back to the usual.

Anyway back to the game and the most important decision who was to be sub. Mark Emmerson got the honour, reasons being either a dodgy performance a while back or from the very controversial new ruling for the 4th team- if you look hungover you're sub. Not sure if 4 pints and 3 vodkas makes a hangover so must be the time he had a bad game a couple of years ago.

Buoyed by the choice of sub Herts kicked off and attacked with verve. Chances and possession were pretty even in the first half but not that much happened in the first 40mins. The girls hockey game on the astro behind us was quite exciting though and only a brilliant finish from Barndoor could grab back the supporters attention. A strike low and into the bottom left corner led the accies into a 1-0 first half lead.

Second half looming and disaster struck. Disaster for Herts that is as Emmerson took off his jacket and replaced Wanford on the left wing. Fitness and determination again showed for the Accies 4th team as we came through strong in the second half scoring 4. Paul claiming another hat-trick but man of the match going to Max for his running, set up play and goal. Steve McConnell missed a sitter but broke through later from a diagonal ball to score a well taken goal. Negatives were just the two bookings received, one for dissent following what looked like a good penalty claim by Logie but overall the Referee had a very good game so no real complaints on that front. 

A second clean sheet from Fox and a good experienced defence is a good sign early on as scoring goals does not seem to be a problem.

7ths Match Report from Danny McConnell

Defeat sadly plucked from the jaws of victory by the 7ths, as a 1-0 lead with ten minutes to go was squandered.

After the problems the week before in finding Mill Hill East tube station, the Tseyi Hammond football academy produced a repeat performance, this time unable to even follow Tseyi en route to Shenley. Nevertheless the Accies had eleven men for kickoff, with subs arriving in due course.

Playing with the wind, the Accies battled hard through a tight first half, and whilst Wood Green created the better chances, the Accies went ahead from Neil Lawrence's 40 yard howitzer. Shortly after Wood Green broke through into the area and John Blakeley bundled over the striker for another penalty. Three in two weeks, and for the third time the Turtle guessed right and this time blocked the ball, and the Accies maintained their lead until half time.

Second half, and the Accies had plenty of chances to stretch the lead and score that all important second goal. Unfortunately none were taken, and as the half went on Wood Green became more and more dominant, young legs outlasting their elders despite the introduction of "seeking a second career" 1st team manager McGuigan. With ten minutes to go a Wood Green corner was swung in, and as a forward pinned the Turtle's arms a team-mate rose to claim the equaliser. The Accies slumped, and five minutes later a Wood Green player broke into the area and then (incorrectly) called himself offside. The Accies hesitated, and when he pulled the ball back a team-mate had all the time in the world to place the ball in the corner.

Lessons to be learned - first of all we need to be fit enough to last ninety minutes - last week we got away with it, this week we didn't. And let's not turn up late!

The positives - a good team spirit, and a good overall performance. No individual deserves singling out, and there's much hope for the future.

And of course, Wood Green 5ths managed to find their way all the way out to the wilds of Hertfordshire, an improvement on last season!

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