U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

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2005-06 Results - October

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Saturday 29th October

Bealonians 2 Accies 1sts 0.

Accies 2nds 3 (Tim Vaughan 2, Simon Hayward) Albanian 0 (Mark Dawson)

Bank of England 0 (Matt Ramsden) Accies 3rds 2 (Steve Black 2, aet).

Accies 4ths 3 (Max Lovell 2, Paul Bernard) Old Ignatians 1 (Mike Bailey og)

Old Woodhouseians 1 Accies 5ths 5 (Chris Coates, Paul Campbell, Matt Glynn, Andy Penfold, Jack Hulme).

Old Camdenians 1 Accies 7ths 3 (Serge Sollo, Tseyi Hammond, Neil Lawrence).

2nds Match Report from Terry Foster

UCL Academicals 3 – 0 Albanian

Hayward (22),

Attendance:  1

“If God wanted us to play football in the clouds he would have put grass there,” stated the late Brian Clough.  Clearly no Forest fans on show here, but a useful win for the Accies nonetheless, who followed up last week’s good win at Pegasus with a comfortable victory at home to an Albanian side missing the cutting edge provided by their usual pair of quality strikers.

After seeing Albanian strike the angle of post and bar with a cross-come-shot as early as the second minute, the Accies quickly imposed themselves on the match during a wind assisted first half.  They exhibited industry, determination and desire to get amongst the opposition, pegging them back almost incessantly in the opening stages following the early scare.  Vanson and Foster defended from the front; the central midfield trio of T.Vaughan, Green and Field pressed persistently and made it difficult for Albanian to string passes together; the back three looked stern and resilient.

It was always going to be backs-to-the-wall for the visitors missing several of their starting line up from last season’s titanic Cup Final encounter, and they survived a catalogue of near misses during the opening exchanges.  Firstly Foster fluffed his lines after clever work on the right from the lively Vanson, before Vanson himself spun on a sixpence only to see his speculative volley collected by the opposition keeper.  Senior campaigner Hayward was involved from the outset, rolling back the years to make a succession of menacing early bursts, the most effective of which resulted in a low cross scrambled away by a combination of goalkeeper and defence.  As the pressure increased, a flurry of corners and free kicks rained in on the Albanian penalty area, and the breakthrough began to look inevitable.

It finally arrived in the 22nd minute.  The ball was played into Foster on the half way line, who turned his man only to show too much of the ball to a second defender.  However, two seconds, a heavy touch and a calamitous slip later, Hayward found himself bearing down on goal with the ball at his feet.  Using his guile and experience, he calmly waited for the keeper to make his move before chipping him delicately from just outside the box.  As Elton Welsby might have said in the early ‘90s:  a Goal of the Week contender, and no mistake.

Rather than settling the Accies down, the opening goal moreover seemed to galvanize the Albanians.  A scrappy passage ensued:  play was consigned to the middle of the park for long spells; tackles flew in; passes were misplaced.  Central defender Walker limped off injured in the 37th minute, the old warhorse clutching his hamstring and left reflecting on what might have been had he followed a simple pre-match stretching routine.  With Field dropping into central defence, Walker was replaced by Simon Vaughan, out with a point to prove following his sensational axing from the starting line up.  Not holding back, The Ginger Prince imposed himself on the game immediately, tightening up the link between midfield and defence, terrorizing opposition and referee alike with his uniquely combative style of play.

The first half looked to be petering out to mediocre close when, on the stroke of half time, Albanian inexplicably gifted the Accies with the free kick that led to their second goal.  With the ball drifting out for a corner, the Albanian keeper raced from his area to handle the ball two feet outside of his box, leaving both sets of players perplexed and some even bewildered.  The referee - who performed well on the afternoon - was lenient with the keeper as his cards remained firmly in his top pocket.  Unfortunately for Albanian, T.Vaughan was less lenient with the ball as he drilled it hard and low into the near post area, leaving an unbalanced defender with no option but to fire it into the roof of his own net as he attempted to clear his lines.  Deservedly if not fortuitously, the Accies jogged in at half time with the cushion of a two-goal lead.

With opposition heads starting to drop, the second half began in much the same vein as the first had ended, with the Accies midfield starting to take the game but the scruff of the neck.  Albanian did exert a period of pressure, with Finch clearing off the line after Dawson’s collision with an opposition centre forward, but it was short lived and the pattern of the game started to take shape.  Keast and Hayward continued to buccaneer down their respective flanks, stretching opposition who had visibly started to tire by time the game entered its final third.  Chances were nonetheless scarce at the start of the second half, with the first real one falling to Foster after great work from T. Vaughan down the left flank.  However, the striker’s first touch let him down and the defence were able to scramble clear.  Feed the Scapegoat and he will score” bellowed the fans:  not on this occasion.

Making a decision which left the purists choking on their prawn sandwiches, Fewkes then decided to re-shuffle his pack in the 63rd minute to shut up shop.  Flair, touch and technique gave way to predictable, regimental, drilled robotics as Foster was controversially replaced by Andy Crotty, with T. Vaughan pushed up front.  Out of the game for several weeks with a broken foot following a well publicized and heated training ground bust-up first team prima-donna Michael Foster, Crotty looked slightly on the periphery of things but will doubtless be making midfield selection a difficult proposition for Fewkes when full fitness is restored.

The game was finally killed off in the 73rd minute.  Vanson danced round defenders on the left wing, before being cruelly and cynically hacked down by an Albanian defender.  From the resulting freekick, Green slammed the ball hard and low, and the hapless goalkeeper could only spill the ball into the path of T. Vaughan, who gleefully gobbled up the opportunity from four yards.  Comfort at last for the Accies, who now knew that the game was finished as a contest.

With time running out and the game won, a bamboozled crowd witnessed the decision that infuriated the press and much as it perplexed them:  Fewkes elected to bring on himself in place of a bemused Hayward.  Scampering up and down the left flank with the enthusiasm and zest of a Jack Russell, the player manager could not be faulted for effort, but did at times look out of his depth with the ball at his feet, most noticeably when passing the ball to nobody in particular when under no discernable pressure late on; more moments like this could see Vidal Sassoon annulling Fewkes’ latest shampoo contract, with fashion icon Finch the bookies favourite to replace him. The second half then petered out in much the same way as the first had threatened to, the remaining highlight being T. Vaughan’s outrageous late lob which came inches away from inflicting further misery for the visitors.

For the Accies, it looks like the tide could finally be turning.  With their shaky start becoming a more distant memory by the day, they march on and look to further climb the table and progress in both cup’s over the coming weeks, following an assured if not at times unsightly display.  The satisfied fan streamed home in jovial mood, realizing that life without The Rodent is on the up.  

Sub editors note – There was more from the silver tongued Foster [a reporter still clearly learning his trade and failing to meet the basic standards of observation (Mr D Stanners of Old Meads please take note that it wasn’t the Butler that did it!) and impartiality (no issues noted for Mr Stanners) required by any correspondent], including a summary of awards from the match. If you want to read more, or indeed if you believe Tel should be given further reporting opportunities, please email me at dannyfewkes@hotmail.com, clearly noting ‘ More Tel please’. Messrs Finch, Walker and any relatives of Tel need not bother….. 

3rds Match Report from Scott Atkinson

The 3's had a tough AFA fixture away against Bank of England missing several key players. Fortunately gaps were filled by a number of players returning from long absences- Nash (no football since April), Alvarez (out for a month), Goga (injured since preseason) and Keast (first game of season the previous week). A squad of 13 was due to assemble and allow these players to ease their way back with a half or possibly 60 mins. However, with Waggy stuck in domestic removals and Parsons not appearing due to an email balls up the Accies had no subs. The situation was compounded as Goga was still at Waterloo come kick of time and the game had to start without him.

Bank immediately showed themselves to be a good side and made the extra man work to their advantage passing the ball well and creating a lot of pressure but without making any real clear cut chances as the defensive line held firm. Tickle was to play one of his best ever games having again come out of retirement to ressemble Junior(Brazil 82) at times! Goga had not yet arrived when Alvarez went down with a recurrence of his calf injury and was forced to leave the field. The 9 men held on until Goga arrived after 30 mins and Alvarez also returned taped up to join Atkinson up front and skipper Stewart dropped to midfield. Even with a depleted side the Accies had looked dangerous on the break and with 11 men at last started to dominate possession. Some nice football was played and the chances began to arrive. Stewart broke though and saw a fine shot brilliantly saved and this was the first of many from an outstanding goalkeeper. Keast and Groves combined well down the left and Blackie was at the top of his game. At the break we all felt we could go on and win and it appeared imperative that we avoided extra time given the fitness levels.

The 2nd half was dominated by the Accies certainly in terms of chances. Atkinson in new boots failed to register for the first time this season and missed a couple of lobs that he would normally have scored from. Alvarez saw a couple of shots test the keeper who continued to foil all attempts. Blackie moved into midfield and with Nash controlled proceedings. If Tickle was Junior then Blackie was Socrates at times striding forward imperiously. Unfortunately with legs tiring the breakthrough didn't come and the nightmare scenario of extra time was upon us. The only player happy at this point and indeed the only one with any energy to speak was Ramsden who claimed a clean sheet at this stage. The Accies dug deep and more and more chances were spurned as they pressed for the winning goal. The prospect of penalties against the superhuman man mountain was not very appealing but it seemed on the cards. Blackie could have won it but shot over from close in and then put a header over the bar. With less than 10 minutes to go Atkinson summoned up the energy to pass the ball 3 yards to Nash who either delivered a magnificent cross from right to left to the far post or booted it as far as he could into the area finding Balckie steaming in to stoop and head the ball home off the post. This produced relief all round and a star jump from the skipper. Moments later Blackie headed home again to seal the win and a man of the match performance. We expected a burpee from Stewart but he was too f###ed to move. A great win for the 3's in difficult circumstances but showing they have what it takes to win the trophy back. Superb effort and performances from all concerned against a very good side who took heart breaking defeat extremely well.

5ths Match Report from Chris Coates

The 5ths arrived at the Old Woods ground with memories of last season's scrappy victory played on a dog of a pitch still fresh in the player's minds. Unfortunately, it was Groundhog Day.

Fielding a side bolstered by the willing legs of a number of 7ths players keen to impress, the Accies started with the kind of precision kicking only Jonny Wilkinson can match.....Matt Glynn's "shot" from the kick off bouncing just inside the touchline and dribbling out for a throw deep in enemy territory. Not quite the intended plan but there was some truth in Matt's post game justification that he had put their defence under pressure from the off.

The first 20 minutes saw both sides' midfielders battling not only against each other but also against the bobbly postage stamp of a pitch. After some good work down the Accies right, Matt G's crossfield ball was collected very neatly by Whyman who had taken the ball past the defender with his first touch. Knowing he'd been beaten, the Old Woods fullback lunged clumsily and a clear cut penalty was awarded. Yours truly stepped up to tuck it away.

As Accies confidence grew, more and more chances were created and Campbell was unlucky to see a fine effort come back off the post. Approaching half time, another effort on the edge of the box was blocked by the Old Woods rearguard but the ball fell into the path of the onrushing Penfold who deftly chipped the keeper. 2-0 up at the break and all looking rosy.

We knew that an early goal would kill off any chance of an Old Woods comeback and began the second half well. However, after some scrappy skills and a blocked shot in the Accies' area the ball fell kindly to an Old Woods forward who stroked the ball passed Pork Pie for 2-1. Not really deserved as the patched up defence had, up till then, coped admirably with the Olds Woods "little and large" strike force.

In seasons past, the 5ths may well have capitulated and conceeded further goals. But with hard work and composure the Accies restarted and quickly established there was only going to be one winner. Campbell chased down an overhit pass and his little legs carried him to the ball just ahead of the Old Woods keeper who he was able to round and then beat from the narrowest of angles.

Heading into the final quarter of the game, the Old Woods heads had dropped as the Accies quality began to tell. Not a day for champagne football, but just being able to do the simple things well was the difference. More no-nonsense defending from Gaz, Sam and Phil also helped. The fourth came from a long range effort from Matt G who had spotted the keeper further off his line than he should have been. Shortly before the death, Jack broke his Accies duck after being given too much time on the right to control and fire a shot across the keeper. 5-1 may well have flattered but it was a gutsy performance of which we can be proud. Not often we get four goals from midfield either.

7ths Match Report from Danny McConnell

The best laid plans of mice and skippering turtles. Meet at Mill Hill East at 1.45pm, kickoff at 2.45pm. Leave Mill Hill East at 2.30pm! Serge Sollo had already gone ahead to give himself time to warm up. Yes, you'll need to go back and read that sentence again.

What can only be termed a scratch side were optimistic and enthusiastic, and all that was missing from the pre-match team talk was an exchange of business cards as the team sought to introduce themselves. Nevertheless an almost full squad of thirteen, courtesy of the Tseyi Hammond football agency (sadly lacking a map reading department) warmed up and were ready to fly at their Antipodean opponents, and see if they knew as much about football as Aussie Rules and backpacking. 

The early minutes were cagey, with the Accies struggling to break down their Antipodean opponents, but slowly Simon Moss and George Idama imposed themselves in midfield, with Tseyi and Dwayne seeking to string the offside trap. Half chances came and went, before on the half hour Serge Sollo surged into the area and buried an unstoppable shot past the Camdenians keeper. Soon after, Tseyi doubled the margin, reviving memories of Steve Harmison to Michael Clarke with a cunningly disguised slower ball that defeated the keeper.

At half time the Accies looked comfortable - Andy Colthorpe and James Nwankwo looked comfy at the back, and Paul Dalby and Dan Oscroft were unlucky to be substituted, simply to give everyone a decent runout. 

Sadly, too comfortable, and in the second half the Accies stepped down a gear, a combination of overconfidence and fading fitness. Nevertheless, Camdenians still struggled to create chances until Connor Kinnear's attempt to create a rolling maul really fired up the Aussies, and soon after a rampaging Kiwi set off on a run through the whole of the Accies team. Six or seven tackles were missed before eventually he was scythed down in the area for the most obvious penalty ever seen. The first attempt was straight down the middle, but disallowed for encroachment as a team-mate, clearly learning from the Henry/Pires, strayed into an offside position, and a second attempt was converted.

The Accies now threatened to disappear into headless chicken mode, but some firm defending and speedy sweeping kept Camdenians at bay, whilst on the left Waseem Shiraz showed what could be done with contact lenses and linked up well with Neil Lawrence offering a constant threat. With two minutes to go Accies pressure created a chance for Neil who buried it to clinch the win.

All in all a promising performance after a tough start to the season. The Accies faded but held on, and can look forward to next week's game at Shenley.

Saturday 22nd October

Pegasus 2 Accies 2nds 5 (Tim Vaughan 2, Adam Parsons, Gareth Jenkins, Patrick Green).

Old Parmiterians 1 Accies 3rds 4 (Alex Keast, Iain Wagstaff, Scott Atkinson, Michael Short).

AFA Minor: FSA 1 Accies 4ths 6 (Paul Bernard 4, Max Lovell 2).

Accies 5ths 8 (Andy Mackay 6, Matt Redman 2) Mayfield Athletic 2.

Accies 6ths 1 (Bob Woad) Old Parmiterians 7.

Accies 7ths 1 (Sameer Patel) Old Woodhouseians 3.

2nds Match Report from Mark Walker

Following last week's heroics in the cup, it was important to produce a similar performance against a Pegasus side struggling this year but historically a force. The 14 which assembled for the Accies looked strong. The three players on the bench: Fieldy, Mo and Mrs McGuigan provided excellent cover and the starting eleven included Jenks and Tim Vaughan in place of Topping and Foster. Otherwise the line-up remained unchanged from the previous week. This side often takes some time to get going but this week was different. Within ten minutes we were two up. Right across the pitch the midfield took the initiative with Tim Vaughan pulling the strings. The trio in the middle of Vaughan (S), Green and Vaughan (T) in the hole really ran the game and the football played was excellent, in fact some of the best for a long time. The passing was neat and sharp with all of the outfield players looking to keep the ball and build from the back. The grass on the pitch was long and this actually helped as through balls (down the hill) tended to hold up. Keast was giving his man a roasting on the right (more of that later) and Jenks played some lovely stuff on the left. What a contrast between the left wing back this week: Jenks a Welsh artist; and Fewkes a simian artisan. Both excellent and highly effective players but as different as chalk and cheese in their methods.

At half time the score was 0-4 with Parsons and Vanson both deserving a mention. How did Vanson fail to register? A travesty. The wee strikers gave their men the run around and the score could easily have been 6, 7 or more at the break. This was no reflection on the home side but illustrates the excellence of the approach play in the first half. A goal after ten minutes of the second half effectively killed the game. Our scorers were Vaughan (T) 2, Parsons (half human, half rodent), Jenkins and Green. As so often happens when one side dominates though the game lost shape in the second half. We could have scored several more goals but the game got stretched and we resorted to playing long balls which did create the odd chance. However, it was not as effective as the one-touch short passing employed previously. The centre midfield were cut out to a certain extent and the initiative lost. Players like Mo and Tim Vaughan were wasted through no fault of their own because the shape of the game had gone. Maybe this is slightly picky but sending crosses in when you have two gnomes up front (and the lumbering, ham-fisted man child Roberts away in Australia) doesn't seem the most intelligent approach. 

Towards the end, the team lost concentration. Finch was unlucky really to be called for a penalty after a strong challenge. I suspect he enjoyed hammering the striker anyway and the least said about their second goal the better. Nugget famously dubbed Chicken Nugget (by my good self) was a man reborn on this day. The cringing wimp of last week was replaced by a macho, chest-beating hard nut. It is true. The aristocrat played like a thug and came to collect crosses, cleared off his line and generally did very well. Respect was restored. His old sparring partner Shrimpton even managed a few kind words. A week of gainful employment clearly made the difference. Painting and decorating was a benefit in that it kept him away from his DVD collection of utter filth which he usually enjoys from nine to five while the rest of the world is working. Kleenex reported a very poor week of trading.

Next week sees a big game against Albanian. If we can get a result, the corner will really have been turned. This game will count for nothing though unless we produce the same level of effort and commitment. A final word should go to Alex Keast who over a few ales on Saturday night provided an in depth, detailed account of how he popped the question on Manley beach. A heart warming and eye watering tale of sand, rings and love. Fewkes will no doubt be pleased to see one half of the Cornish "Roasting Twins" turning his back on deviancy and moving towards a virtuous life. Nat remains active. Single mothers beware. He continues to shirk his family responsibilities in search of the high (or low) life. I fear that we will very soon see a Cornish Chronicle headline similar to that of the News of the World last Sunday if he continues down this path. 

3rds Match Report from Our Correspondent

The 3's picked up a good win away to a useful young Old Parmertarians to continue their recent good run. 

Although going behind the Accies fought back to equalise almost immediately and nudge in front at halftime. Wagstaff was instrumental in the first two goals. First he dispatched a peanut after Crotty's powerful drive into the box was impeded and then robbing the sweeper to square the ball for a tap in. Some great football was played at times and during the poor periods the defence held firm. 

The 2nd half was more comfortable with 2 more goals added and there should have been more. Crotty had the chance to finish a move that would have been goal of the season but it was a case of "taxi!" as the "bobble" resulted in a fresh air shot. At the other end, the oppo should have pulled one back after their striker rounded Ramsden and must have thought he was going to score. Burchill had other ideas ,somehow blocking the strike and clearing downfield. This was followed by some extreme fist pumping celebrations from Burchill and it was a surprise he didn't take his shirt off and run the length of the pitch. 

The other scorers were Atkinson, Short and Keast. The ex-skipper humilated himself by arriving late and being on the bench and losing the chance for more strikes. It proved a bad day all round for him as news came of 4 goals for Barndoor in the 4's and a double Geoff Hurst for one of the 5's. Blackie picked up another man of the match vote and is fast making centre back his position! This was a great win for the 3's as old Parms will cause sides plenty of problems this year.

Saturday 15th October

Accies 1sts 0 HAC 3.

Old Esthameians 3 Accies 2nds 4 (Adam Parsons 2, Lloyd Vanson, Jamie Topping, aet).

Accies 3rds 4 (Scott Atkinson 2, Chris Groves, Iain Wagstaff) Old Edmontonians 0 (Matt Ramsden).

Accies 4ths 1 (Dan Willoughby) Egbertian 1.

Accies 5ths 2 Old Parmiterians 4.

Kew Association 5 Accies 6ths 2 (Bob Woad, Adrian Haysome).

1sts Match Report from Mark McGuigan

After four straight league defeats the Accies needed to dig deep and find something of last seasons desire if they were to gain any points against a capable HAC side. Unfortunately, they failed to offer any significant resistance and slipped to their worst defeat for some time as they conceded 3 goals without reply. 

The visitors began confidently, playing a lone striker with a mobile midfield in support, and the home team lost their shape against an unfamiliar formation. After 40 minutes of huffing and puffing without making any real progress from the home side, a period of increasing threat from HAC ended with a well taken goal sending them in a goal up at half-time. Jones had been injured after 20 minutes, a dreadful tackle from behind, and Rabie's hamstring gave up at half-time. 

The Accies regrouped and came out with a better looking 4-4-2 formation, but still lacked penetration and were unable to string more than a few passes
together. A break down the left hand side led to a late challenge giving a penalty, and HAC were 2 up. The game at this stage was well in the control of the visitors, and a third goal was no surprise when it came, well taken by the HAC skipper. Although missing some key players, this performance was well below that which is required to offer a serious challenge in this division, and the players know it. A turnaround is needed and quick.

2nds Match Report from Danny Fewkes

Accies 2s managed to bounce back from two disappointing league performances with a tremendous away win in the AFA Intermediate Cup against a physically strong and decent footballing side Old Esthameians from SAL's top Intermediate division.

The game began with Accies playing down the slope and with the sun at their backs, but the initial sparring saw neat passing football but little cutting edge from either side. Nat Keast had cracked a 20 yard drive against the post , and Parsons flashed wide with a good effort from distance in the only early match half chances for either side, but Accies took the lead, perhaps a little fortuitously, when Shrimpton's left footed ball into the box was spilled by the keeper and Parsons despatched the loose ball away from close range on 20 minutes. The game still failed to ignite, though our fears that the oppo would cause danger from set pieces crystallised on 30 minutes when Old E's towering centre back saw an equalising header from a corner ricochet in off the underside of the bar. 

1-1 at half time with all to play for; alas the home side took the lead on the hour with their first chance from open play, as Accies ceded possession in midfield and a fine raking pass drew an exquisite touch from the centre forward to present himself with a one on one with the Nugget, which was drilled home. Unlucky to find ourselves a goal down, we responded superbly with the most pleasing display of spirit shown by the team this season, and were soon level as a slick team passing move was finished with a thumping half volley from Parsons that flew into the top corner from 18 yards. Our strikers Vanson and Foster were beginning to find a little more space behind the oppos resolute rearguard and Nat Keast was probing the right flank with some powerful running. Further pressure on the right was rewarded after Vanson was tripped just inside the box, and Topping coolly slotted home the penalty to put Accies ahead for the second time. 

We initially looked comfortable and there seemed little significant cause for concern, so all credit must go to the home side , who, sensing the end of their Cup hopes, then upped their game and rallied for a final push. Accies were forced to defend a little deeper and concede a few free kicks in dangerous areas. A resultant corner and second fine leap from their man mountain centre back was the source of their equaliser, though we may be a little disappointed that a looping header crept home at the far post.

So to extra time where Accies sensed if they could match the opposition for work rate and commitment we could just have the edge. So it proved, and on the stroke of the turn around an in swinging corner was only half cleared and when headed back into the danger zone, the ball fell to Vanson to stab home to put Accies 4-3 up. As the home side pushed forward we began to pick them off on the break, and played some controlled possession football creating further chances, the only scare to Accies being the final kick off the game when Nugget used his height to perfection!

All in an encouraging game and I believe a deserved win against a very worthy opposition who admittedly on another day could well have taken something from the match. We must look this win to really kick start our season into some of the form we are capable of. Although a team performance , a few mentions for individuals, firstly to debutant Pat Green who settled smoothly into centre midfield, secondly to Nat Keast the MoM on the day for a tenacious performance, and finally and most importantly to his brother Alex, just back from travelling (and therefore probably looking to initially get some fitness in Accies lower sides) came along on the day to give cover in the squad for such an important match, but unfortunately wasn't given the playing minutes he deserved.

3rds Match Report from Scott Atkinson

The 3's laid the Southgate demons to rest with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Old Eds. An encouraging return to form against a good side that always try to play football. The back 4 of Burchill, Tinling, Blackie and Murden had a solid look about them and Waggy's return gave the midfield more balance.

The Accies started brightly and Lagerhammer showed he would be missed over the next month with a barnstorming performance down the right. Skipper Stewart formed a daring partnership with Atkinson and despite a combined age of nearly 70 they caused the oppo plenty of problems. The only surprise was that the breakthrough took 30 mins. Martelli had already played some lovely passes when his searching throughball found Atkinson in is customary wide left position. One touch to control, another to beat the defender half his age and an unerring finish in off the post. Several chances came and went and Groves was probably most disappointed not to get an assist when his delicate chip found the skipper all alone but his finish was woeful. The score remained 1-0 at the break and after the best half so far this term no changes were made and Parsons and Christer had to bide their time on the touchline with Christer in particular champing at the bit although this had nothing to do with wanting to enter the fray. 

The 2nd half saw the Accies continue to dominate with Ramsden barely called into action. Regretfully at this point a rather unsavoury incident has to be reported. The Accies were given the chance to double their lead after some tricky play from Atkinson resulted in a penalty being awarded. Now at this point it should be noted that the 3's operate on a kind of reverse team spirit psychology and often revel in the misfortune of others be it taking delight at Ramsden conceding a late goal to spoil a clean sheet or in laughing about a shocking miss (please refer to Stewart and Martelli in particular on this occasion). The players were pleased to see a derisory attempt to convert by Atkinson go horribly wide of the target and leave the game in the balance. Fortunately moments later it was Groves to the rescue after he notched a 2nd of the season sweeping home Stewart's cross. With the game already looking won Groves burst into the box again only to be upended and a 2nd peanut was awarded. Rarely has one see Waggy move so quickly to snaffle the ball and take over the duties. A confident kick made it 3-0. With both fullbacks suffering from injuries The Ginger Maestro and Parsons junior slotted in nicely. The game was then killed off after Stewart released Atkinson who made no mistake from the edge of the area. Some showboating late on even saw Tinling galloping the length of the field to try and get on the scoresheet but he ran out of steam as he reached the penalty area.A good all round display with Groves and Martelli both back to their best.Hopefully we can go on a run of victories from here.

4ths - Match Report from Jon Logie

The fourths were missing a host of regular players as they took on Egbertians at Shenley on Saturday. Once again it was a bare eleven that made up the squad, with substitutes supplied by the fifths if we needed them. 

After a delayed start, the Accies started brightly, passing the ball around well and stretching the team defence. Accies wide men Matt Wanford and Jon Logie finding lots of space and having the best of the early encounters. The early pressure paid off after 20 minutes when skipper and make-shift centre-back Dan Willoughby finished off good preparation work by Steve McConnell and Mark Emmerson by drilling a 20 yard shot into the top corner of the net, albeit assisted by the opposition keeper's slippery fingers. 

It seemed as though a comfortable win for the Accies was on the cards, but a resolute Egbertians fought back. Willoughby cleared a fierce drive off the line after Fox had been beaten, and veteran defender Carl Kemp worked tirelessly to keep the score intact. Fox was called upon to make a handful of decent stops before a long ball over the top and a strong half volley from 6 yards brought the equalizer. Both sides had chances in the second half to take three points, but all were spurned. The best Accies chance came in the last minute when striker Mark Esiri steered Matt Wanford's cross past the post.

At the end of season review this will undoubtably be viewed as two points dropped, but every player gave their all. With a sub or two to add an injection of pace it may well have ended differently. 

4ths - Pictures courtesy of John Blakeley (click on the pictures to expand)

 
4ths1.JPG (204791 bytes) The Accies defend a corner, though the Fox' priority seem to be defending something else entirely. 4ths2.jpg (96181 bytes) It's behind you! Barndoor's attention is drawn away as he checks out the finer points of fullback play! 4ths3.jpg (140796 bytes) Egbertians tidy up an attack as Esiri braces himself for a surprise. Note Scott offside in the far background. NEVER ref!
4ths4.jpg (166214 bytes) Accies wall. Wanford pogos, Dan spots a Microlight and Si Val elbows Samra in the face. We've all been tempted...... 4ths5.jpg (111997 bytes) Egbertians fitness regime, 100mph from start to finish!

 

5ths Report from Graham Whitworth

Saturday saw the arrival of Old Parmiterians at Shenley for an early season top of the table clash. Both sides had enjoyed a decent start to the season, with Parmiterians starting favourites, having scored an impressive 19 goals in 2 games. The Accies, having got over their first day of the season nightmare, had notched 11 times in their preceeding 2 matches so there were expectations of a high scoring game - and so it proved.

It was clear from the kick off that this was going to be a high tempo match, and Parmiterians started slightly brighter than the Accies, with their 2 big, fast and skilful centre forwards particularly catching the eye (should they really be playing Div 5 North?). Despite this, the Accies played their way into the game and should have taken a 1-0 lead following an excellent move that culminated in a '1-2' between Whitworth and Hulme. Unfortunately, Whitworth hit his shot straight at the keeper when either side would have sufficed. Shortly afterwards, Parmiterians took the lead, breaking away fast and finishing clinically. The Accies got back on level terms with an excellent delivered corner by Andy Mackay met by the head of Matt Glynn notching his first goal of the season but Parmiterians were ahead once again soon afterwards. The Accies pegged them back once more to 2-2 with Campbell continuing his scoring run with a superb left foot volley after Parmiterians had again struggled to deal with another Accies corner. Then came a couple of incidents which may or may not have turned the match in the Accies favour. First, some more excellent passing amongst the Accies midfield resulted in Whitworth tucking the ball in the corner of the net only for it to be ruled out with a late and debatable whistle for offside. Then, a decent strike from outside the area by Mackay, was pushed out by the keeper only for Jack Hulme to unfortunately belt it over the bar from six yards out when a tap in would have got the desired lead. Parmiterians were clearly rattled by the tireless and 110% committed Accies, evidenced by their arguing amongst themselves, but unfortunately once again took the lead to go in at half time 3-2 up. 

The half time team talk was for really more of the same from the Accies as we had put in an outstanding first half performance right through the team despite being behind. With a setting sun directly behind us, we would hopefully have a slight advantage. It turned out that both sides, having run their socks off in the first half, could not match the intensity of the first 45 and a bit of tiredness was evident amongst all 22 players. There were less chances created by both sides, and although the Accies went 4-2 down, we continued to play decent football without creating any clear cut 2nd half opportunities and every single player battled right to the final whistle.

All in all, it's always disappointing to lose, but Parmiterians perhaps shaded it slightly and are going to take some beating by any of the sides in Div 5 North this season, especially if their two centre forwards keep fit. The Accies can hold their heads high, because all 13 players were outstanding and more performances like this should mean the promotion we missed out on so marginally last season.

6ths Report from Dino Antoniades

On a pleasant day, the 6ths headed far south to Twickenham for an AFA cup game. Due to various reasons, a number of the regulars were absent, but more than capable deputies arrived, primarily from the 7ths, who did not have a fixture scheduled.

The team found the initial stages difficult, against a Kew side intent on pressing forward, and grateful to Bob ‘The Cat’ Butlin for a reflex save that kept the game at 0-0. Phil Harden, who was part of a new centre back pairing with Tim Collins, led the rear guard, assisted by Andy Colthorpe at right back, who had a solid game, as usual. After a while, however, the pressure told, as a near post flick put the opposition 1-0 up. The 6ths tried to get back in to the game, though just couldn’t get wide men Serge Sollo and ‘Speedy’ in to the game, and the balance of play was still with Kew, who soon scored again. With Bob ‘Sure-shot’ Woad and the nippy Sameer Patel in the attack, the 6ths tried to get one back before the break, but to no avail.

Half time saw Neil Lawrence come on in one of the wide positions in the hope of inspiring the team to use more width. Tony ‘Nayls’ began to put more pressure on the opposition in the centre of the park, and the team began to get back in to the game. A third followed for Kew, however, which led to the introduction of Tim ‘silver boot’ Bethel, to add some height up front. The team persevered and got its reward when Bob Woad found the corner of the net following a neat move. Further efforts did not lead to another goal, and Kew added two more to effectively seal the game about ten minutes from time. There was still enough time for a ‘half a lager’ moment, rather than a champagne one, when Adey Haysome tried to send over a cross from the left, from mid-way in Kew’s half. Expertly (?!) drifted into the penalty area to land between keeper and defence, the cross perplexed the keeper, who came running out only for it to bounce over his head and in. Despite inquests, no defender touched the ball on its way in, so an own goal could not be awarded.

The better team on the day won, so there could be no complaints about the result. All that was left was for the players to decide whether to queue up for the dodgy looking showers in portakabins, or head for the Thames. Let’s hope that those who took the latter option are found in time for next week’s matches.

Saturday 8th October

Accies 1sts 1 (Mike Foster) Old Meadonians 2.

Accies 2nds 1 (Lloyd Vanson) Old Manorians 1.

Southgate County 6 Accies 3rds 1 (Scott Atkinson).

Old Tollingtonians 1 Accies 4ths 3 (Patrick Green, Andy Watt, Paul Bernard).

Accies 5ths 7 (Graham Whitworth 2, Paul Campbell 2, Andy Mackay, Matt Redman, og) Old Hendonians 0 (Tim Bethel)

Accies 6ths 2 (Bob Woad, Greg Healy) Mill Hill County Old Boys 6.

Old Minchendenians 3 Accies 7ths 2 (Sam Samra, Sameer Patel).

1sts Match Report from Mark McGuigan

After three straight defeats, the Accies turned up thinking this would be the perfect game to change the trend. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be.

This was a pleasing return to the competitive fixtures enjoyed against Meads last season, with none of the distaste of the previous week to endure. The game was even throughout, but the home side expected to end the first half ahead after playing with the wind. It ended 0-0, and both sides would have seen enough to be encouraged for the 2nd period. 

Chances were few, but the standard was high and it was a pity that the first goal was not one for the purists. Foster struck a corner from the right, seeking to test the visiting keeper and judging well as the ball passed through weak hands and into the net. The momentum was with the Accies, and another chance came soon after some confident attacking gave first Vaughan and then Carabine the chance to finish the match. Sadly, neither could capitalise. The Accies continued to defend well, as the capable visitors tested them with some more committed attacking. A cross from the left eventually yielded the equaliser, a header at the near post. Still either side could have won at this stage as tired legs made the game more open. Two minutes left and a Meadonians free kick on half-way was met with a skillful header which looped into the far corner. 

A draw would have been fairer, but a great game as usual and the Accies can be pleased that they found their character and will be looking forward to punishing their next opponents.

2nds Match Report from Mark Walker

It was a superb day for football at Shenley with the pitches in immaculate condition and bathed in autumn sunshine. The 2s kicked off with the benefit of the wind. There were changes of personnel from the previous week but there was a strong 13 available for Fewkes to perm 11 from. Dan Chantler playing his first game since his double hernia operation came into the holding role in the centre and Walker returned at the back. Ramsden took his place between the sticks. 

The opposition were strong and pretty experienced and set their stall out to frustrate the Accies in the first half. A pattern developed with the Accies well on top. The back 5 dealt with any isolated attacks pretty well and a 2 or 3 goal lead at the break would not have flattered. Unfortunately it was not to be. Without dwelling on the actions of any particular individuals we were guilty of either trying to walk the ball into the net or more frustratingly attempting speculative volleys or net busting shots when hitting the target was all that was required. In the majority of cases the final ball was also pretty poor and set piece delivery not up to scratch. People with the benefit of a university education should by now realise that the percentage play is to hit the target whether it be for a pass or shot. How often does the volley from the edge of the area on the run hit the back of the net? In truth rarely. Hard earned possession was also wasted with careless passing. 

In a similar manner to the final third of last weeks match chances were spurned, and the team suffered. The 2s went into the break leading 1-0 thanks to a nice finish from Vanson who looked bright throughout. In truth though few individuals stood out. However Fewkes turned in a good performance especially in the first half when he saw more of the ball. He gave a good display of wing back play and posed a threat to the opposition right flank while also helping to snuff out any attacks that came his way. The opposition were content to soak up pressure throughout and never really produced sustained pressure with the wind in the second half. Unfortunately though as is so often the case when the side on top fails to press the advantage they are punished The equaliser came via the penalty spot following a clumsy challenge in the box. Ramsden later remarked that this was the only shot he had to deal with in the match. 

No disrespect intended to the opposition who should do well this year but this was 2 points thrown away especially as it was a home fixture. This trend needs to be halted if we are to meet the high standards we have set ourselves over the past 2 seasons, and there is no better way to do this than the cup next week against strong opposition.

3rds Match Report (sic?) from Scott Atkinson

The 3's suffered an humiliating defeat on a cowfield in Cockfosters going down 6-1 in the worst reverse the writer can remember. A bizarre game in many ways. It was 3-1 at half time although the Accies could have been 5-4 ahead and still had enough chances to get back into the match in the 2nd half. We can't blame the pitch as it was the same for both sides but overall no-one played well and 5 catastrophic mistakes gave the oppo some easy goals. They could have had more. Southgate are not a good side but will rightly have celebrated a famous win on Saturday night believing they can win the division (which they won't). We all know we have to improve and lets hope this is a match that we can forget and a performance that will not be repeated.

4ths Match Report from Steve Woodrow

The 4’s turned up in the idyllic setting of Highgate Woods eager to banish the memories of the previous week’s shambolic performance against Old Edmontonian to face Old Tollingtonians, a side that only 3 seasons ago had beaten our second team 2-0, so a tough game was expected. 

Those assembled were in buoyant mood as we welcomed back into the team the talismanic Barndoor and Steve McConnell to provide that extra cutting edge with the former and some culture and quality passing lacking from the previous week from the latter. There was also the addition of Patrick Green to the team, making his Accies debut having left UCL last year. It must also be noted that there were less hangovers in the dressing room this week which should surely boost the performance (perhaps a lesson to be learnt here), though your correspondent cannot be included in the number lacking a hangover.

The game started with the Accies kicking up a not inconsiderable slope (the only negative to an otherwise immaculate pitch) with a large crowd, swelled by the performing Jazz Band, eager to be entertained. They were not to be disappointed as the 4’s started in traditional Accies style knocking the ball about well as if they were playing on the wide open expanses of their palatial home; it seemed that it was only a matter of when not if the breakthrough would come. Half chances were spurned and the opposition started to get into the game. After 25 minutes the opener arrived, Green, settling into his new surroundings in some style, set Barndoor through on the inside right channel who beat the defenders for pace and lobbed the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper. This sparked the opposition into life and they started to examine the Accies back line, who stood up to the task well, all but one of them anyway. On 35 minutes a very dubious free-kick was awarded, the wall was set and the crowd waited, the ball curled over the wall and floated towards the corner of the net, an easy save even for an Under 12 goalkeeper one would think but no, your correspondent contrived to let it in and open up the game and undo all the hard work from the previous 35 minutes. (Yes, Danny Fewkes, The Fox howled). At half time the score was 1-1, even though the 4’s deserved to be comfortably in the lead. The half time talk was more of the same and the game was ours (not more of the same form your correspondent though).

The second half started in similar style to the first; the Accies took control and played some trademark passing football. On 60 minutes the second goal arrived, a free kick conceded by the opposition was delivered by the cultured right boot of McConnell, panic ensued in the box, the ball fell invitingly for the marauding centre back, Chester, to scuff it into the net from 5 yards to double his tally for the season (the only bright note on a dark day for him as no trip to Germany next summer thanks to Belarus). This seemed to knock all confidence from the opposition and they proceeded to lose shape and a little discipline, it was now a matter of how many for the Accies. The back 5 now stood firm against any raids from the opposition but these were few and far between as they tired in the unseasonably warm sun. On 80 minutes Green robbed the centre back on halfway and proceeded to take the ball around the keeper and capped a good all round performance by opening his tally for the Accies.

3-1 at the final whistle and thoroughly deserved against solid opposition, the last three weeks have shown that the 4’s are not out of their depth in this league and, with hard work, can look forward to a prosperous season, perhaps win some silverware that their football and ability warrants and then your correspondent can retire on a high (promise!!!).

5ths Report from Jack Hulme

Following the previous week’s performance we had good reason to be optimistic about the fixture against Old Hendonians. One considerable improvement on the previous week was the successful arrival on time at Shenley - courtesy of a lift from Radlett station in Danny Goldman’s people carrier (unfortunately a lack of headphones precluded the use of the DVD player). Sadly this would prove to be Danny’s main influence on the football match . . . .After a rather confused mix-up with the changing rooms, which all seemed to have been taken over by UCL trialists, we went out to warm up. However tragedy struck in five minutes into the exercises as Danny G hobbled off with a pulled hamstring without kicking a ball (Unlucky Danny - we appreciated the lift though mate!). As Danny limped gingerly off to the clubhouse in search of an icepack and a beer (not necessarily in that order),  Kid and Graham revised their team selection, tore up their tactical masterplan and told us to go out and try to score more goals than they did.

The game began with a dangerous looking attack by Old Hendonians, pinning us back into our  own half from the kick-off and forcing an early corner. A towering header from Rob cleared the ball to the edge of the box allowing us to counter-attack down the right flank with pace and numbers. Following some slick one touch passing to advance upfield Andy Mackay whipped an inch perfect cross from the right wing  for Matt Redman to side foot (read ‘shin’) home at the far post. Superb football throughout - “It really was an Actua Soccer move” a misty eyed Andy would later recollect. After this dream start the goals came thick and fast, with the Accies dominant across the park. A screamer from outside the box from Andy, one from Graham and an own goal  (deflected in off one of Andy’s corners - he claims it was on its way in anyway . . . whatever) meant that we reached half-time 4-0 up and cruising.

The second half saw the introduction of Paul Campbell. A casual glance at the Accies records will not reveal Paul as one of the club’s most prolific goalscorers. However, Paul has obviously decided to set this particular record straight this season and with almost his first touch of the ball the midfielder drove home from the edge of the box to make it 5-0. A matter of minutes later, his point not yet proven, Paul swivelled from eight yards out to fire home and double his tally. The rout was completed with another poached goal from Graham - with the game ending 7-0 to the Accies. Indeed, it could have been more, with Andy, Jack and Graham all guilty of spurning good chances in the second half.  Old Hendonians had a few chances, but solid defending across the back four marshalled superbly by Rob kept them to a minimum.

All bodes well for the season ahead . . More of the same fellas . . . .

Saturday 1st October

Old Aloysians 2 Accies 1sts 1 (Jon Houghton).

Accies 2nds 0 Old Meadonians 1.

Accies 3rds 4 (Scott Atkinson 2, Mike Short, Chris Groves) East Barnet Old Grammarians 1.

Old Edmontonians 3 Accies 4ths 2 (Max Lovell, Andy Watt).

Accies 5ths 4 (Andy Mackay 2, Graham Whitworth, Matt Redman) Old Aloysians 1.

Old Edmontonians 3 Accies 6ths 3 (Bob Woad, Suchee Sundaramoorthy, Aaron Lyon, Accies won 4-3 on pens).

Accies 7ths 4 Old Uffingtonians 0.

2nds Non-Report from Danny Fewkes

Apologies to the thousands of Meads supporters out in cyberspace who are eagerly awaiting the report of their 2nd XI's hard earned 1-0 victory at Shenley on Saturday, but all will have to be patient.

Your usual correspondent has not suffered from writer's block....or any other block for that matter, but unfortunate absences from his place of work have caused an unforeseen delay in submission. Monday it is then.

3rds Report from Scott Atkinson

The 3's dealt with a difficult first round AFA cup fixture comfortably at Shenley. Having gone out at the same stage last season the 3's were keen to progress further and hoping to be back in another final come April. A strong squad of 14 assembled but again not everyone managed the meet time! Dez had car trouble and made it with 5 mins to spare. Groves was slightly earlier but still ensured we kicked off with 10 on the field of play as he ambled across Shenley having a good old gossip with Mr.Parsons from the 2's. 

For a change the 3's shot out of the blocks( with the exception of Groves who left the blocks like a snail smoking a cigarette) and dominated the early stages with the oppo not able to get the ball. The passing was neat and the Accies created a few early half chances and a strong back line gave the EBOG forwards no space at all. The Accies took the lead after Short was man handled in the area and the ref awarded a spot kick. Short looked across at his strike partner like a toddler forlornly looking at his parents in the candy shop hoping against hope he was going to be allowed the biggest most sugary sweet but knowing what the answer would be. Atkinson dispatched the peanut and although the decision was harsh the lead was deserved. The Accies continued to make some good chances and had a succession of corners but couldn't get the second goal with Waggy spurning the best opportunity. Towards the end of the half EBOG came into the game a little bit although they had yet to really trouble the defence which looked much more solid than last week.

Stewart warned against complacency in his team talk and the Accies expected more pressure at the start of the 2nd half. Murden on for Burchill was the first change at the break. The Accies started well again. Martelli and Waggy knocked some nice passes around and Blackie was able to stride forward from the back. However, the oppo equalised after Jones upended the winger on the edge of the area. The free kick that was knocked in saw Harry a flappin' and a screamin' before the ball was toe ended home with a strong suspicion of handball so spoiling what would have been a well deserved clean sheet. EBOG's tails were up and the Accies had to step up again which they did. First, Waggy was unlucky with a fine long range effort that clipped the bar and then a goal nearly arrived in a penalty box scramble. The lead was regained after sniffer Short rammed home a rebound after a Stewart(?) shot. Soon after Atkinson harried both centre backs into an error ,stole the ball and slotted past the keeper. Grovesy started to make some of his hallmark mazy runs and finished things off with dink over the prostrate keeper.

A fine win with some useful performances all round especially the centre back pairing of Blackie and Tinling. The man of the match vote was a close affair with Short and Atkinson voting for each other and leaving it to the rest of the team to unanimously select Blackie.

5ths Report from Graham Whitworth

Despite shambolic pre-match preparation, the 5ths registered their first win of the season sealed mainly as the result of an outstanding first half performance.

With skipper Coates, the kit, Penfold and Brooon stuck in horrendous London traffic and Jubril once again operating in the US Eastern Time Zone, the 5ths had 9 players and no strip half an hour before kick off. Vice skipper Whitworth then spent the next 20 minutes running around like a headless chicken, swearing a lot, before rustling up a kit that even Oxfam would have been ashamed of and also securing (with much gratitude to Phil Harden, skipper of the 7ths), the services of Sam Samra and a random UCL player, Adam (thanks to Andy Mackay) who we don't even know the surname of, to enable us to at least get eleven bodies on the pitch.

The first half produced, under the circumstances, one of the best halves of football by the team in a long time. Commitment was excellent from all 11 players, and despite having 3 debutants, plus E2 filling in in goal and Sam Samra to make up a back 4 that contained only Chris Whyman as a regular, we outplayed, outfought and outscored a young Aloysians side. 3-0 up at half-time, with Andy Mackay getting a brace, one rising nicely to head in from a Glynn corner and another from latching on to a pass following excellent work on the left by Redman. Redman belted in the 2nd goal in between Andy's 2 and things were looking very good indeed.

The team talk at half time was all about getting on top again straight away and not allowing Aloysians a sniff in the first 10 minutes of the second half. With still no sign of the Three Musketeers from Canary Wharf, it looked like the second half would be harder than the first especially having to play facing the very bright and difficult sun.

The second half could not have got off to a better start as Whyman won a free kick following a good run from the back. Glynn put the free kick nicely into the box and Whitworth managed to get in behind the defenders to squeeze the ball in the corner. We thought Aloysians would completely collapse now and were guilty of taking our foot off the accelerator as they hit back fairly soon after from a set piece. Kid, Broon and Penfold finally showed up with 30 minutes left and all 3 changes were made and although Aloysians got a second and there were some nervy moments, the team held on well and continued to play the better football.

All in all a superb performance from everyone involved, hopefully the kick start we needed to our season, but let's hope the pre-match shenanigans are not repeated!

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