U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2006-07 Results - March

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Saturday 31st March

Southgate County 1 Accies 1sts 6 (Lloyd Vanson 3, Innis Pirrie, Greg Blake, Ned Carabine).

Accies 2nds 0 Mill Hill Village 5.

Accies 4ths 1 (Andy Mackay) Enfield Old Grammarians 7.

Accies 5ths 1 (Sameer Patel) Old Parmiterians 2 - Friendly.

Note: it should be noted that this friendly (involving a mixture of 5ths and 6ths) has been recorded as a 5th team defeat. Any suggestion that he we won, it'd've been recorded as a 6th team victory would be totally scurrilous.

1sts Report from Steve Hair

Accies registered their highest scoring league performance of the season with an emphatic 6-1 win away at Southgate County. The Accies were pushed back in the opening 10 minutes or so by a hard working Southgate side, particularly the midfield 4 who got about the pitch and harried the Accies at every turn. The Accies also struggled to come to terms with a very difficult pitch and strong wind against in the opening period of the first half. Hirst had to respond quickly to clear a header off the line from a corner and the Southgate striker shot over when well placed just inside the box. The Accies soon got into their stride however and opened the scoring when a fine cross from Hirst was headed back across goal by Hair and bundled over the line from close range by Vanson. Hirst was being regularly pegged back by a good performance from the Southgate left midfielder but on the occasions he was allowed to get forward was causing problems with some fine crosses from wide positions – Hair shooting wide having got on the end of one such cross. 

A very even first half ended with the Accies 1-0 ahead, but the second half belonged entirely to the Accies. Pirrie made it 2-0 shortly after half time when an attempted cross found the top corner and the Southgate keeper had to react smartly to make fine saves from Vanson and Carabine. Gillard was controlling the midfield and it was inevitable that a 3rd goal would soon arrive – and it duly did when Carabine, who had been switched to the left wing to accommodate the arrival of Blake finished smartly following a Hair through ball. Accies were completely comfortable at the back with Dawson a virtual spectator and Rabie, Shrimpton and Topping all revelling on a pitch which didn’t give them even the thought of trying to pass the ball and allowing them just to defend – we all know they are much more comfortable in that situation. Vanson added a 4th (and his second) before Southgate gained a consolation through a penalty conceded by Shrimpton. It never ceases to amaze the outfield players how small 6ft4 Dawson can make himself look when faced with a penalty. By now however the Accies were rampant and didn’t let the concession of the goal deflate them – Blake adding a 5th before Vanson completed his hat-trick with a fine goal. After a poor start to the season, the Accies are now showing the kind of form and performances that the team knew all along they were capable of. With the threat of relegation nothing but a pre-Christmas memory, the challenge is now to climb as far up the table as possible in the remaining 6 games. MOM Vanson, with honourable mentions to Gillard and Carabine.

Saturday 24th March

Accies 1sts 2 (Innis Pirrie, Greg Blake) Albanian 0 (Mark Dawson).

Accies 2nds 1 (Lysander Bryant) Parkfield 2.

Accies 3rds 1 (Scott Atkinson) Old Ignatians 2.

Accies 4ths 1 (Andy Mackay) Southgate County 4.

Accies 5ths 2 (Bob Woad, James Liang) London Hospital Old Boys 1.

Accies Veterans 3 Phoenix Old Boys 2.

1sts Match Report from Steve Hair

Accies continued their recent good form with a well deserved win over mid-table rivals Albanian. The wind caused difficulties throughout, but Accies made good use of a wide pitch and played some very good football, particularly in the second half. 

The Accies played with the advantage of the wind in the first half, but against the slight slope. Albanian worked hard in midfield, closing the Accies down well and this result in somewhat scrappy first period, the Accies being harried into playing the ball in the air too often. However, Accies still managed 4 or 5 moments of quality – Vanson bring a good save from the keeper from the edge of the box, Blake just missing with a header and Crotty shooting wide when well placed after a good team move. Accies had nearly all the play, but Albanian remained dangerous on the break and, with their only shot on target of the whole game, drew a fantastic save from Nugget on the stroke of half time, when poor marking allowed the centre forward a free header 8 yards out.

0-0 at half time, and Albanian seemed happy to have weathered the storm, clearly thinking the wind would assist them in the second half, but the Accies stressed at half time that all that was needed was to keep the tempo up, keep patient and the goal would come. The Accies completely dominated the second half – playing good attacking football along the ground and causing Albanian difficulties with their movement off the ball. Cordell began to see lots of the ball on the left wing and started to enjoy himself (though not as much as he did in Digress later in the evening) and putting in some fantastic crosses. Several chances came and went, but Accies refused to panic and the breakthrough came on the hour mark – Pirrie continuing his recent goal scoring form shooting into the bottom corner of the net from a corner (though unlike his strike against Nottsborough, this strike bounced about 4 times before going in). A second was added shortly afterwards when some good passing in midfield released Cordell on the left, who looked up and planted a pinpoint cross onto Blake’s head, who steered the ball home expertly, giving him the goal his all round display deserved. The Accies could and should have scored more before the end, creating some good opportunities as the game became more and more stretched, but 2-0 it remained. A point next week will seal safety from this season, but on form since the turn of the year, Accies should be aiming for a top 5 finish which would be a good achievement given the horrific injury list the team has suffered this year. MOM Cordell – just shading it over Blake.

Saturday 17th March

Bealonians 1 Accies 1sts 1 (Greg Blake).

Latymer Old Boys 3 Accies 2nds 2 (Paul Bernard 2).

Old Edmontonians 2 Accies 3rds 3 (Matt Wanford, Scott Atkinson, og).

Enfield Old Grammarians 2 Accies 6ths 3 (Andy Williams, Dan Bennett, Oli Davies).

6ths Match Report from Jason Ingel

The Mighty 6ths convened at the grounds of Enfield Old Grammarians at roughly 2.45pm on Saturday – for a 3pm kick-off.  As a result of a decidedly ‘not very funny at all’ practical joke, perpetrated (for the most part) by the author – we were welcomed by a clearly cheesed off Captain Marmite (cheese and Marmite anyone?) and an even more grumpy than usual Danny Mac.

We kicked off into a bit of a head wind.  As is common place with this team we started off as flat as Kiera Knightly, with very little oomph anywhere on the pitch. We were missing the fight and the effort of 9cms who was 6 pints into a St Paddy’s induced stupor by this stage of the day.

Pink Pants was calling for every ball within 30 feet of him and not getting to any (knocking a teammate off his feet on one such occasion), Jimmy No Goals was doing everything he could to persuade us that it was his first ever game, and Jason Ingel seemed to have ended his season a week earlier than anticipated.  Even the on-loan Andy Williams was “doing a Serge” and hitting everything long without a recipient on the other end.  The ever dependable “M.O.T.M.-Dan” was innocuous and struggling to get involved, which as clear an indication of an uneven, horrible pitch as any. As a result we were soon 0-1 down as a result of an apparent determination to avoid tackling at all costs.

We managed to eek our way into half-time with the deficit at 1,  though this was less than we deserved. The game itself was dire even by our own lofty standards. It was obvious to all that this was as bad a performance as we’ve put up this season, and that we were lucky to still be in the game.

Unfortunately it was more of the same in the second half and soon enough we 2 down as a result of a good individual effort by their left midfielder, who stopped moaning at the ref and found the time to loft a 30 yard lob into the top corner.  This was no more than we deserved.

One thing that has to be said about a team as well practiced at being 1 or 2 goals down as we are – is that we refuse to give up.  Looking around the pitch with 20 minutes to go it was clear this game was not over.  All of sudden M.O.T.M, Andy, Ian and Olli (both subs) were competing for everything and driving us forward.  Andy hit a speculative 40 yarder that squirmed its way under the their  goalkeeper and it was ‘game on’.  For some unknown reason Ian and JNG’s  then attempted to  kick off  - much to embarrassment of anyone who knows them (a Youtube moment if ever there was one).  If that wasn’t bad enough, JNG’s had the temerity to ask the oppo striker “what do you think you are doing” when he tried to take the ball from him.  Class.  1 minute later and we were level.  Olli and Jason combined to get the ball into the box and M.O.T.M was on hand to put away a half-volley. It was now obvious that we had the game won if we went for it.  5 minutes later a lucky ricochet off Jason, landed at the feet of Ian who crossed infield ….and out of nowhere our very own “Super Sub” Olli, popped up and hit a first time shot on the rise which dipped over the flailing hands of a helpless oppo gk.  At the kick-off (not taken by JNG’s) we asked the ref how long was left and he said “90 seconds”……12 minutes later and Father Time had forgotten about time and we very nearly conceded a last-gasp equaliser , watched from the half-way line by Yours Truly as I made no visible effort to assist in defence. 

Superb comeback and resilient team spirit – an apt summing up of our season as a whole.

As Ian put it “Oooo, I love coming from behind”, to the worrying occupants of our car as we drove home satisfied and spent. (Sorry! Ed).

Saturday 10th March

Accies 1sts 2 (Innis Pirrie, Ned Carabine) Southgate County 1.

Parkfield 1 Accies 2nds 3 (Matt Field 2, Max Lovell).

Old Tollingtonians 1 Accies 3rds 1 (Mike Short).

Southgate County 3 Accies 4ths 2 (Dan Bennett 2).

Old Minchendenians 0 (Brent Baumbusch) Accies 5ths 5 (Bob Woad 2, Tom Porter, Jason Ingle, Sameer Patel).

3rds Match Report from Danny McConnell

Highgate Woods on a cold, wet, December afternoon probably isn't much fun, but as the February rains disappeared and spring appeared in all of its glory, on a warm March afternoon, it was quite perfect, and a patched together Accies 3rds met and considered the day ahead. First up was the age of the team, and whether anyone was under the age of 30 (which in the absence of the last arriving Messrs King, Locke and Glerum was a no), with a few keeping rather quiet lest anyone wished to question how many were over the age of 40 (the answer, by a few weeks, being a mere two), and second was whether Mike could "show Scott's au pair the sights" (the answer also being no). Trav turned up with the kit, Tony phoned up jet-lagged wanting to know how to get into Highbury Fields (which wasn't even the right question) but with Tollingtonians similarly kitless, and despite Wee Phil's best efforts to change in the Ladies, the game finally kicked off fifteen minutes late.

First half and the Accies played into the wind and sun, but with a slight slope, with the stirring words from Scott "this is the team Fox has given me, so don't blame me if it goes wrong". The considered opinion was that sleep deprivation and jet-lag couldn't make Tony any more dopey than usual, so he started and Wilko was consigned to the bench. From the outset, Tolly's looked the likeliest to score, and in the first twenty minutes rattled the near post and forced a smart save from the guesting Turtle. Accies slowly, sorry, SLOWLY, got into the game, and on the break looked dangerous, but could consider themselves fortunate to go into the half with the game scoreless with Tollingtonians having failed to convert a number of chances.

Half time and the talk was of stepping up a gear, but to no avail, within two minutes Tollingtonians had broken through, and a ball clipped to the far post was slid home to open the scoring. The second half was more even, though Tollingtonians looked the more likely to score, though as the match went on, slowly got more and more frustrated with themselves and the referee. It seemed the only question was whether they'd score a second, or their no.9 would spontaneously combust as he ranted and raved at everyone.

With five minutes to go, Accies broke upfield, and Scott Atkinson went on a mazy run (so he tells me) before crossing for Mike Short, who poked home for a slightly fortuitous (ahem) equaliser. Now the Accies believed, and pressed for a winner, only to see Tollingtonians break yet again, and with the striker bearing down on goal, the Turtle spread himself, and as the ball was poked direct at him, the only question was whether he could shut his legs in time. Fortunately, with Messr Short present, this was at the forefront of one's thoughts, and the chance went a begging as Trav cleared the rebound.

A barely deserved point, which made for the perfect afternoon. There's little as satisfying as daylight robbery, and this came close.

4ths Match Report from Graham Whitworth

Four seasons ago four members of this side played in a cup quarter final against Polytechnic when we were part of the 6th XI. We were absolutely annihilated in that game, our goal mouth was laid siege to but somehow we managed to run out 3-2 winners. This match was a carbon copy of that game but this time the tables were turned and there can't be a more of a bitter pill to swallow then walking off a football pitch having pummelled a side for almost the full 90 minutes and losing.

Playing up the hill, into the wind and sun, we would have been happy to turn around at half time on level terms and inflict the necessary damage in the second half. However, we started the match slowly, as is the norm for the 4ths, and were 2-0 down within about 15 minutes to two very good strikes by the Southgate central midfielder (the bloke was about the size of Giant Haystacks), one from a free kick and another from outside the box which he got his full 20 odd stone weight behind the shot. We then woke up and started to play some good football , as we have done since the turn of the year and put a lot of pressure on a fairly solid Southgate defence. Dan Bennett impressed in his debut for the 4ths firing in a number of shots from central midfield and Andy B also tried to test the keeper from central midfield a number of times, but all our shots seemed to keep on just missing the target, either narrowly going over the bar or just wide of the post. Andy Mackay's superb long throws and corners on a very narrow pitch had their penalty box constantly under pressure with the keeper having to make a save direct from one of the corners, turning it over the bar. Si Randall came very close to scoring as well as he got up in the air nicely only to narrowly head past the far post but then, unbelievably, some sloppy defending allowed Southgate to take a 3-0 lead from a corner. 4 shots, 3 goals, you couldn't argue with their conversion rate!

So, despite being 3-0 at half time, we felt confident of turning things around in the second half, with the help of the elements and hopefully an early goal to get things back on track. What cannot be faulted was the effort of everyone on the pitch as we took on the mantra of ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK! Unfortunately, what can often happen when trying to turn around a big deficit is that the necessary composure that is required to take chances can be found wanting. We pressed early on and a number of balls were played across the box which we just couldn't get on the end of and resulted in a ridiculous amount of corners. With about 25 minutes to go, we finally got a goal back, Dan Bennett managing to get a shot in which went in at the far post. Then, only a couple of minutes later, the author had a superb chance to get the deficit down to one goal. A rare mistake from the Southgate defence left G Whitworth with a one on one, but that composure I talked about earlier was missing as he elected power over placement and whistled a shot inches over the bar shooting first time when a touch and a side foot would have probably sufficed. Minutes later Dan nearly got his second only for a lucky deflection from one of their defenders resulted in yet another corner. Shortly after, the now midfield playing Si Randall put a good pass in to Whitworth who cut back inside looking to make amends for his earlier miss and struck a sweet shot from outside the box which proceed to strike the underside of the bar. Cue a lot of profanity and Tourette's. Cue even more profanity when he had a header cleared off the line from a corner.

We pressed and pressed, more corners, more long throws, some long free kicks and more shots narrowly missing the target and then Kid nearly notched, when, possibly offside, was left with just the keeper to beat hit the target but the keeper turned the ball around for, yes, you guessed it, another corner. With 5 minutes remaining Dan popped up for his second of the game getting his head on the end of one of Mackay's throws and we hoped we might snatch a point. Southgate had a chance (their only one of the second half) to wrap the game up as the game became stretched but Pork Pie did well to deny the Southgate striker in a one on one. Right at the death, Sam Samra of all people, had the chance to salvage a point from 3 yards out, but there were about 7 Southgate defenders standing on the goal line by this stage and alas, it was not to be.

Unfortunately, as everyone knows in football, 30+corners, 30+shots, 90% territory and 2 goals does not get you 3 points against a side that has 5 shots and scores 3. Football, bloody hell............

Saturday 3rd March

Accies 1sts vs Albanian postponed.

Accies 2nds vs Mill Hill Village postponed.

Old Tollingtonians vs Accies 3rds postponed.

Wood Green Old Boys 1 Accies 4ths 7 (Andy Mackay 4, Graham Whitworth 3).

Ravenscroft Old Boys vs Accies 5ths postponed.

Enfield Old Grammarians vs Accies 6ths postponed.

4ths Match Report from Chris Coates

A funny old game indeed....having played some our finest football the previous week and only managed to score a brace, the 4ths breezed into Wood Green hoping to leave with 3 points and a hatful of goals. Mission accomplished.

Shorn of all recognisable defenders, a timely cancellation of the 5ths game allowed a back three of Coates, Carter and Swaby to be hastily cobbled together. After an early scare, which saw one of the Wood Green strikers deftly chipping Chris H in goal, only to be ruled offisde, the rear guard sprung into action and comfortably dealt with an opening spell of pressure from Wood Green. Once acclimatised to the wind/sun/huge puddle/slope of the pitch, the Accies midfield then joined in the fun closing down well and getting in vital tackles to break up play. It soon became clear that passing football wasn't really the way forward and relying on the past few seasons' experience, the Accies began to scrap their way through the game.  Epitomising the spirit of the team, Andy M chased down a long through ball getting to their keeper just in time to block his clearance and watch the rebound trickle back 20 yards into an empty net.

Buoyed by the confidence of a rather spawny goal, the Accies took the upper hand. Credit where its due to the Wood Green defence who made it clear that they weren't going to roll over with some agricultural tackling matched only by the farmers field of a pitch. However, having sythed down a flying Andy M, their no nonsense defending was punished from the resulting free kick. An absolute peach of a shot from Dogger cannoned back off the bar and Andy was there to nod the bouncing ball over the stranded keeper. Graham then added his name to the score sheet, rifling the ball home from close range after a Wood Green player had helpfully nodded a corner back across his own 6 yard line. On the stoke off half time, Chris H ensured we went in 3-0 to the good bravely diving at the feet of a Wood Green striker to smother the ball when danger loomed.

Having got the tricky uphill, against the slope, into the wind half out of the way, the Accies came out off for the second half knowing that the only thing that could stop us was our own complacency. A couple of minutes into the second half, a bobbling backpass was controlled by the arm of a Wood Green defender and the ref pointed immediately to the spot. With Andy M on for a trick some brave captaincy saw the ball plucked from Graham's grasp and handed to Mackay. He duly despatchd the pen into the corner and confirmed he'd be buying a jug.

With the wind taken from the oppo's sails, the Accies continued to be first to the ball and began to dominate. Paul A winning more than his fair share of headers and Campbell snapping terrier like at the ageing and tiring oppo limbs. Another good throughball from Andy B saw Andy M race through again and chip the outcoming keeper for a fine finish bringing him his 19th of the season.

The Wood Green keeper then finished off a truly shocking day out by trying to dry hump Andy after a quickly taken throw had evaded all defenders. The ref casually pointing to the spot for the second time. Graham, rewarded for his earlier generosity, stepped up and cooly notched to keep his penalty taking role. 

Having played the wing back role superbly for 80 minutes, Redman then underhit a pass to Campbell on the edge of our box. Not only did a stretching Campbell injure himself trying to win the ball back, the ref awarded a free kick for the tackle and then wouldn't allow The Rat to make his cameo appearance until after the kick had been taken. Unfortunately, some pinball wizardry in the box was finished neatly by the oppo to deny a well deserved clean sheet.

However, the rout was finished off at the death with Graham racing through the middle and despite aiming for the far corner watched his shot nestle in the near corner via a big deflection from [the @rse of] a Wood Green defender. Cue the remaining few minutes being played out to the sound of Graham vehemently arguing that it was his goal. Pandering to his fragile ego and willingness to buy a hat-trick jug, reluctantly the consensus was that he may have been right.

Not pretty, but a cracking result to boost confidence with only 7 games left. A much healthier goal difference being the icing on the cake. Cheers too to Danny for coming along to watch.

 

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