U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2007-08 Results - April

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Saturday 26th April

Old Parmiterians 3 Accies 1sts 1 (Lloyd Vanson).

Saturday 19th April

Accies 1sts 0 Old Aloysians 2

Accies 2nds 3 (Kieran Jennings, Nat Keast, Gareth Jenkins) Old Aloysians 0 (Aurelio Garcia de Sola)

Egbertian 4 Accies 4ths 3 (Jonathan Taylor, Alex Nekrasov, Phil Wash).

Accies 5ths 2 (Mark Esiri, Bob Woad) Old Edmontonians 1

Old Edmontonians 1 Accies 6ths 2 (Subomi Fapohunda, Declan Walsh).

5ths Report from Bob Woad

The 5ths denied the Seven North League title to Old Edmontonians with a solid display in difficult blustery conditions and gained revenge for the 4 – 2 away defeat at the beginning of the season.

The major pre-match concern had been over the availability of the team kit which had been in the possession of Simon Moss but who had pulled out of the fixture with Cystitis (pronounced Cissyitis). While the idea of taking to the field in nothing but underpants and shin pads was not entirely dismissed it was thought that the psychological impact on the opposition could lead to a potential court case and so an eleventh hour swoop retrieved the required items.

Once again absentee captain Chris Carter was absent, although this time surprisingly not on holiday but instead claiming a twisted ankle. This was probably for the best as the two games he had turned up for over course of the season had both resulted in bookings for repeated fouling.

The match started with the Dave Swaby losing the toss for the 19th time and the fifths playing into the traditional Shenley gale. Pinned back in their own half by the conditions the fifths battled manfully with the defensive quartet of Swaby, Sigerson, Court and Styles in fine form while the central midfield pairing of Pussycat Williams and James Liang was as combative as expected. 

Edmontonians were restricted to long range efforts for much of the first period and rarely troubled keeper Aaronson. Attacking opportunities for the fifths were limited but there were promising forays down the flanks by Baggaley on the left and Porter on the right. Up front Mark Esiri and Bob Woad did there best to close down and harry the Edmontonian defence and provide an outlet for the besieged Accies. 

Gradually the fifths began to carve out some openings. Woad, playing his first outfield game in several months on the grounds that James Liang had scored more goals than him and it wasn’t allowed, had the first of these. A break down the left by Baggaley resulted in a fine cross which Woad controlled well but was beaten by wind and bobble and saw his placed effort swerve outside of the upright.

Then came the wildest free kick of the fifths season. Twenty yards out to the left Williams decided that into the wind a Ronaldo style blast and swerve was the only course of action. Unfortunately he struck the ball slightly off centre and then watched as, helped by the wind, it performed a spectacular arc through the penalty area and back down the pitch, ending up nearer to the fifths goal than Edmontonians.

The fifths did eventually break the deadlock. An intricate passing move down the left between Baggaley, Williams and Woad saw the ball reach Esiri. With calm aplomb Esiri curled in a shot which bounced in front and over the Edmontonian keepers desperate dive.

The second half was easier going and the fifths could have has a second almost from the restart as another Baggaley cross was met by substitute Alan Dodd only for the ball to fly over the bar.

Edmontonians, who needed to win to secure the league title, fought with ever increasing desperation and the fifths needed to battle almost as much as much as in the first half. However this left Edmontonians exposed at the back and the fifths profited with some good counter attacking play. On one of these counters the fifths doubled their lead when Woad latched onto a Williams ball, slipped a defender and calmly slotted onto the net. 

Two more goals should have followed. Williams broke clean through the Edmontonian defence with Liang in support but his attempt to find his midfield companion for a simple tap in seemed to be taken by the wind and sprint as he might Liang couldn’t reach the ball before it crossed the dead ball line. Soon afterwards Woad beat four players and released Dodd down the right with the fifths three against the keeper in the middle. The cross came to Porter who couldn’t control it quickly enough and his attempt was smothered by the Edmontonian shot stopper.

Edmontonians kept up the pressure and eventually reduced the deficit when a shot from the edge of the area slipped in passed Aaronson at his near post. In the dying seconds an Edmontonian corner was met by an onrushing forward but his effort sailed over the bar when it would have been easier to score.

A win at bottom club Wood Green Old Boys in two weeks time will see the fifths finish third for the second season in a row. As expected Chris Carter will again be absent.

Wednesday 16th April

Accies 1sts 2 (Adam Stainsby, Innis Pirrie) Old Challoners 2, Accies won 3-2 on penalties

1sts Report from Danny McConnell

On a chilly night at Potters Bar, Accies turned up for a third attempt in five years at winning the London Old Boys Senior Cup final. Pre-match disruption and shocks were abound, Steve Hair having dropped out due to his wife going into labour, Mike Foster turning up on time, and Dawson having passed a late fitness test following intensive physiotherapy on a stiff neck. The Accies were further boosted by official notification that skipper Pirrie had officially succeeded Gillard as the new poster boy for AFA Council - the Accie they'd most like their great granddaughters to marry.

The pitch was good, if your criteria was Albanian away, dusty and bobbly if it isn't, with a strong Accies support actually numbering double figures, albeit including babes in arms. The early exchanges saw Accies looking strong, and promising to be the stronger football side. However, Challoners fought their way into the game, and quickly upped their work rate to look the more dangerous side as the half progressed. Just before the half hour, their main threat, a quick and tricky striker turned the Accies defence inside out to fire home and give them a deserved 1-0 lead. Accies had their share of chances, with Dave Jenkin regularly lining up to shoot from midfield (i.e. not passing, and not hitting the target). Challoners too threatened, and towards the break were foiled as Dawson bravely threw himself at an opponents feet on the edge of his area (we have witnessed) to keep the margin down to one.

The half-time talk was positive, plenty of time left in the game, noting if Jenks could pass rather than shooting seven times we might open them up, the need avoid playing long balls up to the strikers as their defence were eating them up, and as Hirsty pointed out, "no need to panic, we'd come from 1-0 down three times on Saturday!" Everyone knew what he meant.......

The second half started with a bit more purpose from Accies, but still without looking too threatening, and it needed a piece of individual brilliance for Stainsby to change the course of the game. A long ball up to the strikers which should've been eaten up by their defence saw Adam latch onto it, and superbly held off their two central defenders to reach the edge of the area, where happily he found the keeper had come to meet him, and he coolly lobbed the ball over him for a neat, and slightly against the run of play, equaliser.

Accies now had their best period of the game, pressing for a winner, and looking like the stronger side, but Challoners continued to battle, and neither side could create a clear-cut opportunity as the game went into extra time.

Substitutes looked to be key, with Accies able to throw on the fresh legs of Mike Foster, Ian Roberts and Gaz Jones, although others began to wilt. Dave Coates departed to a damaged hamstring, and Chantler, having been given the runaround by Challoners striker all evening, finally figured enough time had elapsed to collapse with cramp, screaming to Pirrie that he's was "done" even as he fell to the ground, claiming old age as an excuse. Fortunately, the Shrimp, at least five years his senior, was able to slide in from fullback and take over. Others fought on, though with injuries preventing his replacement, Simon Sly increasingly began to hallucinate and wish for a return to a gentler world where he'd had the sense to not return to Saturday football.

Somewhat against the run of play, Challoners drew first blood, a midfielder running from halfway to hit an inoccuous looking shot just wide of the post. It was one that Muttiah Muralitharan would have been proud of, pitching just in front of Dawson, turning, bouncing and beating his flailing effort to sneak in at the near post. Cue ecstasy from Challoners, a refusal to boot a goalpost from Dawson, and despondency from the Accies.

The second half of extra time saw Accies draw level, as a superbly delivered corner from Hirsty caught Challoners by surprise, and Pirrie met the ball cleanly to power home an unstoppable header. The final ten minutes saw both sides pressing for a winner, and Challoners seemed likely to have grabbed it with five minutes to go, only to see a superb high finger tip save from Dawson push the ball around the post.

After two hours of stalemate, a penalty shootout. Challoners drew first blood, Dawson's cunning penalty tactic of making himself look as small as possible and not diving looking questionable, but Accies levelled with Hirst stepping up and coolly slotting with a low ball mirroring most of his free kicks for the evening. Challoners then blasted against the bar, Dawson waving a finger as if he'd tipped it (he hadn't), only to see Roberts step up for the second, with little confidence from the Accies bench, but 100% from Danny Mac, and duly demonstrate how much football I've seen him play this season, a penalty whose best hope was the keeper mistaking it for a backpass, panicking and missing it. He didn't. 

Mishaps continued, Challoners third, taken by the striker whose left foot we'd been closing down all evening shooting with his right, was well saved by Dawson, his not moving tactic working superbly as it was chipped straight at him, only to see Sly dragged back to reality only to see his penalty saved. Three penalties each, 1-1.

Challoners fourth was calmly dispatched beyond Dawson's flailing reach, but Jenkin stepped up for Accies fourth, and coolly slotted it in the corner, taking his shooting percentage stats into single figures for the day, and it was effectively sudden death. Challoners fifth was beyond the stretch of the Nugget, but pinged against the post and came out, leaving Stainsby the chance to step up and win the cup. Calmly, "the quiet man" fired home and wheeled away only to realise the rest of the team were far too knackered to chase after him, and a rather more sober and less energetic celebration ensued.

At gone 10pm, Pirrie stepped up to receive the cup, the AFA Old Boys swooned, and the Accies triumph was confirmed, with the icing on the cake being the news that a couple of hours later, Lou Hair gave birth to Phoebe Alexa. Balding, screaming and demanding to be the centre of attention, fatherhood will doubtless be a challenge to Steve, but many congratulations to him and Lou. 

Saturday 12th April

Old Hamptonians 3 Accies 1sts 3 (Adam Stainsby, Neil Gillard, Rick Hirst).

Old Parmiterians 2 Accies 4ths 2 (Nat Keast, Tom Lovell).

Old Parmiterians 2 Accies 6ths 5 (Mike Bailey, Spencer Gore, Will Hodges, Jean-Alex Imerzoukene, Subomi Fapohunda).

1sts Report from Non League Paper

Needing a win to stave off relegation worries, Old Hamptonians took the lead early in the first half against UCL Academicals through Matt Harrison’s fortunate scuffed shot, but Accies quickly equalised through Adam Stainsby. Early in the second half, Hamptonians retook the lead through Andy Gibbons, only to see Ned Carabine cross for Neil Gillard to equalise again. With ten minutes to go, Hamps again took the lead, Max Barron firing home but in the final minute, Simon Sly was brought down for a penalty, and Rick Hirst slotted it home to give Accies a 3-3 draw.

Saturday 5th April

Accies 1sts 2 (Dave Jenkin 2) Old Hamptonians 2.

Enfield Old Grammarians 4 Accies 4ths 0.

Accies 6ths 2 (Subomi Fapohunda, Sameer Patel) Enfield Old Grammarians 3

1sts Report from Non League Paper

UCL Academicals faced Old Hamptonians with both sides needing a win to all but ensure safety. Hamptonians opened well, Ian Gascoigne seeing Mark Dawson save well with his feet, and Hamps being denied a penalty when Ian Yates went down under Dave Coates challenge. Accies had their own chances, and half an hour in Dave Jenkin opened the scoring as he burst through to tuck the ball under the advancing James Holdsworth. Early in the second half, Jenkin added his second, cutting in from the right hand side and lashing the ball into the top corner. Hamptonians fought back into the game, with Accies looking increasingly vulnerable. With eight minutes to go, Richard Blake broke through, and Dawson made a good low reaction save, but Matt Harrison reacted quickest to the rebound tuck home. Hamps had their tails up, and Accies now hit the panic button, and two minutes later Ian Yates clipped in a free kick from the left hand side, and Andy Gibbon had a free header to power home from eight yards to clinch a 2-2 draw and a point. 

 

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