U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2007-08 Results - December

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Saturday 15th December

Albanian 4 Accies 1sts 1 (Ian Roberts).

Accies 2nds 3 (Adam Parsons, Kieron Jennings, Sam Prentki) Albanian 0 (Nick Shepherd).

Old Edmontonians 3 Accies 3rds 3 (Phil Stewart, Mike Short, Scott Atkinson).

Bealonians 1 Accies 4ths 2.

Accies 5ths 1 (Bob Woad) Ravenscroft Old Boys 1.

Accies 6ths 1 (Tseyi Hammond) Old Minchendenians 9.

1sts Report from the Non League Paper

Albanian ran out comfortable winners against leaders UCL Academicals, completing the season double against them. Despite falling behind early, as Rick Hirst’s corner to the back post was buried by Ian Roberts, Albanian fought back into the game could’ve equalised almost immediately only to see Salvatore Ciniotti thwarted by Mark Dawson in the Accies goal. However, they weren’t held for long, James Concannon latching onto Dave McShea’s corner to tuck home the equaliser. Accies now had their best spell of the game, but spurned a number of good chances and just before half time Albanian took the lead as Concannon notched his second, breaking free down the left and cutting inside to finish in the far corner.

The second half saw Accies press for an equaliser, but Albanian looked the likelier to score, and with twenty minutes to go they scored a third as Concannon and Ciniotti combined for Concannon to complete his hat-trick. With ten minutes left Albanian added their fourth Dave Murphy backheeling to set up Danny Clancy who fired home from twenty five yards. Though Accies had further late pressure, Dave Jenkin hitting the post from distance, Albanian ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

5ths Report from Bob Woad

The fifths ended 2007 with a disappointing 1-1 draw against Ravenscroft Old Boys at Shenley. Having already beaten their opponents 4-3 in the corresponding away fixture expectation was high for a winning end to the year but Santa didn’t come early in a game which the fifths dominated from start to finish.

The match started with stalwart centre half Chris Carter moving himself to midfield in what was seen as a desperately unsubtle attempt to increase his chances of emulating Dave Swaby’s goal scoring feat of the previous week. Kicking with the sun at their backs in the first period the fifths enjoyed the majority of possession and looked by far the most the dangerous of the two sides. The Accies soon took the lead. A through ball into right side of Ravenscroft penalty area eluded the visitors defence and the outrushing keeper, allowing Tom Porter to slide the ball across the empty goal. His cross was fortunately not met by James Liang, otherwise we could have been picking the ball out of the distant hedge, but by Bob Woad who tapped home. Further 5ths pressure however brought no more goals, the final ball again being largely the culprit. Bob Woad put Andy Williams through for a good chance but ‘The Cat’ got his paw too far under the ball and put it over the bar. In defence the 5ths were solid, restricting Ravenscroft to only a few openings, but keeper Alan Aaronson, deputising for the absent Bobby Butlin, did need pull off a couple of good saves to maintain the Accies lead. 

In the second half Bob Woad replaced Aaronnson in goal with Sameer Patel coming on up front. The fifths set up camp in Ravenscroft’s half and turned the screw but ominously failed to extend their lead. The fifths defence was masterful. Throughout the next 30 minutes Ravenscroft didn’t even have a shot, rarely penetrated the Accies half, and their only two threatening attacks were broken up by excellent challenges from Alan Aaronson and Dave Swaby. Then, with less than fifteen minutes to go, disaster struck. A Ravenscroft player picked up the ball some 30-35 metres out and launched what was probably the strike of his life. The ball came right out of the sinking sun, over Bob Woad who was only about a metre off his line, eluded his despairing stretch and skimmed in just under the bar. Bugger. The fifths pressed again and should have scored at the death when Sameer Patel outpaced the Ravenscroft defence, evaded the keeper but could only screw his shot into the side netting. 

In the club house after the game the secret man-of-the-match ballot resulted in one vote for ever defender except for Chris Carter who mysteriously got three, disturbingly written in what appeared to be the same hand.

Saturday 8th December

Accies 1sts 2 (Steve Hair, Neil Gillard) Fulham Compton 1.

Accies 2nds 2 (Adam Parsons, Mo Alvarez) Old Kolsassians 1.

Accies 3rds 4 (Mark Esiri 2, Stu Bannister, Si Tinling) Old Parmiterians 4.

Old Camdenians vs Accies 4ths postponed.

Old Woodhouseians 5 Accies 5ths 10 (James Liang 3, Tom Porter 2, Bob Woad, Sameer Patel, Dave Swaby, Matt Wood, og).

Accies 6ths 2 (Shaun Herbert, Alain Dos Santos) Old Camdenians 1.

1sts Match Report from Dan "Hissing Sid" Chantler, not from Rick Hirst

Saturday saw the wettest day of the Accies season so far as they faced the giant-killers Fulham Compton in the LOB cup.

Shenley was far from perfect, but the Accies were the quickest to adjust to the conditions, packaging a keen desire to be first to the ball with a focus on playing in the opposition's half. Fulham were comfortably pegged back by some fierce pressure from the front from Robbo and Tommy. At right midfield Hirst was particularly potent in the tackle. Soon the pressure began to pay dividends. The Fulham back four couldn't cope with the tireless Accies vim with the ever more prevalent gaps came opportunities to exploit. At right midfield, Hirst was causing considerable havoc. The Accies found themselves with several corners, but given the wind conditions they demanded world class deliveries. Fortunately, Hirst was on hand to deliver a vicious in-swinger - laser pointed at the considerable forehead of Lemon who despatched with aplomb. Half-time, 1-0.

The solid start was undone early in the second half as the Fulham boys brought on a new striker, who bustled his way past the normally air-tight Accies defence to claim an equaliser. Hirst played no part in this unfortunate setback. However, testament to the new and invigorated spirit of the Accies, panic did not ensue. As the conditions worsened, and Nugget slipped into a rain soaked depression looking for his lost clean sheet tally, the Accies simply upped a gear and the Fulham antipodeans couldn't cope. Adam and Ned pressed from the left; Hair and Gillard continually probed down the middle like prom-night virgins. Hirst continued to find and create space on the right. He seemed full of running. From here in the sequence was repetitious. Accies chances came continuously but were all spurned. The onset of dusk prevents the author from detailing each and every chance that went begging. Fulham's best player was the man in the sticks, and he found ever more elaborate ways to thwart the Accies goalward efforts (even those from the devilish right boot of Hirst). Then with seven minutes to play came the decisive coup de gras (sic!). Hirst picked up the ball in his own half, and after drifting past a number of industrial challenges worked a neat one-two with Robbo. The return ball skidded towards the box and without breaking stride Hirst powered past his markers and drove toward goal. A certain winner was prevented by the Fulham fullback who succumbed to frustration. His afternoon chasing Hirst's shadow got the better of him as he chopped the maestro Hirst down in full flight. A clear penalty, this game was over.

Hirst graciously stepped aside to let Hair despatch the spot kick and claim the MOM award. Accies 2 Fulham 1.

5ths Match Report from Bob Woad

A second blustery match in succession saw the 5ths take on Old Woodhousians at the Firs Farm Olympic complex. In addition to the howling gale down the length of the pitch the game was further complicated by a not insignificant slope and a rain sodden playing surface. 

The fifths started the match playing with the wind and down the slope, hoping to create a comfortable cushion in the first period of play. However, after shading the opening skirmishes, the fifths found themselves one down after a defensive mix up.Refusing to panic they responded with controlled and thoughtful play and were rewarded when Sameer Patel broke down the right and put in a fine cross for Bob Woad to steer into the Woodhousians net. Gaining the upper hand the fifths went 2-1 down after a cross shot defied the breeze and drifted past Bobby Butlin into the corner. The fifths pressed again. Patel raced onto a through ball taking all the Woodhousian defenders with him. As the keeper racing out to meet him, he played a cunning cross ball to James Liang – unmarked and 10 yards out, who had only to pass the ball into the empty net. 

Ohhhhh dear.

In what can only have been a hangover, or perhaps if you will a leg-over, from his previous weeks shot skewering Liang somehow contrived to put the ball wide of the post. As he held his head in disbelief the body of a passing pensioner who had bet his life on Liang scoring was quietly removed. However, from the canyon of despair are the seeds of greatness sown; and the seed sown by Liangs leg-over would more than make up for this, the greatest miss in Accies 5ths history. 

The 5ths did pull level a short while later when Patel latched onto a good through ball from Matt Wilson and rounded the keeper. Then in a final flourish to the half the 5ths scored twice more. First, a Joe Baggeley corner found Wilson unmarked in the penalty area and he turned to fire home. Then James Liang began his rehabilitation with a cross shot from the right which sailed over the keeper into the far corner of the net. 

At only 4-2 the 5ths knew that the second half playing up hill and into the wind would be different, and a stirring half time talk by Chris Carter sent them out determined to keep things tight at the back. Ten seconds after the restart the score was 4-3 as Wooodhousians walked through the Accies defence to narrow the deficit. It was beginning to look bleak but the 5ths rallied. Patel broke down the left and put a low cross to Tom Porter who slotted the ball past the keeper. The two goal cushion was restored. Then it wasn't as a cross shot from the left sailed over Butlin into the net.

At 5-4 the game was again in the balance but then the 5ths found an extra gear, a sharper tackle and a better ball and in the next 25 minutes took Woodhousians apart. Patel broke down the left a second time and crossed low for Tom Porter to bag is second at the far post. Then with Woodhousians clearly believing that lightning couldn't strike in the same place three times he did the same, this time for Liang to head home.Then Liang turned provider as his cross from the right was blasted into his own net by a Woodhousian defender. Liang finally completed his hat-trick poacher style after the Woodhousian keeper fumbled a cross from the right. 

The 5ths reached double figures after the Woodhousians keeper again went missing in action and Jack Hulme crossed for an accies player to blast the ball into the roof of the net from three feet. A moment of confusion arose. Who scored the goal ? It wasn't a forward, not even a midfielder. Then as the player wheeled away gasps was heard – it was Dave Swaby. In the style of a Ninja warrior he had covered the 70 meters from his own penalty area to the Woodhousians goal line silently and unseen. An awed hush descended over the pitch punctured only by a load crack as Chris Carter shot himself in the head. 

During the goal-fest Bobby Butlin had so little to do that he had frozen stiff and this allowed Woodhousians to claim their fifth consolation goal of the game from a long range effort which bounced past him into the net.

Sunday 2nd December

Phoenix Old Boys 1 Accies Vets 5.

Saturday 1st December

Accies 1sts 2 (Gareth Jones, Ian Roberts) Polytechnic 0 (Mark Dawson).

Old Edmontonians 1 Accies 2nds 0.

Accies 3rds 3 (Stu Bannister, Sam Prentki, Max Lovell) Old Ignatians 2.

Enfield Old Grammarians vs Accies 4ths postponed.

Latymer Old Boys 2 Accies 5ths 3 (Andy Williams, Joe Baggaley, Mark Esiri).

Accies 6ths 0 Old Edmontonians 4.

1sts Match Report from the Non League Paper

With most sides involved in the AFA Senior Cup, Southern Amateur League side Polytechnic travelled to high flying UCL Academicals at a windswept London Colney. Polytechnic opened up strongly with the wind behind them, but Accies quickly got the ball down and started to play the better football, and after twenty minutes took the lead as John Carroll, Nick Branfoot and Dion Rowntree combined for a defensive mixup and allowed Gareth Jones to pounce and fire home. In difficult conditions, Poly pressed for an equaliser. Paul Cooke swung in a free kick, and Jeremy Seales saw his header parried by Mark Dawson, the rebound falling to Jeff Brown who spooned the rebound wide. 

Into the second half and Poly had the worst of the conditions as the wind increased, and Accies peppered the Poly goal with long range shots. The result was finally sealed as Carroll slipped in defence, and Rick Hirst latched onto the loose ball to unleash a long range shot which was superbly tipped onto the bar by Oli Davies, but he lay helpless as Ian Roberts reacted quickest to nod home and give Accies breathing room. Poly continued to battle, and could’ve dragged themselves back into contention as James Black danced superbly through the Accies defence, only to see his curling shot come back off the crossbar, leaving Accies to run out 2-0 winners.

5ths Match Report from Bob Woad

The 5ths found themselves still in the LOB cup after Christmas following a 3-2 victory over of Latymer Old Boys at Donkey Lane - aptly named given the quality of football usually played on its pitches.

Playing with the wind the 5ths spent most of the first 45 minutes camped in Latymers half but ended the first period only two goals up. The first goal had a touch of comedy about it. Andy Williams picked up the ball a good 35 yards out and hoisted a speculative effort goalwards. The Latymer keeper stepped manfully off his line to gather the incoming ball but failed to realise that in this half the wind was blowing towards him. His misjudgement meant that he could only get his fingertips to the ball as it sailed over his head and into the net. If the first goal was comedic the 5ths second was pure slapstick. A good cross from the right by Pete Mobin saw Joe Baggaley racing into the area. Tripping over his own feet he was plummeting face first into the mud when the ball hit him on the head and bounced into the bottom left corner of the net. The irrepressible Baggaley then toured the pitch arm aloft in an outrageous attempt to claim this ‘diving header’ was deliberate. At this point the 5ths decided it was all too easy and started a ‘who can kick the ball furthest past the Latymer goal’ competition with some fine efforts catching the breeze and sailing off into the far distance. Any Latymer threat was largely contained by a defensive quartet consisting of Dave Swaby, Chris ‘one game in four’ Carter, Mark Emmerson and Simon Moss, although veteran shot stopper Bobby Butlin did have to pull off a couple of good reaction saves along the way. The only other incident of the first half was Andy Williams rebranding of himself as ‘The Cat’ due to his self proclaimed ‘speed of reaction’, although ‘The Kitten’ might have been a more accurate reflection of his playful bounding around after the ball and patting it with his paw giving away a number of free kicks for handball. Overall it was agreed that as long as he didn't try to lick his own bottom or bring any mice into the changing room he could keep the handle.

The second half started well for the 5ths as despite the wind they managed to pin Latymer back and create some great shooting opportunities for James Liang. Unfortunately Liang’s right leg seemed to have loosened from its socket during the half time interval and was flapping somewhat uncontrollably beneath him meaning that every time he swung it at the ball he skewed his shot wildly off target. As the half progressed Latymer rode their luck and began to come back into the game. Butlin did well to block a close range effort with his legs but a short while later could do nothing as the deficit was narrowed following the 5ths failure to clear the ball. More pain was to follow as Latymer equalised from a corner. Cunningly lining up all their attacking force at the edge of the 5ths area, the 5ths defence could think of nothing but marking their man leaving the unusual sight of a penalty area devoid of all players except Bobby Butlin and two accies defenders covering the goalposts. The inevitable ball into this gaping hole was met by an on rushing forward who headed unchallenged into the net. At 2-2 the 5ths could have collapsed to defeat but steeled their resolve and finally got their reward when Mark Esiri forced home a low Joe Baggaley cross. In a final act of drama Andy Colthorpe came on as a late substitute, took a deep breath of the cold air, had a partial asthma attack and almost had to leave the field in what would have been the shortest 5th team appearance ever.

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