2008-09 Results - April
Saturday 26th April
Accies 1sts 0 Bealonians 2.
Enfield Old Grammarians 5 Accies 3rds 1 (Mike Foster).
Accies 4ths 2 Old Parmiterians 3.
Old Parmiterians 2 Accies 6ths 2 (Alistair Booton, Gerry Mansey).
4ths Match Report from Si Randall
Accies 4s found themselves mugged off by a technically superb Old Parms side at Shenley in the season finale. A depleted side was staring down the barrel at half time with skipper Chris Coates sidelined with gastric swine flu, and the visitors were playing with the aplomb that brought them an undefeated league season.
Accies rediscovered some belief in time to end the season on a high note, with two deserved goals leading to an exciting two seconds between the kick-off at 3-2 and the final whistle. The hero was new boy Bruno, imported from Argentina by wily agent Paul 'Kia Jorubchian' Campbell. First he glanced in a header from Dave Jones' in-swinging free kick. Then in the last minute he barged into the Parms goalie, who generously fell off the pitch and left the ball behind. Rob Welch's header from Bruno's cross was about as feeble as is possible, but it found its way over the line, if not into the back of the net.
The match was notable for some unexpected observations from the Parms players. Winger Dan Bennett's sexual purity was called into question, and when Si Randall claimed to know otherwise he was described by a string of words that included 'little', a novel experience for the giraffe-like defender.
The second half come-back delighted Coates, who spent the last hour of the game sitting on the bench moaning feebly and wishing he hadn't worn white pants. The challenge for next season is to play open football similar to this but not waste the chance to kill off the weaker sides. The first hurdle, though, is to survive Rodders Whitbread's end of season drinks party. Many great men (plus Sam Samra) have fallen by tea-time at these events.
Wednesday 22nd April
UCL Academicals 3 Old Aloysians 1
1sts Match Report from Danny McConnell
With one of the best performances for a number of years, the Accies deservedly retained the London Old Boys Senior Cup which we'd won somewhat fortunately on penalties, again at Potters Bar FC.
Despite the last minute absence of Si Carrasco, summoned to a parents' evening (report card - must read diary better) and the late appearance of Mike Foster (no surprise), Accies were present and correct on time, and looked ready from the outset, despite a bobbly pitch which made playing a neat passing game difficult. Buoyed on by watching past managers, McGuigan and Chantler, Accies started well, and in a first hour of half chances looked the likelier to score, particularly when the aforementioned Hirsty blasted a free kick from 25 yards against the bar.
It was somewhat against the run of play, when on the half hour mark an Aloysians corner wasn't cleared at the near post, then wasn't cleared in the six yard box, then wasn't cleared again, and with a finish that could only be described as "putting us out of our misery" Aloysians poked home to take a 1-0 lead into the half-time break.
Half-time came and went, and despite 22 players and all spectators being ready on the pitch, a further wait of five minutes ensued, waiting for the officials, who having finally found two friends for the first time this season, were clearly determined to make the most of every minute.
Accies started the second half cold, and one sensed that Aloysians, perhaps feeling fortunate to be one up, realised a second goal could kill it, and it almost came but for a superb finger-tip save by Rupert Neal, pushing a goal-bound shot just wide. Minutes later, under pressure Aloysians could only half clear, and from 24.293 yards Steve Hair wickedly curled a shot over the keeper to level the scores. Now fully awake, Accies dominated, Steve Byford rampant on the left wing, and within five minutes had taken the lead, Russ Kirby's corner won cleanly by Byford and headed back across goal for Dave Jenkin to head home.
It seemed a third would kill the game, and so it proved. On seventy minutes Kieron Jennings broke the offside trap superbly to set Jenkin free, and as the onrushing keeper committed himself, he finished clinically. Almost immediately, Jennings was substituted for Neil Gillard, and after five minutes the onlookers wondered whether he might have the shortest appearance in history, with an improbable Peter Crouch impression up front, but sanity prevailed and when Gareth Jones was dusted off and brought on, it was for Steve Hair, Gillard dropping back into midfield. Almost immediately Gillard sustained a head injury, and the watching AFA Council swooned, but after two minutes treatment (most of which was spent climbing high enough to reach), he returned to the fray, very much the "Lemon Knight".
The last fifteen minutes saw few scares, with the defence of Innis Pirrie, Dave Coates, Adam Stainsby and Eamonn Rabie dominant, though Aloysians did pull the old "bring a sub one, don't bring anyone off" stunt, and played with twelve for a few minutes, and the last clear chance fell to Pete Chapman, on as sub for Hirst, who had a "rabbit in the headlights moment" when clear in the Aloysians box, and passed safely to a defender.
The final whistle brought Accies the trophy, though to say Jenks (already confused by the question "are you the skipper") "lifted" it would be an exaggeration - as he waved it vaguely at knee height to anyone watching ("pocketed" may be more accurate). Nevertheless, a superb performance, particularly in the second half, and a well deserved highlight to a difficult season.
Sunday 19th April
Old Minchendenians 4 Accies Vets 4 (Mark Emmerson, Graham Whitworth, Jamie Duke, Paul Ballantyne).
Saturday 18th April
Old Hamptonians 0 (Rupert Neal) Accies 1sts 2 (Si Carrasco, Dave Jenkin).
Old Dorkinians 1 Accies 2nds 3 (Lloyd Vanson 2, Matt Field).
Accies 3rds 0 Bealonians 6.
Old Minchendenians 2 Accies 5ths 2 (Stu Richards, Jack Hulme).
Leyton County Old Boys 6 Accies 6ths 3 (Subomi Fapohunda 2, Jean-Alex Imerzoukene).
Saturday 4th April
Accies 1sts 1 (Adam Stainsby) Old Aloysians 0 (Rupert Neal).
Wood Green Old Boys 4 Accies 2nds 0.
Accies 3rds 1 (Andy Mackay) Old Buckwellians 6.
Southgate County 3 Accies 4ths 2 (Siadhal Magos, Matt Howard).
Leyton County Old Boys 1 Accies 5ths 1 (og).
Ravenscroft Old Boys 2 Accies 6ths 3 (Alistair Booton 2, Gerry Mansey).
4ths Report from Si Randall
Accies 4s saw their last chances of promotion slip away against a determined Southgate side that deserved its 3-2 victory.
The day began in difficult circumstances as Accies had to change on the pitch after a changing room venue mix-up, and a passing dog took the opportunity to urinate slyly on Si Randall's bag. Sadly for the travelling support (the Crorie family), this was about as spectacular as it got as both sides struggled to control the ball on a bumpy pitch under the hot sun. Matt Howard was lively up front for Accies and eventually converted from close range after Hatz Morsy-Fahmy beat a man and delivered a pinpoint cross from the left after a fine ball from the outstanding Liam Styles. Southgate were soon on level terms though after Rob James brought down the wriggly Southgate winger and Tom Lloyd could not manage more penalty heroics.
Accies controlled the game for long periods of the second half but could not find the net. They paid the price by conceding two goals from hopeful long balls forward, and could muster only one in reply, a terrific edge of the box drive from Siadhal, promoted from the 5s and looking a good prospect.
So the 4s face top of the table Old Parmiterians in the final game, on April 25. This will be one for the neutral - both sides know where they will be playing next season and all that is left is for Parms to try to achieve a remarkable unbeaten year and for Accies to seek the performance that has been within their grasp and which could be enough for a spectacular end to a good season.