2008-09 Results - November
Saturday 29th November
Accies 1sts 4 (Simon Carrasco 2, Neil Gillard, Rick Hirst) Old Uffingtonians 0 (Rupert Neal).
Accies 2nds 3 (Lloyd Vanson 2, Gareth Jenkins) Old Edmontonians 2.
Accies 3rds 4 (Max Lovell, Scott Atkinson, Sam Prentki) Old Woodhouseians 3.
Accies 4ths 1 (Graham Whitworth) Old Buckwellians 3, aet.
Old Parmiterians 1 Accies 5ths 1 (Tom Porter).
Old Camdenians 2 Accies 6ths 5 (Declan Walsh 2, Jon Waters, Alistair Booton, og).
2nds (Not quite so late) Match Report from Gareth Jenkins
The trouble with writing two match reports in quick succession is that you can't remember what happened in each game. This is what they call "a fundamental" in the business" and I apologise if facts and fiction are blurred somewhat between Southgate and our most recent pugilistic challenge against the boys from the far east, Old Edmontonians.
Back in August, their picturesque ground on the very edge of the civilised world was the site of the Accies 2s revival. At that point, the team had played 2, lost 2 with 9 conceded and just the 1 goal to show for our efforts over 180 minutes. Fast forward a further ninety minutes and a display of passion and aggression had secured the points against a side that did the double over us last season.
The Accies 2s that you now read about are completely transformed having won 6 of the last 8 including 4 in a row leading up to this game though an honest observer would have argued that on a couple of occasions we took the points without being wholly convincing. This, as students of Alan Hansen will testify is the life blood of any title challenge and from being bookies favourites for one of the 4 drop zone slots we have moved to 2nd place just behind the Matthew Hayden like flat track bullies of the division, Old Danes http://full-time.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do;jsessionid=B82F4B7415FA89C05557DA574BC2D11F?id=6788845.
Availability has improved in inverse proportion to the number of shopping days left til Christmas and every squad player with a girlfriend/wife that is not injured put their hand up for this game which led to a selection dilemma for the first time this season.
Prentki opted for the full game option in the 3s. Lohan was coerced the same way with sweet talk about the need for his pace and Mo Jo took the opportunity to drop out completely and get really pissed instead.
The 14 that represented the squad this week was extremely strong with Vanson, Burchill and Nekrassov providing a strong goal scoring threat (not Burchill obviously), great pace (again not Burchill), and jelly babies (finally a contribution from Burchill).
Despite a strong squad to choose from (including the returning long term unemployed Dawson and the darling of kiwis the world over, Jennings) the chosen 11 decided to spend much of the first half getting to know one another again, either passing to the oppo or alternatively holding on to the ball for too long and losing possession. Other than a chance created for Crotty in the first ten from a nutmeg on the left from Jenkins the first half was a non entity with the more limited side nullifying the Accies attacking prowess with spirited tackling especially at the back. This half was also notable for the spirit in which it was played with the Accies showing genuine concern and stopping and providing an inhaler for the asthmatic oppo right wing. Jenkins, whilst applauding this sporting display had mixed views on the matter as up until that point he had appeared fitter than his opposite number for the first time since...well, ever.
With a good bench waiting in the wings (to mix my metaphors), your captain felt confident that the breakthrough would come in the second half as the oppo tired. No such bench strength for our opponents and this strong availability from the home side ultimately contributed to the victory (oops, I've given the ending away now...)
The second half was played with more space in midfield allowing the returning Crotty to pick passes. However, it was his midfield partner Keast who provided the killer pass for the breakthrough. Advancing from his station on the right at speed he played a deft ball inside to Jenkins when all around him were ducking for cover at the hint of another howitzer of a shot from the modern day Johnny Metgod. The timing of the pass was crucial as it provided Jenkins with enough space to take a touch before rifling home from 25 yards. Well, I say 25 but this has been a source of debate since (much the same as my pen last week). Keast and Kiwi not aiding their chances of selection in future weeks by challenging their skipper about the distance of this rasper...
Vanson soon replaced Bryant who had "an arse injury caused by squash" though he wasn't specific as to whether he meant the sport or just an awkwardly shaped kia ora bottle. Vanson immediately made an impact by getting clattered on the touchline and then being abused by the sympathetic Edmontonians coach who has distinguished himself in both games this season with a lack of knowledge of the game comparable only to the size of his mouth.
Vanson was soon smiling however, when an excellent run on the break from Parsons was rounded off by a perfectly timed pass and typical Vanson finish to make the score 2-0. Game over you may think but the Tesco Value energy drinks consumed at half time by our oppo had evidently started to kick in again and the Accies found themselves under concerted pressure for the first time in the match. This culminated in a corner that wasn't cleared properly and fell to an untracked defender ambling on to the edge of the area who struck a "worldie" shot that the faultless Dawson didn't even move towards let alone touch.
By this time Burchill and Nekrassov had entered the fray for the aging Jenkins and the unlucky Keast who happened to be looking straight at the captain when the decision was made. Nekrassov slotting in wide right and Shep sliding up the line to accommodate the more defensive minded Burchill on the left as we looked to shut up shop.
Another great finish from Vanson on the left took the score to 3-1 and the game was all but over. A potentially nasty injury to an opposing player called for the potential need for a doctor. Jenkins volunteered for the task but on reaching the warmth of the dressing room and not finding the required medical assistance he unwisely decided to take an early shower and leave his team to close out the game. Reports of a late goal for Edmontonians came through on five live whilst Jenkins was enjoying the space in the small, but deserted quarters. The then anxious Welshman was relieved that the final whistle blew before further damage was done to our goal difference (and as a consequence points tally). Those of you concerned for the Edmontonian player's welfare will be pleased to hear that he suffered no lasting damage other than I understand merciless piss taking from his team mates for feigning injury.
Jenkins volunteered to take the kit as penance for his laziness in not returning to the field empty handed and was unpleasantly reminded of this when opening his car boot the following Friday evening before the game at HAC. Such was the haste to go for a beer after last Saturday's game that the admininstratively challenged Jenkins forgot all about the kit and instead spent a fun Friday night in with his much better and more patient half washing and drying ahead of the game the next day. How we both laughed when said game was called off on Saturday morning...
For the second week in succession, a result without a performance. We face Southgate county again on Saturday who will be out for revenge having unluckily lost against the Accies last time around. The Accies on the other hand know that they underperformed and can play much better. A Battle Royale awaits followed by a marking of the coming of our saviour with a traditional booze up. I am reliably informed that the Jennings party numbers 2 guests whereas Cowley will be attending alone. Fireworks are expected and your correspondent is looking forward to reporting this and the game to you all then.
Saturday 22nd November
Albanians 2 Accies 1sts 1 (Dave Jenkin).
Accies 2nds 2 (Gareth Jenkins 2) Southgate County 0 (Rupert Neal).
Economicals 3 Accies 3rds 4 (Rich King, Paul Thomas, Scott Atkinson, Andy Mackay), aet.
Accies 4ths 7 (Tom Lovell 4, Graham Whitworth 2, Hatz Fahmy) Southgate County 1.
Accies 5ths 5 (Sameer Patel, Siadhal Magos, Alistair Morse, Neil Sachdev, og) Goffs Old Boys 3, aet.
Mill Hill Village 5 Accies 6ths 4 (Spencer Gore 3, Jon Waters).
2nds (Late) Match Report from Gareth Jenkins
Whilst I can only apologise for setting the standard so low, I was disappointed that no one took up the challenge of writing last week's match report despite what can only be described as a reasonable amount of material in the 11-0 win over Mill Hill Village. Jones seemed embarrassed to have bagged 5 against a side he described as like your mates playing in the park, only worse...and has apparently postponed planned lavish celebrations for his centenary goal for the Accies in disgust at the ease at which he got from 95 to 99. Rumours that he will be made a freeman of St Asaph in honour of the achievement like that other famous son of the town, Ian Rush are as yet unconfirmed and the St Asaph Echo having run a full page spread on the item for the past four days have pushed the story onto page 9 to accommodate the discovery of a skateboarding dog in Prestatyn.
With a significant portion of the regular squad choosing this week as a pre Christmas sacrifice to their better halves the squad thinned from a match day 14 to 11 with significant mentions for Brunjes (called up to start for the 3s), debutant Champ (missing in action, presumed shopping) and the hapless Lovell who didn't realise it was Saturday.
The 11 that started included Samaan whom in his professional capacity had advised himself not to play but then ignored the advice before realising that he had been right all along. One can only imagine the battle for supremacy in the mind of Samaan between the inner doctor and inner footballer. In the end neither was right and the mighty 2s were forced into a replacement earlier than expected after 20 minutes.
Andy Burt, named on the Accies 2s bench but starting for the 4s stepped into the fray as a replacement for Samaan, sprinting from one pitch to other in a matter of moments and slotting in ridiculous quickly to a fast paced game that took the rest of the Accies side by surprise.
Southgate County are clearly a quality side and were causing the Accies problems offensively with intelligent movement upfront and Ken Middleton, their aging captain, having a magnet attached to his size 7s in the initial exchanges.
The Accies weathered a considerable storm from Southgate in the first half with the excellent Neal coming out twice to deny one of the lively oppo strikers one on one. The Accies had opted for an experimental central midfield pairing of Keast and Cowley which despite what can fairly be described as a disparate skill set (Keast - energy, dynamism, aggression, Cowley - extensive coat collection) seemed to be operating with some success linking play well with Parsons and the returning Bryant who appears to have emerged from his dizzy spell with the kind of work rate and touch that could find him close to the England squad should Heskey and Crouch collide in an unfortunate pre international robot v DJ dance off.
A mostly unmemorable first half (at least a week later it is) thankfully ended and half time called for strong words from the captain to rouse his troops from the pre Christmas malaise that they had found themselves in.
Unfortunately the Accies began as they left off giving too much space and respect to a good but not great Southgate team. Several opportunities flashed across goal from our opposition with Lindsey Lohan making a first start since coming out making a decisive clearance from underneath her bar when easier to slot into the gaping net.
The Accies seemed content with hitting the oppo on the break and from a swift counter attack the Accies forced a corner, crossed from the left that Bryant thrust goalwards. Jenkins who uses his right boot less than that other talented one footer Diego Maradona deflected the ball goalwards past the startled defence and into the net.
This shook Southgate and for the next ten minutes the Accies had the better of the game though gradually Southgate started to turn the screw again. The difference this time was that the Accies, having repelled the attack were much more incisive on the break. Keast with a series of lung bursting 60 yard runs to support the front two and Parsons weaving around opposing defenders like a slalom skier. Stronger than his six stone frame would suggest, Parsons continued to bounce off or over several challenges before being scythed down just inside the area before immediately looking around for someone to give the ball to for the resulting pen.
Jenkins, never one to shirk the opportunity to increase his goal tally cheaply stepped up and duly slotted home though it must be said that there have been some post match derisive comments about Jenkins' spot kick technique. As an interested observer of English penalty technique since 1990 it is amusing that consensus from this mostly English squad would question the technique when clearly it's the result that counts...
Southgate now realised that the game was up and the remaining five minutes of time petered out and another valuable 3 points were credited to the Accies 2s senior 2 account. An outstanding display by all of our back four, Lohan, Chapman, Field and Sheppard only topped by Neal who is in the form of his life. Lohan too on season debut looked like he had never been away coping admirably with the game's best player on the right of the Accies defence. An honourable mention too for Andy Burt who had a game and a half on Saturday...literally having completed the best part of 45 minutes with the 4s before coming off the bench (so to speak) for us. In your correspondent's humble opinion only unprecedented availability is stopping Burt from becoming a regular feature in this increasingly successful team.
As an offensive unit we are still not quite gelling with too many touches taken at times and imprecise passing causing much frustration but we can learn from the mistakes made on Saturday whilst basking in the glow of another three points that puts the Accies 4th (with only goal difference separating 2nd to 4th).
5ths Match Report from Bob Woad
The fifths were denied a ninth straight league and cup defeat by second half substitutes Neil Sachdev and Siadhal Magos who had clearly turned up having not read the script.
In a bitingly cold November afternoon the fifths, desperate to continue their run of humiliation, started the game in the manner they had hoped, pinned back in their own half and under the cosh. The start was almost perfect when a defensive mix up between Andy Smith and Phil Daniels allowed a Goth forward to glide into the penalty area, but his hair flicked into his eyes at the crucial moment and he sliced his shot onto the post. Soon after another attempt to concede the lead came to nothing when keeper Bob Woad, faced with a one-on-one against a Goth forward, woefully mistimed his attempt to kick the mascara'd fiend into the air and only managed to cleanly win the ball.
On the few occasions during the first twenty minutes when the fifths did find themselves in the opposition half the movement of the attack and midfield was more static than could possibly have been hoped as they watched and waited for their ball carrying team mate to become dispossessed.
But as the half drew on the cold seemed to have an effect on the fifths and they started to run around a bit, possibly to keep warm. Then they began to pass the ball between themselves, one imagines to loosen up their creaking limbs. Suddenly there was movement and off the ball running. There was James Liang looking like a man six months younger haring down the wing and putting in telling crosses. There was Andy Williams sharpening his claws on his opponents capes like the tiger of old. There was Sameer Patel darting this way and that as if he was being chased by a wasp. In the latter case this was apparently true. Meanwhile the Goths initial level of performance seemed to tail off as their ankle length shorts began to impede them.
Then suddenly, out of the blue and with the run of play, the fifths scored. Alistair Morse, later to be named 'The Maverick', received the ball six yards out but his attempt to pass it to the Goths keeper was intercepted by a defender and the ball deflected over the hapless shot-stopper and into the net. For the rest of the half the fifths kept the Goths at bay unable to regain the torpor of the first quarter.
For the first twenty minutes of the second half the story was much the same with defenders Smith, Daniels and Dave Swaby finding it difficult to let the Goths attack through. Instead the fifths went two-nil up after Patel, latching onto a Williams pass, miscued his attempt to kick the ball safely over the Goths bar and only succeeded in putting it into the top left corner.
At this point Cap'n Swaby decided that something had to be done and replaced Williams with Sachdev and Liang with Magos. It was ultimately a fateful decision but at the first began to pay dividends as the reshuffled fifths found themselves in familiar backs to the wall territory as the Goths rallied. Failure to pick up a man 20 yards out saw a decidedly savable shot dip over keeper Woad and into the top corner and then soon after the Goths were level. Woad, who had at times resembled a pigeon more than a goal-keeper, the amount of flapping he had been doing whenever a cross came over, decided to come for a ball that even the nine foot six David James wouldn't have got to, and from his vantage point in no mans land watched as a looping header sailed into the net.
All seemed to be back on track as the ninth defeat beckoned, but that was not accounting for Sachdev who, collecting the ball, made a sterling run into the Goths area and centred for Magos to calmly slot the ball home. This infuriated Dave Swaby who, seeing victory being snatched from the jaws of defeat, quickly took the opportunity to rectify the situation by upending a Goths attacker in the fifths area. He was later informed that he was lucky not to have been sent off by the referee who quoted the little know 'second to last man' rule. A fiercely struck penalty gave keeper Woad no hope of accidentally saving it even if he had gone the right way.
The full time whistle and prospect of thirty added minutes led to a Joe Kinnear style torrent of abuse from Swaby. Most of it was unintelligible but seemed to be along the lines of, 'F*** it. I should be in the f***ing changing room having a f***ing hot shower instead of freezing my f***ing b***s off for another f***ing half hour. F***ing thanks you f***ing f***ers. F*** you all. F*** off'. Or words to that effect.
The first half of extra time was uneventful but in the second added period the fifths failure to remain unvictorious was confirmed when first Sanchez nodded home unmarked from a corner and then the Maverick squirted one over the keeper from close range.
Saturday 15th November
HAC 0 (Mark Dawson) Accies 1sts 1 (Steve Hair).
Accies 2nds 11 (Gareth Jones 5, Andy Crotty 4, Sam Prentki, Adam Parsons) Mill Hill Village 0 (Rupert Neal).
Old Aloysians 0 (Gio Martelli) Accies 3rds 5 (Mike Short 3, Scott Atkinson, Luke Bennett).
Accies 4ths 1 (Andy Burt) Wood Green Old Boys 2
Old Parmiterians 6 Accies 5ths 0.
Accies 6ths 2 (Subomi Fapohunda, Alistair Booton) Old Parmiterians 3.
Saturday 8th November
HAC vs Accies 1sts postponed.
Centymca vs Accies 2nds postponed.
Accies 3rds 0 Enfield Old Grammarians 1.
Accies 4ths 3 (Graham Whitworth 2, Hatz Fahmy) Old Buckwellians 5.
Accies 5ths 1 (Matt Redman) Leyton County Old Boys 2.
Accies 6ths 9 (Subomi Fapohunda 4, Alistair Booton 2, Ryan Harbi, Jon Waters, Jean-Alex Imerzoukene) Bealonians 2.
Saturday 1st November
Accies 2nds 3 (Mo Alvarez, og, Alex Nekrassov) Old Vaughanians 1.
Bealonians 1 Accies 3rds 6 (Phil Stewart 2, Andy Mackay 2, Scott Atkinson, Mike Short).
Accies 4ths 1 (Matt Redman) Latymer Old Boys 2.
Lea Valley 6 Accies 5ths 1 (Stu Richards).
Accies 6ths 1 (Subomi Fapohunda) Leyton County Old Boys 2.
2nds Match Report from Gareth Jenkins
Due to a quirk in the fixture list, the rapidly improving Accies 2s took on Old Vaughanians 1s for the second time in four weeks, this time hoping for better luck to go with the performance that left the Accies disappointed to share the spoils in the late summer sunshine in Acton. Quite a contrast in weather this time as the players arrived at the spiritual home of passing football (or at least next door to it) surprisingly early with one notable exception.
Christmas has clearly come early in the Crotty household and his new Tom Tom safely guided him to Shenley albeit with a detour via Piccadilly Circus (note to Crotty from previous week's report - change settings from female to male voice to avoid being directed via major shopping areas). The presence of Mike Foster in the dressing room with more than ten minutes remaining til kick off was a welcome surprise though inevitably his trip was not without incident as a late intervention at Kings Cross from Finch avoided a trip to Gloucester for Mr Foster.
Cowley in a blatant attempt to get into the captain's good books had offered to pick up the kit from the forgetful Burchill earlier in the week but blotted his copy book somewhat by not appreciating that a key part of kit responsibilities was to actually bring the kit to the ground in time for the match. Field kindly offered to pick up the hapless kiwi from Radlett station. So keen was Field to save his defensive partner that he was gone before anyone could let him know that it was St Albans rather than Radlett that our kitman was travelling from.
A word from the influential Parsons to our ref for the day was all it took to secure a half an hour delay to kick off (though this may also have had something to do with Vaughanians having three too few for a five a side match at that point in proceedings). Field sheepishly returned to the dressing room empty handed so to speak and Cowley arrived several minutes later having had more than enough time to come up with a better excuse than a traffic jam in London as the cause of his tardiness...
A quick change for the rest of us and just enough time for a vigorous muscular rub for your captain that admittedly was part necessity, part boredom before the Accies braved the Shenley swirl which today had come mob handed with accompanying torrential rain. No Michael Atherton this time but we were grateful to Mr and Mrs Prentki who must love their son very much to watch him play in these conditions. Apologies to the watching Prentki's who are probably not fair game for this report but I cannot resist acknowledging the origins of Prentki junior's dubious fashion sense when Mr Prentki pulled on a technicolour dreamhat so bright that without it, the ref might possibly have had to call off the game due to the deteriorating natural light. I understand that BP and Al Gore have both been on the phone this morning discussing patents and marketing strategy for what might be the natural energy source we have all been praying for. If Prentki Junior turns up next week in a solid gold and diamante muscle vest we will all know that the deal has been done.
Fashion sense and the Accies have never been good bed fellows and whilst the technicolour dreamhat is bright it does have its uses in keeping the wind and rain out. The appearance of "Roop-Dog" on the back of our part time goalkeeper's shirt remains purposeless and merely a nod towards an urban lifestyle that the wearer can only have witnessed from the opulent 8th floor executive dining room of his place of work overlooking the Eastside.
A late change caused by chafing meant that Jenkins dropped himself to the bench along with Foster and the returning Nekrassov. The Accies defence, clearly put out by the notion that this club is anything other than middle class put Roop-Dawg in his place early on in "The Game" (geddit) by collectively agreeing to leave the first through ball played by the oppo as a demonstration of disrespec against what is colloquially known as Westwooding at the club. This stand had not been agreed with the despairing manager before hand but in retrospect was exactly the kind of strong statement the club needs to make if it is to maintain its standards in these uncertain times.
Having made their point the back four plus Ali G kissed and made up and the Accies started to play the kind of football that we gaining a reputation for; amateur. Midfield not protecting the defence, simple route one balls not being dealt with, defence being pulled out of position. This was not a good start and all the more galling given that the oppo had arrived in some cases literally seconds before kick off but obviously much more ready to go than our boys.
Whilst the manager contemplated Mourinho type changes mid first half in an effort to shake up the side and tactically adapt to some good movement from the oppo the Accies came back into the game with a series of good forays down the right hand side. This was aided by the noticeably improved light on the left (thanks to the dreamhat) leading to a corner which Prentki struck low into the box. Claimants for the assist should email the manager directly but one thing that is not in doubt is the name of the scorer, Alvarez bagging his second of the season whilst sitting on his arse on the goal line.
The goal settled the Accies and some slick football followed. The Accies certainly had the better of the rest of the half with four or five good chances being created for our mobile and pacey strikers. One ball in particular from Parsons across the box was sublime and for once got the reward it deserved with Vanson requiring a great save from the goalkeeper who was unlucky to see it strike a retreating defender and rebound into his net for a 2-1 lead to the Accies.
The wind had benefited the Accies in this first half but having overheard the oppo extolling the old amateur notion that they would have the easier of the second half now that the wind was in their favour the Accies started the second half by proving this wrong and creating chances for both Vanson and Keast.
However, at 2-1 down Old Vaughans radically changed their shape to a fluid 4-3-3 which started to cause particular trouble down the Accies left. Alvarez who had been suffering from man flu (and likely a hangover too) departed after a spirited run and shot to be replaced by Mikey Foster on debut this season.
Foster immediately slotted into a more defensive position covering the third striker when required but also finding the time and space to blast over when well placed at the other end. Keast's forward ambitions were also curtailed as he sacrificed his own game on the altar of teamwork sitting in front of the back four and protecting Finch and Field when required. Field in particular was having an excellent game, winning headers and important tackles and distributing the ball from the back impressively. The Accies are fortunate to have a plethora of quality ball playing centre halves to call upon though your report writer is in two minds as to whether to acknowledge this and run the risk of losing one or more to our precariously placed first team.
Nekrassov replaced Vanson with 25 minutes to go and immediately linked up well down the left with Foster to knock the ball across the edge of the area dangerously but with no end product from Prentki.
The oppo's strategy now relied solely on long throws to their giant centre midfielder but the Accies, having suffered at the hands of this amateur Delap previously knew how to defend this threat. Only once did the tactic cause the Accies real problems, Finch and Crotty combining to spirit the ball away.
The Accies were looking good, picking off Vaughans on the break and 10 minutes before the end, Nekrassov chipped the keeper beautifully to add a well deserved third and shake off the determined but ultimately limited opposition.
The manager, by this point had no inclination to enter the fray but Crotty's sadistic side took over, feigning cramp with two minutes remaining to require yours truly to skulk into centre midfield touching the ball once. Needless to say Crotty paid the full £10 subs despite this typically scouse effort at saving a quid...
The victory, having been signalled by another very good ref was followed by the quickest three cheers ever as players and supporters sprinted from pitch to changing room and then to hot shower to thaw out.
Après footie was held in Old Street where no doubt Cowley did something worth noting on these pages. A more sombre coat this week from Jonathan Ross's collection as Cowley looked to vicariously show regret at his fashion doppleganger's much under reported gaffe on radio. Prentki junior has made me aware of a late bid from the kiwi dandy for his father's technicolour dreamhat and it is understood that if successful said hat will accompany a coat from the Ross "garish" collection so dazzling that Cowley himself exclaimed excitedly " I look handsome, I look smart, I am a walking work of art". I for one look forward to next Saturday's unveiling of a coat that is apparently red and yellow and green and brown, and scarlet and black and ocher and peach and ruby and olive and blue...(lyrics copyright Lloyd-Webber and Rice though frankly I wouldn't claim them if they were mine).
This victory takes the Accies to second in the embryonic table and whilst no one wins anything in November (except Barack Obama I guess) it represents an impressive recent turnaround from a team that have quickly learnt important lessons about how to play in this division. A test to the Accies quality and grit comes on Saturday with a visit to fellow high flyers Centymca on Saturday.
MoM: Field though an honourable mention for Sheppard for stating that "My MoM is Mo". Lyrical gangsterism not seen since Ken Dodd's dad's dog died.
MoM v Hamptonians was Nat.