U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

(The Accies)

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2008-09 Results - October

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Saturday 25th October

Accies 1sts 0 Old Meadonians 1.

Old Hamptonians 0 (Chris Killouhry) Accies 2nds 2 (Andy Crotty, Adam Parsons).

Accies 3rds 6 (Andy Mackay 3, Luke Bennett, Stu Bannister, Paul Thomas).

Old Parmiterians 4 Accies 4ths 3 (Chris Coates 2, Graham Whitworth).

Accies 5ths 2 (Sameer Patel, Siadhal Magos) Old Ignatian 4.

Latymer Old Boys 1 Accies 6ths 1 (Subomi Fapohunda).

2nds Match Report from Gareth Jenkins

Despite protestations to the contrary, I have ceded to the relentless pleas to continue writing match reports and humbly bring you my interpretation of the Accies 2s match against Old Hamptonians, a game that almost didn't take place due to a shortage of sat nav devices in amongst the expected participants. 

With Christmas coming I would suggest that those members of our team (and indeed old Hamps) who turned up with 15 minutes to go before kick off make it easy for their loved ones and request the gift that keeps on giving (directions) of a Tom Tom. If Crotty's long suffering girlfriend is feeing in a particularly generous mood then an additional gift of a watch permanently set 30 minutes fast would also be appreciated by the squad. One word of warning when setting up the Tom Tom, I have found that having the voice set to female tends to reduce the accuracy of the directions significantly...

Our excellent referee made the very sensible decision that a game of 8 v 8 wasn't what the crowd had come to see (and for once there actually was a crowd - and by that I mean more real spectators, excluding dogs, than subs) and put the kick off back to 3pm. This allowed the late comers a chance to warm up and Jenkins to compose and deliver what is becoming a regular dithyramb* (thanks, somewhat surprisingly to Bob Finch for that addition to the Jenkins lexicon and the subsequent definition).

Those hardened souls who choose to spend their afternoon watching second team amateur football were not disappointed as the strong Accies 11 that had fought back so impressively the previous week worked the ball around the pristine playing surface like their professional neighbours Arsenal. Old Hamps are an aging side (its not often that your correspondent has more hair than his opposite number but believe it or not this was the case yesterday) and the movement and swift passing of the younger and fitter Accies side (again, somewhat hard to believe with the staring line up including Burchill, Alvarez, Cowley, Jenkins and Crotty) had the oppo chasing shadows at times.

The knowledgeable crowd recognised that their side was being outplayed and created an atmosphere of friendly appreciation not seen since the Corinthians exited the football league when Danny Fewkes was but a young man. This in turn transferred on to the pitch with no less than three occasions noted where either side owned up to the last touch when the referee had originally given the decision the other way. 

Much of the Accies good build up play was being orchestrated by the reinstalled Crotty and much as I hate to say it, it appears as though for some players, a skinful the night before a game actually works wonders for their performance (thanks to supergrass Alvarez for the information on Crotty's pre match preparation). Prentki and Alvarez were at their jinking best on the flanks and up front the selfless running and good movement from Vanson and Parsons was creating space impressively. 

The Accies welcomed back Nat Keast to the starting line up after a sabbatical playing for the 1s and his first half reminded us all what a great central midfielder we had been missing, all the more impressive given that he was meant to be playing at right back. One run in particular brought back wistful memories of the days when Keast was good for at least one goal of the season effort per match. Our crowd, again showing good knowledge of amateur football, stepped back from their positions in anticipation that Keast's effort was either going to break the net or someone's nose on the sidelines. Burchill too showed good enterprise in getting forward in the first half and his strong run was only marred by a finish that even Keast wouldn't have put his name to.

Mid way through the first period the Accies made the breakthrough with Prentki providing further evidence to suggest that he should be given greater responsibility from dead balls by swinging in a dangerous cross that was converted with the deftest of touches by Crotty. An excellent goal all round and no more than the Accies deserved for a first half performance of commitment and quality play. 

The score remained the same as the referee blew his whistle for half time and if anything the Accies could feel somewhat aggrieved at only being one goal ahead at this point in proceedings.

As was also the case against Vaughanians earlier this season, the Accies switched off after the break and allowed their opponents back into the game. Whilst the manager can be pleased with his side's performances in general since taking over he must be disappointed that his team have not yet put together a performance for the full 90 as yet. However, despite being under more pressure than at any other time in the match, Old Hamps did not create any clear cut chances in the period and the defence was again marshalled well by the excellent Cowley and Chapman who both fully deserved their clean sheet bonus. 

With half an hour left to play, the tiring Burchill was replaced by Samaan and a reshuffle allowed Keast to legitimately stay in his favoured position of centre midfield, Jenkins shuffling off to full back to provide support Alvarez on the left. The change brought both renewed energy to the centre of midfield and the culture of Samaan's right foot to the back four. Not a natural full back, Samaan showed his versatility by taking to the rigours of full back like a duck to water.

The Accies were looking dangerous on the break with Alvarez particularly prominent going forward. Several chances came and went before, with five minutes remaining, Parsons raced on to a through ball and finished calmly before unleashing a profanity riddled diatribe at himself that would have embarrassed Temuri Ketsbia. We can only be thankful that there were no small children on hand amongst the swelled crowd (now including the Old Hamps rugby team and oppo) to witness this uncharacteristic outburst.

Hamps stepped up the pressure looking for a consolation goal but the nearest we came to a third goal of the game was at the other end when Strictly Come Dancing's technical director Vanson found the only square inch of uneven turf on the pitch when otherwise easier to score. Honourable mentions too for Alvarez and Chapman who both did their best to make Lloyd feel better about his shank by missing from even closer in. This kind of selfless attitude can only help team morale and I acknowledge both Mo and Pete for their thoughtfulness and consideration for their team mate.

With that the referee blew his whistle for one of the few times during the day and a hard fought and extremely fair game was brought to a close, the Accies taking home the spoils, Old Hamps getting the teas in.

The spirit of football continued into the evening with many of the team plus WAGs making themselves available for a post match analysis in central London.

Cowley, for the third time in as many weeks borrowed a coat from Jonathan Ross's personal collection but even this wasn't enough to guarantee him company on the way home this week. Jennings again was conspicuous by his absence and gossip columnists have started to speculate out loud that after Madge and Guy, the next celebrity relationship to go might be this one. More on this in subsequent editions I am certain. 

Another good performance all round saw the Accies move into the top half of the table with three points. Killourhy's second appearance for the 2s this season provided a clean sheet and in front of him the defence again was strong and resolute in helping protect his goal. In midfield, Crotty was outstanding and Prentki's delivery is a useful addition to the mix. Up front, hard running, intelligent movement and quality link up play meant that we retained possession for long periods. If anything can be criticised it is the continued holding on to the ball at times when moving the ball swiftly and simply would be more effective. We look forward to seeing another of Cowley's fashion disasters next week when we have an opportunity to put right an injustice from three weeks ago against Vaughanians.

*dith*y*ramb (dth-rm, -rmb) noun.

1. A frenzied, impassioned choric hymn and dance of ancient Greece in honor of Dionysus.
2. An irregular poetic expression suggestive of the ancient Greek dithyramb.
3. A wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing.

[Latin dthyrambus, from Greek dthurambos.]

Saturday 18th October

Accies 1sts 1 (Dave Jenkin) Old Salvatorians 3.

Mill Hill County 2 Accies 2nds 4 (Mo Alvarez, Gareth Jenkins, Andy Crotty, Lloyd Vanson).

Old Woodhouseians 5 Accies 3rds 1 (Luke Bennett).

Accies 4ths 4 (Tom Lovell, Graham Whitworth, Rob Welsh, Dave Jones) Old Buckwellians 1.

Southgate County 0 Accies 5ths 8.

Accies 6ths 2 (Tom Barlow, Graeme Nadin) Leyton County Old Boys 4.

2nds Match Report from Gareth Jenkins

With the great Wembley arch rising majestically through the woodland to the north, the 2s dreamt of their own cup final passage to Chigwell or Wingate and Finchley and continue a love affair with that cruel mistress of fate, the LOB cup. Thrice (now I'm starting to sound like Stuart Hall) our 1st team have reached the final in recent memory with one success, matched by a win in 2004/2005 for the great 2s vintage year. 

Though the 2s have since been shorn of our ginger prince (Vaughan S), resident simian (Fewkes, D) and fridge like centre forward (Roberts, I), a confident side was found waiting for their idiot skipper and centre back pairing who had in turn been waiting outside the changing room for 15 minutes for everyone else to arrive.

And what changing facilities they were...the room appeared to double as a recycling unit for empty energy drinks and the general level of cleanliness was brought up a notch or two by the proud, solitary dog turd in the corridor. Brent's title of worst changing rooms in the UK is still safe, just...but a new contender is clearly ready for the challenge. Crotty decided to do one last lap of the north circular (he has asked me to thank his gran in print for the use of the car - thanks Grandma Crotty) and arrived in time to change on the side of the pitch. A sensible decision even though it meant starting on the bench.

Despite having the eternal student Sheppard (by trade a marauding wing back) in nets in exchange for a snakebite and black the Accies produced a strong side, in particular welcoming back the energy of Kennedy and the dancing hips of Alvarez. Having listened to the quite obvious points about having greater quality in our team but needing to match the more limited opposition's work rate in the pre match team talk, your Accies decided to ignore that advice and play their usual game against lower league oppo. This in summary meant allowing the opposition too much time on the ball, not talking to one another and generally panicking whenever the ball was at our feet. 

The elements didn't help the Accies in the first period though the decision to play against the wind and slope in the first half was later proven correct. This was scant consolation to begin with as a combination of opposition pressure on the ball and our inability to get the ball over the half way line caused acute pressure on the Accies goal throughout the first half. Occasionally the Accies showed glimpses of what was possible when the ball was moved quickly and accurately with both Vanson and Parsons going close but generally it was turgid stuff with the hosts from several divisions below the better side and carving a number of openings that were well intercepted by our back four. 

On the rare occasion that the Accies ventured into the opposition's final third a finish was found wanting. Jenkins in particular had a chance from one of Prentki's excellent corners but executed what can only be described as a clearing header when unmarked before shouting "you bitch" at the top of his voice in frustration. Though generally the expletive of choice when your correspondent makes a mess of things, it was particularly inappropriate given the gender of our referee. This was noted by a team mate who apologised to the ref for the 50p headed Jenkins but did not clarify whether he was apologising for profanity or heading ability.

The oppo's work rate brought a reward with half an hour played. A ball out from Shep at the back found Burchill in not a lot of space, his attempted pass up the line was charged down and the ball bounced perfectly into their striker's path. He still had a lot to do though but finished spectacularly by looping the ball over the stranded Sheppard from fully 30 yards.

Worse was to follow when a missed header at the back let in the same striker to take on Chapman, negotiating just enough room to shoot he hit the ball across Shep from the edge of the area. A save that may have been made by a regular goalkeeper was unfortunately not made by our stand in and the score was 2-0 with half time still approaching. To cap the half off, Kennedy had already departed, the victim of the first of several dangerous challenges throughout the game and although he gamely tried to play on was soon replaced by Crotty. 

Both Cowley and Alvarez had also sustained injuries that would, in other circumstances, have led to immediate amputation and as a result half time was part triage, part call to arms. Cowley's injury meant he swapped with Sheppard in nets and Mo shamelessly offered to play in his favourite position up front. A huge challenge awaited with 9 fit players and an injured keeper who doesn't play in goal. This against a lively side who were not going to stop working and were already two up.

I have pleasure in writing for the second time in two weeks that the Accies are no longer a side that lie down when they fall behind. Immediately following the kick off, some good work from the Accies led to a jinking run and shot by the "injured" Alvarez that found its way home and it was game on. 

The Accies were now pressing all over the park and our makeshift defence with Chapman and Morris at the heart were doing their job of keeping the opposition quiet. This work rate and commitment combined with the elemental advantage led to a number of fine openings for the away side. Jenkins had a trademark free kick turned around the post by the oppo's increasingly inspired keeper but from the resulting corner, the play broke wide left and a ball was knocked across the edge of the box to the late arriving Crotty who fired in his second of the season.

The tide had truly turned now and it was just a matter of time before the scoreboard reflected the change. Alvarez and Burchill combining to great effect down the left before Burchill produced the most sublime of crosses that allowed Jenkins to make up for his earlier headed miss, steering the ball back across the keeper and into the net. The combined age of creators (Alvarez and latterly Burchill) and scorer (Jenkins) setting a new Accies record for greatest combined age of creator and scorer breaking the previous best when Danny Fewkes scored a solo goal against Brent.

At 3-2 up, it was encouraging to see the Accies continue to work hard and use the ball intelligently. Only one side looked like scoring with the defence continuing to be well marshalled by Morris and Chapman and supported by crunching tackles by Burchill and elegant distribution from our former keeper, Sheppard. 

Alvarez continued to be affected by his injury, so much so that it was clear that running towards his goal was too much for the gallant wee scot and he gave that part of his game up completely. Despite missing this much overestimated part of the game the Accies pressed forward again and Vanson popped up with the inevitable fourth before attempting a world record of his own for most defenders side stepped in one movement (held by D Maradona against Belgium in the 1986 world cup semi; signed photo priced at a reasonable £145). http://www.intofootball.co.uk/product.php?id=8&SHOPPERID=c74381680e3d670f73b256a21f7fa715

No photo exists of Lloyd's effort to my knowledge but it must have been close and has led to some calling for the "Vanson sideways shimmy" to be a compulsory routine on Strictly. Sadly for now though it remains optional with only bookies favourite Austin Healey (a former professional sportsman like Vanson) even attempting it (incidentally he scored, 8, 7 , 7 and a 5 from Craig Revell-Hall who felt he should have used his left foot and had a shot instead).

No time to dwell on the rough tackling from both sides - something we need to control better from our perspective (me included) but time enough to mention Chapman's slide to clear off the line from Mill Hill's only real chance of the second half.

An archetypal game of two halves then but though the first was poor the character shown in turning around a difficult situation was impressive and the dream of Wembley or even Wingate becomes one game closer to reality. More of the same (well, the second half anyway) against Old Hamptonians should see us take the points. 

MoM: voting was spread across six different people which suggests a good team performance. Honourable mentions for Burchill, Crotty and myself but sharing the honour this week are Mo, Sam Prentki and Pete Chapman.

Saturday 11th October

Accies 1sts 2 (Kieron Jennings, Rick Hirst) Old Hamptonians 3.

Old Vaughanians 2 (Gareth Jenkins, Lloyd Vanson) Accies 2nds 2.

Accies 4ths 2 (Tom Lovell, Graham Whitworth) Hale End Athletic 1.

Accies 5ths 2 (Stu Richards 2) Winchmore Hill 6.

Old Minchendenians 3 Accies 6ths 1 (James Stephens).

2nds Match Report from Gareth Jenkins

Another blazing summer day in mid October (thank you global warming) brought the Accies 2s to the opulent surroundings of the Park Club in Acton to face the league leaders Old Vaughanians. On eventually finding the country club style venue your correspondent immediately regretted his decision to turn down the hospitality offered and apologised to his bemused team mates. 

Having got the full squad together a full twenty minutes before kick off we embarked out onto the pavilion terrace to a ripple of light applause from the middle class families dotted around. Several in the Accies squad noted the attendance of one Michael Atherton FEC (that is "Former" rather than "Future England Captain") and made a mental note to buy the Telegraph on Sunday on the off chance that all other sport had been cancelled for the day and he was forced to write an in depth treatise on the Accies' performance.

Despite our tardiness in arrival at the ground (with some squad members deciding on the safety in numbers approach to being late and another notable latecomer deciding it would be better to arrive as we started so as not to make a fuss) we got out on to the pitch a full fifteen minutes before the oppo and it was generally felt that the benefit of this preparation would give the Accies the faster start. This certainly held true with the Accies having the lions share of possession in the first fifteen minutes and creating a number of chance that either fizzed across goal (Samaan), hit the bar (Vanson) or went tamely into the row of trees behind the opposition goalkeeper (Parsons, Samaan, Crotty). Prentki was also prominent cutting inside and committing defenders and Vanson appearing to have a stonewall penalty turned down.

However, as is often the case with the Accies, possession and chances were not turned into goals and having weathered the storm Vaughanians took the lead with a hanging diagonal cross from the opposition right volleyed in by the Vaughanians diminutive striker.

The Accies 2s are no longer a side that looks deflated when it concedes early (some wag pointed out that it must be all the practice) and came back strongly. The equaliser soon followed with Prentki laying the ball neatly back to Jenkins who touched the ball to his left and unleashed a thunderbolt into the bottom corner. Some may ask questions of the goalkeeping but in reality this blistering effort was always going in and the Vaughanian side were grateful for the presence of a lone plastic patio chair placed strategically behind the goal to stop the net coming clean off and the game being abandoned. Atherton briefly looked up from his newspaper and gave a nod of approval from one captain to another.

The game restarted at high pace with the Accies again looking more likely to score, Morris putting Samaan into a dangerous area (if East Acton isn't dangerous enough) with the sweetest of passes and Parsons and Crotty again combining well in the centre and sharing defensive duties (Parsons 95%, Crotty, 0%, men unmarked 5%). 

At the other end Chapman and Finch were establishing what looks to be a very strong defensive partnership allowing Killoughry the time to pop over to Atherton and ask him if he could borrow the "Weekend" section.

Another goal seemed inevitable and so it proved with the referee this time awarding a stonewall penalty for illegal use of hands on the ball. Atherton looked sheepishly around as he was reminded of similar misdemeanours on the cricket field. Vanson stepped up confidently towards where a spot should have been and waited patiently for the referee to mark out the ten yards he took the penalty from. Noting Jenkins' earlier effort and the speed of the opposition goalkeeper's reactions to shots to his right Vanson smacked the ball the same way and with the same result. The Accies had taken a 2-1 lead and with that the ref blew his whistle for half time.

Although the second half started well for the Accies. Morris and Samaan working hard on the right whilst Prentki, recognising the difference in temperature in the shade on the left hand side hugged the touchline in a manner not seen since Stanley Matthews' day.

The second half was more even with Vaughanians' best player moving from centre midfield to striker and using his build to good effect. This caused the Accies' defence problems and we must be better organised in dealing with direct threats such as this by blocking the route into burly strikers from freekicks and throw ins.

Vaughanians were coming more and more into the game as the Accies tired and dropped back. Whilst still dangerous on the counter attack (particularly the industrious and mild mannered Bryant) the Accies were under more threat than at any other time in the game. However, as attack after attack floundered on the rocks that were Chapman, Finch and Morris the Accies grew in confidence again. Bannister providing energy in the middle of the park from the bench and Nekrassov running at players dangerously having replaced Parsons. The Accies third sub, Pompili, continued in the manner of Nekrassov, going on a mazy run immediately having been brought on for Bryant.

Unfortunately, a twist in the tail (or is that tale? - Wikipedia please help) remained and with no more than a minute remaining the Accies were surprised at the referee's decision to give a free kick to Vaughanians on the edge of the area. A quick free kick was taken which found itself in the far corner of the Accies' net despite a clear offside preventing Killoughry from having a clear view of the ball. The referee decided that the offside player was not interfering with play and the Accies suffered heartache at the hands of the less than precise rule makers and those boys in black that have to interpret the ensuing mess. 

There was just enough time for Prentki to put the ball out for a corner when surely easier to clear to touch. Though the corner was dangerous it was again repelled by the excellent defence. The final whistle was soon blown leaving the Accies hugely disappointed and thinking of what might have been but also relieved that we hadn't thrown away all three points at the death. 

Gwen, our 80 years young hostess saved your correspondent from a possible team mutiny by not taking any notice of his fool hardy rejection of hospitality. Three huge plates of sandwiches and two plates of chips was enough to feed this hungry army with much left over despite Cowley's best efforts, something that Gwen acknowledged happened relatively frequently (it was not clear whether this meant having left overs or Cowley hoovering up sandwiches). Crotty letting his scouse Mr Hyde take over momentarily pointed out that perhaps Gwen (having done the same job for 25 years) should consider making less food. The look from Gwen said it all and we look forward to 3 spam sandwiches and a packet of stale crisps on our next visit thanks to the eager wit of our "playmaker".

Our much maligned referee joined us at the trough and was good enough to acknowledge the mistake he had made in allowing the equalising goal. Writing this match report on Tuesday afternoon I still feel a massive sense of frustration about the result and the manner of the equaliser but it takes a big man to admit his mistakes, especially so soon after. We thank the ref for that and look forward to the 6-0 win next time he officiates a game involving us.

Another encouraging performance generally although we have fallen away after a good first half in the last few games. The same could be said for our après match performance with only the professional drinker Cowley making it past midnight (and by then he was in the arms of some very dubious company). Rumours of the first Accies divorce (with Keiran said to be "fuming" at Cowley's playboy behaviour) are at present, being strenuously denied by both parties.

MoM: Phil Morris, timely interventions defensively and quality contributions with the ball. Crotty had an all action game, expanding the play, getting shots in and looking fitter than for some time but he must learn that cheeking his elders never brings rewards. Gwen voted for Mr Morris, as did Athers.

Saturday 4th October

Parkfield 3 Accies 1sts 1 (Grant Vanson).

Accies 2nds 0 HAC 3.

Accies 3rds 1 (Scott Atkinson) Leyton County Old Boys 5.

Bealonians 0 (Phil Wash) Accies 4ths 6 (Tom Lovell 2, Andy Burt, Hatz Fahmy, Graham Whitworth, Simon Randall).

Accies 5ths 0 Old Edmontonians 3.

Old Manorians 2 Accies 6ths 2 (Subomi Fapohunda 2).

HAC 3 Accies Vets 1.

5ths Match Report from Bob Woad

The 5ths suffered a third straight league defeat leaving them firmly rooted to the foot of 7 North but this time deserved to get more than nothing out of the game. A cross which drifted into the net and a single defensive mistake in each half settled a game in which the Accies in the main were in the ascendant.

Prior to the game the 5ths enjoyed the usual shenanigans' over the location of the kit. Mustafa Akindele, who had taken it the previous week, not only failed to arrive on time but was also uncontactable by mobile. Rumours then spread amongst those gathered that he was firstly driving to Shenley but didn't know where it was. Then, that he was supposed to have been picked up by someone. And finally that he wasn't actually turning up at all. He did eventually arrive after a homing pigeon was sent to retrieve him, but not before onlookers had witnessed the spectacle of a collection of dubious shorts, pants and lycra supports, in various degrees of staining, parading around the pitch.

On a cold and blustery Shenley day captain Dave Swaby won the toss and elected to play the first period with the wind at his back. The initial exchanges were tight but as the half progressed the fifths seemed to be unsettled by playing with such a strong wind to the extent that they started to punt more and more long balls towards the forward line of Bob Woad and Simon Moss, rather than keeping it down and playing it along the ground. While this gave the aforementioned forwards some good sprinting practice as they desperately chased the disappearing balls it didn't really create much in the way of opportunities.

Twenty minutes through the first period it was Edmontonians who took the lead. Their Mexican forward Chico played a diagonal cross from the left into the Accies area which somehow defied the direction of the breeze and floated passed keeper Alan Aaronson and into the top right corner of the net. Some ten or so minutes later the lead was doubled as the Greek Chico played a one two around an unexpectedly static Dave Sigerson and slotted the ball home passed the hapless Aaronson.

The fifths had a couple of chances to decrease the deficit but luck was not on their side. Firstly a 25 yard effort from Ringer troubled the Edmontonian keeper to such an extent that he could only shin the ball up into the air, from where it bounced off the crossbar and back into play. But in the ensuing six yard box scramble with the ball seeming not to want to fall below waist level saw the final Accies shot sail over the bar. Then Ringer had another opportunity but his header glanced off the wrong side of the post.

In the second half captain Swaby decided to shake things up a bit with Bob Woad going between the sticks, Alan Aaronson moving to left back and Dave Sigerson moving up front. What Edmontonians made of this is anyone's guess but the combination of reshuffle plus a couple of substitutions led to the Accies dominating the second period. Unable to punt the ball into the wind they were forced instead to resort to their usual passing game which saw Sammer Patel on the left and Mustafa Akindele on the right repeatedly elude their respective defenders and fire in cross after cross from the wings. Unfortunately the finishing in the middle did not match this good approach work with Simon Moss seeing his lob evade the keeper but drift wide and both Jack Hulme and Mike Ringer shooting weakly when in good positions. Countless other attempts were either blocked or foiled by last ditch Edmontonian tackling. Despite playing with the wind Edmontonians found it hard to get into the fifths half and only troubled the Accies defence for a couple of five minute periods. It was during one of these that the third goal came. Edmontonians striker broke down the left and muscledm his way though three Accies challenges before squaring to the Chechnyan Chico to complete his hat-trick.

At the end of the game Dave Swaby declare that he couldn't even be angry and the man-of-the-match award was aborted after a 14 way tie.

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