U.C.L. Academicals Football Club

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2008-09 Results - September

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Saturday 27th September

Accies 1sts 3 (Simon Carrasco 2, Dave Jenkin) Albanian 8.

Old Edmontonians 0 (Rupert Neal) Accies 2nds 2 (Andy Crotty, Gareth Jenkins).

Accies 3rds 8 (Andy Mackay 2, Chris Roberts, Gio Martelli, Chris Groves, Luke Bennett, Scott Atkinson, og) Wake Green 2.

Accies 4ths 3 Egbertians 2 (Hatz Fahmy, Graham Whitworth, Tony Locke).

Ravenscroft Old Boys 5 Accies 5ths 2 (Simon Moss, James Liang).

Enfield Old Grammarians 2 Accies 6ths 3 (Jean-Alex Imerzoukene, Alex Bouton, Declan Walsh).

2nds Match Report from Gareth Jenkins

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in north east London the Accies 2s looked to kick off their season at the third time of asking against Old Edmontonians. Two games played, one goal scored and nine conceded was not a good start in anyone's book and a determined group of players took to the field looking to continue the Accies's tradition of creativity whilst adding the much needed but oft ignored elements of fitness, commitment, organisation and aggression.

Despite a somewhat disparate attitude towards timeliness, the Accies prepared and started the game well, pressing in central midfield, keeping a high line in defence and working extraordinarily hard across the line up top. Matching the strengths of our less able opponents allowed the Accies the time and space on the ball to dictate play and the first fifteen minutes were spent camped in the opponent's half culminating in a number of half chances for Bryant, Parsons and Crotty. Crotty and Kennedy's energy surprised our opponents (and in the case of Crotty, our team mates too) and their interaction and sensible use of Prentki's space and fitness wide right were causing Edmontonians problems. A slightly more prosaic approach to offensive play was in evidence on the opposite flank with Sheppard and Jenkins taking ground via a series of throw ins moving the side along 5-10 yards at a time.

The defence looked strong and well organised in this period except for one chance with 10 minutes gone where the Edmontonian's number 10 found himself free, centre of goal, six yards out from a knock down. Luckily for the Accies he spooned over when easier to score. Chapman and Cowley were solid and on the occasional times they were required to turn and face their goal made a number of timely challenges. Field was strong in the tackle and used the ball from central defence particularly well.

The last fifteen minutes of the half were even with more space in central midfield for Edmontonians to exploit and a number of raking diagonal passes driving our full backs Cowley and Sheppard back and causing our wide midfielders problems. This was not helped by our defence dropping back 10 yards from where we had camped for the first 30 minutes. Now balls that were being flicked on were dropping dangerously around the box instead of 30 yards out. This period turned out to be the most dangerous of the game for our opponents with a number of corners and free kicks conceded and several shots from outside the area on target. 

Neal continued the form that saw him make a ridiculously impressive one armed save the previous week and he looked confident getting down to hold on to shots and confident under the high ball. 

Conversely this period also saw the best chance of the half for the Accies with the tireless Bryant and Parsons combining to harry the Edmontonian's left full back and goalkeeper into a mistake that saw the ball squirt across the goal. Jenkins using all the pace of a man twice his age gamely raced towards the free ball but was driven wide and his cross shot back towards goal was cleared off the line. Sensibly, no one took the opportunity to inform the new skip that the shot was going wide anyway...

At half time Morris replaced Chapman who was suffering from a multitude of injuries not seen since the Black Knight scene in Monty Python's The Holy Grail. This called for a reshuffle at the back with the versatile Kiwi Cowley recalled to the centre to partner the commanding Field.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were relatively even with few chances either way, Sheppard (by now also injured) continued to gambol down the left at every opportunity whilst still finding the time to cover his central defence when needed. Morris on the other flank making decisive tackles when required.

A silly foul on Prentki on the edge of the area proved to be the chance that the Accies were looking for. Jenkins having spurned at least five free kick opporunities in the previous two games decided to hedge his bets by curling the ball into an area where a touch would result in a goal but no touch would cause the keeper a problem. Your correspondent was surprised that Crotty did not take the opportunity to spuriously claim the goal as he did in the LOB cup final four years ago from a similarly dangerous freekick from Jenkins. Sense prevailed this time and Jenkins claimed his first of the season.

The goal opened up the game and sensing the need for fresh legs the captain looked at the bench and saw the perfect replacement for himself in the sprightly pensioner Alvarez. 

The game became unstructured after the breakthrough with the opposition's insistence to play with five up front leaving space behind to exploit. More work will be required on the training ground to drill the offside line but generally speaking our defensive four coped with what was thrown at them. Going forward Crotty and Prentki continued to influence the game with the latter lobbing the keeper only to be foiled by the bar and the lack of a Russian linesman. 

Kennedy should be pleased with his efforts on his comeback from a nasty injury caused by his daughter (a position in the first team midfield replacing the much missed Crowther surely awaits) and was replaced by Nekrassov who looked lively and dangerous immediately, Parsons dropping into midfield.

The second goal looked likely to come and come it did with ten minutes to go Prentki found himself free and struck a fierce shot into the midriff of the outcoming keeper, the ball rebounded to Crotty who set his sights millimetres lower and lashed in the rebound off the same bar that had denied him so cruelly moments before.

Nekrassov continued to cause problems with a run and shot that had the keeper been positioned normally rather than standing in the corner of his goal would have been an early contender for goal of the season.

As it was, the defence and midfield weathered what remained of the Edmontonian storm and the Accies celebrated a deserved victory.

This was a committed team effort by all and proved (if proof were required) that we have the ability to compete and excel at this level as long as we show the right desire and commitment first.

I could give a special mention to every man involved today as all contributed to this committed performance. However, special mentions go to Bryant and Parsons for their work rates and ability to link play. The seemingly unnoticed running off the ball to pressure defenders and to provide outlets for the midfield and defence were key to the result today. 

Saturday 20th September

HAC 3 Accies 1sts 1 (og).

Accies 2nds 1 (Lloyd Vanson) Globe Rangers 3

Hale End Athletic 2 Accies 3rds 0

BB Eagles 3 Accies 4ths 1 (Chris Coates)

Accies 5ths 1 (Bob Woad) Old Minchendenians 5.

Accies 6ths 0 Latymer Old Boys 1.

5ths Match Report (from Bob Woad)

Accies V 1 5 Old Minchendenians

Conditions: Hot and dry

The fifths began the 2008/09 campaign by registering a somewhat deserved 5 1 defeat to Old Minchendenians. As is rapidly becoming tradition the fifths were nowhere near the mark in terms of physical fitness, match fitness, composure and coordination. A team comprised of six new faces obviously hadn't had any time to gel into any sort of cohesive unit, while a younger and more co-ordinated opposition on a hot day on a large Shenley pitch did nothing to mitigate the situation.

Prior to the game the fifths were delighted to see Chris 'Chomper' Carter ambling towards the changing rooms. Carter had suffered a horrific injury over the summer while participating in the relatively new sport of 'Road Biting', in which competitors accelerate to great speeds on a bicycle before hurling themselves over the handle bars and attempting to bite a chunk out of the road. Carters mistimed effort had left the road surface unblemished and had only succeeded in fracturing his jaw and snapping most of his front teeth in half. Out for the first half of the season on the grounds that any blow to the face would leave teeth strewn over the pitch he instead took on an independent observer role. In the end he probably wished he'd stayed in bed.

The fifths line up consisted of central defender Dave Siggerson in goal, a back four of Phil Douglas, Dave Swaby, Chris Cernuschi and Jat Chohan, and a central midfield of Sameer Patel and Andy Williams with James Liang on the right and Mustafa Akindele on the left. Up front Tom Porter and veteran veteran Bob Woad spearheaded the formation.

From the kick off it was clear that it was going to be a tough afternoon. Minchendenians clearly fitter, faster, more alert and committed harried and hustled the fifths from the start while the fifths found it hard to move out of first gear. Most of the possession went to Minchendenians and the Accies midfield struggled to make an impact. For twenty or so minutes the fifths held out and could have taken the lead after Bob Woad played an inch perfect forty yard ball over the Minchendenian defence for Tom Porter to run onto. But the Accies striker unfortunately got the ball tangled between his feet and the chance was gone. 

Despite Minchendians pressure the fifths thought they had scored when Dave Swaby leapt like the proverbial salmon to power a header home from a nicely placed Andy Williams free kick. However the fifths celebrations were short lived when the referee gave Minchendenians a free kick for an off the ball pushing incident - a clear case for the introduction of video replays if ever there was one.

The deadlock was finally broken when a good Minchendenian cross came in from the right. A clear and confident shout of "Swabes's" from Dave Swaby did nothing to put of the Minchendenian striker who beat him to the ball and placed a firm header passed the flailing Siggerson. Following this disappointment Minchendenians scored a second when Chris Cernuschi missed his clearance and a Minchendenian striker gleefully swept the ball passed Siggerson. 

Much against the run of play the fifths pulled one back. Tom Porter flicked on a quality cross from Jat Chohan's wrong foot and a moment of indecision in the Minchendenian defence allowed Bob Woad to slip in and prod the ball passed the keeper. Hell still be scoring for the Accies when hes 100 commented Chris Carter after the game.

At half time the fifths team talk was of the need to close down better, keep possession better and make the opposition work harder. A fine plan, which unfortunately didn't come to pass, as it was Minchendenians who stepped up a gear in the second period. Never-the-less their third goal was soft in the extreme. A corner from the right was cleared by the fifths defence, only for a Minchendenian midfielder some thirty yards out to send in a grass cutting shot which rebounded pinball style off three players in the penalty area before somehow finding its way into the corner of the net.

The fifths, chasing the game, moved to a 3-5-2 formation to try to get on top in midfield but the result was two more Minchendenian goals as the game drew to a close.

Saturday 13th September

Accies 2nds 0 Wood Green Old Boys 6

Old Kingsburians 5 Accies 3rds 4 (Scott Atkinson 2, Alex Nekrassov, Andy Mackay)

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