Kew Association 7th XI 0-3 Old Meadonians 7th XI
Amateur Football Alliance County Cup – Junior Novets Cup 1st Round
Saturday 18th November 2006
On a cold and clear winter’s day in Ham on Saturday, a youthful, spirited and talented Kew side fell victim to the Meadonian juggernaut that continues to cut an unforgiving path of destruction through the lower leagues of the Amateur Football Combination.
Weakened by the absence of Dan Jacobs, Ryan Kohn and Kevin Bryan but fielding a strong side nonetheless, Meadonians came out of the traps firing on all cylinders. Within 30 minutes they were 3-0 up. All this against a Kew side leading their league with 8 straight victories and a habit for scoring.
It was easy to see why Kew lead the AFL Minor South Division 6 - their skill, pace, energy and heart will see them continue to prosper. On Saturday, however, the midfield duo of Jack Costello and Alex Goodwille, combined with the creativity of Danny Castella and the irrepressible class of Delboy Trotter up front was just too much to handle.
The opener, a headed own-goal, owed much to the blossoming talent of Castella who whipped in a menacing left foot cross after great work from Costello.
Costello was soon in the action again, sending a cheeky lob over the bar when one-on-one with the keeper, before playing Trotter through on goal with a quality through ball. Trotter made this tricky finish look simple – selling the keeper with a cunning right-foot touch before rolling the ball home with his left.
The third Meadonian goal – the best of the bunch – capped a superb first-start for MOM Alex Goodwille. Returning from a broken fibula, Goodwille put in a performance at centre mid that will sent the Meadonian fan-base into raptures. Heading, tackling, running, passing – Goodwille seemed to thrive on every challenge thrown at him. This break-away goal began deep in the Meadonian half, with the ball travelling from Goodwille to Costello to Castella. Castella’s first-time cross was inch-perfect, as was the lung-bursting 60 yard run that Goodwille was making. He dived full-stretch to connect with his right-foot and send the ball crashing into the bulging net.
Not even the withdrawal of Adam Rhys Dee (concussed and vomiting) who put in a courageous 20 minutes up front could halt Meads, nor could Dave Yorath’s concession of a penalty with 30 minutes played. Like last week, Tim Lee guessed right and dived left – this time saving a well-struck penalty. The ensuing goal-mouth scramble was hooked out by Yorath who managed only to find an opponent 25 yards out. The young midfielder struck a sensational first-time volley that was heading into the top corner before Lee T made the save of the match – using his fingertips to turn the ball onto the cross-bar at full-stretch. The ball bounced back from the cross-bar and with the goal gaping, the chance of the match went begging as a Kew player inexplicably miss-cued from 3 yards.
From this moment onwards Meadonians took a slightly more defensive approach, effectively soaking up pressure from the remaining hour. At the other end various break-away chances went begging – Costello missed a back-heel after superb wing play from Ted Glover, who later missed a heading chance that his industrious performance deserved. Trotter wriggled and wormed his way into a goal-scoring opportunity before angling his shot inches wide.
In defence Green dominated then departed with ankle problems, while Yorath gave a master class at right back. Late on the bar was struck from a corner as Meadonians clung on for a rather fortuitous clean sheet, their second in as many weeks.
The full time whistle sparked scenes of jubilation for a deserving Meadonian side and their travelling hardcore of Stanners and Maurice Glover. The victory earns them a second round tie at home to Bealonians 7th XI on December 9th.
This was another excellent team performance from a Meadonian outfit striving to make consistency and team-spirit their fortes. Three enormous Saturdays loom with league chasers Clapham away on 25/11, followed by Glyn 3rd XI away in the London Old Boys Minor Cup on 02/12, then the AFA Cup tie against Bealonians on 09/12.
Team: T Lee, D Yorath, J Bhatt, A Goodwille, M Green (N Lee – 65), N Holmes, E Glover, J Costello, A Trotter, A Rhys Dee (M Ring – 20), D Castella (M Jupe – 50)
Goals: Own Goal 10