Old Meadonians 7th XI 4-1 Shene Old Grammarians 2nd XI
Old Boys Cup
Saturday 28th October 2006
A wonderful team performance saw Old Meadonians 7th XI knock Shene Old Grammarians 2nd XI out of the Old Boys Cup yesterday afternoon. Both teams arrived at Riverside Lands boasting 100% league records, Shene with an as yet unbreached defence.
Shene were well organised, sharp in the pass and useful on the ball. Their pace-of-play reflected their higher league standing (Three League West compared to Seven League South). However Meads were “up for it”, and through sheer hard-work, determination and industry caused a cup upset that will breathe yet more belief into their already impressive start to the season.
Goals from Del Trotter, Danny Castella, Adam Rhys Dee (his first for the club in only his second start) and Si Cable saw off the Shene threat. Only a consolation penalty conceded tarnished an otherwise perfect Meadonian day.
Things could have been different had referee John Walcott awarded a stone-wall penalty against Michael Green in the first 5 minutes. Green would later concede a penalty for an inexplicable full length diving stop to hand-ball an innocuous looking cross at 3-0.
By then, though, the damage was largely done. Trotter stole a goal on ten minutes, running on to Green’s delightful through ball and beating a stranded keeper before thrashing into the empty net.
Meads then struck twice shortly before half time, Castella instrumental on both occasions. First he turned his marker with an audacious flick of the boot and turn-of-pace, before volleying in a cross from close to the side line.
Moments later came the move of the match. The ball started in the hands of Goalkeeper Tim Lee and ended up with Rhys Dee finishing a Castella cross with an empathic left-foot volley.
The 3-0 half time score flattered Meads who had Keeper Tim Lee to thank for an inspired first half performance. Twice he saved when one-on-one and once from a 5-yard header.
Meads looked to keep the second half tight. On 55 minutes Ryan Kohn came into a 5-man midfield – Rhys Dee making way. Shene played them selves back into the game and were denied a certain goal when Lee T handled outside his area - he was lucky to avoid dismissal.
The bizarre penalty incident came and went before the Meads effort began to show. Green left with cramp, Kevin Bryan looked “spent” and Danny C made his customary exit.
Trotter, who looked as if he could run until Sunday’s dawn, dropped into central midfield to close the game out. His authority and power in the heart of the team wrestled the initiative back into Meads’ favour. On 80 minutes he made a lung-bursting run to set up substitute Si Cable who has now scored twice in only 65 minutes of football this season.
Shene didn’t take their chances on a day when Meads did – this was the crucial difference between the sides. It was a wonderfully committed team performance, epitomized by Man of The Match Tony Bailey who returned to the side with a bang! His industry, strength and endeavour in the midfield were invaluable. Castella provided the magic in a stellar performance and Kev Bryan was at his typical best. Jay Bhatt improves with every game that passes, and usual suspects Dave Yorath and Del Trotter were imperious.
All round a wonderful team performance from a team that shows immense early-season potential.
Team: T Lee, D Yorath, J Bhatt, N Lee, M Green (S Cable – 70), A Bailey, K Bryan, D Jacobs, D Castella (G Perl - 80), A Trotter, A Rhys Dee (R Kohn – 55)
Goals: Trotter 10
Rhys Dee 45
Shene 65 Cable 80