- 18th September 2020
Fixtures for Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th September 2020
|Venue / Referee
|Walch Memorial PF, Northey Avenue, Cheam SM2 7HJ / Anthony Green
|Home – Pitch 1 / Michael Kenna
|Sinjuns Grammarians 2s
|Home – Pitch 2 / Stuart Minors
|Barn Elms Sports Centre, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes, SW13 0DG
|Home – Pitch 4 / Stuart Minors
|Old Tenisonians 3
|Archbishop Tenisons Sports Ground, Arthur Rd, Motspur Park, KT3 6LX / TBC
|Old Guilfordians 3s
|Riverside Lands – Pitch
|Riverside Lands – Pitch 1 / TBC
|SAL Vets Cup Semi Final
12th September — Saturday Vets 0 v Ascot Vets 1 — Attendance : 1
In these strange times we become grateful for small things, like being able to play football. Having played a few pre-season games we have now adjusted to the ‘new normal’. It’s funny how you miss little things like : being cramped into a changing room with two other teams, the smell of the urinals, a cold shower dribbling out after a game, watching Karl mark his territory out with mayonnaise in the bowl of chips. Gone too is meeting up in the club room for the pre-match talk of tactics and formations which are quickly dispensed with as soon as we go onto the pitch. What I miss most though is the after-match beer when, after a couple of pints, a defeat can be talked around to a draw or even a moral victory.
In what was our first league game of the season, there was speculation as we changed on the side lines, (haven’t done that since I was 10), about whether captain Steve’s cunning plan of playing his joker early (using the lush pitch 1 last week) would backfire as we took to the undulations of pitch 7.
Ascot, who entered the league and convincingly won promotion last season, were going to be tough opponents and likely to be contenders for promotion in Division 1 this season. They came with a reputation for being good at set pieces and with a giant of a centre back we could see why. From their first corner he headed narrowly wide so thereafter we double-teamed him, Derek sitting on Nick’s shoulders was unorthodox but effective. The game was very evenly balanced with Ascot having greater possession but Meads probably having the best chances, ironically from set pieces, as Dean went close on a couple of occasions. As the game wore on you got the impression that one goal would settle it. A couple of injuries in the second half undermined our chances. Firstly Steve K, who had been a very useful outlet for us from left back, twisted his knee in the contours of pitch 7 and then Dean, who had been dominant in the middle of defence, pulled up with a hamstring injury. On came Steve Roberts, returning from America 19 years after he last played for Meads, in a figure-hugging kit. Life had obviously been good to Steve in the States. Although with the changes we were under more pressure a draw looked like the most likely result. Our cause was not then helped by Adam, who had looked useful throughout, when he decided to have a few words with the ref and ended up in the sin bin. With 10 minutes to go and down to 10 men their useful winger broke clear down the right wing, Mark charged out and their guy skilfully finished into the empty net. Game over.
Ultimately a disappointing result but we should take plenty of positives from this game. Rory, our lone spectator, was obviously talent spotting for the ‘elite’ vets. Probably not too many stand out stars but I think that he, and those who watched a victory in the Challenge last week against Civil were surprised at the quality of the Saturday Vets teamwork. Looking forward to a good season.