Newsletter w/c 8.9.21
- 9th September 2021
Fixtures for Saturday 11th September 2021
|Venue / Referee
|Old Hamptonians 3s
|Home – Riverside Lands
Nick De Falco
Sadly the club lost the Eric Young Memorial annual challenge vs Civil Service by 4.5/3.5. It was a great afternoon of football and our thanks go to Civil Service for hosting and providing great post match refreshments. Let’s get the cup back next year!
Old Meads 1 – 4 Civil Service
A day to forget for meads 1’s as they were comfortably beaten by a better side on the day.
Meads started well with some intense pressing from the front by Xav who was supported by the rest of the team. However it didn’t take long for Fishman’s hamstring to give up on him which forced an early substitution. The same went for Civil Service who swiftly found their rhythm and strike early on to make the game 1-0.
Meads went again and with Miniesta breaking up the play in midfield along side Chris distributing the play in the centre out wide for Pav and Tom to do some damage. Eventually, a great ball through the middle splitting their 2 centre backs found Xav 1 on 1 with the keeper and there was only 1 place the ball was going to end up, Meads found themselves level.
Shortly after, a long distance shot found itself fly over Marsh’s head and into the back of the net which saw Meads fall behind once again.
At half time, “Gordy-ola” changed the formation to a 3-5-2 which didn’t go the way meads wanted as they saw themselves concede twice more. George had to be taken off due to cramp after being on the pitch for 20 minutes at the age of 18 (shocking). There was a penalty given with 10 minutes to go which saw Marsh pull of a great save to his bottom left which helped the team keep the deficit at 3 goals.
Overall, a day not worth dwelling on for meads who have another game this Wednesday before kicking off the season away on Saturday.
Final Score: 4-1
Civil Service 2s 2-3 Old Meadonians 2s
Veni vidi vici.
What more needs saying? We came, we saw, we conquered (even after the ref unjustly reduced us to 10 men).
With more of the regulars returning from their long summers (some longer than others Mr McLean…), the 2s fielded a much stronger team for the final pre-season match and were rewarded with a close but deserved victory against their Civil Service counterparts.
Much to Thommo’s disgust, Meads named yet another Scottish import in their ranks and it was that man, Phil McNicholas, who took the MOM after having a hand in all 3 goals.
Meads opened the scoring early in the first half after Phil’s neat backheel to Toby led to the latter winning (then dispatching – take note Brighty) a penalty. 1-0 Meads.
Civil however clawed it back to 1-1 after capitalising on some slack defending at a corner and the teams were tied at the break.
Early in the second, Phil was again involved in a Meads goal, cutting the ball back to the 2s galloping gaffer, Ronald Reid, who had somehow found himself in the opposition’s box. With the assuredness of a seasoned striker and the deft touch of Jimmy Savile, he slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
Civil again dragged themselves back into it, equalising through a tight-angled finish with 15 to go but that man McNicholas – who’s flowing locks had been freshly conditioned by his missus earlier that day – wasn’t to be denied his own glory. After a turn of pace down the wing, he slid the ball under the keeper’s (substantial) body to make it 3-2 and secure Mead’s first win of the day.
Special mention to the referee, who sent Jake Jordan to the sin bin (a punishment that can only be handed out for dissent) despite the young fella not uttering a word to him.
When asked to justify the sin-binning, the ref, ever the consulate professional, replied with “It’s a friendly, I’ll do what the f*ck I want”. Knob.
Civil Service III 2 – 1 OMFC Wildcats III – So yea… turns out he isn’t a centre half after all
The sun was shining as this year’s heatwave that had been promised for the last 3 months finally arrived…. Some people say its global warming, me personally, I think it is something to do with the secret alien race headed up by Tom Hanks and Gwyneth Paltrow that is causing it. Answers on a postcard.
Anyway, on to the football and the usual pre-season tombola continued with another 6 new faces coming into a Wildcats franchise now running the 3s and in desperate need of some minutes after a disjointed pre-season. Despite the success of the 4-2-3-1 last season the personnel available meant a shift to 3-5-2 with Jonah and James who both insisted they were Centre Halves joining myself in the back line. In all honesty the less said about the first half the better, we were terrible, they were good and if not for Rorke making some sharp saves and Civils’ profligacy in front of goal it could have been messy before HT. Nathan forced an acrobatic save out of their keeper but there was little else to report and a cruel ricochet led to a Civils opener 10 minutes before the break, 1-0 HT.
A rethink of strategy and a move back to the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 was required, that and a rousing team talk brought about a real shift in the momentum. We started to control the ball and looked dangerous in wide areas, Shae and Marlon were tireless as usual, Kody and Ian started to link up well with the boys in the middle. Those players being the aforementioned James, who it turned out is arguably more of a number 10 than a CB, the ever-reliable Aidan and new man Connor who had come in on the promise he had an absolute wand of a left peg. The back looked secure, Jonah and Alans mixture of pace and strength snuffing out any half breaks from the previously dangerous Civils forward line.
Now the ball was sticking to Rusty the openings were coming and after Nathan stung the palms of their keeper and Connor narrowly fired onto the roof of the net with an audacious chip the Wildcats were level. Great play out wide on the right fed the ball to the edge of the box where James controlled into the corner, 1-1. Unfortunately, there was a quick sucker punch with Civils working the ball well out wide and converting from the cross to make it 2-1.
Nonetheless the spirit of last season came to the fore and we pushed back and fought hard for an equaliser in the last 15 minutes, finishing the game with a 2-5-3 formation we hit the post through Kody and narrowly shot wide again from Connor and Rusty. The final whistle went and ultimately a loss but a great second half performance from a team who had mainly only met that morning so plenty of positives to take.
MoM – Plenty of names to pick out, Aidan’s one-man band performance in the 1st half, James getting a goal on debut and Alan being a rock, but MoM went to Shae who didn’t stop running and put himself in the right place defensively on more than 1 occasion to keep us in the game.
WIG – Nominations came for Nathans attempted bicycle kick, Rusty going to the wrong ground, but then winner was Kody for an outrageous OG attempt which left Rorke having to head clear.
Squad – Clemo – Rorke – Alan – Jonah – James – Shae – Marlon – Aidan – Kody – Connor – Ian – Rusty – Nathan
Old Meads 4s (Falcons) 1 – 5 Civil Service 4s
Thursday night: The game seems promising with a 14-player squad with the majority having played together a couple of weeks earlier. Also the weather forecast seems great!
Friday night: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Falcon’s captain Steve found himself lost on his way home from work and ended up in a few mysterious (and rather blurry) places all over London, and unfortunately did not manage to return safely home before 6.30am.
Saturday morning: After just over a couple of hours sleep, Steve somehow managed to make his way to Chiswick from East London (“not London” as VC Nick would adamantly state) – only 20 minutes late and nowhere near the expected pre-game state, to say the least.
Luckily for him, Steve managed to escape the WIG title, only by a thread, due to the horrendous state of arrival, but let’s come back to that later…
Guillaume Lefort, Jean Letzelter, Ali Solomon and Lucas George were looking forward to their big debut with the Falcons.
It is worth noting that Jean probably achieved the biggest team upgrade in the history of Meads since 1929, jumping from the 8s to the 4s for this game. Awaiting fact check from the Captains Committee.
A very shy start for the Falcons in the first half, with many mistakes being made in the defensive & midfield areas (we could probably count on one hand how many times Rollo, Lucas and Ali touched the ball up front during the first half?).
1-0 for Civil after 15 minutes, then 2-0 for Civil 5 minutes later…
An early chance saw Rollo break through only to be abruptly called offside by the (other teams) back 4. For some reason the ref took this as fact and called a stop to the 1 on 1, only for the back 4 to admit he was indeed “yards inside”.
Against all expectations, the Falcons managed to win a (rather-arguable) penalty, thanks to newbie Ali Solomon. Uncertain why Rollo decided to let Mbappe take control of his mind and body right before kicking the pen, as the ball went at an amazingly slow speed and low altitude, right in the middle of the goal where the keeper was patiently waiting. Surprisingly, the keeper managed to let the ball go through his legs, however saved the ball (did he, did he not?? I guess we will never know) right on the goal line. Despite some arguing, the ref would take none of it and decided no goal for Meads. 2-0 at half time.
With the second half underway, a fiery Falcons side started fast, however an overexcited side failed to track back after counters and after being exposed down the wings the 4s soon found themselves 5 down.
Seemingly out of nowhere a delightful duel attack from Ali and Lucas saw Civil split open and a delicate finish into the goal saw us finally put ourselves on the score sheet – yes the back 4 did once again call for offside long after the game was restarted.
With 20 minutes left the 4s really began to play some flowing football, with long looping through balls finding the feet of the speedy forwards.
While no further goals were scored, the 4s really did show some promise and potential, finally finding their key attacking instinct.
It is worth noting that Guillaume escaped the WIG title by a thread due to a rather heated argument with one of our dearest opponents right by the goal line, as a corner was about to be kicked.
Perhaps also due to confidently & assertively suggesting to the ref that he should rightly treat himself with a nice new pair of glasses..? A comment that probably the whole team (including some of the opponents) would agree on as the ball clearly went way over the goal-kick line but somehow the ref decided that game was on, all Falcons stopped playing, the opponent comes in the box and safely places the ball at the back of the net. Very confusing moment for both teams and quite an interesting decision from the ref…
While the game finished 5-1 against the 4s, the last half hour showed a lot of encouragement for the Falcons, and heads should be held high leading up to our next and final pre-season bout this coming weekend.
Squad: Steve Villard, Nick De Falco, James Wallace, Anthony Sexton, Dom Stables, Stephan Spiekman, Rollo Mulliner, Dwayne Quashie, Harrison Marks, Ali Basma, Guillaume Lefort, Jean Letzelter, Ali Solomon, Lucas George.
MoM: Stephan Spiekman
WIG: Rollo Mulliner
OMFC 5s 5 – 2 Civil Service 5s
Familiar week in the life of a Meads captain. 8 players available on the Monday, 18 by the Friday.
Selected 3 different starting keepers in the 3 hours before the game. Shame, as at one point we had achieved the amateur football holy grail of naming a reserve keeper on the bench.
Not ideal after waking up a little fatigued following a quick last minute Friday night beer with last year’s 5s skipper. Standard night out for an ex-navy boy as far as my fuzzy recollection goes – aggressively swift 6 pints; told off for use of industrial language; darts; romanced by a Ship mate*.
Anyway, to the game. 15 man squad in the end. Club legend, pre-op Alan Wade doing us a massive favour in nets.
My hangover apologises for any artistic licence in the order of the narrative that follows.
First half we were the stronger team and found ourselves 2-0 up through excellent finishes from Leon and Kortney. Civil missed a penalty towards the end of the half – no doubt put off by Alan’s bright green ensemble.
After half time is when the fun really began. Guivin won a penalty and stepped up to take it. The keeper made a decent save but had come off his line to do so and the ref ordered a retake. Oppo keeper not best pleased with this and the 5 minutes he spent expressing his views on the matter eventually gave the ref no choice but to send him off.
2-0 up, opposition down to ten men and a penalty to retake. Inevitably for a Meads team the next score update was 2-1 (missed the pen, gave away a sloppy goal).
To be fair 15 minutes after the red card, we spotted that the Civil were still playing with 11 men. Apparently entirely reasonably as it “was only a friendly…”
10 men then became 9 after a nasty accidental clash of heads led to another red card for more complaints to the ref over the incident.
Somewhere in amongst all of this and before the final whistle we scored 3 goals – more excellent finishing from Mills, Leon and Guivin. Oh, and Alan was lobbed from 45 yards by one of their centre backs (great finish to be fair).
Final score 5-2 Meads – a few mistakes but overall a great performance from everyone. Thanks in particular to Calum and Alan for helping us out on the day.
MOM – Leon, excellent club debut with 2 goals and at least one assist.
WIG – myself for getting over excited at the prospect of getting ready in the ladies changing rooms and throwing my lucozade everywhere (Guivin – you’re a lucky man…).
Team: Wade, Klajnscek, Allison, Jackson, Watson, Gates, Ryan, Hackshaw, Bridle, Hadjipateras, Stichbury, Masebo, Tizroutine, Moghadam, Purcell
*Slightly better gag this if you know the name of my local. Still, much funnier now I’ve explained it…
OMFC6 vs Civil Service6
Preparations for our forth preseason outing were pretty sound, only one cry off from a squad of 15 and everyone making it down at least 15 minutes prior to kick off.
Eager for some of the strikers to put an end to their goal droughts, I laid on a few drills so they could find their range and hopefully a bit of confidence in front of goal, well the eventual outcome resulted in a lost ball, an injury to the goalie and very few shots anywhere near the target.
This proved to be a sign of things to come!
We started the game brightly and were attacking right from the get go, civils matched this and hit right back with 2 efforts in quick secession which both came off the crossbar.
That rattled a few nerves and jolted us into action, a long ball from deep sets Pete off, who was playing in an unfamiliar role on the left wing, he leaves the full back for dead and hits a shot which the keeper parries off for a corner.
Mal hits a pin point cross which Chadders heads, what looks well over the line, the ref waves play on, wasn’t clear enough!
Christian looks to collect a routine ball from a civil break, he goes down and stays down, his quad which he had complained about feeling tight following the warm up seems to have given way, Paul steps up and goes between the sticks, Troy’s on at centre back.
Whilst attending to the Whitely warrior’s injury, the team had played a succession of passes from down the right wing, Jacob to Taku, who played to Sam, who lays it on to Chadders who hits a low ball into the bottom corner. 1-0 Meads, Great Team Goal..
The interchange and movement has been getting better and better with every game which was typified by this goal.
Unfortunately from this point forward we were unable to extend our advantage and are guilty of some very poor finishing, we hit the bar from a free kick, TK hits the post, civil meanwhile have another effort from a corner which their centre back glances off the cross bar, 3rd time now, could sense it was coming.
Billy meanwhile is having one of the best 45 minutes I’ve ever witnessed him have in a meads shirt, literally mopping up anything and everything coming his way.
Civil restart the game with an increased sense of vigour and aggression, the yappy fat scouser is continuously clattering anyone he can and their pressing us like Poles were England the other night. Pete manages to put Taku through 1 on 1 with the keeper but the ball somehow becomes lost under his own feet and civil manage to recover.
Civil go on the break and Paul is called into action, he pulls off a decent save and sets us off with a counter, which results in a corner. Mal serves up yet another peachy cross which Taku connects with, again off target, this time it’s just over the bar.
At the other end civil win a corner and demonstrate how to finish from a set piece, where was the marking??? Tall defender was in acres of space and heads it past Paul.
There were a few murmurings from midfield at this point to go back to 5 in midfield and despite playing yet again some decent football we fail to capitalise, tactics were fine we just weren’t finishing our chances.
The fat scouser then crashes into Brandon leaving him a little dazed and with a bloodied nose, he then has the audacity to complain when penalised for the foul. (PRICK)
Another Civil attack results in Paul coming out for the ball, instead of collecting with his hands (can’t blame him, he’s not a keeper) he kicks the ball, which then ricochets off Josh and into the back off the net, 2-1 Civil.
More decent play from Meads but no end product, a stone wall pen (denied) the fat scouser is sin binned and still we are unable to draw level in a game which we had over 70% of the possession.
We fell rather short on the day but considering it’s still preseason, there were lots of positives, but lots to improve on.
DOD: Marc A (no show)
OMFC 7s – No report received
OMFC 8s – No report received
OMFC Vets – No report received