Seasons‎ > ‎Match Reports 12/13‎ > ‎

Away to Maidonians

So,on April 6,the second half of the VETS season began with an away
fixture against Maidonians.Co-incidentally,the Headbangers,that's
their official nickname,honest guv,were our opponents on the opening
day when we swaggered into division 2 and began our campaign with a
6-1 victory.And although they started the season poorly their results
have improved significantly recently(for some reason).. and this
wasn't a fixture we could afford to take lightly.
Maiden are currently playing home games on the 3g pitch at the Score
centre in Leyton,in the shadow of Leyton Orient.In my young days this
place was the site of a huge cinder pitch,where on Sunday afternoons
in the 70's two impromptu matches involving  teams of anywhere between
20-30 players of varying abilities,ages,sizes,race,creeds and colours
regularly took place,without anyone seeming to be in charge,all we
needed was a ball.These games probably did more for community
relations in the Leyton area in those days than any official
legislation,testament to the power of football.So as that memory fades
in a Spangles tinted haze,and I put my scuffed adidas sambas away,we
come to the harsh realities of 2013 and Saturday's game.With GD
unavailable our most pressing problem was a lack of a goalkeeper,so
hats off to Roger for stepping up to don the gloves.The returning
Bazza emphasised in the pre-match that we train on a similar surface
so the pitch,although in slightly poor condition for a 3g,should not
be any hindrance to our passing game.We lined up 5-4-1,with Martin T
in the lone striker..(and captain)..role.Grand National day, and from
the whistle its clear we are definitely NOT at the races.On a spacious
pitch we seem unable to find either space or each other.
Maidonians on the other hand settled from the off and put us under
plenty of early pressure,playing as a unit from defence to
attack.Despite this,we defended valiantly and Roger was always
comfortable with any efforts on his goal.To everyone's surprise it was
us who eventually broke the deadlock.Anthony skillfully working
himself space on the right and feeding the ball inside to Darren whose
raking crossfield pass found MARTIN TREADWAY racing into the box to
put us ahead with an unstoppable low drive...0-1.With around fifteen
minutes to half time it was all about defending the advantage to the
break.Unfortunately our hosts had other plans and by the time the
whistle blew we had conceded two disappointingly soft goals.We had to
re-group and start all over again.
At least we had the opportunity to display our talents at the aspect
of Saturday afternoon in which we excell.The half-time moanathon.So
once all the concerned parties had put their two penn'orth in,just
enough time remained for a bit of tinkering. Martyn Saggers,after a
long lay off through injury,entered the fray joining the other
Martin..(now no longer captain)..up front,and in the early stages it
seemed we had found our mojo,forcing a series of corners and going
close from a couple of these.But yet again a lapse in concentration
allowed Maiden in for 1-3.We were reeling as Maidonians settled back
into their first half groove,and it was no surprise when they picked
us apart for 1-4.With nothing to lose we pushed on again,and it was
great to see MARTYN SAGGERS mark his return with a smart strike from
the edge of the box..2-4 With only two goals in it and around 25
minutes to play there was a glimmer of hope,but Maidonians held firm
and as we tired in the final quarter they rubbed salt into the wounds
with another four goals,some sublime some ridiculous and on the final
whistle that opening day of the season seemed a long time ago.
Final Score : MAIDONIANS 8
                      HALE END ATHLETIC 2

An afternoon to forget,and hopefully never repeat.As we enter the
second half of the season we cannot afford any more of these.Only
three teams this division can accrue enough points to reach the total
that has been enough in the last few seasons.We are still in the hunt
but performances like this against our nearest rivals will put an end
to that.Ominously,Collier Row moved above us into third place on
Saturday.On a brighter note it was great to see Sags back, doubling
his predicted playing time,and bagging a goal into the bargain.Well
done also to Roger for going in goal.There!Got through the whole
report without mentioning Teddy Sheringham......Doh!!!