New Bradwell St.Peter 1
Islington St.Mary's 1
This tie can be best summed up as
being featureless. Islington arrived late for the tie and just had the bare minimum to
start the fixture. neither team played with any passion and both lacked creation or flair.
New Bradwell could not keep onside and Islington could not keep the ball. New Bradwell had
the better of the half , and built up most of their play down the flanks. They struck
first after a lofted ball was not headed clear by the Saints defence. The Bradwell forward curled the
ball from an acute angle past Saints keeper Terry Asar. the half ended with New Bradwell
one goal up but it could possibly have been more.
In the second half the Saints made
several changes, after additional players had arrived during the game. A goal mouth
scramble saw Saints forward Samson Olaleye attempt to cross the ball whilst in the 18 yard
box and hit the hand of a Bradwell forward for a Saints penalty. Stephen Robinson
converted the opportunity. The rest of the game was very forgettable with both sides
weathering small storms.
Defence: Terry Asar, Stephen
Robinson, Brian James, Gary Lawrence, Laurance Tucker, Midfield: Adrian Nicolson, Sheldon
Fleming, Rodny Clark, Ricky Nicalou Attack: Jonathan Joseph, Samson Olaleye Substitutes:
Wayne Jackson, Tony Barker
Welwyn Garden City 1 Islington
It was another six pointer for the Saints against
struggling City. City who had begun the season in good form have deteriorated, and now sit
3rd from bottom of the Premier Division. It was therefore important that the Saints took
the opportunity to put as much sky between themselves and City.
The preparation was not ideal. Saints players arrived at the ground late and the referee
postponed kick off. The mood in the changing room was not right for such a vital game.
This manifested itself on the pitch. The discipline and determination that has been
showing in the last several fixtures had gone. The ball was not being held up front by the
forwards, possession was being given away in mid-field and the Saints gave City too much
time on the ball which allowed them to play positive football. Communication between the
side was also lacking and this showed when Stephen Robinson and Danny Debruce of Saint
Mary's challenged for the same ball and clashed heads. Robinson had to leave the field
with mild concussion. In total disarray the Saints conceded a goal after their defence had
pushed up and a ball was launched in behind them to 3 off side City players who slotted
the ball past keeper Terry Akal.
Saints Player/Manager Samson
Olaleye fumed at half time and bore his total wrath on the players. The second half was
total domination for the Saints. Islington midfielder Wayne Jackson had two opportunities
to equalise in the opening minutes, but did not convert them. He then made up for his
earlier misses and pulled a goal back after 10 minutes. Olaleye then pushed upfront to try
and achieve the winner. He missed a one on one with the keeper but later one a
header to set up Mushy Dennis for the winner.
Defence: Terry Akal, Danny Debruce,
Stephen Robinson, Samson Olaleye, Jonathan Joseph Midfield: Wayne Jackson, Sheldon
Fleming, Ricky Nicalou, Brain James Attack: Mussy Dennis, Desmond Wynne Substitutes: Rodny
Clark, Tyrone Husbands, Gary Lawrence
Islington St.Mary's 0
London Coloney 4
In form London Colney arrived at
Coles Park with an air of confidence. Because of the lack of player availability the
Saints had to field players out of position. Islington survived an early goal mouth
scramble and adjusted well to their new formation. They compacted the mid-field well and
caught the London Colney attack force off side at will. Colney looked menacing down the
flanks but as the game progressed they lacked ideas and the Saints looked like the better
side, with Sheldon Fleming in midfield creating opportunities and working tirelessly to
cover ground. The best chance of the half fell to Leon after Fleming beat several players,
but the opportunity was wasted.
At half time Player / Manager Samson Olaleye warned the Saints players that too many
individuals were being carried by others. He said that even though Colney were made to
look like an ordinary side in the first period if the attitude and work rate of those
players did not improve London Colney would eventually ware the side down through their
organisation and work rate.
The Saints started very sluggishly
in the second period. Colney soldiered on and broke the deadlock after 10 minutes when the
ball was lost up front for the Saints cheaply. It was then knocked back into the heart of
the Saints defence. Peter Pani came of his line, but the ball was struck home. The second
goal came from a left wing cross which was unchallenged and headed into the back of the
Saints net by the Colney right midfielder. Sheldon Fleming tried desperately to pick up
the pieces for the Saints but by now heads had dropped and it was all one way traffic for
Colney. The 3rd goal was the best of the game. A delightful chip over Peter Pani from just
outside the box. The 4th and final goal caught the Saints back four and the linesman in a
dispute for off side. The Colney striker did not dispute his position and gladly converted
his chance to make it 4 0.
Olaleye told the players after the
game that the outcome was predictable and that for the team to be successful he needed
maximum effort from all quarters.
Defence: Peter Pani, Jonathan
Joseph, Stephen Robinson, Aaron Gartan, Gary Laurance Midfield: Adrian Nicolson, Rodny
Clark, Sheldon Fleming, Wayne Jackson Attack: Mussy Dennis, Leon Substitute Brian
Islington St.Mary's 2
Buckingham Athletic 1
It was an early start from London
to get to the far reaches of Buckingham, just past Milton Keynes for this mid week tie.
The Saints arrived with minutes to go before kick off and had no time for preparation or
extensive pre match banter. The instructions were clear, Win!
The Saints were unsettled during
the opening period with no solidarity throughout the team. They conceded an early goal
after an Athletic attack was foiled in the last third of the Saints half, but the ball was
not cleared and St.Mary's conceded a free kick.The ball was driven across the Islington
goal and thumped into the back of the net. This sparked the imagination of the Saints team
and they begun to develop play from mid field and held the ball up well in attack.
Islington got their just rewards for sustained pressure after a goal mouth scramble found
Islington forward Mussy Dennis in the wright place to even the scoreline in the 25th
minute. 10 minutes later a delightful one, two between Mussy and in form Tyrone Husbands
pushed the Saints into the lead after a thumping drive that nearly removed the net.
The second half saw the Saints come
into their own with creative football all around the park. They dominated the second
period but Buckingham soaked up the pressure well. The Saints had several chances to
conclude the fixture and survived with a last minute save from hero Saints keeper Peter
Defence: Peter Pani, Danny Debruce,
Stephen Robinson, Laurance Tucker, Gary Lawrance Midfield: Rodny Clark, Sheldon Fleming,
Wayne Jackson, Adrian Nicolson Attck: Mussy, Tyronne Husbands
Islington St.Mary's 2
Harpenden Town 1
St.Mary's sealed what could be the
biggest victory of their season in the battle to retain Premier League status against
fellow strugglers Harpenden Town. This tie had a dual importance; not to lose and reward
Harpenden with points to overtake them and secondly to win and push them up the table, and
thus away from the relegation zone. With these instructions deeply embedded in their minds
the Saints set about their task with vigour.
After hearing the chants and roars from the Town changing room before the game the Saints
new they had a battle on their hands. The pace of Bio Ackenfenwa and Tyrone Husbands
forced the Harpenden defence to play deeper and deeper into their own half, and with the
Saints defence pushing up it was all one way traffic for St.Mary's. Sheldon Fleming once
again marshalled mid-field and orchestrated most of the play. However they did survive an
early scare in their 18 yard box when their midfield let the ball run onto an encroaching
Harpenden forward who missed the target. 30 minutes into the game defender Gary Francis
again aggravated his hamstring and had to leave the field of play. The siege on the
Harpenden goal was merited when a low drive from in form Tyrone Husbands to the
goalkeepers left found the back of the net.
The start of the second half was much like the first, with every Saints attack looking
like reaping a goal. With the watch ticking away Harpenden committed more players up front
and the Saints defence started to look fragile and buckled under the pressure. Against the
run of play Husbands again took the ball up from midfield and beat several players to send
St.Mary's into an unassailable lead?
With the odds stacked up against them Harpenden put on fresh legs and pushed for a goal.
They looked very dangerous from every set piece and persevered from a corner to pull a
goal back. The last few minutes were arduous for the St.Mary's officials, but the referee
thankfully blew his whistle to end the tie.
Defence: Perer Pani, Gary Francis, Stephen Robinson, Jonathan Joseph Aaron Gartan,
Midfield, Sheilden Fleming, Adrian Nicolson, Rodny Clark, Wayne Jackson Attack: Tyronne
Husbands, Bio Ackenfenwa Substitutes: Charlie Danny Debruce
Islington St.Mary's 2 Ruislip
Against the odds Islington once again pulled of a
good performance against Ruislip Manor, and were unlucky to take all three points. Coles
Park has once again been closed down by the League because of dangerous surface debris,
resulting in all home fixtures being played at the oppositions ground. This confusion
caused several key players to turn up at the wrong ground and miss the entire fixture.
A make shift side, including Samson Olaleye, with a groin strain and Gary Francis, with a
pulled hamstring had to be fielded. The uneven odds fuelled the Saints spirits and they
started the match with an air of determination. 10 minutes into the game the Saints
suffered another setback when Midfield ace Brian James had to retire from the field with
an aggravated leg injury. Tony Barker, who was also carrying an injury, had to take his
place. St.Mary's compacted the midfield with Rodny Clark anchoring and Sheldon Fleming
setting up most of the play. The best chance of the half fell to Tony Barker after the
Ruislip keeper made a meal from a cross and somehow the ball found its way over the bar
from a header. From a comfortable position the Saints again went to sleep in defence down
the left wing. A run into their 18 yard box was easily passed and converted to send them
into the changing room with a one goal deficit.
The second half saw the arrival of Bio Ackenfenwa to replace Tony Barker. He made
penetrative runs into the heart of the Ruislip defence. His impact was completed when he
controlled the ball in the 18 yard box and a panicking Ruislip defender handled the ball.
Stephen Robinson calmly converted the penalty. This should have heralded a Saints
onslaught but moments later a ball that should have easily been cleared from the Saints
defence was instead lost to a corner, from which Ruislip restored their 1 goal lead. Wayne
Jackson turned from villain to hero after not clearing the ball earlier and stormed
through the Ruislip defence to complete an emphatic solo effort to again even the
scoreline. Ruislip hung on, surviving efforts from Akenfenwa and Nicolson to grind out a
Defence: Terry Asar, Adrian Nicolson, Gary Francis,
Stephen Robinson, Jonathan Joseph, Midfield, Sheilden Fleming, Brain James, Rodny Clark,
Aaron Gartan Attack: Samson Olaleye, Wayne Jackson Substitutes: Tony Barker, Bio
St.Margaretsbury 1 Islington St.Mary's
The mood was very positive before
the start of this fixture after a good all round performance against Waltham Abbey earlier
on in the week. The importance of the game was highlighted to the players by the Saints
staff, as St.Margaretsbury were also battling to survive relegation.
St.Margaretsbury kicked off. They
tried to work the ball around the field. A rejuvenated St.Mary's side immediately
pressured the man on the ball, and rapidly broke up their rhythm. St.Mary's retained much
more possession than in recent games and did not give the ball away cheaply in the initial
stages. Mussy and Wynne spearheaded the Saints attack, and held the ball up well. A pass
from Saints mid-fielder Adrian Nicolson found the St.Margaretsbury defence on the back
foot, and a stampeding Mussy beat two players and drove the ball low into the back of the
net. Minutes later he missed a chance from an almost identical position. Controversy
struck before the break when Desmond Wynne was brought down in the 18 yard box and no
penalty was given.
The second half saw
St.Margaretsbury start to take control of the game. The Saints defence started to play
deeper and deeper in their own half which gave the St.Margaretsbury midfield more time on
the ball. Against the run of play a clearance from Saints keeper Terry Asar found Wynne
who took the ball wide of the St.Margaretsbury keeper and shot the ball in of the upright.
The last 15 minutes saw St.Margaretsbury hit the crossbar and pull a goal back, but it was
too little to late and the Saints deservedly took the 3 points.
Defence: Terry Asar, Charlie, Danny
Debruce, Stephen Robinson, Midfield: Sheldon Fleming, Adrian Nicolson, Brain James
Tony Barker Attack: Mussy, Desmond Wynne Substitutes: Rodny Clark
Waltham Abbey 1
Islington St.Mary's 1
In their battle for survival in the
Premier Division Islington lost the chance to push themselves up the table after a draw
with neighbours Waltham Abbey. Bio Akenfenwa was proving much to handle for a fragile
Abbey defence and he should have opened his account in the 15th minute from an
unchallenged cross that was headed wide inside the 18 yard box. Minutes later another
cross from Danny Debruce into the Waltham Abbey 18 yard box was rifled into the back of
the net by Tyrone Husbands after a scramble. Against the run of play a cross from the left
into the Saints 18 yard box found an unmarked Abbey player who gladly dumped the ball into
the back of the net.
The second half was very
competitive, with the Saints stealing the edge. Desmond Wynne and Bio Akenfenwa should
have sealed the 3 points with individual missed chances.
Dated 25th March 1999
Islington St.Mary's 0 Beaconsfield SYCOB
Beaconsfield travelled to Coles
Park seeking 3 points in their bid to challenge for the Premier Division title. They
currently top the table, and were eager to maintain their status at the expense of
struggling St.Mary's. Samson Olaleye slotted in at centre half to try and sure up the
defence. Beaconsfield looked like a well oiled side, working set pieces well and
maintaining good possession. Saints keeper Peter Pani warned of an early scare after he
thwarted a surge from the right back down the wing with a one handed save. Beaconsfield
lacked patience up front and continually ran off side, which was obviously frustrating the
rest of the team. In the 20th minute Olaleye was robbed whilst making a forward run from
defence into midfield. The Beaconsfield midfield capitalised and caught the Saints defence
flat footed. Saints defender Stephen Robinson clipped a Beaconsfield midfielder in
the 18 yard box to concede a penalty which was blasted against the upright.
In the second half Beaconsfield
started to make runs from midfield to beat the offside trap. The Saints began defending
deeper and lost possession very cheaply. Beaconsfield began to take control of the game.
The deadlock was broken in the 10th minute of the second period when a free kick found a
late run from the Beaconsfield right back which was headed and looped over the Saints
keeper. Minutes later the Saints lost possession in the Beaconsfield third. The defence
tried to step up, but did not do so in unison, which left the Saints keeper one on one
with Beaconsfield's forward. The opportunity was seized and Beaconsfield increased the
scoreline to 2 0. The third was a quickly taken free kick which caught the Saints back
four napping and was slotted home to make the final score Islington St.Mary's 0
Defence Peter Pani, Samson Olaleye,
Danny Debruce, Stephen Robinson, Adrian Nicolson Midfield: Sheldon Fleming Rodny Clark,
Aaron Gartan, Ricky Constaniou Attack: Tony Barker, Desmond Wynne Substitutes: Wayne
Potters Bar Town 2 Islington St.Mary's
No Match Report available
Harpenden Town 3 Islington St.Mary's 0
Harpenden were the victors of this
relegation struggle at the bottom of the Minerva Spartan South Midlands Premier Division.
The Saints did not seize the opportunity to take 3 points from a team languishing second
from bottom of the league. The first 20 minutes of the game was themed by a complete
onslaught of attack and possession by the Saints in the Harpenden half of the pitch. The
Saints pressured the Harpenden players whilst they were in occupancy of the ball but did
not reap the benefits of a goal. Totally against the run of play Harpenden were awarded a
free kick on the left wing, in the centre of the pitch. Lack of concentration by the
Saints defence allowed the Harpenden Centre half to tower up and head into the back of the
net. The game then started to deteriorate with running battles with the officials and
scathing tackles in the mid-field. Harpenden's second came from a long ball played into
two forwards that were several yards off side, but took the opportunity to extend their
lead. They most controversial moment of the game came when defender Gary Francis who had
just returned from injury again aggravated his hamstring. The game was halted.
Whilst off the pitch and awaiting substitution he was red carded for an alleged
comment to the referee, leaving the Saints with 10 men.
The second half was a messy affair,
with the saints having lost their shape and pushing for an early goal they were caught on
the break and conceded a third goal. An official complaint will be made to the FA by
St.Mary's Football Club for the poor standard of officiating.
Defence Peter Pani, Gary Francis,
Stephen Robinson Danny Debruce Midfield: Adrian Nicolson, Rodny Clark, Aaron Gartan
Attack: Tony Barker, Desmond Wynne
Islington St.Mary's 1 Brache Sparta 1
The Saints missed a golden
opportunity to crawl their way up a few places against a depleted Brache Sparta side that
was obviously suffering from a player availability crisis from this midweek tie. It was
all one-way traffic for the Saints in the first half, with Bio Acinfenwa and Tyrone
Husbands spearheading the attack. In the 25th minute whilst making a surging run in the
Sparta 18 yard box Husbands was brought down. In the absence on Stephen Robinson Tony
Barker stepped up to open the Saints account. Although the saints retained most of the
possession, they made no real in-roads the securing a second goal.
St.Mary's maintained the pressure
into the second period. However, they again committed footballing suicide when a
back pass to keeper Terry Akal should have been easily cleared. Akal chose to try and
control the ball, and was caught in possession. In an attempt to regain control of the
ball he tripped the Sparta forward and they were awarded an uncontested penalty, which was
tucked away. The tide changed and the Saints became dispirited. They defended well for the
remainder of the game but should have clinched a victory when Acinfenwa missed a on on one
with the Sparta keeper.
( London Senior Cup )
Bedfont 2 Islington
The Saints crashed out of the
semi-finals of the prestigious London Senior Cup. Bedfont, who are flying high in the
Combined Counties League started this fixture looking like the better side. They were
cohesively organised, working set pieces well, and showing lots of movement up front. The
Saints who once prided themselves on a strong defence looked disorganised and fragile.
They played deep in their own half and looked at threat from every attack. As the game
progressed chinks started to appear in the Bedfont armoury. They lacked pace at the back,
and direct balls to the Saints strike force, bypassing the midfield worried them. The game
took a turn and Bedfont suddenly started looking like an average side. The Saints came
alive and started pressuring the man on the ball and playing direct football, with long
balls into the heart of the Bedfont defence. These tactics suggested an invariable goal.
However, with the game taking a turn in favour of St.Mary's they committed footballing
suicide and stopped doing what was working. Players became too confident and started
over playing with short passes in their own half. This gave Bedfont the opportunity to
gather themselves, revert to a flat back four and take onus of the game. From a
controversially taken set piece in their own half Bedfont played a long ball just outside
the Saints 18 yard box. With 3 Saints defenders spare a Bedfont midfielder ran onto the
ball and chipped keeper Terry Akal, who had to came of his line to make in 1 0 in the 30th
minute. Desmond Wynne just missed an equaliser on the stroke of half time.
The scenes in the changing room
were passionate at half time. Player Manger Samson Olaleye slammed the defence for their
lack of concentration and over playing of the ball. The second half picked up were the
first had ended. Bedfont grew more in confidence as the Saints chased the game. They
sealed their victory in the 20th minute again from a set piece with a well taken header in
the 6 yard box. With this being the poorest season in the history of the club changes are
Defence: Terry Akal, Raymond
Bennett, Aaron Gartan, Micheal Haastrap, Adrian Nicholson Midfield:
Rodney Clark, Tony Barker, Tyrone Husbands, Ricky Constaniou Attack:
Samson Olaleye, Desmond Wynne Substitutes: Danny Debruce, Stephen Robinson, Bio
London Coloney 3
Islington St.Mary's 0
St.Mary's could not replicate the
emphatic form they showed against league leaders Brook House during their midweek fixture.
With a much changed team the Saints met a well organised London Coloney side, which showed
lots of movement up front, and a resolute defence. The first half was pretty evenly
matched, with Islington assisted by the aid of a strong wind. The best chance of the half
fell to Saints forward Daren Grey, with a well taken diving header that was tipped away by
the Colney keeper.
In the second half, with the wind
in their faces, and injured customary left midfielder Aaron Gartan substituting in goal
and unable to solidly kick the ball, the Saints found it hard to venture out of their own
half. The Saints defence started to strain under the pressure and started to defend deeper
and deeper in their own half. The pressure told in the 20th minute when what seemed to be
an innocuous ball over the Saints defence was caught by the Coloney attack and
delightfully chipped over encroaching keeper Gartan. 2 more goals were added to the tally
after sloppy marking from set pieces to give Coloney a well deserved victory.
Player Manager Samson Olaleye and
Nick Adams are trying to field a consistent 11, but have not been able to to so for the
entire season because of a suspension, injury and a player availability crisis at
Defence: Aaron Gartan,
Stephen Robinson, Raymond Bennett, Danny Debruce, Laurance Tucker Midfield:
Desmond Wynne, Rodney Clark, Tony Barker, Ricky Constaniou, Forwards:
Wayne Jackson, Daren Grey
Dated 1st March 1999
Islington St.Mary's 4
Brook House 2
The Saints started well and stuck to basics
for this midweek clash. Tyrone Husbands and Bio Ackinfenwa had excellent movement up
front. At the back Samson Olaleye marshalled the defence. Rodney Clarke anchored in the
midfield and Tony Barker gave his customary all. Ricky Constaniou on his debut tormented
the Brooke house right back and subsequently caused his departure in the second half.
Ackinfenwa opened his account with an excellently taken goal, with Brooke House
responding before half time to even the scoreline.
After the interval Husbands took on several
players to net the Saints second. Brooke House with their never say die attitude once
again evened the scoreline from a corner. Only incited the Saints team who rallied and
overwhelmed top of the league Brooke house with two more goals from Husbands and
Ackinfenwa to assure Islington of three needy points.
Dated 23rd February 1999
Islington St.Mary's 1 Somerset
Islington crashed to their 6th
defeat in a row. Somerset survived what could easily been a first half massacre, with the
Saints completely dominating the half and the Islington forwards squandering chance after
chance. Makeshift Saints keeper Gary Lawrence had little to do, but relax and enjoy
watching the game. Saints forward Mussy broke the deadlock on 30 minutes after a goal
The Saints paid for their missed
opportunities in the second half and rested on their Loral's. A rejuvenated Somerset
started playing the ball from the back and into mid-field. They played a possession game
and were rewarded in the 10th minute when a channel ball down the Saints flank was crossed
into the 18 yard box. Saints keeper Gary Lawrence came of his line but was beaten in the
air by an Ambry forward to even the scoreline. Panic set into the Saints side.
They began to defend very deep and lost possession up front and in mid- field too easily.
Ambry sealed the game with 2 more goals, and the Saints now look poised for a battle to
retain their league status.
Dated 22nd February
Ruislip Manor 5 Islington St.Mary's 1
Islington suffered their biggest
away defeat of the season. They opened the scoring and looked set to take control of
an open game. Sloppy defending from a free kick on the wing deep into the Saints
half allowed a cross into the 6 yard area where an un-marked Manor player joyfully placed
the ball into the back of the Saints net . 10 minutes later a deep ball down the wing
allowed an un-tracked Manor player to run onto it, and chip the ball over approaching
Saints keeper Peter Pani. The third blunder in the trilogy was a cross from the right wing
into the Saints box, where Saints defender Gary Lawrence called for the header and
collided with his keeper to allow Manors third. The Saints suffered another blow when
captain Andrew Hayles was dismissed for violent conduct.
The second half was an uphill climb
for the Saints and they conceded 2 more goals towards the end of the game.
Dated 13 February 1999
( London Senior Cup )
Crockenhill 2 Islington St.Mary's 4
The Saints had to field a make
shift side for this quarter final midweek fixture because of limited player availability.
Keeper Terry Akal was forced to take to the field and play up front, while injured Hugh
Johnson played in goal. Crokenhill started by playing a direct ball towards their
forwards, but this tactic bore no fruit. At the other end the shots were reigning fast a
furiously at the Crokenhill keeper. 10 minutes into the game Saints player Mushy arrived
which allowed keeper Terry Akal to return to goal, and Hugh Johnson retired from the
field. Mushy had an immediate impact with his first touch of the ball to blast it home.
Crockenhill were rocked and begun arguing with the officials and each other. Before they
had a chance to recover Tony Barker poached a goal after the Crokenhill keeper had
parried. Wayne Jackson notched up a third for the Saints with a solo run that involved
beating 3 players.
The second half saw Crokenhill
throw caution to the wind. They started playing some attractive football and worked the
ball from the back and into midfield maintaining possession. They pressured the Saints
back four. Against the run of play star striker Tony Barker was mowed down in the 18 yard
box to earn the Saints a penalty. Stephen Robinson stoked the ball to give the Saints a 4
goal cushion. Crokenhill were rewarded for their pressure in the dying minutes of the game
with two consolation goals.
Dated 11 February 1999
Islington St.Mary's 0 St Margeretsbury
The conditions for this fixture
were very much like those experienced against Haringey Borough. There was a blustery wind
and the Saints optioned to kick against it. They defended well until the 30th minute when
St.Margeretsbury won a corner. From the kick keeper Peter Pani called for the ball but was
caught in traffic, allowing a free header into the back of the net.
15 minutes into the second period
the Saints survived an early scare with a goal against them that was ruled off-side. The
Saints dominated the second half and should have equalised when a shot by Samson Olaleye
was stopped at point blank range in the 6 yard box. Tony Barker also missed an opportunity
with a surging run into the 18 yard box. There were several goal mouth scrambles but
St.Margeretsbury held on to take the points.
Dated 6th February 1999
Islington St.Mary's 0 Haringey Borough
Gale force winds featured in this rival
clash between landlords and tenants of Coles Park Stadium. It really was a game of two
halves with, Borough taking advantage of the windy conditions in the first period and
netting 3 goals. In the second half Borough defended well and the Saints could not gauge
the weight of the ball.
Dated 4th February 1999
( London Senior Cup )
Croydon Athletic 0 Islington St.Mary's
The Saints were back to their full
compliment of players for this London Senior Cup tie. They were not daunted by the status
of Athletic, who are languishing in 4th place in Division 3 of the Rymans league. Their
match programme indicated that they were on an unbeaten run, which had earned the Club
'Manager of the month'.
The spirit in the Saints camp was positive
before the game. The referee blew his whistle for a late kick off at 8PM to begin this tie
that had been postponed 4 times previously due to poor weather. Both teams were weary and
tentative for the initial opening minutes. The Saints played an attacking game, in the
main bypassing possession in central midfield and working the ball down the flanks, with
supporting runs in attack from central mid-field. The Saints begun to dominate the game
and had several mid range shots at goal.
At the other end the defence, marshalled by
Gary Francis, were working fairly well as a unit, diffusing the Athletic attacks. However,
lack of concentration on each flank left openings for the Athletic strike force to
pressure. Saints Veteran keeper Terry Akal produced an amazing save to keep Croydon at
The second period saw Saints Forward Tyrone
Husbands come into his own. He worried, troubled, tormented and beset the Athletic
defence, making penetrative and probing runs. St.Mary's were rewarded for his efforts when
he was switched to right mid-field. He beat several Athletic players, got to the 18 yard
box and set up Brian James, who with the accuracy of a scud missile, blasted the ball home
past the recently dubbed Croydon Athletic keeper of the month.
The final 15 minutes of the game saw
Croydon push up an additional forward and throw caution to the wind. They came close to
extending this tie to extra time from a header that hit the bar and a remarkable reaction
save from Terry Akal from point blank range. The Saints rallied and deservedly won the
Player of the
match?.................................Plenty to choose from, but Terry Akal gets my vote.
Dated 2nd February 1998
Brache Sparta 4 Islington St.Mary's 0
A freak cocktail of Influenza and personal
commitments left Islington St.Mary's with a depleted squad for this fixture. The
circumstances only allowed the Saints to play this tie with 10 men, including players
recovering from injury and excluding their keeper, with midfield ace Tony Barker occupying
The first 35 minutes of the game saw the
Saints constantly catch the eager Sparta forwards off-side with no real threat. The Sparta
midfield then started to make late runs to counteract the off-side trap, but again these
runs were comfortably swept up by the Saints Centre halves. However the defensive
consistency waned with the extra man advantage, and Sparta in a 5 minute period notched up
3 goals, mainly due to a lack of defensive concentration and not being tight enough.
The second half saw St.Mary's start to play
attractive football, but with only the solitary figure of Samson Olaleye up front there
wasn't enough finishing power. Sparta were given their 4th goal when 3 players were
controversially ruled on-side.
Under the circumstances Player / Manager
Samson Olaleye was happy at a sterling effort by his players and thought the
scoreline did not truly reflect the performance.
Dated 30th January 1998
Islington St.Mary's 0 Toddington
After a week themed by torrential rain it
was touch and go whether or not this fixture would be played. An 11am inspection of the
pitch gave the thumbs up.
Toddington Rovers had victory snatched from
their grasp in the last seconds of extra time earlier on in the season, so this tie had
expectations of a thrilling encounter.
Toddington kicked of facing the wind. They
rapidly established their rhythm and stamped their authority in mid-field, dominating down
their right flank. The ball was not being held up by the Saints forwards and possession
was relinquished frivolessley in general. A shaky un-unified Saints defence did well to
initially thwart the onslaught from the Rovers front line.
It was poor marking after a set piece that
allowed a break down the Toddington right flank. The ensuing cross into the Saints 6 yard
box was struck home to open the Toddington account after 25 minutes. The Saints had a
golden opportunity to even the scoreline but Tyrone Husbands wasted his chance with a weak
shot that was easily gathered by the Rovers keeper.
Two changes were made at half time at left
back and up front, to counter the Rovers dominance. This tactical move caused the tide to
change, and kicking against the wind St.Mary's camped in the Toddington half. However, for
all of their possession Toddington dealt well with the pressure. Against the run of play
Toddington again broke down the right wing crossed and ensured the 3 point victory.
Dated 23rd January 1998
Islington St.Mary's 2 Royston Town 2
It was touch and go weather the game would
be played at Coles Park. It had rained incessantly for the better part of the week, and
Landlords Haringey Borough entertained Barkingside the night before which eroded the pitch
even further. The conditions on the night deteriorated and it begun to rain, but this did
not hinder what materialised into a classic game.
Because of the conditions the Saints were
instructed to automatically play the ball into the channels to Aaron Gartan and Desmond
Wynne, who terrorised the Royston defenders and systematically whipped in crosses. The
forwards did not capitalise on this and there was no support from the mid-field during
attack. The Saints had to defend against a strong wind and kept it tight.
In the 25th minute for the first time in
the entire half, with the Saints completely dominating the game, Royston broke down
the right wing just outside the 18 yard box. The ball was played back across the box
to an untracked Royston mid-fielder, who slotted the ball past stranded Saints keeper
Peter Pani. Even though it was a poor goal to concede the Saints kept their heads up and
continued with their dominance of the game. They were rewarded for their pressure when the
Royston keeper slipped from a backpass and Tyrone Husbands gladly capitalised by stroking
the ball into an empty net 10 minutes before half time.
The second half started much like the
first, only this time the Saints had the benefit of the wind, and they camped in the
Royston half of the pitch. The break St.Mary's were looking for came in the 65th minute
when Tommy Williams crossed an excellent ball to Stephen Robinson, who glanced the ball
into the back of the Royston net to take the Saints into the lead. At this point the
Saints should have consolidated, but sloppy marking from a throw-in on the wing
allowed the ball to be played into the heart of the Saints defence. Tyrone husbands turned
from hero to villain when he was disspossed which again left Saints keeper Peter
Panayi with no chance to save the ball.
Desmond Wynne was substituted for Wayne
Jackson who had the best chance of the match with a one on one with the keeper, but
blasted far wide of the post. Royston pressured for the final minutes of the game and had
a goal disallowed for offside.
Saints veteran defender Gary Francis marked
his return after a lengthy suspension from September by being voted man of the match.
Dated 6th January 1998
Brimsdown Rovers 0
Islington St.Mary's 2
Climatic conditions were fair at Goldsdown
Road, home of Brimsdown Rovers. The pitch was in good condition after suffering a
week of perpetual rain, and there was a blustery wind. These conditions, added to the poor
form of both sides, indicated the right ingredients for a sub-standard game.
Brimsdown, currently languishing at the
bottom of the league were looking to springboard themselves up the division at the expense
of the Saints. The first 20 minutes were tight, with neither team making any inroads. The
Brimsdown defence, who were playing very square, countlessly caught the St.Mary's
forwards off side. At the other end the Saints defence were playing against the wind and
defended fairly well against a week Brimsdown strike force. Tyrone Husbands had a chance
to open his account when he was through on goal, but was hauled back by a Brimsdown
defender. The referee played the advantage, but an impeded Husbands could only put the
ball wide of the post. Tommy Williams for the Saints also acrobatically put the ball over
the bar from a corner from point blank range, but the ball did not fall well for him.
Man of the match Stephen Robinson from the
heart of defence started to dominate his position and feed the Saints midfield with the
ball. He then stepped up to calmly put away a penalty after Tommy Williams was pulled back
in the Brimsdown 18 yard box. This left the scoreline 1 0 at the break.
The Saints pushed for the winner in the
second period. Chances were squandered by Aaron Gartan and Tommy Williams before Gartan
sealed victory in the 75th minute.
Dated 28th December 1998
Islington St.Mary's 1 Arlesey
After a week of heavy rain the Coles Park
pitch was not in ideal condition to play attractive football. Arlesey Town, languishing at
the bottom of the Premier League, rolled up their sleeves to do battle for shear survival
in what turned out to be a very forgettable game. The tie started out as a war of
attrition between these two sides that are currently suffering from lack of form.
Arlesey Town, kicking against the wind,
seemed to be coping with the elements better. There was plenty of play in midfield by both
sides with attacks being broken up fairly well by both teams defence. The major brake came
in the 20th minute when a back-pass in defence to the Arlesey keeper was cleared straight
into the path of Saints forward Tommy Williams who gladly obliged by steered the ball into
the back of the Arlesey net. The Saints uncharacteristically were poor down the flanks
which gave them no width and service to their front men who were playing too deep in
the Arlesey half.
In the second period Arlesey, with the wind
behind them, pressured for the equaliser. The Saints defence were under siege but were
coping well with the pressure. However the onslaught told in the dying minutes of the game
when a crossed ball was dropped by the Saints keeper to give Arlesey the equaliser. Aaron
Gartan controversially had a goal ruled off-side in the last minute of the game.
Dated 19th December 1998
Beaconsfield SYCOB 2 Islington
A handful of spectators were treated to an
exiting exhibition of skill and determination during this 90 minute thriller.
Beaconsfield, who at this stage of the season have only suffered one defeat, pride
themselves on their defence, which signalled a difficult fixture for the Saints. St.Mary's
after being given the vote of confidence by the coaching staff before the game, started of
very well and had a good team spirit. They were compact in defence and looked
menacing up front, with Paul Maclean and Tommy Williams holding the ball up well. Desmond
Wynne from midfield beset the Beaconsfield defence with some penetrating skilful runs.
However, first blood was struck by Beaconsfield in the 15th minute when a corner was not
adequately cleared and the ball was launched back into the Saints defence. The ball was
struck low and hard, and hit the upright. A napping Saints defence allowed
Beaconsfield a second bite of the cherry from the rebound to make it 1 0. Wynne went close
to equalising just before the break from a shot just inside the 18 yard box.
After half time the Saints pressured for
the equaliser with Beaconsfield pushing for a 2 goal cushion. St.Mary's just looked like
the better side. However Beaconsfield's wishes were met first in the 60th minute after a
ball was not cleared by the saints defence and volleyed in from 20 yards into the back of
the net. In the 70th minute Tommy Williams was in on goal but was pulled back to get a
well earned penalty. Trusty Stephen Robinson duly obliged from the spot to make it 2 1.
The Saints rallied, and applied the pressure. However Beaconsfield were resolute and took
a well earned 3 points.
Barkingside 3 Islington St.Mary's 1
Islington suffered their 3rd defeat in a
row in East London. 1996/7 League Champions Barkingside ground out a favourable result in
this mid week Derby. Islington played fairly well for the first 20 minutes and once again
looked like a football team, with staunch defending and distribution by saints right back
Tony Burey. They absorbed Barkingsides early pressure and countered well down the flanks.
Lack of ideas and sloppy defending again started to creep into the Saints play and
Barkingside missed a one on one with the Saints keeper. After Barkingside hit the bar it
was only a matter of time until they scored the opener, which was in the 40th minute after
a delightful chip over an encroaching St.Mary's keeper.
The second half saw Barkingside grow in
confidence and start to look like the better team. They camped in the Saints half and got
the second goal they were looking for after 15 minutes from a solo run down the left flank
and a low drive into the back of the Saints net. The 3rd came from a Barkingside corner
that was cleared and returned into the Saints 18 yard box and placed into the back of the
net. Veteran Saints forward Paul Maclean made his first appearance for one and a half
seasons and caused mayhem for the Barkingside defence. Desmond Wynne claimed a consolation
for the Saints with the best goal of the game after beating 3 players and neatly curling
it into the back of the net.
Dated 9th December 1998
Islington St.Mary's 0 Hoddesdon Town 2
Hoddesdon did the double on the Saints, and
rubbed their noses deeper into their mid season slump. With September player of the month
Tony Barker playing in goal it signalled a difficult fixture. Islington started of
promisingly, playing fluent football from midfield. Playing the wingback system the Saints
defence didn't look comfortable and were chasing the back of their foe from probing
crosses. The un-cohesion was exposed after 20 minutes when a cross from the left wing
found a free Hoddesdon forward who put the ball pass an exposed Saints keeper. From
that point the form of the Saints dissolved as they couldn't find each other with simple
passes, and Hoddesdon took total control of the game. Town missed several chances to
extend their lead before exiting the pitch for half time.
The second half picked up much like the
first with the Saints chasing the game. Misery was capped for St.Mary's when a cross from
the right wing into the 6 yard box was met by Saints defender Danny Debruce who in an
effort to clear the ball into touch headed it into his own net.
Saints make shift keeper Tony Barker made
several saves to keep the scoreline somewhat respectable at 2 0.
Dated 5th December 1998
Islington St.Mary's 1
Hillingdon Borough 5
Hillingdon exploited what can best
be described as a comedy of individual errors by Islington at Coles Park. The Saints,
playing a wingback system, were punished severely by Borough. 3 goals were hammered in
during the first period by Hillingdon who surprisingly did not dominate the game. The
Saints had an opportunity towards the end of the half to pull a goal back. The second half
followed the same vein, with another golden opportunity being squandered by Tommy Williams
during the opening few minutes. Hillingdon remained organised but could not contain
a cross field ball by Stephen Robinson to Aaron Gartan on the wing who struck the ball
early from an acute angle past the Borough keeper. The Saints gained a little momentum but
Robinson turned from hero to villain when he played a ball back to veteran keeper Terry
Akal who struck the ball against an encroaching Borough player who gladly converted the
opportunity to kill any effort of a Saints revival. Borough rounded of a naive evening for
the Saints with a 5th goal 15 minutes before time.
Dated 3rd December 1998
(Minerva Spartan South
Midlands Challenge Cup)
Dunstable 0 Islington
Dunstable played host to the Saints
in their second game of the Minerva Challenge Cup. Because of player availability and
defensive non-cohesion Samson Olaleye swapped his centre forward position and played in
the heart of the defence. St.Mary's held it tight for the first 20 minutes. Aaron Gartan
and Tyrone Husbands caused utter mayhem down the Dunstable flanks, crossing excellent
balls that had no Islington personnel on the end of them. In the 25th minute St.Mary's
were awarded a penalty after a corner found Tommy Williams in the 18 yard box. In a
desperate attempt the Dunstable keeper hauled him down to concede a penalty. Once again
reliable Stephen Robinson placed the ball into the back of the net for the Saints to take
a one goal lead.
The second half saw Dunstable mount
a revival and take control of the game. The Saints weathered the storm and scored a goal
against the run of play.
Dated 28th November 1998
Haringey Borough 2 Islington
Coles Park Stadium re-opened to host this
clash between landlords Borough and tenants Islington. The team talk for the Saints was
direct they entered the field raring to go. St.Mary's uncharacteristically started very
well, with all segments of the side playing cohesively. They pressured the man on the ball
and gave Borough no time to develop any rhythm. After 20 minutes of camping in the Borough
half Aaron Gartan made a terrific solo run down the left wing from his own half into the
Borough 18 yard box and was clumsily bundled over by the Borough defence. Stephen Robinson
gratefully converted the proceeding penalty to take the Saints into the lead. Having a
quiet game on the left wing Tyrone Husbands picked up the ball midway in the Borough
half and smashed a right foot drive into the back of Haringey's net to make it 2 0 on the
stroke of half time.
The second half was one way traffic for
Borough. Islington lapsed deeper into their own half, and stopped playing their
effective style of condensing the midfield. This opened up the game for Borough. They got
the early goal they were looking for after a ball was played through the heart of the
Saints defence, who naively appealed for an off-side decision. Saints keeper Terry Asar
saved the initial shot, but could do anything about the follow up. Psychologically this
put Borough up another gear, and had the Saints listing under the pressure. With 2 minutes
to go Borough got the equaliser they deserved after a free kick, given away by Stephen
Robinson, was hit into the Saints 18 yard box and flicked onto Keeper Terry Asar who did
not gather the ball and allowed Borough to equalise.
Dated 17th November 1998
Islington St.Mary's 0 Brache
( Abandoned after 70 minutes)
The gods took pity on the Saints during
this Saturday fixture. Possibly demotivated after being dumped out of the FA Vase the
previous week the Saints were 4 - 0 down and facing possibly their biggest defeat of the
season thus far. With 20 minutes to go the floodlights failed and the game was abandoned
to allow the Saints to fight another day!
Dated 14th November 1998
Buckingham Athletic 3
Islington St.Mary's 2
Islington St.Mary's went crashing out
of the FA Vase on Saturday. The high scoreline reflected the 90 minute thriller that took
place at Buckingham. Buckingham played to the windy and muddy conditions, and had the
Saints on the ropes from early. Yet another reconstructed St.Mary's defence and midfield,
due to the freak crisis of player availability that has struck the club, rocked
under the Athletic pressure. Buckingham had good movement and hit the channels at every
opportunity. With the wind in their favour and the Saints defence playing deep they
maintained an onslaught until the 10th minute when a weakly cleared ball, after a
goal mouth scramble just outside the Saints 18 yard box, was returned and joyfully dumped
into the Saints net to open the Buckingham account. Saints player / manager Samson Olaleye
had a golden opportunity to equal the scoreline when Aaron Gartan played a ball to him
inside the 18 yard box, but was thwarted by the impressive Buckingham keeper. At the other
end the Islington defence could not contain a cross field ball to the right that was
returned into the their 18 yard box for an alleged 'Hand of God' conversion, making the
scoreline 2-0. Tyrone Husbands who had missed the previous weeks fixture tormented the
Buckingham midfield and defence. He beat 4 players from midfield to once again set up
Olaleye, who sent the ball high into the heavens. On the 25th minute a ball played into
the Saints right channel was gathered comfortably by their left back Tony Bury. Bury tried
to play the ball out of defence. The Buckingham left midfielder duly disspossed him of the
ball and crossed it into the box to put Buckingham into an unassailable lead. Tommy
Williams pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time after a shot was deflected to him
in the Athletic 18 yard box.
Grim scenes followed in the Saints changing
room at half time. Ultimatums were given to the players and they reacted accordingly in
the second half. The Saints retained at least 80 per cent possession in what had become a
transformed game. However, it was to little to late. Gartan scored a goal for the saints
after 15 minutes into the second period, which will be a likely candidate for goal of the
season. Buckingham weathered the storm and deservedly entered the next round of the vase.
Dated 7th November 1998
Buckingham Athletic 3
Islington St.Mary's 1
The roller coaster ride of
inconsistency for the Saints continued at Buckingham on Saturday. After a torrential
downpour in the morning this fixture survived the elements to the advantage of Athletic.
Both teams were evenly matched on a muddy bog for the first twenty minutes. Danny Debruce
in a changed role of Central Midfield from Right Back had a chance to open his account
after 15 minutes with a well taken shot that was stopped brilliantly by the Buckingham
keeper. Buckingham again rode their luck after Aaron Gartan had another opportunity but
the Saints were again foiled by the keeper, who arguably was man of the match. The Saints
defence had shape and continually caught the Buckingham forwards off-side, however they
did not make life easy for themselves and unnecessarily gave the ball away on several
occasions. The break came after 30 minutes for Buckingham when a goalkeeping clearance
from Terry Asar upfield was immediately returned down the left wing. The Saints pushed up
and naively appealed for offside and were punished. The scoreline read 1-0.
The trend for a Saints second half
revival looked set to continue as they started to work the ball well in the
difficult conditions. However, the stuffing was knocked out of them after 15 minutes when
the right midfielder for Athletic was not closed down and was allowed to play the ball
down the wing and across the Saints box to be hammered in to make the scoreline 2 0. What
had then been a shaky game for the referee became an earthquake. Both Club players and
officials openly remonstrated for some extremely bad decisions. The final nail in the
coffin was hammered down when a long ball into the heart of the defence skimmed back of
the head of Saints Defender Stephen Robinson towards keeper Terry Asar, who chose not to
come of his line. Buckingham seized the opportunity, and with only the keeper to beat the
ball was squared and drilled into the back of the net. Aaron Gartan claimed a solo
consolation goal soon after. Then controversy reigned when a Buckingham defender during
his efforts to clear the ball with his feet in his 18 yard box did so with his hand, with
no penalty being awarded.
Just before full time Player /
Manager Samson Olaleye was dismissed for violent conduct for allegedly striking a
Dated 31 October 1998
Brook House 1 Islington
After what could have been a
midweek drubbing by Welwyn Garden City the Saints bounced back in the finest of style
against Brook House, a side they have never beaten since entering the Spartan League. The
game started fairly evenly with a gusting wind that favoured St.Mary's. However, the
breakthrough came after 20 minutes when Aaron Gartan crossed the ball from the right wing
into the box to Tommy Williams, who neatly controlled the ball and drove it hard and low
past the House keeper to take the lead. Brook House responded immediately and upped their
tempo to put the Saints under pressure. Against the run of play 1997-98 Islington
St.Mary's player of the year Aaron Gartan again supplied a telling ball to Samson Olaleye
who drove the ball low and hard to make it 2 - 0 after 38 minutes.
The Saints came out in the second
period facing a strong gusting wind. A free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box was
converted by Brook House after 10 minutes to make the scoreline 2-1. It was the early goal
that Brook House required to stay in contention. Olaleye had other ideas. He ran down the
wing and cut into the Brook House box and was hauled down by a desperate Brook House
defender. Penalty. Again, enter Stephen Robinson to coolly take the game to 3-1. St.Mary's
started to play excellent football. Tony Barker in midfield played a one touch ball to
Aaron Gartan who similarly played it onto Tommy Williams who then committed the keeper and
lobbed him effortlessly. Williams could have sealed his hat-trick with a volley that was
saved in the dying minutes.
Dated 19th October 1998
(Minerva Spartan South
Midlands Premier League Cup)
Islington St.Mary's 2 Welwyn
Garden City 4
The Saints, beaming from their Saturday FA
Vase victory, were punished for playing 'Russian Roulette' with Welwyn Garden City.
Islington St.Mary's FC has had a history of a strong resolute defence, which has not been
reflected so far this season, with only one clean sheet being recorded. The Saints were
one goal down within five minutes. Sloppy defending by Wayne Jackson allowed the Welwyn
Garden City right midfielder to; Control the ball, turn and work it down the wing into the
box for an excellent goal. It seamed that this had signalled an awakening, with the Saints
pushing for the equaliser. However, more sloppy defending after 11 minutes by Jackson
allowed a simple tap in after he miss queued a clearance which went under his boot.
With a two goal deficit City had their tails in the air and started to play some excellent
football. With the Saints defence in disarray and playing deep Welwyn had the space to
retain possession of the ball. The pressure told after 25 minutes when a ball played into
the 18 yard box was miss controlled by Saints defender Tony Bury, which again allowed a
tap in past dejected Saints keeper Terry Asar. The forth and final click of the
loaded gun was again solely down to the disorderly defence playing squarely leaving a City
midfielder free to neatly chip the ball over an exposed Terry Asar to make it 4 in the
Scenes in the changing room were sombre at
half time. The defence were reprimanded and given new instructions for the second period,
with tactical changes being made. It was too little too late. The Saints were rewarded
with 2 consolation goals from Trojan midfielder, Andrew Hales and Player / Manager Samson
Dated 13th October 1998
Southend Manor 1 Islington
Match Report to
Islington St.Mary's 1 Brimsdown Rovers
The slump for the Saints continued at
Goldsdown Road on Tuesday. After the best start to the season in several years the Saints
lost a further 2 points, making a total of 8 lost in the space of a week. Bottom of the
table Brimsdown started this fixture with a lot of energy. Both teams were trying to
establish control of the game, with the Saints making greater inroads. Tommy Williams
could have opened his account with a header crossed from the wing, which was saved on the
line by a Brimsdown defender. Brimsdown were very slow and square at the back but Tyrone
Husbands of St.Mary's did not exploit this with his blistering pace. The opening that the
Saints were looking for came in the 20th minute when Samson Olaleye, playing from defence,
side footed the ball into the back of the Brimsdown net from a corner. This should have
signalled a roller coaster ride over Brimsdown, who had other ideas. 10 minutes later a
flat footed Saints defence playing the offside trap left last man, goal keeper Terry Asar
, to the fate of 3 Brimsdown players who did not hesitate to even the scoreline.
The quality in the second half was better
from St.Mary's who pushed for the winning goal. Again Tommy Williams had the opportunity
to put the Saints in front , but he over ran the ball at the vital second. The saints made
2 tactical changes to no avail. The game ended on 92 minutes and Brimsdown were happy with
a point. The scenes in the changing room after the game by the St.Mary's coaching
staff were furious.
Dated 6th October 1998
Hoddesdon Town 2 Islington St.Mary's 1
Islington did not recover from the hangover
caused by their midweek defeat at the hands of Royston Town. With 6 regular players out
through suspension and injury they crashed to their second defeat in the space of 5
days. Hoddesdon dictated the tempo of the game for the first 20 minutes. The Saints
defence had no cohesion, and were punished in the 15th minute when they attempted the
offside trap, which let the Hoddesdon forward in for a free strike on goal inside the 18
yard box, which he duly converted. Matters were compounded in the 35th minute when a high
lofted defensive clearance by Hoddesdon was launched just outside the Saints 18 yard box.
Stephen Robinson of St.Mary's attempted to return the ball back upfield, but sliced the
ball over an oncoming keeper Terry Asar for a perfect own goal.
The team talk during the interval sparked
the Saints into gear for the second half. The defence finally settled and started to cope
with simple attacks. Tommy Williams pulled a goal back after a goal mouth scramble after
20 minutes. However, any hope of a Saints revival were diminished after 30 minutes with
the dismissal of captain Danny Debruce for a second bookable offence. Hoddesdon rallied to
maintain the scoreline and victory.
Dated 4th October
Royston Town 2 Islington
It was back to League duties for the
Saints, defending their unbeaten record away at Garden Walk, home of Royston Town. Manager
Samson Olaleye retained the side that beat Milton Keynes on the weekend.
In the early stages of the game the Saints
defence smothered Roystons early attacks. In the midfield Tony Barker and Aaron Gartan
dictated the pace with accompanying probing runs from Wayne Jackson and Damion Noonan. St.
Mary's went close in the 25th minute but Olaleye squandered the opportunity. Late in the
first period, against the run of play, Royston capitalised form a corner by playing
a short ball out to the 18 yard box, and fired in a low drive which found its way into the
back of the net.
The second half was almost a carbon copy of
the first, with Royston having much of the possession and the Saints countering. At one
goal down the Saints spurned countless opportunities to equalise. Royston sealed the game
and brought St.Mary's down to earth with a thud , with a well taken unchallenged
header from a cross from the wing.
Player /Manager Samson Olaleye was livid
and once again blasted the defence for their lack of concentration.
Dated 2nd October
(Minerva Spartan South
Midlands Challenge Cup)
Milton Keynes 2 Islington
Once gain the Saints left it late to secure
a victory at Milton Keynes. They had to come back twice to take their place in the next
draw of the Challenge Cup. A confident Milton Keynes, after several recent victory's, took
the lead after 20 minutes when the ball was worked well down the left right wing, and
crossed into the 6 yard box where the Milton Keynes forward towered to head the ball in at
close range. The Saints had still not settled into the game when that man Tommy Williams
from St.Mary's ran onto a through ball to equalise 10 minutes later. A depleted Saints
defence hit by injury and suspensions looked shaky at times and were punished by Milton
Keynes after a ball was picked up outside the 18 yard box by the Milton Keynes forward who
dribbled into the area. The insuing shot took a wicked deflection to beat a stranded
Terry Asar in the Saints goal. Milton Keynes entered the changing rooms at half time with
a one goal lead.
As in previous games St.Mary's started the
half a totally transformed team. They quickened and dictated the pace of the game. The
defence consolidated and individual battles were won up front and in midfield. The break
came after 15 minutes when another long ball allowed Tommy Williams to power past the
Milton Keynes defence and calmly place the ball past a flat footed Milton Keynes keeper,
who should have come out of his box. This was an important juncture in the game as Milton
Keynes lost their shape and confidence. The tie was settled 15 minutes from time
when a poorly taken free kick by Milton Keynes was pressured and deflected by Tommy
Williams to Wayne Jackson who punished Milton Keynes and sealed the victory.
Man of the match was Tommy Williams for his
tireless efforts. Well done Tommy!
Dated 25th September
( London Senior Cup )
Woodford Town 0 Islington St.Mary's 1
Islington met their old foes Woodford Town,
who left the Minerva Spartan League to join the Essex Senior League this season. The
rivalry showed with Woodford players receiving 2 yellow cards in the first 20 minutes of
the game . The game was pretty even, but the standard was poor by both sides. Trojan for
the evening was Tony Barker of St.Mary's, who dominated the midfield and set up a channel
ball to Striker Tommy Williams for a well taken goal, which was struck with thunderous
venom through the legs of the Woodford keeper. Woodford came close with a shot that hit
The tempo of the game continued into the
second half. Sheldon Fleming nearly sealed the game after a free-kick outside the 6 yard
box was headed onto the bar by the Woodford defence. Woodford had a man sent of for a
second bookable offence in the 70th minute. Psychologically this gave them a boost, and
they pushed for an equaliser. A well taken shot by a Woodford forward in the dying minutes
clipped the post to deny then.
Joint Player/Manager Samson Olaleye again
had harsh words for the majority of the side exclaiming that even though the will and
determination is ample within the side it needs to be allied with quality.
Dated 22nd September
Toddington Rovers 1 Islington
Islington left Barton with a point from
nowhere on Saturday. With an increasing number of players out, either from suspension or
injury, Manager Samson Olaleye had to cobble together a make shift side. Toddington seemed
nervous and could not establish any rhythm, and thus Islington stamped their authority on
the game. The Saints, like a swarm of Locus, beset the Toddington defence and caused utter
mayhem. Tommy Williams had the best chance of the half to open the Saints account, but his
shot was saved at point blank range by the Toddington keeper. Both teams entered the
changing room goaless, after Islington had dominated the half.
The second period saw Toddington playing
with more confidence. Even though they didn't initially penetrate the Saints defence balls
were starting to arrive in dangerous areas. A free to kick to Toddington led to a
poor clearance by the Saints defence which was punished by a scrambled goal. This was the
medicine that Toddington needed they pushed for the winner and should have sealed the game
after a delightful cross was met poorly by the Toodington forward, who put the ball wide.
At the other end Tony Barker for the Saints had a golden opportunity inside the 6 yard box
to square the scoreline but shot at the keeper. It then looked like the end of the
undefeated record for the Saints as injury time minutes ticked away. Attack after attack
was defended well by Toddington until a surging run by Danny Debruce into the 18 yard box
was illegally halted by the Toddington defence. Steven Robinson, after a miss the previous
week, calmly stepped up to make the final score 1 1 in the 97th minute.
Dated 19th September
Burnham FC 1 Islington
This fixture was historical, as it was the
first time St.Mary's had played in this competition.They started at a disadvantage because
goal keeper Terry Asar, through a mix-up, did not turn arrive at the pitch. Without the
reserve keeper available centre forward, Tony Barker, had to take on the
responsibility of protecting the St. Mary's net.
The game itself was a rugged affair and a
battle of wills. Burnham started very briskly playing a direct type of football, punting
long balls in-between the Saints defence and keeper. Even though Burnham had the majority
of the play the defence were never really threatened. The breakthrough came in the 30th
minute, after some neat play from Sheldon Fleming down the wing saw a ball knocked into
space to Samson Olaleye, who calmly lobbed the keeper from just outside the 18 yard box. A
momentary lapse in concentration in the Saints defence 10 minutes later gave Burnham the
equaliser from a ball over the top of the defence, which was met by a rampaging Burnham
forward, who slipped the ball under an inexperienced Tony Barker from 15 yards.
The second half saw the Saints step up a
gear. They started to create more and more chances and threatened the Burnham goal. 20
minutes into the second half a cross from Aaron Gartan was met with a pin point accurate
header by Tyrone Husbands to put St.Mary's into the lead. Burnham pushed for the equaliser
with more direct balls over the defence and were nearly rewarded on 30 minutes when a shot
just outside the 6 yard box was parried by part-time keeper Tony Barker. Tommy William's
and Chris Seon missed easy chances to wrap up the game.
After 90 minutes The Saints left Burnham in
the next round of the Vase.
Dated 14th September
Somerset Ambery 1 Islington
It was 3 wins in a row, and an undefeated
record of 6 games in this Saturday fixture. After a solid start by the Saints they
lost their way after 20 minutes against a well organised Ambery team. For the first time
this season the Saints faced a team that were creating more chances than themselves. The
pressure told in the 30th minute when a cross from the left wing was met by a side footed
volley in the 6 yard box and pass a stranded Terry Asar. Somerset seemed to have an extra
man in mid-field and controlled the game until the second period. St.Mary's were staring
into the jaws of defeat.
The interval team talk by Samson Olaleye
was passionate. He told the players to dig deep and show some character. The response by
the players was decisive. Somerset were met by a focused and transformed side. The Saints
started to pressure the Somerset players on the ball. They were rewarded when a throw-in
was dummied by Aaron Gartan, and the ball was met by Andrew Hales with a thunderous shot,
that was cruelly deflected to bring the score to 1 1 after 15 minutes of the second half .
Tommy Williams made a solo run into the penalty box and was scythed down to give the
Saints a chance to take the lead. Stephen Robinson sent the goal-keeper the wrong way but
hit the post. The Saints continued to rally and Tommy Williams had the best
opportunity to seal the game after a solo run into the 18 yard box, but skied his shot
with only the keeper to beat.
The game seemed set for a draw, but with 8
minutes to go August player of the month, Danny Debruce, made a charging run, but was
brought down just outside the penalty box. The subsequent free kick was taken
quickly by Aaron Gartan to Samson Olaleye. He took the ball wide of the Somerset goal and
hit it from an acute angle into the back of the net.
The performance was not vintage St.Mary's
but the character of the side got them the result.
Dated 5th September
3 Waltham Abbey 1
Islington St Mary's won their
second game in a row to challenge at the top of the table, and has stretched their
unbeaten run to 5 games. The Saints went marching on at Coles Park in this North East
London Derby with arched rivals Abbey. The Saints continental style of play stifled any
pattern that Abbey tried to develop from defence. This business like approach was rewarded
in the 20th minute when a debt back-flick by forward, Samson Olaleye, saw a surging Aaron
Gartan from mid-field place the ball neatly pass the Abbey keeper.
The second half started march like
the first with a solid performance by all units. Abbey threw caution to the wind and
surged forward. However the attacks were moped up by the Saints defence. Tommy William's
marked his return to St.Mary's with 2 early goals, but should have made it a hatrick after
a squandered opportunity. Abbey scored a consolation towards the end of the game.
Co.-Manager, Samson Olaleye, was
pleased with the team performance and start to the season mentally and physically.
Dated 2 September 98
Arlesey Town 1 Islington
After a midweek drubbing Arlesey Town set
about curing a serious hangover by swallowing the pill of St.Mary's. Things were going
according to plan when a well stuck shot cannoned of the post against the Saints keeper
and into the back of the net after 23 minutes. The Saints began to improve their
lacklustre performance and equalised when Damion Noonan won the ball in midfield ran down
the wing and crossed for a well timed diving headed goal by Player-Manager Samson Olaleye.
The second half was a complete
transformation. St.Mary's pressured the Arlesey town players on the ball and they lost
their pattern and shape. It was then a one-way direction to victory for the Saints.
Olaleye then scored the winner with a creeping shot past the Arlesey Town Keeper in the
70th minute. Tommy Williams and Aaron Gartan also went close, not justifying the
scoreline by a great performance.
Dated 29th August 98
Islington St.Mary's 1 Welwyn
Garden City 1
St.Mary's escaped with a fortunate point
after a poor second half performance. They started the game very slowly and it was only
after 15 minutes that they began to find their rhythm. Desmond Wynne was very prominent
for the Saints and created two excellent chances for Chris Seon, who squandered both
opportunities. The saints began to take control of the game but this changed when Wynne
was dismissed for violent conduct in the 44th minute, leaving St.Mary's with 10 men.
In the second half Tony Barker had an
excellent chance to put St.Mary's ahead, with only the keeper to beat, but lofted his shot
over the bar. Welwyn Garden started to take advantage of their extra man and orchestrated
the game, whilst St.Mary's lost their shape. They then took the lead after sloppy
defending by Laurance Tucker. City had opportunities to put the game beyond the reach of
St.Mary's but did not take them. They were subsequently punished with 8 minutes to go when
Aaron Gartan struck a brilliant free kick from 35 yards beyond the keeper and into the
back of the net. It was no more than his performance deserved, as he was by far the best
player on the park, and to confirm this he made a last ditch tackle to deny a City forward
with a minute to go.
St.Mary's Co.-Manager, Samson Olaleye, was
unhappy with the performance, saying to many individuals had a bad day, and was concerned
that the team were making the same errors as last season.
Dated 22nd August 98
Milton Keynes 3 Islington
The Saints had the worst preparation
possible for this fixture. Due to an earlier accident on the M1 they were delayed, and
arrived at Milton Keynes 10 minutes after kick-of time. In view of the circumstances the
officials rescheduled kick-of to 3:20. Milton Keynes started very well, developing the
game from defence. Most of the play was in midfield but every attack was comfortably
dissolved by a resolute St.Mary's defence. A lapse in concentration in the saints midfield
in the 15th minute led to a break down the left wing and a subsequent cross that was well
controlled and rifled into the back of the St.Mary's net. 2 minutes later St.Mary's were
awarded a free kick, for a foul on Samson Olaleye, a following goal mouth scramble led to
a excellent and well executed volley by Tony Barker. In the 30th minute Aaron Gartan
cannoned a free kick from 25 yards that took a cruel deflection from the Milton Keynes
wall pass their stranded keeper. The Saints entered the dressing room having the better of
the first period.
In the second half St.Mary's pushed for the
'decisive' goal and were rewarded in the 20th minute when Samson Olaleye was mowed down by
a clumsy defensive foul in the penalty area. Enter Steven Robinson to send the keeper the
wrong way. St.Mary's 3 Milton Keynes 1. It then looked like plain sailing for the saints,
especially after Milton Keynes had a man sent of for a poor challenge on Desmond Wynne.
Milton Keynes threw caution to the wind and surged forward. They looked menacing from set
pieces and were rewarded when the saints keeper, Terry Asar, called for a ball, but was
beaten by the Milton Keynes forward to make the scoreline 3 2. This gave Milton Keynes
even more impetus and hope. They again rallied and scored from an innocuous looped drive,
that should have been comfortably saved.
Samson Olaleye and Jason Kourris
,Co.-Managers, were pleased with the performance of the back four, but was critical of the
Dated 15th August 98
Coles Park will re-open after being
closed for several months because the field had fragments of glass embedded in the
The saints will be competing in 4 major
competitions this season:
The Minerva Football South Midlands Spartan Premier
The Minerva South Midlands Challenge Cup
The FA Vase
The London Senior Cup
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
GOAL OF THE MONTH
||Aaron Gartan (Vs Welwyn Garden City)
||Samson Olaleye (Vs Burnham FC)
||Tommy Williams (Vs Southend Manor)
Islington St.Mary's Player Of The Year