The SAL Representative Team took itself to the brink of triumph with a second win out of two in the Argonaut Trophy this evening (Wed 29 Nov). Against last season's champions, the Arthurian League, the Reds took the lead through Polytechnic's Lee Raji after 28 minutes before an equaliser on 50. The SAL regained the lead ten minutes from the end with a cracking volley from Graham Harrison - taking his tournament tally to four in two games - and held on to secure a second tournament victory with just one game remaining.
The SAL had a resounding 5-1 victory over the Amateur Football Combination last night (Wed 15 Nov) at Uxbridge F.C. thanks in large part to a hat-trick, scored by Polytechnic's Graham Harrison.
The team went 4-0 up before half-time with three headers from Harrison, all laid on by Dan Barber (Nottsborough) a,nd one more from James Cree, also of Polytechnic. The SAL went further ahead in the second period through Jordan Greaves (Alleyn Old Boys) before the AFC scored a consolation goal twenty minutes from the end.
Manager Bob Leeds described it as, "a great team performance, I couldn't ask for more". The team will be looking to continue this form into their next fixture on 29th November against the Arthurian League at Corinthian-Casuals F.C.,KO 7.45pm.
Bob and the players are grateful to LMC members Mark Freedman, Ronnie Robinson and Mike Brown for their support.
The draw for the 1st Round of the FA Inter-League Cup has been released with the SAL set to face the Bedfordshire League on 7 October. The game will take place at Cranfield United F.C., probably with a 3pm kick-off, but this is to be confirmed.
The SAL first entered the competition in 2007-08 when they achieved a dream start by going all the way to the final where they overcame the Midland Combination in a penalty shoot-out at the Ricoh Arena. The side then represented England at the 2008 UEFA Regions Cup, missing out on goal-difference in a preliminary group in Italy, where they remained unbeaten. The side reached the semi-finals in 2012 and 2016, going down 1-2 to the Isle of Man and 0-1 to the Teesside League respectively.
If your club has any players worthy of recommendation to represent they league please email manager Bob Leeds at email@example.com.
1st round draw - to be played by 14th October:
REARRANGED FOR WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2017
The SAL representative team will contest a new tournament starting in the 2016/17 season with the annual friendly fixtures against the Amateur Football Combination and the Arthurian League incorporated into the new Argonaut Trophy. The Herts Senior County League make up the 4-team line-up with each team playing three matches in a mini-league competition.
The three AFA leagues have played each other in annual friendlies for many years and the SAL-AFC fixture is played for the Steve Langley Cup. In addition, the AFC and SAL have met the Herts Senior County League through the FA Inter-League Cup in recent seasons with Herts reaching the final in 2014.
The competition will be played on a round-robin basis with teams playing each other once, alternating home and away fixtures each season. The games will all be played midweek on non-League stadium grounds with the ‘home’ league organising the fixture. In addition to the traditional 3-1-0 points system, drawn matches will be decided by penalty shoot-outs (no extra time) with the winning team receiving a bonus point.
The following fixtures were drawn for the 2016/17 season:
From the archives
The following is drawn from the AFA archives:
The Argonaut Trophy competition was inaugurated in 1951, with a presentation by the Tatler & Bystander of a beautiful silver nef, which must now be worth over £1,000. The magazine's gesture was a response to widely held concern at the time that many schools were turning from soccer to rugby football.
The initial entry was confined to some 16 clubs "not normally engaged in competitive football" and included the universities, officers' teams from the services, public school old boys and so on. It was administered by the Tatler's assistant editor for one year, and then handed on to a free-ance sport historian Sidney Patman who continued until his death, when T. Lawrence took over, who in turn died earlier this year.
The Football Association, and in particular Sir Stanley Rous and Sir Harold Thompson took a personal interest in the launching and esnured that the pan-county aspect of the competing clubs raised few practical problems, for example match officials were appointed by the F.A., directly or indirectly. Ther have been virtually no disciplinary situations and it has been possible to happily presume that this early personal involvement also represented sanction; at least this is what its two principal secretaries have assumed.
In the intervening years the group of clubs has expanded minimally to come two dozen at any one time, and there are now some half a dozen variations on a theme within the "Argonaut" umbrella. For example, there are both mid-week and Saturday competitions, with associated osers' adjuncts - assuring all entrants of least two games, and there are some city or services four-legged entries for specific presentations which have been made over the years.
The recent death of Tom Lawrence, together with the measured stability of a favoured competition brings us to a point where we would like to regularise the position by formal sanction, all our entrants being, of course, validly affiliated and mostly to the Amateur Football Alliance. We would like to ask if the Football Association would permit us to approach the A.F.A. for sanction, or whether (in view of our entrants covering more than 3 county associations) the F.A. prefer to give formal sanction and remain the sanctioning body.
The SAL representative team slipped out of the FA Inter League Cup at Uxbridge this afternoon, losing to the only goal against the Teesside League having played 63 minutes with ten men against a very fast, physical opposition.
The opening exchanges were even but the visitors' quick counter attacking had begun to stretch the SAL defence when skipper Arren Sutcliffe conceded a penalty after fourteen minutes. The kick was good but Sutcliffe's Nottsborough clubmate George Thomas dived to his right to parry the shot and preserve parity.
Teesside continued to play on the break and it was a through ball that turne Thomas' game upside down as he handled outside the area and, as the last defending player, was shown the red card by the referee on 27 minutes. The SAL's very own Teessider - Dan Ashley - took over between the sticks for the free kick which was not converted.
The dismissal appeared to galvanise the SAL and they began to make inroads at the other end with Dan Barber twice going close and having a penalty appeal turned down shortly before half time. A good save from the Teesside 'keeper kept the game goalless which it still was at half time.
In the second half the Teessiders again began brightly but the SAL again worked their way back into the game and a fast paced tussle ensued with the crucial breakthrough coming on 73 minutes when a ball over the back four gave the Teesside striker the opportunity to lob home as Ashley came out to narrow the angle.
Jordan Greaves and Andy Barrell both came on to help take the battle to the visitors but, although the ball spent a fair amount of time in the Teesside final third in the last ten minutes, the defence and goalkeeper stood firm and the SAL were destined to miss out.
Bob Leeds, Pat Folan and the team were bitterly disappointed to miss out on the chance of second final but they should not overlook their performance which showed grit and determination against worthy opponents, a man down for most of the game.
The annual Stuart Hyde Trophy match will take place on Wednesday 3 September when League champions Winchmore Hill host the Rest of the League at Potters Bar Town F.C. The match will kick-off at 7.30pm and admission is free for all who wish to see the champions in action.
The match will be a good warm-up for the representative team who open their FA Inter-League Cup campaign just over two weeks later.
Team selection and full details will be posted in the Representative Team section.