Month: November 2016

Super Bowl LI mayhem at the Hood 05.02.2017

A different kind of football comes to the Hood on Sunday 5 Feb – the American kind. Join us at Merton FC’s fortress for a splendid evening filled with darts, Remember The Titans, Any Given Sunday, Cool Runnings, a sumptuous Texan BBQ spread and a large amount of drinking. Oh, and some Super Bowl action too. Best advised to call in sick for work the next day; this won’t be an early night

super-bowl

Nick Papanastasiou Funeral

Nicks funeral took place yesterday. It was an emotionally charged and an unashamedly tearful service with his family and friends telling how Nick had such a positive impact on their lives in his short life. They spoke of his love for life, his family, his friends and sport and, of course his smile. I recalled that when we posted the dreadful news of his death on this website Lofty, his captain last season, commented that ‘He played with a smile on his face’. It seemed appropriate that we should sponsor ‘Smile Train’ a charity to create two new smiles in his memory. Smile Train organises cleft palate operations for children in the developing world. Two children who could not smile because of their cleft palate and probably did not have much to smile about will have the operation and will soon be able to ‘smile’. Today there was an outpouring of love for Nick and grief at the loss but it was an uplifting experience for his friends and family. It was an honour to be part of this and our love goes to them.

Nick’s family are keen for those who knew him, and even those who didn’t, to visit his Funeral Zone page, which is an online obituary page. You can follow this link to get there: https://www.funeralzone.co.uk/obituaries/23864.
 
There are some wonderful and moving tributes in there for you to read, and if you would like to add a tribute of your own, or even just light a candle, I am sure the family would appreciate it greatly. Our thoughts really are with Chris and the family at this hugely difficult time.
 
nick-pap-funeral

Under 13s vs Epsom Town Youth – 27.11.16

Epsom Town Yth 1 vs 3 Merton FC
 
First half, started off ok. Our midlfield was a bit sloppy, we nearly scored a couple of goals and had more possession, Alfie skimmed the post. They liked pushing down the rightwings and we gave away couple of fouls and a penalty that was nearly saved by Milo, who got a touch on the ball, but it bounced of his fingertips and hit the top of the net. We also gave away a few set pieces due to the awkward pitch conditions, it was muddy! Evan, who’d come on for Kieran, scored the first goal for Merton, from left side & left foot straight into the bottom right corner just before half time. 
Second half, we used all our subs, Alfie came off for Freddie in right back, Kieran came back on for Hugo and I came on for Theo and Steve put Evan in central attacking midfield and me on the right wing. We had more possession of the ball and more shots at goal. As I came on, one of the opposition fouled me in the back which gave us a free kick that Nikoy took, but the score stayed at 1-1. I made a few runs down the wing, got past 3 players, leading to a corner, where we just missed another goal. They got to our defence, we passed the ball away, which led to Marcus having a bit of a run and a cheeky one-two with Kieran, Marcus crossed it in, it was a low ball for Justin who tucked it away in the bottom left corner. 2-1 to Merton! We’d started getting under their skin and they started getting angry. Towards the end of the match, Marcus brought the score to 3-1, by having a shot that bounced just over the goalies hands and into the bottom right corner! I tried making another run, got the ball round the player but got studded in the ankle so came off injured. Hugo came back on, we started taking our time. It got to the end of the match, the whistle blew, we started cheering, we lined up, gave them 3 cheers and one for luck, they did the same and we all shook hands.
Overall, we had more possession, more shots, we were the better team and that showed in the end result. We’re now 2nd place in the League, with a match in hand, we must carry on playing as well as we did today and improve where we can in training and…keep winning matches!! 🙂
 
Match Report: Isaac Tossio (winger/striker)
06

Under 11 vs Claygate – 27.11.16

Merton got off to a great start , leading 0-3 with some great passing , Claygate then made a great comeback making the score at half time 3-3.
Second half kicked off with Claygate getting a good break which lead to a fourth goal for them, putting Merton under pressure ! The boys managed to get their shape back which then lead to our 4th goal from Cormac making it 4-4. then two minutes before full time ,William stole the show with another goal making the final score 4-5, Hatrick for him.The crowd went wild! ⚽️😄
Well done to all the boys today for a fantastic performance .
Goal Scorers .
William 3
Cormac 1
Matthew 1

Steve Davies

Under 15s vs Bedfont – 27.11.16

Bedfont 6-0 Merton FC

Difficult game today, in which we tried to rebuild the confidence and the morale of the team.
It has been a difficult past couple of weeks with the team spirit deminiahing as quickly as our good start to the season was.
Today was about boosting our confidence, however it was a tricky game to do so.
Bedfont are a very strong outfit, scoring 58 goals prior to this fixture in 7 games of football.
We started the game extremely sloppy, conceding 2 goals in quick succession within the first 3 minutes.
After the mad 3 minutes we found our feet and settled into the game, creating a few good chances. Which was a massive positive from today’s game.
Dan and Harrison making their debuts for the club today impressed throughout.
We had a solid remaining 30 minutes of the half and was in the game still at 2-0.
2nd half started and it was back to the walls for Merton, with Bedfont pinning us in our own half for the majority of the game. We still broke and created chances throughout.
2 further goals were scored and our heads dropped.
Bedfont ran away with it in the end, but overall we can be pleased with the better attitude and atmosphere around the team.
We move on now to look forward to a good December.
Darren and Dan are proud of the boys and what they are beginning to achieve.
It’s been a difficult few weeks, but we can see that they are turning it around.
Tough game today against the probable league winners
Good luck Bedfont, heads up Merton
We go again

4s vs Actonians Assoc. – 26.11.16

Actonians 2-1 Merton

After an unfortunate result the week before, the Merton 4s looked to get back on the wagon on Saturday to regain some of the confidence that had been built up over the weeks before. With the 3s having no fixture, the 4s got a boost courtesy of some really good players such as Dan Rist, Joe Squire, Darcy Yates, Mike Gubby and also young Emmanuel Amoakoh.

A good thing too, because the opposition on the day were the table-topping Actonians, who have been in rampant form. Their main pitch provided a lovely setting, and with a solid-looking 4-4-2 formation in place, Merton were at the ready to put in a good performance.
But as has been the case quite often this season, they failed to get going in the early exchanges, and the first 10 or 15 minutes were all Actonians. Although clear-cut chance were few and far between, there was sustained pressure, and Merton were lucky to come out of it unscathed.
But the Yellows slowly began to gain a foothold in the game, and had some dangerous-looking attacks of their own. The midfield began to click into gear, and it was for this very reason that the opening goal came as a bit of a surprise. The ball was lost in the middle of the pitch, but the counter attack from the home side was brutally quick. Kieran came out towards him, but he was rounded, and the finish – from a very tight angle – was pinpoint. 1-0 Actonians.
It was a hammer blow, but Merton showed their mettle, and really dug in. In fact, they did more than that: they played some decent football, used the width of the pitch particularly well, and really looked a goal threat. And it was to pay dividends soon after, albeit in fortuitous circumstances.
Frankie eased his way into the box and got ‘clattered’ from behind. By his own admission, it was soft to say the least, but the ref blew his whistle, and, after some angry words from an incandescent home side, he pointed to the spot. Dom stepped up, with 14 sets of eyes praying he would slot it home. He didn’t! The keeper pulled off a good save to his right. But, ever aware, Dom was there for the rebound and poked it home to make it 1-1.
Merton were determined to make it count, and the heads went straight back on. And once again, they arguably looked the more likely of the two sides. Defensively they were solid, and each time the ball went down the flanks, Actonians looked unsure.
But once again, Merton fell foul to the pace of the oppo’s devastatingly quick strikers. This time Joe wasn’t quite able to get to a long ball, and their striker got in behind. A superb through ball put their striker one on one with Kieran, and the finish was clinical. 2-1 Actonians, and it was cruel on Merton just before the break.
But if the first half was a decent showing, the second half was arguably the 4s best period of play in the season to date. Certainly given the strength of the oppo anyway. From the get-go, they were getting stuck in, and with Emmanuel’s pace upfront and Dom as a constant threat, Actonians looked rattled. Numerous free kicks were won in their half, with Dom going very close, while Mike scrambled to get to a delivery that just didn’t quite fall for him.
The subs did a great job too, with Joe and Mike Gubby having a positive impact, while Ryan was as solid as ever, albeit in a left-back role as the manager took a breather. Merton were pinging passes around, and putting on a display that was even quietly described as ‘tika-taka’ by some. It really was good to see.
In a half that Merton dominated, Actonians had the best chance courtesy of a highly dubious penalty – Frankie was judged to have handled the ball, despite there being barely any appeals from the oppo. But their striker who stepped up to take the spot kick never looked confident, and Kieran did brilliantly to palm his strike clear. 2-1, it stayed. Could Merton snaffle an equaliser?
Unfortunately not. They threw men forward, and had a number of half chances. But the ball just never quite fell for them when they needed it to, and eventually the ref called time on what had been a tremendous game.
Narrow defeats have sadly become a bit of a feature of this league campaign. But none were as courageous as this one, and the lads walked off the park with their heads held high. If this sort of performance can be replicated against other teams, the points will fly in thick and fast.
Goal: Dom Plumridge
MOTM: Dan Rist
DOTD: N/A
Team: Kieran Lee (GK), Ed Plaistow, Mike Todt, Joe Plumridge, Dan Rist, Will Harrison, Darcy Yates, Chris Outred, Emmanuel Amoakoh, Frankie Kaligorou, Dom Plumridge

Subs: Joe Squire, Michael Gubby, Ryan Burchell

Youth Results – 27.11.16

Youth Results with all the teams on their travels. U9s beat Spelthorne Skys 4-2 U11s beat Claygate Royals 5-4 in a thrilling Cup match.U13s beat Epsom Town Youth 3-1 and moved up to second place in the league with a game in hand. U14s beat Croygas 6-3 and stay top. U15s lost 6-0 but it was to top of the table Bedfont Eagles. So a pretty good day. Well done to all the lads and managers and of course parents.

06

Adult Results – 26.11.16

 

 

Good day at the Hood 1s beat Economicals 3-1 in tight cup match. (Browner MOM) 2s beat a depleted Kew side 9-2 a much needed league win.(DQ Dick of the day) 4s lose 2-1 at Actonians. 5s lose on pens in the cup after 0-0 draw. 6s win 4-2 at the Bank of England and 7s draw 2-2 with Old Blues. Pics of the bar. Bar buzzing when i left

2s n the bar after their biggest win for some time.
2s n the bar after their biggest win for some time.
Browner 1s man of the match
Browner 1s man of the match
DQ downs his punishment pint
DQ downs his punishment pint
1s half time talk.
1s half time talk.
Maybe it was the regular pre match brunch and motivational pep talk by Charlie Maxwell Herbert! 👊 bush bash bosh!
Maybe it was the regular pre match brunch and motivational pep talk by Charlie Maxwell Herbert! 👊 bush bash bosh!

 

2s vs Kew Association – 19.11.16

Kew Association 1-1 Merton

When the last of the Merton squad rolled into Ham to face bottom of the league Kew Association last Saturday it was with just thirty minutes to spare (some advice: don’t try to travel to Twickenham by train at noon on a Rugby match day). Upon arrival we were informed that we were a bare eleven with our substitute James Laughton currently playing for the 1s on the adjacent pitch. Safe to say the team picked itself.

Following a somewhat truncated warm-up the game got underway and Merton quickly were in the ascendency. Finding a fair amount of joy down the wings (with Ben Victory in particularly swashbuckling form) the Boars carved out a number of promising attacks in the first twenty minutes while Kew were seemingly happy to sit back and counter when the opportunity arose.

It was surprising therefore that Merton’s first big chance of the game came as a result of their own counter-attack when Dan Kelly was played through on the left-hand side of the area after a lovely build up move. Unfortunately his shot lacked the bend to beat the keeper who made a good save, but the signs for Merton seemed nothing but promising.

Kew rarely threatened, except for at set pieces – most notably the occasion when Alex Herbert in goal was particularly bamboozled by the flight of the ball and flapped somewhat, under pressure from the strikers closing in on him. His appeals that he had been impeded in the air were remarkably tenuous, and they rather entertainingly earned him no joy save the referee advising him to “man up”. Not sure whether that is an official method for dealing with dissent endorsed by the FA… 

At the other end the breakthrough should have come just before half-time when a textbook training ground throw-in routine saw Tom Benham spurn a golden chance six feet out with the goal gaping. Unfortunately his volleyed effort soared over the bar and Merton went in at half-time level but with their tails up and a goal seemingly only a matter of time.

As it was they somewhat struggled to get going in the second half, and the game became very scrappy – lots of long balls and headers rather than Merton’s heretofore “keep it on the turf” passing game. In fact, it was a style very much suited to the hosts who visibly grew in confidence the longer the game remained goalless, and as such they started to carve out chances of their own, even hitting the bar twice.

Then after approximately an hour played, Tom Benham was played into the box and rounded the keeper only to be taken out. Never one to be denied a goal-scoring opportunity, Dan Kelly seized the advantage and attempted a shot at the open goal, only to see his effort rattle off the inside of the woodwork. In the post-match debrief in the bar, Dan would insist that the angle made it nigh on impossible, but this reporter still requires convincing. Despite this, the referee called play back and awarded Merton a penalty, much to the chagrin of the opposition who claimed the advantage had been well and truly played (and squandered). Surely now Merton would break the deadlock?

Before we get to that, some caveats: Firstly, the penalty spot was in truly an horrendous state and even to get the ball off the ground in such circumstances should be considered a feat worthy of applause. Secondly, with the cries and recriminations of the opposition ringing in the air it is understandable that a penalty taker could be wholeheartedly put-off. Thirdly, there were not exactly an abundance of volunteers to take the penalty, and responsibility was very much thrust upon the shoulders of yours truly. Despite these factors, I stepped up very confidently and with the skill and accuracy of Owen Farrell (doing the very same thing just a few miles away in Twickenham) sent the ball soaring high over the posts…0-0 it remained (and if we are being honest, justice was probably served…it was a very very very ropey advantage call by the referee).

So the game continued and Merton’s depleted squad soon suffered a few niggles, none more notable than Ben Victory who received a big whack to the knee and had to hobble off to be replaced by an already injured substitute. Ben returned to the fray five minutes later with just under ten minutes to go, visibly limping and saying a quick hail Mary. Whether it was divine intervention or not, as the ball was cleared from a corner it fell to him to start a counter attack. He then set off like a greyhound up field, seemingly free of all pain, and was able to finally bundle the ball past the dumbfounded keeper. Cue wild celebrations. It is unclear whether Ben was crying with joy or agony…

The celebrations were short-lived unfortunately, as with the last action of the game, Kew managed to find a – probably deserved – equaliser and round off a very frustrating game from Merton’s perspective.

Still, we choose to see it as an away point gained, and have the chance to finally put a few past the same opposition this weekend as we host them at the Hood.

Man of the match: Paul Pearce – captain for the day and a veritable rock at the heart of the Merton defence which performed very steadily all game

Dick of the day: Andrew Holder Ross – the fall guy, cruelly and harshly punished for his penalty miss

07 05 04 06

5s vs Polytechnic 5s – 19.11.16

Polytechnic 5s: 5

Merton 5s: 0

Chiswick is very quickly becoming known as the 5th teams 2nd home pitch due to our seemingly constant run of matches being held away from our beloved hood. Another venture away, wading through the onslaught of egg-chasers commuting to nearby Twickenham – one would be mistaken to think that surely a little bit of luck was due to come our way. Unfortunately- you would be mistaken. This week saw a heavily depleted 5s take on a mid-tabled Polytechnic team 3 leagues aloft. With the news of man-flu flooding the ranks, a few new faces stepped up to the challenge of continuing our recent successful form. New faces included Noor, Billy Golding, Dave Golding and Alex Quinn who we are grateful for assisting this week.

After a quick warm-up we were game on with heavy pressure being applied by the lean opposition donning the usual red kit. Within a matter of minutes our defence was tested with Sam continuing his recent superman impressions, flying from one side of the goal to the other, keeping attackers at bay. With only 15 minutes played, disaster struck with the Poly winger running through to the side of goal. Realising he was going into a dead-end he felt a sneeze from our bounding Delman and took a tumble in the box, the whistle blew but not to bring back a review of the dramatics witnessed but to give a penalty. First goal conceded. Not to be disheartened Merton started again but a mistake in midfield led to a quick counter attack to goal number 2. This was swiftly followed by a substitution for Merton as Alex Quinn came off with a strain. Another goal followed to end an unfortunate half. The second half saw the team come out looking to reduce the deficit but the makeshift team for the week was telling as a fourth was conceded, despite Sam’s efforts. Further injuries at the back provided a rare opportunity for Dulanje and Ackers to be partnered as our centre-half pairing with the former forgetting his position and scoring from a set piece. A goal, which had it been at the correct side of the pitch, I’m sure Dulanje would have been proud of. This summarised an unfortunate performance, but we look forward now to making amends as we take on their 8th team this week.

Team: Sam Singer-Ripley, Delman Babaker, Josh Fitzgerald Smith, Alex Quinn, Dave Golding, Noor Emad, Richard Gibbs, Aaron Ackerman (c), Dwayne Bedford, Aaron Byrne, Dulanje Richards.

Subs: Kevon Bedford, Billy Golding & Anam Hassan.