Month: March 2017

6s vs Civil Service 8s DH- 25.03.17

25th March 2017

Merton 6s vs Civil Service 8s Double Header Joseph Hood

This was defiantly a game of two matches, both teams walking away with 3 points.

We had 15 players, so George H took one for the team first game and sat out, team lined up: Swanny, Kevin, Mark, Beans, Matt, Chris, Neil, George B, Callum, Pete, Dan P, Subs: Alan, Ram, Trey

Lining up with a 4-4-2 formation, the first game started well for the first 10 minutes. That was until Beans tripped over his own laces leaving Chappell to defend their on coming forward.  I little late challenge caused the forward to go down, disputes as to whether it was in the box or not between Chappell and Ref, but penalty was awarded, 1 – 0.  They had a couple of quick forward players, one of which Kevin took out on the side line in the first half, he was getting a bit hot headed.  Could be the reason he sat out the next game to have a cool down.  We had chances but just couldn’t find the net and majority of their 4 goals came from hitting us on the break. The game ended 4 – 0, we gathered our self on the side line for the next match and knew that this had to be a win otherwise Civil would go above us in the league and be 2nd.

Kevin, along with discussions with Manager for the day Ty, changed the formation. We needed to have bit more help in defence and so opted for two holding midfielders. Lined up 4-2-3-1, again we needed to have a drop out so Beans stepped forward and took one for the team in the second game. Team for second game was Swanny, Matt, Alan, Mark, Ram, Neil, Chris, George B, Trey, Callum, Pete. Subs: George H, Kevin, Dan P

This gave the 3 youngest freedom to roam up top with Pete helping to hold things up for hopefully them to get the goals. And this certainly worked as the goals starting to go in for us.  George B with the first with a peach of a through ball from Matt, well weighted for George to run on to and slot past their keeper, 1 – 0.  Callum got himself on the score sheet along with another goal from George.  They managed to claw one back, but with help from the two midfielders the defence stayed strong.  Another assist came from Matt, crossing deep toward the keeper, who fumbled it in the wind, for Pete to latch onto and put into the net.

The second game was a much better performance, and 6s deserving the win. There was a little bit of agro in the second half from a slightly bad tackle by George, which caused both teams to flare up (Kevin storming on to protect George) with each other, although to be honest it wasn’t that type of match.

Game ended 4 – 1, the win that the 6s needed to keep them 3 point clear of Civil, although they do have two games in hand. It is all to play for now for the 6s and their last 4 games.  Results need to go their way for them to still be within a chance of promotion.

MOM went to Matt for finding his new position at full back and having a solid game in both matches, plus setting up two goals which I may have mentioned.

Few other mentions go to Chris who finds himself in more positions on the pitch that the Karma Sutra, Chappell for giving away penalty, Beans for tripping over a divot or his laces and tumbling which lead to the penaltyl. Ram for thinking he had only 20 minutes for whole of both matches but pretty sure he got longer than that.  Kevin for losing head and taking out their winger whilst worrying whether the oppo had any ringers!!!

7s vs Bank of England DH – 25.03.17

Match Report

Bank of England 5s v Merton 7s Match 1

A trip to Bank of England on a sunny Saturday can never be a bad thing, and throw in another double header to make 3 in a row, these 7s are getting use to long game days with the aid of some Merton legends, this week’s turn was Paul ‘Welchy’ Welch (17 years’ service for the club and still looks fit as a flea) and Stevie who steps in at late notice. We also welcome back Gubby in goal after a long absence through injury.

What a day, for once the squad arrived early (almost all, but won’t mention Malcolm till later), and was changed and on the worse pitch BOE had left available, this flat, freshly cut grass, almost carpet like pitch was unacceptable, no diverts, rolls or ankle snags to been seen… no excused for poor passing or under hit balls… although, there was a strong wind to contend with.

Prior to the game, and being out a full 40 minutes before kick-off, 7’s normal warm would be jog around and ping balls at each other whilst Dan & Martin organise a team and a formation… For some reason, ‘welchy’ took it upon himself to be ‘coach’ for the afternoon and got everyone lined up for a gently jog… and without warning, managed to turn this gently jog into a full blown pre-season training season with shuttle runs, passing (what’s that!!), Skins V Shirts…. The fear could be seen in the 7s, red faced and blowing hard (that’s just the 7s captain) and all before 2 hours of football, what was he thinking!!!!!!!!!!

Game 1 kicks off with 7s playing with a strong wind behind them (NOT the 7s captain this time!), and this soon became a 12th man for the team, with BOE taking the first 5-10 minutes or so of play, never really threating the back four of Josh, Dan, Paul and Tom J until a deep cross from BOE left winger had Gubby scrabbling across goal for a well punched clearance, only for Dan to be tracking the balls flight and then place his nose in direct contact with Gubbys glove, resulting in getting red sauce everywhere!

Finishing with a whimper and a crumbled heap on the floor, this didn’t look good for the 7s player managers, having to leave the pitch for treatment, some clapped at the improvement the collusion made on the centre backs rearranged bugle.

Martin stepping in for Dan but steps in at left back, with Tom J join Paul at centre back, this still didn’t seem to rattle the back 4, marshalled by Paul, and with Gubby voice being heard clearly from the back, the team now had more than just the captains voice spurring them on, still soaking up the pressure, Noor on the left seem to be getting better with each game that passes and started to pull some strings, taking the ball in his stride and with his back to goal on the by-line, BOE right back closed him down, only for Noor to turn, drop the should and ‘MEG-NUTS’ the approaching player (made even better as it was in front of our own bench) and sprint on to his own through ball for a decent shot at goal which was well saved. This was just one of many times Noor took the game to them and once again didn’t go unnoticed amongst the squad

With the 7s now gaining more possession, and 10 minutes or so remaining (MALCOLM TURNS UP!!), A goal kick form Gubby finds Scott deep in the oppositions half, and with a good ball control, slots Adam in on the overlap who finishes low and well, 1-0 the 7s.

This stuns BOE back into action and straight from Kick off advance well into the 7s territory, only to once again to be face with Paul & Tom who break up play and calmly sweep the ball around and back up the field.

Halftime and a few changes, with Adam coming off for Denzel, the game soon started, and with the wind now in the 7s faces, it soon became the Alamo. BOE was relentless in the attack and wave after wave was beaten back by the whole squad, determined to hold onto the slim 1-0 lead. What seemed like an age, a few hero saves from Gubby and last ditch challenges from ‘everyone’, it was the shift we all put in that resulted in a deserved win.

 

MOTM: 2 players this week, Legend Paul Welch, great influence on the pitch and calm when needed, and once again, this strange fellow that keeps turning up and calling himself Noor (is that really you??)

DOTD: Wouldn’t have been Malcolm if he had turned up on time!

 

Match Report

Bank of England 5s v Merton 7s Match 2

 

As the squad walked off on a high, it was notable that everyone was still up for the next game, the difference of having double headers for the past 3 weeks seem to be paying off, as well as the warm up induced by ‘Welchy’ (there’s even talk of a warm up before every game and being the way forwarded!)

Standing (not sitting) and finally being joined by Malcolm halfway thought the first game, the team was eager to get the next on the go, with Malcom and Scott starting as the attack force and Stevie on for Martin, it was a fresh start for the 7s.

BOE looking to get revenge started once again playing into the wind, and again starting on the front foot with an attack form kick off, the passing seemed more fluent and the 7’s re-guard needed to be alert, the midfield of David & Tom, the hard tackling due was still managing to contain the opposite numbers, be it with the aid of the defence, was starting to look a bit tired

Halfway through he half and a fine move from back to front, Scott picks the ball up just inside the oppositions half, holding play up well, manged to find David pushing forward from the centre, taking the ball in his stride, runs at the BOE defence, making the centre back commit to closing him down, neatly slots Andrew ‘DOBBY’ Dobson in on the left and clear on goal, only the keeper to beat, strokes the ball past with his deadly left foot (not only for standing on!) and reels away in celebration.

With the lead and BOE broken, 7’s started to have more of the ball, Adam E out muscling the BOEs midfield, controlled the ball and rasped a shoot form 20 yards, only to see the power and spin, pull the ball on to the post with the keeper flat footed, it was now swinging in Merton’s direction

The first half plays out with the 7’s knocking back anything thrown at them, seeing this, Dan and his rather larger hooter, makes some timely changes to kill the game off, David coming off for the fresher legs of Adam, Noor on for Dobby who had a great for half, it didn’t take long before the 7’s took the game over.

Even playing into the wind, Noor was up to his normal tricks of skipping around the BOE right winger and tormenting the right back, with a few good shots and neat passing play between the team, Noor found himself able to cut in on the left and move more centre…

Dropping the old shoulder and unleashing a shot from 25 yards or more, it had the keeper groping thin air as the ball smashed off the crossbar, straight in the path of Scott who was happy to bundle the ball over for the second

BOE making a few changes and visibly tiring, the 7s however seemed to be going from strength to strength… Once again on the attack, it was the turn of Malcom, not to be out done by Scott, somehow manged to wiggle his way through on goal and calmly poke the ball past the advance keeper for number 3-0, and with 10 minutes to go, it would seem it was all but wrapped up

The talk on the side line was how great the team played, from back to front, everyone put a shift in, everyone having fun and Dan could not help but say it was great to get 2 clean sheets…. This, still with 10minutes of play left… I don’t think we got to say ‘don’t talk to soon’ as we kicked off after conceding a soft goal which we think was an own goal or a deflection or just switching off for a minute, either way 3-1 was the score and suddenly, BOE got there second wind and was pressing high up the pitch, the attacks was not being closed down and Gubby was now being called upon a little too often. With BOE appealing every decisions and feeling hard done by, the frustration boiled over with their influential midfielder swearing directly at the ref who had no hesitation in branding the red card and pointing to the dugout. Down to 10 men, both teams still manging to carve out a few half chances as the game clock ticked down and finishing 3-1.

A great rewarding day out and now 4 in a row un beaten for the 7s, which pushes them into the dizzy heights of 4th in the league, although playing a game more than some, still a good achievement for the ‘Rag Tags’ who look to continue the fine run at home (anyone remember that place!) next week v OW 8’s.

 

MOTM: Across both games, vey consistent and composed – Gubby

DOTD: NONE chosen. (Although Malcolm should never be allowed near a free kick again!)

 

Team : Gubby, Josh, Dan, Tom J, Adam E, Tom R, David ©, Noor, Scott, Adam,

Martin, Stevie, Denzel, Andrew and we think Malcolm turned up at some point!

5s vs Kew Assoc – 25.03.17

Merton 5s’ season looks set to wind down to a disappointing close after losing the promotion clash against Kew Associations. It marks a bad second-half of the season for the 5s having won only 3 out of their 9 matches after Christmas. However, despite going from hip to boing so quickly, it should be seen as a successful season in parts for the 5s. 

 
That’s mostly due to the fine stewardship of manager Clive Corrigan who on the pitch, is a terrier-like ball-winning midfielder, and off the pitch, can be described as somewhat like a less corrupt version of Sepp Blatter (except for when he forces Anam to pay half the fee for playing less than 20 minutes a game). Because he’s single-handedly improved the racial quota of Merton Football Club, whilst also fostering a team spirit akin to the Crazy Gang – and they’ve played some good football in the process too. 
 
Having said that, he’s been ably assisted by Andy Bitmead, who also coaches some of the players on Wednesdays, and Darren Avery, a centre-back bruiser by day, and, by day as well, is also the unofficial team administrator. There’s a great sense of collective accountability and that’s summed up by Clive designating a different captain on each match. On Saturday, that responsibility fell into the hands of, or rather, was wrapped around the biceps of Tiago Carvalho (no, not that one). He wore the captain’s armband with the kind of glee and misguided pride that only an Aussie can have. He led this ragtag rabble of misfits and castoffs, a convict (Lenners), and whateverthehell Andy is doing here (because he’s clearly too good for the 5s), onto Kew Associations reserve pitch. 
 
It was a tad small and that probably contributed to a slow start for Merton 5s because they couldn’t get the strikers to run in behind. Clive opted once again to stick with the 3-5-2 albeit with some personnel changes. He played at centre-back alongside New Mike (borrowed from the 2s) and Steve Burchell. Delman and Chris Outred started at wing-back, whilst Ackers, Aaron B and Tiago made the midfield three. Dulaine and Rich Gibbo completed the line-up as strikers.
 
Unfortunately, 5s were behind quickly when a corner-kick was allowed to bounce its way across the six-yard box and was converted by a non-descript Kew player. They later made it 2-0 when a shot from another non-descript Kew seemed to be heading into the safe hands of Sam. But as he dived for the ball, he seemed to freeze for a split-second, and the ball squirmed agonisingly under his body. Whatever went through his mind – flat-chested girls, or failing to swipe left last night, or the sudden realisation that maybe the pyramids were not mysteriously crafted five-thousand years ago by generations and generations of men who died in order to perfect it, but by aliens thousands of years before as transporting devices that teleported them to other worlds – it was soft goal to concede, and a cruel blow to 5s title changing aspirations. 
 
Chasing the game, they were then stuck with that age-old dilemma of whether to press high up and force their opponents into making a mistake; or consolidate, though run the risk of inviting more pressure on them. In the end they did neither, with Steve and Clive being forced to make some hasty clearances at the back, but even so, the team was still unlucky to remain without a goal. Aaron B had one good effort when he curled wide with his left foot, whilst Rich Gibbo went excruciatingly close to connecting to a couple of passes from Dulaine.
 
In the end, the team was just a bit below par, especially in midfield where Kew looked just the more comfortable. Tiago couldn’t inspire the team in the same way that he usually does. Nevertheless, it’s been a great 6 months for him since being introduced to the team, monopolysing the Man-of-the-Match awards like Rupert Murdoch. He has reinvented himself as a sweeper in front of the defence, always alert to clean up any loose passes like an expat bar staff, with a strange aversion to the forward pass. Aaron Byrne has also been remodeled, playing now as a free-spirited midfield wanderer, having dropped the bombshell to Clive that he doesn’t want to play on the wing. It’s like Kieron Dyer and Bobby Robson all over again.
 
In the second-half, Merton changed the formation to a 4-4-2 which was more a 4-2-4 anyway, with Dwayne coming on on the right, Andy replacing Ackers in the centre and Aaron B moving back wide to the left. If there was an improvement, it an wasn’t obvious one because 5s were just unable to settle. Tiago went off for cramp for Anam midway through the half and that’s where the game really fell apart. After some good early touches, his next one was suicidal as he poked the ball back towards his own goal, and New Mike, chasing the non-descript Kew striker, bundled him to the ground. Penalty and 3-0 to Kew. It soon became 4-0 when the right-back was able to skip through the centre of the field unmarked due to bad defensive work from the forward players and chip the ball over he defence. 
 
Merton did get a consolation five minutes from time when Dulaine, as he did against Poly 8s, leaped majestically above his marker like a silverbacked salmon to head in at the far post. The goal was in stark contrast to his other contributions in the game, which was namely to crouch near the centre circle panting, which is frankly, a waste of his considerable talents. It might be perverse to say the team could expect more from him even despite relying heavily on his goals this season. 
 
When the final whistle blew, it might have been considered something of a mercy, but believe me, the team desperately wanted to remain on the pitch for longer to put things to right. That’s how much the regret of a promising season gone to shit stung. There is one more game left this campaign, against champions Poly 9s, the chance maybe for some sweet justice.
 
Man of the Match: I don’t believe there was a vote, instead the time spent deciding was felt best roasting each other in the club bar and eating sub-par macaroni and cheese. So I think I (Anam) will chose Clive for leading with example and playing with the passion of a jilted lover. Dulaine should get special mention for his goal, it was awesome, and Delman, generally for the season he had.
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5s line up vs Kew Assoc – 25.03.17
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Under 9s vs NPL Youth – 26.03.17

Under 9’s v NPL Youth

26.3.2017 NPL 3 Merton FC 4, on a beautiful sunny Mother’s Day away in Teddington Merton took on under 9’s NPL youth,  with 7 player’s Merton played a great game but it was a challenging match, NPL had some great pass techniques but Merton didn’t let that phase them, they kept up the pressure. Great team work all round, Presley and Tommy winning joint man of the match, both scoring 2 goals each with Presley playing on field second half after being in goal for the first half, Jack took the second half in goal making some brilliant saves and powerful long goal kicks.

Great defence work and some brilliant corner’s crossed in giving some goal scoring opportunities.

A great team effort well done Merton FC

1s vs Actonians Assoc – 25.03.17

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold; when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. In other words, for the second week running it was blowing a gale down at the not-so-fortress Hood.

Brilliant drying conditions for clothes, and indeed football pitches. As a result, the mini-mud peaks and bunkers of the upper pitch had turned into crusty mud divets, the pitch had turned ultra-bobbly. The chances of playing decent football anywhere near the middle of the pitch had evaporated – I would love to see Iniesta and Xavi play their tunes on this particular instrument.

But then the winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator, so one should not complain.

Everyone was largely on time, so well done for that. And congrats to Kearnsy who had celebrated his birthday the night before. A good excuse for turning up bleary eyed, but it is difficult to tell with Kearnsy due to his permanent extra-enthusiamo American exterior. Less so with Charlie, who turned up looking a light shade of green. Meanwhile, on the fashion front, Vanny had decided to finally put his winter denim Bon Jovi outfit into the closet, but had obviously got a bit confused and accidentally pulled out his camp-rodeo comboy outfit. Unfortunately for him, he was the only person to turn up in fancy dress.

You might tell by this stage that I don’t really want to talk about the actual football match. The 1s are heading towards mid-table mediocrity, where the points don’t matter that much. We are not used to this – in the 10+ seasons I have been at the club, we have only been in this position once before. And we don’t seem to be reacting to it well.

But it does allow some room for succession planning. So Clappers started on the side line for the first time in my memory, with Sam taking over the captain’s arm band. His first coin toss for the club resulted in us playing into the wind (which was going diagonally across the pitch) in the first half.

The football was pretty horrific to watch. We struggled to pass our way forwards on this pitch, and high balls were blown back by the wind, so our best avenue out seemed to be low-ish long balls into the corners, where Johnny in particular looked like he might have the better of his man. But then (as Rat insisted on shouting at least 5 times) horrific football was fine by us as long as we went in nil-nil at half time as we would be playing with the elements in the second half. For 44 minutes and 55 seconds that is exactly what we achieved. The new Chaz-Browner centre back partnership was mopping up everything that made it through the midfield line of Wilgo, Van and Sam, which was not much.

Just one more long throw to defend and it would be mission accomplished. But the Chaz-Browner partnership fell apart for a crucial 5 seconds. Chaz called for it, the wind took it, it flicked off his head, hit Browner on the shin and nestled firmly into the far corner. The first goal a Merton player had manged from open play in over 200 minutes. The half time whistle came 10 seconds later. Wind (and Browner) 1 – Merton 0.

Playing with the wind in the second half, we duly dominated in terms of territory, but in truth we failed to adapt to the conditions. Charlie was holding it up well, but then lacked decent options to then pass it off to. A few times we got in crossing positions, but crosses were overhit with the wind, and underhit against it, and we simply don’t have much pace to open up teams over the top.

The only real opportunity came from a corner. Rat whipped in an excellent delivery (probably the only such one of the day), and Chaz steamed onto it. He met it beautifully from about 7 yards. Anywhere but at the keeper and it was in, but it of course then went straight at him, and he palmed it over well. I struggle to remember another shot we had on goal. I struggle to remember another shot they had on goal. So either it was a terrible match or my memory is just poor. Giving credit where it is due, their defence played very well.

We had one final chance. With 10 seconds to the final whistle, we had a free kick inside their half. Rat had had enough of seeing more junior players overhit the free kicks straight out. These youngsters just don’t have the experience to adapt to the windy conditions. So he marched over to the free kick, shouted everyone away, stepped back, strolled up, and duly overhit it with the wind straight out. Wind 1, Rat 0. Summed things up nicely – we were certainly not the ablest navigators in these conditions.

And the showers were cold, so a pretty rubbish effort all round. The possible exception was the 5000-miles-away Tilley whose post-match photos from Vegas were far more entertaining that the match. Apologies to Snooks, Max, and whoever else turned up to watch on the side lines for this dross. But apparently the 6s match on the next pitch was a lot more eventful. So now you have wasted your time reading about this non-event, I suggest you turn to their report.

Someone other than Browner needs to locate their scoring boots for the season defining semi-final of the cup next week.

MoM: Chaz – almost no one left with much credit, but he formed a solid (apart from 10 seconds) partnership at the back, and was decisive throughout. Including when his attempted 35 yard back pass in the second half went out for a throw on next to the corner flag, thus providing a small amount of entertainment.

DoD: Browner – one OG and one nil means there is one obvious candidate for dick of the day. And the rest of the team lacked the imagination to vote for anyone else. I complained bitterly at the injustice, but at least (for almost certainly the first time) both MoM and DoD penalty pints went down in one. Centre backs may not be cool, but at least they can drink.

4s vs West Wickham -25.03.17

Merton 2-4 West Wickham

The last day of winter was also the first of the Merton 4s’ Spring Cup campaign. It’s been a disappointing season which has sadly ended in a second relegation in a row. But results haven’t always reflected performances, and here was a good opportunity to put that right, and get some momentum going in order to finish on a high.

“High” being an interesting choice of word, as it may or may not have accounted for two absentees on the day – one of whom was good enough to call in “sick” 2 hours before kickoff, the other entirely uncontactable. We won’t mention names, except to say that, surprisingly, Kieran wasn’t one of them!

Anyway, onto the football, and a decent squad of 12, including some firepower in the form of Denys and wily cunning from the old warhorse Conor Murphy, took to the pitch and electing to go into the wind first up. The theory was that with a bit of grind and damage limitation, the Yellows could set themselves up nicely for a second-half assault.

And that’s pretty much how it went. This was actually decent stuff from the home side, despite adverse conditions and a poor pitch. Don’t get me wrong, free flowing football was at a premium, and this surely would have made for a woeful spectacle for any onlookers. But Merton were working hard, communicating well, and even looking very dangerous on the break occasionally.

Understandably, West Wickham with the wind at their backs enjoyed the better of territory and possession. Yet Kieran didn’t have a save to make. Which is why the opener, on about the half hour mark, was a bit disappointing to concede. In truth, Merton were a bit sluggish in closing down on the left, the ball bobbed about on the fringes of the box, and a very useful left-footed finish was applied into the top-left corner. 1-0 WW.

Although it was hardly cause for panic. A 1-goal deficit into that wind was about par if Merton could hold it to the break. Yet they went one better (it seemed). With minutes remaining in the half, a superb ball from Aaron fed Dom. He still had plenty to do, but beat a defender and slotted it under the keeper with aplomb to make it 1-1.

Celebrations, but with parity at the break now imminent, Merton shot themselves in the foot. A header was lost in the air, and the ball fell to their striker, who was in oodles of space. Kieran darted out to thwart the danger, but there was nothing he could do. 2-1, and the half time whistle went.

A disappointing blow, no doubt. But this was still a very respectable score line, and Merton should have been able to kick on from there with the wind now at their backs.

But, quite frankly, they never got going in the first 15 minutes of the second half, and, but for a decent early chance for Dom, Wickham were much the better side. The third goal was a tad unfortunate – a cross/shot that wickedly got caught up in the wind, and Kieran’s parry couldn’t keep it out. Kieran was perhaps a bit more accountable for the fourth goal, as he was unable to claim a loose ball that he’d come off his line to take.

That said, given the mediocrity of the all round second-half team performance, being 4-1 down was probably not much worse than Merton deserved. In fairness, the lads began to play much better for the final quarter of the game thereafter, and put a lot of pressure on the visitors. There were countless half chances upfront and plenty of goalmouth action, but the ball just wasn’t quite falling for them. Eventually they got one back, with a blatant pull in the box, which, for some reason the Wickham players saw fit to argue about.

Anyway, once all that died down, Dom stepped up and tucked his penalty away, perhaps slightly fortuitously, under the keeper. 4-2, and 10 minutes to go.

Merton kept up the pressure, and half chances continued to come thick and fast. But this seemed destined to be another one of those days. Another game that got away – one where, for the majority, Merton had played more than decently, but, due to silly errors, had left them departing the pitch shaking their heads in defeat. Still, plenty to build on, and hopefully with a full squad, a win lies in wait at Wokingians next week.

Goals: D Plumridge (2)
Team: Kieran Lee (GK), Ed Plaistow, Joe Plumridge, Mike Todt, Conor Murphy, Will Harrison, Mikey Elgar, Frankie Kalogirou, Aaron Loftus, Denys Zhurbiy, Dom Plumridge
Sub: Akram Choudhary
MOTM: Conor Murphy
DOTD: the two men mentioned in paragraph 1

1s vs Weirside Rangers – 18.03.17

Merton 0 v Weirside 2

 

I’m afraid this report is a bit lacklustre and lacking in content. Which is in keeping with our performance on Saturday!

 

Having played pretty poorly when we met Weirside in the cup a couple of weeks ago, and scraped through on penalties, this was our opportunity to prove that are much better than that. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be the case.

 

Weirside were a better team than we played in the cup and had three or four new recruits who gave them a cutting edge in midfield and upfront. That said we should still have been a good match but just never got into our stride. It was a windy day and the pitch was bobblely but as the cliché goes “It was the same for both sides”.

 

The only significant action of a scrappy first half was a very dubious penalty award which resulted in us going in 1-0 down. My half time rallying call/bollocking really worked a treat and we were soon 2-0 down to a good finish from inside the box. This woke us up and we started to bite in tackles and push forward but it was all too little too late.

 

Well done to Weirside for showing the spirit required to pull themselves out of the relegation places and we’ll need to pull our socks up ready for our cup semi in a couple of weeks.

 

No MOTM or DOTD as everyone was too despressed.

 

Team: Sherbs, Chaz, Browner, Clappers, Kearnsy (Adam Sandler/Rafa Benitez), Nick Van Winkle, Sam, Will Low, Jonny (Kieran), Charlie, Tom Rowe.   

2s vs West Wickham – 18.03.17

Merton 2nd XI 5 – 2 Weirside Ranger 2nd X/XI

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and it is cold, very cold… well actually it was a bit Spring-like if we’re being totally honest.

Anyway, after a cruel 1-0 loss first time around, Merton won the return fixture in style.

To whet your appetite for what is to come, I can promise Bromance, Banana shots, potentially illegal goals, and a naked Holly Wil…hang on, scratch that last, belongs on a different thread.

With Mustard making a welcome return to the 2s alongside Neal, Glenn, Dan and Dan, there was the delight of a pre-game playlist of energising songs to look forward to. After a bright start, Rock DJ prompted a few groans and Dan (K) then proclaimed listening to it was akin to water-boarding… to the guy that it turned up had picked the song. Awkward.

On the pitch, Merton lined up 442 and were raring to go. Weirside lined up with just 10 men, while their first team boasted a full complement of substitutes a full 5 yards away on the adjacent pitch. Over-confident? Did the two side really hate each other? Could they just not count? All was revealed later.

Merton went at the oppo from the outset, with Glenn in particular looking both classy and threatening down the right wing.

After some early pressure, the DQ/DK axis up top yielded the opener. DK managed to win a header and force a pass on to DQ, who returned the favour and played DK in on goal. So far, so good. As pretty much every player, and most definitely Andy Holder-Ross, waited for DK to ‘just score already’, DK, convinced he was offside, decided to do… nothing.

Minutes passed. Tumbleweed rolled by. The hitherto frozen defence and keeper came to the belated conclusion that they could move, and closed in to make the tackle. At this point, DK decided, offside or not, he’d take action, and as enough time has elapsed for DQ to run into the box, he squared the ball to DQ ten yards out to apply the finishing touch.

To me. To you. In a moment of chuckle-brothersesque synchronisation, DQ took aim… and squared the ball back to DK. To me. To you.

AHR had a small apoplectic episode.

DK thought this was a lovely gesture and decided it was probably time for a shot, given there were now approximately 13 players inside the penalty box and the half time whistle might beat him to it at this rate. He sent a left footed (strike is probably too strong a word but it’ll do), strike towards the bottom corner.

DQ watched DK shoot, thinking what a lovely time they had had. Probably. Or he may have been thinking, not for the first time, that he had chosen the wrong song earlier and it really should have been McAlmont and Butler for the uplifting track. These decisions can really haunt you.

Anyway, the shot lollopped along towards the bottom corner, only for the keeper’s big right mitt to temporarily stop its progress. So DQ decided he had better pop the ball in the net, given he had an open goal for a few yards out.

Andrew Holder Ross was not amused. Pearcey, on the other hand, lovely Pearcey, came and called both frontmen heroes, if just for one day.

If any of those still reading are thinking that was an inordinately long description for one goal, then you now know what it was like to watch.

1-0, and Merton continued to press. Mustard was hungrily snapping up loose balls, Glenn was having a whale of time tormenting his full back, AHR was, well, angry, and poor old Rayner was shouting a lot for the ball and not really seeing much of it. When he finally did get the ball, he delivered an absolute peach of a cross to the far post, only for it to be utterly wasted by falling to DK. For most people it would have been a poor miss. DK headed it over and felt a bit pleased he had made contact.

Better was to come however, as more nice link up play by DK and DQ saw DQ this time played in on goal. DQ saw the supporting DK outside him and squared the ball like a scholar and a gentleman for DK to crash home. Lovely forward play, and Pearcey came up, called them heroes again and muttered something about a bromance. AHR just muttered something.

The footballingly simpatico and handsome front duo were beginning to resembe the great goalscoring partnerships of bygone eras: Dalglish/Rush. Bergkamp/Henry. Chas/Dave. Jedward. Alas, in keeping with time-honoured tradition, Lofty hooked DK after scoring and after just 30 minutes of magic, and the DQ/DK axis was done for the match. Manny came on in his place and Darcy also replaced AHR. Which gave him plenty of time to tell DK exactly what he thought of the first goal.

At this point, Weirside had noticed their first team had players to spare and were formulating a cunning plan to swipe one of them, so a third goal before this happened would have been handy indeed. And so it proved, Manny robbing the ball out of nowhere and playing in DQ. No square ball this time – instead he opened up his body and passed the ball ever so crisply into the bottom corner. Think early Michael Owen. Except Ravenelli grey. And around 17 years older.

3-0 at HT.

Weirside did indeed start the second half with 11, but it was Merton who extended their lead early in the second half. Manny had already missed a good chance when he once again robbed an oppo player and bore down on goal. A good tackle or maybe an interception later, he had recovered the ball and had it on the touchline just inside the box. Eschewing a cross with his left foot, he instead turned 270 degrees and chipped the ball up with his right with a sort of Phil Mickleson bunker flop shot. The ball bananaed away and then back towards goal, and perhaps with half an eye on the onrushing DQ, the keeper could only help the ball into the top corner. 4-0.

Manny had time to play in DQ one more time, only for him to blaze over before being replaced by DK for the final half hour.

Weirside then got one back with something of a sympathy penalty after a swift counter. Cookie looked to have got back to make a good tackle but the referee was having none of it.

The game had got a bit scrappy at this point, but a fine ball from Dan (full back, also excellent throughout) saw DK get in behind the defence down the right wing, and from this move Merton restored their four goal advantage.

Looking up to see only Manny in the box, DK nevertheless decided to cross low and hard into the box. The keeper went to snap this up only for the bouncing ball to tw*t him in the face as he went to pick it up. Manny daintily wandered past the disorientated keeper and knocked the ball in from 2 yards. 5-1.

Or so we all thought. Clappers on the adjacent pitch later swore the ball went wide, through the side netting and then into the net. Manny was unavailable for comment. Dubious goal??

At this point, Cookie had had enough of pretending to be a centre-back and got himself involved in some midfield action. A late tackle (on him), a bit of wrestling and a lot of swearing later he and a Weirside player were being told off by the ref. Said referee was distinctly heard saying no cards were necessary, only for Cookie to get bored and wander off the pitch, leaving a proffered hand and then a yellow card in his wake. Lofty came on in his place to guide the team through the last quarter.

There was still time for a bit more incident. First, Manny almost had a hatrick late in the game after nice work from Darcy and a flick on from DK, but a fine one handed stop denied him.

Then, with just a few minutes to go, the otherwise excellent Mustard wound up (and massively telegraphed) a throw in in-field only to spanner it up royally and concede the foul throw. That’s DotD sown up, literally everybody said to themselves.

Everybody, that is, except Neal, who from the resulting throw-in waited until ball was in the box and beautifully shielded before taking a 5 yard run up and shoulder-charging the Weirside player in the back. For the second time the referee pointed to the spot. Blatant doesn’t even begin to cover it. Dan got a hand to the pen, but it still snuck in. 5-2.

A thumping victory, made all the sweeter when back in the changing room Pearcey asked Mustard when his song was going to be on… as it was playing. This was pointed out with some amusement to the somewhat shamefaced Pearcey.

Pearcey, Mustard and DQ shared MotM spoils, and despite Neal’s best efforts, Mustard also doubled up with DOTD for that throw in. A pint of wine (plus sambuca) was polished off with not only aplomb but also approximately seven bags of steak crisps.

7s vs Old Wilsonians 9s DH- 18.03.17

Merton 7s V Old Wilsonian 9s Match 1

Once again we get to walk the turf of WCE, you can tell it’s coming to the end of the season when you have to walk through a forest of rugby 7s pitches to get to the only pitches available at the wrong end of the common! None the less, the 7s as usual are in great pre-game spirits, looking forward to a double header v OW9s who have yet to win a game or put a point on the board all season.

None the less, not wanting to be the first team to slip up against the bottom side, we start with Dan’s 4-4-2. With Kieran back in goal, and a good looking back 4 (not in the visual sense) Josh at RB, Ed dropping in to LB and Dan and TJ making up the centre backs, confidence was in abundance.

With game 1 underway, the midfield of Malcom & David Flanked by Ricardo and Noor, started early, winning position and passing the ball around, not too long in to the game, the power house of Dennis had his first shot ‘off’ target, quickly followed by his 2nd, also off target. Frankie in the supporting role behind Dennis, was dropping of the shoulder and causing panic in OWs defence and soon enough had a shot of his own straight at the keeper.

This was the general pattern of play for the first half, OWs attacked, play broken up by the defence and midfield, into their last third, miss chances. Was this going to be another bad day at the office, the clear cut chances created was going begging and there was a need of luck… Up steps Dennis, after having every kind of shot saved, parried, blasted off target, it took a great cross from the right for Dennis to do his best ‘scuff’ of a shoot, which seemed to be direct at the goalie, who somehow wrong footed himself and stepped out the way to let the ball innocently bounce in to the corner…. RELIEF!!

Second half, no changes as it was agreed to kill the game before we unsettle the troops, it was not long before the 7s was back in the swing, with Ricardo and Noor both playing huge parts in all of the attacks, Dennis soon grabbed his 2nd followed by a good header for his 3rd and hat trick for the day.

Martin on for Malcom and JT for Frankie, Denzel having a run out in midfield and up top, the game finished 3-0 and finally the 7s not only won a game, but kept a clean sheet.

 

MOTM: Hatrick hero, Dennis and Ricardo who had an outstanding game

DOTD: For once, not football related, but been told Dan deserves it NONE football activates!


Match Report

Merton 7s V Old Wilsonian 9s Match 2

Learning form the previous week, and after much debate, the 2nd game got under way with 2 changes from the first starting eleven, this being JT for Dennis, Kieran who swapped the gloves for an outfield shirt, but made way for Denzel, the game started at the same pace as the previous. With both teams attacking but showing a lot of tiredness, it was now end to end stuff, the breakthrough came half way through the first half, The midfield winning the ball and slotting in Noor who ran at the OWs rear line, made himself some room for a shoot, only to slot John T in on the left which took out the OWs defence, and with John T Breaking his duck and finally getting off the mark with a cool, slotted finish past the static keeper, you could tell he hadn’t though his celebration through in any event of scoring a goal, but manged to fist pump his way back for the restart

With the game at 1-0, second half started in the normal fashion for the 7s, for once managing to keep it clean for at least 10 minutes before letting the OWs left winger cruise down the wing and put a decent cross in, which was controlled and smashed past the keeper by the big centre forwarded. 1-1-1… Here we go again!

This however, rallied the team more, and soon after, with David holding up play on the 18 yard line, Ed on the overlap was put in with a neat back heel pass which Ed drilled the cross passed the OWs right back, the goalkeeper, directly in the path of John T who just needed to stick a toe out, somehow manged to step over the ball and elude himself the chance of a glorious second

Luckily the 7s didn’t wait long, with Denzel wining the ball on the right, got into the area and slotted a neat shot past the advancing keeper, this put paid to a valiant come back by the OWs and allowed for a 3rd to finish off the game. Frankie storming down the right and chipping the keeper form 18 yards to seal the win. Finally, back to back wins!!  

 

 

MOTM: Noor once again done himself justice, but Tom J nicks it with the extra vote

DOTD: John T air shot won it over Eds poor corner

 

Team: Kieran, Josh, Tom J, Dan, Ed, Ricardo, Malcolm, David ©, Noor, Dennis, Frankie

Martin, Denzel, John T

5s vs Polytechnic 8 – 18.03.17

 MERTON FC FANTASTIC FIVES Vs POLYTECHNIC POOHPANTS EIGHTS

                                                         2               –              2

D,   GIBBO                                                                       LUCKY BAR STEWARD

                                                                                          TOE PUNT PETE

It was big game day down at the Hood many of the players needed Sat-Navs and maps to actually find our home ground mistakenly thinking only water polo was played at the Hood.

Some people adhered to the two hour prior to kick off meet time and by the time the sensible ones arrived the others looked at little jaded form the warm up which may be why one half of the team did a warm up and the other half chatted about important topics like Sam’s virginity and Arsenal losing 3-1 to WBA oh happy days! Come on you SPURS!

With the same formation as last week and a starting line-up of Shagger Sam in goal, Lightning Delman and Chris “the slice” Outred as wing backs, Dodgy Dazza, Senior Steve and Lenners as a back three, (h)ansom Aaron, Trembling Tiago and Bambi centre mids and the attacking force of D every fat birds nightmare and Gibbo every sheeps nightmare.  The bench was Calamity Clive, Ian or Iain and Anam the Cadbury king we kicked off with second place a real possibility and the arguments about sectional strength and Poly nines still ongoing.

Poly 8’s were a similar line up and quite frankly should be the lower tem as Poly nines are much better!

We started brightly and with Lee screaming like a banshee marshalling the defence the early game plan was working well.

D and Gibbo looked aggressive and determined up front and the midfield solid my only wish would be that we talk more on the pitch for a team that can manage 250 Whatsapp messages in an hour about Sams sex life a topic that should take 2 minutes or Lenners plans to abduct and kill a carpark attendant again a two minute job despite the fact I have confiscated his weaponry! We are still too quiet.

It looked like the game, as the previous encounters have been, would be tighter than Clive in front of the bar (I know Sam owes a jug but picked on him too much already) .

The ref was as he told me later retiring from refereeing after this game to be fair I think he retired at the start of the game because he was about as close to play as Scotland are to independence.

Disaster struck when with a speculative long shot a lot of wind assisted luck the ball flew into the net from 25 yards shock horror we were 1-0 down.

Last year (I did not play) the fives would have crumbled like a card pyramid in the face of a strong fart but we have a new found resilience and a battling will to win and we should have been back in when a lovely passing move and a through ball to D who would have been through in goal but no offside WTF never!

Then a controversial moment in the game as the Poly forward ran the ball over the by-line and crossed the forward scored and turned away celebrating appeals from Merton seemed to fall on deaf ears Tiago shouting at the player “tell him the ball was out” did not work but the sight of a frothing seething mad eyed Lenners in his  face seemed to make the ref see sense and a goal kick was given a let off and maybe justice for the offside. Aaron was replaced by Ian Iain and Clive came on for Bambi half time came.

After a right good seeing to at half time by Clive (first time he’s managed a right good seeing to think he been on the receiving end as I mentioned WBA won).

We started the second half and were back in the game when a great move saw D’s shot going in the bottom corner Gibbo made sure and buried it from a yard apparently screaming “you’ll never be club top goalscorer”

D could have had another shortly after when from a corner his shot was goal bound and in a moment of madness Dazza forgot he had gone up for a corner and with the best defensive move of the day headed the ball clear! Memories of Clive’s headed miss from 2 inches!

We should have had a penalty, we could have given away a penalty, it was tight very very tight that’s nice if your with a lady but it ain’t no good in a football game!

Then Poly’s left back ran the length of the pitch and mesmerised everyone to the extent that when he pulled the ball back everyone admired it except the striker who buried the ball passed Sam 2-1.

We should have replied almost immediately with a goal mouth scramble but for some reason Gibbo, Delman D all seemed to do a mannequin challenge and did not move when all the ball needed was a little nudge.

We drew level when D buried a header from a corner fantastic goal 2-2.

With the game now in the dying minutes we pushed hard unfortunately the next chance fell to steve normally one to strike without thinking (and miss) he weighed up his options took a touch and pulled the trigger oh dear the ball did well to reach the keeper nice gentle back pass.

The game ended 2-2 honours even and probably a fair result. To pour petrol on the fire of the debate I still wonder how Poly 9’s can destroy teams including us and their 8’s be so much poorer?

Still we need 6 points two cup games left and hopefully runners up will be ours.

On an emotional note it was great to see the team fight back stay focused and not give up!

Man of the match was Tiago (I voted for him) and Ian Iain joint winner he had a great game.

Dick of the day. The parking attendant who stopped Lee getting his car.  That guy’s going to be in the boot of that car soon.

Oh and Tiago got naked Lee and Steve double teamed and by the little rise in his pants either shit himself or quite enjoyed it!

I apologise if you did not get a mention but I can’t insult everyone all the time!

5s line up vs Polytechic 18.03.17