Merton U9 vs Wandgas U9, mid-season friendly, Sunday 29th October 2017
With no fixtures during half-term Merton U9s chose to build on the huge strides made over the first few weeks of the season with a friendly against Wandgas U9s.
Neal and Roy ran the now familiar team drills in warm-up under yet another cracking autumnal morning.
Merton U9’s lined up with just 8 in the squad due to the absences of Faris (chilling next to a Greek Pool a la Ronaldo) and David (chilling in bed with man flu, or possibly mom flu given Chell’s reports of feeling the same).
The opposition had brought along a couple of extra players to bolster what has been a squad still finding its’ feet this season.
The ref blew and Wandgas kicked off. The extra hour of sleep must have suited Merton because they were straight at it, closing down the opposition to win the ball and attack. They did this repeatedly to great effect in the opening 10mins, missing a few chances after some lovely one- and two-touch interplay. But they also found the back of the net through Archie, Lewis and Joe in quick succession with confident finishes against and ever-stretched defence.
As the half wore on Wandgas found their feet more and settled into the match. They were outdone one more time via a goal for Louis and then at 4-0 they hit back through their diminutive forward wearing 7 on his back. It’s a good thing David was not able to play as the comparison of the two players could have led to a Stewards’ Enquiry as to whether there was a 5 year gap between the sides. Merton endured a little ragged period during which Wandgas grabbed another through a nice free kick which the ever-reliable Max couldn’t quite get to so that they went in 4-2 at half time.
After the turn-around Merton picked up the initiative again and extended their lead through Percy who was having another dynamo-like game in the middle. Louis came on to play up front and Ollie added his relentless energy to the busy mid-field. The boys returned to some lovely interplay to create chances for each other and Louis put the next one away with his left peg after some pin-ball Wizardry from the midfield pressed into the Wandgas box. All the while Archie was making some cutely timed interceptions and playing it out with aplomb, as has become commonplace for his game. Next to him Harry was working hard and having a solid game especially against the strong number 5 from Wandgas.
It was 6-2 and a few wayward, though not malicious challenges led to the odd tear and break in play. Not satisfied with their work Merton kept pushing to the end and grabbed another through Louis’ newly discovered left foot and a cracker from Percy who does like the odd spectacular strike.
As the match drew to a close Wandgas maintained a positive attitude and kept at it, working hard to prevent any more Merton goals. They were outdone just once more as Louis nicked his hat-trick and underlined Merton’s superiority to mark up an 8-2 win at the final whistle.
Roy and Neal shared their thoughts with the team and awarded MotM to the deserving Joe who had quite simply stepped up a level for his team. Overall the boys had done themselves proud and continued to take their training ideas onto the field of play.
The anticipated battle between Taff and Archie to get the first round in after the game failed to materialise as the Merton bar manager didn’t make it in. Plenty of warm backslapping accompanied the happy crew as they trudged off to their awaiting carriages, looking forward to next Sunday when the competitive games return.