Category: Match Reports 1s

1s vs NUFC Oilers – 03.11.2018

The 1st team have had a difficult start to the season with many challenging away days, depleated squads and tough cup draws, so it was refreshing to have a week off, be back at the Hood and to look around the changing room to see a strong mix of boars regulars and marque summer signings.

 

However, the optimisium was short lived, with the opposition NUFC Oilers (off the back of two wins a draw in the league) seemly not having read from the same script. Within minutes the Oiler’s had created their first chance, breaking through the midfield, before drawing a smart near post save from the recently called up Serbs. From the resulting corner their number 14 had a free header at the back post which hit the bar twice. For the next 20 minutes this was the pattern of play. Oiler’s pressing high, Merton giving away possession, Oiler’s shoot – Sherb’s saves, Oiler’s corner – free header no14 – Sherbs save. Repeat. 

 

Sherbs having been called up from the 2’s due to an injury to our normally ‘very quiet’ regular keeper, made five or six goal saving stops in the first 20 minutes and kept the boars in the game. His performance was Hugo Loris esq (think World Cup winner not the Spursy lad).

 

A counter attack led by Rat, a driving run down the wing by attacking forward George and some fantastic no 9 hold up play from new signing Jamie led to Merton going one nil up against the run of play. George with the goal and Jamie with assist.

 

With the Boars having not only weathered the storm but also snatching a goal Clappers made the call for an early sub and Josh was introduced to anchor the midfield and disrupt their centre forwards. This didn’t pay dividends   Immediately as Oiler’s countered from a  Merton corner a pulled a cheap goal back. 1-1.

 

Before the half was over Merton had got a strong foothold in the game and just before the half time whistle some exquisite play in the centre of park from Woody released George who terrorised their left back before getting off a crossshot which was only half cleared. Jamie latched onto the defensive error and finished, in off the post, to give Merton the lead going into the break. 2-1 Merton. Jamie goal.

 

At this point Oiler’s heads were gone. A few strong boars challenges early in the second half and the Oiler’s were mouthing off. Unfortunately for them, the referee who had good game, did not like it and sent one of their whingers off for a 10 minute sin bin.

 

During this period it was time for Merton to kill the game off and what better chance than a soft penalty won by Merton’s usual penalty taker and all round nice guy Woody. Of course, nothing in football is that simple and overcame Josh to take the ball off Woody and step up to take the penalty. It was a fantastic penalty … low, hard, bottom right but I’m telling you now the Hood won’t see a better save this season! Ridiculous tip round the post from a clearly in form keeper.

 

Merton were the better team second half with H and Browner having nullified the attacking threat of Oiler’s centre forwards. Jamie, who led the line well all game, bagged his second on about the 75th minute mark when he instinctively pounced on a loose knock down in the area to finish and compete a brace.

 

Merton shut up shop and were not under much pressure until the 93rd minute when Sherb’s went from World Cup Hugo to Spurs Skipper with a soft goal kick straight to their striker who slotted. 3-2 Final Score.

 

MOTM – Jamie. Two very good goals and an assist.

DOTD – Josh. Saved penalty.

 

Boars on the march….. contenders by Christmas. Watch this space.

1s vs Old Parkonians – 20.10.2018

Merton @ Old Parks 2 – 4

 

More knockout football for the boars this week as they met Old Parks in the AFA cup.

 

Yet again this meant a commute to Ilford. Is there are an amateur club in the land that spends more time travelling to away games? 

 

Old Parks posed serious opposition from the league above. 

 

Merton with a much changed team from last Saturdays defeat; saw Jack and Cookie come into defence with a rare central midfield cameo for Ivan and Max. Also, good to see another debut as Dan made his first appearance up top.

 

During a very competitive first half the away side felt hard done by to be 2-1 down at the break. Originally taking the lead from a Jimbo corner and after a few deflections, Max was on hand to slot home from 5 yards. His first goal for the club. However, mistakes in midfield and a rebound from a free kick, meant the home side would be ahead after 45.

 

Merton felt this game was by no means over and were keen to test their opponents in the second half. Consistently  a threat from set pieces it resembled somewhat of an England side from the summer. But it would be a third goal for Old Parks after 60 minutes that left a lot of work to do. And it could have been worse if Siri hadn’t made a brilliant penalty save following a handball from Jack that Nadal would’ve been proud of.

 

With 20 to play, Max bagged his second with a bullet header again from a Jimbo corner, setting up a great finale. Despite constant pressure and big chances, the home team were still a threat on the break and as they had been all afternoon were clinical when scoring a fourth. Assisted by Jimbos fresh air kick. 

 

Unfortunately, it’s another loss for the 1s but with a bye week upcoming, the boys can be refreshed for their next league fixture. 

 

Score: 2-4 

Mom: Max 

DOTD: Jimbo

 

Team: Siri, Cookie Jack, Harrison, Browner , Gabby, Max, Jimbo, Ivan, George, Dan

 

Big thanks to Jordan Cox who came back from Manchester to watch but ended up playing 20 minutes 💪

 

1s vs Old Finchleians – 13.10.2018

1s away v Old Finchelians – SAL Cup – 13.10.18

0 – 3

The day started with a pleasant trip up the Northern from Balham with Jimbo, Pritch and Harrison. We discussed whether we thought we could survive a plane crash into the sea, the height of the Shard, what a good player Phil Foden was and what an adventurer, his namesake, Ben Foden is. For information it’s Ben Fogle boys, not Foden.

It was during this journey that I realised I’d only brought one boot with me!!

Everyone arrived in plenty of time, even George, and we had time for a relaxing chat on the veranda. Luckily, amongst the relaxing, Stubbsy decided to get his kit ready and discovered that I hadn’t brought the socks! Thankfully there was a Sports Direct 10 minutes away and off Siri and I went with Jimbo’s request of “Can you buy yellow ones so they match by blister prevention socks”. “Shut up Jimbo I’ll get whatever colour they’ve got 13 pairs of” was by edited response! Whatever you think of Mike Ashley, you can’t beat 13 pairs of socks for £32.50. Thanks big man, I owe you one.

So at 13:50 we were set to take the field in our fetching new white socks. I’d always planned new socks for this game but not in these circumstances.

With a minute gone Old Fs played a ball over the top which Harrison, 40 yards from goal, dealt with easily. Oh hang on, no he didn’t, he somehow managed to kick it out for a corner. A well delivered corner, a ducking Joe Greeeeewwww at the near post and an unmarked Old F at the back post and we were 1-0 down.

For the next 10-15 minutes we were all at sea and only a couple of very good Siri saves, followed up by his usual Tourettes outburst, kept us in the game. After this we found our feet and competed well but with five minutes to go we conceded a second to go in at half time 2-0 down.

We were much better in the second half and forced their keeper into 2-3 very good saves but didn’t really look like we’d crawl back the deficit. Then with about 10 minutes to go Old Fs scored their third with a very well worked goal.

A disappointing result but again some encouraging signs from the youngsters and newcomers.

Old Fs were a significantly improved team from last season and deserved the victory. They’re also a good bunch and even bought us a jug in the bar.

The good thing about losing miles away from home is that you’ve got a good hour and a half to feel sorry for yourself on the way back. We managed to offset the dispair with a few pints on the way home and then another excellent round of the This is the Merton Quiz at the Hood.

Team: Siri, Joe Greeeewwwww, Harrison, Browner, Max, Stubbsy, Jimbo, Pritch, George, Jamie and EJ. Sub: Clappers

MOTM: Max Carveth

DOTD: Clappers (Me!!)

1s vs HSBC – 15.09.2018

The 1’s welcomed HSBC to The Hood on Saturday looking to bounce back after a miserable 2-1 defeat away at EBOG the weekend prior (spoiler, we didn’t bounce back).

We arrived 90 minutes before kickoff to soil the pitch and do our best to avoid any broken ankles. A good job all around.

The level of commitment translated in to the first half performance as we came out with high energy and dominated possession. We should have been ahead at the half having created numerous opportunities and HSBC having very little play in our half.

Confidence was high at half time as we rightly felt they were there for the taking, and the domination continued for the first 20 minutes with Van, Ackers and George all causing problems. Unfortunately we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and were made to pay midway through the first half when HSBC won a free kick just to the left our 18 yard box.

The ball was whipped in and I volleyed it in the top corner. Not much more to say really. There was some controversy as one of their players was drinking water on the pitch as the cross came in. An unusual, illegal tactic, but one the ref failed to spot nonetheless.

We had two glorious opportunities before the end of the game. The first fell to beardy Sam when the keeper brilliant saved his free header 8 yards out. The second fell to George right at the death which was again brilliantly saved at a tight angle.

We travel to Ally Pally this weekend looking to get our first points of the season. Onwards. 

1s vs EBOG – 08.09.2018

Merton 1-2 EBOG

Please excuse the brevity of this report but I’m having to write it in a hurry as our DOTD, Siri, hasn’t done it. Further cementing his DOTD status.

A long trip to High Barnet, it never gets any closer, was made longer for Siri, Jimbo and Harrison because Siri had left his football boots at work. Why wouldn’t you leave your boots at work on a Friday? DOTD was written in the stars.

The slope on the pitch at EBOG tends to dictate tactics a bit and when it’s rock hard and windy those tactics tend to get confirmed. Play over and around whichever poor sod is full back up the slope and work from there.

After an even first half we went in 0-0 and were pretty please. In fact we were very please having lost 11-0 the week before and given EBOG were relegated from Div 1 last season.

The second half started well but then we conspired to gift EBOG two goals. One down the right, after Ciaran (Dennis Irwin) stepped on the ball, and there full back crossed for the forward to get in front of an uncharacteristically slow Browner.

The second goal confirmed our man Siri’s DOTD vote as he miss hit his goal kick along the floor straight to their centre forward who turned and smashed it back over his head from 30 yards. Siri explained he didn’t jump for it because he knew he was beaten. We are still wondering why he didn’t jump for it!!

EBOG then had a man sent off for a head butt. A silly thing to do as he was their best player but also because it was into Browner’s shoulder. Sadly they coped with 10 men better and we didn’t have the wit to break them down.

We got our consolation goal with a minute to go. A great corner from Jimbo, lucky as the one before was dreadful, and a good header from DQ.

A draw would’ve been fair but life’s not fair.

 

Siri, Joe Grew, Harrison, Clappers, Browner, Jimbo, Pritch, Akram, Tom Rowe, DQ, George. Sub: Ciaran

Scorer DQ, assist Jimbo.

MOTM: Joe Grew

DOTD: Siri

1s vs Actonians – 21.04.18

21st April 2018

Merton 0 v Old Actonians 2

The day got off to a bad start as our ref didn’t turn up. Thankfully the 6s referee was happy to do a second game and even better news, or so we thought, was that he was the guy who’d refereed our midweek game and was very good.

We started the game very well and you wouldn’t have been able to guess which side was fighting off relegation, us, and which was going to win the league, them. Within the first 15 minutes they’d not had a shot on goal and we’d had two efforts cleared off the line. Then the day went to pot!

One of their players handled the ball in the box. The referee put his whistle to his mouth. Everyone waited for the inevitable penalty but the ref didn’t blow! Minutes later Actonians attacked, Harrison went to clear, had his heals clipped from behind, but again the ref didn’t blow. They chipped in a cross, I tried to head over the bar but sent the ball into the far corner. 1-0 to Actonians and to rub salt in Snooks was sent to the sin bin for shouting “You’re joking ref”. If that sort of appeal, in the heat of the moment, is a sin bin offence then football’s gone mad.

Minutes later it was 2-0. A corner was sent in right under Sherbs’ cross bar. He jumped, got two hands on the ball, and was barged into by the Actonian player. He dropped the ball and they scored from a yard. The referee explained he didn’t have two hands on the ball and that the Actonian player had got to it first. This didn’t make sense because if he had he’d have scored but also Graham Poll helpfully heaped on the misery for me on Sunday, whilst I was watching Chelsea v Southampton, by explaining that “if the keeper is off the ground in the six yard box and is touched by an opposition player it’s an immediate free kick”.

This injustice further galvanised the team and we continued to play out the rest of the game as the better side but couldn’t find the breakthrough.

I was sent to the sin bin for the last five minutes for being sarcastic to the ref. Justified based on the new rules and the warning he’d just given me but whilst I was off the pitch an Actonians’ player thought he was fouled, ran five yards, took out Pritch halfway up his shin, from behind, in retaliation and got a yellow card and stayed on the pitch.  Football has definitely gone mad!

A depressing day and now we’ve got a must win on Saturday to stay up.

Pritch was deservedly MOTM, imagine where we’d be if he’d played more than a quarter of the season, and I was deservedly DOTD.

Sherbs, Jimbo, Harrison, Clappers, Browner, Will Low (Gresty 70), Pritch, Snooks, Van (Wilgo 70), Ackers, DQ (Josh FS 15)

1s vs Ibis Eagles – 14.04.18

Ibis Eagles 4 Merton FC 0

 

Saturday 14/04/18

 

The final away game of the season for Merton, would see them travel towards the M4 and meet IBIS Eagles.

 

With only 3 games left in the season it’s a critical stage to get some points on the board, especially considering Merton have only managed to gain 4 points in 2018 and find themselves in a potential scrap to avoid relegation.

 

With the sun shining and a positive 4-4-2 formation, perhaps the away side could put on a performance and claim a crucial win.

                          

The first half overall was an even affair, with Merton looking dangerous going forward and creating plenty of chances. However, there was a serious of quality on the ball with passes going astray and no real control in possession. This led to openings for the home side who were far more clinical.

 

A quick break from a loose pass lead to their opener and again before half time they took advantage with an almost carbon copy goal. 2-0.

 

The travelling team could certainly feel aggrieved that they were two goals behind, despite creating chances and having much of the play in the opposition half.

 

So with 45 minutes to play and certainly plenty of time to get back into the game, Merton needed a change of luck. But unfortunately non would be forthcoming.

 

Good running from Ackers and DQ up top, closely supported with Barry & Van on the wings, seemed a threat throughout the second half. But as the boars pressed the Eagles back four and created multiple chances to get back into the game, no goal was to be found.

 

On the other hand, IBIS were decisive, taking advantage of the away side loading players forward, they would stretch their lead to four with two breakaway goals. Although, the fourth and ultimately the final goal of the game easily two yards offside.

 

In all a very disappointing trip to West London; placing huge pressure on Tuesday night’s game against old foes HSBC. 

 

1s vs Civil Service – 03.02.18

Back to back away days for the boys in Yellow.

It was a rare away trip south of the river to Chiswick this Saturday as Merton took on Civil Service. Civi earlier in the season had effectively bullied the boars winning 3-1 and since had continued that winning form to be top of SAL Div 2.

Injuries meant the away side would bring no recognised centre forward and overall a tea, more known for its defensive capabilities than banging home the goals.

More worry before kick off as Harrison our trusty CB, was running late and now lost somewhere near the river. Carrying a BIG sore head following a successful trip to Infernos the evening before.

But let’s turn our attention to the game itself.

They say football is a game of two halves, but in the first 45 it seemed everything would be played down Merton’s left as Jordan and Glenn both tried to cope with heavy pressure from the home side.

We never really created much ourselves with more panic than precision when passing the ball forward. Yet despite one excellent save down to his left from Sherbs (in for the absent Siri), Service didn’t create any clear chances; just better territory and few glimpses of talent from their central midfielder.

Walking in from what had essentially become a bog, Merton could be very pleased with the result at half time. The boys had shown could fight and effort all over the pitch but would certainly hope to create more going forward.

The second half would be fiercely contested as either side knew one goal would probably be enough to nick it.

And it was the travelling team who nearly made the break through when James Gray played a ball down the channel to lone striker Sam Harvey, who it’s worth mentioning but in a great shift up front with very little service, beating the keeper to the ball only to find the side netting with his left foot from a tight angle.

Both sides were playing three in the middle of the park and it has to be said the Merton boys put in an incredible shift to numb the threat through the middle. As always Craig Usher ran his socks off to nullify their captain and Sam Pritchard did more defending than he’s probably done since he was a kid. I even saw win a header for the first time this season, incredible feat at only 6 feet 4.

Glenn consistently tried to add more of a threat going forward after having to put in a true defensive shift in the first half. And the back four were solid in front of Sherbs, as captain for the day ‘Rat’ (MOTM) communicated excellently and remained the most composed player with the ball at his feet.

So, with the game heading for a bore draw and running down to the final few minutes, Merton admittedly were under the cosh and had to make a number of substitutions due to injuries. Things weren’t helped when James suffered a rush of blood, taking a quick throwing on the edge of his own box mounting more needless pressure (DOTD please).

But all in all, a well fought draw away from home, before returning to the hood to take on Old Finchleians this Saturday.

1s vs HSBC – 27.01.18

Saturday saw the 1’s travel to HSBC looking to build on their victory a fortnight earlier.
Having been promised the best pitch we’ll play on all season, it was a disappointment when we turned up and it looked like it had housed a small farm during the week. Not to be perturbed by this shock development, we started well and went ahead thanks to some brilliant football. One touch interplay in midfield led to a through ball to Chaz who calmly finished in the bottom corner.
Shortly after we would go 2-0 up through the softest of soft penalties. A ball was played in to the box from the left hand side and Chaz rose the highest, so high in fact he headed the ball ten yards over the bar and crumbled in a heap next to the penalty spot. Nary a defender in site nor an appeal from anyone on our side, the referee, a young man with a clear desire to be involved in the game, awarded the penalty which Chaz would calmly despatch in to the bottom corner for his and Merton’s second.
This was as good as it would get unfortunately. After a fairly turgid 10 minutes, HSBC would work the ball in to our box and be awarded the softest of soft penalties that was even softer than the softest of soft penalties awarded to us minutes before. The referee, really, desperately keen to be involved in literally any way, gave a penalty due to an apparent foul by Crusher, who was some 5 yards away from the bloke who slipped and fell over. Siri would get close to the spot kick but not close enough. 2-1.
We had the best of the play from then until half time, only to be undone just before the half by a very strange goal. A ball played over the top was chased down by their left winger, closely followed by Rat who shepherded him to a fairly innocuous position heading towards the corner flag. In pure desperation their player would shoot harmlessly towards goal, only for Siri to politely watch the ball trickle in to the bottom corner, apparently feeling the ball was heading for a goal kick. Now, I’m no goal keeping expert but having spoken to Siri after the game this is apparently not what you’re supposed to do.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were even, with neither side able to create anything clear cut. It’s at this time, with the game hanging in the balance and the next goal crucial, the best chance of the game would unfortunately fall to our centre half. A corner came in from the right which the keeper only half cleared, the ball falling 35 yards out (or 6 yards out, hard to remember) which I would unfortunately blast somewhere close to Croydon with the whole goal gaping.
From there HSBC would score another 2 scrappy goals – one from a corner we did a poor job of clearing, and one from a cross James Gray passed to their man at the back post – and the game would finish 4-2. The only other drama was Van hurting his rib diving too hard. Get well soon.
Onwards and upwards!

1s vs Norseman – 13.01.18

The day started with a few surprises, Clappers was advised his ban had come through in time for him to miss this game and we realised that a number of people had pulled out the night before. We went from having 14 to the bare 11. Thankfully with a few choice calls we managed to rustle up a few of the old boys who aren’t always available. Snooks and Bosher joined us to make a squad that would certainly be in contention for our strongest in a long time. The bants was strong from the start and all the boys seemed upbeat. The warm up was odd having been left with a small, muddy patch of grass at the side of the pitch but it was sufficient to do the job.
The Merton Men started fast and were instantly on the front foot, creating chances up front from our dominating presence in the air by Chaz. Merton were attacking with purpose and fluidity that was causing trouble for Norsmen, particularly with any ball reaching Vanny and the super duo of Chaz and Charlie. We looked to have the rest of the team under control both in mid-field (even with “casual” /ugly/ Vegan Sam) and in defence. There wasn’t much threat from Norsmen but their best players were their centre mids who had nothing to pass to in their attacking third. It was on the cards from the start and not to disappoint, Chaz and Charlie exchanged a few good passes which resulted in Chaz smashing it in the back of the net from close range to take us 1-0. With some lax passing from Norsmen at the back, Charlie pressured well and forced an error, he was rewarded with an easy finish, but born out of good old fashioned workrate. Vanny continued to terrorise the left back with some support from Rat (with passes that showed he had been absent for a number of weeks). Did we miss Clappers presence on the pitch? Nope!
The first half went without much threat to us but we did try to even the odds by slide tackling on the edge of our area and on occasion in our penalty area, where we were lucky to escape a penalty award against us.
The second half started much like the first with Merton dominating in possession and creating attacking move after move. Suddenly, a flash point, their striker decided to react badly to losing the ball and thought the best way to demonstrate his discontent was to “step up” to Chaz, who stood his ground. The striker decided to lean in and attempt to head butt Chaz, in plain sight of the referee. Checking that the ref had seen the head butt, Chaz acted impeccably and held his arms out to show he had no intention of returning the physical contact, which was rewarded by a straight red card for the opposition. The rest of the half went from good to better, with Vanny marauding down the right wing creating chances for Jonny, Bosher and Charlie. One of the chances was converted, in the end it was a classic Vanny run down the right easily passing the left back and with cheeky step over glided past the centre back to provide a simple pull-back inside the 6 yard box for Bosher to finish neatly. Charlie scored another goal easily and then went extremely close with his third, with the ball bouncing off the post, stubbornly refusing to cross the line.
Snooks made a cameo appearance but thankfully avoided any unnecessary tackles and survived his first match in over a year.
A strong performance from the massive lads and a well-deserved 3 points.