Category: Match Reports 1s

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.   

1s vs HSBC – 11.03.17

HSBC away, 11.03.2017

1-1

A game likely enjoyed by the braying twits in club ties cheering on the home side for the occasional malice exhibited by the hosts was a satisfactory occasion for the visitors in yellow, too, thanks to a hard-earned point. 

Proceedings quickly settled into a pattern of HSBC possession and Merton chances on the break. The Will Low/Wilgo combo typically broke play up. Ivan, as the third man in the middle, had his tail up and passing radar on high alert. His early pass gave Jonny a chance with which he shaved the post. 

It was simple, direct, decisive stuff. Shame Rat wanted no further part in it after 10 minutes, shuffling off for lunch while complaining about a twisted ankle. 

The Charlie Hockless penalty that gave Merton the lead might seem simple enough, too. In reality, his spot-kick was the decisive blow in an episode of physical and psychological warfare. First, after good work down the right from Jonny Graham, Charlie scrapped with defender and goalkeeper – and was eventually hauled down – to win his chance from 12 yards. He then had to retrieve the ball from somewhere in New Beckenham while fielding less-than-sporting posers from the less-than-sporting posers in red. “Don’t overthink it,” was among the advice doled out. Our boy didn’t. 1-0. 

If it was a game of tireless running from the front three, then that was reflected by the industry from the back four. Conor and Joe Grew on either flank impressed, the latter deservedly winning MotM. 

Browner and Clappers needed to be a muscular presence. They delivered. Silly Browner had such a good time he even forgot to EG his post-match tequila. 

Siri makes a habit of making saves he has no right to. This one was up there with his finest this season. A low ball drilled along the edge of the six-yard box from the left was intercepted by Willy Low’s outstretched foot, but Merton’s midfield engine could only direct it towards his own goal. One of HSBC’s shrieking forwards was already celebrating as Siri threw himself down low to his right, his impossibly-extended paw scraping the ball out for a corner. 

HSBC equalised from a low corner midway through the second half. That aside, the Merton wall stood firm. The midfield even won the majority of their headers, despite Clappers’ early (“reverse psychology”) predictions.

Tom Rowe ran himself into the ground for little reward. Milo looked bright on his introduction from the bench. The game remained an energetic encounter that became stretched. 

Charlie didn’t quite his feet right when presented with a good chance to grab a second after a Wilgo flick-on. Then Vanny could have won it, galloping through beyond the last man, only to misjudge his attempted lob. 

That was enough to bag him DotD, despite his otherwise stellar performance and Tom Rowe asking whether one needed an HSBC current account to play for the team. Marvellous scenes, truly. 

Siri (GK), Conor Murphy, Clappers (c), Peter Brown, Rat (Joe Grew), Will Low, Wilgo, Ivan, Tom Rowe (James Laughton), Jonny Graham (Milo), Charlie

Written by Wilgo

1s vs Bank of England – 18.02.17

MERTON FC  0
Bank of England 5

Merton had won its two previous meetings against the Bank of England away this season going into
Saturday’s match and was looking forward to making it a clean sweep for the season.  The Captains of
both teams moved the game from the Hood to BoE’s pitch early in the week to ensure the game would
be played given the weather and conditions. In the league standings BoE trailed Merton by only two
points making this a must win for both teams.
Merton had their first real chance of the game when Van beat his man down the right side of the pitch
and delivered an angled pass backward from the BoE goal line to a wide open Nick in BoE’s box.  Nick
took a touch and shot but a BoE defender was there to block it.  Not long after Merton had a breakdown
on defense and BoE’s center forward flicked on a pass to their wide open right winger, who slotted it past
Siri from no more than 8 yards away. Siri had no chance.
Merton had another chance in the half when Vanny delivered a cross to streaking Johnny on the back
post, however, Johnny’s touch went straight to the keeper and Merton went into halftime down 1-0.
Against probably the weakest BoE side Merton had seen this season, they looked sluggish and played
poorly in the first half.
BoE’s second goal came off of a free kick from just inside Merton’s half.  Siri caught the free kick inside
Merton’s box but was fouled by a BoE player on his way down, and subsequently spilled the ball out to a
waiting BoE player, who scored.  The ref did not call the foul on the play.
Following BoE’s second goal, Merton played with a new spirit that created a few decent chances for
Merton.  Most notably, Johnny sailed a bouncing cross from Vanny over the bar from about 10 yards out.
Merton’s spirit did not last long and BoE’s third goal followed not long after their second goal. After BoE’s
third goal Merton pushed Clappers forward to try to muster some offense and salvage any last dignity
remaining, however, this led to a couple of BoE breakaways and meaningless goals four and five for BoE.
Saturday was a disappointing effort for Merton.
Playing in front of his father for the first time this season, Ivan’s dominance of BoE’s left back and
numerous crosses to Johnny earned him man of the match, while Kearnsey’s unprecedented three foul
throw-ins earned him nearly unanimous dick-of-the-day honors
With the loss Merton fell to fourth, one point behind BoE and five points behind Acton, who have a game
in hand.
 
Starters: Siri, Clappers, Brauner, Rat, Kearnsey, Nick, Sam, Tilley, Johnny, Ivan, Tom Row
Substitutions: Milo, James
 
MoM: Ivan Gladkow
DoD: Will Kearns

1st vs Ibis Eagles – 28.01.17

Merton 2 – 1 IBIS Eagles

With last week’s disappointing cup performance well and truly forgotten about it was back to business in the league and an opportunity to do the double over IBIS Eagles down at what is quickly becoming, fortress Hood. Due to several coinciding factors including daughter’s birthday parties and Lancaster student uni reunions, the changing room was a short of a few regular senior faces. Browner was quick to regale in the spirit of ‘Norseman away’ back in 2014, another occasion when we were without key personnel although able to come away with the points due to two key factors; an early Jason Marsh thunderbolt and the big yellow Merton bus which parked itself in front of our goal for the proceeding 80 minutes. I’ll never get bored of hearing that story.

Anyways, we set up in our familiar 4-3-3 formation and looked in control of the opening exchanges with CJ Rayner and Milo looking menacing in behind the returning Tommy Rowe although the Eagles keeper remained largely untroubled. Rat and Browner were marshalling the back line in Clappers absence with confidence and authority which was great to see albeit a tad surprising given the number of goals shipped with the two of them playing there together previously! Unfortunately our promising opening came to an abrupt end soon after the 20 minute mark when some sloppy play in the middle of the park led to a breakaway down our right flank culminating in a tidy finish by their striker which, left Siri with no chance. It was their first attack of note, but for all of our possession and running but end product we didn’t have much to complain about. It could have got worse if not for a smart save by Siri and Browner clearing expertly from inside our six yard box. At the other end Tom was doing a commendable job holding the ball and brining others in to play but without the midfield getting past him we were struggling to carve out any clear cut opportunities. On the occasions that we did get the ball in the right areas, we were frustratingly lacking a bit of quality to get back on level terms

The second half began in much the same way as the first with Sam, Wilgo and Tills now becoming more dominant in the middle of the park and getting us on the front foot. The introduction of James Laughton and Els on either flank paid immediate dividends and ultimately changed the game with both causing havoc in the final third and Els almost scoring with his first touch. We were now well on top and it seemed only a matter of time before we scored. After a succession of corners Wilgo picked the ball up down the right and delivered the cross of the game to find Tills in space inside the box to coolly slot home at the second attempt (well sort of). We continued pressing and soon after we were ahead. Some cracking work from Kearnsy and Sam resulted in Els picking up the ball 25 yards out. Still with plenty to do he walked past three defenders and tucked the ball away high in to the net to send the boys in yellow wild, it was a fantastic strike and worthy winner of any game. We closed the game out with some disciplined defending to secure the three points and a proper Merton win. A fantastic team performance demonstrating the strength in depth that we now have at the club and a some very exciting young talent coming through. On to EBOG next week for a top of the table showdown.

Team: Siri, Joew Grew, Browner, Rat, Kearnsy, Sam, Wilgo, Tills (Capt), Emilio, Rayner, Tom Rowe

 

1s vs Old Thorntonian – 21.01.17

Old Thorntonians away 21/1/17

We turned up for this cup quarter final full of optimism. We were on the back of a good run of results and had a strong squad. Sadly it wasn’t our day.

The pitches were in very good condition but the frost made them very hard and probably only just about playable. As the cliche goes “The same for both sides” and certainly this wasn’t the reason we lost.

We started well and put Old Ts under a lot of pressure resulting in a serious of corners. Woody was sending in some good deliveries and eventually one was shouldered home by Chaz. We continued to flow forward and one particularly good move saw a great cross from Van that Jonny just couldn’t get on the end of. 2-0 with our backs up could of seen us run away with the tie but equally we could of easily prevented their two goals.

A poor clearance was followed by some poor tracking and then finished off with a poor tackle. A poor team effort. This left their, very unpleasant, left winger free to send in his cross. Unfortunately his cross turned into a fluke that sailed into the far top corner. A few minutes later and we were 2-1 down. A long throw was flicked on to their centre forward who had the freedom of the six yard box and he smashed home.

Then came a mad few minutes. Some handbags escalated from nothing into two people being sent off for punches in a matter of minutes. Both reds were entirely justified but out of keeping with the rest of the game. Once everyone had calmed down, their manager and bar man had left the pitch, the last five minutes of the half were played out with no further incident.

The second half consisted of us applying lots of pressure, but perhaps without too much invention, and Old Ts defended it very well. Despite our pressure we couldn’t find the equaliser and the game ended 2-1.

The result was compounded by the aforementioned very unpleasant left winger, who was their man to see red, spending the second half stood on the sideline abusing our players and offering to “smash in” anyone who answered back. An unnecessary embarrassment for Old Ts who other than him were a well organised, fair and hospitable club.

The poor result coupled with the red cards made for a pretty depressing afternoon which isn’t what we look forward to all week.

Onwards and upwards.

Line up: Siri, Kearnsey (TR 70), Chaz, Clappers, Rat, Sam, Woody (Tills 80), Tills (Jonny 60), Jonny (Browner 45), Bosh, Van

1s vs HSBC 14.01.17

Merton 5 HSBC 1  (HT 2-1) (Scorers Woody, Johnny Graham, Vanny

Another good performance from our 1s saw them through to the Quarte-finals of the SAL Premier cup. But first we had to overcome the elements as the Hood had experienced a real battering from the snow and rain and pitches 1 and 3 were clearly unplayable. But with a bit of brushing and sand from the management team the pond at the centre of pitch 2 was absorbed. The downpour just before  kick-off didn’t help but the ref deemed it playable…just and we were able to get underway. I thought this was going to be a tough game as we had already played out a draw against HSBC earlier in the season in the league. Just before kick-off we lost Bosh who felt a twinge in his hammy.

We started the better but had little to show for it until Woody unlocked their defence with a quality free kick from just outside the box. Keeper no chance 1-0. Soon after that we were on level terms as Clappers played a strange cross field ball to their centre forward who was one on one with Sirij. Keeper no chance. Now Clappers has been with the club for nearly 10 seasons 300 games perhaps and I cannot remember him doing anything like this before. I do tend to hit the erase button on such events but apart from an OG in the Algarve when both he and our keeper were desperately hungover and rightly so that is it. So Forgive and forget , move on with  just a very firm ‘Dick of the Day’ nomination! The game was pretty even with us on top but susceptible on the break. A good passing movement saw Johnny played thru and he finished well from a difficult angle 2-1 at half time.

We dominated the second half and created a lot of good chances. Their keeper played well but had little luck and sometimes less cover. They were gruelling conditions and both teams tired. With a 2-1 lead I was surprised how much we pushed up and left ourselves exposed and on two occasions outnumbered on the HSBC counter attack. Mainly due to the conditions both sets of attackers found the final ball difficult. Our third goal came on about the hour. Vanny (?) putting away a loose ball inside their area, This was a relief for a number of reasons mainly though because the pizzas were being delivered with no allowance for extra time or pens. Nick back from hols in sunny climes was exhausted after a good slog through the mud and replaced by Tom  and Milo came on for Johnny Graham who had also run himself into the mud.. Fresh legs gave us a bit more impetus.

Tom Rowe making a welcome reappearance after his broken ankle scored our fourth goal shortly after coming on. He swung a foot at it from way out on the left wing. I thought nothing of it but shortly after I heard their keeper shout ‘oh shit’ and realised that the ball was destined to go over him and into the back of the net. He was surprised so were all of us on the touchline and even Tom looked a little bemused by the outcome..  We continued to press forward and squandered some good opportunities and were thwarted by their keeper. Our subs caused trouble down the flanks and on one such occasion having saved well milo got to the rebound to make it 5-1 for his first competitive goal. Sam was our Man of the match as he and his new orange boots put in a big midfield shift, Clappers Dick of the day and everyone put in a big effort for this win. The ref Bill Green controlled the game well and had to put up with a lot of chat. Pizzas and drinks very welcome at the end as was another good win for our 1s against a determined opposition who battled to the end. Now that Woody’s devastating delivery from set pieces is being brought to the masses by Facebook videos  we are seeking sponsorship for the rear of Woody’s shorts,  a tremendous advertising opportunity for BT Sport you may think!!!!

Team: Sirij (GK), Rat, Chas, Clappers, Kearnsey, Nick, Woody, Sam, Vanny, Johnny, James L, Subs Milo, Tom R.

 

1s vs South Bank Cuaco – 17.12.16

Merton 5 – 2 South Bank

Ivan

Charlie 

Johny

Johny

Wilgo 

It was the last game of 2016 for the 1’s down at the hood on Saturday, in a year that started with a relegation battle but finishing with a new look squad and thoughts turning to the opposite end of the table, with a promotion push and two cup runs to concentrate on in 2017. 

There was an air of expectation in the dressing room before the game given Southbanks position at the foot of the table, although Clappers prematch speech (phrase aptly coined by Kearney) centred on ensuring that nothing was taken for granted and that the basics were well covered. Team news was that Wilgo was back in for the injured Woody and Johny came in for Bosher. Rat had an extra big Christmas smile on his face after learning that Johny was playing in front of him, and not Van!

We started brightly on the front foot with marauding runs from Rat and Kearney from full back in support of Van (back to back games, what evs!) and Johny on either flank. One such run from Rat brought the opening goal as his delicious cross was met by a sliding Van who did well to get in front of his man and finish  with aplomb. We continued to press and chances came thick and fast, the best of which falling to Tills and Wilgo without success. Charlie wasn’t in the mood to mess about though and after good work from Johny, he doubled our lead going in to half time with a cool finish.  It was no more than we deserved but we needed to tighten up especially across the middle of the park. 

The second half started in the same vein with us making most of the running and it wasn’t long until Johny joined the party with two great finishes either side of a deserved strike by South Banks number 9. To their credit they kept going throughout and didn’t roll over. 

Our fifth goal was right out of the top draw and a collectors item for the vets! A searching back post cross from Van was met with a precise header from Tills only for MOTM Wilgo to control and smash home under pressure from two defenders. 

There was still time for SouthBank to claw back one more which should have been avoided, but a 5-2 victory was just deserts for a strong all round performance and a rise to fourth in the table. 

A great way to round off the year and we look forward to 2017. 

1s vs Actonians – 10.12.16

1st XI – Away against Actonian Association

Lost 1-0.

Away against top of the league: sounds tricky, but we had good memories of a last minute winner in the same fixture last year and three points would put us right in the promotion hunt.

Our line-up had an old school feel to it. For various reasons, the youthful injection that has made a big impact this season was largely missing. That meant that team selection was pretty easy – the 11 that turned up were the 11 that played (yes, Vanny, even you can start). Clappers’ pre-match speech reminder that we had a mediocre team last year (said presumably without realising that the starting 11 was the team we had last year) could not dent the confidence from a couple of good recent wins. The average age of the team might have shot up to the wrong side (or is that the right side) of 32, but you don’t win anything with kids.

Fortunately, we had all ignored Kearnsy’s invite to his Friday night lash-up housewarming – an invite that will see him deleted from the Gaffer’s Christmas card list. But the good pre-match news was that even before kick-off, Kearnsy had scored once and only narrowly missed out on second due to some careless finishing earlier that day. Anyway, enough of that – let’s get out there, smash into them into them in the first 10 mins, smash a result, and smash off on the long journey home.

The first 40 mins were pretty even. We were winning the midfield battle – the Tilly-Low-Woody tank formation generally does. Will in particular seemed to constantly be getting their ahead of his man – he must be damn annoying to play against.

We found some joy down the wings when we were able to isolate their fullbacks, and one great interchange between Vanny and Charlie brought a fine one-on-one stop from their 8 foot keeper. But if truth be told, Actonians were probably the more consistently incisive. The crossbar came to our aid when a chipped shot looped over Siri, and a couple of dreadful headed finishes came to our aid at other times.

With a satisfying goalless half time in view, a headed clearance from Clappers went up rather than out. When Browner decided he would decisively deal with it instead, he failed to realise that he would have to run through one of their players to get to the landing zone. Unfortunately that player turned out not to be a ghost, and went theatrically tumbling over. Clumsy – not a definite penalty, but not one you can complain about for too long. Their bloke calmly put the penalty right as Siri went left, and the non-existent half time oranges (where has that fine tradition gone?) tasted rather sour.

Actonians tried to up their physicality in the second half. A couple of studs up challenges, and at least one double footed tackle laid down the challenge. But these Merton Hogs never lie down, and the spirit in the second half really shone through on a day when the ref received more than one request to turn the floodlights on. 

As we pushed forward in search of an equaliser, the odd opening appeared in our defensive line. But Siri and the ref combined to keep us in it. In Siri’s case, it was a fine one-on-one save and another low to his left. In the ref’s case, it was ruling out their should-have-been-second with a terrible off-side decision, and not giving a penalty for a clear shirt pull from Clappers (although not according to Tilley who started some shovey-shovey by accusing the victim of a blatant dive as Clappers walked away sheepishly).

Meanwhile we were creating half chances at the other end. A Tilly header and a Browner volley both could have been equalisers if a yard lower. Bosher did excellently to get through the defensive line, but the finish (probably should have been cross) did not match the build up. An indirect free kick inside their area (thank you again ref) looked promising, but the routine was more Charlie Chaplin than Jackie Chan. Mani, who had arrived pitch-side during the game, came on and injected some real pace. But to give credit where due, the oppo’s defensive unit were good, if not as good as they thought they were.

Lots of endeavour, enough spirit to fill 3 drinks cabinets, but too many times the final cross or effort on goal lacked a telling bit of quality. Like the team sheet, it reminded one a bit of last season. So the promotion charge is on hold for the time being, but it still feels like there are good times coming up.

DOTD Browner: One mistake, one penalty, one goal, one-nil, one DOTD.

MOTM Will Low. Showed the same inspired determination that allowed him to smash through another 6 whiskeys even after chundering at The Earlsfield last Saturday. Last week that determination resulted in 3 hours sleep on the floor outside his front door (with a few more on the couch with a towel on his head). This week it got him MOTM.  

1s vs Alexandra Park – 03.12.16

Home v Alexandra Park 4-1

A slow start to the day, as we sat in the changing room for 15 minutes waiting for a key to arrive. Not ideal, but worthy of DOTD?

With a strong wind and low sun this was an ideal toss to win. Which, of course, I didn’t. Not ideal, but worthy of DOTD?

Kicking into the aforementioned wind we defended well and go the ball forward early, as Ally Pally were playing a very high line. One such attack sent Jonny through. Jonny’s running style doesn’t scream speed but he leapt, pranced and bounded away from his man, who in turn pulled him back. Penalty! A definite pen but not all refs would’ve given it. This ref did.

Woody stepped up. 1-0.

Despite the elements we had the better of the half and looked comfortable yet still found ourselves 1-1 at half time.

A break down their right saw a bobbled cross sent in. Browner (Brauner for the newer members) lifted his leg to clear and the ball duly went under it and the AP centre forward dispatched it. Browner let out a very long and low “Oh no” and then berated himself under his breath for the rest of the half.

We started the second half with the wind and a lot of purpose and very quickly took control of the game. An under hit corner from James was played back to him and his delightful curling cross was headed home by Jonny. 2-1 and looking good.

Then came a key moment in the game. Bosher chased down a through ball and as their keeper gathered the ball on the edge of his box he stepped just outside his box. A definite hand ball but not all refs would’ve given. This ref did. It wasn’t finished yet though, as the ref then sent the keeper off. Certainly not all refs would’ve done that. This ref did. Having hit the bar earlier in the half, from a similar position, this time Woody smashed it in. 3-1 and see MFC Facebook for video evidence. Much discussion, both on and off the pitch, as to whether it should’ve been a red card and if the freekick was direct or not. Which shows none of us know the rules and therefore shouldn’t berate refs.

With 10 men and an outfield player in goal AP were never going to get back into the game and we duly scored a fourth with a break down our left, a ball across, and a rebound of Charlie. 4-1 and game over.

Other notable points from the day.

– Everyone’s concern for Tilley’s well being as he jogged around nowhere near his man for most of the game. Sore back? Or Xmas do on Friday night?

– Two moments of praise, yes you heard it, praise for me from Siri.

– James Laughton finding out Santa doesn’t exist. Sorry James (sad emoji)

– Chaz turning up for the Xmas party. Necking a number of quick drinks and then going missing in action.

– Ivan coming to the party for a couple of hours. A good effort from Merton’s self proclaimed “Massive Lad” when it was clear he wasn’t really allowed to be out.

– Will Low sleeping under a towel.

Team: Siri, Rat, Browner/Brauner, Clappers, Will Low, James L, Woody, Tilley, Bosher, Jonny, Charlie. Sub: Milo

MOTM: Woody (Clappers a close second)

DOTD: Clappers (harsh)

1s vs Economicals – 26-11-16

After a well-fought win against BoE in the previous round, today brought us to the next round of the cup, against a team in similar standings in our rival league:
The Economicals from the AFC. 

The day didn’t start on a high note given that, In true taking the p**s style, Jonathan & Samuel turned up an hour late, with a very frustrated Chaz sitting in the back seat gearing up for an underserved bollocking – Clappers made it very clear that this wouldn’t continue! Chaz couldn’t agree more! 

None the less, the team was full of familiar faces with Siri in Goal, Brauner RB, Clappers & Chaz CB & Nic filling in at LB. The midfield consisted of Woody, Tilley & Samuel, & a familiar front 3 of Jonathan, James & Chalie. The bench was made up of a very dynamic, Bosher, Joe, Elz & of course, Van was there on the sidelines studying the work of Merton’s first choice wingers.

The game was off to a good start with both teams showing a good tempo to their movement & passing from the whistle. It was, at least until roughly 5 minutes in, when their keeper picked up a rather obvious pass back from his own midfielder which consequently led to an indirect free kick just inside their box. By all accounts, Sam had the audacity to offer that he take it, thankfully Woody came to sense quickly & stepped over the ball and take it himself. BOSH! 1-0 Merton! After an unexpected extra touch to take it away from the charging wall, Woody got his shot off & it found the net – good start! 

The tone of the game continued from that point, with both teams continue to press each other at a good tempo & thus caused for a somewhat scrappy affair as the half wore on. Merton less and less tried to play out from the back, & instead started to play their percentages. This did work in our favor a number of times, resulting in nice link up play between Charlie, James and Jonny in order to turn their defence. Midway through the first half, Chaz received what was first thought to be a dead leg, however, he would later be subbed to what would appear to be a pulled/torn thigh muscle. 

Second half, & the game picked up from where it left off. Both teams hungry for the next goal & but for some very good defending from Clappers & Brauner, Economicals could have scored an early equaliser. I’m not surprised the Brauner, Clappers partnership worked out given that they’ve played together for years & Clappers certainly knows Brauners strengths & weaknesses. Siri was consistent as per usual, claiming the ball from set plays, look comfortable with a couple of sturdy shots & most importantly getting on everyone’s back! Good ol Siri. Has to be said that the middle 3 of Sam, Woody & Tilley did a good job in weathering an early storm by continiously foresting for the ball in the middle not giving their midfielders much time at all – this eventually led to Merton’s second goal. The midfield (Can’t remember who) won the ball deep in our own half and sent Jonathan on his way down the right wing. Calm under pressure, Jonny squared it Charlie who made no mistake in slotting it home with a sidefooted, curling shot passed the keepers left. Word on the sideline was that it was like watching Pires & Henry!…… It has to be said, Charlie could of a hatrick, considering he missed 2 clear cut chances just after his first goal – Van was smiling with intent on the sideline.

 
Merton made clever subs with 20 minutes to go. The introduction of Bosher for Jonny, added a fresh, direct approach to our attack & Elz come on to provide energy in the centre of midfield for a tiring James. Elz got his reward for an impactful appearance off the bench by scoring Mertons 3rd (This amongst a number of smart passes and winning the ball back high up the field). Economicals nicked one back before the end finalising the final score at 3-1 to Merton!
 
After it was all said and done, Brauner was awarded a well deserved Man of the Match for a solid performance at both LB & CB. He did really well in staying tight to his man & generally played to his many strengths. Honourable mention for Nic with a couple of votes who put in a good performance whilst filling in at left back.
 
Dick of the day went to Chaz – I’m still not sure why. Standard votes went out to Van… because he is Van…….Know. Act. 

Chaz Martin