Category: Match Reports 3s

3s vs Old Salesians – 03.11.2018

Merton 3s v Old Salesians:  1-3

 

Fresh from a scintillating performance and 5 goals in the previous game, confidence was high that The Boars could record a second win in a row against local rivals Old Salesians.  There were two debutants in the squad, Scott McGowan (or Fraser, according to Iain) and Jake Davies (fresh from impressing in last week’s interclub game, by nutmegging Woody 3 times).  Additionally, Mustard and Ryan returned after their temporary promotions to the twos and Adam Lynch made his awaited return from injury (so fit, that he was playing his second game in less than 24 hours).

 

The pre-match playlist of “Bands you wish you could be in”, garnered some classics from greats such as The Prodigy, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi to some absolute shockers from Busted, *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys.  We live in a country where demoncracy and diversity is rightly celebrated but the downside is that can result in selections that could make your ears bleed.  Maybe this is why some opt for lateness, they increase the likelihood of avoiding Iain’s phenomenally bad taste in music….

 

A 4-4-2 line up saw a new CB pairing of Adam and Scott, replacing the stricken Lofty and Stoner, with Mustard and Ryan replacing Nathan and Glenn.  The rest of the team from the previous victorious game deservedly retaining their places.  The 5s (adopting the “first come, first served principle” – due to their early kick off) had laid claim to The Boars traditional pitch, which left them having to play on the, affectionately titled, “sh1t pitch”.  A bit of cross wind and low sun were present and this would play its part (more on that later).  Credit to the ref, for doubling the attendance figures by bringing his girlfriend.  She was a welcome addition to Aaron’s dad (whom of course, is always welcome too, in fact, actively encouraged), to put the official attendance at 2.  If this carries on, planning permission at The Hood, may be required to build a stand.

 

A really promising start was made by The Boars, with a dominating first 15 minutes.  The ball was retained well with short passing and play that stretched the opposition and good defending from the front by Aaron and Fitz, in terms of hold up play and harassing the defence.  Merton’s defence looked assured, with Adam and Scott quickly showing real promise as a pairing, both strong, good in the air and on the ball.  Whilst there was a lot of good play, there wasn’t a great deal of goal-mouth action and neither keeper was particularly tested.   Salesians’ first real attack resulted in a goal, with a breakaway down the right resulting in a cross being lofted in – the wind gave it a bit more distance which resulted in the ball finding the back post without a Merton player being able to win a header, with the unfortunate Mustard also blinded by the sun (a song by The Seahorses, I believe), which left their forward to head past a despairing Phil Mitchell in goal.

 

A slip immediately from kick off nearly let Salesians in for a second but Iain made a great save.  After this wobble, Merton started to return to the play that they’d started the game with and improved their performance, again without particularly threatening the goal.  One moment of particular note to Mike Stone on the sidelines, was an incredible lung busting 90 yard run from Mustard (clocked at 27.9 km/h), which involved a one two with Aaron and the deftest of touches to put it past the defender and run around the other side of him.  The cross was ultimately cleared but the run very much excited Mike Stone, so much so that in the bar he was talking about “mould your own” again – a favoured conversation between Mike Stone and Mustard.  Adam also made a great last-ditch tackle to put off their striker when through one on one.

At half time, the team-talk focused on what we could do to improve but recognising that we’d had good spells.  It had the desired effect as within 10 seconds, Merton were level.  Full credit to Aaron for winning the ball from their defence, breaking through, looking like he’d taken it a little too wide but then firing a quick low shot in at the near post from about 10 yards.  Great finish and it was good to get clarity from Aaron during his celebration that “that’s what I’m talking about!”.  This goal gave Merton confidence and the game was very even for the next 15-20 minutes.  However as the game wore on, Salesians started to get the upper hand as Merton’s shape become stretched.  Special mention to Adam for a crunching tackle that “in my day” would never have been a foul  as the ball was clearly won first but it looks like the rules are changing.  Neal got booked for some standard dirt.  There was good play on the left between Ryan and Barry (and this is something we need to try and make more use of), which caused threatening moments.

 

With about ten minutes to go, Vin was replaced by Mike Stone and Scott was moved into midfield – this decision inexplicably resulted in Vin getting a DOTD nomination but as evidenced this week, farcical nominations can and do happen.  Very shortly after this change, a Salesians breakaway down the right was played into the middle and their striker finished from close range.  With a couple of minutes to go, a corner was swung in from the right and their central midfielder lost his marker and executed an acrobatic scissor kick, that defied what looked possible, given his rather stocky stature.  There were a couple of late half chances for Merton at the end, but it was too little too late.  The game finished 3-1.

In truth, the second half performance didn’t justify any other result.  The ability to win is definitely within this team and in spells in the game this was evidenced, but as Barry and Neal said between them, we need to play the game to suit our strengths and show more grit / desire to win.  We’ve got to earn the right to win by fighting for every first and second ball.  Our best play comes when we play football and defend from the front / close as a unit.  When this breaks down, the gaps across the pitch are too big.  

 

We go again next week, against a team we’re capable of beating.  Let’s turn the learning experience into an improved performance and a victory.

 

Team: Iain Evans, Mustard (captain), Scott McGowan, Adam Lynch, Barry Hughes, Sam Slater, Neal Davison, Vincenzo Di Matteo, Ryan Burchell, Aaron Byrne, Darren Fitzgerald.  Subs:  Mike Stone, Jake Davies.

 

Goal: Aaron Byrne

MOTM:  Aaron Byrne

DOTD: Mustard (double denim)

3s vs HSBC – 20.10.2018

3s 5 –2 HSBC 3s
After last weeks fruitless away trip the boars returned to the Hood still looking for there first points of the season.It was a much changed squad from the defeat to Kew. Mustard, Sam K, Mario and Ryan Burchel learning a call up to the 2s, Sam Speirs heading to the 4s and Sam S R and JV dropping out altogether.In came the ever dependable Neal Davison and Mike Stone, a bit of attacking quality was Added in the shape of Glenn, Lewis and Niall. And there was the welcome return of Barry Hughes.Gaffer Fitz opted for tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation that had helped the boars to almost pull of the most unlikely of comebacks the previous week.The side kicked off with Iain in goal Nathan at right back Barry left back and a centre back partnership of Mike Stone and lofty.The midfield consisted of Glenn left midfield Sam Slater right midfield and the central midfield pairing of Vincenzo and Neal, upfront the partnership of Fitz and Aaron completed the lineup. Which left the attacking options of Niall and Lewis on the bench.The boars kicked off and from the outset set about moving the ball quickly and with purpose. The first goal courtesy of Glen latching onto a ball into the left channel that had him in acres of room to pick a pass into the centre were Aaron made no mistake.From that point the floodgates opened as the boars tore through their opponents at will. Glenn Scored a cracking volley from theedge of the box and Aaron added his second and Sam Slater grabbed a good goal after a great pass from Niall that Beckham in his prime would have been happy with but the best was saved till last with Glenn picking the ball up on the right beating hisman and playing the ball into Niall who back healed the ball exquisitely back into Glenn’s path, the finish matched the move as he delicately dinked the ball over the exposed keeper.5-0 !!!!!!Sadly the boars were unable to tokeep a clean sheet as a lapse in concentration at the back allowed there left midfielder to squeeze the ball in at Iain’s near post just before the break.

The second half was much more of a struggle as a much improved opposition plus tiring legs meant that Merton spent the vast majority of the second half on the back foot. HSBC scored again with roughly 25 to play and will probably reflect that with abit of better luck and finishing they could have grabbed a point but a combination of the woodwork, a couple of good saves and poor finishing meant that when the final whistle went it was the Boars that had taken the three points.Possibly the best 45 minutes that the threes have produced in the last 3 seasons. MoMBarry for a solid first game back.DoD for Iain inflammatory comments about a fellow teammates manliness.

3s vs Kew Assoc. Res – 13.10.18

Merton 3s vs Kew Association

 

Another Saturday rolls around and once again Merton 3s are in action. Unlike the last 75 weeks this week we are away from home in Ham, close to Richmond.

This week it is a 1pm meet for a 2pm kick off however one of the 4 Sam’s, (annoying I know) goalie Sam decided to arrive at 12pm shortly after feeding his rabbit. His early arrival makes him the first person in the history of Merton to arrive on match day earlier than Mustard. As he likes to let you know Mustard lives in Essex which is very far away from most grounds so his early arrivals are spectacular. 1pm quickly approaches and everyone is present apart from Joe and Aaron (shock) to be fair to Aaron he did decide to walk a marathon to get here.

Once all the people on time had arrived we decide to make our way to the changing rooms. We are greeted by a lovely lady who shows us to changing room 6. Kew Association must of seen and heard Vincenzo’s dives in previous weeks as the changing room had ‘women’ written on it.

Changing room entered, food based music on (apart from Joe’s strange choice of Half the World away which I’m not sure has anything to do with food) kit bag in the centre of the room. The scene is set. Once the kit bag is placed, the lads like a bunch of wild animals start rummaging through to get their favourite numbers. Britney spots his medium, which is very important as mediums are rarer than a smile from Iain, and he jumps to grab it. Mario is extremely disheartened as we don’t have his number 8, we do however have multiple duplicates of numbers.

Once we have all changed with the aroma of deep heat in the air Fitz sits us all down to give us the line-up and team talk. As Fitz wasn’t there the previous week he has some help from assistants Iain and Mustard. The line-up he has decided is going to be:

                                                                                Sam S-R

                                                Sam K     Mustard                 Vin          Ryan

Sam SL                    Lofty

                                                                                Mario

                                                Nathen                   Fitz                          Britney

Bench: Iain, Joe and Aaron

The decided line up was set and it looks a strong line up. Britney is back after a near career threatening injury, Mustard making his debut at CB and Mario back after taking a few weeks off to get married. The bench also looked very dangerous with some brilliant options to bring on if needed (which they were). Team talk was underway and the importance of the wingers were paramount as they were required to defend from the front and attack there fullbacks. Mario was decided to be the further forward of the midfield 3 to back up the forward 3.

With the team talk done we started to make the trek to the pitch. After walking through supermarket chain Iceland slaughter house we arrived at the pitch and to our surprise, hidden amongst the horses and trees was an extremely nice pitch. After the ordinary warm up and a few terrible shots at the goal kick off was here and we were raring to go, all wanting our first win of the season.

Kick off. Merton started the better of the sides with a couple of chances falling our way. A run from Nathen that started down the right and ended with him cutting in and getting into the box, he should of done much better with his shot but there was a slight nudge in the back which seemed to put him off. Another chance fell our way this time with Britney bursting down the left and trying to cut a ball back to Fitz on the edge of the box but it was cut out by a brilliant slide tackle. Merton were creating problems on the wings with the pace and trickery but allegedly weren’t doing enough defensively which the attackers didn’t agree with.

After all the early pressure from Merton we once again went 1-0 down after a pot shot from about 30 yards. The Kew attackers waltzed through our midfield to strike a shot down the centre of the goal and with Merton goalie Sam on the edge of his area for some reason the shot sailed over him. Another attack shortly after put Kew 2-0 up. 2 chances, 2 goals. This is becoming a far too regular occurrence for Merton 3s.

2-0 down and a big moment happens. A moment that people are lying about. Chinese whispers is a vicious game. The ball is in midfield with Mario, Fitz and Britney are busting a gut to get through on goal. Mario plays a lovely ball through to Fitz with the goalie and defender fast approaching him he goes for the chip over the goalie. It’s on target, trickling towards the goal but Britney with his eyes like a hawk notices a defender running back to get the clearance of the line (which he would have succeeded in) so he sprints towards the line up to try knock the ball in. The moment of truth. Britney jumps with the finesse of a young Chinese gymnast but the defender who is about 2 foot taller than Britney does his best Conor McGregor impression and elbows him viciously in the back. Britney now off balance, knowing he isn’t going to make the header, throws a hand at it. Slightly brushing his hand the ball goes in the net. The ref saw. Goal didn’t stand. Robbery. Should have been a penalty but instead he gets voted D.O.T.D.

The rest of the first half fizzled out with not much else happening. The early threat from the wingers was gone and we no longer had a foothold in the game. Late on in the first half Aaron came on for Nathen with Joe coming on for Britney.

The second half started and after some stern words and finger pointing from everyone we were raring to go.

3-0

4-0 (offside)

The second half had not started like the first half with Kew pressuring us. However for some reason going 4-0 down made us a different team. A formation change from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 worked wonders with Nathen and Sam coming on for Mario and Fitz in CM and ST respectively.

A free kick won by Britney about 40 yards out, a smart quick free kick from Sam SL sent Vin through to chip a wonderful goal over the goalkeeper. 1 goal 3 to go. Vin was no doubt the star man in this second half with his marauding runs out of defence working wonders. He consistently fed Sam and Aaron up front who were getting joy out of there defenders. Joe Vaughn with some great tenacity in the middle kept winning the ball back for us. A special mention to Nathen who done his best Phil Jones impression by throwing his head on a ball that was on the floor. With about 20 minutes to go Iain came on for Mustard at CB.

4-2. A lovely header from Sam K goes into the top corner and the comeback was well and truly on.

4-3. Aaron is sent through by one of aforementioned Vin’s marauding run. He is offside but in keeping with the refs performance he didn’t see it. Merton were now one goal behind with about 5 minutes to go.

Last 5 minutes and Merton had all the possession but no real chances. Iain’s long throws were creating pandemonium in the opposition box but we couldn’t get the slight bit of luck we needed A couple of free kicks were won but none came to anything.. A couple free kicks also weren’t given most notably in the last couple of minutes, Britney was sandwiched but nothing given. Kew dug in well to hold off from a spirited second half performance from the lads.

Another disappointing Saturday for Merton 3s. However with a very new squad and a lot of summer transfers we are starting to gel and are looking better every game with the results soon to come.

Kew Association 4 – 3 Merton

3s vs Actonians – 06.10.2018

Merton 3s Vs Actonian’s

 

Game day, rain day.  With no win’s yet the 3s were ready and motivated to go out and get some points and with NEIL DAVIDSON back in the middle we looked to have a solid team.

 

The game kicked off and very early a simple ball over the top for Actonian’s left Merton 1-0 down. Merton pressed forwards with a few chances lending to a corner, Nathen took it whipping a ball in with a Actonian’s player heading the ball goalward and the ball being knocked in by Sam (Blonde). The game started to get heated as Mustard fouled a player jumping for a ball as all hell broke loss. Actonian’s  #12 who can only be described as a pitball on steroids then retaliated but taking joe out from behind in a tackle that earned him a yellow (should have been a red). The game continued and the ref continued to give out cards like a horny teen on valentine’s day.

 

The 2nd half and both teams not really having many chances until a Actonian’s move sees a player just outside the box who dropped a shoulder sending Mike to the shops for some tea and biscuits leaving him free too shoot, Actonian’s 2-1. Merton pushed back with Ryan send a ball into the box which was knocked in by Adam leaving Billy to head the ball home for a simple finish, 2-2. A few players needing to go off injured and the lack of subs left Merton struggling for the last 10 and it showed as Actonian’s managed to break through and get a winner in the last 5. 3-2

 

MOTM-Neil.

DOTD-Billy.

3s vs Carshalton – 29.09.2018

Merton 3s vs Carashalton 3s

Saturday rolled around once again and the 3s were looking to pick up their first win of the season. The opposition were the notoriously tough Carshalton and everyone was aware it was going to be a hard match in which preparation before the game would be key to get everyone prepared. Luckily everyone in the team had been briefed the week before by Mustard about the importance of turning up on time and how it would help turnaround our wayward start to the season. Iain sent out a message in the group chat about turning up early to support the lower teams in the club, so there was no possibility of anyone turning up late today surely?! How wrong that turned out to be! Not long after midday the first worrying text arrived from Billy who informed us that his train was cancelled and the next was not until near 1pm. One player late is not that much of an issue and it wouldn’t be a drastic problem… if not for the fact that off the football field Billy, Britney and Nathan are rarely seen more than a metre apart from one another! (You really do have to feel sorry for the ladies in their lives) So the three musketeers were late and stranded, fortunately Vin swooped in to save the day and get them to the Hood. The late brigade didn’t stop there though with Joe also suffering from his train arriving late, which makes a change from himself as he normally arrives too soon (According to his Mrs). With the team arriving in dribs and drabs the biggest shock of the day happened, Aaron Byrne arrived only 10 minutes late! A massive congratulations to him on his struggle of living so much further away from the hood than the rest of us and also his daily battle with the concept of time. With the playlist of Reality TV booming out in the background and with Alexandra Burke’s ‘Hallelujah’ in the mix how could the team not be motivated for this massive cup game!

Anyway onto the football! The boars were looking to build upon their fantastic end to the game last week and starting with a strong lineup of Iain in goal after his De Gea-esque performance last week (De Gea during the World Cup that is), in front of him a pacey back 4 of Mustard at right back, a returning centre-back pairing of Vin and Adam, with Ryan at left back. In the middle of the park we had Sam, Lofty and Joe which followed on from the pacey theme shown in the back four… Then up top that left Billy, Aaron and Britney, a relatively slow front three in comparison to the rest of the team. With Fitz and Nathan on the bench we had the perfect combination of pace, power, youth and Fitz was also there. (Please don’t bench me!)  With the Carshalton players bringing down all their family and friends to support we were playing in front of a sellout crowd as the game got underway. The boars started the livelier of the two teams and picking up from the energy and fight we were showing last week, we largely dominated the opening proceedings although we were struggling to make the ball stick up top with Billy and Britney opting to flick the ball on instead of controlling it. The midfield was a good battle which we were largely winning as they only had one real threat who we were managing to keep quiet. With Adam and Vin dominating in the air there were not many chances of note in the first half. The one stand out moment being when we were heartlessly denied a penalty by the ref after Aaron was played through and beat the keeper to the ball but was caught by the keeper in the process, yet the ref allowed play to carry on! Nobody ask Aaron about this in the future though as he will point out the tiny mark on his leg where the keeper brushed his thigh. Half time rolled around and for once the boars were going into halftime with a clean sheet and a goal less game so far! The team talk was asking for generally more of the same and the team went out into the second half unchanged. Again the boars were dominating from the start and set pieces were aplenty with the number of fouls Carshalton were giving away. We won a corner and Adam went up to take it, whipping in a lovely ball from the right, Lofty winning the flick on at the near post and the ball ping-ponged all over the place before falling to the feet of Aaron Byrne who volleyed the ball into the ground and it bounced up and came back off the bar! So close to making it a deserved 1-0 to Merton. It was clear their centre backs didn’t like it in the air and Iain’s kick were causing them plenty of problems. We were pushing them further and further into their own half when we won a freekick on the right hand side of the box. Adam again whipped it in with his left foot and again the ball was bouncing around the box before falling to Aaron again! This time he made no mistake and with his left foot buried the ball into the bottom corner! 1-0 to the boars! Unfortunately this goal seemed to light a spark in Carshalton, they came out fighting and we were firmly on the back foot. Wave after wave of attack came with Merton resisting every single one of them. Until disaster struck! A Carshalton corner whipped in was headed back across at the back post, their player toe poked the ball on the six yard towards goal…

The following is a completely unbiased and accurate description of the events that unfolded.

Ryan, who was on the post, sensed the danger and in a desperate bid to prevent his team from going behind threw his leg in front of the ball in a split second reaction! He did all he could given the circumstances and did the unimaginable and managed to make contact with the ball, which was already heading firmly for the back of the net. (From his perspective) Unfortunately the contact was off his shin and the ball found the back of the net anyway, but the heroic attempt to stop it did not receive the adulation it deserved and was met with comments like ‘Shocking own-goal’ which we will get to after the football.

So it was 1-1 and Merton’s lead was shattered. The remainder of the game was all Merton once again with them throwing everything forward. A good interchange on the left between Nathan and Ryan, who was determined to make up for his earlier ‘mistake’, lead to Ryan firing a delightful ball across the face of the six yard box that alluded everyone and went out for a goal kick. Merton launched attack after attack but no goal came and the 90 minutes were up.  Extra time was to follow! The team had given there all and there were some tired legs out there and to make things worse the water bottles were all empty! Water was scarce and what little we had was being shared out amongst the team.

We interrupt this match report to launch an urgent appeal, for just £20 a month you can help provide clean fresh drinking water for Merton 3s at all their games. In this tough climate, playing football is becoming more and more difficult and clean water is hard to come by, please give what you can and help keep your football team hydrated. Thank you.

Extra time kicked off and the boars were raring to go. With tired legs the game became very end to end with chances a plenty for both sides. Neither could take advantage though, the best chance came from a Merton counter attack Nathan ran onto a ball on the left wing and found Ryan on the edge of the box supporting him. Ryan dropped the shoulder and got the ball onto his right and unleashed a venomous shot that was curling and seemed destined for the bottom corner, could this be his redemption?! Unfortunately not as the Carshalton keeper somehow produced an incredible save and tipped it just around the post! The pressure was growing though and Merton seemed due a goal, with us winning a freekick just in the Carshalton half could this be our chance? The delivery couldn’t beat the first man and the ball fell to a Carshalton player who started a counter. With a ball played over the top their quick winger got there first and was baring down on goal. The defence desperately tried to keep up to no avail and their winger played the ball past Iain to their striker who was the only player in the six yard box and was clearly offside… Not according to the ref as he pointed to the centre circle and the boars were 2-1 down completely against the run of play.

The team went all out attack in an attempt to just nick a goal to keep us in the game, however Carshalton defended resolutely and the goal was not forthcoming, meaning we again were beaten by just the one goal! The positive signs of improvement were there again though, with the front three gelling well and the fight and desire being shown by every player if we continue in this form the win must surely be on its way! In the bar afterwards the man of the match votes and dick of the day nominations were being cast. MOTM was a clear winner with Adam dominating everything in the air and on the ground as well as proving himself as a fantastic set piece taker. DOTD was also a runaway with Ryan being brutally victimised and blamed for his apparent ‘Own goal’, although Joe did give him a run for his money with votes in such as not being able to play a pass. However it wasn’t enough to save Ryan from gracefully necking a pint and claiming the honour of writing the match report. Hopefully that’s the last time this season and I apologise to those I did not offend, I will do my best should there be a next time! Onto next week where we will pick up our first win of the season!

Squad: Iain, Mustard, Vin, Adam, Ryan, Sam, Lofty, Joe, Britney, Billy, Aaron #

Subs: Fitz, Nathan

MOTM: Adam

DOTD: Ryan

3s vs Old Reigatians – 15.09.2018

The 3rds second outing of the season was against Old Reigatians in the cup, after an opening day 3-1 reversal at Polytechnic our thoughts turned to the road to Wembley ( or whatever the cup final equivalent is for us)

After a bit of crack filling and so classic noughties tracks the game kicked off.

In the early exchanges the boars got the ball down and produced a few neat interchanges but never quite found the cutting edge once in the final third and the first 20 passed with reasonably quietly. That all changed at about the mid point of the first half.

From our own goal kick the ball was given away and with players out of position it only took a couple of passes for Reigatians to fashion a decent opening and put the ball past Ryan Collier in the Merton goal.

Within 5 minutes it was 0-2, the balm was turned over half way inside the opposition half but with far to many men in advanced positions it was fairly straight forward for the opposition to again threaten the home goal. This lead to a shot from the away side that was destined for the goalkeepers arm to be deflected agonisingly past the stranded Ryan C by Joe Vaughan. So at half time the boars trailed 0-2

The second half kicked off and thing pretty quickly went from bad to worse.

From an opposition corner Neal Davison inexplicably decided to produce his best Maradona impression, the eagle eyed ref awarding the spot kick much to the ire of Diego Davison who claimed to have been “pushed”. The penalty was promptly dispatched making the score 0-3.

At that point a little tactical tinkering from the gaffer and his cohort of technical advisors on the side line seemed to do the trick as the boars maintained some decent possession but again the lack of quality in the final third meant all our endeavours came to nought. The best opportunity falling to Joe Vaughan who finding himself in the middle of the box and with time to pick his spot proceeded to essentially pass the ball back to the keeper. With the game becoming more stretched Reigatians broke down field and were awarded a second spot kick when Iain Evans was harshly adjudged to have unlawfully stopped the attacker in the penalty area, after the game the challenge would be compared to a WWE wrestling move!

Again the penalty was converted and so ended the 3’s involvement in the SFA cup for another year.

MoM – Vin
DoD – Iain

3 vs Polytechnic – 08.09.2018

Merton 1-3 Polytechnic

With the return of Mustard to the Whatsapp group and the introduction of the newbies to the group rules, Merton 4’s were getting ready for some action away against Polytechnic.

A quick team talk by Iain before the start of the match gave the boars confidence to try and win the match.

The game started a bit slow with possession of the ball from both sides, however, Poly managed to complete more passes than us mainly playing on the left side with their winger and fullback joining the attack, producing a few instances that could have ended up in a goal. Luckily we had MOM Ryan playing left back and displaying some good and timed tackles that managed to keep the opposition from scoring and creating chances.

Our keeper also did put some good saves in the first half which enabled the team to try and counter attack. There was only one real chance for us in the first half to convert from a through pass from the middle of the park into the box which our striker (not sure of his name – Sam maybe?) didn’t manage to convert.

No changes made for the second half and after just under ten minutes Poly managed to score, 1-0 for the opposition and already under a lot of pressure. After a foul throw from Mustard, I think he decided he had enough (of his injury appearing again of course), and asked to come off.

I’m not sure how or why but our keeper suddenly struggled to kick the ball from his own area, unfortunately, this cost us a second goal from Poly as the ball did just manage to go over the penalty area. That was it 2-0 down.

I (Ricky) was increasingly frustrated with the referee decisions as no offsides were called off, allowing the opposition to play on few clear offsides occasions.

Even more when we were unable to complete good passes, or simply holding the ball, and yes I’m talking about you Billy!

When I thought that we were going to get one back as Neal put a lob pass over the defense, Poly’s last man handled the ball inside the box and the referee blows the whistle and to my surprise, it was for a foul from me apparently. No way, this ref is blind I thought and shouted.

The opposition managed to score after that again and I managed to get sin-binned and consequently DOD.

On the last few minutes, Merton carried on with ten men and somehow Willy (as he was going to post on Facebook) score with a decent finish. Final result 3-1 to Poly.

In every end, there is also a beginning. Let’s begin a good season on our next game and stay positive.

 

MOM – Ryan Burchell

DOD – Ricky

3s vs South Bank Cuaco – 05.05.18

Having recorded back to back 2-1 victories the boars had high hopes of continuing their fight to avoid the drop and confidence was high against mid table opposition with nothing to play for.

The game kicked off in glorious conditions with Merton adopting the same 3-5-2 formation that had served them well in previous weeks. The boars started off ok looking to utilise the width through Sam K on the right and Glenn on the left with Fitz and Denys providing the outlet up front. The first 25 minutes where characterised by Merton having most of the ball but not quite finding the final pass or snatching at shots, things had been reasonably comfortable in the defensive third with South Bank not really threatening Sams goal.
However from the first corner of the game for the opposition the ball was swung into the back post where an unmarked player easily put them into the lead with much discussion as to who’s man it actually was.

The goal seemed to knock the boars off there stride and the opposition started to dominate the play, this lead to another corner being given away, the opposition spotted the chance to play a short corner quickly and without any challenge on the player in possession the ball was worked into the area and hammered home from 10 yards with no problem at all. The boars went in at the break 2-0 down having switched off twice and been punished as a result.

After some much needed fluids and some shouting the second half began, the boars determined to get something out of the game.
Again getting into some good advanced positions through the lively Aaron and Glenn but never finding that final touch to get the goal that would hopefully be the catalyst for a comeback. As the half wore on the game was getting more stretched with the heat starting to produce mistakes from all the players, the boars finally broke there duck for the afternoon when a cross from Sam K found the unmarked Denys near the penalty spot and he made no mistake with a low shot to the keepers bottom left corner. With ten minutes remaining one last effort was made to grab a point and although the boars pushed hard in the final few minutes the equaliser could not be found, Walshy making a swashbuckling run from left sided centre back into the oppos area and firing just wide. The match ending 2-1 to South Bank, notable performances from Sam K, Aaron and Neil but MOM went to Glenn for his all round quality display.

Only a win will do in our final match to secure our division one status for next year.

Stay tuned!

3s vs Actonians – 28.04.18

Match report – Saturday 28th April

ACTONIANS ASSOCIATION 4s vs MERTON 3s

 

On the back of a fine win the previous week, there was a buzz in the Merton 3s pre-match change room and it wasn’t coming from the speaker. The playlist theme was ‘songs from the year you were born’ – an eclectic mix of disco bangers and tunes they used to play in the dining room of my late nan’s nursing home.  Nevertheless, there was an electricity in the air and a glow about the team. Something magical was about to happen.

 

The first 5 minutes of the game featured a Merton side literally still finding their feet. It appeared some genius had decided to mow the grass in between and around each of the football pitches but avoided the actual playing surface. After steadying the ship, the 3s hunger and energy soon took control of the game. A masterclass by Mustard, Walshy, and Iain in defensive discipline provided the foundations for increasingly extended periods of attack which, after a hard fought 30(ish?) minutes, rewarded the mighty Boards with a freekick just outside the opposition’s 18. Glenn steps up and the free kick is executed perfectly, whereby the ball was crossed in without much power sort of to the left of the keeper, and everybody else went to header it but then missed. 1 – nil Merton.

 

The closing minutes of the first half were as tough as the opening and it would have been 1 – 1 at the break if not for the flying aerobatics of Coach – Keeper Fitz. After the save, Fitz was confused and could not remember where he was or what had happened – a situation he finds himself in most Saturdays but not usually as early as 4pm.

 

After a 2 minute half-time of everyone talking over each other about different aspects of the game, the 3s ran into the second 45 with a renewed aggression and eyes firmly on the prize. No major changes in formation or strategy from the first half, and possession seemed to be split fairly evenly. Some rotations in the midfield made way for super-sub Luke who came on and made it 2 zip with a delicious, curling shot that I’ll be dreaming about for weeks. Aaron came on up top and made some great runs through the opposition back line – providing a crucial avenue for Merton to remain on the front foot. Actonians weren’t handing it over, picking it up a little with a goal of their own with 20(ish?) to go. However, the Boars held a good shape and kept running until the final whistle. A hard fought game, a just result, 2 on the trot.

 

Final score: Merton 3s win 2:1

Team: Fitz, Iain, Mustard, Walshy, Lofty, Neal, Glenn, Andy, Sam, DK, Denys, Luke, Akram, Aaron

Scorers: Glenn, Luke

M.O.M: Iain – superb defensive organisation

D.O.D: Sam – I’d rather not talk about it

3s vs HSBC – 18.04.18

MERTON 3S VS HSBC 3S

The postponements had finally caught up with the 3s as we had to play our first midweek game of the season.

As we all turned up one by one from everyone rushing to make the game from work, we were out and warming up. HSBC definitely turned up one by one as they only had 9 for kick off with the other two players turning up later.

The game started and within a minute, Denys smashed one home to put the Boars ahead. From them it was one way traffic for the first half hour with the bar being hit twice from two consecutive corners. Casual passing round the back at times allowed HSBC to break in only for Sam to keep them out on both occasions. The two chances they mustered clearly wasn’t enough excitement for Sam, as a long ball was put through and he came storming out to be the sweeper keeper only to give it a Paul Robinson air kick and let them in Vin to clear up behind him.

After that scare, a long ball of our own put DK through to calmly place it beyond the keeper to make it a more comfortable 2-0 to the boars at half time.

Start of the second half, and I was more of the same from the Boars, as we pressed and pressed but we just didn’t want to score as we hit the woodwork…again! Missed chances were punished as the visitors got one back and made the game seem more interesting than it actually was.

With HSBC pressing ion it allowed gaps to appear for the boars to exploit, but not effectively as crosses from both Neal and Glenn either didn’t beat the first man, was way to over hit, or just went over the bar, all of which are not useful.

Full time blew and it was a rare win for the boars and an even rarer League double over our opponents which lifted us above them in the table.

The game could have been much better but we came away with the win, that’s what counts.

BRING ON SATURDAY!

Line up: Sam (GK), Dan R, Vin, Mario, Glenn, Iain, Neal, Dan B, Darcy, Fitz & Denys. Subs: DK, Lofty, Walshy.

MOM: DK

DOD: Glenn