Category: Match Reports 5s

5s vs Polytechnic 8 – 18.03.17

 MERTON FC FANTASTIC FIVES Vs POLYTECHNIC POOHPANTS EIGHTS

                                                         2               –              2

D,   GIBBO                                                                       LUCKY BAR STEWARD

                                                                                          TOE PUNT PETE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5s line up vs Polytechic 18.03.17

5s vs Old Wilsonians 7s – 11.03.17

It was a warm, Saturday day, and we arrived to Wimbledon Common Extensions two hours early confident of a good performance & a much needed 3 points to keep us in a strong position for promotion. But this confidence soon turned to confusion, as rumour had it we were employing a 3-5-2 formation [or 5-3-1 – still not too sure]! Ensue panic that hasn’t been seen before since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the world thought we were entering into nuclear war [I remember those days well]. This was only intensified by the lack of Clive, our motivational speaker who doesn’t fail to jeer us up. Luckily, we were able to get him on loudspeaker, so at least that crisis was averted, but trying to explain each player’s roles was still proving to be difficult. And you thought Brexit negotiations would be difficult Mrs May – just come and try explain to Merton 5s how we’re playing the 3-2-3-1-1 for next week!

Luckily, we had a shepherd to heard the headless sheep, with Dwayne taking up the mantra and being our very own Mourinho for the day. One by one, he went through our roles with us until we all knew what we were doing.

The first 45 minutes was a tight affair, with Merton just about creating the better chances. A ball whipped into the box by the charming & handsome left wing back was only very narrowly missed by the desperate lunge of Gibbo and the long outstretched leg of our defensive midfielder Bambi [they can be forgiven for not expecting a good ball in]! We were winning the right hand side of the pitch too, with Delman, Tigs, Ackers and  Tom combining well to get us up the pitch and start feeding Gibbo and Dulanjie – one of the promising moves resulting in a shot from outside the box from Tigs! He must have seen a dropbear in the distance that put him off because the shot was scuffed and went wide of the goal. The best chance of the half by far, though, was when Dulanjie was put clean through. He raced onto the through ball, leaving defenders trailing in his wake, and approached the goalkeeper. It was a firm strike that was heading into the corner of the goal, however the keeper instinctively stuck a leg out to deflect the ball away from danger. Terrific save and we went in at 0-0.

Dwayninho’s half time team talk was largely positive, and we knew we had to keep the pressure on straightaway. That, we did. We had two great chances not long after the break, and the first fell to Gibbo. Played through, he was 1 on 1 from the keeper from outside the box. He rifled it, however the keeper was well positioned. The rebound fell to him, and he rifled it again – this time a defender had got round to just about deflect the effort over the bar. Unlucky from the big Welshman – it will come I promise!

Not long after, the 5s found ourselves 1-0 up. The lively & energetic Delman burst forward with an aggressive run, and swung a delightful ball into the box. It fooled the keeper who came out to collect but missed it, and hit Dulanjie to bobble into the net. None of us knew what part of his appendage he swung at it – I will leave that for the readers to determine – but whatever part it was he did well to get it up by his head to whack the ball in. A deserved goal for D who had been threatening throughout.

We had a couple of chances to go 2 up; however it just didn’t seem to want to go in for us. Samurai Steve made a great early run into the box and a better ball would have seen him clean through. Dulanjie and Gibbo had a half chance each, however we were largely defending – but defending well. It wouldn’t be a Merton 5s game without at least a couple of injuries, and injuries to Lenners in the first half and myself in the second meant our back 3 [or 5, or 7 depending on what way you look at it] was much-changed. Mike slotted into Centre Back expertly and was doing a gooda job at being Lenners with the exception of shouting a lot and swearing at the ref, Steve was as solid as ever and absolutely nothing was getting past him, and Darren was winning everything in the air. It looked like Delman was tiring after 70 mins, but he still kept somehow going and he defended superbly well when we needed him to. And Dan, who replaced me at left wing back, matched their tricky winger stride for stride despite the unfamiliarity of the position! Tigs was our little Ngolo Kante in the middle with Tom and Steve battling hard to ease the pressure on the defence. Sam had to come to the rescue once or twice, and pulled a couple of good saves out the bag, but it was quite comfortable and we saw out the game with a 1-0 lead.

It wasn’t just the first half – our defence was solid throughout and the clean sheet was very well deserved. Ackers, Dulanjie and Gibbo, as well as Delman on our right, caused real problems for Old Wilsonians with their pace and power, and we could have scored more. Lenners does a brilliant job in there for us and it was a shame to lose him to injury in the first half, and as mentioned the three subs more than proved their worth. MoM was a difficult one due to everyone playing very well, however Tigs was just absolutely everywhere across the midfield, not giving them a sniff. He linked up play well and deserves his MoM award.

Naked Lee Time then ensued, with shirts & appendages swinging all over the place. Is winning really worth that much, I find myself asking? Yes – but just about.

5s line up vs Old Wilsonians 7s

 

5s vs Ibis Eagles – 04.03.17

Merton 5’s 0 – IBIS Eagles 6

Another Saturday another birthday, and this time Mr Milk Tray Hassan finally delivered on that box of chocs, well enough to feed 4 of the greedy Merton 5’s players.  Celebrations aside, illness, injury and outside commitments hit the team hard.  Tiago caught rabies from a dingo, Andy injured from excursions at a stag event the prior weekend (don’t play bubble football during the season), Bambi shot himself in the leg last weekend at 5-aside, Steve H locked in a sex dungeon in Manchester and Gibbo drinking from the furry stein in Germany.  Luckily Neal Davison and Dan Bilzerian stunt double Joe Squire helped us out.

We started slow and IBIS scored basically from kick off, attacking quick and outnumbering Delman down our right hand side.  The IBIS forward finished well, although Sam got a good hand to it.

This kicked us up a notch and tackles went flying in.  Unfortunately Dwayne was on the receiving end of a heavy 50/50 which put him out for the rest of the game, and probably a few weeks.  We attacked well and had a run of about 4-5 corners which Ackers delivered well.  One of which, Dulanjie bullet headered from the penalty spot and hit Clive solidly in the face on the line and was then cleared.  We knew it was going to be another one of those days.  Clive has agreed to stay out of the opposition box from now on.

Near the end of the first half, possession was conceded in the Merton half and IBIS capitalised despite Sam getting another hand to it.

Second half we started well and created a few chances.  Then injury struck again and Clive’s hamstring went.  We were then under pressure and conceded two quick goals.  More woe was added when Neal’s hamstring went as well.  The final straw was one of the players, who will remain unnamed performed a Houdini trick.  This left us in more trouble and conceded two further goals compounding the disappointing result.

5s team line up

5s vs South Bank Cuaco – 25.02.17

South Bank 3    Merton 5’s 1

So another week another report writer and can I just start by apologising to any one I fail to insult in this report. I like to treat everyone fairly so you’ll all cop it at some point and bear in mind I am old and have alchzeim….. alsimer……alchazel……….bollocks a poor memory this report will take the fashion of one of my arrest reports and be a complete work of fiction with no evidence what so ever!

The day started well we were nearly all on time changed and ready for a warm up but despite the jovial banter which we are used to there seemed to be a lack of focus, Aaron still racked with guilt over his night time fun and Delman pondering his last visit to Manchester where rumour has it he ate a sausage (cue 300 messages on the whatsapp group with gay GIF’S).

So against a side which beat us last time we kicked off with a strong side and a good bench ready in the wings.

Almost immediately with our first attack a tremendous strike by Aaron and it was 1 nil what followed was the most amusing goal celebration as he got clipped by the defender striking the ball he wheeled away in celebration he ran like a demented gazelle on steroids to the half way line and then collapsed in a heap. He had to be helped off but fortunately was unhurt and returned to the game later.  We have strength in depth not only did we replace him with a class player but we did not even have to change names as Aaron A came on.

I can summarise the next 40 minutes of football in a few short lines we had chance after chance after chance but there was more chance of Sam losing his virginity (with a girl) than of our strike force hitting the back of the net. We could not score in a brothel with a fist full of fivers!

D had one great unlucky chance with a volley over his shoulder,  Dwayne had a flying header that he did well to get to (the landing was something out of the pilots guide on how not to land) Aaron A lined up for a volley yes I thought I would bet my shirt on him burying that erm no high and wide and skins for me next week. Gibbo and D so often our saviours and reliable no no and no !

Darren and I looked at each other at the back and all those years of experience just commented to each other this was going to be one of those days! I hate being right (that’s why I don’t do it often ask Ryan)

The defence held solid with Josh, Delman, Darren, me and Lee our stand in goalkeeper for the day performing our duties admirably.

The midfield of Tiago, Clive, Dwayne, Aaron A and Gibbo creating and protecting the back four worked hard and D up front running for everything surely we would prevail. Half time came and despite being 1-0 up the omens were not good.

The second half started well to be honest they started the second half we were all a little slow (except Lee who had dashed off for a quick half time dump memories of Lehman peeing behind the hoardings).

Then disaster on the scale of the Titanic sinking or the great fire of London or not getting a slice of Pizza! With a wonder strike that he will never repeat their midfielder left Lee flapping at thin air and it was 1-1 bad times (Lee had no chance really please Lee do not put me down for NLT as revenge)

A short while later with South Bank doing most of the attacking and our game dropping to their level, we gave away a free kick outside the box. Lee lined up his wall the little Italian kid lined up his shot and curled it in 2-1 again lee no chance.

We battled hard and tried to get back in the game but the writing was on the wall (that’s the last time I want to see Josh with a spray can)

Their keeper was doing a better job of sweeping than I was he was quicker of his line than a man with irritable bowel syndrome who has been clenching for hours and just sighted a toilet!

Not really creating any chances this half for our strikers we should have had a penalty when D was fouled and a second when Aaron was pushed by the keeper but as he played honest stayed in his feet to shoot into the side netting the chance was gone. Most of us would have gone down like a stripper being offered a £10 (again another rumour about Delmans last visit to Manchester).  Clive came the closest heading narrowly over from a yard away.

A third goal followed for South Bank when their striker robbed Josh on the side line and made an individual run to score.

They brought on the mong for the last few minutes who changed the game completely trying to turn a nice game into a fight taking out Delman with telekinesis well he kept saying he did not touch him despite flooring him so it must be a super power!

Lee managed to shout at me to prevent the inevitable card that would have followed the tackle that was in my mind at the end of the 50 yard sprint towards the mong next time he got the ball (saved me a tenner cheers Lee)

The game finished 3-1 sadly.

Positives we created great chances in the first half and we defended well throughout beaten by three individual moments of brilliance. Results keep us in the top three and we will move on from this as we are a great team with good team spirit (vodka shots all round)

Negatives – bad day at the office for finishing across the team, and a little bit of niggling comments coming out remember no one intentionally mucks up we stand and fall as a team (Straight out of Sam’s book of inspirational comments along with go on son get in there she loves it)

Onwards and upwards and once again if I failed to insult you I apologise and here goes Lee (no you scare me) Delman what happens in Manchester stays in Manchester except crabs they come back with you!, Josh you lasted 90 minutes sick note, Darren you’ll edit this so no point (Darren: I only corrected the spellings & grammar, plus the bit about Clive missing from a yard), Clive erm no never insult the manager, Gibbo if you flick the ball again I will volunteer you for double NLT, Tiaggo you’re an inspiration annoying but an inspiration lol, Aaron A you should do a refs course, Aaron respect for Friday night which mates girl was it hope  he reads this! , Dwayne no Dwayne’s too nice to rip into but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! , and D no don’t fancy getting battered to death by the huge member he has (do you pay extra subs to bring that third leg on the pitch?)

Subs for the day Bambi great to see you back I cried when the hunters shot your mum, and lastly Annam I love your chocolate, erm no, I mean I love Cadburys not your personal chocolate, erm really I’m strictly hetro I don’t even like midgets!  Erm on that note see you all next week where I shall be wearing my body armour and expecting to be beaten senseless!

If you enjoyed this Steve B wrote it if you did not then Luke did it!

Not sure who man of the match was but my vote would be Lee for standing in as keeper and pulling off some great saves.

5s line up 25.02.17

5s vs Kew Association – 18.02.17

Merton 5s 1 – 2 Kew 3rds

Arriving in the sunny capital, I was pleased to hear that our game this weekend was away to Kew. Kew have lottery-funded pitches to suit our Barcelona-esque style of play, and a good clubhouse to complement our Gazza-esque drinking habits. However, with 2 days before the big KO, the seeds of doubt were planted as the “availability” of their pitches fell into question – a perfectly logical situation considering they have 3 pitches and 3 teams. It so transpires that the raucous group of bowles players occupying the pitches at Kew refused to leave, so the game came to the bumpy, unreliable Wimbledon Common.

Despite some confusion caused by the change, outrage at the decision to arrive 2 hours before kick-off, and the referee declaring a zero tolerance to swearing which left everyone concerned for Lenners, we actually started the game pretty well. The opening exchanges were a little cagey; however the 5s were winning the ball well, passing it around and making the best chances of the first period. There were some good passages of play between the front 3 of Dwayne, Aaron and Gibbo that led to some half decent chances. The pick of them was a through ball to Gibbo, which left him one on one with the keeper. As the keeper backpeddled, Gibbo attempted the chip. The power wasn’t there, and the ball fell harmlessly into the goalkeeper’s hands. The half probably wasn’t the spectacle their fans had hoped for [there were 4 of them], but from our perspective we looked the most likely.

Some shocking decisions seemed to go against us, however, and with Dulanjie absent the job fell to Dwayne to always be offside. There were 2 or 3 instances where Dwayne was judged to be offside by the referee yet started from 2 yards the right side of the defender. There were some fouls that were given for virtually nothing, and blatant offsides not called. Fearing he was going to talk himself into the book [and perhaps even get himself sent off], Lenners decided to come off. His eloquent use of language towards the referee did continue from the sidelines, but it’s much more difficult to get sent off from there – and after all, it wouldn’t be a game of football if Lenners wasn’t shouting through it.

The second half started, and our changes hadn’t settled into the game before we were 1 – 0 down. Something as simple as a ball over the top caught us out, and their striker raced onto it to chip Sam to give them the lead. They played with a renewed confidence after that, and truthfully could have gone 2 up had it not been for the brilliant Sam in goal. With one 1v1 save and a stop from a good shot from outside the box, we seemed to have weathered a bit of a storm and started coming back into the match.

As we were getting back into the game, an injury crisis hit. Delman was the first to go after a fine first half – the theory goes that he and Dwayne were playing kiss chase into the early hours & it had taken its toll. Then went Tiago, who claimed cramp as the reason yet was squealing as if he was the victim of Lenners’ Naked shower time whilst simultaneously being eaten by a dingo. Their replacements, Steve and Pete, took to the game like a duck to water however, and we were soon to draw level.

Pete threatened immediately, with a through ball finding him around 20 yards out. With the keeper off his line, he tried the chip however the ball narrowly sailed over the bar. Not long after, the move was almost identical, however the outcome was different. With the ball bouncing, Pete took it first time to lob the keeper with a fine finish to make it 1-1. Cue an exciting finale.

Towards the end of the game, both teams seem discontent with a point. It was Merton, however, that was evidently tiring and that showed in the last 5 minutes. In a good passage of play by the oppo, coupled with some laboured closing down from a tired Merton, their player found a little bit of space to put the ball into the box. Their striker, about 2 yards offside, was on hand to stick the ball past Sam from around 8 yards to give Kew the points. The striker expectantly looked towards the referee, and our defence seemed miffed, but the whistle did not come and the goal stood. The complaints were not as vigorous as they could have been, owing to the fact that our players were knackered and perhaps not altogether surprised considering the decisions of the ref throughout the game. Lenners could still be heard in the distance making the case in a calm and measured manner as always, but the ref’s mind wasn’t to be changed and the game ended 1-2.

The effort put in was superb from our lot and with some extra fitness that comes with a run of games or with a couple of goals in the first half, we could have won this game. Despite the spell around their first goal, our defence and midfield were very strong, winning 50/50s and managing to play the ball around despite the tricky conditions. Dwayne, Aaron and Gibbo were a constant threat as an attacking trio – the final ball/finish just wasn’t quite there but on another day, they could each have scored. And off the bench Steve slotted very comfortably into an unfamiliar right back position, Darren offered steel in the midfield that Tiago had been adding in the first half and their defence couldn’t deal with Pete’s pace, as his goal suggests.

The drink up that ensued afterwards was good fun, with this reporter’s storytelling getting him into the post-match venue without ID, in a conversation that ended with “duck the pom pom”, or words to that affect [this is a family-friendly report, afterall]. Since the lovely gentleman was letting me in, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I actually think the “pom pom” is doing a great job despite their ever-dwingling resources, so I went along with it.

It was great to see everyone again and I will keep following the 5s on their mighty run up the football league.

5s vs HSBC 7 – 28.01.17

5s vs HSBC 7s

It’s great when plans come together. Fresh off the back of a chastening 9-2 defeat to Polytechnics, (or rather, unfresh, because it was two weeks since Merton 5s last played), 5s realised they need to step up a gear if they were to mount a serious promotion challenge. So it was back to the training ground for the team as they sought to find a way to improve.

The group chat was buzzing with suggestions on how this could be achieved – in between videos of bestiality and what-not, which seems to get the team talking more than y’know, actual football – but Andy had a master plan. The idea was simple – create angles to play the ball out. Two weeks without football helped because as soon as 5s entered the pitch against HSBC, they started moving the ball about with great confidence. Actually, the pitch was superb condition, much to the fears of some who thought it may fall prey to the elements, and that made it conducive to the way the team wanted to pass the ball. The team that Clive selected also backed that up. In came Anam, mainly on a technicality because star man, Andy Bitmead, arrived late. He started in the centre alongside Tiago and Clive, whilst the other crucial change to the usual line-up was Thomas Reid, who replaced Josh at left-back.

In any case, Merton 5s were quick to establish their authority but would take the lead once Anam mysteriously pulled up with an injury. But before we talk about that, let’s mention the highlights in his unforgettable 15 minute cameo. First, he played a superb ball over the top to Dulanie, who was caught offside, which should have been the sign of things to come. Still, the vision was surely appreciated and indeed, at times, it seems as if his boot has a mind of its own such is his vision. Instead, the ref turned around and went purple, berating both sides for moaning about the offside calls – which already were growing in number. He probably didn’t get the memo that Dulanie was born offside. Anam then played in Darren with a Ronaldo-like turn at the edge of the box, which the goalkeeper turned away.

From the resulting corner, that’s where the game turned as Anam twisted his ankle trying to offer himself for the short pass. Still, that sort of thinking underlines his opportunism and why he should start more. On came Andy, and he proceeded to grab the game by the scuff of the neck. Literally, because running into the box past two players, he was dragged back by one before eventually, he was tripped in the area. He got up, brushed himself down and, putting aside the memory of his penalty miss against Poly 8s, smashed the shot down the middle. 1-0 to Merton.

And it wasn’t long until Merton doubled their lead, this time again a penalty, won by Aaron Byrne, who fell down like a wounded gazelle (Darren’s words. I would say he fell down more like a gazelle that’s been hurled to the ground from a speeding helicopter). The penalty, like Andy’s, went down the centre.

Merton were playing some great stuff when the half-time whistle went, with the one of the other subs, Aaron Ackerman, delivering some delightful passes. Indeed, it was his cross in the second-half that created the third goal, a header by Dulainie, beating the keeper to a high-ball. That signalled the end of Ds involvement – happy his sole goal, though it took him half-a-dozen shots to yield that one. Chances included a trademark crossfield pass from Dwayne to Dulainie saw him shoot one volley over, along with a number of identical one-on-one attempts.

Andy, though, was the key man, and for the fourth goal, delivered the moment of the match, breaking forward from midfield then nonchalantly chipping over the goalkeeper. His hattrick, was nearly as majestic, again breaking from midfield, and this time, opting to poke the ball past the goalkeeper. He could have passed the ball square to Aaron B, but understandably decided against it. Not long before, Aaron Byrne had a similar chance when he tried to place the ball to the bottom corner, but telegraphed the shot to the bottom corner.

Indeed, Aaron had a great game, dribbling at the defence, and he ended up finishing the game up front in a sort-of false-9 role. Actually, that might be kind because he was drawing a lot of stick from Dulanie from the sidelines for moving away from goal instead of towards it. In any case, the whole team performance was great, as they followed Andy’s game plan to a tee. Delman was deadly when broke forward, also having one goal strangely disallowed; whilst Tom on the other side was disciplined and tenacious – sort of like a frail James Milner. Tiago was snappy in the centre, whilst Clive provided a good foil for Andy breaking forward. Dwayne also did his best to fill in two positions at once, teleporting from left-wing to left-back instantly like a footballing-Nightcrawler – but with worse hair.

Word should also go to all three centre-backs who were solid – Lee included, who needs to have a word with himself to stop breaking forward from the back – and Sam “Safe-Hands” Singer-Ripley, who rescued the team on three occasions – though sometimes, it seems as if he likes to put the team in trouble before saving them, just so he can brag about it afterwards. It’s a shame he doesn’t apply those skills to the tinder-dates who he inevitably friend-zones.

Anyway, it was a complete team performance from Merton 5s, who in the end were indebted to Andy Bitmead, in more ways than one.

Team (4-3-3): Sam – Delman, Steve B, Darren, Thomas – Anam, Tiago, Clive – Dwayne, Dulanie, Aaron B.

Subs: Lee, Aaron A, Andy.

Goals 5-0: Andy x3, Aaron B, Dulanie

Man of the Match: Officially a tie between Aaron B and Andy, mainly because most people were tired it’s always going to Andy. I thought Tom did well, however.

Dick of the Day: Nobody, though we were treated to NLT once again. However, Delman wasn’t keen on seeing the uncircumcised glory, so he ran out of the dressing room quicker than he breaks forward from right-back. The ref, though, probably deserves it for having a meltdown on the pitch.

5s vs Polytechnic 9s – 07.01.17

Unfortunately, the Merton 5’s didn’t really turn up, despite being in very familiar territory. It felt like we were still on holiday, in fact.

Things started badly, and we went 2-0 down quickly. Poly scored a couple of goals on the break. Merton finished the half strongly though, with a lot of pressure from corners. The Poly keeper made 2 quality saves, one from Steve Burchell.

The second half started slow again, and we conceded 2 quick goals. 

 
Dulanie then pulled one back for us, as he finished from close range off a rebounded Dwayne shot.

A couple more Poly goals later and an Aaron Ackerman cross into the box was bundled into the goal by the Poly CB under pressure from Gibbo. The goals panel eventually decided to generously award the goal to the Welshman, who may or may not have got a touch on it.

A few more Poly goals later and the end result wass 9-2. A poor result, but let’s put it out of our minds, and get back to winning ways next week.

MOTM: only one candidate – Dwayne Forest Bedford

5s vs Civil Service – 03.12.16

Civil Service: 2

Merton: 2

 

The concept of a game south of the river has become a foreign concept to the 5s as we travelled a short distance away to “uncharted” territories. “Uncharted” in this instance has a very ironic meaning, as we’ve been in Chiswick so much this season, that there have been rumours of Merton council looking to expand their boundaries across the river.

 

This week saw a different line-up from most weeks as we enter the festive season. Our reliant leader, Clive, filled in as a nostalgic left back while a rare partnering of Anam and Ackers in the centre of midfield. Up top we had familiar Pete who was making a return of sorts having previously played for Civil Service many moons ago, while Dulanje provided support behind. The game started rather poignantly with a moments silence was held due to the tragic news received in South America. The game kicked off and it seemed that a few Merton legs were less than receptive than usual, perhaps due to the cold weather as Civil looked to exploit our sluggish start. While they drove forward not many chances were created in the first 15 minutes. We began to become more involved in the game with good possession and build up play, but the initial sharpness in the attack was still rather blunt. Half an hour had been played when Merton looked to break on the counter from a corner. The ball fell to Dulanje on the left wing, with Clive bursting forward to his right looking to receive a pass to propel the momentum further. Unfortunately trying to take on a player instead saw the ball pinched from Dulanje’s toe, leaving a big hole behind which was exploited in numbers as Civil had yet to register the break meaning many players were still forward. Goal. One-up to the home team. Not the usual Merton start. A few more attempts were brilliantly dealt with, as the opposition’s centre forward proved a handful for our centre backs. Half Time.

A brief talk from our manager highlighted where we were going wrong and the boys came out looking to get back into the game. Down the left hand side Dwayne superbly provided cover as the Chiswick team looked to bombard with pace. 10 minutes into the second half, we brought on Noor for Darren Avey, as Clive stepped into central defence, Dwayne filled in at left back and the fresh legs playing in front. This seemed to tighten the back line, as it allowed Dwayne to provide more pace on the flank, while Clive could organise positions. A Civil attack saw Clive slide in strongly to stop the ball and play forward to Anam who then brilliantly saw space down the right flank for Dulanje. Our ever present attacker broke down the wing and played a ball across goal to Noor, who laid the ball for Aaron B to shoot. Deflection! The ball bobbled past the keeper looking to go clear, when Pete charged in at the back post and slotted home. 1-1. The home team looked around and collected themselves as they looked to get back into the game. This half however Merton had stepped up to play at their usual standard. More chances were made both ends, but the next goal came rather controversially. The home team looked to break down our right flank and whipped a ball in which was easily caught by Sam. As the ball was caught, our ‘keeper was bundled by an oncoming runner (who could not stop in fairness, momentum taking over). The ball was dropped and the ball rolled in. Normally play would be stopped and a foul would be given – not today. Without looking to condemn the referee, this was against the improvements we imposed during the half, with the match official later admitting he made the wrong decision. A few cries of encouragement saw Merton come back, not looking disheartened as the team of last season would have been. The away team pushed and pushed looking to pull back another equaliser, with Pete coming very close with a 1 on 1 which the on-rushing keeper brilliantly saved. It looked like despite our efforts, the goal was not going to come. Anams passing continued to be a threat with Aaron B making many dangerous runs creating space. Last 2 minutes of the game and the equaliser had still not come. The ball fell to Pete on the far edge of the right hand side of the box, he beat a player, looked up to set the ball and placed it across goal into the net. Back in the game, but not enough time for the winner.

 

Team: Sam, Delman, Steve B, Darren, Clive, Aaron B, Aaron Ackerman, Anam, Dwayne, Dulanje, Pete Sub: Noor

MOM: Pete for his two goals which very well could have been a hatrick! Anam and Dwayne weren’t too far behind but I think the importance of Pete’s goals proved he just scraped ahead.

5s vs Polytechnic 8s – 26-11-16

The 5s 0 – 0 poly 8s (2-4 pen)

It was the mysterious case of the cancellation of the 9th team. Somehow, in  this crucial cup game, the 9s suspended their game and ended up supporting their 8s in a ferocious battle that lasted to the death.

Chiswick has been our home from home in recent weeks, however King George’s playing fields has now become our home from home from home. We settled in quickly, and it was the 5s who had the first chances. Had the referee not have got the memo from last time out that dulanjie is always offside,  we would have gone ahead early doors and never looked back! There were at least 2, maybe 3 instances where was clearly onside, clean through yet called offside. It is no ocerexaggeration to say he would be at least 4 goals better off if these really suspect calls had not been made. Dulanjie shouldn’t be disheartened because one day the floodgates will surely open!!

So our chances instead fell to those who you’d want them to in the first half. One of their clearances from a corner dropped to Darren, who adjusted well to volley narrowly over. A similar situation played out for Steve Burchall, except he didn’t adapt well and the ball flew out of the ground for a home run – the referee did not look amused at the suggestion that it should count!! A good move on the right saw Aaron cut my n tidier narrowly wide on the left. That was our pick of the first half, and apart from hitting the bar with an effort that he did well to get a foot on, they didn’t make many chances as the 5s held strong at the back to make take a 0-0 into the first half.

The second half was a mix of excitement, nervousness and horror as the tightness of the game meant all players knew the single goal would be enough. the 5s again started strongest as the keeper made an unbelievable save to keep out a corner from Aaron that was heading straight into the top corner again. Steve managed to hit another home run (2-0 up on that front) before they asserted some pressure! One went across the box, and one went narrowly wide. The topsy turvey nature of the game then saw the 5s in control, and spurn the best chance of the game. Twice Dwayne broke through, once quite a difficult chance but hit the side netting. The second, he should of scored. Clean through, and about 4 yards from goal and it went further away rather then nestling in the back of the net! Like a massive hard on that came to fast, it ended up in disappointment.

One of the last moments of the 90 was to be pivotal. Their 9s top scorer, who is well known to the club, let rip from 20 yards. The effort was deatined for the bottom corner; but for a big hand from Sam in goal. He flew from the other end to make a save that you’d be impressed with at a professional level. The speed of his reaction made it look easy, and was the last major chance before extra time.

The game ended 0-0 and there was only one team in it. Another good chance was spurned by Dwayne who was again a fraction unlucky. The marginalised dulanjie saw an effort where he was uncharacteristically flagged onside (despite the fact he was indeed onside) stretch to almost lob the keeper.

A game where we had the chances, but didn’t convert one. A great performance nonetheless.

Pens can be a lottery, but of the two we scored out of the 4, neither were great. In the end we must take heart from our resoluteness and maintain our form in  The league because it is certainly winnable!

Dick of the day: for missing from 4 yards out, by such a large margin, is Dwayne.

Man of the match: but for getting in the positions, helping out a flakey (but very good looking) left back, it’s Dwayne again! A very good performance at both ends that if he plays like this every week, he will score a hatful.

Now, for some particularly sad news. I will be leaving the club, moving up to Manchester. Since joining, it has been an absolute pleasure playing for the 5s and I think this is demonstrated by the way that everyone wants to play with us. Even last year when we were not doing very well, I feel like I have been part of a team. What Clive has done for this club should not be confined by the good job he did last season, he has built a formidable team this season and I will be expecting to read win after win when following Merton in the future.

5s starting line up
5s starting line up

5s vs Polytechnic 5s – 19.11.16

Polytechnic 5s: 5

Merton 5s: 0

Chiswick is very quickly becoming known as the 5th teams 2nd home pitch due to our seemingly constant run of matches being held away from our beloved hood. Another venture away, wading through the onslaught of egg-chasers commuting to nearby Twickenham – one would be mistaken to think that surely a little bit of luck was due to come our way. Unfortunately- you would be mistaken. This week saw a heavily depleted 5s take on a mid-tabled Polytechnic team 3 leagues aloft. With the news of man-flu flooding the ranks, a few new faces stepped up to the challenge of continuing our recent successful form. New faces included Noor, Billy Golding, Dave Golding and Alex Quinn who we are grateful for assisting this week.

After a quick warm-up we were game on with heavy pressure being applied by the lean opposition donning the usual red kit. Within a matter of minutes our defence was tested with Sam continuing his recent superman impressions, flying from one side of the goal to the other, keeping attackers at bay. With only 15 minutes played, disaster struck with the Poly winger running through to the side of goal. Realising he was going into a dead-end he felt a sneeze from our bounding Delman and took a tumble in the box, the whistle blew but not to bring back a review of the dramatics witnessed but to give a penalty. First goal conceded. Not to be disheartened Merton started again but a mistake in midfield led to a quick counter attack to goal number 2. This was swiftly followed by a substitution for Merton as Alex Quinn came off with a strain. Another goal followed to end an unfortunate half. The second half saw the team come out looking to reduce the deficit but the makeshift team for the week was telling as a fourth was conceded, despite Sam’s efforts. Further injuries at the back provided a rare opportunity for Dulanje and Ackers to be partnered as our centre-half pairing with the former forgetting his position and scoring from a set piece. A goal, which had it been at the correct side of the pitch, I’m sure Dulanje would have been proud of. This summarised an unfortunate performance, but we look forward now to making amends as we take on their 8th team this week.

Team: Sam Singer-Ripley, Delman Babaker, Josh Fitzgerald Smith, Alex Quinn, Dave Golding, Noor Emad, Richard Gibbs, Aaron Ackerman (c), Dwayne Bedford, Aaron Byrne, Dulanje Richards.

Subs: Kevon Bedford, Billy Golding & Anam Hassan.