Category: Match Reports 7s

7s vs Old Blues 3s – 14/10/17

Match Report

Old Blues 3rd v Merton 7s

 

‘Friday 13th’, is never a good start to a weekend, and with player’s availability changing on a day to day basis during the week, it was tough task knowing who to select, let alone be turning up. After last week’s demolition of OW8s, tails are up and eager to get back on the pitch.

Today we are in Ham for our second league game of the season against an unpredictable Old Blues 3rd team which has had mixed results of late. Warming up pitch side and watching the oppo run through there drills, the 7s seem confident of improving on the 3 points on the board

Kieran, in goal, Josh, Martin, Dan & Steve making up the back four, Midfield welcome back Jacob on the right, with Luke M stepping into the middle with David, Andrew on the left, leaving Billy & Ryan up top. 

From the start, 7s looked off the pace, the centre midfield pairing seemed to be having trouble closing down the opposite numbers and not to long into the game, Kieran is in action to swat away a fierce shot. Not learning from this mistake, OB3s are running the show from the middle and it seems like OB3s have extra players on the pitch, 2 more close calls see the defence and goalie working hard to keep the oppo at bay.

It wasn’t long before another miss placed pass is intercepted by the very quick and pacey OB3s midfield, who seemed to turn on the gas to get past the defence to unleash a neat shot that beats Kieran on the left. 1-0

Kick off and more of the same, the 7s are suffering from a complacency hangover after having such an easy ride the week before, once again the OB3s midfield boss the game and pass through balls to their forwards at will and again Kieran is unlucky to get beat after getting hands on a tough shot only to see the ball fall to the advancing striker, 2-0

Some last ditch tackles from Steve & Dan saves the 7s from going further behind and with not even 15 minutes played. Even worse, top scorer Billy seemed to have pulled up with a hamstring and hobbles off for some treatment. It just get worse!!

Vocally, only the captain can be heard trying to rally the players to up the game, Steve, Dan join in knowing that we can do better, slowly the 7s get a foot hold in the game and start to put some passes together and finally get rewarded with a few shots, and although not on target, it would seem they OB3s keeper is struggling!

Late in the first half and after an appeal for off side is waved away, the 7s finally test the keeper, it could be deemed an own goal as the shot is parred into the net. 2-1 down at the break and some tough words to be had

Finally Daban decides to turn up, and a quick shuffle sees him replace Luke in the centre and Billy recovers from the mild pull and is ready to come back on. Game starts more the same, David & Daban are making a better fist of it this time, but still doesn’t stop the OB3s from going 3-1, Steve passing to David who loses out and can only watch as the player rounds the defence and finds the net. 3-1

Straight from Kick off sees Billy released with a long ball over the top, which finds him level with the centre backs who can only watch as he beats them to the ball (even after having 10 yards or so!) and with a single touch, lobs the advancing keeper form 20 yards, 3-2

A further changed sees Luke take over from Andrew on the left, who had run his heart out chasseing there right winger, as well as getting up to support the forwards. Still, silly mistakes are getting made and now what seems a single OB3s player is tormenting the 7s defence, sees him once again skip through and curls a lovely shot beyond Kieran who can only watch as its bends in. 4-2.

From the kick off, the tackles are now flying in for both teams, the ref, who to be fair, ‘wasn’t’ having the best day (and I have chosen not to make a point about this) had to pull the captions together before it got out of hand (or turned into a poor version of WWE!).

With Dabans energy in the middle and closing down the OB3s danger player, he robs the ball with a stern challenge, turns and takes off and leaves 2 more players in his wake, Billy sensing a foot race with the OB3s defence is struggling to stay on side and screams for the through ball which Daban obliges, at first, it seemed to be over hit, but with Billy’s pace, his a clear 15 yards ahead of any player and 1v1 with the keeper, which he makes no mistake for 4-3.

However, once again, a bit of bad luck sees OB3s danger man get his 3rd as he manages to ride 3 challenges, 2 with a bit of luck sees the ball bounce off and land back in his path to unleash another shot which Kieran almost got a hand too, to make it 5-3

Back to the drawing board, Josh & Jacob begin to have more joy on the right, a long ball from the back once again sees the OB3s defence panic, Billy now playing of their shoulders and looking to pick up on any mistakes, is once again rewarded and calmly rounds the keeper to roll in his first hatrick for Merton.

The game is now toing and throwing between the 2 sides, a couple of shots from the 7s of target and a side netting from Billy straight from the corner frustrates the team, stronger tackles against the OB3s players sees them protest, this just spurs the 7s on. 

Still with 15 minutes to play, and tired of this OB3s player skipping around, his brought down with a heavy challenge around 20 yards out, Kieran lines the wall up, but is beat by a low shot to his left post for 6-4. Can’t catch a f****** break !!!!!!!

Again, kick off, can’t believe the 7s are still 2 down, the last 20 minutes has been all 7s, running, tackling, shooting. Another corner, Billy sprints from one side of the pitch to the other to take it, David, having his fair share of attention form the OB3s centre mid and centre back, take up man marking defence duties as he strolls in. You just knew that Billy was lining up for a shot after hitting the side netting at his previous attempt, and this time making no mistake, curls the corner directly into the near post for his 4th, and a score of 6-5.

Less than 10 minutes and a few more dubious decisions by the ref. Notably Daban fouled some 25 yards from the 7s goal, protest for a free kick are waved away, the ball is won back and cleared up field, once again Billy is free after clearly sprinting between the two centre backs but still 30 yards out, controls the ball…. And the whistle goes… the game has been pulled back for the foul on Daban !!!!!

Last minutes, the 7s having all the play, just can’t seem to find a way through the 10 man wall. OB3s openly shut up shop and pull rank, Billy is now marked by 2 players, one which is a little keen and keeps pulling him back, which the ref turns a blind eye to (or doesn’t see it!) that almost sees an exchange of blows as the older defender goads the young forward to strike him, not rising to it, he chooses to use a few colourful words instead

Full time and a hum-dinger of a game which is a hard loss to take. The slow start cost the 7s and the inability to change formation in the second half could have prevented a goal or two. It’s all a learning curve which was discussed in length after the game (which is a positive). The 7s still missing key players know they dropped the points as opposed to losing them, which is something different from last year

With a week off due to the Vets Game, which sees a call up for the 7s management team of Martin, Steve & David, the 7s next outing is away to Old Sales 3rd  on the 28th … which was a horrific 7-1 loss in the SALC. Let’s hope we can avenge the score and get back to winning ways

 

MOTM: Scoring 4 and still on the losing side, very unlucky to really only have 1 half against a defence that could not contain the young lad. Mention also to Daban who could have been the difference between a point or so, as to how much difference he made on the pitch when he arrived. And Josh… Mr Reliable.

DOTD: DABAN…. Turning up at half time…. What could have been if he turned up on time!

 

Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Martin, Steve, Jacob, Luke, David, Andrew, Billy, Ryan

Daban.  

7s vs Old Wilsonians 8s – 07.10.17

Match Report

Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s

Finally the league fixtures start, after the SALC concluding with 1 win, 2 losses, 6 goals for (4 for Billy) 11 against!! Were now amongst our own. Although it’s the newly formed 6th Division, it’s more or less the same teams from last term, which we finished a strong fifth for a newly formed squad. This season, there’s talk we want top 3 minimum. So today, we need a good start

We welcome back OW8’S, a team we comfortably beat in the SALC 4-0 and twice beating them 3-1 last season, it’s a good game to bed in a few new faces

Going with the standard tried and tested, 4-4-2, we have Darren Fitzgerald volunteering to go in goal. With Josh, Tom, Martin, Steve making up the back 4, Luke M, Chris D, David & Ram as the midfield and Billy and his new boots, accompanied by Ryan up front.

Now, generally when doing a match report, there’s a certain amount of ‘padding out’ to be done, so that you can get across the type of game that went on… however, this time, more will be missing than can be remembered, as to how the team played today….!!

Yes, it was a poor side that we was up against, and the old cliché of ‘you can only beat what’s in front of you’ can be rolled out. But it was the manor that the 7s went about the job. Ruthless… and with more composure, this could have been a Merton record for a team win (No idea what it currently stands at, but Im sure we would have been close… )

So…

1-0   : Games under way and in less than 2 minutes, David collects the ball, travels pass the OW8’s midfield, slots a ball between the defenders which Billy latches onto at pace, and calmly slots near post

2-0   : A move that started from the left back , shuffled around to the right wing, with Josh and Luke linking up, towards the 18 yard box, Josh & Ryan with a neat 1-2 into the area for Josh to dispatch a low far corner shot

3-0   : Corner from Billy to the far post, David winning the aerial battle and knocking down to Ram who controls and volleys over the static keeper

4-0   :Good work from the defence, passed out towards Luke M who curls a defence splitting pass forward for Billy to footrace the back 4, calmly slotting pass the advance keeper

5-0   : Billy with a near post corner, evades the defenders and drops centre of goal, Ram is ghosting in at ‘pace’ to slam home an unstoppable shot

Half time, and there’s not much you can say or change at this point and you feel for the guys waiting to get on the pitch. But the talk is about making this count, getting the goal difference up as that’s what lets us down last season… just with the one change, Luke who’s improving with each game makes way for ‘Kieran’ for a debut on pitch.

6-0: Took a while, the opposition stood firm for 15minutes until Ram slots in Ryan for a 1v1.

Change made – Ram off for Scott and a change to 4-3-3,

7-0   :Soon after, the ever energetic Ryan once again is on his heels after a neat pass from Kieran and skips pass the OW8’s back four to dispatch his 2nd

Change made – Steve off for Dan, Martin goes left back, Dan Centre

8-0   : Billy put through by David and he races clear, only for the keeper to get a good hand on his shot, which falls to Ryan to complete his Hatrick

9-0   Kieran down the right wing, Crosses, Billy leaves for David on the 18 yard, defender closing down gets lobbed with a back heel flick, David through on goal and as the ball drops, scissor volleys into the roof of the net

10-0           Ryan robs the OW8’s centre back and dispatches his 4th and our first ever double figure score is achieved for the mighty 7s

11-0           Kieran once again have all sorts of fun down the right wing, doubles up with Josh who with still 25/30 yards to go, accelerates into the box and drives a fierce low shot into the far corner again… 

This concludes the goals, however, a few notable events that also took place,

Luke in midfield had a few good moments, one notable when being closed down  by two players, calmly left the ball to run through his legs, leaving them both static and out of position, only to have no one backing him up. Chris coming back after from what someone said was a spell of old age (but clearly not the oldest in this squad!!) had a good baptism alongside David in the centre of midfield with some good strong work from the pair of them

First half and 5-0 up, David breaks up a OW8s attack, he dispatched a through ball for Ryan to latch onto, forced out wide and towards the corner flag, Ryan cuts inside and draws the keeper out, Billy having no problem keeping up with play waits in the penalty area before making a quick run as Ryan slots the ball across the goal line…

Unfortunately, Billy and his new boots manages to get to the ball just at the point it takes a bobble (not many saw this… but I’m sure it happened!!) and from 2 yards….. YES, 2 YARDS!!!! Hits the crossbar!!

There’s not many players that can score 2 goals, set up 3 and still walk of the pitch gutted, and feel like they let their team down, but to be fair, the young lad was first to ‘Man Up’ and take the DOTD award for that little miss hap, Don’t worry Billy… were sure you’ve got more goals in you this season, and there’s that other old cliché “you’ve got to be there to miss’em”…

So a job well done, a poor side put to bed by a team that showed, on their day, they can play some great football, now the trick is to take this form deep into the league and make a good fist of it.

Next week we are away at the unpredictable Old Blues 3rd, a team that has a few good and bad results already, and any team playing at home must be regarded as a threat. None the less… only a win is expected from the management as they look to go on a long unbeaten run

MOTM: Ryan…. Not only 4 goals and a few assists. But once again, never stopped running. Again, mentions for the other scorers, notably Josh “Mr Ever reliable”… 2 goals and another strong performance at right back. Billy, 2 goal 3 assists… but will be remembered for the ‘Jug Avoidance’ shot… (See below)

DOTD: Billy…. For blatant ‘Jug Avoidance’ … 2 Yards young man… 2 Yards!

Team: Darren, Josh, Tom, Martin, Steve, Luke M, Chris, David, Ram, Billy, Luke

Scott, Dan, Kieran

7s vs Corinthian Casuals U21s – 30.09.17

Match Report

Merton 7s v Corinthian Casuals Under 21

With four of the Merton teams playing at home, and the epic 5s v 6s encounter taking centre stage, our little gem of a game v CCU21 was going under the radar. Turning up early and taking the brisk walk to the changing rooms, it was noted that the Merton little league teams must have been running some sort of intensive drills outside the club changing rooms, as for the number of cones, poles and balls sprawled around, I pitied those who had to take part… looked ruthless!

Changing room buzzing, as having to share with the 6s made it all the more entertaining, the 7s tally up the latest injury list which see the squad lose Steve Burchell to an attempted SAS assassination which results in a few busted ribs, Luke Pellett and Daban to ankle injuries, Scott with a twisted knee thingy, New lad Chris Dodd  having to pull out on the day and Dan Alley loosing his hair products and having to make a late trips to boots… we do however welcome in on a new long term contract, Ryan Burchell (some say the better looking Burchell) Ram back from his overextended long arse holiday and on short notice Luke Mora dropping down to give us a welcome hand as well as the versatile Steve ‘Essex’ Harvey

Mangers David & Martin get summoned to the ref for the pre-game talk (a first, but gave away how the ref would be policing the game!). So, standing with our opposite numbers, the ref gave us fair warning and ask for any questions… at this point we first found out that the opposition plays in white! Not a problem, a quick rush into the changing room to mug the 6s of the yellow kit, this now makes new history of the first inter-club league or cup game where neither side will be playing in the traditional yellow! The second more concerning point was the CCU21 manager informing us that they will be continuing there warm up outside the changing room in there marked out area…

“Wait? What…. ?? that’s you warming up your team outside?! “

“Yes… Hope you don’t mind….”

“Erm… Nah…. Go ahead”

(Turns to Martin and whispers) ”You f###### kidding me… 2 hour pre-game warm up!)

Finally, out on the pitch and full 30 minutes before the game, with a mild jog across the pitch and back and half-hearted leg shake, we conclude the warm up. All eyes on the opposition as they take up residence on the halfway line. Looking prepared, there manager still going over notes with individual players with a leather-bound folder.. The 7s however are still being reminded by the gaffer they (CCU21s) took last week’s teams for 10 … we agree that no matter what, we not going to be a walk over.

Game starts as predicted, Kieran in goal is called into action straight away, good early handling and quick balls out to set the tone, the back four of Josh, Martin, David and Ram, see a fair bit of the early exchanges, David playing in the unfamiliar slot of centre back is soon on the back foot and in a foot race which the CCU21 strike, who wins at a canter, only for Kieran to be equal to the task.

Playing a compact 4-5-1 the midfield of Denzel on the left, Luke, Ryan on link up duty, tom and Jacob on the right,

With no more than 10 minutes played, and mostly on the back foot, it’s fair to say that the 7s was making a fist of it and still trying to play the ball on the deck, although being closed down at rapid speed, they still manged to counter attack with a few good passing moves.

With Billy up front, you’ve always got a chance, and now with a partner in Ryan to take some of the load off, they begin to split the CCU21s defence with some neat passing and running. A long ball up into the corner see Billy not only kill the pace of the ball in a touch, but with the second, passes the defender and gets a fierce cross in which Ryan almost meets but is beaten to by the defender. CCU21s openly talk that there’s the danger and to close the forward line down. Now with Ryan chasing every loose ball and Billy ghosting in behind, the 7s seem to be having more of the game.

On 30, Billy takes a high ball in his stride, somehow nutmegs the defender with a flick and gets on the end of his own ball, gets the cross over which beats everyone in the box, only for Ryan to pick up the pieces, drops a shoulder goes around the player who can only grab and pull him back by his shirt, clear penalty

Billy, steps up and hits hard and to close to the keeper, which results in a strong glove to push the ball back into the path of Billy who follows up at pace to slam into the roof of the net. 1-0 the 7s!!

With 15 minutes to go, the CCU21s are relentless to get an equaliser before half time, wave after wave of attack the 7s are now playing a 4-6 formation, Billy & Ryan are now in between the midfield and defence, chasing back to help out.

On a rare attack, Ryan wins another free kick, which is cleared by the CCU21s defence, and with Josh, David & Ram marking the opposition forward in the their half, the hopefully clearance sails over their heads and into the 7s half, Kieran decided not to come as the CCU21s forward has left David & Josh for pace and is now bearing down on goal. Ram, instead of heading to the player, goes straight to the goal as cover for Kieran is now made to come out and meet the forward 1v1, this allows enough time for Ram to get to the goal line just in time to meet the shot, however, being wrong footed and out of position, he improvises and manages to back heel the ball off the line and away from danger

However, with 5 minutes to go and from our own throw in, the wall of resistant’s is finally broken. Losing out to a 50/50 tackle, and 3v4, the CCU21s splice the back four apart and leave Kieran exposed for a well taken shot. 1-1 and half time couldn’t come quick enough

Half time talk, more of the same, keep it tight and don’t give up.

Second half starts the same as the first, notably a change of tactics from the opposition which now see them marking tighter up the pitch and closing the 7s down a lot quicker. Not even 10 minutes into the 2nd half sees CCU21s go 2-1 up with some nice one touch passing. You can sense the 7s was there for the taking, but thanking fully for some woeful finishing and their inability just take the shot without trying some trick, always give the 7s the last-ditch chance to get the tackles in.

15 minutes in sees the score go to 3-1, again not much can be done when the oppo get it right, but they did seem to be getting frustrated at not scoring at will. Resulting in the first booking of the game for decent towards the ref

A change has to be made, Ram needing to catch a breather, Andrew steps in a left back, Luke too takes 5, and on comes Steve H,

Now the fitness is telling, Kieran was now the final line of defence. All the good work in the first half was being put to the test. Still, 3-1 was respectable in the scheme of things. David & Martin was taken great pleasure in reminding the opposition they had a combined age of over a hundred!! Still, they had the last laugh, with a break down the left resulting in an unstoppable cross/shot to make it 4-1. With the game petering out, and finally finishing 4-1, it was a moral victory for the 7s, one which can be built on going forward

Now that the SALC is completed, we look forward to the coming season and league fixtures. We welcome back OW8s for the first home game who we defeated 4-0 only 3 weeks ago and fully expect a stronger opposition to be turning up to make amends

MOTM: After missing last week’s game, he makes some sort of amends with today’s performance, although, once again, Josh putting in a sterling effort, Kieran takes the majority vote within the team.

Mention for Ryan, never stopped running and looks to be settling in alongside Billy, who himself done well against a strong defensive side (4 in 3 for the cup!)

DOTD: Anyone who lets in four… sorry Kieran, it’s your job to stop the goals!!

Team: Kieran, Josh, Martin, David ©, Ram, Jacob, Tom, Ryan, Luke, Denzel, Billy

Andrew, Steve H.

7s vs Old Salesians 3s – 23.09.17

Match Report

Old Salesians 3rd v Merton 7s

Away, and against a very good Old Sale’s side who’s reserves had no game, you just knew the team will be bolstered with a few senior players. With a 3oc kickoff, most of the team arrived in good time and high spirits after the opening day victory, although Daban managed to get lost and turn up 15 minutes before kick-off and the ever-illusive Kieran doing his best to never turn up, we need a quick reshuffle of the starting line-up that was originally planed.

Martin dons the gloves and a back 4 of Josh, Tom, Dan & Steve, with Jacob on the right, Andrew, David making up the centre with Luke on the left, this left Billy and Scott up front.

From the start, OS3 took the front foot, passing around freely and creating problems with their slick 1 touch triangles, not long into the game, OS3 was in behind the back four which, lucky for the 7s, came to nothing, but this was going to be the start of things to come.

No more than 15 minutes gone and from around 25 yards, a hopefully cross/shot from OS3 midfield seemed to have caught Martin flat footed and dipped just under the bar for 1-0. A further few minutes later, and another break into the box, Dan tracking his man sticks out a foot and clearly trips the attacking player which results in a well taken penalty for 2-0. Dan, having a stiff talking to by the Ref, subbed himself for Daban which creates a reshuffle, and sees David drop back in to the back 4 and Daban going centre

Although down but not out, the 7s keep probing, with Billy being some nuisances to the OS3 back four, snatches a good chance to make it 2-1, followed up by a decent 1v1 which the keeper done well to save. Finally, Billy gets released down the left, skips past the right back and gives the keepers the eyes before curling a left footed, outside of the boot, low into the far corner. 2-1.

This made OS3 step up there game and with 2 pacey forwards, it was not long before the offside trap was (debatably) sprung again, with Steve still appealing, the forward bearing down on Martin dispatched a neat curling shot from 18 yards that curled into the top corner for 3-1

Half time, a few words and reshuffle of the players, Luke comes centre and Dabs going wide left, the 7s start with intent. Billy still having a good battle with the oppositions defence was always a threat and now Luke playing centre started to pull the strings and slot some neat through balls for Billy to run on to.

Still, with all the possession at the start of the half coming to nothing, OS3 being a threat on every attack, it was only a matter of time before it become 4-1, still not giving up, a further change sees Denzel come on for Andrew and slotting on the left and Dabs coming centre with Luke,

With chances being made, Billy once again showed skill with a neat back heel to Scott, with only the goalie to beat, sees his shot go high and wide. Soon after, Billy himself found space just inside the box, only for his tame shot to be straight at the keeper. Now tiring, the 7s being pulled apart by the forward line of OS3, shipped a further 3 goals before the end of the half.

Full time and frankly p***** off, the score does not reflect the effort the guys put in, although never looking likely to win, if the 7s took their chances and possibly had their first-choice keeper, it may have been more respectable. With a home game next week v Corinthian Casuals Under21 who beat todays opposition 4-3 and took OW8s for a 10-0 stroll, it looks like this motley lot will have another busy day to look forward to.

MOTM: Special mention to Daban, who came on and was full of energy but just couldn’t find that final ball, Billy again, always looking like a threat and now with 3 in 2 was out voted by 1 in favour of Luke, who was outstanding in centre midfield pulling the strings and frankly, never gave up.

DOTD: Made easy for not turning up, this week goes to Kieran ‘Lord Lucan’ Lee. Thanks to Scott who voted for himself after another blank day, where he squandered be far the easiest goal chance this season (will have nightmares about that one!)

 

Team: Martin, Josh, Dan, Tom, Steve, Jacob, Andrew, David ©, Luke, Billy, Scott

Denzel, Daban

7s vs Old Wilsonians 8s – 16-09-17

Match Report

Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s

After a few mish mash friendlies which included a 3-2 v SBC, an epic 8-5 v CS8 and a game that will never be mentioned again…! It would accumulate in the father & son of Goldings to be 2 a piece in the pre-season.

The closed season has seen a few changes to the squad, notably in the management roll where Dan Alley stepped down after a very good 2016/17 debut season and sees the 7s captain David Golding step up to the management roll. First job for the new manager was securing his no2, which see the very youthful looking Steve Burchell finally coming home to the 7s. To complete the new look management, we have Martin Quainton in as 7s Director of football!

Squad changes have seen Tom R, Adam E and Noor leave, although rumour has it that one may be retuning. The loss of Malcolm to injury in preseason was a blow but happy to report he should be back before the end of year, Kieran signing full time for the 7s in a coup by Dan before stepping down, further in comings are Marvin (although still carrying a knock and has yet to do a full 90), Jacob, Luke, Daban and Billy who hopes to be over his injuries that kept him out for most of last year’s campaign, comes back into the fold

The start of the SAL cup season which see us grouped with Old Wilsons 8, Sales 3rd and for some reason Corinthian Casuals under 21!! We get our new season on the way against the OW8s.

Nothing like a 1230ko to open the season, the 7s turning up in force and only missing Marvin & Malcolm to injury, Martin to another triathlon (remarkable effort…) and the late drop out of Daban due to work, still sees the 7s with 13. With Kieran between the sticks and a back four of Josh (last year’s players player of the season) Dan, Mark Chappell of the 6s on his debut trial (rumour has it, he may be available in the January transfer window once the 6s drop out of Europe!) and Steve ‘don’t call me Burchell’ Burchell at left back, we start with a strong back 5. Going with three in midfield of the new signing Jacob on the right, El Capo David in the centre and Tom J on the left and three up front of Billy centre flanked by Denzel and Luke, we kick off in the early afternoon sunshine

Early exchanges see the 7s get into the swing of things and with a very composed back four, stroke the ball around comfortable with not much pressure form the oppo. So, bedding in the new signings and getting everyone a touch, the opening 10 minutes see’s the 7s go close with Luke and Billy getting onto some good though balls and crosses. Pushing forwarded, the 4-3-3 soon switched to a 4-4-2 with Denzel switching to the left wing in front of Steve to give him cover, the change looked to have worked straight away, with once again Luke going close.

With all the possession going with the 7s and the centre backs calmly clearing up any threat, it takes a single effort from Billy Golding to steel the ball after an error from the OW8s keeper, comfortable rounding him and slamming in form a tight angle to give the 7s a deserved lead with 20minutes played.

The remaining of the half sees the 7s dominate, with only the odd lap of concentration from the centre mids (as pointed out by BURCHELL) almost gifting the OW8s an equaliser, we go in to the break 1-0 up

Half time sees Denzel, who had a strong defensive game on the left wing, make way for Scott to join Billy up front and Luke to drop on to the left wing in a more attacking roll, the 2nd half kicks off in more of the same. 7s dominate from kick off and grow in confidence, some great first-time touches from the midfield see any threat from OW8s quickly snuffed out and soon defence turns into attack. With 10 minutes gone in the second half, a further change is made, with Dan making way for Andrew ‘Dobby’ Dobson joining the David in centre midfield, but as an attacking mid, and Tom dropping into centre back, Dobby instantly gets involved with attack 

OW8s still pressing wins a corner which is cleared up fielded to Billy, who.. still in his own half, takes on the OW8s defence in a foot race, Jacob on the right wing provides back up as Billy sprints past the OW8s defence and comes 1 on1 with the keeper, still at pace, the keeper rushes out as Billy takes a sweet knuckle shot, which see the keeper get a strong glove on the ball at full stretch, a good save from a great shot, but fortunately the advance Jacob is there to smash the ball home for a 2-0 lead

This spurs the 7s on more, now cutting the OW8s apart with fluent passing, even the watching Merton FC seemed to be impressed with the 7s performance. This sees Steve B slotting a perfect through ball to Billy who timed his run perfectly, only for the ref to pull the game back for offside, which would have surely been a goal… and Billy, wouldn’t have to wait long for another opportunity

Another OW8s attack was broken down by David, muscling the ball off the oppo outside the 18 yard box, skipping through 3 players challenges and pushing forward, Billy starts a run form deep and is released with a defence cutting pass from the old boy, Billy latches on with only the keeper to beat, this time Billy makes no mistake, sending a powerful shot that goes in of the post for 3-0

A further defensive cutting pass from Mark to Billy, these old boys in the 7s have a cracking range of passing, results in another great save, soon followed up by a double shot form Scott at close range, which seemed to be harder to miss than score, but in fairness, it was the OW8s ‘Glove Man’ that was only keeping the score respectable.

A further corner won by the attacking two, finally see’s Mark & David get there timing right, with Steve whipping in a cross to the near post, David beats the defender in the air to flick past the keeper for 4-0 (and his 4 goals in 5 games scored from corners must be mentioned!) 

The remaining minutes of the game, sees the 7s comfortable run out winners, with better finishing the score could have been double figures, but this will be something that can be worked on. Special mention to Kieran who basically had 1 shot to deal with and only about 6 touches in the whole game, and to the new lads who got there first game under the belt for the new season.

Saturday sees the 7s away to Sales 3rd who lost 4-3 to CCU21. With their reserves having no game Saturday, we expect a strong opposition to turn out in what is the 2nd group game in our pool

MOTM: Tight voting between Josh and Billy, but Billy takes it for his 2 well taken goals and energy all over the pitch. One to look out for this season

DOTD: Fair play to Steve to nominate himself ahead of David (Some wonderful passing, as well as woeful!) for his run of his own half, and shot from 25/30 yards… which rolled about 2 yards ahead of him (other than giving us that laugh, had an immense game with Mark C at the back)

Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Mark, Steve, Jacob, Tom, David, Denzel, Billy, Luke

Scott, Andrew

7s vs Old Wilsonians 8 – 22.04.17

After the long drive to Bromley, Merton 7s were ready to face Old Wilsonians 8th‘s. Having faced them 3 weeks previously in which they fielded some notably better players, Merton were expecting another difficult game. With some regulars missing; Dave, Malcolm and Josh. The 7s, much like all political parties currently, had scrambled around to get players. In what turned out to be a very balanced squad. Lining up in the classic 442 the game got under way with Merton seemingly under the cosh early on. OW8 were dominating the first 10 minutes, with Merton not settling into the game. OW8 pounced and scored from a break. 1-0 down. After this, the 7s found their heads and took hold of the game for the rest of the half. With Chris and JT dovetailing beautifully in midfield to control the game. Spreading out wide to the two full backs of Dan P and Ed to create opportunities with both Jon Taylor and Scott profiting from this control. Jon Taylor’s tireless running allowing him to go through one-one with the keeper, who managed to save from point blank range. With the 7s in control, the pressure finally led to a breakthrough with Chris playing a cross-come-shot from the left-hand side outside the box. The ball floated its way past the keeper and into the top corner. 1-1! He definitely meant that! With all to play for the 7s were enjoying the game with nice interplay, but they were soon halted when they lost the dynamic and powerful Adam E. Who went off after hurting his shoulder as he tried to cushion his fall to the ground after being slide tackled. However, with Pete coming on in his place the 7s looked better for it! With Pete slotting in and dominating the flank with his hold-up play and running. Before the break there was one final incident when Scott had pressed the OW8 CM causing him to loose the ball, this lead to him kicking out at Scott. Infuriated by this Dobson went to Scott’s defence and shouted down the “Fat James Bay” (in his words). The CM was shown only a yellow card for this! As the referee deemed his frustrations to be with him not the team and so was only a yellow – very strange. No changes were made at half-time, with the team looking stable and the only thing asked was more of the same. However OW8 seemed to dominate for the first 10 minutes yet again, and like before they were able to get a goal during this little period of dominance. The striker smashing the ball from inside the box on the left hand side, past Martin’s near post side. Soon after this, Jon Taylor was replaced by Adam E who recovered from his shoulder injury. Dan P at RB was straight swapped for Scott at ST. Whilst Pete was moved from RM to ST alongside him. Adam E coming back to RM. The 7s then dominated for the rest of the game with the midfield two again dominating over OW8, however with all the dominance the 7s couldn’t make any headway. That was until 3 minutes from normal time. Dan P collected a long ball on the left channel, spinning past his marker he sent through Pete clean through. Pete then rounded the keeper and slotted home for 2-2!

Starting XI: Martin (GK), Dan P, Dan (C), Steve B, Ed P, Adam E, Chris O, JT, Dobson, Jon Taylor and Scott Subs: Pete

MOM: Dan P for his excellent play at RB in the first-half, before seamlessly switching to ST and setting up the equaliser in the dying moments of the game.

DOTD:  OWE CM aka “The Fat James Bay” for his constant moaning and shouting at the ref and then kicking out at Scott

7s vs Carshalton 6s – 08.04.17

Carshalton 6s v Merton 7s 

 

The fixture no one was looking forward to and it showed.  On a great sunny Saturday afternoon, we strolled up on the back of 5 games unbeaten against the champions, who have scored over 80 goals and only conceded 11 in 14 games. Well, no surprises as to how this pans out!

The pre- game warm up was conclude without the captain due to arriving late, but still managed to hash together a team talk about getting amongst them and maybe putting it about, to let them know there in a game… from the whistle, the 7s held it together for around 10minutes before the flood gates opened, it was easy to see that they were there in body but absolutely not in spirit, this was a hiding to nothing.

With C6’s commanding a 5-0 halftime lead, the 7s made few changes, as well as b******ing from the captain to play with a bit of heart, the second half was by far better. Keeping it simple, C6s still run the game, passing freely and cutting the team apart a will, but in the final third, the 7s became more resilient, put the tackles in and rode there luck, even manging to win a few corners at the other end.

Eventually, the luck run out, an own goal after a mix up at the near post sees the comer deflected straight in and a thunder bolt into the top comer sees the game finishes 7-0.

If there is to be a silver lining, the Home fixture was a 12-0 affair, so losing 7-0 away must be seen as an improvement. But still shipping 19 goals in 2 games against a team who clearly should be playing at a much high level, begs the question as to why they managed to be put in this division.

On a more positive note, with only 2 games remaining, the Form guide looks pretty impressive for the 7s

Team: Gubby, Josh, Dan, Tom J, Martin, Noor, David ©, Andy, Adam E, Adam , Scott

 Malcolm, Andrew D, Delman

7s vs Old Wilsonians 8s – 01.04.17

Match Report

Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s

Home… and not the WCE, and with a 3oc kick off in the afternoon sun, the 7s are in a great mood to keep this 4 game unbeaten run going against a side that beat the 6s 3-1 late in February. Word in the changing room was the opposition was running late and only had 4 players, which was 4 more than our ‘Merton 3s’ opposition had, who failed to even turn!

Eventually, OW8s arriving just before kick-off and getting changed by the pitch, we got our first glimpse of this very much changed side, still… not worrying, the 7s carried on with their pregame warm up, which this week turned into ‘crosses & corners’ with the midfield duo of David & Tom trying to lash shots past the very composed Gubby

Kick off and another re-arranged team, this time were missing Dan at centre back, who’s replaced by Steve Burchell, and Tom J for Delman. OW8s kick off and straight on the attack, there 2 centre midfield pairing have a combined age less than our own captain, but paired with Tom R, our midfield was soon putting the tackles in and stemming the flow of passes to the forwarded line.

The back four, which also included the consistent Josh at right back, and the versatile Martin next to Steve, was well marshalled by Steve B who’s tones echoed around the ground from the very first whistle, rumour has it, this was his 7s trail as his written transfer request had been denied by the 5s captain as being too valuable to them.

15minutes in and the 7s still not really getting a foot hold in the game, the OW8s passed around the centre third and looking to get in behind the rear guard, but with 2 banks of 4, Noor and Adam E, playing out wide, found themselves having to drop back to defend, this isolated Malcolm and Denzel up front.

Still soaking up the pressure and conceding a good few corners, the 7s finally started to get rewarded for their resilient play, Malcolm being played in between the right & centre back, not being blessed with much pace, BUT makes up for it in strength, holds of the challenge of the pair and gets a solid shot off which goes wide.

Seeing the chink in the OW8s armour, Tom R starts to have more influence on the game, taking the ball from the half way line and gains ground. 7s Now applying the pressure at the right end, and once again Malcolm, finds the ball at his feet, muscles his way past the centre backs, this time making no mistake with his shot to put the 7s 1-0

Composed, the OW8s come straight back at the 7s, Steve & Martin doing a great job of being the oldest centre pairing the 7s have fielded still keeping the attacks at bay, couldn’t do much when appealing for offside only to see the Ref wave play on as the OW8s young speedy striker beat the trap and went 1v1 with Gubby, who had already kept the 7s well in the game, couldn’t do much as the striker blast his shot past the advancing keeper to bring the game level after less than 5 minutes

As the game panned out to half time, OW8s clearly on top in the early exchanges, but pegged back at the end, the 7s debated that were not doing much wrong. None the less, Martin who had a fine game at centre back, makes way for Andy L and Denzel off for Scott, the 7s kick off the send half

Tom R & David once again pass the ball around confidently from the start, draw in the 7s defence to play a bit of keep ball, Steve B looking remarkable composed at the back, and with Delman now keeping Noor in check on the left, the 7s looked to be controlling the early exchanges.

However, not too long into the second half, Adam E seemed to pull up with a hamstring and signals to the bench, up to this point and having a great game in tandem with Josh, it was not what the 7s wanted. Replaced with Andy DOBBY Dobson, it wasn’t long before he was called into action, wining a strong 50/50 and getting a fine through ball to Scott, this was showing there’s no weak link in the 7s …

Still controlling the game and pressing higher up the pitch, the 7s win a free kick around 30yards from goal, Tom R placing the ball, floats a high ball in which see’s David tussling with the OW8s centre backs and getting free, but with no chance of winning the ball, still bears down on the keeper which seemed to distract the fella long enough to lose the flight of the ball and then can only flap at the air as the ball clips the underside of the crossbar and goes in. As the team congratulate Tom on a fine Cross/Shot, the Ref (who had gave the goal) finds himself surround by OW8s players, protesting that the linesman flag was up, after much debate, the ref agreed and awarded offside due to the 7s captain being  ‘in the line of vision of the ball while in a offside position’

This only spurred the 7s on, now gaining more possession and linking play together, Noor once again got into the area and got his cross off, which took a deflection off the OW8s centre backs arm, the ref had no hesitation awarding the penalty kick which Scott stroked home with power, 2-1 the 7s

Once again, OW8s feeling hard done by, got back on the attack, a lofted ball over the top sees Steve B in a foot race with ‘easily’ a guy half his age, without rushing in, Steve lets the player get the ball and with perfect timing, executes a sliding ‘hook’ tackle which sees Steve not only win the ball, but manages, control and with calm, he passes away to Andy L, thus diffusing any kind of attack the OW8s had in mind.

Still with 15 minutes or so to go, the 7s are now accustom to digging in deep, the captain forever shouting commands and organising the troops, looked the better team, OW8s probing away, had the better fitness overall, but couldn’t find a way past the wall at the back.

As the clocked ticked down, Adam E having to replace the 7s captain to give some extra legs in midfield, the Merton boys did not look like giving this up easily, much contrast to early in the season, with the OW8s getting a corner late on, even the strikers dropped back, making sure that 5-in-a-row was nailed on.

Great team effort and handshakes all round, no one could begrudged the 7s this victory, with only 3 games remaining, the target of top 4 is possibly, be it not in our hands, and with the unbeaten Carshalton 6s away this weekend, can they pull off an upset? Even a mild defeat to the league winner’s elect will be a moral victory in our eyes. All we say is …. BRING IT ON

MOTM: Once again, it goes to a legend, Steve B… stepping in for Dan.

(Still 50/50 if he passes the trial though!)

DOTD: Denzel… I know we haven’t played at the Hood in a while, but turning up at the wrong ground that to even ours is worthy of this week’s DOTD J

Team : Gubby, Josh, Steve B, Martin, Delman, Adam E, Tom R, David ©, Noor, Denzel, Malcolm

Scott, Andy L, Andy D

 

6s vs Civil Service 8s DH- 25.03.17

25th March 2017

Merton 6s vs Civil Service 8s Double Header Joseph Hood

This was defiantly a game of two matches, both teams walking away with 3 points.

We had 15 players, so George H took one for the team first game and sat out, team lined up: Swanny, Kevin, Mark, Beans, Matt, Chris, Neil, George B, Callum, Pete, Dan P, Subs: Alan, Ram, Trey

Lining up with a 4-4-2 formation, the first game started well for the first 10 minutes. That was until Beans tripped over his own laces leaving Chappell to defend their on coming forward.  I little late challenge caused the forward to go down, disputes as to whether it was in the box or not between Chappell and Ref, but penalty was awarded, 1 – 0.  They had a couple of quick forward players, one of which Kevin took out on the side line in the first half, he was getting a bit hot headed.  Could be the reason he sat out the next game to have a cool down.  We had chances but just couldn’t find the net and majority of their 4 goals came from hitting us on the break. The game ended 4 – 0, we gathered our self on the side line for the next match and knew that this had to be a win otherwise Civil would go above us in the league and be 2nd.

Kevin, along with discussions with Manager for the day Ty, changed the formation. We needed to have bit more help in defence and so opted for two holding midfielders. Lined up 4-2-3-1, again we needed to have a drop out so Beans stepped forward and took one for the team in the second game. Team for second game was Swanny, Matt, Alan, Mark, Ram, Neil, Chris, George B, Trey, Callum, Pete. Subs: George H, Kevin, Dan P

This gave the 3 youngest freedom to roam up top with Pete helping to hold things up for hopefully them to get the goals. And this certainly worked as the goals starting to go in for us.  George B with the first with a peach of a through ball from Matt, well weighted for George to run on to and slot past their keeper, 1 – 0.  Callum got himself on the score sheet along with another goal from George.  They managed to claw one back, but with help from the two midfielders the defence stayed strong.  Another assist came from Matt, crossing deep toward the keeper, who fumbled it in the wind, for Pete to latch onto and put into the net.

The second game was a much better performance, and 6s deserving the win. There was a little bit of agro in the second half from a slightly bad tackle by George, which caused both teams to flare up (Kevin storming on to protect George) with each other, although to be honest it wasn’t that type of match.

Game ended 4 – 1, the win that the 6s needed to keep them 3 point clear of Civil, although they do have two games in hand. It is all to play for now for the 6s and their last 4 games.  Results need to go their way for them to still be within a chance of promotion.

MOM went to Matt for finding his new position at full back and having a solid game in both matches, plus setting up two goals which I may have mentioned.

Few other mentions go to Chris who finds himself in more positions on the pitch that the Karma Sutra, Chappell for giving away penalty, Beans for tripping over a divot or his laces and tumbling which lead to the penaltyl. Ram for thinking he had only 20 minutes for whole of both matches but pretty sure he got longer than that.  Kevin for losing head and taking out their winger whilst worrying whether the oppo had any ringers!!!

7s vs Bank of England DH – 25.03.17

Match Report

Bank of England 5s v Merton 7s Match 1

A trip to Bank of England on a sunny Saturday can never be a bad thing, and throw in another double header to make 3 in a row, these 7s are getting use to long game days with the aid of some Merton legends, this week’s turn was Paul ‘Welchy’ Welch (17 years’ service for the club and still looks fit as a flea) and Stevie who steps in at late notice. We also welcome back Gubby in goal after a long absence through injury.

What a day, for once the squad arrived early (almost all, but won’t mention Malcolm till later), and was changed and on the worse pitch BOE had left available, this flat, freshly cut grass, almost carpet like pitch was unacceptable, no diverts, rolls or ankle snags to been seen… no excused for poor passing or under hit balls… although, there was a strong wind to contend with.

Prior to the game, and being out a full 40 minutes before kick-off, 7’s normal warm would be jog around and ping balls at each other whilst Dan & Martin organise a team and a formation… For some reason, ‘welchy’ took it upon himself to be ‘coach’ for the afternoon and got everyone lined up for a gently jog… and without warning, managed to turn this gently jog into a full blown pre-season training season with shuttle runs, passing (what’s that!!), Skins V Shirts…. The fear could be seen in the 7s, red faced and blowing hard (that’s just the 7s captain) and all before 2 hours of football, what was he thinking!!!!!!!!!!

Game 1 kicks off with 7s playing with a strong wind behind them (NOT the 7s captain this time!), and this soon became a 12th man for the team, with BOE taking the first 5-10 minutes or so of play, never really threating the back four of Josh, Dan, Paul and Tom J until a deep cross from BOE left winger had Gubby scrabbling across goal for a well punched clearance, only for Dan to be tracking the balls flight and then place his nose in direct contact with Gubbys glove, resulting in getting red sauce everywhere!

Finishing with a whimper and a crumbled heap on the floor, this didn’t look good for the 7s player managers, having to leave the pitch for treatment, some clapped at the improvement the collusion made on the centre backs rearranged bugle.

Martin stepping in for Dan but steps in at left back, with Tom J join Paul at centre back, this still didn’t seem to rattle the back 4, marshalled by Paul, and with Gubby voice being heard clearly from the back, the team now had more than just the captains voice spurring them on, still soaking up the pressure, Noor on the left seem to be getting better with each game that passes and started to pull some strings, taking the ball in his stride and with his back to goal on the by-line, BOE right back closed him down, only for Noor to turn, drop the should and ‘MEG-NUTS’ the approaching player (made even better as it was in front of our own bench) and sprint on to his own through ball for a decent shot at goal which was well saved. This was just one of many times Noor took the game to them and once again didn’t go unnoticed amongst the squad

With the 7s now gaining more possession, and 10 minutes or so remaining (MALCOLM TURNS UP!!), A goal kick form Gubby finds Scott deep in the oppositions half, and with a good ball control, slots Adam in on the overlap who finishes low and well, 1-0 the 7s.

This stuns BOE back into action and straight from Kick off advance well into the 7s territory, only to once again to be face with Paul & Tom who break up play and calmly sweep the ball around and back up the field.

Halftime and a few changes, with Adam coming off for Denzel, the game soon started, and with the wind now in the 7s faces, it soon became the Alamo. BOE was relentless in the attack and wave after wave was beaten back by the whole squad, determined to hold onto the slim 1-0 lead. What seemed like an age, a few hero saves from Gubby and last ditch challenges from ‘everyone’, it was the shift we all put in that resulted in a deserved win.

 

MOTM: 2 players this week, Legend Paul Welch, great influence on the pitch and calm when needed, and once again, this strange fellow that keeps turning up and calling himself Noor (is that really you??)

DOTD: Wouldn’t have been Malcolm if he had turned up on time!

 

Match Report

Bank of England 5s v Merton 7s Match 2

 

As the squad walked off on a high, it was notable that everyone was still up for the next game, the difference of having double headers for the past 3 weeks seem to be paying off, as well as the warm up induced by ‘Welchy’ (there’s even talk of a warm up before every game and being the way forwarded!)

Standing (not sitting) and finally being joined by Malcolm halfway thought the first game, the team was eager to get the next on the go, with Malcom and Scott starting as the attack force and Stevie on for Martin, it was a fresh start for the 7s.

BOE looking to get revenge started once again playing into the wind, and again starting on the front foot with an attack form kick off, the passing seemed more fluent and the 7’s re-guard needed to be alert, the midfield of David & Tom, the hard tackling due was still managing to contain the opposite numbers, be it with the aid of the defence, was starting to look a bit tired

Halfway through he half and a fine move from back to front, Scott picks the ball up just inside the oppositions half, holding play up well, manged to find David pushing forward from the centre, taking the ball in his stride, runs at the BOE defence, making the centre back commit to closing him down, neatly slots Andrew ‘DOBBY’ Dobson in on the left and clear on goal, only the keeper to beat, strokes the ball past with his deadly left foot (not only for standing on!) and reels away in celebration.

With the lead and BOE broken, 7’s started to have more of the ball, Adam E out muscling the BOEs midfield, controlled the ball and rasped a shoot form 20 yards, only to see the power and spin, pull the ball on to the post with the keeper flat footed, it was now swinging in Merton’s direction

The first half plays out with the 7’s knocking back anything thrown at them, seeing this, Dan and his rather larger hooter, makes some timely changes to kill the game off, David coming off for the fresher legs of Adam, Noor on for Dobby who had a great for half, it didn’t take long before the 7’s took the game over.

Even playing into the wind, Noor was up to his normal tricks of skipping around the BOE right winger and tormenting the right back, with a few good shots and neat passing play between the team, Noor found himself able to cut in on the left and move more centre…

Dropping the old shoulder and unleashing a shot from 25 yards or more, it had the keeper groping thin air as the ball smashed off the crossbar, straight in the path of Scott who was happy to bundle the ball over for the second

BOE making a few changes and visibly tiring, the 7s however seemed to be going from strength to strength… Once again on the attack, it was the turn of Malcom, not to be out done by Scott, somehow manged to wiggle his way through on goal and calmly poke the ball past the advance keeper for number 3-0, and with 10 minutes to go, it would seem it was all but wrapped up

The talk on the side line was how great the team played, from back to front, everyone put a shift in, everyone having fun and Dan could not help but say it was great to get 2 clean sheets…. This, still with 10minutes of play left… I don’t think we got to say ‘don’t talk to soon’ as we kicked off after conceding a soft goal which we think was an own goal or a deflection or just switching off for a minute, either way 3-1 was the score and suddenly, BOE got there second wind and was pressing high up the pitch, the attacks was not being closed down and Gubby was now being called upon a little too often. With BOE appealing every decisions and feeling hard done by, the frustration boiled over with their influential midfielder swearing directly at the ref who had no hesitation in branding the red card and pointing to the dugout. Down to 10 men, both teams still manging to carve out a few half chances as the game clock ticked down and finishing 3-1.

A great rewarding day out and now 4 in a row un beaten for the 7s, which pushes them into the dizzy heights of 4th in the league, although playing a game more than some, still a good achievement for the ‘Rag Tags’ who look to continue the fine run at home (anyone remember that place!) next week v OW 8’s.

 

MOTM: Across both games, vey consistent and composed – Gubby

DOTD: NONE chosen. (Although Malcolm should never be allowed near a free kick again!)

 

Team : Gubby, Josh, Dan, Tom J, Adam E, Tom R, David ©, Noor, Scott, Adam,

Martin, Stevie, Denzel, Andrew and we think Malcolm turned up at some point!