Category: Match Reports 7s

7s vs Old Wilsonians 9s DH- 18.03.17

Merton 7s V Old Wilsonian 9s Match 1

Once again we get to walk the turf of WCE, you can tell it’s coming to the end of the season when you have to walk through a forest of rugby 7s pitches to get to the only pitches available at the wrong end of the common! None the less, the 7s as usual are in great pre-game spirits, looking forward to a double header v OW9s who have yet to win a game or put a point on the board all season.

None the less, not wanting to be the first team to slip up against the bottom side, we start with Dan’s 4-4-2. With Kieran back in goal, and a good looking back 4 (not in the visual sense) Josh at RB, Ed dropping in to LB and Dan and TJ making up the centre backs, confidence was in abundance.

With game 1 underway, the midfield of Malcom & David Flanked by Ricardo and Noor, started early, winning position and passing the ball around, not too long in to the game, the power house of Dennis had his first shot ‘off’ target, quickly followed by his 2nd, also off target. Frankie in the supporting role behind Dennis, was dropping of the shoulder and causing panic in OWs defence and soon enough had a shot of his own straight at the keeper.

This was the general pattern of play for the first half, OWs attacked, play broken up by the defence and midfield, into their last third, miss chances. Was this going to be another bad day at the office, the clear cut chances created was going begging and there was a need of luck… Up steps Dennis, after having every kind of shot saved, parried, blasted off target, it took a great cross from the right for Dennis to do his best ‘scuff’ of a shoot, which seemed to be direct at the goalie, who somehow wrong footed himself and stepped out the way to let the ball innocently bounce in to the corner…. RELIEF!!

Second half, no changes as it was agreed to kill the game before we unsettle the troops, it was not long before the 7s was back in the swing, with Ricardo and Noor both playing huge parts in all of the attacks, Dennis soon grabbed his 2nd followed by a good header for his 3rd and hat trick for the day.

Martin on for Malcom and JT for Frankie, Denzel having a run out in midfield and up top, the game finished 3-0 and finally the 7s not only won a game, but kept a clean sheet.


MOTM: Hatrick hero, Dennis and Ricardo who had an outstanding game

DOTD: For once, not football related, but been told Dan deserves it NONE football activates!

Match Report

Merton 7s V Old Wilsonian 9s Match 2

Learning form the previous week, and after much debate, the 2nd game got under way with 2 changes from the first starting eleven, this being JT for Dennis, Kieran who swapped the gloves for an outfield shirt, but made way for Denzel, the game started at the same pace as the previous. With both teams attacking but showing a lot of tiredness, it was now end to end stuff, the breakthrough came half way through the first half, The midfield winning the ball and slotting in Noor who ran at the OWs rear line, made himself some room for a shoot, only to slot John T in on the left which took out the OWs defence, and with John T Breaking his duck and finally getting off the mark with a cool, slotted finish past the static keeper, you could tell he hadn’t though his celebration through in any event of scoring a goal, but manged to fist pump his way back for the restart

With the game at 1-0, second half started in the normal fashion for the 7s, for once managing to keep it clean for at least 10 minutes before letting the OWs left winger cruise down the wing and put a decent cross in, which was controlled and smashed past the keeper by the big centre forwarded. 1-1-1… Here we go again!

This however, rallied the team more, and soon after, with David holding up play on the 18 yard line, Ed on the overlap was put in with a neat back heel pass which Ed drilled the cross passed the OWs right back, the goalkeeper, directly in the path of John T who just needed to stick a toe out, somehow manged to step over the ball and elude himself the chance of a glorious second

Luckily the 7s didn’t wait long, with Denzel wining the ball on the right, got into the area and slotted a neat shot past the advancing keeper, this put paid to a valiant come back by the OWs and allowed for a 3rd to finish off the game. Frankie storming down the right and chipping the keeper form 18 yards to seal the win. Finally, back to back wins!!  



MOTM: Noor once again done himself justice, but Tom J nicks it with the extra vote

DOTD: John T air shot won it over Eds poor corner


Team: Kieran, Josh, Tom J, Dan, Ed, Ricardo, Malcolm, David ©, Noor, Dennis, Frankie

Martin, Denzel, John T

7s vs Civil Service (Double Header) – 11.03.17

Civil Service 8 v Merton 7s Match 1


With only 1 win in 6 you would expect the 7s to be a bit down… however, the chat was more to put on a show and start to get some sort of form back starting with a double header against a good CS side. With a squad of 17, game day started with John pulling out with an ankle injury and taking up a roll on the side line as Merton’s very own cheerleader, without the pom poms, or much cheering… !

Starting with a 4-4-2. Darren stepping in between the sticks (our 4th goalie in as many games), the game started with Civil straight on the attack, pushing back the Merton midfield with some neat passing, Darcy playing in the midfield alongside David, soon got to grip with things and manged to break up play and create a few half chances for Dennis to run on to, who was holding up play well for Dylan on the overlap. However, Civil got the best over the opening exchanges and on the 10 minute mark there seem to be a flash point between there volatile striker who was ‘putting it about’ to say the least, and the 7s captain. With the striker seemingly trying to leave a late ‘shoulder’ on the old fella in the middle, he was rather surprised to bounce off and end up in a heap on the floor with a torn shirt to boot!

After an exchange of a few choice words and the young whippersnapper being put back in his box, the game resumed with Merton getting the better chances, Darcy once again pulling the strings in the middle, releasing the wingers down the flanks, slotted Malcolm in with just a player to beat managed to get into the 18 yard box and power his shot against the advancing goalkeeper, this could turn into a good day

However, on the 25minute mark and after a few self-inflicted mistakes, Civil managed to break the dead lock on a long ball through which up to this point, Darren seemed to be unbeatable, had no chance with the striker having a clean strike on goal

Half time, a few changes to freshen up the squad, Merton Started quickly and moved the ball around the midfield looking for a an opportunity to release the strikers, once again there was a coming together between there striker and the 7s captain in an aerial battle that was only going to be one winner, which the ref also agreed on

Merton was now having the best of the game, settled and passing the ball around well, Dennis once again causing Civil all sorts of problems, snapping at the heels of the midfield and defences, not giving them time on the ball, managed to create his self a great half chance, only to see the ball come off the crossbar, the resulting rebound being well cleared.

Try as we might, time run out and the game finished in a hard fought defeat, a draw maybe a fairer result, but we all know the game likes to kick you while you’re down.



MOTM: Split between Darren, Darcy, Dennis and David (So being the only 7s player, David)

DOTD: Andrew… by his own words, ‘a day to forget!


Match Report

Civil Service 8 v Merton 7s Match 2


Now, with our record of not starting well after half time, who knows how we would react to a second game, this came apparent soon after the ending of the first game, looking spent and with over half the team sitting on the floor, it was going to be hard to motivate the team for the second game, in contrast, Civil was having a good team talk, clapping and rallying the troops, clearly far more up for the game than Merton

It did not take long for Civil to breach the rear guard, finally there striker decided to play a bit of football as opposed to gobbing off and trying to muscle himself around, ghosted pass the 7s midfield and was now having the freedom of the pitch.

Ripped apart, the game was all but over with only 30 minutes played, 6-0 down and with no real answer, the team had given it there all in the first game and completed folded in the second. This was without doubt the worse half the 7s have played all season.

Play for a bit pride was the cry at half time, with a further reshuffle, the 7s dragged themselves back on the pitch and looked to contain the damage that was already done. Darcy back on for the now spent David, seemed to galvanise the team and manged to get Noor released down the left wing on several occasions, and with Noor revelling in his battle with the oppositions number 6, got the better of him with a neat control and snap shot which just cleared the cross bar. With 15 minutes to play, Noor was having the better of the battle with his adversary and once again managed to skip round a challenge and get a great shot off, only to see it hit the side netting.

With the clock ticking down, Civil manged to put the game to bed with 2 quick finishes, with the full time whistle blown, it was a contrast on days, the first game was a close fought game, but the second be best left on the pitch and never spoken about again, expect for Noor, who seemed to have got a second wind and took the game to them.


MOTM: Noor, great show in the second half, expect to see him step up in the remaining games  

DOTD: Team 7s




Darren, Scott, Tom R, Dan, Martin, Adam, Darcy, David ©, Andrew, Dennis, Dylan, Noor, Malcolm, Tom J, Anam, John, D

7s vs Merton 6s – 04.03.17

Time to give Martin a break and the elected captain to step up this week with a match report…

Once again the game gets moved from the beloved Hood to the WCE, none the less, the talk of the week was the fixture and not the ground that the ‘war’ will take place on, yes, it’s the 6s v 7s re-match.

Both teams in need to get back on track after losing their previous games and having seeing the team selection (the 6s being slightly depleted),  the 7’s debated a game plan to match the 6s in formation, a untried 4-3-3 (much to Dan’s disappointment). Whilst needing a few of the 4s ourselves to make up the numbers, it was clear the 7s had revenge in mind.

The start was quite bright and a fair amount of exchanges took place, the 7s pressing early and getting in amongst the 6s midfield, manged to curve a few half chances, but it was the 6s who pressed and could have took the lead with a quick counter, only to see the shot go wide.

As the first half moved on, the 7s settled down and started to get a furher few decent chances in, John T down the left seemed to have to wait all day for the ball to come down after a cross from Adam sent him on his way, only for the shot to be far and wide, Scott and Malcolm both getting more of the ball from the midfield, rattled off some shots from distance which was handled well by the 6s keeper,

Thinking we had a good hand on the game, the inedible happens, the 6s breaking up play from their own half, managed to counter attack and slide the over energetic Peter in on goal, still having Dan to beat, manged to skip around and ride a few tackles and slot past Kieran in goal… Bugga, it was going so well!

 With Tom R playing centre mid, as opposed to the familiar centre back, and Adam on the right, the midfield duo was putting in a shift and trying to get the 7s back in the game, David however seemed to be having his own love in with Paul on the left and was chasing him around the pitch anytime he had the ball!

With less than 5 minute to go, the 6s defence left Scott out wide on the halfway line, a cleared ball from a 6s attack, left the defence standing with raised hands appealing for offside, but clearly Scott had thought this through and was standing inches inside his own half, sprung into life and gave chase of the ball, with electric pace and just keeping the ball in play, he checked back expecting to have company bearing down on him, only to see the 6s centre back in Mark, screaming like a banshee at the ref at its not fair, that he was offside and that his boot lace was in there half! The Ref not having none of it, waved play on and Scott, not needing to be told to play to the whistle had already at this point entered the 18 yard box and compose himself enough to slot past the advancing goalkeeper. 1-1. Game on…..!!

Halftime and tails up, the 7s congratulated each other on a good first half, and knowing how bad we are in the first 10 minutes of any second half, the captain and manager and everyone else was requesting calm and to keep it simple for the first 10minutes and build on the end of the first half…..

Second half, whistle blows, 6s kick off, long ball over the top, 7s defence and keeper are still debating if we said keep it tight for 10 minutes or 10 seconds…. 2-1!

Once again we are the master of our own down fall, rallying around trying to make amends, even though we are the same club, the tackles where flying in, good 50/50s followed by handshakes, it’s how the game is played, visibly the 7s tired, and the 6s forward line of teenagers started to make a difference, and with 15 minutes to play, Peter was once again there to seal the 3-1 victory and a worthy finish had his hatrick .


All in all, a very good, well-played game and well entertained the crowd of 3 on the side line, and with this victory, the 6s move ever closer to promotion and winning the second spot league. Good luck to the 6s, and the 7s will be back at it, trying to do there bit in the coming fixtures


Team: Kieran, Ryan, Tom J, Dan, Martin, Adam, Tom R, David ©, Scott, Malcolm, John T.

Subs: Noor (for John T) Chris (for Martin)

MOTM: Close call between the midfielders, but Adam, who seem to be enjoying the centre mid roll.

DOTD: Dan, who apparently had a hole in his pocket!

7s vs Alleyn Old Boys – 18.02.17

Alleyn Old Boys 9
A poor day at the office. Alleyn’s with a much changed squad namely they had 14 players
available at the start rather than the 9 in the reverse fixture and they were looking for revenge.
We lined with a changed side and few changes of position which didn’t help as Alleyn’s started
strongly and were knocking the ball around well which had us under pressure and we couldn’t
create anything up front. We did manage to withstand the early pressure however after about
30 minutes Alleyn’s find scored and after that we struggled badly and were 4-0 by half time and
apart from one wayward shot had never really troubled Alleyn’s keeper.
The second half was as much about damage limitation as trying to win. Our cause wasn’t help
by a deflected 5th goal early in the second half. Whilst we did create a few more half chance with
Billy charging up the left wing, we rarely looked like scoring. Alleyn’s were to some extent scoring
at will. The final score was 9-0.
Some positives from the game in which the team didn’t gel, we did kept on trying to play
football and didn’t argue with each other.
Some strong performance from Dave in the captains roll as centre midfield ably assisted by
Adam with Andrew doing a lot running on the right wing. Tom and Jon T. both who came on as
substitutes in the second half. As the write I am not mentions the keepers and I do like chips!
Martin, Scott, Dan John K, Josh, Andrew, Dave, Adam, Billy, Malcolm and Dylan.
Subs: Tom and Jon T.
Man Of The Match – Tom with a couple of votes.
Dick Of The Day – There were no really mistakes on the pitch so it goes to Tom for forgetting his
shit pads and having to go a buy a new pair.

7s vs South Bank Cuaco – 11.02.17

The job of this weeks match report goes out to the new newsletter editor – Samuel Singer-Ripley. “cut out the middle man” was mentioned but I just think nobody wanted the job of being rude enough to write terrible things about my shocking performance.
It was a cold day, snowing in fact and many expected the game to be called off – which would’ve saved me a lot of grief. South Bank started strong with a number of attacks in the early stages of the game. Putting balls into the box but were easily enough dealt with.
But about 20 minutes into the first half the ball was lost in Mertons own half and the break down the right hand side of the pitch, with a threw ball left a one on one which was easily enough put away from inside the box as it bulged into the far side of the net. Merton heads dropped as South Bank could be heard yelling “Nil-Nil Boys”.
Another goal soon followed. We won the ball back on the edge of our own box, in an attempt to break quickly, the center half accidently booted the ball into the behind of the other center half which fell nicely for the South Bank striker, I was off my line and wasn’t anticipating the quick change of position and was lobbed.
Heads fell further and confidence plumpted. Dan, the manager, knew he had do something to change things around. Malcolm came on in an attempt to hold the ball higher up the pitch. But as the first half was coming to a close. The Merton goalkeeper, Me, attempted to spring a 40-yard pass across field which barely made it 10 feet, which again fell kindly for the lucky South Bank striker. The scruffed ball meant that South Bank were 3-0 up. Merton looked blindly at their goalkeeper in disbelief.
Dan came on in the final few minutes, as we tried to rescue the game we started to move the ball quicker. A break down the right flank and a ball brilliantly held up by Malcolm. Unsure if he meant to do it he turned a defender on the edge of the box and squared the ball to Noor who expertly put away the one on one with the keeper. 3-1 and went into half time hopeful.
The second half was supposed to be the brilliant merton rescue but within the first 5 minutes of play, a simple ball over the top of the defence which wasn’t dealt with by the keeper meant that South Bank were 4-1 up and the half-time talk went out the window.
If anything the goal turned on the wild boars. and with a wild hit and hope the ball was smacked as the Southbank Goalkeeper. Tom R and Merton FC went wild only 2 more goal to go and the South Bank goalkeeper looked to mimic the Merton Goalkeeper who was useless. Another Hit and hope moment by Scott that had some movement on the ball tricked the keeper who flapped at the ball 4-3 GAME ON.
The mighty boars, were rewarded as the biggest of them all, made a rush for the ball as it was played through. Malcolm who thought he wouldn’t make it in a million years managed to toe-poke the ball into the back of the net.
4-4!!! However the amazing could not be. and at the end of the day the Mighty Yellows, deserved the win. But were held to a disappointed draw.
Line up -Sam, Martin, Josh, Tom R, Andrew, Billy, Dave, Adam, Noor, Jon, Scott. Subs: Malcolm, Dan, Tom J

7s vs Old Salesians – 14.01.17

14 January 2017


Merton 7XI v Old Salesians 3rd    Score 7 – 1


After snow on the Thursday, we half expected the game to be called off, however with hard work behind the scenes and moving the game to the wonderful Wimbledon Common Extension, the game was going to be played.


Typical of WCE the traffic on the A3 was very bad and whilst we managed to get most of the team there on time along with the referee unfortunately Old Sales were late, which gave us time to watch the 3rd team play!


The game kick off about 20mins late with a slight change to the normal back line, we started strongly and soon were creating chances which there keeper managed stop. This cause a slight worry as Old Sales began to gain in confidence and they were playing some good football yet our defence line, which included Scott, along with the Midfield held tight and Mike G in goal only make a few simple stops. Were those early miss going to cost us.


We did eventually make a break through with a good goal by Malcolm K., we then took some control and a couple of goals from George B, whilst Malcolm K took a rest (sorry gave a sub a run). This did stop Old Sales and there good football eventually broke through our defence and they finally scored.


In the second half we needed to make our dominance count since we have a habit of conceding two goals a game and we soon did score a 4th by Callum, followed shortly by a second goal from Malcolm K. and a hat trick from George B. We made further substitution and whilst Old Sales didn’t lay down they did create a few chance with Mike G make a good save we did have advantage of the slight slope.


We created several more chance and from a rare corner Dave G. hit the cross and shortly afterwards he also hit the same spot form the 18 yards, he was thinking it wasn’t going to be his day, Dave G connected with a pass a hit a shot from 25 yards.


We managed to not conceded, so apart from the first game against Carshalton, we didn’t conceded two goals and we now a positive goal difference if only for a week, as we face Carshalton next weekend and being the second highest scoring time in the division.


MOM – David Goulding for his strong work in the midfield

DOD – Nobody had a bad game although Tom Roberts was nearly 20 Minutes late and possible Malcolm for having to borrow a pair of gloves to play the game.


The Team


Mike G., Scott S., Dan A., Tom J., Martin Q., Billy G., David G., Malcolm K., Callum F., Jon T., George B., with Trey M., Tom R. and Noor E. starting on the bench

7s vs South Bank Cuaco – 10.12.16

As Christmas draws ever closer the 7s were in the party mood as they lined up against South Bank Cuacos 4s on possibly the smallest 11-a-side pitch ever seen! Again opting for the reliable, robust, 4-4-2 that had bought them 4 points over the last two fixtures, Merton made a great start to the first half, surprisingly as Dan managed to get lost with the kit and turn up with 15 minutes to go, so the 7s got underway with minimal warm up. Only time for one or two pot-shots at an empty goal, contrasted with the usual 10 or 15! The team line-up announced with the 11 players on the pitch ready to start.

This lack of preparation for the game did not sway Merton, gaining an early corner from their first attack. From their first corner of the game an in swinging ball made it through the crowd to Dave, who hammered it into the far corner on the half volley, a lovely finish 1-0 Merton!

Merton were knocking it about nicely, keeping the ball on the floor and playing some lovely football. However, South Bank worked their way back into the game with a succession of long throws, free kicks and corners into the box and the 7s looked shaky trying to deal with these. The pressure paid off with Josh, caught up field with a ball over the top to the left winger who put a cross into the box which Martin failed to deal with leaving the ball at the strikers feet to tap in. 1-1. Martin must have been coaching West Ham’s Darren Randolph this week; the likeliness of the mistakes was uncanny. 

Just like Randolph, Martin had soon made up for his error, comfortably dealing with the bombardment the sevens box was facing. The defence had weathered the storm and were soon ahead again down to a brilliant ball from Tom, doing his best Leonardo Bonnuci impression, pinging the ball to Scott who’d made a fine run, he made no mistake and slid it under the keeper. 2-1! The lead was doubled soon after with a repeat move, Tom found Scott, Scott found the net, brilliantly controlling the ball with his side boot before smashing it home. 3-1! The 7s were coasting at half time.

During half-time there was time to see that Merton now had players on the bench with Nathan and Dousch turning up sometime after kick-off. The second half began with Merton again looking to ball the ball on the ground. Merton had developed a canny system with Malcom dropping deep, much like Okazaki, for goalkicks and throw-ins to help quickly win the ball back so Merton could continue to attack. Mertons pressing paid off with Maclom picking up the ball in and around the box before simply slotting home. 4-1!

At this point Merton were cruising, with Dave and Anam giving Merton dominance and control in central midfield. Nathan was switched for Malcom to make a midfield 3 to give Merton even more control. With a delightful through-ball played by Dave for the Bale-like Adam to chase after behind the full-back. He duly picked up the ball in the box, smashing his shot across goal, was it his chance to get a first competitive goal for Merton? No, of course it wasn’t! The keeper managed to get the faintest of touches which allowed it to perfectly fall at the feet of Noor who tapped it in. 5-1 Merton.

At this point South Bank grabbed one back, from a breakaway attack they found themselves with a great opportunity in the box, the goal bound shot ball looped off a combination of Martin and Josh and agonisingly dropped into the net. Merton decided to make another change, Dousch replaced the injured Adam. Merton however barely blinked and just continued to score, with Anam making a run from deep being picked out by a lofted ball by Dave to fire one into the right corner, for a FIFA-like goal. Scott, looking for his third picked the ball up just outside the box, after some lovely work from Dave and smashed the ball into the goal off the bar, giving him a thoroughly deserved hatrick! The final piece of goal action was Josh who again preferring to push up rather than defend, swung a ball into the box which cannoned off the old South Bank centre back into the goal. 8-2 it’s finished to Merton!

First XI: Martin (GK), Josh K-H, Dan, Tom R, Tom , Adam, Anam, Dave (C), Noor, Malcom and Scott.

Bench: Nathan and Dousch

DOTD: Jack Taylor for again not showing up, this time he did tell us it was because he was hungover.

MOM: Tough, but Anam for his constant running and knitting of the midfield nicely.

7s vs Old Blues – 26-11-16

Merton 2-2 Old Blues


After getting their first win of the season, the still adjusting 7s welcomed Old Blues at home. Playing on a more familiar pitch, Merton lined up in the classic 4-4-2 whereas Old Blues went for the newly fashionable 3-5-2. They had obviously watched some MNF and fancied themselves as tactical geniuses.


A bright start from Merton bought an early corner from which Adam B nodded just over, and the Old Blues seeing they would be exploited out wide, switched to the 4-4-2 to match up to Merton. This paid immediate dividends, the Blues picked up the ball between Noor and Dobson and with the Merton back 4 out of shape drove through and slotted it past stand in keeper Martin and the Old Blues had an early 1-0 lead.
For the next half-hour the 7s were under the cosh, the blues dominated possession of the ball and managed to force a few decent chances. Around the 20 minute mark, the away sides big man up top found himself one on one with Martin who made a brilliant one handed save, down low to his left to deny the Blues from extending their lead. Threatening further from a series of corners and free kicks whipped into the box, Merton managed to gain some control towards the end of the half.

Steve and Adam B started to impose themselves on the whiny number 8 of Old Blues and the 7s managed to create a few chances for themselves. After some pinball in the box the ball dropped to Noor, presenting him with the chance to put Merton back on level terms but he skewed his shot just wide. Soon the pressure became too much, with a through ball from Steve to Adam E who burst down the right flank and instead of shooting, opted to dink a ball across the 6-yard area. The keeper palmed it into the sky, with the ball dropping inches away from the goal line, Noor confidently chested it in to make up for his earlier miss. 1-1.

A crunching tackle by Tom R on the whiny number 8 of Old Blues was a particular highlight of the half and with Malcolm dropping back to add numbers to the midfield, Merton ended the half well with a bit more control.

Nathan entered the fray for the second half, tasked with keeping the number 8 quiet, he did a great job and this set Merton up well to be more competitive in the second half. There were few chances for either side in the second half with Martin dominating the box at corners and free kicks (a true jack of all trades!) and Merton doing well down the wings with the full backs pushing forward where possible.

Unfortunately the Blues regained the lead midway through the second half, the right winger played a lovely deep cross into the box which Josh managed to get a head on with the blues captain waiting to pounce behind. But the header diverted the ball back into the mixer, which Martin didn’t manage to claim and after a small scramble the ball was at the feet of their captain who couldn’t miss from 2 yards. 2-1 to the Old Blues.

Merton didn’t let their heads drop and thought they were going to draw level when Josh intercepted a pass out from the back, and with the opposition back 4 out of position, played a lovely though ball to Scott which left him one on one with the keeper, unfortunately Scott’s shot was saved (apparently, the ref gave a goal kick…) and it was still 2-1 to the blues.

The 7s were getting closer and finally managed to get make a chance count when Adam E found some space on the right after some good work and picked a lovely pass to find the other Adam in the box, he smashed home and it was 2-2 with 10 minutes left! The Blues hit the post with a lovely effort from outside the box but really there seemed like there would only be one winner with most of the chances falling to Merton at the end of the game. However they couldn’t find the goal they needed and 2 all seemed like a fair result after a good game all round, onwards and upwards for the 7s. Starting XI: Martin (GK), Josh K-H, Dan A (C), Tom R, Dobson, Adam E, Steve, Adam B, Noor, Malcom and Scott

Bench: Jon and Nathan

Man of the Match: A close call but, Josh K-H for his marauding runs from full-back as well as tenacious defending. England’s answer to Dani Alves?

Dick of the Day: Again hard to call anyone out but Jack Taylor for not showing up and (as far as these reporters know) not telling us why, we miss his big beard


7s vs Alleyn Old Boys – 19.11.16

Merton 8 – 3 Alleyn Old Boys


Striding out onto the spacious 1s pitch for what will probably be the only time, the Merton 7s were ready to face Alleyns Old Boys. News had filtered to us that that Alleyns had only manged to get 9 players down to face the mighty 7s, as such the 7s were feeling confident about the prospect of getting a first league win of the season.
Starting out in a classic 4-4-2, Merton took a few minutes to adjust to the understandably strange 4-3-1 (or was it 3-4-1!) of Alleyns. Getting the ball out to the wings where Merton could stretch the 9 man Alleyns seemed to be the go to move. One early move saw Glory collect the ball and play it across to Dobson who slid it into the feet of Malcolm; he kept his composure and fired home low past the keeper. 1-0 Merton.

Buoyed by this early goal Merton began to the press the opposition, knowing their options were limited.  After some further pressure, Glory collected the ball on the left wing, spinning past the right back, he quickly ran across the back-line before firing past the keeper low into the corner a brilliant solo effort, Merton had doubled their lead! Two quickly became three when Dobson collected a simple ball through the middle, beating the keeper at the second attempt. Merton were 3 up and making their numerical advantage count.
At this point Merton were nonchalantly passing the ball about, sensing an easy afternoon. However a simple ball over the top, leading the injured Lenners to shout for the ball only to get into a mix up with the centre back and striker for Alleyns. The striker profiting from this mix up to slot home. 3-1.

Merton were then again caught cold when the Alleyns big number 9 picked up the ball in between the midfield and defence running at the defences before curling the ball into the goal from outside the box with a wonder strike. 3-2. Things were now a lot more tense and soon after, another Alleyns player had turned up leading to them now boasting 10 players, surely they couldn’t let this one slip! The game becoming a lot more even before the referee blew for half-time.
A couple of changes were made to freshen up the side with Nathan and Jon replacing Tom and Dobson. Merton looked to have restarted with a renewed composure to their game, spreading the ball about and waiting for the opportunities to present themselves rather than trying force the issue. Their patience soon paid off, Glory made himself another great goal following a jinking run to restore the home side’s two goal cushion.

Again Merton managed to lose their composure and shape, finding themselves wide open to the counter on a few occasions. Alleyns capitalised after the right winger found a great cross after a run down the wing which was nodded in by the oncoming striker. 4-3 and the game was back on.

From here on in the goals flowed for Merton, in all honesty with 11 goals in this game I can’t remember them all and the order may well be wrong! For the fifth, Josh spotted the run of Glory and found him just inside the box, Glory’s cross-come-shot bobbled around the box and landed at the feet of Malcolm who doubled his tally for the game. The chance were coming thick and fast now with the 10 men of Alleyns back to 9 after an injury to one of their players, Adam managed to miss a golden opportunity with the goal at his mercy and Glory and Malcom both got their Hat-Tricks. Jack rounded things off with a lovely side footed finished low into the bottom left as the game was drawing to a close. 8-3 was the final score and there were 3 points were on the board for the fledgling 7s. Full respect must go to Alleyns for giving it a right go in difficult circumstances, but as the saying goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you and Merton managed that.

Starting XI: Lenners (GK), Josh K-H, Dan A (C), Tom, Martin, Adam, Jack, Dobson, Glory, Malcom, Tom

Subs: Nathan and Jon

Man Of The Match: A tough one but it’s a tie between Glory and Malcolm who both scored a hat-full of goals.

Dick Of The Day: No one deserves to be dick of the day after such a good performance.

7s vs Crouch End Vampires – 22.10.16

22 October 2016
Report by Martin Quinlan

Merton 7XI v Crouch End Vampire 6th Score 5 – 1

So, a new beginning for Merton with a 7th XI for the 3rd time since 1978-1979, and for those like me, who played in the 1978/79 team! As it happens it was against Crouch End Vampires (CEV).

The team generally turned up on time and it was just a case of working out who played in each position in the classic 4-4-2. One advantage Dan was A providing a goalkeeper, Jon, and the rest of the team seemed to sort itself out through until just before kick-off when we had to do a quick reshuffle.

My preparation was also hampered by trying to find a complete/clean yellow kit, but we ended up starting our new beginnings in Blue.

Once the game started, we soon settled as a team and played some good football with a strong central midfield pair of David and Andrew and two youngsters Billy and Emmanuel the wing. The defence was solid: Femi, Dan, Tom and Martin, which meant Jon in goal had little to do, and Malcolm and Scott up front. We created several chances before finally breaking the deadlock after about 20 minutes with a good move finished by Emmanuel. For the rest of the half we were on top, even making 2 subs. We scored 2 further goals: a header from David G, and a shot from Scott.

At half time we made further changes which initially set us back a bit as we took time to settle again and Crouch End Vampires did find their feet a bit. Once we did settle we did play well again and scored again with a goal – Billy off Malcolm; a father and son scoring in the same match.

We were then forced into changes after a clash of heads between Dave G and a CEV player; both having to go off. Since CEV only had 11 players we loaned them Emmanuel for a few minutes. Scott scored a cracking second goal or was it a cross? However I wasn’t watching as I was considering further changes. CEV did get a consolation goal.

In general it was a good team performance although there are things to work upon, as we did get overrun a bit in midfield at times, however CEV did play a very attacking formation.

Many thanks to Ed Plaistow and Mike Todt for refereeing, however you are better as players! Big up to Emmanuel for helping CEV briefly; in fact he played for 3 teams on the day, none in yellow, and also to CEV for coming down from North London and staying for a few drinks.

If we are added to the league the opposition will be tougher in most cases and we will even get to play our 6s for second time in just over eleven years. However, Saturday represented a great start, and a perfect launchpad for this new-look team.

Team: Jon T., Femi S., Tom R, Dan A., Martin Q., Emanuel, David G., Andrew D., Billy G., Malcolm K., Scott S.
Subs: Dusan B., Tiago C.

Goals: Scott 2, Emanuel, David & Billy
Miss of the day Dave with sore head

We didn’t do MOM & DOD this week but will in further weeks.