Category: Match Reports 7s

7s vs South Bank Cuaco – 13.01.18

This week the 7s were looking to bounce back from a disappointing cup exit last week up and were up against South Bank 6s, who had been having a bit of a mixed season. The 7s came into this game with the usual efficient and well thought out preparation that had been on display many times throughout this season. In the days leading up to the game the news was sounding grim, with the squad being sent out and we were already on the back foot with the bare eleven. This was worrying news especially with the 7s tendencies to have at least one drop out within 24 hours of the game being played. With the gaffer away snowboarding, along with the 7s top goal scorer, it was left to the dream team of Grant and Phil Mitchell aka Martin and Steve (I’ll allow you to decide who’s who). However disaster struck, the fears proved warranted as with less than 24 hours to go we had our first drop out, and it was one of the bald brigade Steve! Steve dropping out with a mysterious injury, which his youngest Alex later revealed to be he was battered and bruised and barely able to walk, how he received these injuries is purely speculation at this time but early reports indicate that a quote from Terry Crews ‘White Chicks’ character may be appropriate – “Once you go black, you’re gonna need a wheelchair!”

Onto the matchday and there was still an air of uncertainty over who would actually be turning up! George from the 6s was drafted in to help out our depleted defence and Niall’s mate Ewan eventually joined us at half time, Niall clearly sending Ewan the same text Dave sends to Daban with the wrong meet time! We then arrived to learn that there had been another Friday dropout, not one of the 7s players but the referee! A trade deal was struck with the 5s and Kieran was sent to them to play in goal and we received Lenners who would be our ref, apparently the efficiency of this deal has put Martin in prime position to take over the Brexit negotiations. So with a referee secured we had to inform the other team that Lenners would ref if they were okay with it, the initial response was that the oppo didn’t want to play without a proper ref, if only we had accepted that decision and called it a day there… Martin the negotiator Quinlan stepped up to the plate once again and assured them that Lenners had reffed before and if anything it would be more of a detriment to the 7s! With this accepted the 7s changing room was full of the usual lively banter and noisy excitement, which must’ve been creeping through the walls because the 7s were deathly quiet. Apart from Ryan of course who was doing his usual round of insulting everyone in the changing room, the big difference being this week that somebody enjoyed it, with Steve Harvey’s laughter echoing through the changing room! I would like to take this time to apologise to the 7s on Steve’s behalf, his laughter clearly interrupted the necessary silence for us to prepare for the game and impacted the performance on the pitch.

Anyone onto the match! Or so we thought, however as was the theme of the weekend more confusion and poor organisation! The 7s walked over to what they believed to be their pitch, only to discover that the 5s had set up camp, after a short while it was discovered that the 5s were actually playing on a pitch further up so the 7s sent them on their way and claimed the pitch. With such little time remaining nothing else could go wrong before kick-off surely?! It appeared not and the 7s prepared and had an inspiring team talk from Ryan, which only contained 16 swear words this week! We lined up in a bog standard 4-4-2 with Martin lining up between the sticks, a back four who’s pace rivalled that of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team with George on the right, Dan and Joe in the middle and Steve Harvey at left back. Into the midfield we had Dobbo on the right, Adam and Tom in the centre and Noor on the left, up top continuing the theme of pace we had the speedsters Niall and Ryan up top. The game got underway with Lenners setting a new fashion trend for referees by sporting a hi-vis hoodie. The 7s never really started and South Bank were having all the possession early on and eventually made this count, a poor kick from Martin straight to one of their players who had a weak shot from 30 yards, it looked as though Martin had it covered until he decided to do his best impression of a Salmon and dived, palming the ball into the path of their attacker who scored to make it 1-0 South Bank. South Bank built on the momentum they’d built up and won a freekick on the left hand side, the ball was whipped towards the near post and proved too strong for Martin and we were 2-0. The third, fourth and fifth goals epitomised the phrase ‘Déjà vu’ with one straight ball played past the defence and despite the pace of Dan and Joe in the middle and Martin’s quickness off his line every time the attacker got there first and made us pay. The star of the first half for the opposition was the young 17 year old winger who was having a field day against Noor and Steve, with neither of them able to get near him. The winger, who made Ryan look old, then ended the career of Steve Harvey who we regret to inform you will probably never recover. The ball was played to the winger and Steve decided he was going to get in front and stop him getting the ball, the winger saw this and with a smirk on his face dummied the ball through his legs. Steve with a look of shock and shame on his face, and the turning circle of the Titanic, did his best Forest Gump impression and ran straight past the youngster. Our thoughts are with Steve’s family at this difficult time. Ryan and Niall saw the danger the winger posed and changed the formation, Noor went into the middle, with Ryan going on the left as well as Joe going into midfield and Tom going to centre back to help give us some pace at the back. Not long before half time we nicked a goal back with Niall picking the pocket of their defender and unleashing pace he didn’t know he had, and to be honest the rest of us didn’t know as well, before burying the ball in the corner.

Half time came and we were 5-1 down. Heads were down and the boys spirits needed lifting, Ryan attempted to inspire the team as he’d done the last time we were 4 goals down at half time, with Niall giving a more tactical talk we were ready for the second half! Ewan replaced the injured Joe and we had some extra legs in the middle. However it seems in us focusing on keeping our shape and cutting passes, the entire team had forgotten how to put in a tackle with South Bank walking through our defence on multiple occasions and eventually made us pay 6-1. The rest of the game is more of a training match of attack vs defence with us just trying to get over the half way line, South Bank score another 5 goals and the game is long over. Niall scores a second goal off the back of their kick off with a stunning volley lobbing the keeper from 20 yards out. To the relief of the 7s the full time whistle eventually goes and it finishes 11-2 an unfortunate day of football and we were up against it from the off, we pick up next week away to HSBC looking for a much needed win.

It seems hard to choose a MOTM after such a dismal performance however one moment of the game made it an easy decision. One of their players controls the ball and keeps it up in the air doing a number of keepy uppys and then doing a seal impression bouncing the ball on his head, the 4 supporters of South Bank are loving it and up steps Dobbo! With a look of rage in his face Dobbo hit their player like a train and sent him flying to the ground, much to the delight of the rest of the 7s!

Special mention to Niall as well who with very little service kept the pressure up on their defence and never stopped running, as well as grabbing 2 goals.

Dick of the Day was determined by the first minute, Joe who had neglected to warm up had pulled his hamstring after his first attempt to run! Fair play to him he battled on and saw out the half.

Line up: Martin, George, Dan, Joe (Ewan), Steve, Dobbo, Adam, Tom, Noor, Ryan, Niall

 

7s vs Old Wilsonians 7s – 06.01.18

Merton 7XI v Old Wilsonians 7XI AFA Cup

 

After the long Christmas break we finally had a home game, only to be sent to Wimbledon Common’s extension on a cold overcast lunchtime; as being a cup game the kick-off was 1:30. 

 

The pitch looked in reasonable condition but did look as if it was going to cut up.

 

Team on paper appeared strong, although the captain was off snowboarding.  We were rather quiet in the dressing room – it was still early, recovering from Christmas/New Year.  In David’s absence Steve took the team talk trying to enliven the team and reminding how we performed against this team in December, recovering from 4-0 down at half time to win 6-4, and not wanting the same sort of start.

 

Before the game started we had a minute’s silence for the passing of Merton legend Phil Quinlan.

 

We did start reasonably well on a muddy pitch, although it did take some time to truly find our feet and as usual we created chances without finishing them.

 

In attack OW didn’t initially cause our defensive unit too many problems.  After about 20 minutes we finally got the break through with a goal by Ryan.  We started to play with some confidence, knocking the ball around but not finishing.  The 2nd goal came after about 30 minutes with Luke slotting home from 15 yards into the bottom corner.

 

This seemed to bring OW to life and they started to create chances with balls down the flanks being crossed in, initially being repelled by a combination of Kieran, Dan and Martin but OW did finally score about 10 minutes before half time.  We managed to steady the ship and Niall scored a third goal just before half time, only for OW to score a second almost on the half time whistle.

 

The half time team talk was given by Ryan to see if he could work the magic from our previous encounter with OW 7XI this season.

 

At the start of the second half both sides made changes: Dan being replaced by Noor which required a re-shuffle of the team, whilst OW 7XI made changes up front.  Kieran’s first comment when getting into the new penalty area was that it was worse than the other end.

 

The changes made a difference, our defence became more stretched on the heavy pitch and tired legs, because of the Christmas break.  We had a few scares with Kieran playing well and made several one-on-one saves which kept us in the game, however they finally broke us down with a long-range effort following an unchallenged run from the midfield.  We continued to battle hard and played some good football on a poor pitch.  However our wastefulness in front of goal cost us again, although at times OW were as bad.

 

OW 7XI won the game from a refereeing mistake; a free kick when their player stepped on the ball.  We should have dealt with the free kick but it when straight through to hit the bar and post and bouncing in the 6 yard box before their players reacted first and had a tap in.

 

The final 10 minutes we tried hard but could not create any clear openings.  In the defence the team was running on empty which didn’t help and by the end OW had control of the game and were able to run the clock down.

 

It was a tough afternoon but an enjoyable game of football.

 

MOTM: Martin Quinlan

DOTD: Noor Emad – A throw by their penalty box with less than 5 minutes to go and ball ends up at their player’s feet.

 

Team: Kieran, Josh, Martin, Dan, Steve, Andrew, Adam, Joe, Ryan, Luke, Niall

 

sub Noor.

 

Thank you to Aaron for turning up but due to a misunderstanding couldn’t play because he was cup tired and Lee being the loan support.

7s vs Old Wilsonians 8s – 09.12.17

Match Report

Old Wilsons 8s v Merton 7s

 

“Footballs a funny old game”… and today personifies it on so many levels. Freezing cold day, ice in the shade, groundsman turns up late leaving all the teams outside for half hour waiting to get in. on an ironic level, we get to share our changing room with Civ 8s, which the 7s wasted no time digging out there manager for his video match report from a few weeks back!!

Out on the pitch, OW8s can be seen drafting players from the higher teams, making sure that between there 7s and 8s, there well balanced and ready to give the oppositions a good game. So facing up to very much different team than the last outing, it was a call for calm amongst the 7s

Starting with the elusive Kieran in goal, who was frogged marched to the ground by the old stalwart Martin, who in turn takes up the centre of defence with Tom, flanked by Josh & Steve to make up the back 4, across the middle is last week’s hero, Andrew on the right, Luke and David in the middle and Ryan on the left, with Niall and Billy coming back up top to complete the 4 4 2 formation that did so well last week (be it in the second half only!), and we also welcome back Noor, as the twelfth man

From the start, OWs had the intent to press and move the ball around quick, the players drafted in from the higher team’s stand out like a saw thumb, passing and moving at pace, it wasn’t long before Kieran was in action.

Once the 7s settled, David and Luke began to impose themselves on the game, getting tight to the opposite numbers and making sure that they got the tackles in early. The back 4 now seem more composed and pick up the forwards moves quite easily, this snuffing out any threats. Now having some joy, Both Niall and Billy work themselves into good shooting positions only to see them off target

However, unfortunate as it seems, it would be the good closing down that would backfire on the 7s, seeing a shoot from the edge of the box come through a melee of players, Andrew sticking a boot out to guide the ball past Kieran from close range to give the OWs the lead. 1-0 after no more than 15 minutes gone

Straight from kick off, the 7s compose themselves and pass the ball around fluently, working it down the right flank, great play from Niall and Billy to the ball round to Ryan who slots in at the far post to bring the scores level. 1-1

Although out paced, the marshalling of the back four and defence mid 2 of David & Luke contain the attacking threat and are well on top. Now resorting to a counter attack game, it’s becoming frequent that both the forwards are getting the best share of the spoils, only not to make good on the chances for the 7s to take the lead.  In all of the hustle, Andrew has taken a knock to the knee and is having trouble, so Noor makes his long awaited re-debut for the 7s on the right wing

Late in the half and still on top, a free kick is award to the OWs for a heavy challenge. The ball floated in to the far post sees Steve back pedal and beat the striker to the ball, only for Kieran to be advancing with a fist to punch the ball away. The ball now loops over Kieran and into the net for 2-1.

Again, from kick off, its one way traffic, 5 or 6 clear cut chances go begging and it seems a good team talk at half time is called for to regain that composure

Second half starts with a flurry of shots, the old saying “if it was a boxing match, the ref would have stopped it” springs to mind, it’s all one way traffic. Niall heads the list for ‘misses’ of the day, these are just the ones off target. Billy also seems to have lost his shooting boots with just as many chances going astray. Even David can’t seem to find the target with 3 clear headers from corners not even being on target, which is not like him. The 7s even had 3 chances cleared off the line, onto the post and by the backside of a defender… Ryan joins in on the act with only missing 3 guilt edge chances.

Even with all the play, there was still time for some real ‘carry on defending’ moments, notably a game of head tennis between Martin, David and Steve which included the cross bar in a half arsed attempt to clear a tame shot under sheer panic

Still pressing, gaps are begging to open up and tired legs are setting in, the 7s are running themselves into the ground, its only with some last ditch challenges (some a bit late!) that the score stays at 2-1, but with a clash of players after another ‘late’ish tackle’ it’s a full on 11v11 standoff, the ref does well not to book anyone but demands that everyone leaves there handbags on the side line. With only minutes to play and silly little niggling tackles creeping in, the ref blows up to stop any further ‘toys out of the pram moments’ and its handshakes all round

Now, not taking anything away from OWs, they picked a loaded team to contain the 7s with 3 very quick players in and around the middle to keep the ball moving, but on any other day, the score line would have been in the double figures. It was more of the 7s not taking ANY of their 30+ chances that lost the game as opposed to the opposition winning it through better football… It’s not often the oppo don’t score, you score 3 and lose 2-1… that’s because “Footballs a funny old game”

 

MOTM: Tom, played well at the back in a 4 that really didn’t put a foot wrong in open play

DOTD: Niall. Out of the 103 chances he had, the chest & volley from 8 yards over the club house won the day, as it took the keeper ages to retrieve the ball!!

 

Team: Kieran, Josh, Tom, Martin, Steve, Andrew, David, Luke, Ryan, Billy Niall

Noor.

7s vs Old Wilsonians 7s – 02.12.17

Match Report

Old Wilsons 7s v Merton 7s

 

Bleak Saturday afternoon, winters kicking in. on the back of 3 loses, we now head over to OW7s who are in a similar situation of being on a dire run of form, so this game could be a moral maker or breaker, but made even harder that the squad are missing Tom as a late drop out, Ram and Billy to illness, Daban to work and the usual suspects who can’t make an away game or confirm, only to no show.

With plenty of room in the changing room due to only having 11, were discuss going back to basics with a 4-4-2, it’s decided that Martin will once again come to the rescue of the 7s and start between the sticks, Josh at right back, Steve left back, Dan and Joe at centre backs, Andrew to take up the right wing, with Ryan on the left, David and Adam, who’s finally been able to come back into the fold, make up the centre pairing, leaving Luke and Niall up front

First half starts of quite confidently with good passing, the early exchanges sees the 7s take command of the game, good work down either side brings little reward, but at least its more positive. Adam commanding the centre of the pitch is winning every aerial challenge and Andrew on the right is instrumental in every attack going forward, as well as defending anything in the opposite direction.

So in normal 7s fashion, concede a soft goal on the OW’s first attack! Bad luck, unlucky, unfortunate…  nope… just the 7s being 7s…. have all the play, create a good 3 or 4 chances and then watch as the opposition just about string a few half arsed passes together to take the lead. 1-0

From the kick off, once again the 7s attack, more chances are created but the nerves are they as every shot is being taken from 18/20 yards and with such force, it’s like there trying to take the leather off the ball!! A further 3-4 great chances go begging (and way off target) before you can guess what happens next…. 2-0 down

Once again, kick off, start an attack, find all the space in the world between the OWs midfield and defence, take a shot, off target, goalkeeper kicks the ball out, start an attack, find space… you get the idea…

So we are now 3-0 down, the stunned silence is deafening amongst the 7s, with the exception of a few, heads are down and at this point, it feels like rock bottom… OW’s are now playing the football the 7s started and with less than 10 minutes to go, 4-0….

And now it begins

Half time and the OWs 4th goal seem to spark a bit of life into the squad, either to the open ‘mocking’ they are facing or the fact they are fast becoming the whipping boys in the league, it seems the 7s have finally got there ‘backs up’

For a change, the captain wasn’t the only one who was to voice an opinion, Ryan started with a few colourful words which we didn’t know he knew! Steve used similar words which we knew he knew, and Martin use the word ‘Bugga’ a lot!!

Fired up for the second half, the 7s kick off, most of the good play was now going down the right wing through Andrew. A good stem of play sees Niall pass to Adam, Adam to David, David to Andrew, Andrew crosses and a corner is awarded. Ryan, drives a low cross over, which takes a deflection, Adam slams a shot which comes off OW’s hand and a penalty is awarded. Ups steps Niall in Billy’s absences, he scuffs a shot at the keeper which he does alarmingly well to not even get a hand to….! 4-1.

NOW the 7s are up for it… every one of the back 4 are rallying the guys in front of them to get into the oppositions, Adam not needing to much encouragement shows the way with some heavy but fair tackles, Steve (with a broken toes from the first half) also has a good few skirmishes with the opposition, 7s are on top, a great cross into the OWs box see the keeper fumble, Niall is on hand from 4 yards to make 4-2.

This just adds weight to the 7s cause, every ball is now being challenged for, the back 4 marshalled by Steve is working as a unit and Martin has yet to concede with 15 minutes gone.

Once again, the ball is played out from the back, a neat 1-2 sees David’s first time ball over the OW’s back 4, Ryan latches on and cuts inside and crosses to Niall who somehow manages to back heel, flick forward and confuse the keeper into going the wrong way and knock in for his hatrick and the bring the score to 4-3

Openly arguing, the OW’s are fast becoming a deflated team, from kick off, the 7s win the ball back and start another attack, confidence hasn’t been this good for a while, the midfield is now supporting the attack, Josh is exchanging passes with Andrew and getting forwarded in more of an attacking roll, the ball worked from centre finds Niall out wide with a OW’s defender for company, holding up play just long enough for David to get into the box, Niall releases a stunning cross which finds the captains run perfectly and in his stride leaps to chests down the ball to Josh who is running in un-marked to half volleys the ball passed the OW’s keeper, 4-4 and still time to go.

Now it’s the OW’s to be stunned into silence, 7s on a high, contest every ball. Back on the attack, Luke takes up the challenge, receiving the ball well over 30years out and hounded by 2 players, he quickly skips pass and creates enough room to get a fierce shot off, which curls in off the bottom right post, what a comeback 4-5!!!

With the 7s well on top, and seemingly in control, the OWs remind the 7s that there still in the game, with 10 or so minutes remaining, pride must have kicked in, as now, not only are the tackles flying in, but even the ref is having to step in between players mouthing off to each other.

Caught short at the back, and with a possibly 3v2 situation, Ryan is forced into taking one for the team by scything down a player to stop the game and take a possible booking. Leaving the field of play due to a ‘knock’, the 7s are now down to 10 and the ref announces 4 minutes to play

The Alamo, OW’s are now swinging with everything they got to gain a point, corners, free-kicks, throw ins… but the 7s are  not finished yet. OW’s fully committed to attack leave themselves open for the counter attack, although down to 10 men and under the cosh, Niall is a lone figure up front with every one of the 7s defending to keep the points, the ball is cleared and the break out is on, Niall holding up play, times his through ball to perfection as David passes, OW’s young defender tries to keep pace but even in the 90th plus minute, the old boy opens up the legs and out paces the defender.

Keeper in two minds to either come or go, gets stranded in no man’s land as El’capo meets the ball around 30 yards out and nonchalantly chips the keeper and calmly peels away as the ball dips under the bar to seal a epic come back and 4-6 victory

‘A game of two half’s’… 7s at their worse, and best.. Now, if only they can take that second half belief, fighting spirit and confidence into the next few fixtures, maybe they can finish the year on a high, what with next week’s fixture being the return game against OW 8s, which was a resounding 11-0 last time out, these are the fixtures to build on.

MOTM: No contests, Andrew ‘DOBBY’ Dobson got everyone’s vote, didn’t put a foot wrong and was instrumental in the comeback

DOTD: If you confirm and don’t turn up…  giving the team no chance to get anyone in as a replacement, after it was made clear that the squad was threadbare and struggling for players… then you’re a DICK!

 

Team: Martin, Josh, Dan, Joe, Steve, Andrew, Adam, David, Ryan, Niall, Luke

7s vs Bank of England – 18.11.17

Match Report

 Bank of England v Merton 7s

 

Away day v Bank of England, on a pitch that’s like a carpet and not to effected by the weeks grey, rainy weather. Last season, the 7s achieved the double over BOE5s, with a 3-1 & 1-0 victory, so maybe today was the day the 7s got there season back on track

Everyone arriving more or less on time, the chat was to be solid at the back and to get tight, we see Martin take on the gloves to allow Kieran to play Left back, Josh comes back in at right back, Steve and Tom make up the centre pairing

The 7s are trying a 4-2-3-1, and the holding pair are the captain David, and trialist Joe Diss, with a forward 3 of Ryan, Niall ‘Neil’ Kelly and Luke, and Billy back up top after a week off ill.

Game starts in even fashion, with the 7s containing the BOE5s and slowly getting to grips with the new formation, the opening exchanges sees BANK get the best of the spoils, winning early corners and throw ins in the 7s third.

The new pairing of David & Joe seems comfortable with a lot of talk between the two when exchanging players or tracking runners in round the back. In all, Joe slots in pretty well after being out of action for several months with an injury

Its not to long though before the 7s are back in their old ways of letting good possession slip away, with BANK attacking down the left wing, the ball is crossed an unmarked player, still 20 yards out and still lots to do, controls and takes a chance shot, Martin, barely a yard of his line gets caught flat footed and can’t see to jump as the ball dips just under the bar. 1-0

Aggrieved at such a soft goal, the 7s up the tempo, good passing sees serval attacks come to nothing, but it’s a good response to a soft goal.

Tackles are going in hard from the 7s, with not much reply from BANK, yet the Ref seems to be awarding freekicks for any minor contact made, the 7s captain twice comes a cropper, one out wide which sees the BANKs player cartwheel from a slide tackle (but was at no point in danger of hurting himself!) and another, 30 yards out which was just strength to ease the player off the ball.

The resulting freekick is lofted over the wall and off the cross bar, not one 7s player reacted as BANK has a selection of players waiting to roll the ball in. 2-0

Frustration is creeping in, everyone is urged to dig in now and get something out of this. Good work between Ryan, Niall & Billy. Joe is getting a fair bit of joy and mopping up the attacks, Luke now dropping slightly deeper to help out.

The resulting pressure sees Billy get released, using his pace, sees him leave the defence and bear down on goal, releases a shot that just passes the far post…. Close.

The 7s, now getting more of the game, look to be taking control, another attack from BANK down the left, is broken up and won back by the defence, still trying to play football, Tom collects the ball in the area, taking a touch to much, BANK close him down, now back tracking, the ball finds its way to Kieran, who is also being closed down, tries to cross the ball out of the corner, Martin who had left the comfort of his goal mouth to help in the melee is now stranded as the ball is meet by another BANK player who ghosts past the captain 18 yards out and heads into an empty net. 3-0

Frustration now turns to arguments, 10 minutes left of the half, the 7s still having a fair share of possession, yet, once again find themselves 3-0 down.

Some good work from Luke to retain the ball, sets Niall off, but still in his own half by a good 10 yards, the turn and flick and round the player was delightful, but with still half the pitch to go, Niall shows strength to hold off the defending player, bearing down on goal and able to shrug off the challenge, it’s a well composed shot into the far corner. A great finish for 3-1, and just before the break

Half time, the manager/captain, using some moderate language to get some sort of reaction from the team, makes 3 changes, Joe who had a good half makes way for Andrew, Kieran dons the gloves and Martin makes way for Ram at left back, and Steve for Dan in the centre

Straight from the off, the 7s pass the ball around, composed and buoyed on by the goal, look threating. Ryan is now having a bit of joy down the right, Niall is outstanding in the middle of the 3 and holding the ball up well and showing so fantastic touches, however, Billy coming back from illness is slightly off the pace, missing 2 good chances, his visibly angry with himself. A further blow sees Tom signals that he can’t continue, which allows Steve back on the pitch

With the play going the 7s way and pushing higher up to get back in the game, the inevitable happens. A good counter attack sees a slide rule pass cut the defence open and the ball dispatched beyond Kieran for 4-1

Heads drop, the fight has been taken out of the 7s after fighting to get back in the game, with another attack from BANK resulting in Kieran having to come off his line to clear the ball, only to fall to a BANK player out wide, controls and hits a hoping shot that evades Kieran as he back peddles

5-1. Billy makes way for Martin to drop back to make a 5

It’s now getting tough to rally the team, not catching a break or getting any reward for any of the attacking play, the score would suggest the 7s just rolled over. Still time on the board, another foray down the right with Ryan leading the charge, a quick interchange of play sees Luke with the ball 18yards out, looks up and dispatches a shot beyond the keeper and for a 5-2 end results

Turned out another disappointing day at the office, suicidal defending coupled with bad luck and miss chances in front of goal, see the 7s slump to there 3rd defeat in a row and conceding 17!!!

With no game next week, this break couldn’t have come soon enough

MOTM: Contra to the score line, some good hold up plays and individual skill, the opposition could not contain this week’s MOTM… Niall, who won most of the votes ahead of Neil….!

DOTD: There’s a particular art to a slide tackle, it takes momentum, guts, a good soggy pitch (for the excuse to clatter the oppo) and the ability to time all this to perfection, which was all in abundance on Saturday… except for Dan… who’s attempt was not only 2 yards short of a static ball with no opposition player nearby, but also manged to “go down in ‘comical’ stages”… on a dreary day, this was a welcome highlight… thanks Dan

 

Team: Martin, Kieran, Josh, Tom, Steve, Joe, David, Ryan, Niall, Billy, Luke

Dan, Ram, Andrew

7s vs Alleyn Old Boys – 11.11.17

Match Report

Alleyn Old Boys 7s v Merton 7s

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, leading up to Saturday’s away game, players are dropping out left right and centre, the squad that is confirmed on the Tuesday, depletes each day, already losing the likes of Jacob to long term injury, Luke M moving onto pastures new, Josh, Dan, Niall being unavailable for selection, Billy pulling out on the Thursday with Tonsillitis, then Tom J drop out the Friday night and Andrew just a few hours before kick-off and Kieran, unfortunate not being able to shake of the hand injury picked up last week to go in goal.

Even with Ed & John G (of the 4s) jumping in to help out, we are fielding a much weakened side against a team who have yet to loose in the league. Even prior to kick-off, the previous night’s rain had yet to soak away and the ref was correct in calling the game off, however, against better judgement, we all chipped in to help with brooms and other ‘equipment’ to push the standing water to the edge. So, although a half hour late, we managed to get the game on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(If you look closely, you can see Ryan doing the back stroke)

Basically, it was an even contest for the 1st 10 minutes or so… after that, we had all the luck in the world… unfortunately, the bad kind!! It’s hard to pin point how or what went wrong, but all that matters, is it did, and in spectacular style…!

1st goal set the tone, a few lucky breaks for the oppo sees AOB7s cross behind the lines and side foot pass our stranded keeper, 2nd goal sees AOB7 capitalise on a pass which got stuck in a puddle, 3rd goal… much the same… as did the following up to the amount of 8.

In-between the onslaught, Daban manged to open his account after a cheeky through ball from the captain that even the oppo applauded, Daban strike sees the ball in to the top corner, for the second, good work from Ed down the left who puts a cross in for Ryan to collect, turn and fire low into the corner.

At the final whistle and totally outplayed by a good, but not the best team we’ve faced so far… we hope this is the lowest this team ever goes. We go again next week against Bank of England 5s who are in mix, but seem to have better results than our 7s (not hard though!), and  hopefully we get back a good few of the squad that was missing Saturday to push the 7s out of the rut they find themselves in.

To conclude (and pad this report out a bit!) we have a few comical moments to highlight the sort of day incurred, this also aids in the nominees for the Dick of the Day… Starting from the front and in no particular order …

Denzel- Came on second half and in fairness, done ok…

DOTD moment: Latches onto a great through ball and is clear on goal, but stops running to protest that he was not offside, only for the ref to inform him that his not blown up for any infringements and to carry on playing!! Giving AOB7s enough time to get back and dispose him of the ball! (An on a side note… throw in’s… not his strong point!)

Chris ‘Dodds’ – Started slow, got slower… almost needed resuscitating at half time, but still manged to come on for the last 10 or so in the second half…

DOTD moment – might be unfair, but needs to be mentioned… passed the ball forwarded, only to see it get stuck in a puddle, tries to somehow make amends which results in, not only Chris, but also Martin being wrong footed and sees the AOB7s forwarded stroll between the pair of them and slots the ball home!

Steve – We all know the joke about being ‘left back…’

DOTD moment – Passing across the goal to Martin and is marked by AOB7s striker, who steps across and takes the ball before Martin even reacts, and is now 8 yards out with the goalie stranded on his line, Goal!

Edward – we thank him for stepping up and helping out, really good to hear another voice trying to make a difference

DOTD moment – Well, apart from the school boy errors of losing the ability to take a throw in (was 3 or 4 times the ref blow up for a foul throw!!) or forgetting that you can’t remove the corner flag, to take a corner!!.. But the nominations was for the epic tackle that sees ‘Ed’ slide across the pitch, straight into the deepest puddle and emerging the other side with his top now see-through and clinging to the torso!! Some things can’t be unseen… !!!

But the winner goes to ….

John Gridley – Prior to the game, and realising the task ahead, he volunteers himself to go in goal. This is well received amongst the squad and is thanked by Martin who was to be elected keeper for the day.

DOTD moment – It’s understandable that after conceding 8 goals, you may be a tad upset, but at the final whistle, spitting the dummy and condoning your team mates to the opposition and declaring ‘it would have been 12 without me’ is one thing… but to then stomp off without even picking up his toys which was thrown all over the pitch after a very dramatic hissy fit, most unpleasant…

It took Ed a full half hour to calm him down in a locked changing room, we could the sobs thorugh the walls, of “please Ed, don’t make me ever play for the 7s again… I’m scarred for life and I’m only 102… take me back to the 4s…. PLEASE“ and fair play to Ed, apparently cradling johns head in his hands, promises him that he will never have to steep so low for the Merton cause again…Those pesky 7s will just have to make do next time!

 

MOTM – The opposition awarded the MOTM to the 7s captain, but this was declined, as a squad they all failed as a team and no one in this game deserves such accolade.

However…. The ‘Man Of The Moment’ award goes to Steve B, for his magnificent reply to a video clip issued by Civil Service 8s manager soon after the week be fore’s game…

Don’t worry, both videos will be issued on DVD format or available on download from ITunes for £99.99p, just in time for Christmas… Why not treat a loved one!!

 

Team: Missing. Never turned up.

PLEASE NOTE – The names in the above report have been changed to protect the innocent, the above is all ‘fiction’ and never took place, any person that may have had a similar experience, is merely coincidence and needs to up the dose of recreational drugs or get out more. It will be interesting to see how many people actual read these reports to the bitter end… Good luck next week ladies, going to need it!

7s vs Civil Service 8s – 04.11.17

Match Report

 Merton 7s v Civil Service 8s

 

Saturdays forecast: Grey, overcast and showers, could also sum up the 7s this term. Saturday was supposed to be the day the 7s showed there worth after fighting to the end for the 3 points v Sales last week. But with inconsistency creeping in, it’s becoming tough to call which 7s will turn up to each game

The day started quite well, Daban turning up only 30 minutes before a game is a vast improvement on missing the first half, but still becoming a common site to see him sprint over to get changed pitch side!

With Kieran back in goal after his loan to the 5s came to an end, we have Josh RB, Dan & Steve centre and welcome back Ram at LB, going with the same 5 in midfield as last week, seeing as it done so well, Ryan, Jacob, David, Andrew & Luke P seemed quite settled, with Billy once again tasked with roaming around up top.

The game started as expected, CS8s known for good passing football, also starting with 4-5-1 and take the game to the 7s. Matched up in the middle, once again the 7s marshalled by the captain, do well to contain the probing efforts of CS8s. the opening exchanges see Kieran the busier of the 2 keepers, and does well to stay composed with what pressure he is faced with

Playing ever deeper, the 7s start to rely on a counter attack, although running into a head wind, the ball can only be worked on the floor, first break for Billy comes as a through ball sees him contest a 50/50 with the keeper, with the keeper calmly dragging the ball back and passing to safety. No more than minutes later, same situation between CS8s Keeper and Billy, but this time, Billy anticipates the drag back and slides in with a tackle to rob the ball, only to see the tackle come shot to go wide.

As another CV8s attack is dealt with, the ball is punted high in the air, Jacob tussles to win the battle, only to see him left sprawled on the floor, something that look innocuous has left the young lad in a lot of pain. Unable to put any weight on the ankle, there’s no choice but to make an early change. Daban comes on to replace the injured midfielder

The first half comes to a close with both teams winning equal share of the spoils, a good tussle in midfield from both teams and both teams unfortunate not be nick a goal, but 0-0 is a fair reflection

Half time and Steve & David rally the team and call for composure, not only are the 7s in the game, but the feeling is we can nick this one.

Start of the second half and the 7s are the better of the 2 teams, closing down the opposition and playing out form the back, it wasn’t too long before Billy was once again released through the middle, again the keeper is off his line and meeting Billy at the edge of the area the 50/50 results in the keeper winning the ball, but getting bundled out of the area. Feeling aggrieved, the keeper exchanges a few words with the young striker and results in the gloved one throwing the ball square in the chest of Billy who does well not to retaliate.

As the situation calms down, the ref seemed to take an age to speak to both players together, then individually. Billy getting a warning, but with CS8s keeper seeing a red card (which was a bit harsh in my opinion).

None the less, it is at this point that CS8s, now down to 10 men, rally around and take a grip of the game. The 7s, seemingly switch off, are soon under pressure. Not dealing well with the ball over the top are made to pay when a good passing game from CV8s is rewarded with a goal that Kieran had no chance with.

The 7s now stunned, still not able to cope with CS8s attack have only Kieran to thank for keeping the score at 1-0. Even through a melee of players and taking an elbow straight in the face, Kieran was in no mood to go down without a fight

A change sees Andrew make way for Niall for his league debut

However, there’s nothing Kieran could do with the second, with everyone leaving the responsibility to each other to clear the ball just outside the area, sees a neat exchange of passes to cut through the defence, even with a last-ditch foul by Dan, which would have resulted in a penalty and possibly a red card had the ball not fell to the striker to dispatch in the corner, 0-2 against the 10 men of CS8s

A quick change in personal sees Dan make way for Luke Mora, to go with a reformed 3-5-2 and is almost instantly rewarded. A quick throw in from Billy to David, sees the captain drop and shoulder to get around the advancing CS8s player, although clipped around the ankles, still flicks the ball forward and from a full 30yards or so, unleashed a shot that curls beyond the keepers grasp and tucks into the top left-hand corner for 1-2. Game on!

Civil still not read the script, they have 10 men but make it seem like they have 12… the goal just sparked them back into life, and once again the 7s are left watching as the break down the right results in a tame cross that is going wide, wrong foot Steve 3 yards out and comes off his in step to go in the far corner. 1-3!!!!

What a knockout blow, truly feeling sorry for themselves, it’s with less than 10 minutes to go that CS8s twist the knife with one more well taken and deserved goal.

With the 7s in disbelief and from a commanding first half, how in the hell did this slip to a 1-4 deficit! The game ends and rightly so the Civil team take the points. The 7s walk off disheartened and speechless…. How did it go so wrong? 

With an away game to Alleyn Old Boys 7s next week, who are currently unbeaten, the loss of Jacob for possibly 8 weeks and a depleted side, this couldn’t come at a worse time

 

MOTM: Even though he conceded 4, he can hold his gloves up high. Kieran Lee

DOTD: A last ditch attempt by Daban to take DOTD for openly admitting he has no clue what to do in midfield (after the votes had been cast), but Steve once again takes the accoladed for his stunning finish from 3 yards… in the wrong goal! 

 

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

Daban, Niall, Luke M

7s vs Old Salesians 3s – 28.10.17

Match Report

Old Sales 3s v Merton 7s

Always a bit nervous having a week off, you seem to lose a bit of momentum and it’s like starting all over again. Last season, the 7s never fared well after breaks, and always needed a game or two to get back into the swing of things 

Today the 7s go back to the ground where they got thumped 7-1 in the cup to the Old Sales 3s, which on that day, Old Sale’s Reserves did not have a game and bolstered their 3s with half the squad! So, looking at the fixtures and seeing that, once again the reserves had no game and their 1st team was also playing at home, you can understand the feeling of ‘Déjà vu’.

Pitch side and waiting for a current game to end, we decide to have a warm up away from the pitch to get our game on. Discussion about the last game are at the forefront and it’s agreed a 4-5-1 is to be used.

Kieran this week steps up to the 5s and we have a great replacement in Lee Lenjhan between the sticks, once again, there’s a few later arrivals, so the squad is selected from those who turned up on time!! Josh again starting a RB, with Dan & Martin centre, steve on the left, the 5 across the middle starts with Ryan out wide, Jacob tucked in with David Centre and Andrew on the right, Luke Pellett back from his ankle injury far left, this leaves Billy up front, marauding around at will

As predicted, the OS’3 are a mixture of squads and start the better of the 2 teams, however, the new formation of 5 in the middle cuts out a lot of the play and for the first 10 minutes, the 7s do well to contain the OS’3.

Vocally, the 7s are improving and with ‘Lenners’ in goal, a further voice from ha back can be heard shouting commands. Although a few attacks result in shots from 20 yards or so, this does not faze the keeper and he confidently mops up these attacks from distances.

Still, it takes a full 20 minutes or so before the 7s get there first attack on the way, a good play worked down the flank is met by Billy and turned around for a corner, now in the OS’3 half, the game is being taken to them. Playing slightly higher up the pitch but still weary of the pace there possess, Dan and Martin are doing a fine job of containing the OS’3 striker. Closing down is quick and once again the 7s press and Billy is again terrorising the defence with Ryan and Luke now supporting

With the game swinging in the 7s direction, a good couple of chances go begging, one being a crazy first time volley from over 35 yards by the captain, who sees the fierce shot just sail over the cross bar.

Even when the OS’3 do break through, Lenners is there to calm things down and more often than not, launch balls over the top for Billy and Ryan to run on to, a weapon that we haven’t had before

Finally the pressure pays off, OS’3 trying to clear their lines sees David storm forward from the halfway line between 2 OS’3 players and first time volley a through ball to Billy to set him on his way for a 1v1, which is calmly rolled into the far corner. 0-1.

This seemed to have caused unrest in the OS’s squad, as now openly arguing and throwing in rash tackles, Billy is brought down around 20 yards out. Billy, picking himself up off the floor sets the ball and dispatches a delightful curling ball far right of the keeper for 0-2  

Being on top, half time comes and the squad are buoyant, one change is made in Martin coming off for Tom in an attempt to contain the ariel threat, the game is under way

From kickoff, OS’3 are rallying around, they team talk must have spurred them on as the 7s are pinned back in their own half, now playing with 2 wide men, OS’3 are dictating play. This pulls back Luke P and Ryan in a more defensive roll leaving Billy to forage on scraps, which he does so well being unlucky with 2 attempts from range, lobbing the keeper on both occasions, one hitting the cross bar. However the pressure pays off for OS’3 and sees them pull a goal back from a neat passage of play, 1-2.

Now it’s the 7s turn to rally around, not wanting to relinquish the goal lead, the tracking and man marking is back as the first half. Getting a grip of the game, the 7s push back OS’3 and start to gain territory, 2 quick corners come to nothing but keeping the pressure on sees Luke P curl a great ball in which finds Ryan with a huge amount of goal to aim at but manages to volley high, what a let off

Not to long after, Billy is once again off on his heels and bearing down on goal, keeping pace Ryan sets off on the opposite wing as back up, Billy now in the area curls a shot towards the far corner which the keeper palms away, but only in the path of Ryan who this time makes no mistake under pressure from the OS’3 left back, powers his shot into an empty net

OS’3 come straight back, flooding the 7s half with players in an attempt to get a quick goal back. A change is now made, bringing on Daban for Andrew, who once again has done himself justice in the centre of the park and Luke M for Jacob who is now carrying a knock from the first half

Late in the game and now tiring, Tom goes off after getting a knock in the gut and Martin is back at left back. The youthful OS’3 continue to probe around and are soon rewarded with another well take goal. 2-3

Less than 10 minutes to go, the winds been knocked out the sails of the 7s, the attacks are relentless and OS’3 sense that not only is the draw on, but a victory if they keep slugging away. A strange decision to give OS’3 a free kick when they player ran across David and trip over his own feet, none the less, the protest are waved away and the from 20 yards, a ball is flighted into the far post which sees 3 OS’3 players attack the ball and force it over the line 3-3… !

With the game now coming to a close, both teams are giving it there all, Ref announces there’s 3 minutes of injury/overtime to play, OS’3 have the 7s on the rack with corners and throw ins in the 7s last third. Still undeterred, the 7s aren’t given up without a fight… once again Lenners pulls off a last ditch save and release the ball, this get worked to Luke P, who has 2 players keeping him company but still manages to release Ryan who has the legs to out sprint both the centre backs… keeper advances out just as Ryan approaches the 18 yard area, Billy keeping pace gives the keeper a decision to make, stand his ground or try and cut out the pass.. No need as Ryan makes the decision for him by ‘calm as you like’ slots the ball pass for 3-4 and the last kick of the game… Wow, what a contrast from the first game… and what a finish by Ryan to secure all 3 points for the 7s

After this epic encounter, we find ourselves at home next week against a Civil Service side, which you don’t quite know what you’re going to get. They have a mix of results so far. So, the only thing the 7s can do is go about their game like they did today, fully committed and not worrying what turns up… we shall see.

MOTM: Usual suspects getting nominated, but mentions have to go to the old boys, Martin and Steve, who are playing against strikers half their age and still keeping in touch. Josh & Billy once again head the votes but showing the composure to nick it at the end, it has to go to Ryan

DOTD: Turning up 45 minutes late and then arguing with Steve that his ‘done his warm up cycling here’…  well done Tom J for making this easy!

 

 

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

Tom, Dadan, Luke M.

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