21st April 2018

Merton 0 v Old Actonians 2

The day got off to a bad start as our ref didn’t turn up. Thankfully the 6s referee was happy to do a second game and even better news, or so we thought, was that he was the guy who’d refereed our midweek game and was very good.

We started the game very well and you wouldn’t have been able to guess which side was fighting off relegation, us, and which was going to win the league, them. Within the first 15 minutes they’d not had a shot on goal and we’d had two efforts cleared off the line. Then the day went to pot!

One of their players handled the ball in the box. The referee put his whistle to his mouth. Everyone waited for the inevitable penalty but the ref didn’t blow! Minutes later Actonians attacked, Harrison went to clear, had his heals clipped from behind, but again the ref didn’t blow. They chipped in a cross, I tried to head over the bar but sent the ball into the far corner. 1-0 to Actonians and to rub salt in Snooks was sent to the sin bin for shouting “You’re joking ref”. If that sort of appeal, in the heat of the moment, is a sin bin offence then football’s gone mad.

Minutes later it was 2-0. A corner was sent in right under Sherbs’ cross bar. He jumped, got two hands on the ball, and was barged into by the Actonian player. He dropped the ball and they scored from a yard. The referee explained he didn’t have two hands on the ball and that the Actonian player had got to it first. This didn’t make sense because if he had he’d have scored but also Graham Poll helpfully heaped on the misery for me on Sunday, whilst I was watching Chelsea v Southampton, by explaining that “if the keeper is off the ground in the six yard box and is touched by an opposition player it’s an immediate free kick”.

This injustice further galvanised the team and we continued to play out the rest of the game as the better side but couldn’t find the breakthrough.

I was sent to the sin bin for the last five minutes for being sarcastic to the ref. Justified based on the new rules and the warning he’d just given me but whilst I was off the pitch an Actonians’ player thought he was fouled, ran five yards, took out Pritch halfway up his shin, from behind, in retaliation and got a yellow card and stayed on the pitch.  Football has definitely gone mad!

A depressing day and now we’ve got a must win on Saturday to stay up.

Pritch was deservedly MOTM, imagine where we’d be if he’d played more than a quarter of the season, and I was deservedly DOTD.

Sherbs, Jimbo, Harrison, Clappers, Browner, Will Low (Gresty 70), Pritch, Snooks, Van (Wilgo 70), Ackers, DQ (Josh FS 15)

Posted in Match Reports 1s