1s vs Polytechnic – 06.01.18
W e were home to Polytechnic in the cup which in fact involved us playing away at their ground because
the Hood was very wet.
We had a strong squad of 14. Everyone was there in plenty of time, which doesn’t mean on time for Jonny
and Chaz, but still in plenty of time. The pitch was in good condition and the sun was out. What could go
We started well against a div 1 side who won the treble last year. They had us under pressure but we were
defending well. That quickly ended. Harrison fluffed a clearance against their midfielder which put him
clear behind our back line. Siri looked at him approaching, thought about coming, looked at him again,
thought about coming again, looked for a third time and then came. By now it was a 50/50 which ended
with the midfielder being upended and the ref awarding a penalty. Probably the only time in Siri’s everyday
life that he wished he’d come early.
Our stuttering star redeemed himself with a fantastic double save and we lived to fight another day. But
not for long!
About 15 minutes in Poly had yet another corner which again was brilliantly delivered. They hit the post
and then there was a goalmouth scramble which ended with a very hard shot from about four yards out.
I was stood on the line and instinctively lent towards the ball and then even more instinctively bent my
elbow, which the ball then hit. Penalty number two and a red card for me!
Siri didn’t save this one.
The rest of the half was a fantastic rearguard action. Browner stepped into centre back to superbly cover
both the loss of me and the seeming loss of Harrison’s ability. To be fair this was his first bad game in a
Merton shirt. Van dropped well in to right back, a sign of the future, and everyone ran their socks off. At half
time it was still just the 1-0 and we felt confident of more of the same in second period.
Unfortunately this confidence lasted no more than five minutes. Poly scored their second and the third
came a minute or two later. Not great times to concede and that was effectively our afternoon over.
Jimbo, Crusher, Jordan and Charlie ran themselves into the ground. Sam had a perfectly good goal disal-
lowed. Jonny and Charlie got clear a couple of times but couldn’t allude the Poly keeper . Glenn, Chaz and
Wilgo all came off the bench with the sort of enthusiasm that identifies true Merton men. Three or four
goals down with only 10 men but on they all bounded and made good contributions. Once piece of skill by
Glenn was roundly applauded by the Poly bench.
The game finished 6-0 but weirdly most left the field pleased with their performances and heads held high.
Team: Siri, Browner, Harrison, Clappers, Jordan, Jimbo, Crusher, Sam, Van, Charlie, Jonny. Subs: Glenn, Wilgo,
MOTM: Browner. DOTD: Clappers