Month: October 2015
Merton Res 5 Broomfield 1 (HT 2-0)
AFA intermediate Cup
This was a good performance from ‘Team Handsome’ with a comfortable win in the end against competent SAL opposition albeit from a lower division. It took a good while for Merton to establish their dominance against gritty opposition. The first 20 mins were pretty even and when our boys carved out some really good chances we missed them comprehensively. This profligacy in front of goal was worrying and Broomfield wasted a couple of chances of their own before DQ stepped up to score our opening goal after 35 mins. The second came very soon after when DQ headed home to finish off a really good move and cross. (H-t 2-0). The second half continued in the same vein. DQ completed his hat trick and then Olly Ross came on as sub in pink/orange boots ( I kid you not).What was even more amazing he then scored two goals with his first two touches with the minimum amount of effort. He never was one to hare about the field but he is only a shadow of his former self. Complacency and sloppy defending allowed the visitors to score a goal which their man finished very well. A good performance with Merton’s defence looking good. Pearcey and Marc play well together as centre backs but despite all the goal scoring Joe Griffin was voted Man Most Handsome (MMH) and walked of with Cherbs. Sam worked his socks off but missed a few good chances but the reason for his lack of luck in front of goal was all too obvious in the laundry. The No 6 shirt was inside out and everyone knows unless you put your kit the right way round you never score. Anyway we solved the tape problem. The game was really well reffed in authoritive style by Peter Chmelinski. It was good to have the 1s down to support our boys and a great buzz in the bar afterwards.
Saturday 24th October
Merton FC v Winchmore Hill
9 – 2
Against an under strength opposition, Merton dispatched a deserved result efficiently to claim another 3 points at home.
Please excuse a full match report, ,short of me writing something to resemble a ‘Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy, I will keep the following simple and concise.
For the first time this season Merton FC boasted a full complement of playing staff for the Saturday fixture. A luxury rarely available, and something which the opposition would have been grateful for.
A battling and commendable display by the Winchmore Hill players was a credit to the league, and certainly Merton Fc will look forward to matching the opposition with full strength sides for the following return fixture in North London this season.
Merton, following the previous two weeks’ slow starts, started on top for this game from the outset. Early strikes from Donno and mustard early on set the tone for the rest of the game. A great solo effort by Donno, and a blistering volley from Mustard made it 2-0 to Merton early on.
An overlapping move from RB to RM which involved Tony and Reece, finishing with a through ball to the inside of the box from Tony, for Reece to calmly slot past the keeper to his inside post made it 3-0.
A speculative effort form the opposition from 25 yards out then zipped off the wet surface and under the Merton keepers’ body to give the opposition a goal before half time. Shortly afterwards a speculative clearance from the opposition back line was not dealt with by the Merton central defence which then resulted in another goal for the opposition.
To finish off the half a long drive, on target and zipping off the wet surface was not held by the opposition keeper, and poked in to the back of the net by an on-rushing Yomi.
Half time 4-2.
Merton could see the Winchmore Hill players were using the same tactic for their chances, which were limited, but clearly effective.
At the start of the second half, the Merton forwards pushed higher up the pitch to press the ball deeper in to the opposition half. Spreading the ball across the pitch, and developing wing play was the key to seeing this game out.
Merton had great success using the wing back and attacking midfielders and successive goals were to follow from the home side as the second half developed.
An early strike from Donno started the rout, another assist from Darcy who provided 4 assists in total throughout this game.
Neal adopted a holding roll in front of the back four to allow his midfield partner Darcy to develop and spread the ball out wide. A cut back to the edge of the box by Darcy then was struck in to the top right hand corner of the net by Tony to make the score 6-2 with 75 minutes gone.
Two strikes from Chris followed- assisted by Darcy, and a lofted through-ball by Tony from the edge of the box which was slotted underneath the keeper made it 8-2 with a few minutes left
I final flick on from the wing to the edge of the box by Nick was fantastically controlled, and curled in to the top right hand corner of the goal by Denys almost as the final whistle went to round off an emphatic day in front of goal for the Merton team.
Goals and assists from all over the team today – 7 different goal scorers and 5 players assisting – putting an emphasis on the effectiveness of Merton’s team play and decision making from game to game so far this season.
Positives to take from this game, and surely the chances missed the previous week were vindicated in this match. Hard work all round.
MOTM: Merton 11*
DOTM: Arturs (sorry son-the first goal conceded got you in here!)
GK – Arturs
RB – Tony P (Goal scorer @ 75mins + 2 assists)
CB – Mike Stone
CB – Joel
LB – Mustard (Goal scorer @ 15mins)
RM – Reece (Goal scorer @ 40mins)
CM – Darcy (+ 4 assists)
CM – Neal
LM – Donno (Goal scorer @ 10mins + 65mins + 1 assist)
ST – Yomi (Goal scorer @ 80mins)
ST – Denys (Goal scorer @ 90mins)
CB – Lofty
ST – Chris (Goal scorer @ 60mins + 85mins + 1 assist)
LM – Nick (+ 1 assist)
Saturday 17th October
Merton FC v East Barnet Old Grammarians
1 – 1
A game that somehow managed to be at 1-1 at full time following a hatful of chances created by the Merton team, with familiar foes in the shape of post/s crossbar/s came to the oppositions’ rescue on several occasions throughout this match.
The game should have been dead and buried at half time, yet as Merton did not take their chances, they entered half time 1-0 down. Classic smash and grab scenario here.
A missed penalty half way through the second half should have been dispatched to level the scoring, but this was saved – therefore the task was left to Dave with a strike from outside the box to settle the scores to earn a draw, which was definitely 2 points thrown away in what could prove to be a very competitive season.
Lessons learnt, and chances to be taken for future games. Improvement in decision making and final third of game could have been costly, yet the team play and pressing created a number of chances for the home team throughout the game.
A disappointed Merton team after the game demonstrated how the team play and chances created is progressing positively throughout the season, game by game.
MOTM: Reece + Opposition keeper.
DOTM: Tony P (missed pen – couldn’t let myself off here lads!)
GK – Arturs
RB – Tony P
CB – Vincenzo
CB – Mike
LB – Mustard
RM – Denys
CM – Dave (Goal scorer @ 70mins)
CM – Neal
LM – Reece
ST – Yomi
ST – Donno
RM – Tom
***A well-deserved mention for Dave Donovan (Donno) who scored the first hatrick of the season at home last weekend, and Merton’s first hatrick of the season overall. MOTM last week, and a challenger for the golden boot this season also.
HSBC 5s vs. Merton 4s SAL Minor Division 1 South Saturday 24th October 2015
Only three weeks have passed since we last meet HSBC 5s in the league. On that occasion they went back to Beckenham with the three points following a 2 – 1 at Joseph Hood. This week it was important that we kick-started our league campaign and try our utmost to gain revenge by taking all the points.
With a few regulars unavailable, we drafted in some reinforcements in the form of Alan Clowes, Tom Benham and Sonny Kennedy.
The game started brightly and we were on the front foot from the off. The wet surface allowed us to zip the ball round with confidence. A few half chances were created however it took 20 minutes for us to break the deadlock. Dulanie Richards picked the ball up from the left and unleashed a right footed drive the found the back of the net via a deflection. 1 – 0 to the visitors and well deserved. Not long after did Dulanie have to make way for Tom after picking up a hamstring injury that looks like it will put him out for a couple of weeks.
There were some moments were HSBC put us under pressure however we dealt with them comfortably which frustrated the hosts. The pressure kept building with a number of corners the only reward. One of these however resulted in the equaliser. The loose ball failed to be cleared from danger which allowed their number seven to get a shot away inside the box that looped over Sam following an attempted block. 1 – 1 going into the break.
There were so many positives to take from the first period and we knew that the game was there for the taking. We were easily the better team; we just had to make things count in the final third.
The start of the second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the start of the first. We were pinging the ball around with ease and making it difficult for the opposition to get onto the ball. This opened the HSBC defence up and we were rewarded ten minutes in when Sonny was apprehended in the box. Had there not been another defender level then there could have easily been a red card awarded as well as the penalty. With our first choice penalty taker not available, it was left down to Chris Outred to dispatch emphatically having been made to wait longer than he would have liked. 2 – 1 to Merton and well deserved.
We could have extended our lead when a one-two was played between myself and Chris. With Chris being taken out after playing the ball back, the ref decides to play the advantage. One, two then three opposing players were left in their tracks leaving me, Sonny, Tom and their keeper the only ones in the box. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get a shot off from the position I was in (tight angle) I decided to square the ball, albeit with too much power which resulted in a half chance for Tom that he could only hit over the bar.
We were holding our own and felt comfortable in all positions, Jake has doing fantastic to hold and break up play in the midfield with Tom and Sonny chasing every ball down up top putting HSBC under pressure constantly. We felt so comfortable that we thought we could hold out for the win. Thought turned out to be the key word! HSBC did manage to one rare passage of play which unfortunately resulted in the final goal of the game and the second equaliser. A low shot from about 20 years beat Sam down low to his right.
A solid performance to take into next week’s game away to Ibis Eagles in Chiswick where nothing but a win is good enough.
FINAL SCORE: HSBC 5s 2 – 2 Merton 4s SCORERS: Dulanie Richards, Chris Outred (pen) MOTM: Jake Hewitt
STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), John Gridley, Alan Clowes, Steve Burchell , Edward Plaistow, Arnold Collier (Ryan Burchell), Jake Hewitt, Joe Plumridge, Chris Outred (Capt.), Dulanie Richards (Tom Benham), Sonny Kennedy Unused Sub: Aaron Ackerman
Southern Amateur League – Division 3
10th October – 3pm Kick Off
Merton FC 4 – 0 South Bank 3’s
On a blustery day at Joseph Hood, Merton 3’s welcomed back a few previously missing familiar faces for, which was for some, the first home game of the season.
The starting 11 was as below:
LB– Mike reed
CB – Vincenzo
CB – Mike stone
RB – Tony
RM – Reece
CM – Dave
CM – Neal
ST – Denys
ST – Donno
The first 5 minutes were very ‘stop-start’, in terms of holding the ball and any developing play from the Merton half, in to the oppositions’ half.
The first 10-15 minutes followed with consistent long balls from South Bank’s midfielders and back line to their attacking wingers. Tony and Mike had to mark these two players very tightly, and with the wind in the opposition favour, this was an early threat posed by South Bank.
Following a period of sustained pressure which the back line cancelled out well, Merton realised that the ball was not being held in the middle of the field by the opposition and balls out wide were their main outlet for any attacking/pressing play.
Both pairings of Seb and Mustard on the left, and Reece and Tony on the right broke well to counter attack and overlap.
The consistent tracking by both midfielders either side nullified the threat that the opposition posed midway through the first half. From this point onwards, the remainder of the half was all Merton.
A combination of solid defending from Vincenzo and Mike Stone allowed the two central midfielders Dave and Neal to have a lot of the ball at their feet and allowed Merton to attack down the wings and through balls to Donno and Denys in their forward roles.
Merton created a number of chances which should have been finished, although the wrong decision in the final third proved costly as these chances were not taken for what should have been a comfortable game up to the 30 minute mark of the first half.
Shortly after Neal had an ‘unfortunate incident’ with a low flying ball which some say his squeals could be heard from all over Surrey, Donno tested the opposition keeper with a volley from 20 yards out which was spilled nervously.
To follow, a through ball from the back line to a Donno who was hanging on their last man, provided a one-on-one scenario which was coolly slotted in to the bottom corner. 1-0.
Merton could see the pace of Donno and the wing play was causing South Bank trouble. Shortly after a short corner from Tony slotted to Neal who was unmarked on the corner of the opposition box was struck well, and cleared off the line by the opposition.
Following this effort, another corner was swung in from the left and landed at Vincezo’s feet on the edge of the opposition’s box- after a chip over the back line in to the box, the ball was then struck in to the ground by Denys, spilled by the keeper on the goal-line, and a gleeful Donno accepted the invitation to scoop this in to the net to make it 2-0 to Merton.
The momentum was very much with Merton and the oppositions’ back line sat deep for the remainder of the half.
5 minutes from the half time whistle, several Merton chances were created but again, the wrong decision in the final third was costly. Donno almost put through Tony for a one-on-one with the keeper, made possible by more great tracking and overlapping by Reece on the right wing, but the opportunity was not taken.
Constant talking and communicating by the two centre backs and two central midfielders enabled Merton to see out the remainder of the half comfortably.
After a deserved lead in the first half, Merton knew the next goal to the game was crucial. Although the opposition had very few chances the first half, a goal early on would provide some much needed momentum for South Bank.
The game started as the first half did, while Merton knew wing play was a great outlet to develop in to the oppositions half, South Bank adopted an ‘man-for-man’ tactic early on which made this difficult to create anything of note down either side.
With Donno and his obligatory energy drinks before kick-off, Merton knew they had an outlet for consistent running and the next goal was to come from a through ball down the centre of the pitch.
Vincenzo played a through ball to the far edge of the box from just inside the Merton half, with which he took down and controlled well, beat the two centre backs, and took the ball to the edge of the box, past the goal line.
What followed is surely the best goal of the season for Merton FC so far. Prompting shouts from the right back of ‘show him some support’ (which was evidently not needed) Merton’s striker rounded the two centre backs along the edge of the box, drove towards, and then danced past the keeper, with such a tight angle remaining that the goal could barely be seen from his angle.
With a strike that would have prompted Thierry Henry to clutch Jamie Carragher’s thigh in such a fashion, Donno then slotted the ball underneath the keeper to nestle in to the far corner of the net to make it 3-0 to Merton.
This was the next crucial goal- and what a goal!
The game from this point was all Merton FC and solid performances by all on the pitch allowed Merton to make a substitution with 20 minutes left of the game to be played.
With the opposition now disheartened and sick of the sight of an on rushing, ‘tongue out of mouth wagging’ Donno in their memories, he was substituted and Yommo was brought on as a replacement to see out the game.
Great hold up play by Yommo and a hard-working Denys allowed further wing play to develop down each side of the pitch.
With 10 minutes to go, by great team play in which almost all of the Merton players touched the ball, Neal won a header in the centre, which was then played through to Denys. Yommo was by the opposition penalty spot with time and space, collected the ball from Denys, and a quick ‘shimmy’ and shoulder dip from Yommo, which demonstrated that he as an avid ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ fan, prompted the keeper to dive one way, which allowed Yommo to slot the ball in to an empty bottom corner of the net to make it 4-0.
Merton ran down the clock for the remainder of the game, even prompting a speculative 40-yard strike from Denys, which was narrowly wide of the goal post – not quite Charlie Adam esque’- but the confidence and comfort of the Merton play for the remainder of the game was a result of the hard teamwork, and jobs done before.
A few flying elbows and choke holds from the frustrated opposition at the end of the game in the direction of Tony and Neal respectively, demonstrated that the Merton starting 11 are clearly more handsome than they thought – but also that the opposition were willing to wind down the clock on the behalf of the Merton 11 at their own cost.
Queue the final whistle to complete a great display all round, a well-deserved 3 points at home, and a very important clean sheet.
Mitcham physio has agreed to reduce their session rate for Merton members for treatments.
Merton FC special price …. £30 session, normal price £38
Belated congratulations to Martin Quinlan who played his 800th game (now 801st) for the club 2 weekends ago. Made his debut in 1978… what an amazing record, what a legend. Those who have played and know him , he is known for having a post match shave before showering, drinks bitter from his tankard, likes to have a dance (Kevin has the video evidence), will play for any team that is willing to select him and keeps a record of all games he has played in.
Match Report – 1710/2015 vs CIVIL SERVICE 9 AWAY
Another away day for the Mighty Merton Sixes and this time it was across the river to Chiswick to play Civil Service 9.
The squad were nearly 3 members light due to the hair raising journey made by Smithy, as he was put off from the smell of the local brewery, and nearly took out 4 vehicles in the process!
With half of the squad arriving early and the other half lost, it was not the most promising start prior to kick off.
Once the team was changed, it was down to the now infamous 5 minute quick stretch and warm up routine, this time led by Ram.
Starting line-up was as follows: Merton’s new number 1, Dharmesh in goal, new centre half pairing of Smithy (Gaffer) and Chappell, full backs of George and Quinlan. Holding midfielder was John with Matty at the top of the diamond. Ram and Paul were on the wings with Kyle and sixes debutant Richard up top. Impact subs were new lad Ricky and ex-civil service player Pete.
Smithy gave the team talk and outlined the well thought out pre-match plans to the troops and off we went.
So now to the game, as per usual, the pre-match team talk was nearly out of the window, as within 30 seconds Civil Service found themselves through on goal as Merton panicked at the back. It was Dharmesh to the rescue with a great save!
Now this normally never happens to Merton, as once a team smells blood against a shaky Merton 6’s defence they normally punish any mistake with a quick fire two or three goals, however, from the panic above a clearance from the back and a further great ball forward which held up beautifully in the wind enabled Richard to round the sluggish Civil Service goalkeeper and put the ball in the net, 1-0 to Merton after a minute!!!
With this feeling new to most players it enabled the mighty Merton to relax and settle in the game. Unfortunately after 5 minutes, Paul suffered an injury and was replaced by Ricky. As the half progressed Merton defended extremely well, without creating too much going forward, everyone knew their role from the forwards holding up the ball and the defence clearing their lines.
Merton successfully made it to half time with the lead still in tact and feeling buoyed by a good first half display, the troops were watered and given a breather whilst much of the same was requested.
The second half started a more even affair with Merton looking more comfortable on the ball and finding their range with some good passes. With the forwards being rotated at regular intervals to ensure fresh legs, Merton was looking dangerous on the counter attack, whilst Civil Service pushed for the equaliser.
After approx 60 minutes, Merton broke down the right with a good ball from George to Richard, who then got to the touchline and whipped a cross in for Matt to nod in at the back stick. 2-0 to Mighty Merton and the home crowd of 4 showed their discontent with a few boos, whilst Merton celebrated!
For the next 10 – 15 minutes, I can only describe witnessing the most disciplined of Merton defensive displays of years gone by. John was a beast in centre midfield, winning a number of tackles and breaking up play and with Smithy heading the ball approx 7 times in 30 seconds to clear the lines from corners and throw ins! Quinlan and George put in numerous tackles to stop crosses and Chappell organised the back line superbly with Dharmesh off his line to sweep up over hit through balls.
With the minutes ticking by, Civil Service pulled a goal back through their best player as the number 10 hit a looping shot just out of reach from Dharmesh – 2-1 Merton led. This is where the experience of last week came to the fore, as Merton sixes in the past would have folded with heads down and expecting the opposition to equalise, however the new Merton sixes kept their heads up and kept on going!
With the opposition now pushing for the equaliser and looking tired, Merton started to create some great openings on the break with players picking the right ball to release Matty and the strikers. After Merton were awarded a corner, Matt swung a peach of a ball in and Richard rose like a salmon and headed the ball past the goalie, 3-1 to Merton and we sensed a victory.
With around 10 minutes left the Mighty Merton were now doing to Civil Service which teams have done to us in pre-season, which was picking them off at will! Even Martin decided to goal on a rampaging run (without the ball) sensing there was a goal in him from left back. The look on Ram’s face as Martin sprinted past him was priceless and fall out that followed from Chappell, who told him to use his vast experience to see the game out was even funnier!
Another break led to a 4 on 1 counter attack for Merton and with Pete playing in Kyle he calmly dummied the defender twice and placed the ball in the opposite corner to the goalie for 4-1 to Merton, unbelievable Geoff and the game was surely won!
There was even time for another, as a great ball from Matty at a corner found the head of Smithy and the keeper made a good save, only for Pete to score the rebound against his old club – the icing on the cake and it was 5-1 to Merton on the road!
Full time blew and the final score was 1-5 to Merton, yes 1-5 to Merton sixes! It was nice to see the fitness starting to improve and team starting gel!
After the game a good post beer was had by everyone, with all happy to finally experience that winning feeling! The sausage and chips went down a treat with Smithy, who even held back some spare raffle tickets to get more, but with the words from Clappers ringing in his ears from during the week, he decided to leave some food for the new players!
Man of the Match:
Special mention to the ref, who I thought was probably the best we have had at this level, as he was joining in the banter and made it clear why he had awarded free kicks by speaking to the players.
Every Merton player had a great game, with the back five and Ram deserving great credit for the solid defensive display.
Matt had a great game with two assists and a goal, with Ricky impressing on debut!
The strikers were superb with all three on the score sheet and with Richard grabbing a brace on debut!
This week, though I am going to give it to John. He left everything on the pitch and broke up play with some great tackles – the beast deserved this!
Next week, back to the hood for a cup game, let’s hope we can keep up this winning run!
Written by SMITHY