This weekend at the Hood. Saturday 1s, 3s and 4s are at home in League action and the bar will be open for festive drinks. On Sunday we entertain Old Westminster Citz Vets and we are putting out some vets of our own against them with the bar open afterwards. Pics show recent line ups. 10,30 meet for an 11am kick off. Come on down and have a drink as well. Why Not??
Dreadful, blustery conditions greeted the 4s as they arrived at the Hood on Saturday, with Storm Desmond (the quality of names of these storms seemingly deteriorating) baring its teeth. The grey skies summed up the mood for a side still looking for its first league win of the season, and coming off the back of a 5-0 reverse the previous week.
But this was a gilt-edged chance to put things right given that they were up against fellow strugglers Actonians Association 6s. Sam starting in goal as ever, with a back four of Scholesy, Glen, Mike and John Gridley in front of him. Dan made a welcome return to central midfield alongside Jake, with Aaron and Chris Outred manning the flanks. Dulanie and Billy were all set to do the business upfront. But as the game kicked off, a Merton team low on confidence were tentative, and it showed. Actonians were much the better side in the opening quarter, and nearly went ahead but for a fine save from Sam. The goal was to arrive soon after though, as a pass somehow found its way through a sea of yellow, and the Actonian striker who picked it up made no mistake in dispatching his finish in the one-on-one with Sam. 1-0, and a crushing blow. But heads stayed up, and so did the spirits. And it showed in the play too, with Merton offering a palpable response. Jake was tireless in midfield, and Billy’s relentless running eventually won a corner. The cavalry went forward, and after a delightful ball in from the skipper Chris, Mike managed to nod home; the keeper and the man on the post offering a lame attempt to keep it out. Either way, it was a much-needed equaliser, and the Yellows were right back in it at 1-1. The rest of the half offered few chances, with the home side showing tremendous discipline and shape. One opportunity did come later on via a goalmouth scramble, with the wind causing havoc. Unfortunately Billy wasn’t quite able to get enough on the loose ball, but when the whistle went for the interval, the chat was good. The 4s could sense that this one was there for the taking, and they were buoyant as they strode back onto the pitch. It was about to get a whole lot better though, as a dream start to the second period was to follow. It was all Merton from the kick off, and five minutes in, Jake made a menacing run through the middle. With him all but through on goal, the hapless defender had little choice but to trip him up. In turn, the referee had little choice but to point to the spot, and this was their chance. The captain bravely stepped up to the plate, and clinically – nay, emphatically – hammered the penalty into the bottom right corner. 2-1, and Merton were soaring. Barely three minutes later, a third was to come. Dulanie won a throw in on the right side in the opposing territory, and Dan spiralled in a beast of throw. The defender miscued his clearing header, and it sailed tormentingly over the keeper and nestled into the side of the net. A bonus indeed, but at 3-1, the home side cared little and had some much-needed breathing space.
There were a lot of factors that conspired to try and spoil Saturday for me. First of all it was away at Old Stationers a trip from Merton that fills me with as much gloom as it probably does for them coming to us. So that meant a trip round the M25. We left early, glad we did as there was an accident firstly on the A3 and then a 45 minute standstill on the M25 at Heathrow. So we arrived late with all the kit balls etc after everyone else. Then there was the weather. A real gusting blustery wind that was blowing straight down the pitch to make it a game of two halves. Then there was the Oppo who adjusted to the conditions better than us. We won the toss and had the wind in the first half. But we did not make enough of it and at half time a one goal advantage never seemed enough. We only had a really good goal from Femi to show for a lot of possession. He picked up a good pass on the left wing took it the by line and beat the defender and slid it past the keeper. In fairness they played pretty well in the first half against the wind and adapted to the conditions better. They equalised 10 mins into the second half and went ahead soon after when the Ref gave them a penalty. The Ref also contributed to spoiling the day. It was not an easy game for him to referee but I doubt if even he thought he did OK. Whilst he got the two big decisions wrong that happens. It is why he got them wrong he needs to think about. He was a young man with a long career ahead of him, who needs to learn from this experience that he that he must enforce the rules of the game. If he doesn’t then he makes a rod for his own back and will disappoint a lot of honest teams on Saturdays in the future and wont enjoy himself. He failed to award a goal when we equalised in the last seconds of the game. He was the only person who did not think the ball had crossed the line. He apologised after but that does not really get you there does it. What was really good and sustained me was the way our lads took it. Great spirit and camaraderie in the bar after when Connor was deservedly man most handsome. But honourable mentions for some good looking boys, Joe Griffin, Femi and Clowesy. So we left with no points a slight feeling of injustice but our heads held high as we had shown respect and upheld the spirit of the SAL.
Vicenzio Di Matteo
Joel Van Oosten
Todays results from The Hood. U10s lost 4-2 to Mitcham Park, U11s lost 5-3 to North Kingston (action pic below), U12s lost 9-0 to Raynes Park Vale.U13s beat Stoneleigh Athletic 10-1 (Charlie Shinn pictured rifling home his 2nd of 4goals, Chris also got 4). U14s put up a great performance with only 10 men but lost 3-2 to Croygas. Real spirit there. Well done to everyone.
1s have a great win 3-0 at home to Old Es (Scorers – Charlie, Tills, Rat) 2s lost 2-1 at Old Stationers ( A great Femi goal and denied the last minute equaliser by an intimidated ref. Good wins for the 3s and 4s but 5s and 6s lose. Pics from 2s game Connor voted MMH and Femi and Liam our two goalscorers. (the ball was a yard over the line).
This week we were without a number of regulars, the Gridley’s were unavailable due to injury and work, Mikey Elgar was giving it a rest after picking up a groin injury a couple of weeks prior and we were also still without Jake Hewitt due to work commitments. Giving us a helping hand were Yomi and Joel from the 3s.
Whenever a performance is not going our way I am one of the first to show my frustration, that is the passion of the game coming out, however watching from the side-lines is so much more frustrating. The reason for this is because you are able to view everything as you are in the best position to do so.
With a make shift back four of Ryan, Steve, Joel and the skipper Chris, it took time for them to adapt and get the communication going. This showed as ten minutes in we were already 3 – 0 down. The wind did play a part however we should have been able to anticipate the long ball game from the off. We should definitely have been able to anticipate it after the first time!
There were not many positives to take from the game apart from a good fifteen minutes spell that we had in the second half. Another 2 goals from the visitors resulted in them comfortably claiming all three points.
Joe was unfortunate to receive a yellow card following his reacting to a bad challenge however then situation was taken care of straight away to prevent it from getting worse as Aaron was brought back on, having been replaced by Sevan at half time, for the final fifteen minutes.
Next week we host the lower Actonians Association side with a much needed win required. Not only will this hopefully kick-start our league but it will give the guys a confidence boost that is long overdue.
FINAL SCORE: Merton 4s 0 – 5 Old Wilsonians 4s SCORER: None MOTM: Joe Plumridge
STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), Ryan Burchell, Steve Burchell, Joel van Oosten, Chris Outred, Aaron Ackerman (Sevan Mutafyan), Joe Plumridge (Aaron Ackerman), Glen Porter, Billy Bowie, Dulanie Richards, Yomi Alalade.
I thought I would go along and watch this as it was at least dry underfoot. I hate mud and it had been switched to 3G in Feltham. You might be able to change the ground but you cant change the weather it was bitterly cold and there were gale force gusts blowing across the pitch. Sherbs insulated himself against the cold with 4 goal keepers tops because that is all there was. The 2s were a little depleted and thanks to six of the 3s who stepped up and helped out. HAC looked a good well organised team and they were. We started pretty well and had two good chances but HAC went into the lead when the first of a number of rather generously awarded free kicks was swung into the box. DQ showed what a danger he is in any penalty area when he sliced his clearance unstoppably into the roof of the net. Still 5 mins later and DQ latched on to a through ball and tickled it past their Keeper, 1 -1 and that is how it stayed until half time. They took the lead early in the second half from a quickly taken free kick and made it 3-1 with a really good free kick from edge of the box. 4-1 was rifled home after Sherbs had made a rather good save. DQ popped up again outrunning their defence to make it 4-2 and then missed a golden chance to head home from a great Oli Ross free kick. A couple more generous free kicks and 6-2 was the final score. Oli Ross was outstanding in midfield and Wilgo worked his socks off. Neal D marshalled the defence well and they were never comfortable when DQ was in their box. Nor where we when he was in ours. But too many absentees on a regular basis is killing our season yet again. So thanks to the 3s who all put in a very creditable shift and to HAC who thoroughly deserved their win and good luck in the competition.
Not a good day for all Merton teams, all teams managed to play despite the weather throughout the week. All teams lost but spirits was still high in the bar.
1st lost 3 – 0 against top of Top of table Bank of England.
2s played away in the AFA Intermediate cup against Honourable Artillery Company. Unfortunately unable to progress to the next round losing 6 – 2.
3s had no fixture.
4s lost heavily at home to Old Wilsonians 4s.
5s also played at home losing 5 – 1 against South Bank Cuaco.
6s had a home fixture but played at Common Extensions, they played Old Wilsonians 8s losing heavily 7 – 0.