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??

Over 35s01 OWC Vets

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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.

Posted in Match Reports 4s

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.


Posted in Match Reports 2s

Merton made amends for the 1-1 draw in the return fixture by claiming a deserved 3 points at Barnet. The high winds and the inclined, boggy pitch all pointed to the game being unlikely to be a clean, passing game, but this was something the boars of war were prepared for. They lined up 4-4-2, with Joel returning to partner Vin in the heart of the defence, Lofty manfully taking over GK duties, and Ryan Gresty making his long awaited return to Merton colours by taking a spot on the bench alongside Tony.
EBOG won the toss and chose to kick into the wind, so the scene was set for Merton to take advantage and secure a sizeable half-time lead. However, like two weeks ago vs Old Blues, the reality was rather different. Merton started promisingly, camped in the EBOG half and using the pace of Tom and Dan to threaten a somewhat ponderous back 4. Dan had the first chance, latching on to an underhit goal kick only to fire at the keeper. Dave, Tom and Denys all had half-chances as well but once again our finishing was awry. Merton were also denied what looked like a clear penalty for handball as the ball was crossed in for a corner.
Merton’s frustrations at not getting the breakthrough were rising, not helped by some very inconsistent refereeing (more on that later), and were duly compounded as EBOG took the lead midway through the half. After not awarding an obvious handball despite blowing his whistle prior to this every time the ball so much as looked at a Merton hand, the referee then penalised Merton for a fair challenge in the centre of the pitch. Two consecutive errors, and from the resulting free kick, an EBOG player flicked the ball on. Joel, standing just behind, couldn’t stop the involuntary arm twitch towards the ball and the penalty (probably rightly) was awarded
and despatched confidently. 1-0.
1-0 threatened to be become two as Merton momentarily lost their way. Some good work from EBOG down the right saw them work the ball into the middle of the box for an onrushing player to strike, but Lofty was out quickly to
smother before the defence cleared the follow up.
That scare avoided, Merton promptly went up the other end and got the equaliser. Dan latched on to a high ball, broke free of the covering defence, and for once took his time, dribbling to within his standard 6-10 yard distance from goal before slotting in at the near post, as the keeper helpfully decided to leave a nice gap by standing a few yards inside his post. 1-1.
Merton were back on top now and more chances to take the lead followed. Denys played Dan in with a lovely through ball, only for the shot to drift just past the post with wind and hill playing slightly contributory factors. Seb squared for Ricky to run on to the ball from just outside the corner of the box and his first time strike looked in for all the world before instead crashing into the crossbar with the keeper nowhere. Tom then got in down the right and his diagonal cross couldn’t quite be steered in by Dan at the far post. Next, Denys blazed so wide the ball threatened to go out for a throw from a narrow angle. Dan then cushioned a header into Ricky who hit the crossbar again (!!) from close range but was ruled offside anyway. Finally, Tom himself found the ball at his feet 6 yards out following some pinball in the box, but from the angle could only find the keeper.
So, 1-1 at half time, and much like the game at Old Blues two weeks ago, Merton had it all to do in the second half against the wind. Lofty said as much in his half time team talk, but pointed to the fact we scored 5 second half goals in that game against the wind so we could do it again.
Ryan came on at half time, and was involved within seconds, first passing to the opposition and then chopping down the oppo player nearest to him. We’ll call that ring rust, although maybe the plan was to give them the ball
so he could show them the sort of tough tackling they would be receiving for the rest of the game! Despite the wind, Merton still looked the more dangerous team. Where EBOG had failed to get even close to getting out of their half for most of the first 45 minutes, Lofty’s clean striking from goal kicks was giving Merton a platform to attack from. Similarly, when EBOG tried the ball over the top, they learned much as Merton had in the first half, namely that the wind would often take it off the pitch or to the keeper.
As Merton pushed for the goal to take them into the lead, Dan played Ricky in only for a combination of defender and keeper to deny him. However, a Merton goal was coming and the pressure finally told ten minutes into the
second half. Some great pressing by the front 4 culminated in a rushed clearance by the keeper, and Dan sprinted in to rob the ball from the centre back as he waited for it to come down. Bursting into the box, for once he got
his head up and squared for Dave Scott as two defenders desperately tried to block the shot. Dave elected to take a touch on the very tricky pitch, teasing both keeper and one remaining centre-back as it
ran on a few yards. Things were all under control though and Dave (was very tempted to write Neal!) coolly slotted in from a couple of yards, almost dribbling into the net. 2-1.
On a heavy pitch, the front two and the wingers were being rotated regularly, and Tom, having come off at HT, duly came on and scored with his first touch to make it 3-1. This time, some outstanding play down the right by
Ricky saw him block an attempted clearance by the full-back, chase it down and hit a first time cross from the edge of the area to Denys. As with Dave, Denys decided to take a touch, and the chance looked to be gone as the
defensive cover closed in on Denys with the ball now slightly behind him. However, Tom had sprinted into the box in support, and recognising this Denys instead used his body to hold off the defenders as Tom smashed into the
roof of the net from close range. 3-1.
Despite the comfort of a two goal cushion, 3-1 was still a dangerous scoreline and with heavy legs and the wind against us, it was very important not to give EBOG a sniff of a second goal. Fortunately with war boars Ryan and Pete in the middle, the opposition were slowly losing the will to fight. Both men were flying into tackles left right and centre. Pete was perhaps lucky not to be booked as he cynically stopped an EBOG break with a well placed shoulder, but the reality was that for many of the opposition players, seeing him bear down on them was enough to make them kick the ball into touch and evacuate the immediate area. Ryan was showcasing his full array of slide tackles in front of the man, stopping the ball with his leg, back, and shoulder on different occasions as he flew by, and often then getting up to win the second ball from the bemused opposition. Vin and Joel were also excellent, often heading clear a full 15-20 yards against the wind which helped enormously in stopping the opposition building any momentum. EBOG were getting frustrated at what they saw as rough treatment, and this boiled over into a full blown kick at Pete by one player, followed by a bit of a melee of pushing, which the referee somewhat mysteriously warranted no action whatsoever beyond a free kick.
Merton were a little more defensively-minded now as legs tired, but there was still time for some further action. A swift counter attack saw Merton with 7 men forward, but a misplaced through-ball looked to have ended the attack. Right back Tony was having none of this however, perhaps enjoying the chance to get away from marking their tricky winger, and chased the ball down, stopping it on the by-line 10 yards from goal. Sensing a killer fourth goal, Seb screamed for the cross. Or if you listen to Denys account of this, he more mewed for the cross in a soft, quiet, pleading voice. Toooooonnny, Toooooony he pleaded (sound files of this are available). Tony was having none of this (or perhaps couldn’t hear noises that highly pitched) and instead went for goal. This was somewhat ambitious considering he was standing on the byline with the post between him and the goal and no angle whatsoever, but to be fair he forced the keeper/post into a save. Seb was devastated.
The game went on. And on. 17 minutes to go turned into about 47, as the referee kept finding time from somewhere. It turned out that perhaps he meant 27 when he said 17, no one was really sure except Ryan who was convinced (and told the ref so) that “ball in car-park” time was not being applied consistently to both teams and more damningly that he being lied to. EBOG used this (extra?) time to play in a couple of very teasing free-kicks that no-one could apply a finish to, Lofty instead watching them cooly (outwardly at least) past his far post.
The icing on the cake that was the 4th goal duly arrived with 2 minutes to go. Mustard, having taken a week off from sniffing out danger, bagged an assist with a quick throw in down the left. Tom took advantage of some tired legs to beat the fullback and cut inside into the box before passing crisply into the corner as Denys and Dan waited hopefully for a square ball. So, 4-1 and once again a great performance into the wind and a proper battle of a game in the wind and the mud. Boar weather! Most importantly, the sheer desire and will to win of this team was once again evident and is playing a massive part of our success so far this season.
MOTM: Pete Jennings, for his tireless running, a succession of big tackles, and successfully scaring opposing players so much that they didn’t want to play any more. Also a massive mentions to Ryan’s Dad for his vocal
support from the touchline and also for the ill Mike Stone, who dragged himself to North London just to watch the game from beneath several layers of clothes and coats.
DOTM: Tough this week, with everyone playing well, but had to be Joel for the handball.

Line up:

Simon White
Mike Reed
Vicenzio Di Matteo
Joel Van Oosten
Ricardo Inglesias
Sebastien Lechanoine
Pete Jennings
Dave Scott
Tom Benham
Dan Kelly
Denys Zhurby
Anthony Postlewaite
Ryan Gresty
Posted in Match Reports 3s

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.

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Todays results

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).

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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.

Posted in Match Reports 4s

On a wet and windy Sunday morning in Thornton Heath, Merton FC U10s were looking for their 2nd win in a row.
Players all turned up and a really good warm up before kick off was implemented all credit to Nayon dad who is clearly a very good coach.
Ref blew his whistle and we went 1-0 up though Jamal with really good run and even better finish.
Thomas scored the 2nd as we went 2-0 up with another top corner finish.
3rd Goal was own goal but would not have happened if Stevie Gumble had not chased down the defender and caused them to make a mistake.
4th Goal game from Stevie as he ran onto ball from a good pass and finished clinically into bottom corner.
Wallington goal was a free kick 20 yards out – hot with wind for them – went like a torpedo – Olllie got his hand to the ball and almost saved it – sure his body was still shaking with the power of the shot 10 mins later.
4-1 at half time.
2nd half they really came at us and our amazing sweeper Nayon was there to pick up the pieces – solid as a rock and very calm under pressure.
Ollie – safe hands Laughton produced a couple of good shots and was unable to keep out both Wallington goals……. 2 really impressive shots.
Team are back to winning ways – and we can now see clear passing and desire to chase every ball.
Big pat on the back to all involved – From banks of River Wandle to shores of Scilly we support mighty Merton Football club as we climb to top of the league.
Back home in warmth now – bring on Mitcham Park FC next week – we are ready – we are steady and we are together — united —
Ollies Dad.
Posted in Under 10s Reports

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.

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Posted in Match Reports 2s

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.

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