Month: February 2016
Only two matches today’ 2s draw 0-0 away at EBOG a real battle in the bog. A great performance. Eggy Birthday boy down a predator (War and Peace edition)and Sherbs picks up Man of the Match award. 6s draw 4-4 at Ibis Eagles with goals from Ty, Ryan, Pete and Dan P. But they had led 3-1 at HT. 6th team striker Peter Obeng Adu is in hospital with a grade 4 tear in kidney after yesterday’s game at IBIS – our thoughts are with him for a speedy recovery
(Pics from EBOG)
Actonians Association 6s vs. Merton 4s
SAL Minor Division 1 South
Saturday 6th February 2016
John Gridley said it best after the men in Yellow had made the not-insignificant trek from the Actonians clubhouse to the fields where the game would take place: “This is going to be proper grassroots football today, lads.” Indeed, with ominous skies, a howling wind and a truly awful pitch, the 90 minutes that followed were never going to be a footballing masterpiece.
Nevertheless, the 4s, on the back of an impressive 3-0 win at Weirside Rangers, fancied their chances against the struggling Actonian Association 6s, and once again lined up 4-5-1. Starting off with much of the wind against them, they made a fine start, keeping good shape, working hard, and even showing some composure on the ball.
The first 15 minutes were a bit of cat and mouse, with no real opportunities coming for either side. But Merton were just starting to build some momentum, and just shy of midway through the half, they hit their hosts on the counter. Some good interplay in midfield saw the ball find its way to Dulanie, who made a great run and fed Dom in the box. Hustled by a defender and with the keeper to beat, he made a decent stab at it with his left boot, but the wind took the ball agonisingly wide of the post.
Salt was then rubbed in the wounds soon after, as from about 30 yards out, Actonians took a shot that was seemingly well blocked. However, it lobbed up, rode the wind, and somehow snuck just under the crossbar. 1-0 to the men in blue, and a cruel blow for Merton.
But the lads seem to be made of sterner stuff these days, and kept their heads up from the resumption. They continued to work hard, and after some resolute defending, again produced a counter attack. Once again, it was Dom who found himself carving out a shot in the box, despite being circled by numerous defenders, only this time it was the keeper who tipped his effort inches wide of the same post.
But he wasn’t to be denied for too much longer. Five minutes before the break, Merton won a free kick 25 yards out, 10 yards to the left of the left post. For Dom, and a man who had scored his previous two free kicks, you could barely have placed it better. And so 10 men in yellow held their breath. The 11th, Dom, had no such doubts though. The ball once again absolutely flew off his left boot, seemingly picking up speed as it went despite the wind. The keeper dived despairingly, but never had a price. It smashed into the goal off the inside of the far post, and every man to a tee mobbed the little genius. 1-1, a crucial equaliser before half time, and unbridled joy for the lads.
Nothing much more doing in the closing minutes, and the talk was good at the interval. The 4s fancied putting 3 or 4 past these opponents, especially with a bit more help from the wind. But first and foremost, it was the three points which were needed. Actonians came out after the kick-off with purpose, but the midfield three kept digging their heels in, and, in truth, didn’t leave a great deal for the defence to do.
And the surging home side were always going to leave themselves vulnerable to a counter attack. This time it was good work from Joe and Jake up the right which led to a free kick in a dangerous position around 10 minutes into the second period.
Now it was Mikey who stood over it, and he delivered a menacing ball into the box. With a sea of yellow trying to get on the end of it, the Actonian defender appeared to be taken by surprise as the ball landed at his feet, and his attempted clearance resulted merely in a meek finish past the keeper. Own goal, Scholesy might just about claim the assist for a “flick on”, but Merton didn’t care a monkeys how it had come. It was 2-1, and another 3 points were in sight.
But there was still a long way to go, and the key was going to be to keep the focus and concentration up. No team really bossed it at any stage, but it’s fair to say the opponents spent more time in the Yellows’ half than the alternative. But each time any man was called upon to thwart the Actonians, they did their job, and the manager made some good substitutions too with Arnold and Billy showing good energy when they came on.
In truth, for 85 minutes, the home side weren’t even allowed a clear opportunity at any stage, with even their earlier goal being somewhat fortuitous and speculative. But a generally peaceful game had a bit of late drama, as Dom took exception to the harrying of an Actonian defender. He put an impressive rugby tackle in after the whistle had gone for a foul, which incensed the opponents. This in turn drew all in sundry to throw their handbags in – including those on the bench – with rumours that a punch had been thrown escalating things.
The fracas eventually died down and play resumed for the final few. Perhaps a now slightly distracted Merton side had their first real heart-in-mouth moment in the dying stages, as the opposing winger put a ball in that awkwardly trickled across the face of the goal in front of Sam. But with no blue shirt able to get on the end of it, that hairy moment passed as quickly as it had begun, and the sweet sound of the final whistle followed soon after.
And so it was… a 2-1 victory. Not one that will go down as an all-time classic. Far from it, in fact. But the steadily improving 4s had done what they needed to do, and largely cruised to what was now a 4th win in 5. This really is a team beginning to hit its straps, and although HSBC will likely present a tougher challenge next week, Merton will have every confidence that they can do the business.
FINAL SCORE: Actonians Association 6s 1 – 2 Merton 4s
SCORERD: Dom Plumridge, Own Goal
MOTM: Joe Plumridge
STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), John Gridley, Chris Outred, Mike Todt, Edward Plaistow (Billy Dowie), Jake Hewitt (Arnold Collier), Michael Elgar, Neal Davison, Mike Elgar, Dulanie Richards, Dom Plumridge
From banks of river Wandle to shores of Scilly Merton U10s continue marching to cup victory.
Away to CB Hounslow they gave a brilliant display of passing and moving and destroyed opposition 7-1.
Nayman goal curved like a boomerang into top corner.
Jamal danced like a beat boxer around the goal using his twinkle feet and smashing ball into net like an exocet missile.
Zion ran faster than Usain Bolt down wing and finished with 2 surplime finishes.
Stevie continued with his great discipline and finished with a great goal from a Jamal pass.
Hard work continues and if we stay with passing and moving who knows we could reach cup final.
Christian in defence and midfield was as solid as a rock and goes from strength to Strength.
Tom and Ted were on fire hot on ball.
MOM tough call….. Nayman for all his hard work and control.
Onwards we travel to next journey
Good day with the Youth section. Our Under 10s beat C B Hounslow 7-1 and are now through to the semi finals of the cup. The U11s beat Halliford Colts 2-1 and the U12s drew 1-1 with Worplesden Rangers. Our U13s beat Moormead heavily with Harvey and Jacobo both getting hat tricks. The U14s game was postponed. Last nights monsoons had really flooded the Hood.
Todays Results are coming in. (Well I hope they are!!) 2s drew 4-4 away at Ally Pally in a great game. We lead 3-2 at half time but had the benefit of a strong wind. 3s game at South Bank off and 4s have another great result winning 2-1 at Actonians. 5s lose at home, well WCE 0 – 2 to HSBC. 6s lose 0 – 3 away to bottom of league Old Blues 4s.
Merton 6s vs Bank of England 6s 24th January 2016
The 6s turned up in Roehampton at one of the best clubs in the league, Bank of England. We got given changing room 2, which was massive. We played on the converted marked out rugby pitch, this was very wide but short. If we didn’t hit the back of the net, some of the players would definitely score a conversion. Skipper decided to try a different formation of 5 3 2. This didn’t go well and found ourselves 2 – 0 down. Their first goal was a free kick just outside the box and second against run of play.
Time for a change, George came off for Paul and back to 4 4 2. This was better and we started to play football. We went in at half time 2 nil down.
Second half was a different ball game; we dominated and took the chances well. First goal came from a Pete free kick, beautifully placed, although it did go though the keepers flapping hands. We continued to press, when Beans cleared from defence, it fell to Matt in the box, controlled well and slotted the ball in the bottom left corner, although some did say it rolled off and down the shin. Bank did cause a few problems but Mo at the back and Man of the Match was solid, dominating and lead the back four to keep Bank from scoring. His goal scoring time came when he picked up the ball inside Banks half, and like a charging bull took the ball past the Bank players and thumped the ball into the back of the net. Merton had brought it back to 3 – 2 and was buzzing. Subs were made, Dan P came off and Simon came on. Forth goal came from the penalty spot, Martin done his usual forward run from right back, had a chance for shot on goal, when it struck the Bank players arm. Ref pointed to the spot, Skipper wanted to take it, but was over ruled by the other Merton players and insisted Pete took it. I think the Skipper wanted to add to his goal tallied to help improve his crazy bet at the beginning of the season, the rest of the players wanted a goal. Pete stepped up and made it four. Martin Made way for George for the last 10 minutes and Dan P came on for the injured Beans. Merton held on and the final whistle was blown. This result against the others in league put the 6s third. Back to the massive changing and to the bar for a well earned pint. Old Wilsonians 9s next week, a must win as they have surprisingly beaten us twice this season.
Smithy CB (Skipper)
Merton 6s vs Old Wilsonians 9s
30th January 2016
Old Wilsonians were a side last season that was bottom of the league and a side you knew you could come away with a win, not this season!! This was the 3rd time both teams have met this season and last two games Old Wilsonians 9s have taken the 6s by surprise and won. Every player knew that this was the 6s time to win. Strong squad on paper, 3 subs and the choice of 9 pitches to choose from, the one that we were allocated was not a good choice. A switch of pitch a usual quick usual 6s warm up and the game was under way. We start strong and could of been a few goals up if Matt H had brought his shooting boots, this was highlighted by Chappell in a Whats App message earlier that morning. Chance came and went hitting the bar, posts and tall trees behind the goal, but not between. Then it happened, they got us on the break and scored. Soon after the kick off, we got a free kick, Ty stepped up to knock one into the box, in it came and off the centre backs head and into the goal. Half time came; a quick team talk and we had belief that if we continued to play like we have, we could take the lead and points.
Again Matt had the chances but not the luck or clinical finishing skills. Old Wilsons did cause a few problems, but the defence strayed strong and Swanny was picking out the loose balls. Merton’s break and 2nd goal came from Ty, who picked the ball up just outside the area and lobbed the keeper. John was getting bruised and battered in the middle of the pitch, including his sore toe,will it ever heal? He was looking for sympathy, but not getting any from his team mates. A Few subs made, Martin off, George on, Steve B off, Beans on. Then Beans off (had a heavy night), Steve B back on. Dan on for Ty, whose legs could take no more. Skipper also felt the need to try changing from 442 to 433, which baffled some of the players as to why?? Time ticked on when Pete and Matt found themselves through on goal, from an assist from Dan, looking up Pete saw it was Matt thought of passing but knew another goal would seal it so went alone and made it 3 – 1. The ref who had a good game blew for full time, 2 wins in a row and next fixture away to bottom of table Old Blues, the 6s need to continue to stay within a chance of promotion or even the title.
Smithy LB (Skipper)
Daddy Burchell LM
Baby Burchell RB
John ‘sore toe’ CM
Ty CM (1)
Matt S (where’s my boots?)
Subs: Dan George Beans
2s Report 30th Jan
Polytechnic Res (0) 4, Merton Res (1) 1
Poly is one of the jewels of the SAL and It is always good to go there. Particularly on this day with the sun shining and playing on their top pitch which looked pretty good. And Poly usually play good passing football with a good attitude.
Poly, top of the table, unsurprisingly dominated Merton (bottom of the table) but the only surprising thing was that kicking into the wind ad up the hill we went into half time a goal to the good. We defended resolutely but Poly squandered some good chances and their final ball let them down. We scored against the run of play when we were awarded a penalty for a block from a well struck Jason Thomas shot. Chris Rayner took it and scored comfortably. So with the wind and down hill for the second half meant that we might get something from the game but that was not to be and our luck was out. Poor defending cost us dearly. They equalised from the spot which we disputed but it had come from poor defending and a wrestling match. Who fouled who and inside or outside but I was not surprised at the award. This had a devastating impact on us. We conceded a sloppy second goal when we switched off. At 2-1 down we had a little rally and Jase got a good shot away but it was straight at the keeper. The third goal was a header from a cross which held up in the wind and the fourth looked well off side. With DQ having been injured early on and our sub used we ran out of steam and heart and it was not unfair that Poly got all the points. Merton’s man of the match was Ryan Gresty and there was a good performance from Seb and Joe. Thanks to the lads from the 3s who stepped up helped us out. Mustard had a particularly good performance and now looks like a full back. Eggy had to do a predator as a punishment for being late but he downed it with ease. So a disappointing score in the end but not a bad day.
Team: Sherbs (GK), Eggy, Paercey, Joe Griff, Mustard, Ryan G, Chris Rayner, Wilgo, DQ (Sub Seb), Jase, Denys
Weirside Rangers 3s vs. Merton 4s
SAL Minor Division 1 South
Saturday 30th January 2016
Battered, bruised, and perhaps a little embarrassed. That’s probably how you might have expected the Merton 4s to have felt when they arrived at Weirside on Saturday given the 8-0 hammering that was dished out by Alleyn the week before. Yet there was a surprisingly quiet calm about them on the day. A strong squad was assembled, the mood was pretty positive, and after a strong team talk led by John Gridley, the lads took to what was a relatively poor pitch primed for battle.
The action got underway with Merton into the sun for the first half. There was a slight breeze off the right, but the biggest element to contend with in terms of flowing football was the heavy and slow field, which made crisp passing difficult and was sure to take a bit out of the players’ legs as the match wore on.
Nevertheless, the Yellows started solidly, if not spectacularly, against a feisty Weirside Rangers outfit. There wasn’t much attacking thrust, but with the manager having packed 5 into the midfield, there was a definite stability and shape about Merton from the get go.
Dan Gridley shored things up notably in the middle of it all, Mikey and Jake were working hard, but the main attacking threat came on the wings, with Dulanie and Arnold chasing balls tirelessly and thanklessly. Perhaps the only frustration came from the fact that the handy crosses the two of them were putting in were to a largely empty box. Yet this was no reflection on Dom, who, on his own upfront, was magnificent in his hold-up play, and carving out little bursts when he was seemingly swamped by defenders.
But in the opening period, Merton were largely restricted to half chances; a few shots from the edge of the area, while Mikey was unable to hit the target with a free kick in a good position. At the other end, Rangers had been well contained, but did squander two gild-edged opportunities to take the lead. The first saw a shot from 10 yards out sail over the crossbar, while, on the stroke of half time, a free header from point blank was skewed wide.
It meant the relieved 4s had parity at the break at 0-0, and there was a buzz about them as they strode back out onto the pitch. They knew that, with the sun now at their backs, this was their chance to crack on. They began the half steadily once again, snuffing out any threats from Weirside, working even harder to close them down, and, for the first time in the match, were beginning to get on top of the opposition.
In a tight game like this though, with neither side giving an inch, it was going to take something special to break the deadlock, and it was Dan who duly delivered the goods. He held up a longish ball on the edge of the box with ease. He paused. He darted forward. He turned. He shrugged off the defence. He dispatched. And, gloriously, it flew into the back of the net. 1-0 Merton and delirium ensued.
Once the joyous scenes died down, it was all about getting the heads back on and doing even more for the remaining half hour. “Back to 0-0, boys” was the call, and too right it was. The hard work continued, and every man to a tee was in sync. The defence had the measure of what was being thrown at them, the midfield – now with Seb and Joe on the park as replacements – were getting stuck in, but it was Dom who was providing the outlet going forward; simply immense despite the workload he was shouldering.
However, as is inevitable, there were some heart-in-mouth moments with such a slender lead. Sam nearly made a mess of his effort to shepherd a ball for a goal kick, which the Rangers attacker intercepted and then smashed into the woodwork. Mike’s diving clearance avoided the ignominy of an own goal by a matter of inches. And, with the Yellow defence caught unusually short at the back, Sam did ever so well to come off his line in a one-on-one which resulted in their striker tugging his shot wide.
But a heavy-legged Merton outfit were hanging on, scrapping and giving it their all, and the decisive blow came with just five minutes to go. They won a free kick about 25 yards out, and with the wind coming off the left shoulder, the call came for a left footer to do the business. The man for the job was Dom, who’d scored with his last free kick at Old Wilsonians. On that occasion though, it was a mediocre strike which had benefited from a favourable bounce. What could he produce here?
In short, a rampaging, thunderous, out-of-this-world belter that was still climbing as it flew past the helpless Rangers keeper and smashed into the onion bag. Take a bow son. That was as good as you’ll ever see. 2-0 and the boys were in ecstasy.
A slightly hairy moment or two followed though – Weirside charged up the other end from the restart and threatened. There was a scramble or two at the back, but Merton survived again with some committed defending. And with the hosts now caught short at the back, Seb led the counter. He fed Dom, who in turn fed Dan Gridley. There was only ever going to be one outcome. He dummied, he pulled it inside, and slotted the ball home from a tight angle to make it 3-0, with what was almost the last kick of the game. What a finish!
The final whistle blew soon after, and a tired but proud Merton side departed for the change rooms. What an unbelievable performance it had been. After the humiliation of last week, three goals, three points and a clean sheet. You simply can’t fashion a more emphatic response than that. What belief this will give the 4s for the remainder of the season too. It re-affirmed the notion that, when this team is at full strength and reading from the same hymn sheet, there aren’t many teams who can stand in their way. Bring on Actonians next week.
FINAL SCORE: Weirside Rangers 3s 0 – 3 Merton 4s SCORERS: Dan Gridley (2), Dom Plumridge MOTM: Dom Plumridge. So tough on Dan G, who was superb and scored 2 goals. But it has to go to Dom. Sensational performance.
STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), John Gridley, Mike Todt, Chris Outred, Edward Plaistow, Arnold Collier (Sevan Mutafyan), Jake Hewitt (Joe Plumridge), Mike Elgar, Dan Gridley, Dulanie Richards, Dom Plumridge.
****Warning, the below report is offensive to the eyes****
As little can be said about this result, the better, but I will give you a brief rundown of events:
Match Stats brought to you by Ricki’s Dog.
Merton / Old Blues
Goals Scored. 1 / 2
Shots on target. 1 / 2
Shots off target. 68 / 0
Corners. 27 / 1
Penalties missed. 2 / 0
Open goals missed. 1 / 0
With FA cup fever in the air, Merton heading to their home away from home, Wimbledon Common Extensions. Opposition were Old Blues 3’s who were looking for their 1st win this year, and all season come to think about it…
Mood in the camp was good, even after the 30min pitch inspection.
No sounds system bangers in the changing room was, in hindsight a fatally flaw in proceedings, so with DJ Pap’s on the “1’s n 2’s”, Merton got ready to commence battle.
The game started, much as the Chelsea vs MK Dons game did, with Merton having all of the possession and knocking the ball around nicely. Like Chelsea, Merton could have been 9.0 by half time, but that’s where the similarities stop.
Instead Merton were only 1.0 up, thanks to Darcy, with the only shot on target that half.
(In fairness, Merton hit the post and the cross bar twice, but as the saying goes, almost doesn’t count).
Half time brought some reassuring words from ‘el Capitano’. Complacency needed to be thrown out of the window and we needed to start punishing them. Tactically we singled out there right back (who couldn’t actually kick the ball) as the weakest link…just.
New goalkeeper signing Besty aka ‘Beasty’ wondered what he had let himself in for. 45min on a muddy pitch, in the wind and rain and he hadn’t touched the ball yet.
So the 2nd half started, much like the 1st with Merton dominating and missing the target. A rare attack saw Old Blues get there first corner of the game.
I’m not sure what happened, maybe Merton forgot what an opposing corner looked like, but needless to say, the deadly right back who struggled with his feet, lost his marker and headed home a good goal.
Beasty 1st touch for his new found club was getting the ball out of his own net…
Old Blues had the wind in their sails now and the pressure was on.
Now Merton had 2 choices, BOAR up and be counted or fall to pieces.
After a sticky start since conceding the goal, Merton started to find their way again.
Some lovely football set Donno through clear on goal. After beating the keeper, and with only an open goal in front of him, dear Dave wanted to make life interesting for his team mates.
Maybe he was thinking of his celebration already, or maybe the curse of being ‘Dick of the Day’ last week caught up with him, anyway, he knocked it wide.
Never the less, Merton continued to push and miss the target. Then, out of nowhere, Old Blues goal keeper came steaming out and took out a Merton player inside the box. Clear pen.
Was Merton luck about to change???
This time, it was the turn for another Dave to step up and be counted (despite not being penalty taker and refusing to give it up to the inform, deadly striker Darcy 😉
The Old Blues keeper, who had asked to borrow a pair of goalkeeper gloves before the game, took his spot on the line. Dave stepped up, gave the keeper the eye and hit it straight at him.
Old Blues players started celebrating by doing the GangMan style dance around the Ref. Si (the Ref) was having none of it and ordered a retake.
In screens, which have never before been seen, the keeper proceeded to save the 2nd pen. One of the fans went on record saying “Unbelievable Jeff”.
With Merton not put off by these remarkable series of events, they continued to look for the 2nd goal.
Merton won their 27th corner of the game.
(Apologies again for not knowing entirely what happened here, but it looked like something that I have not seen since year 6 at primary school, playing football in the playground). So Merton take the corner, Old Blues get the ball and score to make it 1.2 to the visitors.
New boy Beasty gets his 2nd touch of the game, again picking the ball out the net.
(Beasty did make a save 1st, but the story sounds better my way!).
Merton tried in vain to find an equaliser, with more way ward shooting.
Old Blues didn’t make it easy for Merton, by making substitutes every time the ball went out of play for the last 10min of the game.
In the end, it was a very sobering defeat for Merton.
Old Blues players have never been so happy, and in the scenes that followed, I genuine thought they had won the FA cup, Champagne was being sprayed, wives and kids were on the pitch, it was pandemonium.
BOARS need to take a long hard look at themselves in the water hole and learn how to shot (on target).
“Merton are still looking for their 1st win of 2016… Pressure is growing on the board to take action and bring in Jose Mourinho… ” (The Sunday Sport Supplement in the Merton times dated 31.1.16).
Man of the Match: Darcy, closely followed by the rule setter Neil.
Dick of the Dave: Dave, closely followed by… you guessed it, Dave D.