Croygas 2-2 Merton
Building on from last weeks hard fought win, Merton moved into this fixture against the team currently second.
The new found confidence was clear to see and the new formation was having a positive impact on the team. We have finally found a formation that works with this group of players!
We started the game off in positive fashion, keeping the ball well but also keeping solid at the back. We took the lead through a well taken goal from Bradley, with some neat build up play in the lead up to the finish.
We remained solid and kept it tight, Croygas having minimal chances on goal. They took their only shot on target to equalise just before half time.
The confidence didn’t dip and we started the second half just as strong as we finished the first. A sloppy goal to concede following a mix up in our backline gifted Croygas the lead. And they began to grow in confidence. However we stood firm.
A short corner fell to Marcin on the edge of the box who drilled it in  the far corner to equalise. A deserved equaliser.
Despite constant reminders from the opposition players ‘they are 7th, lets put them in their place’ we kept on pushing for the winner. Which nearly came from a free kick from Marcin.
Well done boys – challenge is to remain unbeaten throughout December!
 
Posted in Under 15s Reports

Merton 9-2 Lloyds Warren
 
Normally writing match reports for a victory is a pleasure, particularly in a season dominated by losses. But when it’s a mess of messy of goals, it can be a bit of a headache! But here goes…
At the behest of the Merton skipper, throwing his weight around for entirely selfish reasons, the 4s game had been moved to King George’s for an early kick off at 1pm. It appeared as though Lloyds Warren hadn’t got the memo, with no sign of them for much of the buildup. 

 
Eventually, having gone to the wrong ground, 10 of them turned up about 15 minutes before kick off. Merton did their best to have a decent warm-up, but coming up against an already-struggling team, who were walking onto the pitch cold, and with a man short of a full team, fending off complacency was going to be the challenge.
And it appeared to be a challenge too great, as Merton started the game stuck in first gear. Lloyds Warren were making all the early running, and frustration quickly set in among the Yellows as they struggled to get any kind of rhythm. It must have made for a pretty poor spectacle from the sidelines, but credit to the visitors for making a go of it.
As such, Merton were very fortunate to take the lead. Mike Vogt found himself in space down the left, and, one on one with the keeper, just about bundled it home to make it 1-0.
But Lloyds Warren righted the injustice almost straight away, as they sauntered through Merton’s non-existent midfield, struck the post from range, crossed from the rebound and nodded home from point blank to make it 1-1.
Merton were seething. They knew they had been poor thus far, and were grateful to have their lead restored almost immediately after. Mikey Elgar, a welcome returnee from his travels, and carrying considerably more facial hair than when last seen on these shores, got in the mix in a goalmouth scramble, and directed the ball goalwards before their woeful keeper did the rest. Harsh on Mikey, but the goals panel decided it was an own goal. Still, 2-1, and Merton were back in front.
Now, full disclosure… accurate reporting of the remaining goals will be beyond this scribe, as it all happened thick and fast. But the 3rd and 4th goals came courtesy of Dom Plumridge and Ryan Burchell, the latter of whom wasn’t done for the day. It meant that Merton went into the break in a commanding 4-1 lead, but, rightly so, the chat wasn’t necessarily all positive. 
True, it isn’t easy to get up for a game you effectively know you’re going to win, but Merton had been well below their best, and if Lloyds had had a half-decent keeper, the score would likely have been 1-1.
The Yellows upped the ante a little bit when the second half began, and it didn’t take long before the scoreline was added to. Among them was Ryan’s second goal – a Divock Origi-esque finish from a tight angle. Undoubtedly an attempted cross, but he’ll take it. Mike Vogt added his second of the day too, and Aaron, who had been by far Merton’s best player, also forced a goal, although the goals panel once again ruthlessly decided that it was an OG. 
7-1 it was, but the moment of the day was yet to come. Having already hit the post earlier – on that occasion, Dom very generously having left the ball for him – Ryan completed his hat trick to make it 8-1. A thumping left-foot finish did the business, and he celebrated like it was 1999 (was he even born then?). Full credit to a true team player, and he richly deserved it on the day.
There was still time for more goals though. Lloyds Warren’s big skipper picked up a rebound off the post, and saw the ball fall kindly to him after his initial shot was blocked. He slotted home to make it 8-2.
But it was Merton who had the final say, as Mike Vogt charged up the pitch and applied the finish to complete a hat trick of his own, and add to the rout to make it 9-2. The final whistle went soon after, and Merton revelled in a goal glut, a pair of hat tricks, and, most importantly, three points.
It certainly wasn’t a vintage display, but heaven knows, the 4s have put in some gallant and excellent performances this season and still lost. No doubt about it – this one felt much better.
 
Goals: Mike Vogt (3), Dom Plumridge, Ryan Burchell (3) and Own Goals (2)
MOTM: Ryan – but special mention to Aaron, who was very impressive
DOTD: Mike, for engineering an early kick off for selfish reasons

Team: Kieran Lee (GK), Ed Plaistow, Mike Todt, Joe Plumridge, John Gridley, Mikey Elgar, Dan Gridley, Chris Outred, Ryan Burchell, Sonny Kennedy, Dom Plumridge

Subs: Mike Vogt, Aaron Loftus

Posted in Match Reports 4s

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the Merton flag is flying high with Ryan in Mumbai. The first of many lands conquered by the Yellow, you feel.

Posted in Uncategorized

NICK PAPANASTASIOU MEMORIAL FRIENDLY

1st JANUARY 2017

As most of you will be aware by now, Merton FC lost one of its members, Nick Papanastasiou, in a tragic accident in Vietnam in October. Even though he only joined in 2015, his impact on the club was profound, and his infectious smile and endearing nature will not be forgotten in a hurry – nor his excellent footballing ability and impressive bowling action. The club have considered various ways in which to commemorate Nick’s life, and, among other things, it has been agreed with Nick’s brother, Chris, that a friendly fixture will take place on New Year’s Day. This will be a Merton XI against a team comprised of Chris’ friends and family. The meet time will be 12pm for a 1pm kick off at the Hood. Preference will be given to the 2s and 3s team members if they able and keen to play. Thereafter, vacancies will be filled with players from other teams. But whether you are playing or not, it promises to be a great occasion, so please do come down. The bar will be open for the day, so it’s a great way to dust off the New Year’s Eve hangover (and potentially create a new one). Most importantly, it’s a wonderful way to remember a young man who was very special to Merton FC, and we are hopeful that this will be the start of an enduring tradition. If you are keen to be involved as a player and/or supporter, please do get in touch with Max or Clappers. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.

“pre-match squats”
“Nick the rebel – the only one not in a polo shirt! He should have been fined”)

 

Posted in Uncategorized

A barnstorming Saturday was nicely consolidated by the Merton Youth today.

Results as follows:

U9s no game

U11s lost 2-0 against Hanworth Sports in the cup.

U13s beat G4G FC 9-1

U14s beat Tooting & Mitcham Colts 10-2 in the Surrey FA County Cup

U15s drew 2-2 with Croygas Lions

Some really resounding victories in there, and well done to all involved

Posted in Uncategorized

As Merton Saturdays go, this one was pretty strong.

The 1s lost a tight game 1-0, and the 3s went down narrowly 2-1.

Right, now brace yourselves for some good news…
The 2s won 1-0, the 4s won 9-2, the 5s won 5-2, the 6s won 12-4 and the 7s won 8-2. Hat tricks for Ryan Burchell, Michael Vogt, Scott Shew, George, Callum Fisher, George Mambeko and Dulanje Richards. Bravo all you Yellows!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Merton 1-0 Brockham ~Badgers

 
 
A hard fought win, which was justly deserved was finally delivered by the team. The hard work of the past few weeks was clear to be seen throughout this game. Training sessions recently had been based on keeping the ball, and our shape without the ball. This was evident throughout the game.
 
A change of formation took a while to get used to the positions and the roles within the team. The first 20 minutes were all Brockham, however they did not create many opportunities to score. It took us a while to find our feet in the game – and when we did we began to dominate the ball and the game. High pressure off the ball, and good movement when on the ball meant that we created chance after chance in the remaining 20 minutes in the first half.
Towards the end of the first half we were lining up to score, but couldn’t find the finishing touch that would have increased our confidence.
 
We started the second half on the front foot, continuing off from where we left off in the first half. We continued to move the ball well and create chances.
Our game came out of nothing, a long range effort from Harrison and it was spilt by the keeper over the line. Great goal, and one that boosted the confidence.
 
On the ball, we took our foot off the pedal. But defensively we kept our shape and defended well as a unit.
 
It was great to see the boys win the game. On to the next one. Well done!
Posted in Under 15s Reports

Civil Service: 2

Merton: 2

 

The concept of a game south of the river has become a foreign concept to the 5s as we travelled a short distance away to “uncharted” territories. “Uncharted” in this instance has a very ironic meaning, as we’ve been in Chiswick so much this season, that there have been rumours of Merton council looking to expand their boundaries across the river.

 

This week saw a different line-up from most weeks as we enter the festive season. Our reliant leader, Clive, filled in as a nostalgic left back while a rare partnering of Anam and Ackers in the centre of midfield. Up top we had familiar Pete who was making a return of sorts having previously played for Civil Service many moons ago, while Dulanje provided support behind. The game started rather poignantly with a moments silence was held due to the tragic news received in South America. The game kicked off and it seemed that a few Merton legs were less than receptive than usual, perhaps due to the cold weather as Civil looked to exploit our sluggish start. While they drove forward not many chances were created in the first 15 minutes. We began to become more involved in the game with good possession and build up play, but the initial sharpness in the attack was still rather blunt. Half an hour had been played when Merton looked to break on the counter from a corner. The ball fell to Dulanje on the left wing, with Clive bursting forward to his right looking to receive a pass to propel the momentum further. Unfortunately trying to take on a player instead saw the ball pinched from Dulanje’s toe, leaving a big hole behind which was exploited in numbers as Civil had yet to register the break meaning many players were still forward. Goal. One-up to the home team. Not the usual Merton start. A few more attempts were brilliantly dealt with, as the opposition’s centre forward proved a handful for our centre backs. Half Time.

A brief talk from our manager highlighted where we were going wrong and the boys came out looking to get back into the game. Down the left hand side Dwayne superbly provided cover as the Chiswick team looked to bombard with pace. 10 minutes into the second half, we brought on Noor for Darren Avey, as Clive stepped into central defence, Dwayne filled in at left back and the fresh legs playing in front. This seemed to tighten the back line, as it allowed Dwayne to provide more pace on the flank, while Clive could organise positions. A Civil attack saw Clive slide in strongly to stop the ball and play forward to Anam who then brilliantly saw space down the right flank for Dulanje. Our ever present attacker broke down the wing and played a ball across goal to Noor, who laid the ball for Aaron B to shoot. Deflection! The ball bobbled past the keeper looking to go clear, when Pete charged in at the back post and slotted home. 1-1. The home team looked around and collected themselves as they looked to get back into the game. This half however Merton had stepped up to play at their usual standard. More chances were made both ends, but the next goal came rather controversially. The home team looked to break down our right flank and whipped a ball in which was easily caught by Sam. As the ball was caught, our ‘keeper was bundled by an oncoming runner (who could not stop in fairness, momentum taking over). The ball was dropped and the ball rolled in. Normally play would be stopped and a foul would be given – not today. Without looking to condemn the referee, this was against the improvements we imposed during the half, with the match official later admitting he made the wrong decision. A few cries of encouragement saw Merton come back, not looking disheartened as the team of last season would have been. The away team pushed and pushed looking to pull back another equaliser, with Pete coming very close with a 1 on 1 which the on-rushing keeper brilliantly saved. It looked like despite our efforts, the goal was not going to come. Anams passing continued to be a threat with Aaron B making many dangerous runs creating space. Last 2 minutes of the game and the equaliser had still not come. The ball fell to Pete on the far edge of the right hand side of the box, he beat a player, looked up to set the ball and placed it across goal into the net. Back in the game, but not enough time for the winner.

 

Team: Sam, Delman, Steve B, Darren, Clive, Aaron B, Aaron Ackerman, Anam, Dwayne, Dulanje, Pete Sub: Noor

MOM: Pete for his two goals which very well could have been a hatrick! Anam and Dwayne weren’t too far behind but I think the importance of Pete’s goals proved he just scraped ahead.

Posted in Match Reports 5s

Home v Alexandra Park 4-1

A slow start to the day, as we sat in the changing room for 15 minutes waiting for a key to arrive. Not ideal, but worthy of DOTD?

With a strong wind and low sun this was an ideal toss to win. Which, of course, I didn’t. Not ideal, but worthy of DOTD?

Kicking into the aforementioned wind we defended well and go the ball forward early, as Ally Pally were playing a very high line. One such attack sent Jonny through. Jonny’s running style doesn’t scream speed but he leapt, pranced and bounded away from his man, who in turn pulled him back. Penalty! A definite pen but not all refs would’ve given it. This ref did.

Woody stepped up. 1-0.

Despite the elements we had the better of the half and looked comfortable yet still found ourselves 1-1 at half time.

A break down their right saw a bobbled cross sent in. Browner (Brauner for the newer members) lifted his leg to clear and the ball duly went under it and the AP centre forward dispatched it. Browner let out a very long and low “Oh no” and then berated himself under his breath for the rest of the half.

We started the second half with the wind and a lot of purpose and very quickly took control of the game. An under hit corner from James was played back to him and his delightful curling cross was headed home by Jonny. 2-1 and looking good.

Then came a key moment in the game. Bosher chased down a through ball and as their keeper gathered the ball on the edge of his box he stepped just outside his box. A definite hand ball but not all refs would’ve given. This ref did. It wasn’t finished yet though, as the ref then sent the keeper off. Certainly not all refs would’ve done that. This ref did. Having hit the bar earlier in the half, from a similar position, this time Woody smashed it in. 3-1 and see MFC Facebook for video evidence. Much discussion, both on and off the pitch, as to whether it should’ve been a red card and if the freekick was direct or not. Which shows none of us know the rules and therefore shouldn’t berate refs.

With 10 men and an outfield player in goal AP were never going to get back into the game and we duly scored a fourth with a break down our left, a ball across, and a rebound of Charlie. 4-1 and game over.

Other notable points from the day.

– Everyone’s concern for Tilley’s well being as he jogged around nowhere near his man for most of the game. Sore back? Or Xmas do on Friday night?

– Two moments of praise, yes you heard it, praise for me from Siri.

– James Laughton finding out Santa doesn’t exist. Sorry James (sad emoji)

– Chaz turning up for the Xmas party. Necking a number of quick drinks and then going missing in action.

– Ivan coming to the party for a couple of hours. A good effort from Merton’s self proclaimed “Massive Lad” when it was clear he wasn’t really allowed to be out.

– Will Low sleeping under a towel.

Team: Siri, Rat, Browner/Brauner, Clappers, Will Low, James L, Woody, Tilley, Bosher, Jonny, Charlie. Sub: Milo

MOTM: Woody (Clappers a close second)

DOTD: Clappers (harsh)

Posted in Match Reports 1s

2s match report – 3rd December 2016 – HSBC 2s (away)

A beautiful, crisp day, a wonderfully green, flat pitch and a dog faster than (or at least as fast as) a train (spotted only by Rayner who relayed the message to the rest of the group) greeted Merton 2s in South East London last Saturday. Ian Lewis was sat in the dugout, watching on and looking more managerial than ever having purchased Ron Atkinson’s sheepskin coat at auction earlier this week. His regular support and words of encouragement are very much appreciated.

Merton were quicker out of the blocks and took the lead after 20 minutes. Some great work by Willgo, Alex and Joe (and possibly more) down the right led to the ball being crossed low to Dan Kelly 10 yards out who took a touch and rifled into the bottom corner. As is often the way, Merton then relaxed and HSBC scored two quick goals before half-time. One because a chasm suddenly appeared in the Merton defence and another due to a good switch of play by HSBC and a very nice finish.

The second half started evenly until, on the hour mark, HSBC scored an extremely fortunate pinball style goal. Shortly after this Cookie decided to turn up the heat and it all got a little hairy…

He was on one of his ill-advised dribbles around his own penalty area. Impressively keeping the ball but encouraging some optimistic attempts from HSBC players to snaffle it off him. One player in particular, who we’ll call Brian, took one too many scrapes at the back of Cookie’s legs and so Cookie fronted him up and pulled Brian’s hair. Brian attempted to pull Cookie’s hair in return before realising that he may have been scratched by Cookie in the kerfuffle. With Brian in shock about the scratch and on the verge of tears in the ongoing argument, Brian’s girlfriend mistakenly thought she would try and save him from more embarrassment by charging onto the pitch to protect him. Unfortunately someone shouted out “who let their dog on the pitch?” which we all thought was very rude and simply not funny.

The referee asked both Cookie and Brian to vacate the pitch by raising his red card which he did, as he did everything, very slowly. Cookie marched off to the changing room, got changed and went straight to Infernos. Brian went on to complain about an invisible scratch for the next half hour – this was extremely annoying if you were playing on the same side of the pitch that him and his girlfriend were standing.

The referee probably should have called up for a foul long before this incident got to where it did although, at the time of going to print, the referee has not issued a public apology for his behaviour and that is absolutely understandable.

With both sides down to 10, Merton pulled a goal back through a Rayner corner, DQ head and (unconfirmed) Joe flick but it wasn’t enough.

Good performances from many Merton players this week. Willgo and Andy Ross controlled the middle for large periods of the game. The back four, apart from two moments where they all went for a coffee while HSBC mounted an attack, were again very assured. Our five or six regular defenders are considerably more comfortable on the ball than any of the other defences in this division and we need to leverage this more by playing across the pitch and intelligently out from the back.

Pearcey, Alex and Conor all had very good games but it was Conor who took home (or drank) the MOTM trophy. He was calm and assured at the back and showed great energy on the overlap when charging past the ageing, but still handsome, Rayner.

Special mention goes to Jason Thomas who completed his move back from centre forward, through central midfield and defence and is now a goalkeeper (he also came to the game almost directly from one of London’s airports after a 20+ hour trip back from the land down under). Both Sherbs and Jason himself should be worried about team and position selection next week after a great performance.

And Dick of the Day? Well it turns out that for some people the sighting of a super-dog just doesn’t make the headlines. Fortunately, Cookie will also be meeting the Predator on his return to action in 2017. We all look forward to that.

 

Posted in Match Reports 2s