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
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.
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.
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
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!
Merton 1-0 Brockham ~BadgersA 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!
Civil Service: 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.
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)
Merton 2-3 Old Wilsonians
This Saturday’s game was led by minute of silence to commemorate the members of Chapecoense FC, who died in a horrific air crash a week ago. Both teams showed their respects before kick off.
With the usual 3s formation (4-5-1), Merton started the match well, pushing for goals with the super fast wingers Glen and Emanuel and not that fast Denys up top. It did work out quite well as a lot of chances were created and lots of ball possession for the home team. And first shot on goal came from Darcy but that wasn’t that dangerous for opposition goalkeeper, few chances for young Emanuel went nowhere as well. Under such a pressure from Merton, we didn’t have to wait long, as Darcy picked the ball from a rebound and hammered it into the top corner, 1-0. Worth saying that our defence with Ben and Alberto was doing well, controlling the game; one of their clearances were picked up by Mustard, who dribbled the ball on the left side up to the oppo goals and only the bar saved them from the 2nd goal.
After the break Merton were looking for a much needed 2nd goal and as a result of constant attacking Neil’s cross was headed by a Wilsonians defender into their own net, 2-0. Having scored 2 goals Merton relaxed a bit and it cost them. The oppo keeper cleared the ball and it was picked up by their left midfielder who made his way towards the Merton goal and coolly lobbed Darren (goalkeeper), 2-1. With being 2-1 up Merton missed a couple of good chances for the 3rd goal, the best one from Denys, tried to lob the keeper but didn’t hit the ball properly, as a result, a throw in for Wilsonians and DOM.
Wilsoninas increased their tempo and pressure over Merton and one of their free kicks ended up with a cross to the box where one of the oppo players headed a ball into the net, 2-2.
Nobody wanted to draw or lose the game, as both teams started counter attacking football. The luck was on Wilsonians side, once again a set piece, crossed into our box and goal, 2-3.
Sad but true, another loss for 3’s:( Onwards and upwards though.
Team: Darren, Alberto, Ben, Mustard, Dan, Neil, Darcy, Ian, Glen, Emanuel, Denys, Jordan, Alex
MOM – Dan, Ian, Neil
DOM – Denys