Month: February 2017
Merton moved down to 8th in the table after a 1-0 defeat. This was the yellows 3rd consecutive loss. Croygas, who are unbeaten in 11 games, were away at the hood and once again, like the 2-2 draw earlier in the season, it was a close contest.
The blues right winger, josh, scored a good goal when he got on the end of a great pass, beat Felix in pace and neatly finished it past Tommy. Merton looked like they were going to get a point out of the game when they held Croygas till half time. By the break neither side had many shots and the ball was being played over the top a lot. Merton dominated in possession but failed to get a shot away in the first 50 minutes. The defensive line for Merton was very strong and dealt with everything coming over the top apart from the goal.
Croygas played some good football and damaged Merton in the air with the tall centre midfielder Eddie. However, the second placed side in the league had to bury their chances and play the ball on the floor a bit more. The league is very much to play for and Croygas will believe they can get promoted as they are only 2 points behind Bedfont.
On the other hand, Merton could potentially face the battle of staying up if they lose their next match away at Brockham. The yellows lie 8th and only 4 points ahead of 10th placed Brockham.
Both teams deserved points today and Merton will feel hard done by. However they had their chances and most of them came in the last 10 minutes. When croygas keeper Tom was off his line and it seemed like he forgot where the goal was, Jake Davies ran through the defence but shot straight at the keeper. Bradley also had a chance but was off balance and scuffed the shot. However, Bradley’s pace was hard for the blues defence to cope with and Jake, Yacob and Harrison kept a steady midfield.
Injuries seem to keep coming for Dan and Darren’s side and they will have to make do without a keeper for the rest of the season. A big game for Croygas next as they face Kingstonians. Man of the match for today’s game was Merton’s Tommy Arnold, who pulled off some great saves and stepped in for the goalkeeper position.
Old Blues Reserves 0 – 1 Merton Reserves
Merton returned to winning ways with a hard fought victory at Old Blues, courtesy of a late DK/DQ strike. Truth be told, it was not a dissimilar game to last week, featuring a lot of effort, some accomplished defending, not much in the way of goal mouth action, and a goal that could also be described as a big bag o’shite. Considering the game last week was vs the champions-elect and this week we faced the 2nd bottom team, it shows how closely matched this league is.
With Lofty arriving and then dropping out ill and Emmanuelle applying his now-standard disregard for meet times, the 10 players who were on time conducted an exercise in democratic formation selection. The varying merits of 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 3-4-3, and 4-4-1-1 were considered, before the choice was made to adopt a 3-5-2 designed to put legs at wingback in the form of Milo and Emmanuelle, and in the hope that giving Ben Cook his promised role in mf would bear fruit and minimise rage possibilities. Pearcey, Jordan and Connor formed a back three in front of Sherbs, with BDS, Cook and Rayner in the middle, and a DQ/DK frontline. Reassuringly, the home side only had 11 as well, so were all set for iron man football as the game commenced.
Merton almost struck from the outset as Milo released DK and his cross was close to being turned in by DQ. However, after this, the game became more attritional, or in more blunt terms the referee spent most of the half giving Merton free kicks as Old Blues idea of tackling was, shall we say, old-school. To compound matters, he would then almost immediately balance things up by calling Merton offside from almost every free kick he had just awarded. Frustrating. Occasionally, some football did break out, and it was Merton who showed glimpses of quality most often. In particular, Emmanuelle was finding space down his wing, and linking up with DK, and in particular DQ, to good effect.
One such move saw DQ almost in behind; with DQ, covering defenders and keeper converging, DQ’s squared header was deflected just behind DK or a goal would have been (mostly) certain. Big Dave Scott threatened next after more link up play down the left, but blazed wide after being set up on the corner of the 18 yard box. DK then span his defender following a cleared corner and looked set to gallop free down the left, only for a blatant shirt pull to end the danger as he was hauled down. The referee remarkably decided this warranted a free-kick, a fact no doubt noted by defenders on both sides for future reference. At one point Cookie was also crudely brought down by a sliding tackle from behind, before telling Connor to “leave it” as he came to protest. Merton were collectively stunned, and made a note to enquire (after the game) just who this player was and what he done with Ben Cook.
At the other end, Merton were largely looking comfortable at the back, with Connor, Jordan and especially Pearcey sweeping when needed and reading the game with aplomb. Ahead of them, the midfield three were working hard to close down space, with winger-turned-CM Chris Rayner throwing himself into Noble-Gresty-like tackles and headers like he’d played there all his life. There were a few scares from set pieces, but Sherbs didn’t actually have a save to make. 0-0 at HT, and Merton felt the game was theirs for the taking, if only they could turn their possession into some clear-cut chances. And not succumb to a set piece in the meantime.
For once, they were right. With Merton keeping the intensity level high, they remained the dominant team. Chances remained at a premium, with a free DQ header (over the bar) from a Rayner corner the clearest sight on goal for 30 minutes of effort. Old Blues continued to throw themselves into some questionable tackles, and their right back finally received the yellow card he deserved in the first half partway through the second, but were still failing to trouble Merton. It was definitely the sort of game where you felt one goal would be enough, and finally, Merton managed to take their chance and bag a winner.
First, great closing down won a throw-in deep in the opposition half. Connor slung the ball in and Dave Scott made enough of a nuisance of himself to knock the ball down. DK reacted first and hit what can only be described as a laser-guided trundler of a side-foot from the corner of the 6 yard box. It dipped, bounced, DQ and covering defender desperate lunged at it (to no discernible effect, although DQ claimed it brushed his foot), and then almost apologetically bobbled into the far corner. Literally unstoppable. 1-0.
With 15 minutes to go, Merton held out comfortably (for once) and the three points were theirs. An absolutely solid performance from players 1 to 11, with everyone working for the team.
Jordan bagged his first three point haul with the 2s and promptly hightailed it to Manchester to celebrate, leaving 10 to decide on awards. Ben Cook and Connor Murphy shared MOTM accolades, with Sherbs rather bizarrely picking up one vote despite not having a save to make. DQ was harshly voted DOTD despite putting in a heroic shift in terms of blades of grass covered, for reasons varying from the missed header to a flat “I just don’t like him”. Harsh, but the predator (with disaronno, no less) was brutally dispatched with aplomb.
This week, a new feature; player ratings. Well, performance descriptions to be precise. Everyone played their part and felt like this should be recognised.
Sherbs: Comfortable throughout, swept well when called for.
Jordan: Immense. Slotted into a back 3 like the old pro he isn’t and dealt with everything thrown at him
Pearcey: Composed throughout, reading the game brilliantly and captaining his defence (and the team).
Connor: What other epitaph befits other than relentlessly, remorselessly solid. At all times.
Milo: Worked his socks off for the team, covering when needed and providing a valuable outlet down the right.
Rayner: Tigerish. Never stopped fighting for the team.
Cookie: Protected the back four when needed whilst ghosting past midfielders when on the ball. Classy
BDS: All action display of no little physicality and chipped in with an assist.
Emmanuel: Offered threat down the left, supporting the strikers, and worked hard defensively.
DQ: Closed down the oppo relentlessly, effective at linking play, and won his share of challenges to boot as well. Inspirational. And apparently a dick. For the day.
DK: His usual mix of energetic closing down, misplaced passes and short-range goal-sniffing.
1s beat Weirside 3-0 on pens (1-1) and progress to S/F of SAL Prem Cup. 2s win 1-0 at Old Blues with DQ goal. 3s beat Nottsborough 4-0 and 4s beat Lloyds Warren 4-0. But our usual bankers prevent a clean sweep with 5s and 6s both losing 3-1.
The victorious 3s, who ended their season on a high note with a 4-0 win. Huge credit to these guys – a difficult season, with a final league position that didn’t do justice to their performances, and plenty of narrow defeats. But a great team spirit maintained til the end. Well done lads
MERTON FC 0
Alleyn Old Boys 9
A poor day at the office. Alleyn’s with a much changed squad namely they had 14 players
available at the start rather than the 9 in the reverse fixture and they were looking for revenge.
We lined with a changed side and few changes of position which didn’t help as Alleyn’s started
strongly and were knocking the ball around well which had us under pressure and we couldn’t
create anything up front. We did manage to withstand the early pressure however after about
30 minutes Alleyn’s find scored and after that we struggled badly and were 4-0 by half time and
apart from one wayward shot had never really troubled Alleyn’s keeper.
The second half was as much about damage limitation as trying to win. Our cause wasn’t help
by a deflected 5th goal early in the second half. Whilst we did create a few more half chance with
Billy charging up the left wing, we rarely looked like scoring. Alleyn’s were to some extent scoring
at will. The final score was 9-0.
Some positives from the game in which the team didn’t gel, we did kept on trying to play
football and didn’t argue with each other.
Some strong performance from Dave in the captains roll as centre midfield ably assisted by
Adam with Andrew doing a lot running on the right wing. Tom and Jon T. both who came on as
substitutes in the second half. As the write I am not mentions the keepers and I do like chips!
Martin, Scott, Dan John K, Josh, Andrew, Dave, Adam, Billy, Malcolm and Dylan.
Subs: Tom and Jon T.
Man Of The Match – Tom with a couple of votes.
Dick Of The Day – There were no really mistakes on the pitch so it goes to Tom for forgetting his
shit pads and having to go a buy a new pair.
MERTON FC 0
South Bank 1
W e lost 1-0. The goal was an absolute bag o’shite, being as it was scored from a corner ballooned up into the air
and poked in during the resultant in-box melee with all the grace of Jason Thomas trying to reach down and touch
his aging toes during warm-up. Talking of JT, he didn’t last the match, winning a 50/50 battle after an hour but
sadly losing the injury war.
Such battles were a feature of a game that took place on a pitch more sticky than Jordan’s y-fronts after a night
with one of his ‘Scouse princesses’. Incidentally, Holder Ross, who was involved in many a midfield ding-dong, has
a new princess of his own who he revealed was acquired in no small part thanks to liquid lubrication provided by
Messrs Quainton and Willgoss on a surprise meeting in Brixton a few weekends ago. AHR formed a midfield three
with Big Dave Scott and the unlikely but happy-to-run choice of the aforementioned Quainton. In truth, the best
player on the pitch was none of the three but, in fact, the opposition’s number 15, who gave them the runaround
most of the day.
Up top JT was flanked by Tom Benham and Dan Kelly, and the attacking trio provided a threat similar to that which
a pint of beer causes Man of the Match Conor Murphy: it looks and should be dangerous but the ease with which
he destroys it renders it somewhat effete. Murphy played with Pearcey, Alex Welch, and Jordan in-front of Sherbs.
None of the back five ever looked in trouble aside from set pieces which a) South Bank were pretty good at and b)
we looked altogether wobbly.
Shots on target? We had maybe two, one a 15-yard shot on the run from DQ saved by the ‘keeper’s legs, and the
second a Cruyffed flick by Benham that resulted in another smartish save. Towards the end of the match when
subs required the formation move back to a 4-4-2 we perhaps looked a little more threatening, but Storm Doris
probably caused more damage in the south east this week.
Not brilliant, then, but it were a lovely day out, and that’s key. The most lovely aspect was watching our usually
calm, considered and upstanding goalie raise his hands towards the goalscorer’s face after he ‘over-celebrated’
(claiming he’d been fouled in the build-up to his goal). Sherbs raised himself to his full 5 feet 3 inches and gave the
shaggy-haired pillock a little palm to the face. A yellow and DotD ensued. It should’ve been a red. Sherbs had a
Predator instead, with none of the swiftness of Conor Murphy, but I’m sure just as much enjoyment.
MERTON FC 0
Bank of England 5
Merton had won its two previous meetings against the Bank of England away this season going into
Saturday’s match and was looking forward to making it a clean sweep for the season. The Captains of
both teams moved the game from the Hood to BoE’s pitch early in the week to ensure the game would
be played given the weather and conditions. In the league standings BoE trailed Merton by only two
points making this a must win for both teams.
Merton had their first real chance of the game when Van beat his man down the right side of the pitch
and delivered an angled pass backward from the BoE goal line to a wide open Nick in BoE’s box. Nick
took a touch and shot but a BoE defender was there to block it. Not long after Merton had a breakdown
on defense and BoE’s center forward flicked on a pass to their wide open right winger, who slotted it past
Siri from no more than 8 yards away. Siri had no chance.
Merton had another chance in the half when Vanny delivered a cross to streaking Johnny on the back
post, however, Johnny’s touch went straight to the keeper and Merton went into halftime down 1-0.
Against probably the weakest BoE side Merton had seen this season, they looked sluggish and played
poorly in the first half.
BoE’s second goal came off of a free kick from just inside Merton’s half. Siri caught the free kick inside
Merton’s box but was fouled by a BoE player on his way down, and subsequently spilled the ball out to a
waiting BoE player, who scored. The ref did not call the foul on the play.
Following BoE’s second goal, Merton played with a new spirit that created a few decent chances for
Merton. Most notably, Johnny sailed a bouncing cross from Vanny over the bar from about 10 yards out.
Merton’s spirit did not last long and BoE’s third goal followed not long after their second goal. After BoE’s
third goal Merton pushed Clappers forward to try to muster some offense and salvage any last dignity
remaining, however, this led to a couple of BoE breakaways and meaningless goals four and five for BoE.
Saturday was a disappointing effort for Merton.
Playing in front of his father for the first time this season, Ivan’s dominance of BoE’s left back and
numerous crosses to Johnny earned him man of the match, while Kearnsey’s unprecedented three foul
throw-ins earned him nearly unanimous dick-of-the-day honors
With the loss Merton fell to fourth, one point behind BoE and five points behind Acton, who have a game
Starters: Siri, Clappers, Brauner, Rat, Kearnsey, Nick, Sam, Tilley, Johnny, Ivan, Tom Row
Substitutions: Milo, James
MoM: Ivan Gladkow
DoD: Will Kearns
Merton FC WORLD CUP!
Don’t fancy a trip to Russia or Doha in the next six years? The good news is that this year, the
World Cup is coming to you. That’s right folks, Merton FC is staging its inaugural 5/6-a-side World
Cup on Saturday 13th May at the Hood (assuming all league games are done by then – we may
have to do it a week later!!!!!).
Our plans at this stage are provisional depending on numbers, but the aim is to organise 8 senior
teams, with squads of roughly 8 players each. Ideally, we will have seven pots, each containing
names from the respective seven senior teams at the Club. We will then draw one name from each
pot to compile each team, so that there is a good mix of strength from across the club. Goalkeep-
ers will be kept separate and added in thereafter to make up the eighth member of the squad.
The draw, should the enthusiasm warrant it, will be done on Facebook Live closer to the time, thus
making for an enjoyable spectacle.
We will then separate the 8 teams into two pools of four, with the four teams in each section play-
ing against each other in a round robin (ie: 3 matches). We will then have semi finals and a final,
along with a plate section for those who don’t make the playoffs.
Games will be 20 minutes’ long, with three pitches marked out. That means there will be some op-
portunity for rest every third game as well. We’ll also mark out a fourth pitch for the Youth section,
so that they can stage a similar tournament. Would be great if we could include parents or coaches
in their event as well – the more people we can get involved, the better.
We will decide if it is 5 or 6-a-side closer to the time, depending on numbers. Start time will likely
be in the region of 1pm. Price is also TBC, although we will aim to keep it to £10 each, including
The aim is to make this a family-friendly occasion, with a barbecue afterwards (a big thank you to
Darren Avey, who has kindly offered/been roped in to cook us burgers and sausages) and also
other amenities like jumping castles and what not. There will also be Premier League football on
too, which will be televised at the bar.
We’ll be doing this properly too, with a trophy and prize giving. A pretty exciting concept, and
could hopefully commence a fine new Merton tradition. The idea is in its embryonic phase at this
stage, so all suggestions are welcome. We may even listen to them. Either way, it should be a won-
derful day out for all of us.
ALL WE NEED FROM YOU AT THIS STAGE IS TO CONFIRM WHETHER YOU ARE
KEEN TO PLAY!!!!
Please let Mike Todt, Neal Davison or Sherbs know. All are welcome to come along,
so tell your family and friend. We will be creating an event on Facebook too. Many
thanks in advance for your enthusiasm lads!
Today was going to be a good day, I could feel it.
Maybe my aura was the good colour or because Kev’s face had that beautiful ‘day after kebab’ glow it often does, but the sun was shining and we were ready to bounce back after our dressing down at Carshalton.
Kitted up, stretched and raring to go, we lined up to gain a valuable 3 points against bottom of the league, which I have only noticed since the game have yet to register any points in the table, and averaging 0.5 goals per game, ouch. First outing of the season lining up in a 4-3-3 formation (courtesy of yours truly) as we showed intent to press from the top and play free-flowing attacking football.
Understandably it wasn’t long before we took the lead, Matt whipping in a cross to absolutely nobody as their centre back – unfortunately for him – pocketed the ball in his own net in an attempted clearance. Things carried on in similar fashion as our front three of Trey, Paul and Callum ran rings around their defence, linking up well with pace and confidence to bag our second goal of the game, and third, and so on…
I couldn’t write this report without a mention of two world class goals, Paul from the p-spot smashing home a waist-high volley cross from the right, and myself with a belter from outside the box even Frank Lampard couldn’t muster, I’m pretty sure the bar is still shaking. 6-0 up at half time we had well and truly put the game to bed, which was fortunate considering I couldn’t stop my legs from cramping (admittedly a long cycle before the game wasn’t my best idea).
Chappell, as he often does, played with confidence and was willing to assert his authority, although attempting yet another injury on our own team with Matt this time the victim does present the case for a more channelled approach to his aggression. Ty had his most lazy-Fabregas performance to date, pinging 40 yard passes for fun, which unfortunately Matt would often clear out for a goal-kick their end for good measure.
Considering our outstanding link-up play in the first half, man of the match could have gone to a number of people; Callum and Ty for great link up play, myself for naughty tekkers and that wondergoal, or Paul for putting yet another good shift in up top and a Zlatan-worthy strike, but Trey had a game to remember, causing all sorts of problems up top with his movement in behind and netting a brace to top it off.
There are a few contenders for dick of the day; Chappel’s self-destructive aggression, Ty’s booking for not winding his f*cking neck in, or even Matt forgetting he isn’t Steven Gerrard and doesn’t ‘score for fun’ from 40 yards… however this week has got to go to our very cocky keeper Swanny, who for some reason thought he would try and take on their centre forward and losing the ball in front of goal, which really should have been punished if their striker had more composure.
But, of course as he will remind me “the sun was in my eyes”, which I would argue is less the reason to take a chance!
Merton 5s 1 – 2 Kew 3rds
Arriving in the sunny capital, I was pleased to hear that our game this weekend was away to Kew. Kew have lottery-funded pitches to suit our Barcelona-esque style of play, and a good clubhouse to complement our Gazza-esque drinking habits. However, with 2 days before the big KO, the seeds of doubt were planted as the “availability” of their pitches fell into question – a perfectly logical situation considering they have 3 pitches and 3 teams. It so transpires that the raucous group of bowles players occupying the pitches at Kew refused to leave, so the game came to the bumpy, unreliable Wimbledon Common.
Despite some confusion caused by the change, outrage at the decision to arrive 2 hours before kick-off, and the referee declaring a zero tolerance to swearing which left everyone concerned for Lenners, we actually started the game pretty well. The opening exchanges were a little cagey; however the 5s were winning the ball well, passing it around and making the best chances of the first period. There were some good passages of play between the front 3 of Dwayne, Aaron and Gibbo that led to some half decent chances. The pick of them was a through ball to Gibbo, which left him one on one with the keeper. As the keeper backpeddled, Gibbo attempted the chip. The power wasn’t there, and the ball fell harmlessly into the goalkeeper’s hands. The half probably wasn’t the spectacle their fans had hoped for [there were 4 of them], but from our perspective we looked the most likely.
Some shocking decisions seemed to go against us, however, and with Dulanjie absent the job fell to Dwayne to always be offside. There were 2 or 3 instances where Dwayne was judged to be offside by the referee yet started from 2 yards the right side of the defender. There were some fouls that were given for virtually nothing, and blatant offsides not called. Fearing he was going to talk himself into the book [and perhaps even get himself sent off], Lenners decided to come off. His eloquent use of language towards the referee did continue from the sidelines, but it’s much more difficult to get sent off from there – and after all, it wouldn’t be a game of football if Lenners wasn’t shouting through it.
The second half started, and our changes hadn’t settled into the game before we were 1 – 0 down. Something as simple as a ball over the top caught us out, and their striker raced onto it to chip Sam to give them the lead. They played with a renewed confidence after that, and truthfully could have gone 2 up had it not been for the brilliant Sam in goal. With one 1v1 save and a stop from a good shot from outside the box, we seemed to have weathered a bit of a storm and started coming back into the match.
As we were getting back into the game, an injury crisis hit. Delman was the first to go after a fine first half – the theory goes that he and Dwayne were playing kiss chase into the early hours & it had taken its toll. Then went Tiago, who claimed cramp as the reason yet was squealing as if he was the victim of Lenners’ Naked shower time whilst simultaneously being eaten by a dingo. Their replacements, Steve and Pete, took to the game like a duck to water however, and we were soon to draw level.
Pete threatened immediately, with a through ball finding him around 20 yards out. With the keeper off his line, he tried the chip however the ball narrowly sailed over the bar. Not long after, the move was almost identical, however the outcome was different. With the ball bouncing, Pete took it first time to lob the keeper with a fine finish to make it 1-1. Cue an exciting finale.
Towards the end of the game, both teams seem discontent with a point. It was Merton, however, that was evidently tiring and that showed in the last 5 minutes. In a good passage of play by the oppo, coupled with some laboured closing down from a tired Merton, their player found a little bit of space to put the ball into the box. Their striker, about 2 yards offside, was on hand to stick the ball past Sam from around 8 yards to give Kew the points. The striker expectantly looked towards the referee, and our defence seemed miffed, but the whistle did not come and the goal stood. The complaints were not as vigorous as they could have been, owing to the fact that our players were knackered and perhaps not altogether surprised considering the decisions of the ref throughout the game. Lenners could still be heard in the distance making the case in a calm and measured manner as always, but the ref’s mind wasn’t to be changed and the game ended 1-2.
The effort put in was superb from our lot and with some extra fitness that comes with a run of games or with a couple of goals in the first half, we could have won this game. Despite the spell around their first goal, our defence and midfield were very strong, winning 50/50s and managing to play the ball around despite the tricky conditions. Dwayne, Aaron and Gibbo were a constant threat as an attacking trio – the final ball/finish just wasn’t quite there but on another day, they could each have scored. And off the bench Steve slotted very comfortably into an unfamiliar right back position, Darren offered steel in the midfield that Tiago had been adding in the first half and their defence couldn’t deal with Pete’s pace, as his goal suggests.
The drink up that ensued afterwards was good fun, with this reporter’s storytelling getting him into the post-match venue without ID, in a conversation that ended with “duck the pom pom”, or words to that affect [this is a family-friendly report, afterall]. Since the lovely gentleman was letting me in, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I actually think the “pom pom” is doing a great job despite their ever-dwingling resources, so I went along with it.
It was great to see everyone again and I will keep following the 5s on their mighty run up the football league.
Under 9s v Wandgas Youth FC – 19.2.2017
Wandgas 4 Merton 1
On a much milder Sunday away in Worcester Park, Merton took on the under 9s from Wandgas, who were known to be a strong side having recently played in the division above.
This week Merton showed some excellent defensive work with Joshua winning man-of-the-match award for his fantastic tackling in defense. Doo Ho also provided another master class in goal repelling multiple shots on target. In attack, Presley scored another wonder goal and we had 2 more fabulous goals disallowed by the referee which was the game changer. Notwithstanding this, Merton are now finding their level, playing against some strong and decent opposition, which in the long run should be positive for the team as they develop.
In the end, it was probably fair to say that the ultimate scoreline did not adequately represent the period of play, with Merton coming back and attacking particularly well in the second half.
Best wishes to the team going forward, and a big thank you to all the parents who came along to support.
U9s Pitch Marshall