1st April 2017
Merton 6s vs South Bank Cuaco 6s

Merton 6s travelled to Dulwich for an away fixture against South Bank Cuaco 6s.  With Civil Service playing a double header against Old Blues this was a game which we needed to win to keep within sight of promotion.  The kit was laid out ready and the players turned up with plenty of time to spare, all apart for the skipper of the day, who decided to take the long route to the ground.  We lined up with the same formation in the second game last week against Civil, 4-2- 3- 1.

The starting line up was: GK Swanny, CB Mark, CB Beans, RB Matt, LB Ram, CM Ty, CM Chris, LWF Trey, AM George B, RWF Callum, CF Richard.  Subs: Darren, Emmanuel, George H.

The game began, and we started well, the front 4 were getting forward and making chances.  Chris was staying in the position he was given and Richard was holding up the ball. South Bank also started well, they made the first break through and scored first when a ball was crossed in to their quick forward. Only for Matt to put the ball into his own net. He jumped for the ball and headed back to where he thought Swanny would be standing in the goal. This was not to be as Swanny was standing in other position getting ready to gather the incoming ball, like most of the first half lack of communication between players cost the first goal.  It only takes a week to go from hero to zero. I have now joined some of the own goal greats; Chappell, John K, Todt, and Kevin We levelled not long after their goal from a penalty when George B was taken down/pushed in the box.  With George being a contender for top goal scorer for the club, it was only right for him to take it, placing the ball in the bottom right corner, 1 – 1. Our second was scored by Callum, bit of a 6 yard box scramble between players, lead to Callum finding the ball and putting it beyond their keeper.  The first half we could have played slightly better, Chappell getting the ball caught under his feet a couple of time caused a few edgy moments, including a fall on his hip, thankfully he doesn’t need a hip replacement just yet. South Bank had chances as well, including their second goal which came from their midfielder, who gathered the ball just outside the box and hit the ball, Swanny attempting the save was just off his line and the ball off his palm went into the top of the net.  2- 2 the first half ended, a fair result.

Half time team talk which was to continue to press their defence and the goals will come and to also open mouths and talk more on the pitch.  One change, straight swap, Emmanuel on for Trey.

The second half was a lot better, the team, playing with a bit more confidence, started playing the ball around to feet. With this, we managed to score 3 more goals.  Callum getting his second, latching onto a great cross from George and Emmanuel grabbing a goal, slotting it into the top corner, 4 – 2. With the goals going in, it made changes easier as the match wasn’t so tight.  With about 20 minutes left to go Beans came off for Darren and Trey back on for Richard. The game was put to bed with Trey getting in on the act putting the ball in, to make it 5 – 2.  South Bank continued to try and get back, but defence stayed strong.  With just under 10 minutes to go we had a corner and Matt decided to make another change and bring himself on for Ram.  Little did Matt know that Ram had asked if he could go up for this corner, his face was a picture as if he had just been giving some sweets and then to have them taken away.  Matt wasn’t that cruel and cancelled the substitution to allowed Ram to venture into the opposition box for a chance to get on the score sheet. The corner came in and was knocked out for a goal kick.  Now the change could be made.  Merton saw out the last remaining minutes, the ref who had a good game blew the whistle for the end of the match.  Game finished 5 – 2, 3 big points for the 6s, as later, when the civil results came through after beating Old Blues twice, put both teams on 34 points. 3 big games left, can 9 points be enough to see the 6s gain promotion?

MOM went to Callum for his two goals and continual great play.

DOD: was it Matt for his own goal or was it Swanny for being very quiet and not shouting for the ball?  As Swanny says he’s never writing a match report I’ll take it this week.


Posted in Match Reports 6s

Another glorious Spring morning dawned for the 4s’ second game of the Spring Cup at Woking on Saturday. Or so it seemed, until a potent bucket of rain descended upon what was already a fairly poor (and small) pitch. The lads who were there took refuge in the change rooms. Others were heading anti clockwise down the M25 at the time. And Kieran did his standard bi-monthly no-show.

Anyway, with the help of Tiago and DK, the 4s just about managed to assemble a starting XI in time for kick-off, and with a sub to boot. Mikey Elgar stepped in as goalkeeper, and it immediately became clear how impressive a keeper he was. Aside from his enormous kicks, his command of the defence, communication, handling and speed off the line were superb, and that confidence permeated through the rest of the team, who made a solid start to the game.
In particular, Sonny was tremendous in midfield, perhaps looking to make amends for his no-show the week before. Either way, his engine and work rate was unreal, and with Akram doing a solid job cleaning up behind, Merton were as solid as they’ve ever looked.
In truth though, it was a tight game where the two teams largely cancelled each other out. The smallness of the pitch was such that goalkicks were pinging from one end to the other, and there were moments where it might have felt like a Tony Pulis/Sam Allardyce showdown.
But Merton just about shaded it, creating the better chances, and snuffing out any attacks. The last five minutes of the half were going to be crucial though. The Yellows pressed forward, with the belief that they could find the goal they just about deserved. A goalmouth scramble, but Wokingians cleared. A long-range effort from Dan Gridley, but it went wide. A half chance for Dom, but it didn’t quite fall for him. 
Just no joy. And then, with literally the final attack of the half, disaster struck. Merton were caught cold on the counter. Their striker took it down well, his turn of pace was even better, and in the blink of an eye, he’d toe-poked it past Mikey to make it 1-0 to the hosts. It was a tremendous individual goal, but a bitter blow for Merton after putting in such a good shift.
The talk was still positive at the break, but they were a visibly deflated outfit once the second half got under way. They were by no means poor, but the intensity had dropped just enough that Wokingians were able to claim the ascendancy in open play.
Yet although Merton were beginning to spend a bit too much time in their own half, Wokingians didn’t necessarily carve out much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities. The Yellows eventually began to lift themselves too, and offered a bit more going forward. But like their opponents, they just weren’t able to create clear chances for themselves.
It was just that kind of game. The skipper then darted off to join the Hollywood ranks, so wasn’t able to give a first-hand review of how the last 15 minutes unfolded. But apparently the game remained tense, tight and with two evenly-matched teams not able to add to the scoreline.
So, 1-0 it finished, and another unfortunate reverse to add to the collection. Difficult to explain really – what more could the Yellows have done? It was by no means a poor performance. Anything but. It’s just been that kind of season, but the lads continue to keep the spirits up and their heads held high. Plenty of credit due for that. Let’s finish the season strong in our final game now.
Team: Mikey Elgar (GK), Ed Plaistow, Joe Plumridge, Mike Todt, John Gridley, Akram Choudhary, Sonny Kennedy, Frankie Kalogirou, Dan Kelly, Dan Gridley, Dom Plumridge
Sub: Tiago Carvalho
MOTM: Sonny Kennedy
DOTD: Kieran
Posted in Match Reports 4s