Month: November 2017
Despite a string of poor recent results – enthusiasm ran high for Merton’s 3’s. Vincenzo’s inspirational group chat message of “I hate carshalton, let’s f*** them up” was enough Friday motivation to prepare us for the frostbitten soviet Saturday against Carshalton’s 3’s.
With newly signed goalkeeper Sam along with the likes of 7’s Ryan and newboys Callum and George, Merton looked full of energy at the start of the match – dominating the match with great passing ability. The forwards pressed on including a brilliant early run from Milo who was taken down on the edge of the box . Club trickster, Glenn stepped up to ball and curled a shot into the top right corner that was unfortunately clawed out by Carshalton’s goalkeeper. Yet Merton pressed on and carried on begging for goals and got the deserved opener. A DK won free kick near the corner flag was nicely curled in by Dan B onto the Merton head of Ryan Gresty who slotted the ball home to give Merton the lead 15 minutes in. 1-0.
By the half an hour point play stagnated for a while as the energy slowly plateaued in both teams. A long throw-on missed by Merton heads led to a headed to headed goal from a couple of yards away and Carshalton’s had equalized the match. 1-1.
Despite spartan bravery from 3’s newby to endure the bloody blisters tearing into his skin for the first half an hour of the match, Milo decided that the pain from his newly purchased football boots was too enough, and the recovered Iain was substituted on in his replacement.
And a worthy replacement it seemed. Merton held up well in midfield. George persisted to tease Carshalton’s right back with searching runs, and an Ian through ball led to Dan Kelley having a sniff at goal with a saved shot.
Following a blur in memory, Carshalton win a long free kick which diagonally drifts over everyone and is turned into the back post. 2-1 Carshalton and Merton seem disheartened. Yet, merton’s lionhearted defence do their best to keep morale high throughout the team. Half time approached and Merton regrouped their heads in the changing room.
The second half hit and Merton came back out with high pressure, strong sliding tackles from the back and great play led to a Merton freekick. The long freekick was swung into the Carshalton 22 and Gresty converted a header even more beautiful than the last, as he headed back across goal and inside the far post. 2-2. Merton were back in the game.
The 60th minute hit and a fresh pair of legs by the name of Fitz came on the pitch in replacement for Callum. The formation was re-evaluated and Merton looked stronger. Glenn and George made darting runs upfront supported by Fitz. Dan Kelley bombed down the wing, fizzing a ball into the ducking Fitz which fell at the back post to Glenn. One touch for control and the ball slotted into the corner. 3-2 Merton.
Fast forward to the 80th minute and Merton begin looking weary. An overly strong midfield and defence led to a Carshalton halfway line freekick, which was converted in the bottom right corner led to a Carshalton comeback as they celebrated their third goal. 3-3
Merton and Carshalton carried on battling it out for the winner. A 3’s attack led to a Carshalton counter attack and a cross cleared by Iain and Neal fell to a Carshalton substitute who volleyed the ball home with minutes to go. 4-3 Carshalton.
The whistle blew leaving despair on Merton faces. Merton headed to the changing room – angrily attempting to rationalise their loss to themselves. Sam’s childish revelation that winning is enjoyable seemed to cheer the team up slightly. All in all, a shitty match.
MOTM – George – Fast runs and trickery led to many chances being created upfront
DOTD – Self-nominated Milo for prematurely coming off. Sorry lads.
Team: Sam (GK), Callum, Vincenzo, Neal, Ryan, Glenn, Darcy, Gresty, Milo, George, DK
Subs: Iain, Fitz.
Peter Quainton is four inches over six feet tall.
“May I suggest putting him on the posts, he’s never headed a ball in his life,” says David Quainton, today’s substitute and Team Handsome legend.
Team Handsome legends Graham Willgoss and Alex Herbert nod sagely. PQ shall defend the post at corners. Merton 2s will play an attacking 4-3-3 with an emphasis on making the Old Blues look like ancient greys.
This decision happens long before the arrival of Gibbo, who turns up ten minutes before kick-off having decided the logical thing to do before a match in west London is spend the night in Manchester. Sporting his usual ragged and slightly startled appearance, akin to that of a student runner sat alone in a pub after a day on the set a Kevin Spacey production, Gibbo nevertheless tears into a helpless and admiring opposition like Dan Rist’s chat up lines on a night at the Exhibit.
Rist forms part of a let-the-ball-bounce-and-we’ll-sort-it-out-later defensive duo with Joe Grew. Towering. Imposing. These are just two of the words that will never be used to describe Team Handsome’s centre-backs, but sound reading of the game and no-little skill on the ball make for an incredibly effective pairing. To the left is the wingback’s wingback, Lofty, who may be a fish out of water but performs like the star of the latest episode of Blue Planet 2; erm, a fish in water.
Peter Quainton heads the ball.
We’re two minutes into the game, it must be some kind of accident. At right-back, he’ll probably be called to do it again. Grew looks surprised. Herbert in goal is astounded. Willgoss shouts encouragement from his attacking position on the right of the front three. At least it sounds like encouragement. Sometimes it’s hard to know. Words like ‘quality’ and ‘better’ are accompanied with the odd muttering curse. It sounds encouraging. It’s probably encouragement.
Willgoss subsequently proves it’s a good week for the bastard offspring of James Hewitt, not by getting engaged to an absolute smoke show, but by steaming past two players and tucking the ball in with his left peg. A cracking strike, it begins with a driven ball from PQ. The duo link up throughout the match, owning their side of the pitch.
Soon the lead is two. Alongside Gibbo, Dom and Darcy are smashing holes in the Old Blues midfield. Perhaps Darcy just enjoys not running around after a small human, the product of his own testicles, at the weekend. Whatever it is, he’s playing extremely well and tidily tucks away the second of the game from a(nother) Willgoss assist.
3-0 follows. It’s Nick, bounding in like Mitchell Starc with the new ball after watching the entire Merton front six get involved in the move. On the front foot, he smashes it for six into the top corner, and at halftime the game seems already won.
Peter Quainton heads the ball.
Our boy clears it off the line. Again. Sherbs is dizzy with excitement. So dizzy he drops the next simple cross, says ‘no’ more times than an aspiring actress at a Miramax party, and safely regathers. Ancient Grey Quainton is on the pitch, is fouled in the area, the ref ignores it. The referee, displaying less mobility than Prince Phillip at the cenotaph, is miles away. He misses fouls all day. He does not miss, however, a scrote who endears himself to absolutely no one by being a mouthy little trollboy all game, getting sin-binned (the second Old Blues player to do so) and then complaining about it so much that he receives both a yellow and red card. His presence is about as welcome as pneumonia at an old folks home.
By this point another three goals have been scored. Two to Old Blues, who rally as Merton tire, and one to Gibbo with a crisp strike from the edge of the area (assist: Wilgo). Benham, buzzing around relentlessly up top as ever, should have a goal of his own. He thinks he has it after tucking away the rebound after Wilgo hits the underside of the bar, but a shocking offside call at the moment the ball caresses the back of the net denies him that which he deserves. It is not the only poor offside call of the match. 4-2 it remains.
Peter Quainton is laughing.
Having secured joint MoM alongside bubbly, fuller-figure, goalscoring presence of Darcy, the teetotal talisman has given his pint to his older, handsomer, brother for downing.
“See, I can head the ball,” he says, as DQ dispatches his beer and contemplates a second having not even having managed to last a whole half without tweaking an injury. Sherbs, entirely too happy about this prospect, is reminded of just how many times he said ‘no’ when dropping the ball. For the fifth time this year, DotD is his. A proud record, and a proud victory for Team Handsome.
Team: Sherbs, PQ, Joe Grew, Dan Rist, Simon White, Darcy Yates, Dom Preece, Michael Gibson, Nick van W, Wilgo, Tom Benham; DQ
Merton FC 2
So after last weeks successful trip to North London, the 1s returned home looking to build on the back of an excellent all round performance.
Norseman were a team who had been promoted the season before and similar to Merton, have had an up and down campaign lying just below the home side in the league.
The 1s couldn’t call upon last Saturday’s man of the match, Chaz. Missing out due to injury and unfortunately won’t be available for selection until closer to the New Year. On top of this both Vanny and Rat also were away this weekend, which led to a few changes and some new faces.
Florian and Hens both called up for their first appearances of the season, with the former starting on the right wing and Hens making an impact from the bench.
After switching to 4-4-2 at Old Fincheians, it was back to Clappers’ go to formation of 4-3-3, looking to win the battle in midfield and provide support for Charlie up top on his own.
Certainly, the coldest fixture of the season so far for the boys, with Harrison warming up in a large overcoat and big woolly hat; but they’d soon warm up running around on a heavy surface at the Hood.
The first half was very much a war of attrition, with neither side wanting to hand over any sort of advantage to the opposition. The away side looked to put some pressure on the Merton back four with the best play coming from their centre mids and a marauding centre half. However, they never created any clear chances as the home side again demonstrated why they have the best defence in the league. Browner showing he’s a fully converted full back winning his headers and getting up and down the wing well, the same could be said for Jordan on the left who linked well with Johnny and was able to start a number of Merton attacks. Not to mention the great effort and running in midfield from Craig Usher who displays similarities of the Duracell bunny.
Overall, the first 45 minutes was a tale of poor quality in the final third and a number of very niggly fouls across the pitch. No surprises it was 0-0 heading into the break.
After a positive team talk at half time from Clappers, the boys knew the game was for the taking, needing to keep better possession of the ball and continue to frustrate the opposition.
Despite Norseman coming out for the second half positively, it would be Merton who broke the deadlock on the 55th minute mark. The home side had had some success last weekend with set pieces and their opener made it look all too easy. A free kick near the half way line was lobbed to the back post by Jimbo (no sign of the hat this week) finding Clappers unmarked with a great header back across goal for Charlie to grab his fourth in as many games from 2 yards out.
It was a great time to take the lead but there was a lot of time left and the away side felt they were well in with a chance just the one behind. The next goal would be crucial.
And it would be the boys in yellow who not long after taking the lead would double their advantage. Maybe no surprise that it was from a dead-ball situation, but there were plenty of shocked faces in the manner of how it came. A freekick just over 20 yards out, with Jimbo stood over the top of it, who the week before had something similar and let’s just say the ball is still rising. However, this week the result would be emphatic as a crisp strike saw the ball serve and fly into the top corner in off the post. TOP BINS!
An excellent way to pull further clear of Norseman and take away a lot of their sprit. The remaining half an hour saw a far more open game, with credit to Siri who made a number of great saves down to his right to keep Merton’s advantage to two. Hens came off the bench to provide a really solid outlet on the right-hand side and no shock that Charlie was industrious in his running, even helping out in defence.
Unfortunately, the game ended on a slightly sour note, with Norseman having a player sin binned for the last 10 and another booked for a shocking tackle on Charlie. Yet nothing would spoil another fantastic team display and yet more 3 points for the home team who climb to fifth in the table.
Squad: Siri, Browner, Harrison, Clappers, Jordan, Jimbo, Usher, Willow, Florian, Johnny, Charlie, Hens
MOM: Jimbo for the freekick
DOD: Jimbo for celebrating his freekick like Cantona
26th November 2017
Merton under 9s 2
Croygas under 9s 1
Goal scorers Ollie
This week saw us host arch rivals Croygas at The Hood. There was a slight frost to the ground which soon thawed out with the November sun coming down. The Pitch wasn’t too bad as it had been worked on by the grounds man to help with the drainage. Now before the match, Taff had wandered off, returning from the showers just before kickoff. Apparently his dog had decided to have a roll around in another dog’s doo doos.
This week was refereed excellently by Elz, who controlled the match throughout. Allowing play to go on when required and speaking to and encouraging the both set of players during the game. This week’s line up was Max (GK), Harry (T.Adams again) and Archie (defence), Louie, Percy and David (Midfield) Faris (up top). Subs were Ollie, Joe and Lewis, tactical by the coach as some of the Croygas players knew their playing styles. We kicked off with the sun in our eyes. A cap is what Max required as the sun obscured his vision. Again this week we started strong and played like we did against Kingstonian. Link up play was good between Faris and the wingers. Chances were being made but again not converting. Joe catching one shot to well for it to just clip top of the cross bar. The opposition had some strong players who also had a few chances. The opening goal was scored by them. Corner taken, came into the box and was flicked in by one of their players. Not letting their heads drop they kicked off and continued to press. Changes made half way through the half, Ollie, Lewis and Joe on for David, Archie and Louie. We levelled scoring from a corner as well. The ball crossed in by Lewis, which was met by Ollie on the half volley and placed into the net. Half time came and it was a well even match so far. Again we wondered where Taff was as it had been quiet on the side line, he was mingling with the oppo parents further down the touchline.
Second half began and a quick reminder to Stuart who was bit confused (but not hung over)during first half cheering on the blues (his Saturday side colours) and shouting to the ref it was the blues ball for throw ins. When clearly it was yellows ball!! For the first part of the second half Max didn’t have a lot to do. But the last 10 minutes, wow pulling off some unbelievable saves to keep us in it. One shot was tipped around the post and another was tipped over the crossbar. Well deserved man of the match award at the end. The boys all put in another shift especially Faris, Ollie Lewis and David who was still looking for his first goal for the team. With a few minutes left Lewis broke on one of his runs, dribbling around a few players when getting fouled just outside the box, although the oppo felt the ball was won and shouldn’t have been a foul. Free kick was given, Lewis and David stood over the ball Lewis stepped up and hit the ball on target to see it go in. 2 – 1 with a couple of minutes to go.
Final whistle blew and the match finished 2 – 1. A game where a draw would have been a fair result but getting the win was magical. Another win on the bounce for the team and the boys playing some great football. The mini festival finished 2 wins and 1 lose, not too bad.
Back to the league next week with an away fixture against Bedfont Eagles Whitesox.
Old Thorntonians 1-2 Merton 2s
Perhaps the most satisfying moment of a rainy, cold Saturday afternoon the other side of Wimbledon Common was Thorntonians’ centre back imploring his teammates to work harder with the shout of “they want it more”. We really did.
Driven forward by a relentless midfield trio of Dom, Gibbo and Darcy, Merton were hungry. Snapping into tackles, pressuring their opposite numbers, forcing mistakes and breaking at pace. We’ve missed this.
For our finest example of pace, look no further than Tom Benham. Direct and menacing, Tom was a weapon. His goal broke the deadlock, from a Dom Preece cross of real quality, right to left. Tom’s appreciation of space gave him the time to control and finish. That was just for starters. TB didn’t stop running all afternoon.
Merton continued to press, EJ’s mix of free spirit, strength and skill causing the opposition all sorts of problems. On the right, Wilgo was finding plenty of joy and creating chances. It was the captain’s inch-perfect through ball that dissected the defence for Merton’s second. Darcy made it possible with a perfectly-timed run. Wilgo picked him out. Darcy’s flick gave it the finish the pass deserved.
Thorntonians pulled one back before the half, courtesy of a questionable offside decision (more on that later). But this game was about character. And Merton had plenty of it.
As the cup tie became more end-to-end in the second half, Conor, Dan Rist, Joe Grew and in particular Pearcey were heroic at the back. Each produced a manful display that ground out what Max rightly called an epic win. Joe Grew made some serious yards down the right, too.
A short paragraph must be given over to the referee, whose performance – and what a performance – is perhaps best described as flamboyant. Explaining his interpretation of the offside rule before the game would have been amusing were it not for the erratic 90 minutes of officiating that followed.
Last word, though, goes to Lofty. Having travelled the furthest, our side’s most senior member volunteered to go in goal and then produced a performance to be proud of. The final 20 minutes alone saw Lofty make at least five saves or catches that saved Team Handsome. Handsomest among Lofty’s stops was the iron wrist he used to tip over a swirling, goal-bound drive. Truly a Merton Man’s performance.
Merton 2s: Simon White, Joe Grew, Dan Rist, Paul Pearce, Conor Murphy, Dom Preece, Darcy Yates, Michael Gibson, Graham Willgoss (c), EJ, Tom Benham. Subs: Ben Cook, Andy Holder Ross
Bank of England v Merton 7s
Away day v Bank of England, on a pitch that’s like a carpet and not to effected by the weeks grey, rainy weather. Last season, the 7s achieved the double over BOE5s, with a 3-1 & 1-0 victory, so maybe today was the day the 7s got there season back on track
Everyone arriving more or less on time, the chat was to be solid at the back and to get tight, we see Martin take on the gloves to allow Kieran to play Left back, Josh comes back in at right back, Steve and Tom make up the centre pairing
The 7s are trying a 4-2-3-1, and the holding pair are the captain David, and trialist Joe Diss, with a forward 3 of Ryan, Niall ‘Neil’ Kelly and Luke, and Billy back up top after a week off ill.
Game starts in even fashion, with the 7s containing the BOE5s and slowly getting to grips with the new formation, the opening exchanges sees BANK get the best of the spoils, winning early corners and throw ins in the 7s third.
The new pairing of David & Joe seems comfortable with a lot of talk between the two when exchanging players or tracking runners in round the back. In all, Joe slots in pretty well after being out of action for several months with an injury
Its not to long though before the 7s are back in their old ways of letting good possession slip away, with BANK attacking down the left wing, the ball is crossed an unmarked player, still 20 yards out and still lots to do, controls and takes a chance shot, Martin, barely a yard of his line gets caught flat footed and can’t see to jump as the ball dips just under the bar. 1-0
Aggrieved at such a soft goal, the 7s up the tempo, good passing sees serval attacks come to nothing, but it’s a good response to a soft goal.
Tackles are going in hard from the 7s, with not much reply from BANK, yet the Ref seems to be awarding freekicks for any minor contact made, the 7s captain twice comes a cropper, one out wide which sees the BANKs player cartwheel from a slide tackle (but was at no point in danger of hurting himself!) and another, 30 yards out which was just strength to ease the player off the ball.
The resulting freekick is lofted over the wall and off the cross bar, not one 7s player reacted as BANK has a selection of players waiting to roll the ball in. 2-0
Frustration is creeping in, everyone is urged to dig in now and get something out of this. Good work between Ryan, Niall & Billy. Joe is getting a fair bit of joy and mopping up the attacks, Luke now dropping slightly deeper to help out.
The resulting pressure sees Billy get released, using his pace, sees him leave the defence and bear down on goal, releases a shot that just passes the far post…. Close.
The 7s, now getting more of the game, look to be taking control, another attack from BANK down the left, is broken up and won back by the defence, still trying to play football, Tom collects the ball in the area, taking a touch to much, BANK close him down, now back tracking, the ball finds its way to Kieran, who is also being closed down, tries to cross the ball out of the corner, Martin who had left the comfort of his goal mouth to help in the melee is now stranded as the ball is meet by another BANK player who ghosts past the captain 18 yards out and heads into an empty net. 3-0
Frustration now turns to arguments, 10 minutes left of the half, the 7s still having a fair share of possession, yet, once again find themselves 3-0 down.
Some good work from Luke to retain the ball, sets Niall off, but still in his own half by a good 10 yards, the turn and flick and round the player was delightful, but with still half the pitch to go, Niall shows strength to hold off the defending player, bearing down on goal and able to shrug off the challenge, it’s a well composed shot into the far corner. A great finish for 3-1, and just before the break
Half time, the manager/captain, using some moderate language to get some sort of reaction from the team, makes 3 changes, Joe who had a good half makes way for Andrew, Kieran dons the gloves and Martin makes way for Ram at left back, and Steve for Dan in the centre
Straight from the off, the 7s pass the ball around, composed and buoyed on by the goal, look threating. Ryan is now having a bit of joy down the right, Niall is outstanding in the middle of the 3 and holding the ball up well and showing so fantastic touches, however, Billy coming back from illness is slightly off the pace, missing 2 good chances, his visibly angry with himself. A further blow sees Tom signals that he can’t continue, which allows Steve back on the pitch
With the play going the 7s way and pushing higher up to get back in the game, the inevitable happens. A good counter attack sees a slide rule pass cut the defence open and the ball dispatched beyond Kieran for 4-1
Heads drop, the fight has been taken out of the 7s after fighting to get back in the game, with another attack from BANK resulting in Kieran having to come off his line to clear the ball, only to fall to a BANK player out wide, controls and hits a hoping shot that evades Kieran as he back peddles
5-1. Billy makes way for Martin to drop back to make a 5
It’s now getting tough to rally the team, not catching a break or getting any reward for any of the attacking play, the score would suggest the 7s just rolled over. Still time on the board, another foray down the right with Ryan leading the charge, a quick interchange of play sees Luke with the ball 18yards out, looks up and dispatches a shot beyond the keeper and for a 5-2 end results
Turned out another disappointing day at the office, suicidal defending coupled with bad luck and miss chances in front of goal, see the 7s slump to there 3rd defeat in a row and conceding 17!!!
With no game next week, this break couldn’t have come soon enough
MOTM: Contra to the score line, some good hold up plays and individual skill, the opposition could not contain this week’s MOTM… Niall, who won most of the votes ahead of Neil….!
DOTD: There’s a particular art to a slide tackle, it takes momentum, guts, a good soggy pitch (for the excuse to clatter the oppo) and the ability to time all this to perfection, which was all in abundance on Saturday… except for Dan… who’s attempt was not only 2 yards short of a static ball with no opposition player nearby, but also manged to “go down in ‘comical’ stages”… on a dreary day, this was a welcome highlight… thanks Dan
Team: Martin, Kieran, Josh, Tom, Steve, Joe, David, Ryan, Niall, Billy, Luke
Dan, Ram, Andrew
19th November 2017
Merton Under 9s 5
Kingstonian Under 9s 1
Goal scorers: Faris 2
This week saw the under 9s play away against Kingstonian under 9s in the second game of the mini festival. A pre match weather warning message was received the night before from the coach, telling parents and boys to wrap up warm for the match. Arriving at the pitch, there was a chill in the air, but conditions were perfect for a game of football. The boys arrived on time for the warm up; absence of Coach Neal who had the task of picking up David, he had the address on his phone which ran out of battery. After finding David’s location, he finally arrived to take over the warm up from Roy. Roy looked pretty warmed up himself fishing the balls out from the ditch behind the goal.
The facilities at Kingstonian’s ground were nice, hot drinks available and pitch close to the patio area. This meant no sinking in the mud whilst watching, the shoes stayed clean and feet not as cold this week.
Referee who had a good game started the match promptly. This week the formation was to be 1 in defence and overload the midfield/forwards. The starting line up was Max (GK), Ollie (defence), Joe, Louis, Percy (midfield), Lewis and Faris (Forwards). Subs this week were Archie, Harry and David. This formation worked well throughout the game. Both teams started well creating numerous of chances. 1st goal came from a mistake from their defender and goalkeeper. This led to Faris pouncing on their mistake and putting the ball into the net. We continued to create chances, until they broke through and scored making it 1 – 1. The boys not looking downhearted kicked off and this is where they absolutely played the best football they have played this season. Changes made, David, Harry and Archie on. David picked the ball up just inside their half and hit a thunder strike at the goal, it was on target but a superb save by the keeper denied David his first goal for Merton. The save was parried out by the keeper which fell to Faris’s feet who placed the ball into the net. 2 – 1 and that’s how the half finished.
The second half, wow total football is all I can describe it as. It had everything in it; great passing, good link up play, hard tackling, one touch passing, great defending and a wonder save from Max. The opposition didn’t really put any pressure on Max in goal, who, apart from a one on one situation and pulling off the save of the season had a quiet second half. This could have been for the great defending from Harry (Tony Adams) in defence. He was solid all game including a great tackle near the end to deny them from scoring another one on one goal.
Now for our 3 goals, first one was by Archie. After what looked like a two footed challenge by Archie, not according to the ref, somehow got back to his feet and managed to place the ball beyond the scrambling keeper. 3 – 1 and now a bit more comfortable. Second goal came from an Ollie free kick, who crossed the ball into the box. The ball bounced through to Louis at the back post to put the ball into the net. Our third came from a through ball by Archie to an on running Ollie through on goal who placed the ball beyond the keeper. 5 – 1 and well deserved.
All the boys played their hearts in this game, everyone was buzzing from this result. It was good to see the progress they have made from the start of the season. Observation made is that it seems every time Roy’s daughter, Lauren doesn’t show for a game the boys win, just saying.
Moments off the pitch – Lewis managing to break the MOM trophy before the game. Luckily later that day Roy found a replacement.
The fumes of alcohol coming from Stewart and telling us that Percy is never drinking if that is what he will smell like after a session. One way of keeping kids off of alcohol I suppose. Taff preparing himself for an afternoon with Paddington and showing us his new Doc Martins!!
Spectator Bobby, warming up with the team and smacking Joe in the crown jewels with the ball. The corner we took, not realising that one of their players was still scrambling out of the ditch after getting the ball.
Last game next week of the festival fixtures at home to Croygas. A local derby and rival match against some of the boys former team mates. Play like they did today and we will smash ‘em
1s v Wandsworth Borough AFA Surrey/Kent Cup
We didn’t know what to expect in this game. WB had beaten Old Parks in the last round. Some of my other football friends play for Old Parks and always tell me how good they are. Yikes!
We played really well in the first half and went in at half time 1-0 up. New guy Aaron, well he’s not new because he plays for the 4s but he was new to us but you know what I mean, scored our goal with a cheeky lob. Aaron’s like a younger, better looking, version of me.
I got kicked and pushed over a lot in the first half. I wish Al was still here to look after me.
WB came out much better in the second half and we were nowhere near our first half levels. This meant we were 2-1 down after 20 minutes. We played better in the last 25 minutes but couldn’t break WB down.
I thought I played well but I got DOTD for trying a scissors kick. I’m the only person in the team that could pull this sort of skill off. Well maybe Aaron “the younger, better me” could.
Sorry it’s short but I’m not very funny or great with words.
Ivan Gladkow aged 34 3/4
Team: Siri, Rat, Harrison, Clappers, Browner, Jimbo, Crusher, Sam H, Me, Charlie, Aaron. Subs: Will Low and Chaz
Old Finchleians (h) 0-3
Let’s get the positives out of the way first.
Good, hope that didn’t take up too much of your time. On to the match, which was to Merton 2s’ confidence what Kevin Spacey is to future box office success.
Merton surged into a 1-0 deficit courtesy of Joe Grew’s face when Finchleians began with the bit between their teeth. Wicked deflection, Sherbs had no chance.
Still, the men in yellow could look to the unstoppably chirpy and puppy-like EJ for some bounce. He spent the first half gallivanting up and down the right side with something that looked like purpose, but squandered the best chance when through on goal after a delicious Wilgo through-ball.
That was about as good as it got for Team Handsome.
Clowesy got sent off. Early doors, second half. It was absolutely a red: a ‘tired dad’ kind of challenge when the quickest guy on the pitch was through on goal. Something of a farce followed in the form of a discussion as to what exactly constituted being ‘away from the pitch’; the Joseph Hood changing room car park was eventually deemed suitable. Clowesy watched on from afar, mercifully away from the field of play, many wished they could have joined him.
We conceded twice more: once was a tip-toe around Sherbs, who made a tired dad kind of attempt to stop it happening. Up top, DQ made a tired old man attempt at scoring goals. Dom got a bit angry. EJ smiled. Cookie managed not to get a booking. Yes, there we have it, the positive. Cookie managed not to get a booking. And Merton were out of the cup.
Team Handsome: Alex Herbert, Dan Rist, Joe Grew, Alan Clowes, Conor Murphy, Graham Willgoss (c), Andy Holding Midfielder Ross, Dom Preece, David Quainton, EJ, Michael Gibson, Ben Cook, Peter Quainton
NAME: Niall Kelly
TEAM: Merton 7’s
BIRTH DATE: 07/08/1998
BIRTH PLACE: Kingston upon Thames
PREVIOUS CLUBS: Dewalt Dynamos (what a team!)
- Tell us who you are outside of the club. What do you do, how would you describe yourself?
Football Coach and student, i’m a positive and hardworking person. Football mad
- How did you end up at Merton FC?
I’ve known Billy and Dave Golding for most of my life. Played in their teams most my life as well.
- What do you like most about Merton FC?
I like how relaxed everyone is but at the same time everyone still wants to win. Like the competitive spirit.
- If you could play for a professional team,which would be it and why?
England! There would be nothing better than playing for your country.
- Do you have any pre-match rituals or superstitions?
My socks and sleeves always stay down during the warm up and just before kick off I pull them up. Been doing it as long as I can remember.
- Lastly, share us your goals/expectations for the season.
hopefully finish at a decent position in the league
Favourite Player (at Merton, or in professional football): Wayne Rooney
Childhood Team: Manchester United
Favourite team in the UK: Manchester United
Favourite team outside the UK: Real Madrid
Childhood Hero: Sir Alex Ferguson
Favourite Food: Tuna Pasta Sweetcorn
Favourite Drink: Irn Bru
Favourite Band: Westlife