Month: October 2018
3s 5 –2 HSBC 3s
After last weeks fruitless away trip the boars returned to the Hood still looking for there first points of the season.It was a much changed squad from the defeat to Kew. Mustard, Sam K, Mario and Ryan Burchel learning a call up to the 2s, Sam Speirs heading to the 4s and Sam S R and JV dropping out altogether.In came the ever dependable Neal Davison and Mike Stone, a bit of attacking quality was Added in the shape of Glenn, Lewis and Niall. And there was the welcome return of Barry Hughes.Gaffer Fitz opted for tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation that had helped the boars to almost pull of the most unlikely of comebacks the previous week.The side kicked off with Iain in goal Nathan at right back Barry left back and a centre back partnership of Mike Stone and lofty.The midfield consisted of Glenn left midfield Sam Slater right midfield and the central midfield pairing of Vincenzo and Neal, upfront the partnership of Fitz and Aaron completed the lineup. Which left the attacking options of Niall and Lewis on the bench.The boars kicked off and from the outset set about moving the ball quickly and with purpose. The first goal courtesy of Glen latching onto a ball into the left channel that had him in acres of room to pick a pass into the centre were Aaron made no mistake.From that point the floodgates opened as the boars tore through their opponents at will. Glenn Scored a cracking volley from theedge of the box and Aaron added his second and Sam Slater grabbed a good goal after a great pass from Niall that Beckham in his prime would have been happy with but the best was saved till last with Glenn picking the ball up on the right beating hisman and playing the ball into Niall who back healed the ball exquisitely back into Glenn’s path, the finish matched the move as he delicately dinked the ball over the exposed keeper.5-0 !!!!!!Sadly the boars were unable to tokeep a clean sheet as a lapse in concentration at the back allowed there left midfielder to squeeze the ball in at Iain’s near post just before the break.
The second half was much more of a struggle as a much improved opposition plus tiring legs meant that Merton spent the vast majority of the second half on the back foot. HSBC scored again with roughly 25 to play and will probably reflect that with abit of better luck and finishing they could have grabbed a point but a combination of the woodwork, a couple of good saves and poor finishing meant that when the final whistle went it was the Boars that had taken the three points.Possibly the best 45 minutes that the threes have produced in the last 3 seasons. MoMBarry for a solid first game back.DoD for Iain inflammatory comments about a fellow teammates manliness.
Merton @ Old Parks 2 – 4
More knockout football for the boars this week as they met Old Parks in the AFA cup.
Yet again this meant a commute to Ilford. Is there are an amateur club in the land that spends more time travelling to away games?
Old Parks posed serious opposition from the league above.
Merton with a much changed team from last Saturdays defeat; saw Jack and Cookie come into defence with a rare central midfield cameo for Ivan and Max. Also, good to see another debut as Dan made his first appearance up top.
During a very competitive first half the away side felt hard done by to be 2-1 down at the break. Originally taking the lead from a Jimbo corner and after a few deflections, Max was on hand to slot home from 5 yards. His first goal for the club. However, mistakes in midfield and a rebound from a free kick, meant the home side would be ahead after 45.
Merton felt this game was by no means over and were keen to test their opponents in the second half. Consistently a threat from set pieces it resembled somewhat of an England side from the summer. But it would be a third goal for Old Parks after 60 minutes that left a lot of work to do. And it could have been worse if Siri hadn’t made a brilliant penalty save following a handball from Jack that Nadal would’ve been proud of.
With 20 to play, Max bagged his second with a bullet header again from a Jimbo corner, setting up a great finale. Despite constant pressure and big chances, the home team were still a threat on the break and as they had been all afternoon were clinical when scoring a fourth. Assisted by Jimbos fresh air kick.
Unfortunately, it’s another loss for the 1s but with a bye week upcoming, the boys can be refreshed for their next league fixture.
Team: Siri, Cookie Jack, Harrison, Browner , Gabby, Max, Jimbo, Ivan, George, Dan
Big thanks to Jordan Cox who came back from Manchester to watch but ended up playing 20 minutes 💪
1s away v Old Finchelians – SAL Cup – 13.10.18
0 – 3
The day started with a pleasant trip up the Northern from Balham with Jimbo, Pritch and Harrison. We discussed whether we thought we could survive a plane crash into the sea, the height of the Shard, what a good player Phil Foden was and what an adventurer, his namesake, Ben Foden is. For information it’s Ben Fogle boys, not Foden.
It was during this journey that I realised I’d only brought one boot with me!!
Everyone arrived in plenty of time, even George, and we had time for a relaxing chat on the veranda. Luckily, amongst the relaxing, Stubbsy decided to get his kit ready and discovered that I hadn’t brought the socks! Thankfully there was a Sports Direct 10 minutes away and off Siri and I went with Jimbo’s request of “Can you buy yellow ones so they match by blister prevention socks”. “Shut up Jimbo I’ll get whatever colour they’ve got 13 pairs of” was by edited response! Whatever you think of Mike Ashley, you can’t beat 13 pairs of socks for £32.50. Thanks big man, I owe you one.
So at 13:50 we were set to take the field in our fetching new white socks. I’d always planned new socks for this game but not in these circumstances.
With a minute gone Old Fs played a ball over the top which Harrison, 40 yards from goal, dealt with easily. Oh hang on, no he didn’t, he somehow managed to kick it out for a corner. A well delivered corner, a ducking Joe Greeeeewwww at the near post and an unmarked Old F at the back post and we were 1-0 down.
For the next 10-15 minutes we were all at sea and only a couple of very good Siri saves, followed up by his usual Tourettes outburst, kept us in the game. After this we found our feet and competed well but with five minutes to go we conceded a second to go in at half time 2-0 down.
We were much better in the second half and forced their keeper into 2-3 very good saves but didn’t really look like we’d crawl back the deficit. Then with about 10 minutes to go Old Fs scored their third with a very well worked goal.
A disappointing result but again some encouraging signs from the youngsters and newcomers.
Old Fs were a significantly improved team from last season and deserved the victory. They’re also a good bunch and even bought us a jug in the bar.
The good thing about losing miles away from home is that you’ve got a good hour and a half to feel sorry for yourself on the way back. We managed to offset the dispair with a few pints on the way home and then another excellent round of the This is the Merton Quiz at the Hood.
Team: Siri, Joe Greeeewwwww, Harrison, Browner, Max, Stubbsy, Jimbo, Pritch, George, Jamie and EJ. Sub: Clappers
MOTM: Max Carveth
DOTD: Clappers (Me!!)
Merton 4s vs. City of London 3s
SAL Junior Division 4 South
Saturday 6th October 2018
Buoyed by weeks result against the 5s, the 4s were in league action again and hosted City of London at Joseph Hood.
With numbers low throughout, due to holiday and injury, we were required to call on the services of Scott Brown from the 5s and Andrew Stears from the 6s to make up the numbers. Following a couple of training sessions, Thomas Murphy was ready match fit and took a spot on the bench while another debutant, Andrew Minkevich slotted into the middle of the park.
The starting line-up consisted of Kieran Lee in goal. From right to left, Dan Gridley, Scott Brown, Joe Plumridge and Edward Plaistow (yours truly) made up the defence. The midfield three consisted of Callum Fisher, Andrew and Roman Bilivskyi with Dom Plumridge, Denys Zhurbiy and Nick Englefield up top leading the line.
The first half started as expected, Merton dominating play however when the chances came, composure was non-existent and the chances wasted. One of these chances led to a kick from the keepers hand, not anticipating the distance it would travel, it evaded the back line and with Kieran a little late to come off his line, it allowed their main man in green to capitalise and give the visitors the lead. Learning from this, we ensured that the defence dropped deeper for the remainder of the game.
Fortunately conceding first provided the kick up the arse that was needed. Passed were a little more precise with receivers approaching the pass rather than waiting for the ball to approach them. This allows triangles to be plays which opened up the opposing defence on numerous occasions.
It wasn’t long under out dominance was rewarded when Denys bagged his first of the day, Roman made it two 5 minutes later. A moment of magic from young Callum then provided us with a two goal cushion. A cheeky ‘Cruyff Turn’ allowed his the space to unleash an unstoppable right footed effort which found the top bins! 3-1 at the break.
The second half seemed to go by in a flash! All I know is that were able to add to our tally convincingly. Andrew Minkevich made it four, Denys converted twice more to complete his hat trick and Andrew Stears, on for Denys just about scored from a penalty having been taken down.
The final whistle went with the score 7-1.
Next week we travel to Old Wilsonians hoping to continue our unbeaten streak in the league.
FINAL SCORE: Merton 4s 7 – 1 City f London 3s
SCORER(S): Denys Zhurbiy (3), Roman Bilivskyi, Andrew Minkevich, Callum Fisher and Andrew Stears (pen)
MOTM: Callum Fisher – Another solid performance capped off with a goal of the season contender.
DOTD: Kieran Lee – Harsh to be awarded it however the mix-up for the goal conceded was all it came down to. Solid performance after that.
STARTING LINE-UP: Kieran Lee (GK), Dan Gridley, Scott Brown (Thomas Murphy), Joe Plumridge, Edward Plaistow (Capt.), Roman Bilivskyi, Andrew Minkevich, Callum Fisher, Nick Englefield (Andrew Stears), Denys Zhurbiy, Dom Plumridge
Merton 3s vs Kew Association
Another Saturday rolls around and once again Merton 3s are in action. Unlike the last 75 weeks this week we are away from home in Ham, close to Richmond.
This week it is a 1pm meet for a 2pm kick off however one of the 4 Sam’s, (annoying I know) goalie Sam decided to arrive at 12pm shortly after feeding his rabbit. His early arrival makes him the first person in the history of Merton to arrive on match day earlier than Mustard. As he likes to let you know Mustard lives in Essex which is very far away from most grounds so his early arrivals are spectacular. 1pm quickly approaches and everyone is present apart from Joe and Aaron (shock) to be fair to Aaron he did decide to walk a marathon to get here.
Once all the people on time had arrived we decide to make our way to the changing rooms. We are greeted by a lovely lady who shows us to changing room 6. Kew Association must of seen and heard Vincenzo’s dives in previous weeks as the changing room had ‘women’ written on it.
Changing room entered, food based music on (apart from Joe’s strange choice of Half the World away which I’m not sure has anything to do with food) kit bag in the centre of the room. The scene is set. Once the kit bag is placed, the lads like a bunch of wild animals start rummaging through to get their favourite numbers. Britney spots his medium, which is very important as mediums are rarer than a smile from Iain, and he jumps to grab it. Mario is extremely disheartened as we don’t have his number 8, we do however have multiple duplicates of numbers.
Once we have all changed with the aroma of deep heat in the air Fitz sits us all down to give us the line-up and team talk. As Fitz wasn’t there the previous week he has some help from assistants Iain and Mustard. The line-up he has decided is going to be:
Sam K Mustard Vin Ryan
Sam SL Lofty
Nathen Fitz Britney
Bench: Iain, Joe and Aaron
The decided line up was set and it looks a strong line up. Britney is back after a near career threatening injury, Mustard making his debut at CB and Mario back after taking a few weeks off to get married. The bench also looked very dangerous with some brilliant options to bring on if needed (which they were). Team talk was underway and the importance of the wingers were paramount as they were required to defend from the front and attack there fullbacks. Mario was decided to be the further forward of the midfield 3 to back up the forward 3.
With the team talk done we started to make the trek to the pitch. After walking through supermarket chain Iceland slaughter house we arrived at the pitch and to our surprise, hidden amongst the horses and trees was an extremely nice pitch. After the ordinary warm up and a few terrible shots at the goal kick off was here and we were raring to go, all wanting our first win of the season.
Kick off. Merton started the better of the sides with a couple of chances falling our way. A run from Nathen that started down the right and ended with him cutting in and getting into the box, he should of done much better with his shot but there was a slight nudge in the back which seemed to put him off. Another chance fell our way this time with Britney bursting down the left and trying to cut a ball back to Fitz on the edge of the box but it was cut out by a brilliant slide tackle. Merton were creating problems on the wings with the pace and trickery but allegedly weren’t doing enough defensively which the attackers didn’t agree with.
After all the early pressure from Merton we once again went 1-0 down after a pot shot from about 30 yards. The Kew attackers waltzed through our midfield to strike a shot down the centre of the goal and with Merton goalie Sam on the edge of his area for some reason the shot sailed over him. Another attack shortly after put Kew 2-0 up. 2 chances, 2 goals. This is becoming a far too regular occurrence for Merton 3s.
2-0 down and a big moment happens. A moment that people are lying about. Chinese whispers is a vicious game. The ball is in midfield with Mario, Fitz and Britney are busting a gut to get through on goal. Mario plays a lovely ball through to Fitz with the goalie and defender fast approaching him he goes for the chip over the goalie. It’s on target, trickling towards the goal but Britney with his eyes like a hawk notices a defender running back to get the clearance of the line (which he would have succeeded in) so he sprints towards the line up to try knock the ball in. The moment of truth. Britney jumps with the finesse of a young Chinese gymnast but the defender who is about 2 foot taller than Britney does his best Conor McGregor impression and elbows him viciously in the back. Britney now off balance, knowing he isn’t going to make the header, throws a hand at it. Slightly brushing his hand the ball goes in the net. The ref saw. Goal didn’t stand. Robbery. Should have been a penalty but instead he gets voted D.O.T.D.
The rest of the first half fizzled out with not much else happening. The early threat from the wingers was gone and we no longer had a foothold in the game. Late on in the first half Aaron came on for Nathen with Joe coming on for Britney.
The second half started and after some stern words and finger pointing from everyone we were raring to go.
The second half had not started like the first half with Kew pressuring us. However for some reason going 4-0 down made us a different team. A formation change from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 worked wonders with Nathen and Sam coming on for Mario and Fitz in CM and ST respectively.
A free kick won by Britney about 40 yards out, a smart quick free kick from Sam SL sent Vin through to chip a wonderful goal over the goalkeeper. 1 goal 3 to go. Vin was no doubt the star man in this second half with his marauding runs out of defence working wonders. He consistently fed Sam and Aaron up front who were getting joy out of there defenders. Joe Vaughn with some great tenacity in the middle kept winning the ball back for us. A special mention to Nathen who done his best Phil Jones impression by throwing his head on a ball that was on the floor. With about 20 minutes to go Iain came on for Mustard at CB.
4-2. A lovely header from Sam K goes into the top corner and the comeback was well and truly on.
4-3. Aaron is sent through by one of aforementioned Vin’s marauding run. He is offside but in keeping with the refs performance he didn’t see it. Merton were now one goal behind with about 5 minutes to go.
Last 5 minutes and Merton had all the possession but no real chances. Iain’s long throws were creating pandemonium in the opposition box but we couldn’t get the slight bit of luck we needed A couple of free kicks were won but none came to anything.. A couple free kicks also weren’t given most notably in the last couple of minutes, Britney was sandwiched but nothing given. Kew dug in well to hold off from a spirited second half performance from the lads.
Another disappointing Saturday for Merton 3s. However with a very new squad and a lot of summer transfers we are starting to gel and are looking better every game with the results soon to come.
Kew Association 4 – 3 Merton
Merton Under 10s vs Mitcham Park FC
14TH October 2018 – Under 10s report
It was Merton’s third home match of the season and most of the parents in attendance were glad that that the early morning rain had stopped. The conditions were pretty ideal for football and so it proved. Kicking down the slope from right to left Merton started brightly. Inside 3 minutes, Percy passed to Maxwell and then Maxwell found Louis with a pass to the right. The pair of them were advancing towards the Mitcham goal. Louis returned the ball to Maxwell. Maxwell passed to Louis again and Louis returned it to Maxwell. Maxwell struck a powerful shot to the bottom left hand corner of the Mitcham goal. It went in! Three minutes on the clock.
One nil to Merton
Merton’s early goal and great start to the game led to a period of dominance; dominance of possession, of thought and action. Merton were quicker to the ball and their desire was stronger. They created so many chances. After 7 minutes, Dave, who was being productive on the left, whipped in a cross that Louis headed onto Mitcham’s back post.
Further chances were created by Merton, Dave had four separate attempts on goal after good approach work on the left. There was only one word for what Mitcham Park were facing – onslaught. Merton should have converted more of their chances. At this stage, if it had been a boxing match Mitcham’s Corner Man would have thrown the towel in.
Mitcham Park were only able to make occasional forays into the Merton penalty area and when they did Max was equal to the task. However, Mitcham Park were still in the game because the score remained at 1 nil.
With 17 minutes gone, Faris made an excellent diagonal pass between the Mitcham centre pack and left back for Rio to run onto. It was perhaps the pass of the game. Rio met the ball full on but his first-time shot blazed over the bar. Was this to be one of those games when Merton would rue their missed chances?
Twenty minutes gone, good work from Joe; he wins a tackle, cuts inside and threads a lovely ball to Faris. Faris is heading towards goal and shoots but his shot is blocked.
The referee, who had been very good at letting the game flow, blew for half-time. Amazingly it was still only one nil to Merton.
The stand in coaching partnership of Stu and Roy encouraged Merton to keep Mitcham under pressure as the second half commenced. Merton renewed their onslaught and created more chances. Merton were now kicking up the slope from left to right. Good work from Faris and a cross to the back post. Joe met it well but his shot went just over the bar.
Ten minutes into the second half, the ball breaks to Rio outside of the Mitcham penalty area. He controls the ball and shoots to the top middle of the goal. It’s a great shot and goes in above the outstretched arms of the Mitcham keeper.
Two nil to Merton.
The second goal produced two different reactions from the teams. Merton relaxed a little feeling that the game was over whereas Mitcham Park upped their intensity and desire. Mitcham wanted to give a better account of themselves. Merton still had most of the possession but Mitcham were looking more dangerous on the counterattack.
This was the best period of the game for Mitcham. After good approach work Mitcham’s striker had a good shot on goal. Max saved it and appeared to have the ball in both hands. The Mitcham striker tackled Max, the ball was spilled and then bundled into the goal by Mitcham.
Two – one to Merton.
The parents of the Mitcham players were now in full voice, spurring on their boys. A comfortable game was becoming less comfortable for Merton. Some of Merton’s goal mouth drama was of their own making but Mitcham were now putting them under pressure. There was some resolute defending by Harry, Joe, Ollie and Max but Mitcham were not to be denied. A shot from inside Merton’s penalty area to the bottom right of the goal proved successful. It went in!
Wow! How did we get to this point? In the first half it was Easy Like Sunday Morning for Merton but if Merton were to win now they would need to go back up the gears and create a grandstand finish. With only 6 minutes left to play, they were able to do just that. Urged on by watching parents Merton increased their intensity, Maxwell created some space and let fly with a powerful shot to the bottom left of the goal. The Mitcham keeper got a hand to it. The ball was spinning agonisingly over the line. Was it completely over the line? Would the keeper recover his position and clear it? Dave slid in to make sure and poke the ball completely over the line. A Video Assistant Referee (VAR) would have cleared up who scored but it may be a while before VAR is introduced at Joseph Hood Rec, the important point to remember is that it was a Merton goal!
3 -2 to Merton
This was a great response from Merton and they were well worth their lead. Within 1 minute of the re-start, the ball broke to Louis who fired in a powerful shot that Mitcham’s keeper was unable to save. The ball went into the centre of the goal!
4-2 to Merton
Two quick-fire goals in 2 minutes put the result beyond doubt. The last few minutes were relatively uneventful and then the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Well done again, boys!
Let’s keep it going for Match Day 7 after Half Term
Author: Mike Pitt
Merton 3s Vs Actonian’s
Game day, rain day. With no win’s yet the 3s were ready and motivated to go out and get some points and with NEIL DAVIDSON back in the middle we looked to have a solid team.
The game kicked off and very early a simple ball over the top for Actonian’s left Merton 1-0 down. Merton pressed forwards with a few chances lending to a corner, Nathen took it whipping a ball in with a Actonian’s player heading the ball goalward and the ball being knocked in by Sam (Blonde). The game started to get heated as Mustard fouled a player jumping for a ball as all hell broke loss. Actonian’s #12 who can only be described as a pitball on steroids then retaliated but taking joe out from behind in a tackle that earned him a yellow (should have been a red). The game continued and the ref continued to give out cards like a horny teen on valentine’s day.
The 2nd half and both teams not really having many chances until a Actonian’s move sees a player just outside the box who dropped a shoulder sending Mike to the shops for some tea and biscuits leaving him free too shoot, Actonian’s 2-1. Merton pushed back with Ryan send a ball into the box which was knocked in by Adam leaving Billy to head the ball home for a simple finish, 2-2. A few players needing to go off injured and the lack of subs left Merton struggling for the last 10 and it showed as Actonian’s managed to break through and get a winner in the last 5. 3-2
HSBC 6s v Merton 6s
What miserable day.. arriving at the ground after the best part of a 2-hour drive, the heavens opened with a cold, monsoon of a down pour. The excellent facilities of HSBC ground were a warm welcome as the rest of the mob turn up relativity on time… except one… but more on that later!
Sod it… more on that now!
With the teams warmed up and soaked from the relentless driving rain, the Ref called for the captains to approach the centre circle… the 6s are still doing there team selection, with the manager stalling, waiting on his number 2 (No reference to ‘poo’) to arrive, after being assured with many… many.. many… many texts that he will be there… however, we wait!
Starting in goal, is Mr Majestic himself, the glove man… Martin ‘I don’t get Lobbed anymore’ Quinny (who was on time), starting left back is Luke Newman (who was on time), on loan from the 4s due to 5s not having a game and stepping up in class to the 6s! centre pairing of Tom J (who was on time) and Joe ‘Glass Toes’ Diss (who was on time), with Darren A(who was on time) , also on loan from the 5s, but wait… who’s that in the distances.. running over with a woolly hoodie pulled over his head to hide the shame of turning up with minutes to go… the jeans and hob nail boots, looking like a Chelsea fan from the 70s! why it’s the Merton 6s number 2 (still no reference to ‘poo’), the lovable Mr Burchell… the cries of “Im here, Im here…” echo around the park as he splashes through yet another puddle.
We continue with the selection, Midfield Chris O (who was on time) on the left, Lynden(who was on time) and Steve H (who was on time) Centre respectively, Andrew D (who was on time) on the right, leaving David G (who was not only on time, but also picked up 3 players, the kit, pumped the balls up and walked his dogs very early in the morning in anticipation at arriving at a ground…. On time!) and Peter O.A (Did I mention, he was on time)… Up Front. Arron A (who was on time) starts on the bench, as he doesn’t like playing football! Team selected… but there’s a whimper coming from near the kit bag… a small grown man is crying “I want to Play”
As the (what looks like tears) water rolls down the smooth bald face of the M6s number 2… the shrieks of ‘I drove 4 hours to get here…’ ring out as he fumbles around looking for some shorts… Not amused, Darren A is sacrificed, and is set the task of looking for the dummy that was spat!
Finally, we kick off… and not a moment too soon, the early exchanges are even and M6s look quite composed on the ball, but a cutting through ball exposes the centre back and H6s go 1-0 with a good finish.
H6s do seem more composed on the ball, the passing is more crisp and direct, where’s M6s seem to be trying too hard to level the game. David and Peter get a couple of good long distant shots off, that don’t trouble the keeper. All the pressure and no gain, H6s take control and push the M6s back in there half, good defending gives H6s a corner. Not sure if it was the driving rain or the greasy pitch, but as the corner comes in, Lynden is unfortunate to see his splice kick sail in to the corner to give H6s 2-0 lead, (and we shall not mention that he almost bagged another, in similar fashion, soon after, but was lucky this time MQ was in the way!… O wait… sorry!!)
Still from kick off, M6s press once again, Andrew on the right has been leading the way in defending as well as attacking, speeding down the line to link play, although it’s a funny site to see on one occasion, the ball getting stuck in a puddle and 3 grown men splashing around trying to clear it (none of which are Steve B, who excels at playing in puddles!)
The old sucker punch once again, M6s looking to take control of the game are undone once again from their own attack, seeing the ball retuned with interest, MQ could not do anything about the third as he can only watch as the ball is smashed into the net from inside the box.
Still not deterred, M6s on the attack, Chris getting some joy down the left, curls a great ball forward but just in front of David, who is just yards away. The ball is collected out wide by the H6s defender, his unaware that Peter is closing fast, and with a long leg, steals the ball with a well-timed tackle. With speed Pete is back up and swinging a low powerful cross over, which David just needs to ‘dink over the advancing keeper and in off the far post for a 3-1 score line
With the game coming to half time, M6s are on top but can’t make it count, With the rain still pouring the half time chat is to keep going, the need of a bit of luck is required and not all bad! Arron comes on for Lynden to stem the flow of shots at the wrong end, and Joe for Darren A
After a good start by M6s, H6s bagged a 4th and from there on, M6s seem to find everything went against them, a elbow on Arron goes unnoticed, as did a clear elbow in the face of David, in the box, but them the Ref was merely a week older than god himself, but still 20 years younger than our own MQ! 4 becomes 5 as HSBC casually run out worthy winners, the final whistle can’t come quick enough as the sodden M6s still look for their first win in all competitions.
Next week home game is against a good Civ 7 side, who have lost only once in the opening 4 games, so another tough game for the Merton 6s
MOTM: A split decision awarded to Andrew Dodson for the excellent work and lifeguarding skills in and around the puddles on the right wing
DOTD: Joint winners, but in 2nd place is Lynden for crimes against his own keeper, and to Steve Burchell, I might be wrong, but I think he turned up a tad late!
Team: Martin Q, Darren A, Joe D, Tom J, Luke , Chri O, Steve H, Lynden C, Andrew D, David G ©, Peter O.A, Arron A, Steve B
Whitton Wanderers Falcons U10s 3 – Merton U10s 0 – Sunday 6th October 2018
Merton U10s fell to their first defeat of the season in a sun-drenched match which threw up a surprise result where Merton had the lion’s share of the play and an avalanche of chances.
After an early start for the mini trek over to Hounslow for this early kick off the crowds were anticipating another Merton performance and win which would never arrive. The first half got underway and Merton showed signs of their endeavour as they repeatedly broke forwards in numbers only to miss their opportunities to put the ball in the net. Whitton’s keeper was very able and handled well but when Merton could have finished off their breaks they would often shoot wide, at the keeper or fail to connect their final pass. This was to be the pattern of much of the game.
As Whitton grew into the game Max was forced into some stops and displayed some excellent handling as further evidence of his ongoing development between the sticks. At the other end of the pitch Merton were getting a few corners from last ditch clearances yet could simply not convert from any of the positions they grafted so hard to create. Lots of huffing and puffing but too many players seemed to lack that final bit of quality to seal the deal.
The second half started as the first ended with nearly goals from Merton and Whitton looking sharp on the break with pace and power out wide requiring some good work from the ever-reliable Harry and Ollie. Neal tried to change things up and move players around. Farris had worked hard but not had any service up front until now and suddenly burst into life with some good wide play only to see his chance go begging like all those before.
After 10 mins Merton played the ball out from the back without enough care and Whitton got hold of it and fired a great effort on goal which Max did superbly to push around the post.
Then followed a strong win of the ball by Louis in his own half, he played in Rio who passed to Farris and again Whitton got a toe on the ball to snuff out the danger.
As Whitton lumped the ball forwards high in the air Harry controlled it with one deft touch, leading to applause from his adoring fans on the side-lines. No sooner had he put the ball just where he wanted it that his forward pass went straight to a Whitton mid-fielder, leading to the kind of sharp analysis from his old man we have become used to.
Merton continued to boss the game and the number of shots reflected that.
Pressure from the midfield on every goal kick was causing issues for Whitton. The latest effort led to Merton midfield winning the ball and Percy had a shot just but it was just wide. Again!
Surely Merton would not throw this game away after having so many chances?
More continued pressing to win the ball succeeded repeatedly and shots were often the end result. But the ball would not go in the net. A number were from distance and a little more patience might have helped.
Dave went on a good run, exchanging the ball with Joe and his shot hit the post. More ball was won from Merton pressing hard and the latest effort led to a tidy bit of play from Louis to cross the ball for Dave to shoot again and this was yet another post. Another break, another shot gone begging, this time from Percy.
As the game wore to a close there was a muddle up in the Merton defence leading to a soft Whitton goal. To add insult to injury this followed immediately after a great save on the line from a combo of Louis and Max.
Merton heads started to drop but another good run and one-two with Farris led to Dave having a shot but the Whitton keeper was equal to it.
Another Merton corner and Farris was free on goal but pulled the ball just wide. Amazing. “We could play all day and won’t score” said Dan. Wise words.
In a subsequent Whitton break they had 3 on 1 which led to Ollie making a very smart challenge.
Suddenly another Merton foray and they made it 2-0. Merton were clearly gutted. This was becoming a lesson in how you can lose when you deserve much better.
Another bit of pressure and another Whitton goal despite hard chasing from Merton. How did this end up 3-0? As the game wore to its end Merton still pushed for their reward. Louis made a twisting run and was fouled on the edge of the Whitton box. He took the free kick and put it over bar.
Game over. The boys knew they let this get away.
Ollie and Harry were jointly awarded Man of the Match. Lots of learning to pick out of this one. On the upside lots of good football despite the lack of reward.
Merton 4s 2 v 0 Merton 5s (from the 5s perspective)
It is fair to say that this game had been highly anticipated, and the 5s entered it with an air of optimism despite recent performances, with the pressure off being expected to lose as the lower team. In truth, the game was and will be somewhat defined by what came before it but a few points are as follows:
With players turning up late due to severe delays on the trains, we arrived sporadically which affected our focus.
Being asked to donate a player to the 4s was a matter that took a lot of concentration away from our players on that game, and that showed throughout the game.
Despite these 2 factors, the team battled extremely well, and had some real opportunities in stages to score, which could have changed the game.
There were a few minor shouts that went against us including one dubious offside which may have seen Pete run through on goal, and one handball in the box which could have gone either way.
The difference between the teams was that the 4s had more composure in attacking positions and those little strokes of quality in front of goal that we just lacked on the day.
The 5s can be very proud of the performance; it was a close game and the effort was surely there. We have a week off but next game becomes imperative if we are going to demonstrate that we have the ability to play in this league, which I know we do as a team.