Month: February 2019
In game of persistence, battling against a solid opposition, a pitch with similar gradient to sectors of Everest and a wind that had the power to blow half of Merton’s players hair off (which looked plausible for any on looking fans passing by) Merton 3s put in a performance to be proud of against top of the league.
15mins into the game Merton went gone 1 – 0 down after a number of scuffed clearances from the back and a run through the middle from their striker, Iain was quick off his line and was unlucky not to get the save. 10mins later Ivan squared the ball onto a vegan styled juggernaut run whereby Pritch picked the ball up, run 10 yards and blasted the ball from outside the box into the bottom corner of the oponents goal.
Just before the break of half time after Merton arguably had the better chances of the half a quick free kick into the opponents number 9’s feet, slipped through on goal with a strong turn of place going into half time 2 – 1 down.
A very sluggish start to the second half saw Merton 3s make life very hard for ourselves, but we rode out the storm and 15 mins into the second half Merton got a free kick. Up steps Glenn and puts in a beautiful CROSS that finds its way into the top corner of the goal!
The next 10/15mins of the game was a very close with both teams getting chances. When the opposition got through on goal Jack and Bully managed to get behind the keeper where Iain made a brilliant save leaving the ball to slowly crawl towards the goal, Jack attempting a clearance ended up scuffing the ball perfectly slotting it in the bottom corner for possibly the worst timing to concede an own goal that you’ll ever see!
For the remainder of the game Merton played well and despite Neil attempting Cruyff turns as last man and Glenn hitting so many shots over the bar he would of out pointed Jonny Wilkinson in another sport, Merton 3s were unlucky not to come away with more and certainly a performance to be proud of to take into the next game!
A sharp wind cut across the open playing fields for this away match. Even Dan had deigned to wear a coat and James had to donate his to Max’s ever-present sister, Summer. Despite knowing the side was full for this one Bobby committed to come down and prep with the team and Scott suffered the chill with his parental peers.
Last time out Merton U10s suffered a rare league loss to the same side at home on a sticky pitch. This time the pitch was in better nick despite a week of showers. A good start could prove crucial.
The ref was set up for an hour of comedy in flat soled trainers and with no whistle. He called to the boys to kick off and within 15 seconds Athena had the ball in the Merton net. Not the start we had all hoped for.
For the next 10 mins despite some bright spells of play we frequently lost the ball in the middle of the park and Athena pushed on. Inevitably they squeezed another goal after 10mins. This was not looking good at 2 goals down.
Neal shuffled his pack with subs to change the course of the game and it worked. Within a few minutes we pulled a goal back to breathe belief into the side. It was well taken by Farris who was having a solid game thus far.
A second soon followed as Maxwell broke free with his pace and took his chance nicely. Suddenly Merton were level again.
Now the boys had their tails up. Rio was working as hard as anyone on the pitch and covering every blade of grass/mud. He grabbed a quick fire double with strong forward runs and Merton had surged in to a 4-2 lead.
Then half time came. I think (it was cold so we didn’t get all the details down, OK)?!
After the customary half time team talk the boys ran out to try and seal what would be a great win.
They continued to pile on the pressure now and Athena did not look nearly as fluid as they had done at the Hood.
We had a few chances before David turned in the next goal after some good interplay. 5-2.
Athena got more of a foothold in the game now, perhaps Merton were easing off. The chances they had were generally well defended or when Max was called upon he showed some good handling. Today he also seemed more confident in choosing options for playing the ball out from our box.
Ollie and Harry continued their fine form at the back and played the ball out intelligently at every opportunity. We offered them more options wide than last time out. Joe’s game continued to strengthen in the second half and he was working back to help snuff out attacks. Maxwell’s pace continued to cause problems up front but he was not able to add to his goal tally today despite showing some good power.
Percy and Louis were their industrious selves in the middle of the park and Dave was very hard to defend against for Athena as the game wore on.
Despite playing well Merton next conceded a goal from a break they failed to close down despite a couple of chances to do so. 5-3.
This didn’t make the boys’ heads drop. Farris continued to push for a goal and he got the next one, the ball slipping under the keeper, who had made some excellent saves but also made a couple of errors which seemed out of character compared to his saves and confidence. 6-3.
Next, Louis went on a positive run on the right, outpaced his counterpart and then cut inside 2 defenders and slotted home in the far corner. As the boys trotted back to the half way their smiles said the game was won.
Not to drop their heads the Athena team played on as best they could as the last minutes ticked down and got the last goal of the game near the end to make it 7-4.
The ref called for the end of the game without a whistle and the hard fought win was ours. Well done boys! All had put in a shift to turn the tables on their victors of 2 weeks’ back.
With half term approaching the next game will be a 9-a-side friendly to explore the change in pitch and formation. The passing focused Merton U10s should do well as more space opens up on the pitch. As ever, time will tell.
Merton 6s v City of London 3rd
A week of snow, rain, ice, frost and little sunshine, the 6s went to work to make sure this fixture went ahead, switching the game to WCE on the Thursday, confirmed the game to go ahead, until the ref pulled out!! so bit more running around and a few calls/messages, we almost end up with 2!!
So, after all that, and confirming with C3s that the game is on, we venture down to the extensions, buoyed from the previous weeks goal feast and knowing that we beat this team away, only 3 weeks ago.
To the game, and a minor delay while we wait for the remaining C3s to turn up, a quick look over confirms that this is not the team from the previous meeting! .. and now all the hard work of getting this fixture on is about to be undone for the wrong reasons
The opening exchanges are even, a simple 4-3-3 from weeks gone by is in place. DG is playing centre forward, but drops deep between C3s midfield and defence, leaving James and Lewis with the room to run in behind with there pace. Ackers, Dobby and Truman make up the 3 in midfield, and work tirelessly tracking the very fit oppo. The centre backs of Joe and Darren are tested by C3s forward, and contain most of what’s thrown at them, Burchell Snr and Harvey keeps tabs on the wingers.
All balls down the middle are being won by the 6s, DG receives the ball and just inside the oppos half, and sends a curling through ball over the top for Lewis to latch onto, seeming being pushed wide, he manages to lose his marker and smash a high ball into the roof of the net to take a 1-0 lead, unfortunately, not to soon after, Lewis is looking rather green and leaves the field of play to be replaced by Pete.
What looked like a promising start is soon quashed, Darren Avery having to go off after a knee injury finishes him for the day, Chris O goes left back and Steve B moves centre, maybe the early changes disrupt’ s the 6s as not so long after sees C3s pull level, a shot beating MQ at the near post, 1-1
If that wasn’t disappointing enough, C3s take the lead when MQ only manages to parry the ball towards the goal and stand flat footed as Steve H tries to hook it away, only to end up in the net 1-2
To compound the capitulation, C3s capitalise on a mix up from a corner, when all of the 6s break out to leave C3s on the 6 yard area, Steve B and MQ are caught holding hands and ball watching, keeping everyone on side, as the ball is nodded home from close range 1-3
Halftime and the manager use some colourful language to rally the troops, only to start the second half in much as the same as the first ended. Another mistake inside the box is punished by another goal, this time, MQ not being able to jump as he sees the looping shot sail over his head for 1-4
Finally, and bit of luck. Once again its DG who receives the ball and drops the shoulder and curls another ball over the top, this time for James to speed pass the centre backs and lob the keeper from 20 yards.. the fight back is on .. 2-4
Short lived… a melee in the 6s box sees the final shot avoid 3 players and the unsighted MQ to go 2-5 up, and to further compound the misery, a simple back pass to MQ sees him under no pressure to release the ball although the C3s striker is bearing down on him from the half way line, after taking 3 touches to many, the attempted clearance is blocked and rolled into an empty net. 2-6
DG makes way for Lewis is who feels well enough to take part in the last 15 or so, the change is a bit of rest bite, but its not long before MQ is beaten by a solid header for 2-7. Steve B makes way for Steve H, as its just about getting to the end of the game now
Once again, Lewis needs to depart, Steve B is thrown into the mix up front and its not to long before his moment of glory is upon him. A searching ball is sent over by James, the keeper begins to come but retreats as Steve B controls some 16 yards out, cries of ‘shooooot’ can be heard as the cogs in the old footballing brain tick over, ‘place it left, place it right, chip the keeper, sit him down’ the choices are endless.. however.. Mr B decides that smashing it down the middle as hard as he can was the correct option, not only did the ball meet the far end of the common, but the C3s keeper decided that it was game up as he picked his bag up and trotted off to the changing room! He got called back and was in place, just in time to see his team take a further goal when Joe, out of frustration more than anything, up ended their forward to give away a penalty which was dispatched for a 2-8 score line, the ref blows for full time to put the 6s out of their misery
Questions must be asked, how does a team that’s not won on the road since October, lost to ourselves as well as other teams below us in the last 3 games or so, pull off such a huge score line. With there first team getting postponed due to the weather, the ‘additional’ players made a huge difference and is reflected in the score line. Maybe this is something that needs to be investigated by the league
Next week, away days to Civ 8… let see how that pans out!!
MOTM: James, run his legs off and took his goal well
DOTD: MQ.. a day to forget
Team: MQ, Steve B, Steve H, Darren A, Joe D, Aaron A, David G ©, Andrew D, Lewis R, James E, Pete O, Ryan B, Chris O