1s 3 – 1 Old Stationers
After a solid and commanding victory away at Ally Pally, the 1s had confidence welcoming Old Stationers to the hood.
If last week’s result wasn’t enough, the previous meeting between the two sides ended in a 5-3 victory for the pride of South West London, with many of the lads recalling the visitors as ‘utter shite’.
Although the Boars didn’t use the ball particularly well in the first 45 minutes, they did start the more confident and went ahead after a lovely finish from 20 yards by recent recruit Rhys. I must also point out the assist from Joe Grew, his first for the club in 5 seasons! (Or at least you’d think it was based on how chuffed he was with the 5 yard pass)
Merton would double their lead shortly after, thanks to a well worked corner delivered from Van, half finished by Jamie and eventually tapped in by Jonny.
But it wasn’t all positive, as Stationers would grab one back before the interval. Joe Grew, still gleaming from his earlier assist, unfortunately allowed their 9 to run through on goal and past the onrushing Sam in goal to make it 2-1 going into the break.
Clappers decided to introduce some fresh legs at Half Time bringing on Old fat shit josh and fat Sam. (Notice the theme?)
Ultimately, the highlight of the second half was the magical love affair between Old Josh and the referee. The substitute continued to run around the park fouling the opposition, including a childish handball and a shocking challenge to stop an attack. But the great thing about love is that you accept the faults in one another, and Josh escaped with just a yellow card.
So dick of the day for Josh? Nope, Jimbo again, for a Gerrard esq slip on the half way line. (Important for the readers to note that he maintained possession, unlike that scouse rat)
Merton would wrap up the victory, with a typically class solo goal from Jamie, who intercepted a rank kick from the keeper before taking it around his outstretched hand and tapping home.
Back to back 3-1 wins for the Boars who climb to fourth and eye a place in Europe! (Portugal looks likely)
No doubt I’ll be writing to you again soon.
Your favourite editor,
1s Match Report vs NUFC Oilers
Well before going into detail about how Jimbo was wrongly given DOD. We’ll start with the result. The 1s lost. Again.
Yes, unfortunately the Boars recorded their third straight defeat of the season by going down 2-1 at home to NUFC Oilers. However, the difference to the previous two weeks, is that this result was 100% deserved.
Oilers arrived to the hood off the back of a 5-1 win against Bank of England, so on paper it was never going to be an easy task for the homeside. Things were then multiplied by the fact that the ever crippled H, pulled out of the warmup after suffering a knee injury in his sleep.
There’s no doubt the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half as Merton continued to give the ball away cheaply. But overall it was a defensive error that led to their opener. With no linesman at this level, you’re running a very risky game playing offside. But despite this, Jimbo raised his hand and advanced forward (leisurely, didn’t sprint like some claimed) to ensure the attacker was caught on the wrong-side. Unfortunately for everyone, 2020 signing, Aussie Sam Clayton, was stuck somewhere in downtown Sydney playing him onside. End result, 1-0.
Oilers would double their lead before the break as two of our four Sams, (Harvey & Slim Shady), failed to deal with a set piece delivery, providing the visitors with a well deserved two goal cushion at half time.
If you examined the post match stats and saw how many times the away side hit the woodwork in the final 45 you wouldn’t begrudge a 5-1 scoreline, but in the end things were far more nervy for the travelling side.
Merton certainly improved in the second half with the addition of Aussie Joel to central midfield. He began to dictate a more progressive style of play, even with the best attempts of Sam Pritchard to continuously give it away, not track his man and basically be useless.
Jonny Graham would get the home side back into it after their keeper kindly passed him the ball for some reason and then even more oddly decided to let in when Jonny passed him it back.
Very bizarre to watch for the spectators.
So now with only one goal in it, there was always hope for a final chance for Merton to get an equaliser. And that chance would come! A beautifully delivered cross from Joel to his compatriot Sam arriving at the back post (something they no doubt dreamt of in their pursuit of a better life on these shores), only for the right back to fluff his lines miserably and Oilers to take all three points back to Barnet.
So on reflection, another disappointing result for the 1st team, and I know what you’re thinking. How did this Aussie Sam lad not get DOD? Well readers, I just don’t know what to tell you.
First 11: Sam (Slim Shady), Aussie Sam, Jimbo, Rat, Aussie Max, Crusher, Sam Harvey, Old Josh, Jonny, Jamie, Rhys
Subs: Sam Pritchard, Clappers, Aussie Joel Injury List: H
Away day at Ally Pally. A fixture engraved into Merton folklore. En-route Browner wistfully regaled tales of famous afternoons where the Merton men scored 6 goals in promotion battles (after being reluctantly interrupted from his sudoku on the Victoria line). This year was different, 1 point on the board thus far, nervous gossip about a relegation battle was festering. Unquestionably, the new recruits (largely an Australian contingent) have had a positive influence for the Merton 1s. Yet despite the youthful talent, the ‘promise’ hadn’t converted to results. Today was the day that things had to change, and the wind of a blustery Ally Pally carried a distinct smell of optimism (or Jumbo’s Davidoff aftershave, £8.99 in a Boots sale bin near you). The opposition drew first blood, chanting in a barbaric style, akin to Spartan warriors, whilst the Merton men discussed Jonny’s choice of moisturiser, Aussie Sam’s promiscuity and Van’s 90’s boy band outfit. On the pitch was a different matter, the Merton men controlled the tempo from the off as the veteran’s turned back the clock. A back-handed remark of ‘This is the best Van’s played in 3 years’ was a fair and just shout from a Merton defender who shall remain nameless (see Sudoku comment above). All of this promise culminated in a cross field ball from Van, that was caressed over the top of the overly enthusiastic Ally Pally keeper by Merton’s Lothario, Jonny Graham. The man with the Midas touch soon doubled his tally by scuffing his first touch then smashing home from 6 yards. After more sustained pressure, Jonny again whipped a glorious ball onto the head of the impressive Rhys who’d decided to have a break from cuddling the Ally Pally centre back and headed home beyond the less an impressive goal keeper. 30 minutes on the clock, 3-0 and time for Clappers to ‘go nuclear’ (otherwise known as bringing Sam H and Glenn on). A majestic flick round the corner and a couple of good attempts on goal from the substitutes justified the early changes. The second half began scrappy and Ally Pally managed to scramble a goal back via a cross from the left flank and a firm finish from the right winger from inside 10 yards. A forgettable 45 minutes brought a few good chances for the Merton men and some heated remarks aimed at the referee resulted in a sin bin for the opposition’s CM. The DoD vote was ultimately issued to a player that despite having a positive influence on the game, lost his footing whilst chasing their ‘Messi-esque’ winger and ended up crawling through the centre circle like a spoilt toddler. MoM was correctly issued to Jonny Graham. Onwards to next week where we can see if Joel can learn to EG a pint and the Merton men can continue their climb towards the top of the league. Yours for the Boars, Sam
Merton 5s 3 – 1 Old Blues 4s – I’m getting board of losing (Warning: This match report has been rated PG. May contain some innuendos) The result and performance against South Wank the previous week as well as the semi-final were both outrageously poor, and coming into this game we knew that another loss and poor performance would only risk our season descending into nothingness. We still arrived in decent spirits, albeit you could mistake our pre-match preparation for a little too much lethargy! With Dobson managing to smash the ball in his own face whilst going for goal in the warm up (only twice) and Clive the Seal trying to juggle 2 balls at once, missing one and getting megged by the other (that’s a pound), the concentration levels were not at their highest. In swooped Ackerz, with his tough talkin’ geezer like attitude and, crucially, his board. In a not too socially distant way, we gathered around as he went through the tactics and where on the pitch he wanted us. There were arrows flinging about, interchanges being discussed, shuffling about and covering arrangements but at its core, a simple instruction of “I want you four to attack, and you six to defend”. And with that, the four attackers started attacking them from the off! It paid dividends very early on when Dwayne picked up the ball in the centre and saw the run of Bitmead. Unscuffed this week, he played a through ball which Bitmead ran onto. With plenty of time, he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0. Confidently, we went all dominatrix on them and asserted ourself on the game (no lude connotations intended). Dulanjie had a great opportunity to slap us even further ahead. A great ball over the top found this match reporter on the left, who took it down and tried to spin (emphasis on the ‘tried’). Once circled round like a freight train (maybe I should get one of those annoying lorry bleepy things that tells you when it’s turning left or right) the opportunity to shoot had closed. So unselfishly (take note Bitgreed!) laid it back to Dulanjie. He slapped the ball with some sort of appendage – he says right leg but it can often be difficult to tell – and was heading for the far corner. The keeper pulled off a worldie of a save, and fair play to him. Unlucky. In dominatrix school I imagine that the instruction is to not let up when you get on top, but just keep riding, and that’s what we did. Between this match reporter and Bitmead we had an abundance of efforts and I can’t remember what way round it went! One of Scotty’s huge, long balls flew in my general direction with pinpoint accuracy. I took a touch which made the angle tighter and trying to smash it into the roof of the net, I missed it quite substantially. Then (I think) this match reporter picked the ball up a few minutes later and slipped one through to BItmead. With no other option he smashed it with his left, although a little too close to the keeper. Shortly after that (I think) Pete picked up the ball in the middle, and chipped it through. Controlling it on my shoulder, again taking me wider of the target, I again smashed the ball over on the half volley. Then (I think) the ball went to Bitgreed in the middle. 20-30 yards from goal, he declined the option to play it through (of course) to take the shot on. It sailed unusually wide from the target. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, we managed to score a very good goal. The ball got worked up through the channels and midfield like we were Barcelona – but the good Barcelona, not the terrible one from this season. It went to Peteiesta who played an inch perfect through ball. Lionel Bitti then rounded the keeper and cooly, calmly and arrogantly rolled it in from a tight angle to make it 2-0. Wonderful, beautiful, and I can only imagine Ackerz’ excitement from the side as we cruised into a 2-0 victory. Even Scotty B was then trying to get in on the act! A corner from Bitmead managed to evade everyone and get through to the back post. Stretching, Scott poked a toe at it and got enough power to send it bobbling towards goal. Unfortunately their defender on the line just about managed to sort his feet out and scramble the ball away. It started to feel like it might not be our luckiest of days when we did get out third breakthrough. A huge boot up from George looked innocent enough. Unfortunately for them though, the chuckle brothers in defence couldn’t make their minds up. “To you”, said one to another with his eyes, responded to by a “to you” from the other. “To me, thank you very much” said Bitmead as he pinched it on the other side of the defence and ran through on goal. He poked it past the keeper for 3-0. A Bittrick! The only blight in the first half was one mix up I. Defence where we failed to shuffle to fill a gap. They had some rare time in midfield and found the man who ran through. Like a racehorse our the traps, George moved to close him down. He smothered the effort and we just about managed to clear it up. Perhaps unrealistic to expect we would get through a whole half without conceding a chance but good of us to give George something to do!! “What the fudge” said the gaffer at half time (albeit a different word – this is a mostly family friendly match report). “You’re doing what I asked!” It must be a rather new feeling as we haven’t really been doing so I. Preseason or last week. I blame the board! A particular moment which erected Ackerz’ appreciation was the nonchalant bodying off the ball that D did to regain control, the poor little fella! The instruction was more of the same in the second half. 3-0 up and actually it wouldn’t have been an inaccurate representation if we would have been 8 or 9 up. And more of the same it could not be, as the wind had turned against us (I imagine doninatrix school probably doesn’t account for wind). So we turned from a free-flowing good-Barcelona esque performance to more of a Steve Bruce’s Newcastle – gritty and playing on the counter. In fairness our midfield kept their attacks mostly at bay and when they did get through, Scott actually had stuff to do defensively. We continued to get into decent positions offensively with slightly less regularity than the second half, but did not make the most of them which culminated in a very wild effort of a cross by this match reporter at the end of the game which missed all of our players by about a mile! But we were gritty, kept in there and battled in a way that we haven’t for a short while. About 15-20 minutes into the half, we did see our lead reduced. In truth I can’t remember what happened but in my mind it was a free kick we failed to clear and someone poked it away. Either way I do remember it was a poor goal to concede and likely to become a huge test of our character. Our one clear cut opportunity fell to the one person you’d hope it would. The ball played through to Bitmead with their defence hopelessly claiming offside, presumably because they couldn’t be bothered to run anymore, meant Bitmead had the freedom of joseph hood. As he approached the goal he flicked at the ball rather than lace it like he usually does or place it as he did for the Bittrick. It bobbled into the side betting and that surely would have finished it odd. We defended really well with one very small exception. With a through ball looking to cause us no problems whatsoever, Stormzy’s feet ended up more like a ballet dancer than a footballer and the ball squirmed past him to put their winger through on goal. The shot was excellent but the save from George was even better. The anticipation to get across and get a finger to it to divert it wide showed exactly why he’s in goal for us instead of a defender coming up to score for us every time we have a corner! With that the game petered out and a cracking 3-1 win confirmed. If there’s anything we need to do better next week it’s just to put the ball in the net more when we get the chances – this match reporter included! There were so many really good performances and the team does deserve a mention (although not a nomination for ‘the team’ for MOTM please – that’s just disgusting). Scott was unusually quiet which is testament to Dwayne, 10 minute Tigz and Clive who won that midfield all hands down). Stormzy when he came on looked like he had never been away, especially coming on for the only moment in the game when we were under pressure. Dobz and Chris were again solid at full back. Perhaps our biggest benefactors of the board were our forwards and D could have had a goal and a couple of assists, Pete ran that number 10 position getting on the ball and playing it earlier (mostly) having his best game for the 5s for a while with one assist and should have been 2 more. Our man of the match though had to be Bitmead. If he would have got two Bittricks this season and not got man of the match for either that would have been criminal!! Well done lads. They showed in the second half they weren’t too bad a team but we made them look it in the first half. let’s take this momentum into the game against civil service 9s
First Team Match Report vs HSBC The Southern Amateur Division 2 kicked off on Saturday for the 1’s as we welcomed old foes HSBC to the Hood. Even with Covid restricting the late Summer vacations we still only managed to patch together 12 names on the team sheet. Sam Harvey given the starting berth on the bench following an exhausting Cricket season. Clappers made a rather bold decision to switch pitches to the less playable and slightly larger pitch which meant Niall’s pink box training drills from Wednesdays session went out the window and we were back to plan A of lump it forward and hope for the best. Luckily for us, George’s University has closed their campus so plan A wasn’t a bad shout. The game started fast with HSBC, profiting with an offseason promotion following the shock folding of Carshalton, being particularly buoyant out of the blocks and winning most of the early possession. A HSBC corner after about 10 minutes was the best opportunity of the early exchanges and with VAR not in action in the SAL HSBC can feel hard done by that they weren’t profiting from a goal mouth scramble as it looked as though the ball had gone well over the line. Well cleared by Harrison. Following the shock Rat got the back four going and H and Max in the middle started to get control of the game. Browner, seemingly having learnt to throw the ball during lockdown, was causing all sorts of pressure down the left with his inch perfect long throws. One of these was elegantly brought down by Josh who turned sharply and released George down the left wing. George beat his man for pace, then again with some skill, before cutting in and finishing well from an acute angle. A brilliant solo goal which merited his starting place even though he turned up with no socks or shin pads 10 minutes before KO. Glenn was dragged shortly after, Clappers protecting a prized asset who was clearly carrying the cobwebs of Aiya Napa, and Sam Harvey was on with a point to prove (spoiler alert he didn’t prove his point). A couple of good half chances fell to the wrong man on the edge of the box (Aussie Max) and we were in at half time one up. Lots of pats on the back for the back four and some good chat from Clappers about the need for a positive start to the second half fell on deaf ears. Within 3 minutes the dangerous no5, picked out before KO as he scored two against last season in the cup, was free 30 yards out and let off a rocket into the the top bins. A proper contender for goal of the season. Sound System Sam in goal no hope. 1-1 Aussie Sam, Rat, Jimbo and Browner then shut out HSBC. Snapping into tackles, dominating in the air and bullying the HSBC frontline. I don’t think HSBC had another chance, an even game was just waiting for its moment… That moment came on the 80th minute. Aussie Max going down in heap with a scream to win a penalty. Up stepped Josh, confident, ready to deliver and with the crowd on his side. What happened next cemented his nickname in Merton folklore, old fat shit Josh literally rolled the ball into the keepers arms for what must be the worst penalty witnessed at the Hood for many a season. The players, the GK, the fans and even the ref were shocked. So much so the final whistle should have been blown then because the next 10 minutes were spent with confused men trying to comprehend that penalty miss rather than winning the game. Final result Merton 1-1 HSBC MOM – Jimbo. Yes you read that right. DOD – Old fat shit Josh. All 11 votes. Our next opponents are Old Finchleians in the league.