Home versus Cambridge Heath

At least once a season, a team should be left short of a goalkeeper. It’s one of amateur football’s unwritten rules. But Merton 2s proudly boast at least two men who will take one for the team and take a turn between the sticks when their team is in need. Take a bow Pearcey (for the first half) and Dom Preece (for the second).

Alan Clowes was on a mission from the start that neither stand-in sticksman would have to lift a finger. Deservedly Man Most Handsome, Clowesy was outstanding.

His performance was typical of a hard-fought game played in good spirit. Cookie, too, had a lovely time in midfield, tackling hard and using the ball effectively. Still, few chances in the first half saw Merton go in a goal down.

The introduction of Adam Crawshaw and Chris Rayner at half time shook things up. Merton looked an altogether meaner machine. Sustained possession and no little pressure gave the men in yellow the break they were looking for: Gabby’s first Merton goal – a blast from 30 yards – was well deserved for his boundless energy alone, even if it was helped in by the keeper.

Ackers was incredibly unfortunate to be the first 2s man this season to experience the Sin Bin. He spent his time-out prowling the touchline, twitching and flexing like a prize fighter, itching to get back into the action, and wondering if the ref was an Uber driver.

That seemed to drive the temporarily 10 men of Merton on. Rayner, fresh, slotting in behind the front two, his sat nav for goal fully functioning, found the freedom to ping one from 25 yards. The keeper could only watch and pray as it hit the upright.

DQ had another excellent game, perpetually in fifth gear. He ploughed on up top alone in Ackers’ absence, again creating chances all by himself through sheer force of will. The goals will come for our man, but not today.

Ackers’ return couldn’t quite break the deadlock. Still, a point each was not unfair, and Team Handsome remain unbeaten.

Squad: Pearce (1st hero GK), Draghici, Murphy, Grew, Clowes, Rist, Cook, Willgoss (c), Preece (2nd hero GK), Quainton, Ackerman, Crawshaw, Rayner

Posted in Match Reports 2s