EBOG Reserves 2 – 1 Merton Reserves

Saturday 7th March 2015

Attendance: c.10

As has become Team Handsome routine for north London away trips, Saturday started at Giraffe at Kings Cross where a wonderful session of coffee, snacks and compliment exchanges was enjoyed by all. Richard Moore elected to turn up without wearing any Merton attire and received his first strike of the day. Willy T, having travelled down from his north London home to receive some compliments, then enjoyed a relatively hassle-free trip back up the Northern line with the rest of the team save for the now-standard attention the team receives from the female half of the general public.

Shortly before reaching the EBOG clubhouse, after a reasonably long walk from the tube, Richard Moore decided he couldn’t wait to get to the toilets and relieved himself in some nearby bushes. An EBOG spectator stopped his car to express his displeasure at this turn of events. Strike two.

Fast forward to game time. The cliché ‘a game of two halves’ is thrown around a lot but this one really was. The first half being approximately 45 minutes and the second half roughly the same. The referee for the day really was a phenomenal time keeper – nothing more, nothing less.

At Handsome HQ we’re more than happy to come up with a range of excuses when we don’t win. The pitch was really terrible and unfortunately conducive to a long ball game which really isn’t what the current Handsomes are all about. We set up as a 3-5-2 which has worked well for us in the past but, on this pitch, a 5-0-5 might have worked better. Most of the early chances fell to Merton but the lottery of the bounce and some less than ideal finishing meant we didn’t capitalise.

Richard Moore was the victim of the first of 3 stonewall penalty shouts that Merton had turned down by the referee. The challenge itself being a wild, stud-up lunge taking man, ball and then more man. Richard unfortunately had to go off and was taken to the Handsomes’ favourite north London hospital earning strike three (and a predator on his return from injury) in the process. Ryan or Liam Stevens came on to replace Richard.

Merton hit the post and blasted over from 2 yards in a goal mouth scramble from a corner but EBOG were the only team to score in the first half with a long ball finished well with a lob over the onrushing DQ.

Constant pressure from Merton in the second half again wasn’t rewarded. We hit the underside of the bar through big Jase from another corner and missed numerous other chances. Willy T was clearly fouled twice in the box. Firstly getting a free-kick on the edge of the box instead of a penalty and secondly, unfathomably, getting a yellow card for diving.

With about 20 minutes to go EBOG got their second from a fortunate floated free-kick that went straight in. Nothing that stand-in keeper DQ could have done about that.

Eventually Merton scored with about 10 minutes to go. Yet another corner that came back out to Rayner who crossed again for Ryan or Liam Stevens to head home well. Further pressure came to nothing though – Willy T, Rayner and Cookie all failing to do anything from 4 free-kicks, each one about 25 yards out.

Overall some good individual performances in difficult conditions but just not quite enough. CrUsher and Wilgo dominated their opposing central midfielders, Egg and Cookie did well at the back (Egg managing to complete at least 3 of his c.50 attempted passes) and Conor, on the right, did well to hold his own against a rather competitive lunatic playing at left back.

Stand out performers though were Ryan or Liam Stevens running the show in the second half in midfield and Joe Griffin marshalling the back 3. They went home with the topless portrait of Wilgo and Egg.

Posted in Match Reports 2s