Norsemen (a), September 30: Lost 1-2

A sojourn to anywhere upwards of Ally Palace should come with some sort of health warning. The north is a foreign country, they do things differently there.

In Merton 2s’ case, this was various interpretations of timeliness ranging from 30 minutes early (preppy top marks PQ, DQ); bang on time (Adam, Gibbo, Jamie); late but with regular WhatsApp updates from the car (Gabby); or late because of getting on the wrong train entirely (Cookie).

Merton came strolling out of the traps with all the verve of Dame Thora Hird attempting to find a biscuit under her sofa. Sherbs watched on as the backline was broken, made a decent attempt at a tackle, but was stranded as a subsequent cross went to a Norseman to put into an empty net.

Up front, Rayner and DQ were creating upwards of zero chances until the last 20 minutes of the first half when Team Handsome started to get on top of things. Andy Holder-Ross came off the bench for a hobbled Pearcey and notched. Merton went in with their tails up.

Second half, said tails made their way limply back between Merton legs as Norsemen ground out a territorial advantage, hit the bar a couple of times, and eventually scored after a defensive error.

Merton responded by not doing a lot apart from overhitting crosses and musing the tiresome journey home. Joe Grew did manage a GOAT clearance: somehow smashing the ball against his own bar hard enough to clear out of the area. Astonishing.

Cookie, DQ, and birthday boy Dan Rist commiserated by drinking until 5am: #lads. MOM was Joe Grew, because he stood pretty firm in the face of an average performance.

DOTD was Sherbs, not just for the first goal, but also for counting on paper using concentric circles instead of the traditional five-bar gate. Maybe it’s a keeper thing.

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