2s vs NUFC Oilers – 22.10.16
Merton 2-7 Nottingham University Oilers
Following two very unfortunate and undeserved cup defeats in three weeks, Merton went into yet another cup game on Saturday against Nottingham University Oilers. Despite knowing the quality of the opposition, the Boars approached the match in good spirits, eager to take their last chance at a cup run this season.
Unfortunately they never really got going, and found themselves 1-0 down within minutes of the kick-off following quick, intricate build up play from the opposition. It was a pace of play that, in truth, Merton struggled to keep up with for most of the first half, and although at times looking like they might grab a foothold in the game, ended up 3-0 down at the break with few arguments offered.
That being said, it is a testament to the spirit and burgeoning togetherness of the group that words at half time were calm rather than angry and encouraging instead of critical. An improved early second half performance saw, after conceding a fourth goal, Merton get one back as Ben Cook – who shrugged off a back injury to play a good spell in midfield – lofted a lovely ball over the top of the defence that Wilgo put away with aplomb. A birthday goal for the Merton captain.
A reshuffle of the team due to injury then saw the Boars rather lose their shape for the remainder of the game, and caution was well and truly thrown to the wind. Three more goals were conceded before Glenn pulled another back with a wonderfully creative / incredibly lucky (depending on who you ask) cross-come-shot that was planted in the top corner. Further chances to add some respectability to the score-line were spurned after yours truly missed a difficult header from a great Wilgo cross and then five minutes later somehow failed to score from six yards out as the ball was fired across from the right wing. Was I still feeling the effects of having been hit in the bollocks following what can only be described as a valiant, self-sacrificing and brave block in the first half? Who can definitively say? Me, and yes I was.
So, a disappointing result overall against a team that simply outclassed us on the day. Nonetheless, we left with spirits in decent fettle and with determination to kick-start our league campaign next week. Onwards and upwards
Man of the Match: Glenn, who’s goal was considered “genius” by enough people to win him the honour
Dick of the day: Me, mostly for the miss, partly for getting hit in the bollocks