As Merton took the field of play

They needed goals galore

For this was not just any match

Today, was Score for Moore.

Yes, the build-up to this game was dominated by the absence of Merton liar Rich Moore. Keen to do their fallen comrade proud, the yellow army set about their mission of sealing three averagely valuable points.

Up against them was a tenacious Old Blues side keen to make amends after a defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season. But Merton were fired up after what turned out to be one of the warm-ups of the season. Fast, powerful, electric and assured by the cool, calm and curly centre back pairing of Eggleston and Hitchcock, the front 6 were unrelenting in closing down and hassling Old Blues off the ball, and quick to release the brutal Jason Thomas and the astonishingly good looking Will Taylor up front.

It wasn’t long before the high intensity paid dividends. At just the second corner of the game, Hitchcock showed a rare flash of offensive brilliance. Picking his spot on the inside of the defenders shin, he angled a deflected effort that flew over the line and some seconds later hit the back of the net. 1-0.

But, like the next few weeks of Rich Moore’s life, this was to be no walk in the park. Old Blues hit back – a corner of their own turned into the net by an unmarked number 10 who had quite nice hair.

Cue Jason Thomas. The one man army spent ten minutes showing that bullying is not just for the playground. Thomas was both an immovable object and an unstoppable force, tearing holes in the Blues’ defence with a relentless energy. The rewards came quickly, with two goals in quick succession, the second a true poacher’s effort, capitalising on great pressure by Arogundade on the right.

Seeking a hat-trick and the opportunity to leave the pitch littered with Old Blues corpses, Thomas instead found himself the victim, landing elbow first after falling from a 13ft leap in the air and ending his involvement in the game.

The Merton momentum persisted, however, and it swiftly turned into the Will Taylor show. Striding forward with legs that wouldn’t be out of place on a prize racehorse, Taylor made mouths water as a bead of sweat dripped invitingly from his stylish headband onto his powerful neck. Even clad in Merton yellow, his rippling washboard abs dazzled defenders even when, for a brief moment, they took their eyes off the considerable, muscular thighs, all the more distracting because of the Welshman’s bespoke size XXS shorts. But it wasn’t all about his seductive eyes and impressive frame.

Moving into the second half, Taylor, having breezed past four defenders with consummate ease, paused just long enough before pulling his sizeable trigger to think “what would Richie Moore do?”. And just like that, without a defender in sight, he hurled himself to the ground in a manner of which the stricken Moore would have been proud. A timely reminder of why the team was so motivated.

The referee, quite rightly, reached for his pocket immediately, taking Taylor’s name, shirt and home number before showing him a deserved yellow. Taylor scored two goals.

Old Blues rallied, notching again from a corner after lazy marking from Eggleston, but it was at best a consolation as Merton saw the game out for a handsome 5-2 victory.

Mission accomplished. A hard-fought victory, but with the hilarious thought of a bedridden teammate engrained in Merton minds, the determination to score for Moore carried them through and secured what will almost certainly be an inconsequential victory.


Posted in Match Reports 2s