2s vs St James Old Boys – 13.01.18
“4-3-3, we know how to play, get stuck in.”
Ah, the tactical nuances of non-league football. Merton 2s merrie men nodded sagely, for they would line-up with four men at the back, three in midfield, and three up front. And they would get stuck in.
Captain, leader, ginger, Graham Willgoss led the getting in of the stuck by expertly bringing a Dan Rist ball under his spell, inviting the entire defence one way, dancing the other, and then sitting down the ‘keeper for good measure. 1-0.
St. James stroked the ball about and had a territorial advantage for the whole first half. They didn’t however, create a great deal of clear chances. They had one notable effort, cleared by Joe Grew before it crossed the line. Admittedly, goal-line technology may well have said otherwise, but we don’t use it, so tough titties.
Captain, leader, Grumpole of the Bailey, Willgoss had another chance and stuck it straight at the ‘keeper. Maybe we’d rue it.
We didn’t rue it. Team Handsome took far greater control of affairs in the second half. Nick rip van Tiddlywinkle – adhering to some sage advice to stay a bit wider in the front three – took a terrible first touch, a heavier second touch, and a toe poke into the back of the net. Liquid football from the Socceroo.
More attacks, a corner, an Ackerman header, a goal. 3-0. Easy street. So easy, in fact, that Ackers passed-up an easy chance, missed a penalty (quite possibly because it wasn’t a penalty, though one should be aware of the searing run that made it by the typically All Action Dom), and then set through DQ from a one-two after a a lovely move fully expecting the fourth goal of the day. The silver sub dinked the goalie, but the ball met the bar rather than the net. Wasteful.
St. James’ scored! That was silly. No matter, Merton 2s held out reasonably comfortably and all was well. Hell, it was better than well, as Ryan Gresty – absolutely toweringly superb for the full 90 minutes despite the fact he wears a sports bra – picked up man of the match and Captain, leader, later for his own team’s meet time, Willgoss convincingly won DOtD. Lovely stuff.