Merton vs Actonians – 3rd feb
Merton come into this weekend’s game feeling strong from the 4-0 win the previous week. The Merton home turf was looking good as it hadn’t been played upon in a month. However, the team sheet was looking a little bare, and with players like Neal Davidson on your team who have picked up little niggling injuries throughout the season, the skipper informed the Merton goalkeeper before the start of the match that his outfield cameo might become a reality. 
Merton started strong but in a flurry, that changed. The Actonian striker pulled off a cute turn in the box and fired it high at the near post, the Merton goalkeeper (myself) got a good fingertip to the ball which steered the ball onto the bar, only for the ball to fall into a goal line puddle at the back post, for it to be tapped in by the oncoming Actonian central midfielder. Merton were 3-0 down before half time when conceding a scrappy corner and another close ranged effort. The Merton team looked down for the count.
Half-time and the only swap was the Merton goalkeeper (myself) put on the right wing, and Neal put on the gloves. 
Merton started strong in the second half and performed well putting the first half behind them. Merton were still being caught on the counter but still Merton persisted, a persistence that paid off 20 minutes in to the second half. Barry took a throw well and beat 2 Actonian defenders down the right flank, close to the corner flag, the ball then was cut back and just off the edge of the 6 yard box, I slotted the ball hard and low –  away from a flailing leg and the gloves of the Actonian goalkeeper. Jubilation as I scored my first Merton goal – which is every boys dream.
Merton still under pressure conceded another goal shortly after, but still they continued to push. Another good spell for Merton down the right side with good link up play resulted in a dangerous cross which missed 3 defenders and 2 Merton attackers, the chance looked missed, but in comes Denny at the back post and slots it home. Theres still time and still hope? The pressure stayed on with Merton getting into good areas on the left and the right, however there was not enough time and with the bare 11 no subs for fresh legs. 
The game finished 2-4 but despite the poor first half performance, the second half Merton showed good resilience and team spirit – which will no doubt turn into results soon enough.
Posted in Match Reports 3s