Old Finchleians 3 – 2 Merton 3’s

The day started as usual with a vigorous warm up running side to side on the pitch dominated mainly by the 12 players trying to learn each other’s names (of the 12 only 3 played the week before and there were a couple of debutants). Once the game had kicked off the Boars, starting out with a 442 formation, were straight on the front foot keeping the ball and creating a couple of half chances. After 15 minutes of back and forth the game kicked in to life when a relatively easy one on one save by the Boars keeper (Gubby or Gabby who you will hear about again in due course…) and quick throw out to Alex at left back, led to a counter attack goal smartly finished over an oncoming keeper by DK
After a couple of half chanced by the opposition, a free kick was given away on the edge of the Boars box which was smartly converted over the 4 man wall in to the top corner of the Boars net to draw the game level. The Boars lost their early momentum at this point and when another free kick was given away, a ball deep in to the Boars box found an unmarked opposition player who converted his free header back across the goal to make it 1-2.
After 2 goals in relatively quick succession, the Boars started to find their feet again winning a free kick in a similar position to the last won by the opposition and an equally delicious delivery led to a carbon copy header by Ross to level things up at 2-2. Ross nearly turned provider as he broke down the left and managed to square the ball across the box towards DK for a tap in, only for the keeper to get a hand to it and divert it away. All agreed as we went in to half time that the Boars had had the better of the first half and if not for a 10 minute period of set piece madness or if we had converted some of our numerous half chances, we could have been in front. One chance in particular stands out.
Unfortunately, the Boars didn’t come out in the first half with the same momentum and the opposition were on the front foot from the kick-off, aided by the opposition keepers superhuman kick distance. This guy was reaching the edge of the Boars box or further with kicks off the floor and out of his hands, playing to the height advantage the Boars were giving to the opposition on the day. After about 20 minutes of half chances from the opposition, the Boars keeper (told you that you would hear about him again) spooned a goal-kick to the opposition forward and then followed the mistake up by not winning the following challenge with the striker, giving him an open net to put the opposition up 3-2.
The opposition continued with the pressure for the rest of the half after the Boars reverted to a more familiar (as I am told) 433 formation. Apart from a few half chances, Andy L having a shot blocked on the line by a combination of keeper and defender and a few other half chances that all seemed to get blocked before they could finish their path to the top corner of the oppositions net, the Boars didn’t really threaten the opposition keeper enough. Gubby was given the chance to turn from zero to hero (kind of) by pulling out a Gordon Banksesque save to get down and tip what should have been a tap in from 6 yards around the post. A few more saves towards the end of the game kept the score at 3-2, but in truth the second half performance was the Boars downfall on the day.
Some positives can defiantly be taken from the performance. On a day where the team knew each other better, a couple of half chances had been converted and fitness was maybe at a higher level, the Boars could have walked away with at least a point from a game like this.

MOTM – Keeper Gubby

DOTD – Keeper Gubby – A rare double on debut of keeping a team in it and throwing it away for them

TEAM – Gubby, Gabby, Mustard, Vin, Alex, Neal, Darcy, Andy L, DK, Denys, Iain, Ross

Posted in Match Reports 3s