4s vs BB Eagles 11.04.15
MOM: Arturs Ivanovs
In the helta-skelter season that has been the 4s in 2014/15 this game was a perfect example, the nightmares of getting a team out, early promise and eventually just enough to survive.
Having lost 11-0 to BB Eagles earlier in the season (all be it than none of the 4s played in the game, we were busy playing as the 3s) we knew it would be a tough test, and one we ideally needed to win to secure survival, but certainly could not lose. The draw leaves us level on points with both West Wickham and Alleyns – so just a single point needed from our last 2 games or face the ignominy of going down on goal difference.
With only 9 players at he start of the week, I had to pull out all the favours and bring in a number of ex-merton players to help out. Luke Buchan pulled on the mighty yellow for the first time in a while and Zeki AKdeniz for the first time in even longer. Both did the club proud and I thank them for their help.
There was a gale blowing over Joseph Hood, this far from helped the ability of either side to play anything like attractive football for the watching masses (well Terry, Steve and McKenzie!). The pitch in addition was more likely to tackle you as any opposition player! That said Merton made the more confident start, and we were rewarded when great work from Ricardo (who was a thorn in BB Eagles side all day) won a clear pen. Now the way he grabbed the ball when it was given and then confidently strode over to the spot – I was sure we’d go 1-0 up. BUT… The curse of the 4s penalty taker struck, when first Ricky had a sudden change of heart and started offering the ball to anyone close (I think he even offered it a BB Eagles player just to get rid of the ball) and Denyz took up the mantle. A tip for Denyz – You’re up against the shortest keeper in the league, on a blowy day – Pick your side, and confidently and powerfully place it into the side netting – simples – DON’T, (as Neal Davidson said when he missed against Polytechnic a week earlier “try and do a Hazard, do the keeper with your eyes and roll it the wrong side”. Because when he guesses right and lands on the ball .. you look a tad silly! I leave you to guess when path Denyz took.
Sadly.. and ultimately… that was the game. It was the clearest chance either side had. Decent saves from both Arturs and the BB Eagles kept the scores level, and both defences played well. So whilst the draw was certainly the fairest result, we have that nagging what might have been.
I must commend the tireless running of my team and the efforts of the day. MOM was tough and I only gave it to Arturs because of one particular safe that was classic Arturs. The performances of Matt Haswell, Dan Kelly, Ricardo and new boy Kevin Bourne are certainly worthy of mention.
It would have been nice to travel to Alleyns without the need for points, but I’m confident we can get the single point we need.