4s vs HSBC 4 – 19.03.16
So our final league game was upon us and it resulted in a trip to Beckenham for a showcase against HSBC 4s. Having narrowly lost 3-2 in the reverse fixture a few weeks ago, we knew that they were there for the taking if he played the football we knew that we were capable of.
With our usual skipper side-lined due to a freak salad chopping incident, Dulanie wore the armband., and with a number or regulars opting for a stopover at Cheltenham Races, we drafted in the likes of Vin De Matteo, David Donovan, Darcy Yates and Tony Postlethwaite to deputise.
The game started well with both team using the unusually good surface to their advantage however no real chances were created. The breakthrough did however come 10 minutes in. Sam was unable to keep hold of a direct free-kick that somehow found its way in between his legs. 1 – 0 to the hosts.
We were downbeat a little by going behind as we were the better team. We started to create chances however we unable to find the back of the next with Dave Donovan shooting agonisingly wide and Dulanie blasting an effort over the bar.
Something that we failed to do, the opposition managed. That was to find the back of the net.
Sam did well to stop a shot following a break on the right from the pacey number 3 (minute version of Asamoah Gyan) however his parry rebounded off of their strikers knee and into the back of the net. Fortunate however still a goal.
Things got worse after half an hour. Tony reacted the wrong way following an aerial challenge and retaliated. Straight red card and Merton were down to 10 men with a mountain to climb. We conceded another before the break. An effort from 25 years to went in off of the far post.
The team talk at the break was a positive one. Even being a man down we knew that we could potentially get back in the game.
We started the second period well and with 25 minutes to do managed to reduce the deficit. Darcy was quick to find Dom with a quick free-kick who slotted home with ease. Five minutes later we found another. Dave Donovan managed to squeeze an effort under the keeper to make it 3-2. We were doing all we could to get back in the game and we had the hosts on the ropes. Until the 80th minute that is. Sam attempted a clearance on the edge of his box however the ball fell straight to their left football playmaker who found the back of the net from all of 40 yards. 4 – 2 HSBC.
The 5th goal Merton conceded was unfortunate. Sam thought he had judged the ball going out of play from a cross however following his step over, the ball hit the post and feel kindly to their striker for him to complete his hat trick.
Not the best way to end your season however we know what we need to do and what to work on if we are to challenge next season. All I can say is bring on the 2016/17 season!
I want to take this opportunity to thank all those that have been part of the 4s this season and look forward to next season already.
FINAL SCORE: HSBC 4s 5 – 2 Merton 4s SCORERS: Dom Plumridge, Dave Donovan MOTM: Darcy Yates
STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), Tony Postlethwaite, Vin De Matteo, Joe Plumrudge, Edward Plaistow, Sevan Mutafyan (Billy Dowie),Danny Gridley, Darcy Yates, Dave Donavan, Dulanie Richards, Dom Plumridge