HSBC 5s vs. Merton 4s SAL Minor Division 1 South Saturday 24th October 2015

Only three weeks have passed since we last meet HSBC 5s in the league. On that occasion they went back to Beckenham with the three points following a 2 – 1 at Joseph Hood. This week it was important that we kick-started our league campaign and try our utmost to gain revenge by taking all the points.

With a few regulars unavailable, we drafted in some reinforcements in the form of Alan Clowes, Tom Benham and Sonny Kennedy.

The game started brightly and we were on the front foot from the off. The wet surface allowed us to zip the ball round with confidence. A few half chances were created however it took 20 minutes for us to break the deadlock. Dulanie Richards picked the ball up from the left and unleashed a right footed drive the found the back of the net via a deflection. 1 – 0 to the visitors and well deserved. Not long after did Dulanie have to make way for Tom after picking up a hamstring injury that looks like it will put him out for a couple of weeks.

There were some moments were HSBC put us under pressure however we dealt with them comfortably which frustrated the hosts. The pressure kept building with a number of corners the only reward. One of these however resulted in the equaliser. The loose ball failed to be cleared from danger which allowed their number seven to get a shot away inside the box that looped over Sam following an attempted block. 1 – 1 going into the break.

There were so many positives to take from the first period and we knew that the game was there for the taking. We were easily the better team; we just had to make things count in the final third.

The start of the second half was pretty much a carbon copy of the start of the first. We were pinging the ball around with ease and making it difficult for the opposition to get onto the ball. This opened the HSBC defence up and we were rewarded ten minutes in when Sonny was apprehended in the box. Had there not been another defender level then there could have easily been a red card awarded as well as the penalty. With our first choice penalty taker not available, it was left down to Chris Outred to dispatch emphatically having been made to wait longer than he would have liked. 2 – 1 to Merton and well deserved.

We could have extended our lead when a one-two was played between myself and Chris. With Chris being taken out after playing the ball back, the ref decides to play the advantage. One, two then three opposing players were left in their tracks leaving me, Sonny, Tom and their keeper the only ones in the box. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get a shot off from the position I was in (tight angle) I decided to square the ball, albeit with too much power which resulted in a half chance for Tom that he could only hit over the bar.

We were holding our own and felt comfortable in all positions, Jake has doing fantastic to hold and break up play in the midfield with Tom and Sonny chasing every ball down up top putting HSBC under pressure constantly. We felt so comfortable that we thought we could hold out for the win. Thought turned out to be the key word! HSBC did manage to one rare passage of play which unfortunately resulted in the final goal of the game and the second equaliser. A low shot from about 20 years beat Sam down low to his right.

A solid performance to take into next week’s game away to Ibis Eagles in Chiswick where nothing but a win is good enough.

FINAL SCORE: HSBC 5s 2 – 2 Merton 4s SCORERS: Dulanie Richards, Chris Outred (pen) MOTM: Jake Hewitt

STARTING LINE-UP: Samuel Singer-Ripley (GK), John Gridley, Alan Clowes, Steve Burchell , Edward Plaistow, Arnold Collier (Ryan Burchell), Jake Hewitt, Joe Plumridge, Chris Outred (Capt.), Dulanie Richards (Tom Benham), Sonny Kennedy Unused Sub: Aaron Ackerman

Posted in Match Reports 4s