4s vs Kew Association – 13.01.18
Kew Association 3s vs. Merton 4s
SAL Junior Division 4 South
Saturday 13th January 2018
With Christmas now a distant memory, it was time to get back to football to try and do what was required to lose the weight gained during the festivities. Last week would have been the start had South Bank showed up for the SAL Cup fixture. Failure to do so resulted in a home walkover and a spot in the quarters alongside the 5s….without kicking a ball!
Our first game back after the break, taking last week out of the equation, saw us travel to Kington for a league fixture against Kew Association. The majority of the squad arrived by the required time however John Gridley decided to ignore the satnav, and everyone else in his car, to carry on to Chiswick! Definitely a contender for Dick of the Day but the outcome of who was awarded this will come later. Fortunately, everyone was present at the time of kick off.
Having defeated the same opposition 8-3 back in November in the home fixture, we knew what to expect. This time round however we were without Aaron Byrne, who, regardless of a request to step up, decided to remain loyal to the 5s. So without the scorer of 4 our or goals from the reverse fixture in the form of Aaron, Adam Collings and Mike Todt were also unavailable for the foreseeable future having been recalled to the army and migrating to Chester respectively.
We lined up in our usual 3-5-2 formation with yours truly slotting into my usual LW role. Akram Choudhury replacing the injured John Gridley at RWB. Will Toms dropped back to support Joe Plumridge and Michael Elgar. Sonny Kennedy was partners in the holding role by the returning Will Harrison with Aaron Loftus playing behind the strike force of Dom Plumridge and Michael Vogt. Matt Shreeve and John Gridley warmed the bench.
From the moment the French official blew the first whistle we were on the front foot. Each individual showing signs that this was clearly the first game for a while however giving it their all. The only notable moments to mention from the first 25 minutes were a few lack lustre chances that fell to Dom and Joe having to be replaced by Matt due to a split lip.
It didn’t take Matt long to make an impact from the bench as he latched onto a subline disguised through ball from Dom with his effort beating the keeper on the half hour mark. Not long after we found ourselves 2-0 up. Michael Vogt converting from a one on one opportunity.
Going into the break 2-0 up the team talk was positive however we knew that we had to change personnel round slightly if we wanted to maintain the level of performance we were giving. Having discussed as a team, we retook to the field with the most suitable shift work possible in place.
We were creating chance after chance within the first 15 minutes of the restart however were unable to extend our lead with most chances falling to Dom. One thing we can credit Dom for however is what came next……
Having been on the receiving end of a mistimed tackle following a free-kick my Mikey, a free kick was awarded in Merton’s favour 25 yards out. Discussions were had between Dom and Aaron on who would step up to take it. The latter took the reins and what a decision it was! His curling effort caught the keeper flatfooted and with no chance as the ball rustled in the top corner of the onion bag! This was one that Messi would have been proud of!
The aim now was to ensure that Gubby’s clean sheet was kept intact. This was aided by the man himself preventing a free-kick finding the back of the net with a top class save to tip it over the bar/around the post (can’t remember which!).
Aaron was causing all sorts of problems for the hosts with 3 men attempting to seize the ball from him the majority of the time. The shift in players opened up the left hand side allowing Aaron to deliver a 40 yard pass to yours truly. For a split second it crossed my mind to smash the ball as hard as I could however I opted for a well-controlled, well-directed and composed side foot finish that had enough on it to beat the outrushing keeper. Not evening his ‘Schmeichel-esque’ starfish attempt was going to stop the ball from finding the back of the net to make it 4-0.
The final whistle finally went after what seemed a lifetime to keep us second in the league, three points behind Old Salesians. Next week we visit West Wickham in the hope of continuing our impressive run of form and topple to league leaders.
FINAL SCORE: Kew Association 3s 0 – 4 Merton 4s
SCORER(S): Matt Shreeve, Michael Vogt, Aaron Loftus, Edward Plaistow
MOTM: Joe Plumridge – Solid as always at the back.
DOTD: Dom Plumridge – John Gridley was close to getting this having ignored direction and ending up in Chiswick however the vote went to Dom Plumridge due to chances wasted.
STARTING LINE-UP: Michael Gubby (GK), Joe Plumridge (Matt Shreeve), Michael Elgar (John Gridley), Will Toms, Akram Choudhury, Edward Plaistow (Capt.), Sonny Kennedy, Will Harrison, Aaron Loftus, Michael Vogt, Dom Plumridge