4s vs Lloyds Warren 10.12.16
Merton 9-2 Lloyds Warren
Normally writing match reports for a victory is a pleasure, particularly in a season dominated by losses. But when it’s a mess of messy of goals, it can be a bit of a headache! But here goes…
At the behest of the Merton skipper, throwing his weight around for entirely selfish reasons, the 4s game had been moved to King George’s for an early kick off at 1pm. It appeared as though Lloyds Warren hadn’t got the memo, with no sign of them for much of the buildup.
Eventually, having gone to the wrong ground, 10 of them turned up about 15 minutes before kick off. Merton did their best to have a decent warm-up, but coming up against an already-struggling team, who were walking onto the pitch cold, and with a man short of a full team, fending off complacency was going to be the challenge.
And it appeared to be a challenge too great, as Merton started the game stuck in first gear. Lloyds Warren were making all the early running, and frustration quickly set in among the Yellows as they struggled to get any kind of rhythm. It must have made for a pretty poor spectacle from the sidelines, but credit to the visitors for making a go of it.
As such, Merton were very fortunate to take the lead. Mike Vogt found himself in space down the left, and, one on one with the keeper, just about bundled it home to make it 1-0.
But Lloyds Warren righted the injustice almost straight away, as they sauntered through Merton’s non-existent midfield, struck the post from range, crossed from the rebound and nodded home from point blank to make it 1-1.
Merton were seething. They knew they had been poor thus far, and were grateful to have their lead restored almost immediately after. Mikey Elgar, a welcome returnee from his travels, and carrying considerably more facial hair than when last seen on these shores, got in the mix in a goalmouth scramble, and directed the ball goalwards before their woeful keeper did the rest. Harsh on Mikey, but the goals panel decided it was an own goal. Still, 2-1, and Merton were back in front.
Now, full disclosure… accurate reporting of the remaining goals will be beyond this scribe, as it all happened thick and fast. But the 3rd and 4th goals came courtesy of Dom Plumridge and Ryan Burchell, the latter of whom wasn’t done for the day. It meant that Merton went into the break in a commanding 4-1 lead, but, rightly so, the chat wasn’t necessarily all positive.
True, it isn’t easy to get up for a game you effectively know you’re going to win, but Merton had been well below their best, and if Lloyds had had a half-decent keeper, the score would likely have been 1-1.
The Yellows upped the ante a little bit when the second half began, and it didn’t take long before the scoreline was added to. Among them was Ryan’s second goal – a Divock Origi-esque finish from a tight angle. Undoubtedly an attempted cross, but he’ll take it. Mike Vogt added his second of the day too, and Aaron, who had been by far Merton’s best player, also forced a goal, although the goals panel once again ruthlessly decided that it was an OG.
7-1 it was, but the moment of the day was yet to come. Having already hit the post earlier – on that occasion, Dom very generously having left the ball for him – Ryan completed his hat trick to make it 8-1. A thumping left-foot finish did the business, and he celebrated like it was 1999 (was he even born then?). Full credit to a true team player, and he richly deserved it on the day.
There was still time for more goals though. Lloyds Warren’s big skipper picked up a rebound off the post, and saw the ball fall kindly to him after his initial shot was blocked. He slotted home to make it 8-2.
But it was Merton who had the final say, as Mike Vogt charged up the pitch and applied the finish to complete a hat trick of his own, and add to the rout to make it 9-2. The final whistle went soon after, and Merton revelled in a goal glut, a pair of hat tricks, and, most importantly, three points.
It certainly wasn’t a vintage display, but heaven knows, the 4s have put in some gallant and excellent performances this season and still lost. No doubt about it – this one felt much better.
Goals: Mike Vogt (3), Dom Plumridge, Ryan Burchell (3) and Own Goals (2)
MOTM: Ryan – but special mention to Aaron, who was very impressive
DOTD: Mike, for engineering an early kick off for selfish reasons
Team: Kieran Lee (GK), Ed Plaistow, Mike Todt, Joe Plumridge, John Gridley, Mikey Elgar, Dan Gridley, Chris Outred, Ryan Burchell, Sonny Kennedy, Dom Plumridge
Subs: Mike Vogt, Aaron Loftus