Merton 4s vs. Old Lyonians 3s
ISEH Minor Cup, First Round
Saturday 17th October 2015
by Edward Plaistow

So following last week’s heroics in the AFA Cup, this week we welcomed a young Old Lyonians side to Joseph Hood for and ISEH Cup game that we were hoping would have the same outcome as 7 days prior.

We welcomed Dom, Jake and Arnold back into the starting XI leaving myself and Aaron to warm the bench. Also starting was Elliott Phipps, another friend on the Plumridges who was looking to get back into the game following a serious injury.

Watching from the side-line was frustrating as ever! The visitors were playing with confidence from the off, not what was expected from a side that hadn’t won a single game in a year! They were passing and moving causing confusion to both the midfield and defence. This paid off after 10 minutes when a ball was played over the top to their striker who, with his back to goal, managed to get a shot in that found its way under Sam’s body. 1-0 to the visitors.

We had to make an early sub 15 minutes in. Chris Dodd overstretched while chasing a defending ball meaning Aaron had to replace him. No long after, all of five minutes to be exact, we had to make our second substitution. Glen twisted and ankle while attempting a header. Chris Outred moved into the centre to support John at the back with myself coming on to take up my usual left back position.

After conceding we were chasing every loose ball and letting Old Lyonians know that we were not a push over. This pressure paid off on the half hour mark. Dom hustled the ball down near the touch line, and could have been awarded a number of fouls in the process, to release the ball to Elliott which was lost. A bizarre incident followed. When the ball was lost, the left back attempted a pass back to the keeper when the ball bobbled over the keeper foot and into the back of the net. All credit must go to Dom for that and if I could I would award the goal to him personally however that is not how the game goes. We let him know that it was down to him. 1-1 with 15 minutes to go until the break.

The young blood was still finding ways to cause us problems and this was proved when they were awarded a penalty just before the break. John tripping their number 11 following a mazy run. Fortunately their number 9, who was playing off of the right wing (but left footed), took the penalty and hit it wide.

We were showing grit and determination towards the end of the first period so the team talk at half time was one was more positives than negatives.

The second half (apart from the final 10 minutes) was dreadful from a Merton perspective. Old Lyonians were call, calm and collected on the ball and were playing with more confidence than we were. Quick pass and move plays were causing us all sorts problems. This style of football allowed them to score 3 goals that could have been avoided. It could have been worse had the ref not overturned his original decision or awarding a penalty against John for a handball. John did well to convince him that it actually hit him in the crown jewels and the ref took his words for it and called a drop-ball.

A few late changes had to be made, Chris Dodd came back on to replace Aaron and Glen came back on to replace Jake in the middle. Due to his injury, I felt best to stick Glen up top and drop Elliott back into the middle as the former would have found it hard to track back.

With 10 minutes to go we were piling the pressure on and it was only down to their keeper that we didn’t score sooner than we did. The opposition finally gave in when a ball in by Elliott from the left was parried by the keeper and Dulanie was there to smash in the rebound. We were now full of confidence and our third goal followed no longer than a minute late when Glen volleyed into the top corner after a great cross from yours truly.

Unfortunately we’re didn’t have enough time to get back into the game but that renewed confidence will be good to take into next week’s reverse league fixture against HSBC 5s.

FINAL SCORE: Merton 4s 3 – 5 Old Lyonians 3s SCORERS: Own Goa, Dulanie Richards, Glen Porter MOTM: Sam Singer-Ripley

STARTING LINE-UP: Sam Singer-Ripley (GK), Ryan Burchell, John Gridley, Glen Porter (Edward Plaistow), Chris Outred, Chris Dodd (Aaron Ackerman), Jake Hewitt, Arnold Collier, Dulanie Richards, Dom Plumridge, Elliott Phipps.

Posted in Match Reports 4s