5s vs HSBC 7s – 05.11.16
Merton 5s Match Report 5/11/16
Merton 3 -1 HSBC
As the days draw darker much earlier, a “nip” comes through the air. By “nip” of course i mean a chill in the air, rather than the “delightful” (never a word associated with) naked lee time.
This meant an early kick-off much to the dismay of Aaron Byrne and Josh, who i’m sure wanted that extra five minutes to snooze.
Nevertheless Saturday means one thing, and one thing only – Matchday.
This week, minor changes were made to the team due to the unavailability of a few and late appearances. With Tom out injured (whom we wish a speedy recovery), Anam given a taste of the 6’s mirth and Darren suffering the woes of Henry VIII, an opportunity arose for a recent addition to the Merton family, Tiago Carvalho. Now before i go further i must dampen any excitement, by stating that this is not the Tiago Carvalho of recent Euro Final success – albeit recruitment this year has been equally successful.
After a lengthy warm up from our tenacious manager, the 5s were ready to go, as not to repeat our last home fixture with an unfortunate result. Our counterparts however did not seem to be at full steam much to our fortune, starting with only 10 men. From the first touch of the ball, the 5s were very much on the front foot with Dulanje looking to drive forward and expose modest defensive line. Much to his misfortune, a string of questionable offside decisions went against our favour. After 15 minutes the deadlock was broken. You’d normally do well to bet on Dulanje or Andy to have caressed the ball into the net, but for a change a Merton journeyman was on the scoresheet. whipping a ball in from the far right Aaron Ackerman opened the scoring with a cross which flummoxed a nervous stand-in ‘keeper. I’m sure time spent with the 4’s last season played a part as we are all familiar with Ed’s “shots” which misdirect everyone, including the man on the ball. All the same, 1-0. The next goal came not long after, but could have been sooner had Dwayne’s shot found the inside of the far post , instead bouncing out to be cleared. A combative performance from the central players in midfield and defence, saw the ball was rolled out to Luke on the left flank who could play a speculative ball for Dwayne to run onto. As he looked up, Dulanje seemed a viable option on his right, but instead noticed the opposition keeper deciding he fancied jogging out towards the middle of the pitch. Perhaps the triangle button was stuck on his controller. This left an open goal for Dwayne to slot into, which unlike at training, he did with ease. 2-0. The final goal came from captain of the day Steve Burchell. A whipped in corner from that man Ackerman looked to be a guaranteed goal for Clive, but was bowled in by our equally bald skipper. 3-0. HSBC looked to come back into the game, as their 11th man turned up, but the whistle blew for half time.
The second half brought a couple of changes with Clive and Tiago coming off for Aaron and Josh. After a case of pinball the ball fell to a HSBC player who duly delivered a goal. I’m sure next week, we’ll help Sam build a cushion for the Golden Gloves award. The phrase “a game of two halves” is commonly overused in our field, but unfortunately for us this certainly was the case. With Dulanje efforts to time his runs being wasted by constant calls of offside which were duly given, HSBC looked to press. This half was not so much the performance we were looking to have given some of the impressive displays so far this season, but we held on to the result and look to learn from this and continue to grow.
Man of the match initially went to Tiago, with 3 votes, while Steve and Clive both received two. By the rule of being in the bar to receive the award the default recipient was our experienced skipper of the day, Steve Burchell.