5s vs Polytechnic 8s – 26-11-16
The 5s 0 – 0 poly 8s (2-4 pen)
It was the mysterious case of the cancellation of the 9th team. Somehow, in this crucial cup game, the 9s suspended their game and ended up supporting their 8s in a ferocious battle that lasted to the death.
Chiswick has been our home from home in recent weeks, however King George’s playing fields has now become our home from home from home. We settled in quickly, and it was the 5s who had the first chances. Had the referee not have got the memo from last time out that dulanjie is always offside, we would have gone ahead early doors and never looked back! There were at least 2, maybe 3 instances where was clearly onside, clean through yet called offside. It is no ocerexaggeration to say he would be at least 4 goals better off if these really suspect calls had not been made. Dulanjie shouldn’t be disheartened because one day the floodgates will surely open!!
So our chances instead fell to those who you’d want them to in the first half. One of their clearances from a corner dropped to Darren, who adjusted well to volley narrowly over. A similar situation played out for Steve Burchall, except he didn’t adapt well and the ball flew out of the ground for a home run – the referee did not look amused at the suggestion that it should count!! A good move on the right saw Aaron cut my n tidier narrowly wide on the left. That was our pick of the first half, and apart from hitting the bar with an effort that he did well to get a foot on, they didn’t make many chances as the 5s held strong at the back to make take a 0-0 into the first half.
The second half was a mix of excitement, nervousness and horror as the tightness of the game meant all players knew the single goal would be enough. the 5s again started strongest as the keeper made an unbelievable save to keep out a corner from Aaron that was heading straight into the top corner again. Steve managed to hit another home run (2-0 up on that front) before they asserted some pressure! One went across the box, and one went narrowly wide. The topsy turvey nature of the game then saw the 5s in control, and spurn the best chance of the game. Twice Dwayne broke through, once quite a difficult chance but hit the side netting. The second, he should of scored. Clean through, and about 4 yards from goal and it went further away rather then nestling in the back of the net! Like a massive hard on that came to fast, it ended up in disappointment.
One of the last moments of the 90 was to be pivotal. Their 9s top scorer, who is well known to the club, let rip from 20 yards. The effort was deatined for the bottom corner; but for a big hand from Sam in goal. He flew from the other end to make a save that you’d be impressed with at a professional level. The speed of his reaction made it look easy, and was the last major chance before extra time.
The game ended 0-0 and there was only one team in it. Another good chance was spurned by Dwayne who was again a fraction unlucky. The marginalised dulanjie saw an effort where he was uncharacteristically flagged onside (despite the fact he was indeed onside) stretch to almost lob the keeper.
A game where we had the chances, but didn’t convert one. A great performance nonetheless.
Pens can be a lottery, but of the two we scored out of the 4, neither were great. In the end we must take heart from our resoluteness and maintain our form in The league because it is certainly winnable!
Dick of the day: for missing from 4 yards out, by such a large margin, is Dwayne.
Man of the match: but for getting in the positions, helping out a flakey (but very good looking) left back, it’s Dwayne again! A very good performance at both ends that if he plays like this every week, he will score a hatful.
Now, for some particularly sad news. I will be leaving the club, moving up to Manchester. Since joining, it has been an absolute pleasure playing for the 5s and I think this is demonstrated by the way that everyone wants to play with us. Even last year when we were not doing very well, I feel like I have been part of a team. What Clive has done for this club should not be confined by the good job he did last season, he has built a formidable team this season and I will be expecting to read win after win when following Merton in the future.