Match Report

Bank of England 5s v Merton 6s

Bank of England, must be one of the best locations to play a game of football on a Saturday at any level. No matter which pitch your allocated, the groundsman does a remarkable job, as well as the free half time oranges and post-match hospitality, yes, BoE is a fixture you look forward to

With numbers low compared to the previous week, a thread bear team rocks up at the BoE for a testing game against a team that is unbeaten in the league, but was turning over in the cup to a heavy defeat the week before, maybe this was a good time (or not) to be taking the boys in (dark) blue on

The 6s turned up in dribs and drabs due to the local road works, with the final player managing to get to the pitch with 10 minutes to go. MQ, as ever, ready for his favourite roll between the sticks, the back 4 this week see Steve B at left back, Scott stepping up at short notice to the right back roll, Mark Chappell answering the call at less than 24 hours’ notice at centre back, paired with Joe D and his glass foot, wheeled in from the treatment room to complete the back 4.

Midfield welcomes the new signing of james E, the young left winger/forward also being thrown in to his first game at short notice, right wing sees Daban retain his place ahead of Andrew who starts on the bench and making up the centre pairing is the Phil T and DG, who drops back into last season roll (needs must!), this leaves the newly signed 6s striker, Lewis, up front with the retuning BG, recalled at an hours’ notice to make up the numbers

Looking towards the oppo, the team looks strong and unaffected at the loss in the cup last week to a team no less than 7 divisions or so above ours, looking unfazed they kick off and retain the early possession. A few probing balls over the top to their ‘big man’ up front is dealt with by the 6s centre backs, making light work of the early attacks and looking very composed, good communication between the defence and midfield close the gaps and contain the BoE5s game plan

With the 6s first real attack, BoE realise that 6s have a formidable attack with no less than 4 players that have more pace than your average gazelle in the south London wilderness! Lewis, being marked by Hagrid’s smaller 9ft brother, will never beat him in the air, but in a foot race… see ya pal!

However, its BoE5s who get the lucky break, from what looked like a tame attack came a weak penalty, MC marking the striker close. reaches in and catches the players shin, the contact was far more audible than the tackle, with the player not even going over, the ref points to the spot, the pen is dispatched and MQ dives the right way, but the ball is just out of reach for 1-0

Down against the run of play, the remaining of the half is mainly the 6s, with the odd BoE5s attack thrown in, Phil and DG boss the midfield and win almost every Ariel attack, the 2 working well together with DG ‘breaking’ up play (or just bulldozing the oppo off the ball) and PT skipping around the challenges, its only bad luck and poor finishing form the front that keeps the score 1-0 at have time

2nd sees Dobby comes in for the injury Daban who took a nasty knock to the foot, and Ricky replacing Scott at right back, the 6s restart the game as they finished the 1st. Although BoE are more composed and looking more effective its 6s who gain the early exchanges and now test the keeper. The formation changes from 4-4-2, to a 4-3-3 with James tucking in with Lewis and BG, and dobby slotting beside PT and DG.

The phenomenal pace of the front 3 are just one pass away from being great, countless times the BoE are made to look static as each player slips in behind, but can’t quite make the final ball count, and once again, against the run of play, BoE make a set play count when there 9ft defender ambles forward and gets on the end of a corner to plant a soft header above Ricky on the far post and into the top corner for a undeserved 2-0 lead

With 15 minutes to go and 2-0 down against the run of play, the 6s step it up a notch, midfield retain possession from BoE and the counter is on, BG steps on the after burners leaving a few in his wake, delivers a cross, Lewis who is also a MAC1 arrives in the box to firmly side foot his shot into the bottom corner for 2-1 and less than 10 minutes to go

BoE have their backs against the wall, 6s are now stringing the passes around and its not long before the pressure pays off, again the midfield win the battle, PT goes on a mazy run, a couple of 1-2s out wide and the ball is threaded inwards to DG, with one touch, fires in a solid pass to Lewis, with back to goal, flicks the ball between the 2 defenders and into the path of the advancing James, with composure takes a calming touch, waits for the keeper to commit and slots the ball home for a debut goal which brings the game level at 2-2

On top and probing, the 6s pass and move is tearing the oppo apart, PT and DG, again in the thick of it, are instrumental in the build up to another fine move, once again the front 3 terrorise the BoE and it would seem the winner is beckoning. Some quick passing sets James free inside the box, selling his man a one ticket and only the keeper to beat, find himself pushed wide and on the weaker peg, this results in the keeper winning this battle and keeping the score at 2-2, but ‘o’ so close…

With the final minutes beckoning, it’s a BoE attack which looks like nicking the game, 6s pressing for the winner are caught out as BoE go 3v2 at the back, a goal mouth scrabble and a few lucky moments sees the ball go for another corner, the 9ft’er steps up but the ball is hit short, the clearance now put 6s on an 2v2 attack, BG breaks away and threads Lewis through only for the ref to blow the whistle, no way could he be off side as he was still in his own half, bemused and ready to protest, its only them realised the game has been brought to a close for full time… finishing 2-2.

Great game and by far the best the 6s have performed, even with a make shift team. Bank played their part, and will no doubt be pushing towards the top as they do play some neat, tidy football and on any other day would have rolled the 6s over, just that today it finally clicked for the boys in yellow and although down, but not out, was unluckily not to nick it at the death.

No game next week due to the Merton Vets game, where no less than 6 players from the 6s will take part in some way, shape or form, we return the following week in the AFA cup, against last year’s runners up!

MOTM: Close call as it was great team performance, Mark C, Phil T having strong games but getting booked in the process, Steve b also just missing out to the final winner, Lewis, great to have him back in the fold, and 4 goals in 2 games is joint top score for the 6s with DG

DOTD: Mark C. Gave away a pen and got booked for an ‘amazing’ last ditch tackle which not only up ended the player but managed to spin the poor chap 360* mid-air…! (apart from that, he had a great game)

Posted in Match Reports 6s