6s vs City of London 3s – 23.09.17
Merton 6th XI 3-3 City of London 3rd
Scorers: Chaplin (2), Fisher
Team: Mark, Reece, Chris, Grant, Andy, George, Matt, Lee, Callum, Pete, Tony Subs: Luke, Dan and Trey
MOM: Tony Chaplin
DOD: Matt “Penguin Pants” Haswell
Only time will tell whether this is a good point won or 2 points lost. We were 2-1 down and a man down (Sin bin) at half time, so on the good second half display certainly was worthy of something, but for me we should have taken the win.
The day didn’t start well – confusion around the kick off time, our opposition not being aware it was early, they came close to kicking off with less than 11 men – but fortunately for all they managed to get a full squad for kick off. This effected the start of the game, City are a big side and put themselves about – Lee was doing his best to compete but Merton were getting bullied and City were getting the better of the early exchanges. Fortunately they lacked the quality of the final ball and Merton’s back 4 coped with what was being thrown at them.
At the other end it was clear we had the better players and we were getting a few openings, but sloppy last balls or over ambitious shots came to nothing. Then the first bit of real quality football brought the opening goal, perhaps slightly against the run of play. George and Callum work an opening on the right and Georges cross was superbly put in “Rooney overhead vs Man City Esk” by Tony.
This should have relaxed us but we kept giving possession away sloppily and being over ambitious with our final pass or shot. They opened us up a couple of times with a few long balls in the channels and we didn’t learn .. Chris went for a ball he didn’t need to go for and a hopeful through ball left Grant one on one against their Centre Mid of all people and he did well to fend of Grant and chip the advancing Old Man in goal, honours even.
Then the moment that could easily have changed the game against us .. From a corner the ball broke to the edge of the box, Matt charged out and advancing City player blasted the ball (and it was going sky high) right into his face leaving him flat of the floor. Penalty says the Ref … Now the learning curve for this season and the introduction of sin bins, We may have felt a sense of injustice (I mean even the ref seemed to suggest it hit Matts face first then his hand, so not sure if it could be a pen) BUT we must be careful what we say and how we say it – tempers can go especially when the adrenaline flows… Sadly Chris did not and to compound going 2-1 down we had to play either side of the half with 10 men.
I was impressed the way went we about our business, both at the end of the 1st and beginning of the 2nd half, We never let City settle and began to gain the dominance and control of the game. City were getting tired and picked up a couple of crucial injuries, and this allowed Merton to take the initiative and we were soon back on Terms, Tony picking up a lose ball and sliding in from close range. We hit the bar twice, once from Tony and one from Callum, and Trey was getting himself in some good positions but just couldn’t get a shot away. Callum then rifled in a fantastic 3rd and we were seemingly heading for 3 points.
Sadly however we didn’t play sensibly at this stage and pushed too hard for the killer 4th, pushing too many men forward and then not tracking back – it was clear many players had assumed City were beaten. But nothing of the sort .. A decent free kick was saved by the old Man, and they had a couple of quick breaks that came to nothing. Then with only 3 mins left on the clock they broke quickly, Lee got injured stopping the midfielder in his tracks, and he was able to wriggle around Lee’s lifeless body and rifle an unstoppable shot past the old man (I think to think this is the case, the reality is more likely I waved a hopeful hand in the general direction of a simple shot)
A crushing blow and the disappointed faces in the changing room after likely showed it was 2 points dropped. But onto the big 6 pointer next week against some side called Merton.