At last the warm spring sunshine paid a visit to the borough of Merton and this meant a reasonably dry Joseph Hood and FINALLY a home game for the Mighty Sixes.  For once we were giving the players our home ground sat nav post code, as most players forgot where our home ground was (Nuno and Harry)!

Today’s opponents were the Civil Service and with Steve away for the weekend teaching his dog how to lick pedigree chum off his nuts at Crufts!  Smithy gave a team talk that revolved around seeking retribution for the undeserved defeat against them a few weeks prior.

The team consisted of Smithy “the cat” in goal, back four of Harry, Rob, Adam and Baz.  The midfield was made up of Jay, Ram, Ryan and Fraser with Matty and Nuno up top.  A warm welcome back for “MO” who had to settle for a place on the bench.

Once again Smithy lost the toss and the match was about to start.

The pitch resembled a boggy sandpit and cow field, which most people would think would ruin the free flowing passing game of the sixes!  How wrong they would have been to judge, as the sixes made the game look easy with some meaty tackles and some great passing and movement.  Could this be the Mighty Merton sixes realising there potential as a good team.

With Smithy barking out defensive orders from the back, playing as sweeper rather than a goalie and surviving a hospital back pass from Rob it looked like the defence would not be breached.

It came as no surprise when Merton took the lead after approx. 25 mins with Nuno once again pouncing a loose ball to drill home (and yes he did shoot!!).  1-0 to the Merton!!

We were bossing the game and the Civil Service were finding it tough going.

With the game meandering towards half time up stepped a moment of magic from Matty!  With a free kick awarded on the touch line, up stepped Matty with an out swinging free kick that lobbed the goalkeeper.  It was a great strike, although it was a fluke and if Smithy had been further up the pitch would made a left footer take it!!  2-0 to Merton and the players and most of the Hood were in dreamland!!

The might Merton should have made it 3 with some pin football in their area which resulted in us hitting the bar twice in succession!

Half time came and for once there was no arguing and only positives things to say – that made a change!!

Second half we started the same way and defended superbly with Adam having a stormer and even Baz only managing 1 foul throw thus far! Could this be our day!!

Things did get interesting when they scored approx. 15 mins into the half, with a controversial goal.  The ball came across the 6 yard box and there striker was waiting to pounce!  But a superb safe from Smithy denied him and then saved the rebound for us to clear.  But our joy was short lived as the ref had given a goal.  Merton were in disarray as we thought it did not cross the line nor could he not see clearly enough, but the goal was given.  This was second time against Civil Service we have been caught up in a goal line row, as we thought previously we had scored against them when they were at home!  Oh well never mind, I think the SAL should invest in goal line technology!!

Then just as we were getting our focus back on the game, a long throw in was launched in the area and Rob was adjudged, very harshly to have his arms over the defender!!  PENALY TO CIVIL SERVICE!!

With Smithy doing his best Grobbelaar impression and Ryan shouting he will sky it, the penalty was missed!! Unbelievable Geoff!!!

The half was played with high intensity and the challenges were going in to make a great spectacle, if this was on Sky Sports this surely would be game of the day!  On came Mo for Ram, then Ram on for Ryan who was injured!  Ryan did put in some great tackles, which shows how tough he is when not relying on his dad to fight for him!!

Then with approx. 20 mins left, our little maestro Fraser Neville provided the Merton Sixes with a goal of the season contender (only Smithy’s can rival this!).  With the ball bouncing a fully 30 yards from goal, he spun and hit a great shot into the top corner.  What a goal and the players went wild in celebration!!  3-1 to Merton FC.

With Merton surely on their way to victory, maybe over complacency creped in and the Civil Service scored from an extremely tight angle with a well powered shot. 3-2!!!

With Merton defending deeper and deeper and giving away numerous free kicks on the edge of our box the equaliser finally came approx. 5 mins from the end.

It was a well powered shot which went through about three players legs and with Smithy unsighted, could only get strong hand onto the ball and it just sneaked over the line!!  Heartbreak for Merton!!!

We still had a chance right at the death with Nuno dancing round there defence and with the last defender to beat was tackled! Oh well Nuno never mind mate, it would have been a great goal!!

So the game finished 3-3 and it was a classic!!  Positives to take were that it was probably the best we had played as a team this season and at last we are finally clicking into gear (even though it’s a tad too late!!)

One last thing the MVP…….. this week I am going to give it to Adam Prior – who had an absolute stroming game, great lad to have on board!!!  And by the way his nickname is Beans!! This was because his face looked like beans on toast at school (so someone tells me!).

Let’s take the positives into next week’s game and play the same way on that carpet of a football pitch at Bank of England!!

Oh and good luck to the 1’s on their cup final against some weapons team – make sure you take out their sniper of a striker (get it?)

Over and out Smithy!!

Posted in Match Reports 6s