Civil Service 8s v Merton 6s
Spring has sprung, away to Civ 8 in sunny Chiswick, only a 2-hour journey through all the road works, still could be worse… after all the rain at the hood last week and witnessing 3 ducks swimming on pitch one, it’s nice to get out and about
Testing week to get the players out, going from 18 to 9 with in a day, and then a frantic ring round to get cover after one particular player though it would be funny to make themselves available even though they were not even on the same continent !! but more on that later ..
A rare outing for MQ at left back as we get a cameo from Lenners between the sticks, Steve B at left back with Haydn and Tom centre, Midfield of Niall, Phil and Dobby with the usual 3 of DG, Lewis and James up front.. Joe making a late appearance starts on the bench
Game starts with the 6s on the front foot, looking fresh after 3 weeks without a game, the passing is a bit erratic but still ahead of the C8 who seem to slow out the blocks and making a few unforced errors. Steve B after a few moments of madness on the ball (a good to many ‘HAVE IT!’ moments) starts to compose himself and settles the back line and begins to finally play out form the back. A good passage of play between the back 4 and midfield, which could have been more than 15/20 uninterrupted passes, unfortunate breaks down, but it’s a good sign and something that’s been requested all season (and they wait till the final few games to show their stuff!!)
Well on top and only some poor finishing keeps the score at 0-0, 6s finally yields a bit of luck, Niall once again a wizard with the left foot, sets James off down the wing and into the box for the shot, beats the keeper but is blocked, DG following up with a 50/50 that sees the ball cleared by the keeper, onto DG and looks to be going out for a throw, MQ chases down the loose ball and has time to roll a yard or two forward and without doubt, sees the keeper still struggling to get back, launches a shot back in the mix from all of 40 yards, the keeper trying his best to reach but is still a good foot or so short as the ball sails over the out stretched arm, even evades the 2 centre backs who also try to make a clearance just as the ball dips under the ball and in the goal for 0-1 lead. MQ is already standing with both arms in the air and is rightly mobbed by everyone of the 6s, to congratulate him on his first goal since his 84th birthday 10 years or so ago!
Not much more to report first half, think everyone was to ecstatic for Mr Merton himself!!
2nd half, MQ is replaced for Joe D as we can’t risk the old boy getting a 2nd, god knows what all the excitement would do to his heart, as well as muted claim to a starting spot up front!! (worried look over shoulder form el’cappo there!!)
Bit slower out the blocks but still on top, however, C8 are more organised and unluckily to go 2 behind. Steve B puts in a corner, straight on the money, which sees a mass scrabble between C8 players to clear (6s I think was quite amused to the thrashing around to clear the ball and stood and watched!) the first clearance hits the back of a C8 player that sees the ball roll towards the line, keeper try’s to claim it, only for the centre back to ‘hoof one clear’, again hitting the back of a c8 player, onto the shin of the left back and then the knee of the right back (ok, might have made some of this up, but its more or less right!!).. and roll over the line for 0-2 and coasting…
Attention now turns to Lenners, after a fantastic first half (forgot to mention the bit about Lee jumping around like a salmon and catching the ball without any pressure around him… BUT on landing belly first, sees the ball slips from his mitts and luckily to Haydn to clear!) .. being slightly off his line by 20 yards or so, for most of the 2nd half, it was only a matter of time before someone chances the lob and one C8 player does, from inside the centre circle, still… Lee looked to have the ground covered as he back peddled, but was unfortunate not to be the required 6ft 8inches tall to tip the chance over the crossbar… and once again lays on the floor like a fish… out of water! 1-2
With chances still coming thick and fast, its bad luck and good defending that keeps the 6s from going ahead, tiredness creeping in on both teams and some good football on show. The counter attacks are scooped up by Tom and Haydn and it looks like an away win is on the cards.
A counter attack by C8 down the right sees the ball cut in and still 25/30 yards out, C8 take a first time toe punt which goes like a rocket, Lenners, although is the right position this time, cant do much about it as the ball manages to go between the out stretched fingers and the underside of the bar to bring the game level 2-2.
The 6s let a game slip and was cruising, and with the remaining 10 minutes or so, can’t convert any more chances, the whistle blows just as a final attack was getting in the 18-yard box, but in the end, its 2 points dropped as opposed to a point gained
Nice day out, and our final away game of the season sees us with only 2 losses on the road, a far better improvement on last year. We now have a further week off before we welcome B0E to the hood, weather and ducks permitting
MOTM: MQ… who else after that goal
DOTD: Close call on Lenners the fish, but Steve H for dicking around with availability late in the week and causing a headache trying to get cover