I’m not sure if you’ve heard the news. It seems that last week some kind of virus swept across the South London area, causing men everywhere to suddenly become under-the-thumb and unavailable to play football on a Saturday. Please send get well cards, flowers and your best wishes to 6s stalwarts Kev, Chappell, Ty, Matt, Ram, Pete, Dave, Paul and Swanny. Get well soon boys!

Luckily, with Merton bursting at the seams with players this season, a massively depleted squad was filled out with some new faces. In came George, Callum and Trey, injecting pace into the squad and bringing the side’s total age down by about 400 years.

With the normal management team away Dan P and Beanz became the new gaffer and captain, and were given the difficult duty of breaking the team selection to the boys. With such holes in the starting eleven to fill, some players were making their Merton debuts and some players had to fill unfamiliar positions (sorry Scott).

Despite being a team of strangers it was surprisingly bright start by Merton, generally dominating 1st half proceedings. On a massive Old Blues pitch Merton found space to play the ball around. Playing out from the back and finding space on the wings, Merton created chance after chance, but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor conversion meant that the opposition held in there.

On one particular spell of possession a cross managed to miss everyone, except the Old Blues full back who managed to start a quick break up the pitch, and all of a sudden we found ourselves 1-0 down against the run of play. Heartbreaking.

Changes needed to be made at half time to keep legs fresh and the new management team stressed that we had been unlucky, and if we kept playing the same way we’d quickly be back in the match. Cue Old Blues getting a second goal about a minute after the restart. A speculative 30 yard shot found stand in keeper Mike off his line.

Heads began to drop and we lost our way for 30 minutes of the 2nd half, struggling to get hold of the ball and to reproduce the positive football of the first half. Old Blues, on the other hand, grew more and more confident With so many defenders in the match squad, and with the new young lads playing really well up top, substitutions needed to happen at the back. This lead to some confusion, which Old Blues exploited with a long ball game, and soon found themselves up to a 4-0 lead.

At this point, playing only for pride, Merton began to find their feet again. We kept possession better, moved the ball quicker and began to find space behind the Old Blues defence. George, Callum and Trey showed no fear for such young lads and gave an experienced Old Blues defence horrible trouble.

With the game seemingly dead, Merton found themselves with an innocuous looking free kick from 30 yards. George did brilliantly to hit a venomous shot that beat the wall and the keeper. 4-1.

Merton kept playing and we were making incisive breaks into the Old Blues box. Again George found himself in possession, and with a tired looking Old Blues defence in front of him had a go. Cutting in from the left he beat one, he beat two, he beat three, he beat… well I lost count really, I was bloody knackered. 4-2.

The game was nearly over but we were still going for it. If we were only chasing one more we might have had a chance, but 4-2 was surely too big an ask, wasn’t it? Chasing the game, with George on a hattrick and stuck out on the wing, there was really only one decision acting manager Dan P could make… Yep, take George off for the last 5 minutes. Lets got let him get too big for his boots.

The chase was too big of an ask. If how much everyone was knackered at the end is any indication, it was a very good effort. Despite the result there are lots of positives to take. Chris and Adam put in a massive shift in the centre of midfield, Josh was a revelation at left back (sorry Kev), and the youngsters have a very bright future at Merton.


TEAM: Mike, Josh, Beanz, Dan P, Scott, George, Chris, Adam, Callum, Trey, Malcolm.

SUBS: Dan, George, Martin.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Any other day a few names could’ve been here, but for two brilliant debut goals I have to give it to George.

DICK OF THE DAY: All is forgiven Scott. You moody bastard.

Posted in Match Reports 6s