6s vs Old Blues – 19.11.16
Another match report written by the gaffer can only mean one thing! More of that later!!
Anyway, with selection being a headache this week it meant the mighty Merton sixes went into this home game with the 13 hardy soles! Well I say 13, prior to game John was sent to the stands by the ref for wearing his “light” half plaster cast, when John explained that Montero was allowed to wear one and tried to argue that he could elbow someone and cause the same damage the whole team sighed and knew that was the end of that argument!
So this left us with 12 and with all the confusion going on and sending the sevens players to the right pitch a lack of warm up and team talk went un-noticed!
On to the game then, Merton have started to build a friendly rivalry with Old Blues. We are two teams evenly matched and over the years we have had many a great game against them and they are a great bunch of lads!
Merton started slowly and the lack of warm up was beginning to show. Everyone’s touch was letting them down and passing was pretty much non-existent! Old Blues were looking threatening and putting in dangerous crosses which we struggled to clear.
About 20 mins in, Old Blues finally took the lead with a bit of mix up between keeper and defender ending up with Michael punching the ball 5 feet to an attacker who put the ball in the empty net. Merton were struggling and some last ditch tackles from Chris and the skipper prevented further damage.
After the skipper barked instructions very angrily, Merton seemed to wake up and finally got a foot hold in the game. Paul missed a glorious chance from some great work by Pete and everyone thought maybe this wasn’t going to be our day.
Another couple of close long range shots from Chris (getting closer and one day will hit the target!) meant that Merton kept up the pressure.
Approx 30 mins in Merton equalised. After some great work by Callum then Trey to square the ball to Ty, he calmly shinned it in to the bottom corner (only joking it was a great curling finish!!).
Old Blues then rallied and had some more great chances but was denied in particular by a superb save from Michael, unfortunately he dislocated his thumb in the process and was in pain but held out to half time.
Merton went into half time 1-1 and we could count ourselves very lucky as we knew we weren’t playing up to our normal greatness. During half time the gaffer desperately tried to sneak on Swanny but realised he wasn’t on the team sheet, so that was ruled out, but with Chris injuring his dodgy hamstring, he volunteered to put on the gloves for the second half.
The second half started slowly but Merton were the better team and started to create some great chances with Paul, Pete and Trey all coming close.
Merton’s defence looked a bit more solid and withheld the physical play of Old Blues. That was until a counter attack caught Merton out down our right and after their skipper put in a dangerous cross in the corridor of uncertainty, the gaffer tried to desperately to divert it from danger, but manged to divert in onto the far post and with the ball creeping along the line their striker smashed it in. It wasn’t an OG at all!! (ok, maybe it was!).
Merton then went on the attack and managed to create yet more chances and this definitely had the feeling of one them days. George went off injured as he couldn’t see properly and then with our only substitute coming on (our original GK) at right back, the gaffer was met with discontent from the crowd (Matt) as that wasn’t his position (if I hear that phrase again I will shoot someone!), but Michael didn’t complain and got on with it!
Callum was causing all sorts of problems against a tiring Old Blues and kept driving at the defence, eventually his talent prevailed and he skipped past a few challenges and smashed the ball in the net – 2-2!
Merton with the wind in their sails, went for a winner and again created numerous good chances! However, we fell behind again to a brilliant header from a great Old Blues corner. We were left reeling and wondered what we had to do to beat Old Blues!
Anyway, with time ticking away Merton went to a 4-3-3 to try and snatch a draw. Now as mentioned at the top of this brilliantly written article, there is a reason Mr Skipper/Captain/Organiser and general dogs body chose to write this match report. In the dying moments of the game the skipper ventured forward for a corner, with a first poor ball in by Ty, he made amends by drawing out the defenders to put a whipping ball in for the skipper who scooped low, like he was picking up dropped kebab meat after a night out and powerfully worked them neck muscles to glance a header into the bottom corner – it was superb header and the best so far of his 3 – yes 3 goals (strikers take note!) this season!
Moments later the full-time whistle went and Merton fault to the end for a hard-earned draw.
Now man of the match, it wasn’t the best week for Merton, but like the Arsenal managed to get a draw when playing bad! There was no doubt about the best player on the pitch though and that was Callum, so well played!
Dick of the Day was a harder choice, it could have gone to a number of players – Paul for missing numerous good chances (he was ill though, so definitely get lets off!). John for plastercast gate. Dan P for kicking the ball miles out of play at every opportunity (can’t give it to him though for playing out of position!). But this week I am giving this to a forgotten face who used to be play in the centre of midfield for Merton – Matt, this is for having a go at the gaffer for a substitution he had no choice to make as we had nobody else. It was truly out of order and maybe the frustration of those knees not healing is getting to him – we miss you Matt!!
Let’s get another win next week!
Line up: Michael, Ram, Dan P, Locke, George, Paul, Ty, Chris, Callum, Trey, Pete