6s vs Old Blues 4s – 10.10.15
It was a bright and warm autumn day and most of the squad arrived in plenty of time before the start of the game. Some might say that Dan and Darren camped the night there as they were so early, others might say it was to polish off the youth teams BBQ.
Once the team was changed, it was down to the 5 minute quick stretch and warm up routine and we were ready to start.
Smith gave the team talk and told the team to enjoy the game and try to keep it tight for the first half hour.
Starting line-up was as follows: Merton’s number 1, Martin in goal, back 4 of Smithy (Gaffer), Daz, Chappell and the better Locke brother, Colin making his debut. Holding midfielder was Dan and John with Matty and Simon on the wings and up top was Pete and Paul. Impact subs were Beans and Gary.
So now to the game, Merton settled into the game quicker (for once!) and was playing some nice football from the back to the front. Colin and Simon worked well down the right and numerous dangerous crosses were put in the Old Blues box. Then with roughly 20 minutes gone, came Merton’s best chance. A corner came in and Chappell headed the ball against the bar, then Dan headed the rebound against the bar again and with the bouncing a yard before the goal line, Simon then managed to miss an open goal and hit the post. The beans on toast and wine bar were still rattling minutes after and Merton and their 3 supporters were left in shock as to how we were not 1-0 up.
Unfortunately, that was the best chance of the half for Merton barring some long range efforts.
Shortly before the break, disaster struck and the rub of the green definitely was not with Merton. A very dubious free kick was given away, whereby the Old Blues players kicked the boot of Simon and instead of the free kick given to Merton and from no protest of the opposition, the ref gave the free kick to Old Blues. After a brief protest Merton set up the wall and focused on defending. The Old Blues player then struck the free kick which was defended well by the wall, but the ball spun to the only attacking player in the box who then shined in to the only place he could have scored in the bottom corner.
Half time then came and with Merton feeling hard done by, the senior members of the team tried to install confidence again.
The second half did not start to well with Old Blues putting a bit of pressure on and started strongly with Merton helping out by giving silly free kicks away, however Old Blues didn’t really threaten the goal and Martin had little do apart from goal kicks.
Merton did have the ball in the net but Pete may have been slightly offside following in Matt’s effort the penalty spot after some great approach play from Merton.
With Merton pushing for an equaliser, Old Blues struck again with a goal that was out the top drawer. With Martin slightly off his line, the Old Blues player looked up and chipped the ball from all of 30 yards into the back of the net. By the looks of his celebration, he was as stunned as we were!
With the ref stopping the game for every time a player jumped for a header of fell over, the game was very stop start and played into the hands of the Old Blues, even the friendly giant Beans was booked for persistent fouling.
With the minutes ticking by, Merton kept pushing and Colin was making good in roads down the right hand side and teeing up Merton for some late chances.
It was nice to see Merton not giving up and nobodies heads going down, we played to the final whistle with Smithy having the last chance of the from a tight angle.
Final score 2-0 to Old Blues!!
After the game a good post beer was had by everyone and Smithy enjoying the foot long!
Now for man of the match!!
Some very good performances from most, Chappell and Daz had a good game at centre half with the Old Blues creating very little and most threats were dealt with.
Simon, even though he missed an open goal, put some great balls in the box and made some great tackles. And the two new lads Paul and John both contributed well.
This week, though I am going to give it to Colin (not because he was on debut and was my brother) but because he dealt with most that their left winger had to offer. He broke up play well and carried a threat going forward. Let’s hope this is not his first and only game for Merton!
Next week, the real test starts with the first league game of the season, let’s hope for a title challenge!!