6s vs Old Parkonians 9s – 08.12.2018
Merton 6s v Old Parks 9s
After a good few days rain, an 8am pitch inspection is required to confirm that the SAL Cup 2nd round game can proceed, with an extensive walk around the park, the groundsman and his dog gives us the thumbs up and we confirm the 130pm ko… game on
Even as late as 1130am, the 6s went form 10 players to 14, but settle on 13 for the game. Without fail, MQ turns up with the gloves, this week he gets to look at the back of the heads of Steve B at LB, Ricky at RB, and Tom comes back to partner Joe at CB, a change in formation see 3 in midfield, left is David, Right is Ty and centre is left to Phil, with the an attacking 3 of James on the left, Daban on the right and Lewis straight down the middle
As clouds begin to accumulate in the distances, the games underway and OP9s are pressing from the start. 2 early corners are dealt with well and cleared, the formation sees Ty and David sit in a more holding roll with Phil just a bit further forward, although most of the play is OP9s but without any real threat. Joe and Tom deal with the OP9s CF well, but the big has a good few tricks up his bag and keeps them on their toes
On the half hour mark and honours even, it takes a piece of luck for the break through, from a OP9s goal kick, a straight forward ball that should have been dealt with between David and Ty, sees the OP’s speedy winger nip in and steel the ball, racing towards Joe and Tom, a quick 1-2 sees the ball run loose and a 50/50 challenge lets the ball bobble forward to the advancing MQ, unfortunately the OP9s striker managers to scuff a toe and make some luck as the ball changes direction and goes under the advancing dive of MQ, with just enough power to stop over the line and for a 0-1 lead
Not undeterred, the 6s are not playing bad, in fact, some of the play is remarkable good, composed around the back and towards the middle, with the forwards making good runs in behind the defence, it’s just the end product that’s missing with as well as a bit of luck
Still with minutes to half time, some good play from M6s, sees Phill roll the ball into DG path’s, who picks out a curling ball over the top and into the path of Lewes, albeit having to use all of his pace to get to the ball as the keeper changes his mind and back tracks, now clear on goal and keep in no man’s land, rifles a low shot to bring the scores level t 1-1
Halftime and a change in personal, Daban moves out to allow Matt to go right back and Ricky to go forward, Phil, who for once is not at the races (so he is human after all!) makes way for Ed on the left and DG to move centre
Takes a few minutes to adjust, back the game is back in full swing and end to end. To make things more interesting, the heavens opens up with a freezing cold shower which in turn bogs the pitch down. Still trying the passing game, the balls from both sides are largely over hit or taken by the wind, some of the tackles, although not malicious, are going in thick and fast. A corner swings over and a melee of players climb for the header, DG wins the battle but falls awkwardly. With ‘el cappo’ departing the game, Phil comes on in his place. Still with 20 minutes to go the game swings back again to end to end stuff, OP9s having the better share of the game, but M6s looking dangerous on the counter.
With minutes to go, and penalties looming, it seems both teams have settled for a draw, ref indicated a minute to play, OP9s with a chance shot from 30 yards and Phil’s there to head away, but with the driving rain and greasy conditions, the ball deflects and clips the out stretch hand, the ref ponders and finally blows up for a penalty, MQ divers the right way but is still short by a yard as the balls nestles in the net for 1-2
With just seconds M6s don’t even get a chance to have one last attacks as the ref brings the game to a close, a sad loss but in fairness a very good game played between 2 teams that like to pass and move
Next week we welcome HSBC to the Hood (pitch inspection pending!) for the AFA Cup game, a team that has scored 35 goals in 4 games at home yet has lost 3 of their last 4 away games….! ‘Interesting’
MOTM: Joe D, stepped up and played well and was by far the outstanding player for the day
DOTD: Phil, apart from apologising to the oppo after every (miss timed) tackle, the icing on the cake was the clearance header on to his hand… it was like his noggin was replace by a Dairylea Triangle!
Team: MQ, Ricky, Joe, Tom, Steve, Ty, DG ©, Phil, Dabs, Lewes, James, Matt, Ed