Saturday saw us push for promotion against our near neighbours. With some bruised and battered from the previous weekend and unavailabilities, the 6s managed to remain strong with the aid of DQ, Ackers and Mustard coming in, the latter arriving pitch side 10 minutes before the start as he found it difficult leaving his beloved East London, resulting in a 3 hour journey.
Back to the game, with a 4-3-3 formation the opening exchanges showed this will be a good, fair and difficult match. Kevin thought he would try and take out their pacey right winger as soon as the game had kicked off, suppose that was the closest he was gonna get to him all game!
Callum was turning out to be a good out ball and had their left back and the rest of the defence on the back foot and linked up well with Pete and Trey. Between the three of them and the help of some intelligent passing from the midfield, we were slowly turning the screw and eventually got a deserved lead. A cross from the right lead to the ball dropping to the feet of Trey, who gladly tapped into an empty night.
With chances coming more often but not being taken, Old Salesians managed to win the ball in midfield and with their forward holding the ball up and shielding it just inside the area, Beans decided he would follow Kevin’s lead and swipe at the forward’s leg with the ball 2 yards away from him leaving the ref no option but to point to the spot. Most penalty takers have a bit of nerves before taking it, but if you have to take a pen against Swanny, there’s nothing to worry about. There’s reading the penalty and there’s Swanny’s idea of reading a penalty… before the oppo player had started to run up to the ball, Swanny decided to run off to the left post, leaving the rest of the goal to the roll the ball into to make it all square.
The rest of the half looked like it was going to see the teams go in on terms, but Pete had other ideas and knocked in from close range for Merton to regain the lead.
Mustard came on for Paul midway through and was in the action straight away by giving a free-kick away, calling for him to subbed by the Ram πŸ™‚
Merton carried on creating more chances and possibly the miss of the season, from a corner from Ty, Chappell managed to get his head to the ball from below his waist from a yard out to somehow head over the bar! Thankfully, a few minutes later Trey showed off his skill by finding the bottom left corner from the angle by managing to score from a dropping ball which rolled down his thigh, knee, shin to bobble past their step-in goalie (lucky he was the shortest player on the pitch).
The second half saw DQ replace Trey and Ram with George H. Old Salesians started the half on the front foot and kept Merton honest and ensuring that the game was far from over. Merton were now struggling to keep hold of the ball and the back line were working harder to ensure that shots on goal were kept to distance, with Swanny making a good save diving to his right to tip the ball around the post.
Chappell was now taking corners as Ty’s calves, hamstrings and other body parts gave in and was replaced by Paul and thought he would test the oppo’s sub keeper and found his attempt coming off the far post but no one to tuck the ball home. Ackers and DQ were now linking up well, and the latter increased our lead after Paul decided scoring easy goals was not for him again. This brought a sense of relief and calmness to proceedings and was most important goal to put the game to bed despite Old Salesians spirited second half display.
Ackers put the final nail in the coffin with a shot from the edge of the area and added the extra coat of gloss on the score that was fully deserved from an all round good team performance.
With five games to go, promotion is in our own hands and to play a double header against our closest rivals Civil Service in a couple of weeks, we can go a step closer this weekend with 3 points!

Team: Swann, George H, Beans, Chappell, Kevin, Paul, Ty, Ackers, Callum, Pete, Trey
Subs: DQ, Ram, Mustard

Man of the Match: this goes to Callum as he constantly tormented their defenders.

Dick of the Day: A majority vote sees Chappell win it (is it a victory?) for his glaring miss from a yard.

Report by: Ram

Posted in Match Reports 6s