Old Sal’s Rev v Merton 6s
A month without a game for the 6s and missing a few of the regulars as we welcome OSR back to the hood to host their home game. With a 2oc ko and only 9 players turning up for the oppo, game gets delayed till 2:15. The 6s however, having the likes of Neal D, Dennis Z, Roma B available, for selection, helps the cause against a very good footballing team in Old Sal’s Reserves
Finally getting the game on the way, the 6s start like a team that haven’t played in a while, long balls punted up front, no calling or tracking of runners, no surprise that OSR take the lead early on, with some slick passing, down the wing and into the box, it was like a training game as MQ is exposed to a 1v1 at close quarters, with the ball ending up in the net 1-0
Not learning from the mistakes, OSR almost double the lead on several occasions, only for some last ditch tackling and woeful finishing, the score remains 1-0. The 6s start to get themselves into the game. Some meek and tame attacks result in a few corners, James’s deliveries from the right creates chances, but no one can convert and OSR clear their lines
Although getting on top, its OSR who double the lead against the run of play. Breaking away, and playing the neat short passes, it’s a simple one/two into the box, resulting in a low cross being put into an empty net as MQ tried to close the gap down. 2-0
Merton turn it up a notch, the tackles are going in thick, OSR are now able to slow play down with each foul awarded, the casual approach is there own undoing as the centre backs take to many touches and are robbed by the quick thinking Lewis, whose first shot is saved by the keeper, but the rebound hits him on the shin and rolls into an empty net, a bit of luck, but its welcome 2-1. As the game approaches half time, the 6s are more on top and look to grab the equaliser with only the odd half chance, however its 2-1 at the break
Some changes to be made, Ryan B for Andrew D, Dennis for Steve H and Chapple for Iain, the 6s start the half with a little more zip in the game. Trying to get the ball down and play through the midfield brings a couple of chances, Lewis and DG both being denied by the keeper
OSR still threaten to extend the lead, and one again its more the fact the shots are off target that keeps the score at 2-1. With MQ doing more miles retrieving the ball from each shot, it takes Tom to place the kick and rush the pass while MQ is still behind the goal. With 60 yards of open spaced and 7 white tops to hit… he somehow manages to pass to the only red top on the edge of the area! Surprised is an understatement as he controls the ball and takes a touch or two, looking unsure that play is continuing, and rolls the ball in for 3-1!! The goal is greeted by stunned silence from the 6s, and laughter from OSR, as no one can quite believe what has happened..!
A quick change see Lewis go off with a calf strain and Dennis back on up front
So, the good work at the start of the half is undone, nevertheless, the 6s carry on pressing and soon rewarded for some good play. DG winning the ball and passing out wide to James, who hits the by-line and once again whips in a cross that’s sees Dennis at the back stick rise above the centre backs and hammer a header home from 6 yards, 3-2
Tails up, but still second best to some of the football being played by OSR, the 6s have to dig in deep against the quick counter attack and the fast, damaging passing
A good passage of play by the 6s, Neal putting a shift in, wins the ball, Steve H to DG who puts James out wide to run at the left back, the coming together sees the ball go out for a goal kick. OSR keeper places the ball but passes straight to James. James, bemused by the pass looks back and shrugs.. The Ref waves play on and James rounds the stationary keeper and slots home. OSR protest, saying the keeper thought it was a corner, but the ref, who at one point seemed to agree, couldn’t change the fact that it was still a goal, the protest resulted in a sin bin and a few sulky faces
So, with a comical second half coming to a close, both teams have a chance to nick the winner in the ‘ding-dong’ closing seconds, but it finishes 3-3. A bit harsh on the home team, but the 6s made their own luck and for once, got a reward. Next week, a home game that is in fact a home a game and not an away game played at home!
Bank of England come to the hood, the last outing was a hard fought 2-2 draw, with the 6s coming back from 2-0 down in the last 10 minutes. Hopefully, we can carry some of today’s luck over to next week
MOTM: James, made one, bought one and run all day. But some mention to Neal D, had a great game in the middle as well as Lewis, who run himself into the ground for an hour, chasing everything and making his chances.
DOTD: An easy one this week… Tom J..
Team: MQ, Ryan B, Iain E, Tom J, Steve B, Dennis Z, Roma B, Neal D, James E, Lewis R, DG ©
Mark C, Steve H, Andrew D