After the disappointment of the cup run which means we can no longer qualify for the next round, focused was switched back to the league where a good season is anticipated! The regulars had returned from wooing there lady friends last week and the team had a look of familiarity to the squad. The gaffer had just about recovered from a traumatic week as he managed to get everyone a game of football and assisted in creating the new seventh team!

Anyway on to the game, Old Wilsonians 8’s is a problematic fixture for us in the past and we had already lost heavily to them in the cup, so a tough game was expected. With a good attacking team on paper it was time to put these youngsters through there paces and hopefully give them a good platform to start there adult football adventure with Merton.

Merton with pace on both flanks and up top started brightly. Every player was enjoying early touches on the ball and looking to play out from the back which was a breath of fresh air!

It wasn’t long before chances were being created with Callum and Pete both going close. The midfield pair of Ty and Chris dominated and made it difficult for Wilsons to create many chances. Midway through the first half Merton got the breakthrough. A superb, long and accurate throw in from Skipper (and report writer!) found Paul in the area who superbly turned and shot (or crossed) and the ball looped over the keeper into the net, 1-0 Merton.

After we scored Wilson’s began to up there game and Merton were on the back foot. Dangerous free kicks were given away and there wingers were starting to stretch the play. Inevitably disaster struck and Wilsonians scored. Good play from their winger who managed to slip past Ram and set up their striker one on one with Swanny who managed to dink it over him and with the skipper anticipating this, tried to clear off the line but got the faintest of touches to no avail. Some of the squad are saying this was an own goal, but I’m not having it!

After dominating the play we were left wondering if this was going to be one of them days! Our heads slightly dropped and our crisp play was starting to desert us. Then the moment of controversy in the game. If this was the premier league this would have been on all the back pages and still be talked about in years to come!!

Wilsons broke and with Smithy not sure whether to go ball or runner left them both! Wilsons were in behind (calm down John!) and after a squared ball we were all waiting for the net to bulge and be 2-1 down! However instead of simply kicking the ball in the net, the striker fell over the ball, and decided to use a hand in knocking the ball in instead – a goal was given and there was outrage (Ty should have been booked as was out of order to the ref!). This is where the spirit of the SAL comes into play and with the oppo skipper noticing the handball and striker also partially admitting it, the goal was chalked off. My hat goes off to the skipper and will make sure an email is sent to the club praising his efforts!

This seemed to finally spark Merton back into life and maybe gave us the kick up the arse we needed! After winning tackles and starting to get the ball down chances were being created again and it wasn’t long before we re-took the lead, great play from Paul led to him finding Callum who cut inside and took a shot which was pushed in the net by the keeper making it 2-1 and it wasn’t even half-time yet.

Half-time came and went and to be honest the second half flew by without much incident! Changes were made by Merton and all who came on had blinders! We even introduced one of the youngest player in Merton’s history with Dylan making his debut!

Chances again came and went for Merton and we should have added to our scoreline and we were still wondering if we would rue these chances. Wilsonians did have a couple of half chances but the defence stood strong and with them tiring due to no subs Merton held on for the win.

One sour note was Swanny putting his back out which could see him sidelined for a while, but up stepped the skipper to stand in goal for the final moments (when they found a proper adults shirt that fitted him!!!)

Anyway let’s hope we can carry this form onto next weeks game and as I write this report numbers are high so bare with the manager!

TEAM: Swanny, Ram, Adam (Beans), Mark, Kevin, Callum, Chris, Tyrone, Paul, Pete, Trey

SUBS: Adam, George, Dylan

MAN OF THE MATCH: The whole squad played really well and this was our best game this season! But a clear winner this week was Paul – well played that man!!

DICK OF THE DAY: I am not happy about this but apparently after scoring an own goal (it wasn’t) and at fault for the controversy (I didn’t see the runner!) and the shirt debacle. Yes its me (Kev!) – as the saying goes “every dog has its day!”

Posted in Match Reports 6s