7s vs Alleyn Old Boys – 19.11.16
Merton 8 – 3 Alleyn Old Boys
Striding out onto the spacious 1s pitch for what will probably be the only time, the Merton 7s were ready to face Alleyns Old Boys. News had filtered to us that that Alleyns had only manged to get 9 players down to face the mighty 7s, as such the 7s were feeling confident about the prospect of getting a first league win of the season.
Starting out in a classic 4-4-2, Merton took a few minutes to adjust to the understandably strange 4-3-1 (or was it 3-4-1!) of Alleyns. Getting the ball out to the wings where Merton could stretch the 9 man Alleyns seemed to be the go to move. One early move saw Glory collect the ball and play it across to Dobson who slid it into the feet of Malcolm; he kept his composure and fired home low past the keeper. 1-0 Merton.
Buoyed by this early goal Merton began to the press the opposition, knowing their options were limited. After some further pressure, Glory collected the ball on the left wing, spinning past the right back, he quickly ran across the back-line before firing past the keeper low into the corner a brilliant solo effort, Merton had doubled their lead! Two quickly became three when Dobson collected a simple ball through the middle, beating the keeper at the second attempt. Merton were 3 up and making their numerical advantage count.
At this point Merton were nonchalantly passing the ball about, sensing an easy afternoon. However a simple ball over the top, leading the injured Lenners to shout for the ball only to get into a mix up with the centre back and striker for Alleyns. The striker profiting from this mix up to slot home. 3-1.
Merton were then again caught cold when the Alleyns big number 9 picked up the ball in between the midfield and defence running at the defences before curling the ball into the goal from outside the box with a wonder strike. 3-2. Things were now a lot more tense and soon after, another Alleyns player had turned up leading to them now boasting 10 players, surely they couldn’t let this one slip! The game becoming a lot more even before the referee blew for half-time.
A couple of changes were made to freshen up the side with Nathan and Jon replacing Tom and Dobson. Merton looked to have restarted with a renewed composure to their game, spreading the ball about and waiting for the opportunities to present themselves rather than trying force the issue. Their patience soon paid off, Glory made himself another great goal following a jinking run to restore the home side’s two goal cushion.
Again Merton managed to lose their composure and shape, finding themselves wide open to the counter on a few occasions. Alleyns capitalised after the right winger found a great cross after a run down the wing which was nodded in by the oncoming striker. 4-3 and the game was back on.
From here on in the goals flowed for Merton, in all honesty with 11 goals in this game I can’t remember them all and the order may well be wrong! For the fifth, Josh spotted the run of Glory and found him just inside the box, Glory’s cross-come-shot bobbled around the box and landed at the feet of Malcolm who doubled his tally for the game. The chance were coming thick and fast now with the 10 men of Alleyns back to 9 after an injury to one of their players, Adam managed to miss a golden opportunity with the goal at his mercy and Glory and Malcom both got their Hat-Tricks. Jack rounded things off with a lovely side footed finished low into the bottom left as the game was drawing to a close. 8-3 was the final score and there were 3 points were on the board for the fledgling 7s. Full respect must go to Alleyns for giving it a right go in difficult circumstances, but as the saying goes, you can only beat what’s in front of you and Merton managed that.
Starting XI: Lenners (GK), Josh K-H, Dan A (C), Tom, Martin, Adam, Jack, Dobson, Glory, Malcom, Tom
Subs: Nathan and Jon
Man Of The Match: A tough one but it’s a tie between Glory and Malcolm who both scored a hat-full of goals.
Dick Of The Day: No one deserves to be dick of the day after such a good performance.