7s vs Bank of England – 18.11.17
Bank of England v Merton 7s
Away day v Bank of England, on a pitch that’s like a carpet and not to effected by the weeks grey, rainy weather. Last season, the 7s achieved the double over BOE5s, with a 3-1 & 1-0 victory, so maybe today was the day the 7s got there season back on track
Everyone arriving more or less on time, the chat was to be solid at the back and to get tight, we see Martin take on the gloves to allow Kieran to play Left back, Josh comes back in at right back, Steve and Tom make up the centre pairing
The 7s are trying a 4-2-3-1, and the holding pair are the captain David, and trialist Joe Diss, with a forward 3 of Ryan, Niall ‘Neil’ Kelly and Luke, and Billy back up top after a week off ill.
Game starts in even fashion, with the 7s containing the BOE5s and slowly getting to grips with the new formation, the opening exchanges sees BANK get the best of the spoils, winning early corners and throw ins in the 7s third.
The new pairing of David & Joe seems comfortable with a lot of talk between the two when exchanging players or tracking runners in round the back. In all, Joe slots in pretty well after being out of action for several months with an injury
Its not to long though before the 7s are back in their old ways of letting good possession slip away, with BANK attacking down the left wing, the ball is crossed an unmarked player, still 20 yards out and still lots to do, controls and takes a chance shot, Martin, barely a yard of his line gets caught flat footed and can’t see to jump as the ball dips just under the bar. 1-0
Aggrieved at such a soft goal, the 7s up the tempo, good passing sees serval attacks come to nothing, but it’s a good response to a soft goal.
Tackles are going in hard from the 7s, with not much reply from BANK, yet the Ref seems to be awarding freekicks for any minor contact made, the 7s captain twice comes a cropper, one out wide which sees the BANKs player cartwheel from a slide tackle (but was at no point in danger of hurting himself!) and another, 30 yards out which was just strength to ease the player off the ball.
The resulting freekick is lofted over the wall and off the cross bar, not one 7s player reacted as BANK has a selection of players waiting to roll the ball in. 2-0
Frustration is creeping in, everyone is urged to dig in now and get something out of this. Good work between Ryan, Niall & Billy. Joe is getting a fair bit of joy and mopping up the attacks, Luke now dropping slightly deeper to help out.
The resulting pressure sees Billy get released, using his pace, sees him leave the defence and bear down on goal, releases a shot that just passes the far post…. Close.
The 7s, now getting more of the game, look to be taking control, another attack from BANK down the left, is broken up and won back by the defence, still trying to play football, Tom collects the ball in the area, taking a touch to much, BANK close him down, now back tracking, the ball finds its way to Kieran, who is also being closed down, tries to cross the ball out of the corner, Martin who had left the comfort of his goal mouth to help in the melee is now stranded as the ball is meet by another BANK player who ghosts past the captain 18 yards out and heads into an empty net. 3-0
Frustration now turns to arguments, 10 minutes left of the half, the 7s still having a fair share of possession, yet, once again find themselves 3-0 down.
Some good work from Luke to retain the ball, sets Niall off, but still in his own half by a good 10 yards, the turn and flick and round the player was delightful, but with still half the pitch to go, Niall shows strength to hold off the defending player, bearing down on goal and able to shrug off the challenge, it’s a well composed shot into the far corner. A great finish for 3-1, and just before the break
Half time, the manager/captain, using some moderate language to get some sort of reaction from the team, makes 3 changes, Joe who had a good half makes way for Andrew, Kieran dons the gloves and Martin makes way for Ram at left back, and Steve for Dan in the centre
Straight from the off, the 7s pass the ball around, composed and buoyed on by the goal, look threating. Ryan is now having a bit of joy down the right, Niall is outstanding in the middle of the 3 and holding the ball up well and showing so fantastic touches, however, Billy coming back from illness is slightly off the pace, missing 2 good chances, his visibly angry with himself. A further blow sees Tom signals that he can’t continue, which allows Steve back on the pitch
With the play going the 7s way and pushing higher up to get back in the game, the inevitable happens. A good counter attack sees a slide rule pass cut the defence open and the ball dispatched beyond Kieran for 4-1
Heads drop, the fight has been taken out of the 7s after fighting to get back in the game, with another attack from BANK resulting in Kieran having to come off his line to clear the ball, only to fall to a BANK player out wide, controls and hits a hoping shot that evades Kieran as he back peddles
5-1. Billy makes way for Martin to drop back to make a 5
It’s now getting tough to rally the team, not catching a break or getting any reward for any of the attacking play, the score would suggest the 7s just rolled over. Still time on the board, another foray down the right with Ryan leading the charge, a quick interchange of play sees Luke with the ball 18yards out, looks up and dispatches a shot beyond the keeper and for a 5-2 end results
Turned out another disappointing day at the office, suicidal defending coupled with bad luck and miss chances in front of goal, see the 7s slump to there 3rd defeat in a row and conceding 17!!!
With no game next week, this break couldn’t have come soon enough
MOTM: Contra to the score line, some good hold up plays and individual skill, the opposition could not contain this week’s MOTM… Niall, who won most of the votes ahead of Neil….!
DOTD: There’s a particular art to a slide tackle, it takes momentum, guts, a good soggy pitch (for the excuse to clatter the oppo) and the ability to time all this to perfection, which was all in abundance on Saturday… except for Dan… who’s attempt was not only 2 yards short of a static ball with no opposition player nearby, but also manged to “go down in ‘comical’ stages”… on a dreary day, this was a welcome highlight… thanks Dan
Team: Martin, Kieran, Josh, Tom, Steve, Joe, David, Ryan, Niall, Billy, Luke
Dan, Ram, Andrew