7s vs Bank of England 5s – 18.04.18
Merton 7s v Bank of England 5s
Wednesday at the hood, the evening kicks off in the sunshine as the squad rolls up from all parts of the world as we welcome Bank of England’s 5s.
El cappo dons the tracksuit to play manager due to knee injury sustained Saturday playing for the 4s, so up steps Steve as captain at left back, the remaining back four has Josh right back, Tom and Joe paired at centre back, the midfield welcomes back Adam B paired with Luke, flanked with Ryan on the left wing and Andrew on the right, Billy and Niall up front, and good old ‘Lenners’ graces the part between the sticks… and waiting in the wings , Martin, Dan and Adam E (the old 7s legend from last season!)
With a mild pep talk from the gaffer the game gets on the way with Merton taking early control, good pass and move opens early chances. Billy and Niall link up well to give the BOE defence a few things to think about, Niall with a def flick over the oncoming defender gets the crowd of 6 up on there feet with a chorus of “oooo’s” and the cross to the advancing Billy who gets a great connection in his stride, only to see the keeper equal to the great move, tips the ball round for a corner
As the game go’s on, Adam and Luke work tirelessly creating and breaking up play, Tom in defence is having an absolute stormer of a game, anything in the final third is being mopped up and sent back with interest, on the rare occasion BOE get a shot off, Toms there clearing house
More great play by the 7s sees Ryan, Billy and Niall all denied by the BOEs keeper, its now a very much one-sided game, which as the 7s know, can come back and bite them if some of the chances don’t start hitting the back of the net,
With half time looming, it’s clear the BOEs keeper is the busier of the 2, Billy clear on goal and 1v1, powers a great shoot towards the keepers right which he somehow manages to adjust and tip again around for another corner which comes to nothing
Whistle goes and the 7s are up beat but cautious, not wanting to let slip the good work but still having to make a break in the game, one change is made with Adam B coming off for a breather after running himself into the ground, Dan goes on at centre back with Joe now sitting in front of the back four
Pass and move see;s Billy slotted in on goal but with a lot to do has a 60/40 with the keeper but rightly pulls out of the challenge as the goalie had the advantage. Clearly the young lad has the measure of the defence, time after time beating the offside and pulling wide, getting good decent crosses in or holding up play long enough for the midfield to join in, Niall also unluckily with a few half chances but is again key in creating havoc anytime his on the ball. But Tom at the back is putting out fires anytime BOE venture forward, twice coming to Lenners rescue and clearing off the line, even the crowd, now of 8 are applauding his game from afar
Further attacks by the 7s are being swotted by the ever in form BOE keeper, this one-man wall is keeping the oppo in with a chance, like they know the Merton 7s have a tenancy to capitulate, keep hammering away with the score still 0-0. Further changes see’s Martin on for Steve and Adam E on for Andrew. 25 minutes to go.
Finally, a stroke of good luck, with Billy released down the left, instead of bursting forward with his pace, he decided to check the run and wait for support, this attracts 3 players from the BOE, who seem to think his about to drop the shoulder and take a run towards the by-line, instead he cuts in and provides another great cross which finds Niall who takes the shot, but again the keeper is equal, and spills, Niall still advancing forward gets the rebound that bounces between himself and the keeper resulting in the ball being walked into the net, scruffy but the 7s will take it… finally a bit of luck to take the game 1-0
Adam B re-joins the team with a very tired looking Joe coming off, tails up and determined not to let slip the 7s chase down directly from the kick off, still pressing for a 2nd, the 7s are weary of the counter, and at the back, any rouge attacks are being closed down by Tom and the crew, Steve back on for the injured Josh, marshals from the right back position, determined not to let slip
With less than a minute to go, the midfield and forwards take control and run the ball into the corners, finally, the whistle goes and it’s the first win 8, but undefeated in 2, have the 7s turned a corner? Great night out, and with top of the table AOB coming to the hood this coming Saturday, a much-needed win to get the confidence up.
MOTM: With out doubt the best game his played all season, Tom J
DOTD: Somehow, without even playing, the gaffer takes one for the team and gets the DOTD, for naming a team with 10 players, which even had the same player twice and them correcting it to 12 players! Had to revert to notes within phone to get it right … but brought a smile to these simple people!
Team: Lee, Steve ©, Joe, Tom, Josh, Ryan, Adam B, Luke, Andrew, Billy, Niall
Martin, Dan, Adam E