7s vs Civil Service (Double Header) – 11.03.17
Civil Service 8 v Merton 7s Match 1
With only 1 win in 6 you would expect the 7s to be a bit down… however, the chat was more to put on a show and start to get some sort of form back starting with a double header against a good CS side. With a squad of 17, game day started with John pulling out with an ankle injury and taking up a roll on the side line as Merton’s very own cheerleader, without the pom poms, or much cheering… !
Starting with a 4-4-2. Darren stepping in between the sticks (our 4th goalie in as many games), the game started with Civil straight on the attack, pushing back the Merton midfield with some neat passing, Darcy playing in the midfield alongside David, soon got to grip with things and manged to break up play and create a few half chances for Dennis to run on to, who was holding up play well for Dylan on the overlap. However, Civil got the best over the opening exchanges and on the 10 minute mark there seem to be a flash point between there volatile striker who was ‘putting it about’ to say the least, and the 7s captain. With the striker seemingly trying to leave a late ‘shoulder’ on the old fella in the middle, he was rather surprised to bounce off and end up in a heap on the floor with a torn shirt to boot!
After an exchange of a few choice words and the young whippersnapper being put back in his box, the game resumed with Merton getting the better chances, Darcy once again pulling the strings in the middle, releasing the wingers down the flanks, slotted Malcolm in with just a player to beat managed to get into the 18 yard box and power his shot against the advancing goalkeeper, this could turn into a good day
However, on the 25minute mark and after a few self-inflicted mistakes, Civil managed to break the dead lock on a long ball through which up to this point, Darren seemed to be unbeatable, had no chance with the striker having a clean strike on goal
Half time, a few changes to freshen up the squad, Merton Started quickly and moved the ball around the midfield looking for a an opportunity to release the strikers, once again there was a coming together between there striker and the 7s captain in an aerial battle that was only going to be one winner, which the ref also agreed on
Merton was now having the best of the game, settled and passing the ball around well, Dennis once again causing Civil all sorts of problems, snapping at the heels of the midfield and defences, not giving them time on the ball, managed to create his self a great half chance, only to see the ball come off the crossbar, the resulting rebound being well cleared.
Try as we might, time run out and the game finished in a hard fought defeat, a draw maybe a fairer result, but we all know the game likes to kick you while you’re down.
MOTM: Split between Darren, Darcy, Dennis and David (So being the only 7s player, David)
DOTD: Andrew… by his own words, ‘a day to forget!
Civil Service 8 v Merton 7s Match 2
Now, with our record of not starting well after half time, who knows how we would react to a second game, this came apparent soon after the ending of the first game, looking spent and with over half the team sitting on the floor, it was going to be hard to motivate the team for the second game, in contrast, Civil was having a good team talk, clapping and rallying the troops, clearly far more up for the game than Merton
It did not take long for Civil to breach the rear guard, finally there striker decided to play a bit of football as opposed to gobbing off and trying to muscle himself around, ghosted pass the 7s midfield and was now having the freedom of the pitch.
Ripped apart, the game was all but over with only 30 minutes played, 6-0 down and with no real answer, the team had given it there all in the first game and completed folded in the second. This was without doubt the worse half the 7s have played all season.
Play for a bit pride was the cry at half time, with a further reshuffle, the 7s dragged themselves back on the pitch and looked to contain the damage that was already done. Darcy back on for the now spent David, seemed to galvanise the team and manged to get Noor released down the left wing on several occasions, and with Noor revelling in his battle with the oppositions number 6, got the better of him with a neat control and snap shot which just cleared the cross bar. With 15 minutes to play, Noor was having the better of the battle with his adversary and once again managed to skip round a challenge and get a great shot off, only to see it hit the side netting.
With the clock ticking down, Civil manged to put the game to bed with 2 quick finishes, with the full time whistle blown, it was a contrast on days, the first game was a close fought game, but the second be best left on the pitch and never spoken about again, expect for Noor, who seemed to have got a second wind and took the game to them.
MOTM: Noor, great show in the second half, expect to see him step up in the remaining games
DOTD: Team 7s
Darren, Scott, Tom R, Dan, Martin, Adam, Darcy, David ©, Andrew, Dennis, Dylan, Noor, Malcolm, Tom J, Anam, John, D