Match Report

Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s

After a few mish mash friendlies which included a 3-2 v SBC, an epic 8-5 v CS8 and a game that will never be mentioned again…! It would accumulate in the father & son of Goldings to be 2 a piece in the pre-season.

The closed season has seen a few changes to the squad, notably in the management roll where Dan Alley stepped down after a very good 2016/17 debut season and sees the 7s captain David Golding step up to the management roll. First job for the new manager was securing his no2, which see the very youthful looking Steve Burchell finally coming home to the 7s. To complete the new look management, we have Martin Quainton in as 7s Director of football!

Squad changes have seen Tom R, Adam E and Noor leave, although rumour has it that one may be retuning. The loss of Malcolm to injury in preseason was a blow but happy to report he should be back before the end of year, Kieran signing full time for the 7s in a coup by Dan before stepping down, further in comings are Marvin (although still carrying a knock and has yet to do a full 90), Jacob, Luke, Daban and Billy who hopes to be over his injuries that kept him out for most of last year’s campaign, comes back into the fold

The start of the SAL cup season which see us grouped with Old Wilsons 8, Sales 3rd and for some reason Corinthian Casuals under 21!! We get our new season on the way against the OW8s.

Nothing like a 1230ko to open the season, the 7s turning up in force and only missing Marvin & Malcolm to injury, Martin to another triathlon (remarkable effort…) and the late drop out of Daban due to work, still sees the 7s with 13. With Kieran between the sticks and a back four of Josh (last year’s players player of the season) Dan, Mark Chappell of the 6s on his debut trial (rumour has it, he may be available in the January transfer window once the 6s drop out of Europe!) and Steve ‘don’t call me Burchell’ Burchell at left back, we start with a strong back 5. Going with three in midfield of the new signing Jacob on the right, El Capo David in the centre and Tom J on the left and three up front of Billy centre flanked by Denzel and Luke, we kick off in the early afternoon sunshine

Early exchanges see the 7s get into the swing of things and with a very composed back four, stroke the ball around comfortable with not much pressure form the oppo. So, bedding in the new signings and getting everyone a touch, the opening 10 minutes see’s the 7s go close with Luke and Billy getting onto some good though balls and crosses. Pushing forwarded, the 4-3-3 soon switched to a 4-4-2 with Denzel switching to the left wing in front of Steve to give him cover, the change looked to have worked straight away, with once again Luke going close.

With all the possession going with the 7s and the centre backs calmly clearing up any threat, it takes a single effort from Billy Golding to steel the ball after an error from the OW8s keeper, comfortable rounding him and slamming in form a tight angle to give the 7s a deserved lead with 20minutes played.

The remaining of the half sees the 7s dominate, with only the odd lap of concentration from the centre mids (as pointed out by BURCHELL) almost gifting the OW8s an equaliser, we go in to the break 1-0 up

Half time sees Denzel, who had a strong defensive game on the left wing, make way for Scott to join Billy up front and Luke to drop on to the left wing in a more attacking roll, the 2nd half kicks off in more of the same. 7s dominate from kick off and grow in confidence, some great first-time touches from the midfield see any threat from OW8s quickly snuffed out and soon defence turns into attack. With 10 minutes gone in the second half, a further change is made, with Dan making way for Andrew ‘Dobby’ Dobson joining the David in centre midfield, but as an attacking mid, and Tom dropping into centre back, Dobby instantly gets involved with attack 

OW8s still pressing wins a corner which is cleared up fielded to Billy, who.. still in his own half, takes on the OW8s defence in a foot race, Jacob on the right wing provides back up as Billy sprints past the OW8s defence and comes 1 on1 with the keeper, still at pace, the keeper rushes out as Billy takes a sweet knuckle shot, which see the keeper get a strong glove on the ball at full stretch, a good save from a great shot, but fortunately the advance Jacob is there to smash the ball home for a 2-0 lead

This spurs the 7s on more, now cutting the OW8s apart with fluent passing, even the watching Merton FC seemed to be impressed with the 7s performance. This sees Steve B slotting a perfect through ball to Billy who timed his run perfectly, only for the ref to pull the game back for offside, which would have surely been a goal… and Billy, wouldn’t have to wait long for another opportunity

Another OW8s attack was broken down by David, muscling the ball off the oppo outside the 18 yard box, skipping through 3 players challenges and pushing forward, Billy starts a run form deep and is released with a defence cutting pass from the old boy, Billy latches on with only the keeper to beat, this time Billy makes no mistake, sending a powerful shot that goes in of the post for 3-0

A further defensive cutting pass from Mark to Billy, these old boys in the 7s have a cracking range of passing, results in another great save, soon followed up by a double shot form Scott at close range, which seemed to be harder to miss than score, but in fairness, it was the OW8s ‘Glove Man’ that was only keeping the score respectable.

A further corner won by the attacking two, finally see’s Mark & David get there timing right, with Steve whipping in a cross to the near post, David beats the defender in the air to flick past the keeper for 4-0 (and his 4 goals in 5 games scored from corners must be mentioned!) 

The remaining minutes of the game, sees the 7s comfortable run out winners, with better finishing the score could have been double figures, but this will be something that can be worked on. Special mention to Kieran who basically had 1 shot to deal with and only about 6 touches in the whole game, and to the new lads who got there first game under the belt for the new season.

Saturday sees the 7s away to Sales 3rd who lost 4-3 to CCU21. With their reserves having no game Saturday, we expect a strong opposition to turn out in what is the 2nd group game in our pool

MOTM: Tight voting between Josh and Billy, but Billy takes it for his 2 well taken goals and energy all over the pitch. One to look out for this season

DOTD: Fair play to Steve to nominate himself ahead of David (Some wonderful passing, as well as woeful!) for his run of his own half, and shot from 25/30 yards… which rolled about 2 yards ahead of him (other than giving us that laugh, had an immense game with Mark C at the back)

Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Mark, Steve, Jacob, Tom, David, Denzel, Billy, Luke

Scott, Andrew

Posted in Match Reports 7s