7s vs South Bank Cuaco – 07.04.18
Merton 7s v South Bank 7s
Off to the Extensions on a reasonable Saturday morning, the squad is a little light but with 3 of the 7 Merton fixtures called off at late notice, its with welcome arms we get PQ, Sam F & Frankie along to help out. Changed up and on the pitch, both teams warm up waiting for the ref to turn up… after much deliberation, its decide that we will have to do a half each, just like the previous fixture between these two teams, so up steps Steve B with whistle in hand!
Staring with the old fashion 4-4-2, Lee takes up the roll between the sticks, Ryan at right back, along side PQ and Joe in the centre, Martin making a start at left back. Midfield 4 of Andrew on the right, Sam & David © in the centre with Luke out left, leaving Billy & Niall to run around up front… waiting in the wings, Tom, Frankie (and Steve!)
As the game gets under way, its Merton who take the game to SB7s, with good possession and using the flanks well, its not to long before SB7s keeper is brought into action. Luke Billy & Niall working well to test the keeper early are unlucky only to get a corner for there hard work.
The first 25 minutes is manly the 7s probing and working the ball well from back to front, Joe & PQ calmly dealing with any attack, and with Lee mopping up any over hit balls for the overlap, however he comes off worse in a clash after a freak 1v1 with the SB7s forward, hobbling around, but keen to continue, play resumes
Composed, Ryan works the ball with Andrew down the right, some good passing and moving sees Niall collects a through ball and threads Billy in with only the keeper to beat, he waits and slots low and right to break the deal lock 1-0
Confidence is up, and Merton now take control, 3 or 4 attempts go begging, Billy sees a volley on the run from 16 yards go the wrong side of the post, Luke unlucky not to make contact after a great cross from Niall.
2 free kicks in space of 5 minutes after Niall, twice is kicked in the chest, brings no joy. Firstly, Niall whips a shot over the wall but directly at the keeper, the second sees Billy also beat the wall but again, not the keeper. As the half comes to an end, the 7s should be out of sight and looking at a resounding victory
Second half, SB7s turn to Ref and elect 3 players to roll on/off as no one player wanting to do the whole half. This played dividends to the game as it went from free flowing and well refed to indecision and late or no calls, which in turned frustrated some players.
Now, the 7s are losing their composure, SB7s become more of a threat, winning corners and testing the Keeper more often, with the added pressure and loss of the first have fluidity, it comes as no surprise when a lucky shot takes a wicked bounce over the out stretch, diving arm of the 7s keeper to bring the game to 1-1.
After controlling so much of the game, the 7s find themselves level pegging, undeterred, they try to get back on track, only for the SB7s to stall with ref changes and subs.. either way, the game is now becoming unbearable, after committing everyone but PQ and the keeper forward, the ball is punted forward for the SB7s unorthodox winger to latch onto… released and bearing down on the injured Lee, the dispatch shot takes the SB7s into the lead, 1-2.
After being informed there’s 23minutes left, them correct to 18 minutes, the 7s step the game up, questions are being asked as once again there’s subs and ref changes to be taken, gilt edge chances are missed, Billy with a header that is to well-placed beyond the keeper and the far post, Frankie, Niall, David are wasteful with half chances, SB7s keeper is now rolling around after each save in an effort to run the time down
Chance free kick inside the SB7s half see PQ launch a missile into the box, Merton swarm the area and its David who goes 1v1 with the SB7s keeper, like a bulldozer, David uses his strength to hold of several players to head the ball over the line and bring the game level at 2-2.
Now with 5 minutes to go, Merton 7s are back on top and looking for the win, however, a clear throw in is deemed to be the ‘other’ way as well as a stone walled corner in the dying minutes waved away as a goal kick, this sees South Bank hold on for a draw.
A point gained for SB7s, 2 points once again dropped by Merton 7s, regardless, the fact of the matter, South Bank dug in first half and was lucky to go in 1-0 down, second half they adjusted and got the ‘rub of the green’… as one player said, ‘now we go onto next week and continue the good work’
MOTM: Billy G – didn’t stop running and played some great football, unlucky not to have bagged ate least a hattrick
DOTD: Frankie… Running all the way across the pitch, screaming ‘my corner, my corner, my corner…’ (Corner ends up in the side netting!! LOL. )
Team: Lee, Ryan, PQ, Joe, Martin, Andrew, Sam F, David, Luke, Niall, Bill
Tom, Frankie, Steve