Author: Matt Haswell
1s Match Report vs NUFC Oilers
Well before going into detail about how Jimbo was wrongly given DOD. We’ll start with the result. The 1s lost. Again.
Yes, unfortunately the Boars recorded their third straight defeat of the season by going down 2-1 at home to NUFC Oilers. However, the difference to the previous two weeks, is that this result was 100% deserved.
Oilers arrived to the hood off the back of a 5-1 win against Bank of England, so on paper it was never going to be an easy task for the homeside. Things were then multiplied by the fact that the ever crippled H, pulled out of the warmup after suffering a knee injury in his sleep.
There’s no doubt the visitors enjoyed the better of the first half as Merton continued to give the ball away cheaply. But overall it was a defensive error that led to their opener. With no linesman at this level, you’re running a very risky game playing offside. But despite this, Jimbo raised his hand and advanced forward (leisurely, didn’t sprint like some claimed) to ensure the attacker was caught on the wrong-side. Unfortunately for everyone, 2020 signing, Aussie Sam Clayton, was stuck somewhere in downtown Sydney playing him onside. End result, 1-0.
Oilers would double their lead before the break as two of our four Sams, (Harvey & Slim Shady), failed to deal with a set piece delivery, providing the visitors with a well deserved two goal cushion at half time.
If you examined the post match stats and saw how many times the away side hit the woodwork in the final 45 you wouldn’t begrudge a 5-1 scoreline, but in the end things were far more nervy for the travelling side.
Merton certainly improved in the second half with the addition of Aussie Joel to central midfield. He began to dictate a more progressive style of play, even with the best attempts of Sam Pritchard to continuously give it away, not track his man and basically be useless.
Jonny Graham would get the home side back into it after their keeper kindly passed him the ball for some reason and then even more oddly decided to let in when Jonny passed him it back.
Very bizarre to watch for the spectators.
So now with only one goal in it, there was always hope for a final chance for Merton to get an equaliser. And that chance would come! A beautifully delivered cross from Joel to his compatriot Sam arriving at the back post (something they no doubt dreamt of in their pursuit of a better life on these shores), only for the right back to fluff his lines miserably and Oilers to take all three points back to Barnet.
So on reflection, another disappointing result for the 1st team, and I know what you’re thinking. How did this Aussie Sam lad not get DOD? Well readers, I just don’t know what to tell you.
First 11: Sam (Slim Shady), Aussie Sam, Jimbo, Rat, Aussie Max, Crusher, Sam Harvey, Old Josh, Jonny, Jamie, Rhys
Subs: Sam Pritchard, Clappers, Aussie Joel Injury List: H
Away day at Ally Pally. A fixture engraved into Merton folklore. En-route Browner wistfully regaled tales of famous afternoons where the Merton men scored 6 goals in promotion battles (after being reluctantly interrupted from his sudoku on the Victoria line). This year was different, 1 point on the board thus far, nervous gossip about a relegation battle was festering. Unquestionably, the new recruits (largely an Australian contingent) have had a positive influence for the Merton 1s. Yet despite the youthful talent, the ‘promise’ hadn’t converted to results. Today was the day that things had to change, and the wind of a blustery Ally Pally carried a distinct smell of optimism (or Jumbo’s Davidoff aftershave, £8.99 in a Boots sale bin near you). The opposition drew first blood, chanting in a barbaric style, akin to Spartan warriors, whilst the Merton men discussed Jonny’s choice of moisturiser, Aussie Sam’s promiscuity and Van’s 90’s boy band outfit. On the pitch was a different matter, the Merton men controlled the tempo from the off as the veteran’s turned back the clock. A back-handed remark of ‘This is the best Van’s played in 3 years’ was a fair and just shout from a Merton defender who shall remain nameless (see Sudoku comment above). All of this promise culminated in a cross field ball from Van, that was caressed over the top of the overly enthusiastic Ally Pally keeper by Merton’s Lothario, Jonny Graham. The man with the Midas touch soon doubled his tally by scuffing his first touch then smashing home from 6 yards. After more sustained pressure, Jonny again whipped a glorious ball onto the head of the impressive Rhys who’d decided to have a break from cuddling the Ally Pally centre back and headed home beyond the less an impressive goal keeper. 30 minutes on the clock, 3-0 and time for Clappers to ‘go nuclear’ (otherwise known as bringing Sam H and Glenn on). A majestic flick round the corner and a couple of good attempts on goal from the substitutes justified the early changes. The second half began scrappy and Ally Pally managed to scramble a goal back via a cross from the left flank and a firm finish from the right winger from inside 10 yards. A forgettable 45 minutes brought a few good chances for the Merton men and some heated remarks aimed at the referee resulted in a sin bin for the opposition’s CM. The DoD vote was ultimately issued to a player that despite having a positive influence on the game, lost his footing whilst chasing their ‘Messi-esque’ winger and ended up crawling through the centre circle like a spoilt toddler. MoM was correctly issued to Jonny Graham. Onwards to next week where we can see if Joel can learn to EG a pint and the Merton men can continue their climb towards the top of the league. Yours for the Boars, Sam
Merton 5s 3 – 1 Old Blues 4s – I’m getting board of losing (Warning: This match report has been rated PG. May contain some innuendos) The result and performance against South Wank the previous week as well as the semi-final were both outrageously poor, and coming into this game we knew that another loss and poor performance would only risk our season descending into nothingness. We still arrived in decent spirits, albeit you could mistake our pre-match preparation for a little too much lethargy! With Dobson managing to smash the ball in his own face whilst going for goal in the warm up (only twice) and Clive the Seal trying to juggle 2 balls at once, missing one and getting megged by the other (that’s a pound), the concentration levels were not at their highest. In swooped Ackerz, with his tough talkin’ geezer like attitude and, crucially, his board. In a not too socially distant way, we gathered around as he went through the tactics and where on the pitch he wanted us. There were arrows flinging about, interchanges being discussed, shuffling about and covering arrangements but at its core, a simple instruction of “I want you four to attack, and you six to defend”. And with that, the four attackers started attacking them from the off! It paid dividends very early on when Dwayne picked up the ball in the centre and saw the run of Bitmead. Unscuffed this week, he played a through ball which Bitmead ran onto. With plenty of time, he calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0. Confidently, we went all dominatrix on them and asserted ourself on the game (no lude connotations intended). Dulanjie had a great opportunity to slap us even further ahead. A great ball over the top found this match reporter on the left, who took it down and tried to spin (emphasis on the ‘tried’). Once circled round like a freight train (maybe I should get one of those annoying lorry bleepy things that tells you when it’s turning left or right) the opportunity to shoot had closed. So unselfishly (take note Bitgreed!) laid it back to Dulanjie. He slapped the ball with some sort of appendage – he says right leg but it can often be difficult to tell – and was heading for the far corner. The keeper pulled off a worldie of a save, and fair play to him. Unlucky. In dominatrix school I imagine that the instruction is to not let up when you get on top, but just keep riding, and that’s what we did. Between this match reporter and Bitmead we had an abundance of efforts and I can’t remember what way round it went! One of Scotty’s huge, long balls flew in my general direction with pinpoint accuracy. I took a touch which made the angle tighter and trying to smash it into the roof of the net, I missed it quite substantially. Then (I think) this match reporter picked the ball up a few minutes later and slipped one through to BItmead. With no other option he smashed it with his left, although a little too close to the keeper. Shortly after that (I think) Pete picked up the ball in the middle, and chipped it through. Controlling it on my shoulder, again taking me wider of the target, I again smashed the ball over on the half volley. Then (I think) the ball went to Bitgreed in the middle. 20-30 yards from goal, he declined the option to play it through (of course) to take the shot on. It sailed unusually wide from the target. Somewhere in the middle of all of this, we managed to score a very good goal. The ball got worked up through the channels and midfield like we were Barcelona – but the good Barcelona, not the terrible one from this season. It went to Peteiesta who played an inch perfect through ball. Lionel Bitti then rounded the keeper and cooly, calmly and arrogantly rolled it in from a tight angle to make it 2-0. Wonderful, beautiful, and I can only imagine Ackerz’ excitement from the side as we cruised into a 2-0 victory. Even Scotty B was then trying to get in on the act! A corner from Bitmead managed to evade everyone and get through to the back post. Stretching, Scott poked a toe at it and got enough power to send it bobbling towards goal. Unfortunately their defender on the line just about managed to sort his feet out and scramble the ball away. It started to feel like it might not be our luckiest of days when we did get out third breakthrough. A huge boot up from George looked innocent enough. Unfortunately for them though, the chuckle brothers in defence couldn’t make their minds up. “To you”, said one to another with his eyes, responded to by a “to you” from the other. “To me, thank you very much” said Bitmead as he pinched it on the other side of the defence and ran through on goal. He poked it past the keeper for 3-0. A Bittrick! The only blight in the first half was one mix up I. Defence where we failed to shuffle to fill a gap. They had some rare time in midfield and found the man who ran through. Like a racehorse our the traps, George moved to close him down. He smothered the effort and we just about managed to clear it up. Perhaps unrealistic to expect we would get through a whole half without conceding a chance but good of us to give George something to do!! “What the fudge” said the gaffer at half time (albeit a different word – this is a mostly family friendly match report). “You’re doing what I asked!” It must be a rather new feeling as we haven’t really been doing so I. Preseason or last week. I blame the board! A particular moment which erected Ackerz’ appreciation was the nonchalant bodying off the ball that D did to regain control, the poor little fella! The instruction was more of the same in the second half. 3-0 up and actually it wouldn’t have been an inaccurate representation if we would have been 8 or 9 up. And more of the same it could not be, as the wind had turned against us (I imagine doninatrix school probably doesn’t account for wind). So we turned from a free-flowing good-Barcelona esque performance to more of a Steve Bruce’s Newcastle – gritty and playing on the counter. In fairness our midfield kept their attacks mostly at bay and when they did get through, Scott actually had stuff to do defensively. We continued to get into decent positions offensively with slightly less regularity than the second half, but did not make the most of them which culminated in a very wild effort of a cross by this match reporter at the end of the game which missed all of our players by about a mile! But we were gritty, kept in there and battled in a way that we haven’t for a short while. About 15-20 minutes into the half, we did see our lead reduced. In truth I can’t remember what happened but in my mind it was a free kick we failed to clear and someone poked it away. Either way I do remember it was a poor goal to concede and likely to become a huge test of our character. Our one clear cut opportunity fell to the one person you’d hope it would. The ball played through to Bitmead with their defence hopelessly claiming offside, presumably because they couldn’t be bothered to run anymore, meant Bitmead had the freedom of joseph hood. As he approached the goal he flicked at the ball rather than lace it like he usually does or place it as he did for the Bittrick. It bobbled into the side betting and that surely would have finished it odd. We defended really well with one very small exception. With a through ball looking to cause us no problems whatsoever, Stormzy’s feet ended up more like a ballet dancer than a footballer and the ball squirmed past him to put their winger through on goal. The shot was excellent but the save from George was even better. The anticipation to get across and get a finger to it to divert it wide showed exactly why he’s in goal for us instead of a defender coming up to score for us every time we have a corner! With that the game petered out and a cracking 3-1 win confirmed. If there’s anything we need to do better next week it’s just to put the ball in the net more when we get the chances – this match reporter included! There were so many really good performances and the team does deserve a mention (although not a nomination for ‘the team’ for MOTM please – that’s just disgusting). Scott was unusually quiet which is testament to Dwayne, 10 minute Tigz and Clive who won that midfield all hands down). Stormzy when he came on looked like he had never been away, especially coming on for the only moment in the game when we were under pressure. Dobz and Chris were again solid at full back. Perhaps our biggest benefactors of the board were our forwards and D could have had a goal and a couple of assists, Pete ran that number 10 position getting on the ball and playing it earlier (mostly) having his best game for the 5s for a while with one assist and should have been 2 more. Our man of the match though had to be Bitmead. If he would have got two Bittricks this season and not got man of the match for either that would have been criminal!! Well done lads. They showed in the second half they weren’t too bad a team but we made them look it in the first half. let’s take this momentum into the game against civil service 9s
First Team Match Report vs HSBC The Southern Amateur Division 2 kicked off on Saturday for the 1’s as we welcomed old foes HSBC to the Hood. Even with Covid restricting the late Summer vacations we still only managed to patch together 12 names on the team sheet. Sam Harvey given the starting berth on the bench following an exhausting Cricket season. Clappers made a rather bold decision to switch pitches to the less playable and slightly larger pitch which meant Niall’s pink box training drills from Wednesdays session went out the window and we were back to plan A of lump it forward and hope for the best. Luckily for us, George’s University has closed their campus so plan A wasn’t a bad shout. The game started fast with HSBC, profiting with an offseason promotion following the shock folding of Carshalton, being particularly buoyant out of the blocks and winning most of the early possession. A HSBC corner after about 10 minutes was the best opportunity of the early exchanges and with VAR not in action in the SAL HSBC can feel hard done by that they weren’t profiting from a goal mouth scramble as it looked as though the ball had gone well over the line. Well cleared by Harrison. Following the shock Rat got the back four going and H and Max in the middle started to get control of the game. Browner, seemingly having learnt to throw the ball during lockdown, was causing all sorts of pressure down the left with his inch perfect long throws. One of these was elegantly brought down by Josh who turned sharply and released George down the left wing. George beat his man for pace, then again with some skill, before cutting in and finishing well from an acute angle. A brilliant solo goal which merited his starting place even though he turned up with no socks or shin pads 10 minutes before KO. Glenn was dragged shortly after, Clappers protecting a prized asset who was clearly carrying the cobwebs of Aiya Napa, and Sam Harvey was on with a point to prove (spoiler alert he didn’t prove his point). A couple of good half chances fell to the wrong man on the edge of the box (Aussie Max) and we were in at half time one up. Lots of pats on the back for the back four and some good chat from Clappers about the need for a positive start to the second half fell on deaf ears. Within 3 minutes the dangerous no5, picked out before KO as he scored two against last season in the cup, was free 30 yards out and let off a rocket into the the top bins. A proper contender for goal of the season. Sound System Sam in goal no hope. 1-1 Aussie Sam, Rat, Jimbo and Browner then shut out HSBC. Snapping into tackles, dominating in the air and bullying the HSBC frontline. I don’t think HSBC had another chance, an even game was just waiting for its moment… That moment came on the 80th minute. Aussie Max going down in heap with a scream to win a penalty. Up stepped Josh, confident, ready to deliver and with the crowd on his side. What happened next cemented his nickname in Merton folklore, old fat shit Josh literally rolled the ball into the keepers arms for what must be the worst penalty witnessed at the Hood for many a season. The players, the GK, the fans and even the ref were shocked. So much so the final whistle should have been blown then because the next 10 minutes were spent with confused men trying to comprehend that penalty miss rather than winning the game. Final result Merton 1-1 HSBC MOM – Jimbo. Yes you read that right. DOD – Old fat shit Josh. All 11 votes. Our next opponents are Old Finchleians in the league.
Merton 6XIv Bank of England5XI
The clocks have gone forward and spring has spring, unfortunately they have forgot to tell the weather as arriving at the Hood it looked bleak with one pitch up, heavy cloud cover a cold wind and a hint of rain.
The team start to assembly being a combination of 3s, 5s, & 6s all in good sprites with the usually pre-match banter. A few players debating if they will last the full 90 Mins because of injury and/or lack of fitness however this was too much of an issue with 14 players, but wait Tom Johnson messaged in at 1.30 he was going to making it.
Out on the pitch we when through a full warm route to test the various aches ad pains with everybody declaring themselves ok to start. Which we did well and in an attacking mode with the usually 4-3-3 formation, with James & Lewis wide & Peter O in the middle. We had the B of E on the back foot and create many chances unfortunately without finishing any of them until Lofty hit a shot from 30 yards with plenty of top side so that hit the cross bouncy down & up a couple of time before crossing the line.
At this point B of E finally woke up and start to get through our midfield and they final won a corner, which we initially cleared but didn’t shut down the player 30 yards out who hit cleaned into the top right corner of the net, B of E have a video as proof as even they could believe that there player could hit a shot that well.
The rest of the half we created more chance which we turned into half chance with Pete & James being wayward with their shooting whilst the B of E were limited to long range efforts that generally when wide.
In the 2nd things didn’t change much although B of E did come back into the game however their goalkeeper was the busier but we couldn’t score. Eventually the B of E managed to pull our defence out of shape and they deliver an inch prefer cross for the centre forward to volley home from 8 yards. There 3rd came with 15 minutes left a free kick from 30 yards that deflected off Lewis’s shoulder over Martin.
The last 15 minutes was spent in the Bank’s half but we couldn’t score. It was a disappointing result but we did keep trying.
Last Week’s MOM Martin Quinlan was back in his regular position for this season Goalie and had a quiet and cold afternoon for his 900th game for Merton having one shot to save but had no chance with the 3 Goals. In fact, spent a lot of the last 15 mIns on the half way line. In 900 games the B of E have been the most regularly Martin has played against. Onwards to 1000 games.
The Central defensive of Neil & Kevin a solid games with Neal being our start player. As for the DOD there were several candidates James & Peter for missing many good chances, Ryan with his powerful throw ins which force Lewis off the pitch and Luke to have a poor first touch when he came on and several players for getting frustrated and need speaking to the by the referee. James offer his performance for DOD but by a split decision it when to Tom for not turning up.
The most stupid moment was when the B of E very large Centre handled the ball with 5 mins left. He wasn’t even booked!
Martin Q, Kevin L, Matt H., James E., Lewis R., Aaron A., Chris O., Simon W (Lofty), Ryan B., Pete O-A., Neil D., Subs Luke N., Marcus P.
MoM – Neil Davison
DoD – Tom Johnson
Civil Service 8s v Merton 6s
Spring has sprung, away to Civ 8 in sunny Chiswick, only a 2-hour journey through all the road works, still could be worse… after all the rain at the hood last week and witnessing 3 ducks swimming on pitch one, it’s nice to get out and about
Testing week to get the players out, going from 18 to 9 with in a day, and then a frantic ring round to get cover after one particular player though it would be funny to make themselves available even though they were not even on the same continent !! but more on that later ..
A rare outing for MQ at left back as we get a cameo from Lenners between the sticks, Steve B at left back with Haydn and Tom centre, Midfield of Niall, Phil and Dobby with the usual 3 of DG, Lewis and James up front.. Joe making a late appearance starts on the bench
Game starts with the 6s on the front foot, looking fresh after 3 weeks without a game, the passing is a bit erratic but still ahead of the C8 who seem to slow out the blocks and making a few unforced errors. Steve B after a few moments of madness on the ball (a good to many ‘HAVE IT!’ moments) starts to compose himself and settles the back line and begins to finally play out form the back. A good passage of play between the back 4 and midfield, which could have been more than 15/20 uninterrupted passes, unfortunate breaks down, but it’s a good sign and something that’s been requested all season (and they wait till the final few games to show their stuff!!)
Well on top and only some poor finishing keeps the score at 0-0, 6s finally yields a bit of luck, Niall once again a wizard with the left foot, sets James off down the wing and into the box for the shot, beats the keeper but is blocked, DG following up with a 50/50 that sees the ball cleared by the keeper, onto DG and looks to be going out for a throw, MQ chases down the loose ball and has time to roll a yard or two forward and without doubt, sees the keeper still struggling to get back, launches a shot back in the mix from all of 40 yards, the keeper trying his best to reach but is still a good foot or so short as the ball sails over the out stretched arm, even evades the 2 centre backs who also try to make a clearance just as the ball dips under the ball and in the goal for 0-1 lead. MQ is already standing with both arms in the air and is rightly mobbed by everyone of the 6s, to congratulate him on his first goal since his 84th birthday 10 years or so ago!
Not much more to report first half, think everyone was to ecstatic for Mr Merton himself!!
2nd half, MQ is replaced for Joe D as we can’t risk the old boy getting a 2nd, god knows what all the excitement would do to his heart, as well as muted claim to a starting spot up front!! (worried look over shoulder form el’cappo there!!)
Bit slower out the blocks but still on top, however, C8 are more organised and unluckily to go 2 behind. Steve B puts in a corner, straight on the money, which sees a mass scrabble between C8 players to clear (6s I think was quite amused to the thrashing around to clear the ball and stood and watched!) the first clearance hits the back of a C8 player that sees the ball roll towards the line, keeper try’s to claim it, only for the centre back to ‘hoof one clear’, again hitting the back of a c8 player, onto the shin of the left back and then the knee of the right back (ok, might have made some of this up, but its more or less right!!).. and roll over the line for 0-2 and coasting…
Attention now turns to Lenners, after a fantastic first half (forgot to mention the bit about Lee jumping around like a salmon and catching the ball without any pressure around him… BUT on landing belly first, sees the ball slips from his mitts and luckily to Haydn to clear!) .. being slightly off his line by 20 yards or so, for most of the 2nd half, it was only a matter of time before someone chances the lob and one C8 player does, from inside the centre circle, still… Lee looked to have the ground covered as he back peddled, but was unfortunate not to be the required 6ft 8inches tall to tip the chance over the crossbar… and once again lays on the floor like a fish… out of water! 1-2
With chances still coming thick and fast, its bad luck and good defending that keeps the 6s from going ahead, tiredness creeping in on both teams and some good football on show. The counter attacks are scooped up by Tom and Haydn and it looks like an away win is on the cards.
A counter attack by C8 down the right sees the ball cut in and still 25/30 yards out, C8 take a first time toe punt which goes like a rocket, Lenners, although is the right position this time, cant do much about it as the ball manages to go between the out stretched fingers and the underside of the bar to bring the game level 2-2.
The 6s let a game slip and was cruising, and with the remaining 10 minutes or so, can’t convert any more chances, the whistle blows just as a final attack was getting in the 18-yard box, but in the end, its 2 points dropped as opposed to a point gained
Nice day out, and our final away game of the season sees us with only 2 losses on the road, a far better improvement on last year. We now have a further week off before we welcome B0E to the hood, weather and ducks permitting
MOTM: MQ… who else after that goal
DOTD: Close call on Lenners the fish, but Steve H for dicking around with availability late in the week and causing a headache trying to get cover
Merton Under 10s vs Old Isleworthians Youth Whites
31st March 2019 – Under 10s report
It was a cold Sunday morning at Joseph Hood Rec and this was the last game of the season. Spring has officially arrived but the biting wind reminded us that Winter was not finished with us yet. As the boys warmed up with their customary pre-match Rondo, parents on the side-lines simply shivered. Personally, I could have done with a hipflask but I know that is frowned upon at 9.30 in the morning.
Today’s opponents, were Old Isleworthians Youth who arrived in ones and twos; at one point it looked as if they would struggle to make up their numbers. They did manage to get a full team out.
The first half commenced with Merton playing left to right on the back up pitch.
During the first few minutes, Merton played with good energy levels and work rate. They made the better start and were in the ascendancy. Good pressure from them meant that they were creating more clear-cut chances; there was also some lovely one touch football on display.
With 15 minutes gone, Dave went on a run, rounded two defenders and slotted in off the right-hand post.
One nil to Merton!
Old Isleworthians were determined to react positively to conceding and played themselves more into the game. Merton were turning the ball over and Old Isleworthians were growing in confidence.
Twenty minutes played, Merton failed to clear after Old Isleworthians’ first corner. When the ball broke loose, it was lashed into the bottom left of Max’s goal.
1 all. Game on!
Max was called upon to make a couple of good saves to keep Merton on level terms.
Twenty- three minutes gone, great footwork from Faris, then a run and shot that hit the post. Close!
After 24 minutes, following their second corner, Old Isleworthians scored with a good shot to the top left of Max’s goal.
Moments later the referee blew for half time.
The second half started with Merton kicking right to left.
Merton put their opponents under pressure as they went in search of the equaliser.
7 minutes played, after a shot from Dave is parried, Percy slots home from close range.
Merton had worked hard to get back on level terms and their efforts had been rewarded. The game became more open and both sides created chances. It seemed as if the next goal would be decisive.
When the next goal came, after 19 minutes, it followed the best passing move of the game. A succession of crisp first-time passes by Merton ended with Louis assisting Maxwell who shot low to the bottom left corner of the Old Isleworthians’ goal. It went in.
What a great team goal!
3-2 to Merton!
Old Isleworthians were not finished yet, they created more chances. Excellent defensive work from Harry, Ollie, Joe, Rio, Dave and Max kept them out.
Would Merton be able to hold on for the win?
Yes, was the answer. In the end, the win appeared comfortable because of what happened just before full-time.
With 24 minutes played, Louis and Maxwell exchanged passes on the left-hand side of Old Isleworthians’ penalty area. Maxwell looked ready to return the ball to Louis but instead he curled a shot into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. It went in.
4-2 to Merton
Moments later the referee blew for full time.
A very good win to end the season. Well done boys!
Maxwell was awarded Man of The Match.
After the match, the team said goodbye to Joe and wished him well for next season.
Special shout-out to Bobby who was unable to play today.
Author: Mike Pitt
Bedfont Eagles U10s vs Merton U10s
It was a warm and sunny spring morning which greeted the Merton boys on their final away day trip of the 2018/19 season.
The match kicked off and Merton were straight on the front foot leading to David having two shots at goal in quick succession. With Chell watching on he looked set for another string performance.
After 8 mins Merton were rewarded with the opening goal after a lovely two touch passing move through half of the side. Louis crossed for Rio to slide in and score.
This was soon followed by a nice run from Dave but his cross was cleared.
This didn’t discourage him and he followed up by sending over a great cross which was brilliantly headed in by Percy to make it 2-0 after 11mins.
The boys were into their stride now and Joe was getting well in to the game. Some good play between Dave, Louis and Rio led to another shot and another good save from the Bedfont keeper who looked very solid despite the goals.
Suddenly Merton made an inexplicable mix up at the back and let an easy chance go in for 2-1. Then, as if that wasn’t disappointing enough, bam: another quick Bedfont attack and 2-2 after some good passing.
Back on level terms the boys needed to redouble their efforts. But Bedfont had the next chance and it took a sprint from Max in goal to get back just in time to save a shot on the line.
Some more good play and shots from Merton came and the Bedfont keeper was equal to much of it with strong saves. He was starting to look like one of the best keepers we have seen this season.
Bedfont broke again and Dave slid in and the ref awarded a free kick. Bedfont strung some passes together from this and their striker somehow squeezed the ball in under Max for 3-2. Shocked!
Half time blew and it was 3-2 down we went in.
The second half kicked off and Merton were on the front foot again with some good play. Suddenly Max made a superb save after dashing out to meet a Bedfont break. Then the ball broke to left and Farris put Percy through for a superb finish and 3-3. Percy was having one of his best games today.
He won the ball again on the right and played across the pitch to Louis who passed to Farris resulting in a shot and save.
Another good move followed with Joe shooting and the keeper coping out to save. He really was looking for a man of the match performance. Bobby was playing deeper than usual for much of the match but still found himself involved in many moves and using his strength and control to break up play.
Next Merton broke through and Rio was brought down for a penalty on the edge of the box. He took it himself and it was now 3-4 to Merton.
Merton continued to miss lots of chances and the Bedfont keeper continued to make good saves. Olly was starting lots of moves from the back and playing a one-two where there was an opening. Nice to see training being taken into the match.
The superb Bedfont keeper now went off injured after an innocuous challenge at the end of his 5-star performance. This took 3 mins of delay but the ref found a whole lot more time extending the game well after the requisite 25 min half.
This game Bedfont the opportunity to draw level but in the end it was Merton who extended their lead as Rio played in Percy who took his hat trick under the keeper for 5-3 with another cool finish. What a game he had played.
The final whistle blew and Percy was awarded man of the match for Merton. The boys seemed to have learned from their previous surprise defeats in games where the opposition took advantage of lapses and Merton did not convert chances. This was a mature and committed win.
Well done to all!
Esher Yellows U10s vs Merton U10s
Sunday 10th March 2019
This was an early kick off in Thames Ditton with a mild and sunny morning. The need for winter wrap-up came from strong winds which cut through all who ventured out. As the parents sheltered next to the boundary fence the boys kicked off.
Today Harry was missing due to his commitments to charity fund raising for the Marsden march and Bobby stepped in.
Merton were kicking into the wind for the first half and struggled to reproduce their best form. Playing 1 at the back in Olly the wide players needed to drop back when needed and be more mobile than usual. Olly was working as hard as ever and marshalling the team from the back.
Somehow they struggled to get going and Esher grabbed 2 quick goals to go 2-0 up. They were also missing chances with some wild shooting which helped keep Merton in the match. Suddenly
Merton broke and Percy, Joe and Rio passed the ball forwards right through the middle of the pitch and Rio finished with aplomb to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
This was a short respite as Esher continued to create chances and took their next after 20 minutes to make it 3-1. The boys didn’t get themselves down and from the next corner the ball was floated
over for Louis to volley home from close range for 3-2.
The ref blew for half time and Neal and Roy got the boys together for their customary coaching talk.
The second half started and Merton were now kicking with the wind behind them and it was Esher who were struggling to clear their lines. Nonetheless they got the next goal as Merton were caught short at the back and it was now 4-2 to the home side.
Rio was having a good game and he was played through again mid-way through the second half and took his chance again to make it 4-3. Merton now had some momentum and the next couple of opportunities were missed. Bobby, Louis, Farris, Rio and Percy all had chances but none found the back of the net.
Then Percy took a pot shot from outside the box and the keeper fell on the ball and much to the consternation of the home team the ref blew for the goal as he adjudged the ball to have crossed the line. 4-4 and it was all to play for in the last few minutes.
Sadly for Merton there was to be a winner and not for them. Esher broke again 2 minutes from the end and Merton could not get the block in and 5-4 it went.
Merton had another chance to level through Percy but the keeper blocked it and sent the ball out as the final whistle blew.
Another one that got away and some learning for the boys from this narrow loss.
Rio earned a deserved man of the match award for his all-round attitude, directness and goal scoring.
Old Sal’s Rev v Merton 6s
A month without a game for the 6s and missing a few of the regulars as we welcome OSR back to the hood to host their home game. With a 2oc ko and only 9 players turning up for the oppo, game gets delayed till 2:15. The 6s however, having the likes of Neal D, Dennis Z, Roma B available, for selection, helps the cause against a very good footballing team in Old Sal’s Reserves
Finally getting the game on the way, the 6s start like a team that haven’t played in a while, long balls punted up front, no calling or tracking of runners, no surprise that OSR take the lead early on, with some slick passing, down the wing and into the box, it was like a training game as MQ is exposed to a 1v1 at close quarters, with the ball ending up in the net 1-0
Not learning from the mistakes, OSR almost double the lead on several occasions, only for some last ditch tackling and woeful finishing, the score remains 1-0. The 6s start to get themselves into the game. Some meek and tame attacks result in a few corners, James’s deliveries from the right creates chances, but no one can convert and OSR clear their lines
Although getting on top, its OSR who double the lead against the run of play. Breaking away, and playing the neat short passes, it’s a simple one/two into the box, resulting in a low cross being put into an empty net as MQ tried to close the gap down. 2-0
Merton turn it up a notch, the tackles are going in thick, OSR are now able to slow play down with each foul awarded, the casual approach is there own undoing as the centre backs take to many touches and are robbed by the quick thinking Lewis, whose first shot is saved by the keeper, but the rebound hits him on the shin and rolls into an empty net, a bit of luck, but its welcome 2-1. As the game approaches half time, the 6s are more on top and look to grab the equaliser with only the odd half chance, however its 2-1 at the break
Some changes to be made, Ryan B for Andrew D, Dennis for Steve H and Chapple for Iain, the 6s start the half with a little more zip in the game. Trying to get the ball down and play through the midfield brings a couple of chances, Lewis and DG both being denied by the keeper
OSR still threaten to extend the lead, and one again its more the fact the shots are off target that keeps the score at 2-1. With MQ doing more miles retrieving the ball from each shot, it takes Tom to place the kick and rush the pass while MQ is still behind the goal. With 60 yards of open spaced and 7 white tops to hit… he somehow manages to pass to the only red top on the edge of the area! Surprised is an understatement as he controls the ball and takes a touch or two, looking unsure that play is continuing, and rolls the ball in for 3-1!! The goal is greeted by stunned silence from the 6s, and laughter from OSR, as no one can quite believe what has happened..!
A quick change see Lewis go off with a calf strain and Dennis back on up front
So, the good work at the start of the half is undone, nevertheless, the 6s carry on pressing and soon rewarded for some good play. DG winning the ball and passing out wide to James, who hits the by-line and once again whips in a cross that’s sees Dennis at the back stick rise above the centre backs and hammer a header home from 6 yards, 3-2
Tails up, but still second best to some of the football being played by OSR, the 6s have to dig in deep against the quick counter attack and the fast, damaging passing
A good passage of play by the 6s, Neal putting a shift in, wins the ball, Steve H to DG who puts James out wide to run at the left back, the coming together sees the ball go out for a goal kick. OSR keeper places the ball but passes straight to James. James, bemused by the pass looks back and shrugs.. The Ref waves play on and James rounds the stationary keeper and slots home. OSR protest, saying the keeper thought it was a corner, but the ref, who at one point seemed to agree, couldn’t change the fact that it was still a goal, the protest resulted in a sin bin and a few sulky faces
So, with a comical second half coming to a close, both teams have a chance to nick the winner in the ‘ding-dong’ closing seconds, but it finishes 3-3. A bit harsh on the home team, but the 6s made their own luck and for once, got a reward. Next week, a home game that is in fact a home a game and not an away game played at home!
Bank of England come to the hood, the last outing was a hard fought 2-2 draw, with the 6s coming back from 2-0 down in the last 10 minutes. Hopefully, we can carry some of today’s luck over to next week
MOTM: James, made one, bought one and run all day. But some mention to Neal D, had a great game in the middle as well as Lewis, who run himself into the ground for an hour, chasing everything and making his chances.
DOTD: An easy one this week… Tom J..
Team: MQ, Ryan B, Iain E, Tom J, Steve B, Dennis Z, Roma B, Neal D, James E, Lewis R, DG ©
Mark C, Steve H, Andrew D