Merton 2s, usually as steady on the road as Prince Phillip, nevertheless arrived in Dulwich with a full squad, full hearts, and, in Gibbo’s case, a full belly.

Dan ‘The Tinkerman’ Rist, the Ole Gunnar Solskjær to Willgoss’ Alex Ferguson, had ruminated long and hard over how to get the best out of his erratic team and ultimately decided on 4-3-1-2 – a narrow but attacking formation. Esoteric down to the last detail, Risty looked at the oldest person in the squad and said ‘you run the channels all day long’. Top management.

Much like Haydn on a night out, though, sometimes football’s simply a numbers game. Merton 2s had tried many different formations this year in easing themselves to mid-table obscurity; but, finally, Risty stumbled across a winner.

How so? Well, partly it was aided by a less-than-impressive opposition. South Bank lacked a great deal of pace or finesse, although they did boast the sort of goalkeeper who gets snow on his hands when he does a star jump. 

Early doors, then, and it’s all Merton 2s. A four man midfield of Pritchard, Mario, The Great Scott and Everrunning Everyready Gresty controlled the game like Harold Shipman controlled patient numbers – efficiently. Chances were created and, with some predictability, DQ spurned the first because it was nowhere near his head, catching the 8ft goalie’s heel with an attempted nutmeg that resulted in a corner. The chance had been created by Sutton’s finest black cab filmmaker, Lewis Ackerman, who made like he does in the back of his fake taxi and promptly scored from two yards during a melee after another corner. 

“I like the easy ones,” he said, and no-one knew whether he was referring to work or scoring goals.

DQ found himself in the once-always-and-now-increasingly-rare situation of being quicker than the entire opposition backline. Probably definitely onside, he promptly scored twice. The first saw a Pirlo-eque pass from Mario that had the Italian Galleon mamma-miaing in delight. Showing rare control and composure, DQ killed it and then dinked the world’s tallest man. The second saw big Scotty eschew his left leg and instead cross with the outside of his right while running down the left channel. It sounds beautiful. It really wasn’t. DQ scored from five yards while falling over.

And the chances continued, largely from Mario’s top quality set pieces or the occasional sojourn down the right-hand side from Rat, taking a day’s vacation in the 2s because he’s a lovely man. 

3-0 at half time and all was well. Special shout-out to Max, in goal, who kept a clean sheet and couldn’t get the kit off quicker if he tried when handing over to Sam Pritchard for the second half.

Half two, then, and all did not go well. Pritch admired a fairly smart volley so much he waved it in at the near post like Mr Tumble signing to a deaf child. He then decided to mix things up by perfecting the along-the-ground goal-kick into the centre of the pitch. 

Risty Dan had a plan, though, and changed to 4-5-1 to stem the tide, which kind of worked because the second half was largely appalling. Pearcey and Haydn had more to do but stood fast at the back. Conor moaned and crunched into tackles, because that’s what he does best. And Rat wondered just how bad 2s football could be. Willgoss, back from a lengthy lay-off, engaged in the odd enterprising run down the right and also Jackie Chan-ed a centreback in the head.

They scored again, mainly through Merton 2s being a bit pants by this point, but we still ended-up more than deserving winners. 

And, thus, like the 19th president of the USA, a Mr Rutherford B. Hayes, Merton 2s’ season continues to happen, but not in such a way that anyone’s likely to remember it. A 3-2 win, if anyone’s counting.

Posted in Match Reports 2s

Spelthorne u10s vs Merton u10s on Sunday 20th January 2019

A crisp, sunny morning greeted our team as they almost all drove straight past the correct turning and then did a tour of the local area to find their way back. Satnavs were roundly blamed. Another innovative warm-up with Neal and Roy prepared the group who were today missing the power-houses of Maxwell and David. Anyone who had parked a car behind the goal was relieved.

Merton made a strong start and won an early corner through the pace of Louis and Farris. They took it short between them and worked the ball across the box but Farris could not quite get his shot off.
They continued steadily for 10 minutes. Neal was demanding more pace and urgency on the side-lines. He knew the boys had more to give.
There followed some nice quality passing play from the cultured opposition who had a couple of players showing great comfort over the ball. Our boys were not quite finding their final pass. Max was also forced into a couple of blocks from good passing moves.
Then the ball was won on the right by the effervescent Ollie, who was once again giving 100% at the back. He found Louis who put Rio through on goal for a solid finish in the bottom left corner of the goal and 1-0.
From the kick off there followed another 2 shots. Louis first and then the ball came out and Bobby played in Percy for a shot wide. Merton were responding to Neal’s calls from the side.
Farris now made a lovely jinking run and was tripped at pace on the edge of the box. Bobby squared up to the ball, took a run and struck the ball sweetly. It crashed off the bar and away from the Spelthorne goal.
Now Rio broke on another through ball and suddenly it was 2-0. This felt no more than the boys deserved.

In search of more Louis now won the ball in midfield and passed to Farris who found Rio in a one on one with the Spelthorne keeper but he was tackled by a retreating defender as he was about to shoot.
Harry, who was his composed self throughout was suddenly off the pitch with some unexpected breathing issues. This clearly concerned his dad, Dan, who ran back from seeing him saying “he must be struggling to carry all that hair around. I tried to get him to have it cut.” There is no love like a man has for his son.
Half time came and it was 2-0, Merton deserving their lead after bossing numerous phases of play despite a well drilled and silky opposition.
The second half kicked off and Spelthorne were working extremely hard to close their deficit. Their manager was offering plenty of positive encouragement from the side-lines and deserved plenty of credit for the quality of their play. This looked like the smallest side Merton had faced of late but possibly one of the best passing sides at the same time with players who knew how to shield the ball.

They created two chances in quick succession but both through balls were a touch heavy and found the grateful gloves of Max, who had been busy without having to over-stretch himself.

Harry was breaking up play as he does so well and Joe was working his socks off at the back alongside him in this phase of the game.

Next Ollie found Louis who played in Bobby but the ball ran too long and went out. Bobby was clearly comfortable playing in any position on the park. Another good passing move by Merton flowed across the Spelthorne box and Percy had his shot blocked for a corner. Nothing came of it again.
Spelthorne made a nice break and crossed the ball to create a powerful headed chance which sailed over the bar. Merton were now getting a little ragged and causing as many problems for themselves as their opposition.
Neal was asking for more forward play and we needed to avoid self-inflicted wounds.
Then, suddenly it was 2-1. Another moment of disjointed play deep in their own half led to Merton giving away the ball and it was eventually worked to a Spelthorne forward who squeezed it in at the far post.
Merton picked up their pace now and had a spell of pressure and kept going forward. Farris played in Bobby. The Spelthorne keeper managed to stop it and then Farris had a pot shot which inexplicably crept under the keeper and in for 3-1, triggering a wave of relief on the side-lines. The game looked won.
Percy continued to work as hard as anyone in the middle of the park and made a powerful run and won a corner. Nothing came of it again but Merton were strong in this final phase of the game. Joe’s game had settled well in the second half and he was playing some nice passes with his team-mates on the left now to get the ball forward.

The final whistle blew and it was a hard fought 3-1 win for Merton. That’s 2 wins from 3 at this new league level.
Rio was awarded a deserved man of the match trophy and the gang took in the final words from Neal and Roy ahead of a dash to the cars for their lunch-time jaunt home.

Posted in Under 10s Reports

City of London 3XI v Merton 6XI


The team agreed that this win is dedicated to by younger Brother Niall, passed away after a relatively short battle against Cancer on Thursday the 10th January 2019.

Niall played for a few years in the early 1980’s and was a regular in the first team.


After over 890 games this was the first visit to City of London although they are a new club in the league. There facilities are rather run down and the pitch didn’t look great either.


This week we had 12 players arrive eventually, Daban car started, however we were still missing El Capt. Dave and Mad Dog Burchell (all his training), we were also missing any obvious strikers. In discussions with Kev we decided to play a 4-3-3 system.


We took at bit of time to settle into the new line up and City of London were the more attacking and created a few long range chances. One chance did beat me from range however they were offside. They also hit the post and Mark Chappell managed to scramble away from the goal. The defence began to gain control and we did start to create half chances, particularly after bring Daban on for Dobson. We reached half time goalless.


After Kev & Phil’s half time talk, we came out stronger. We changed Steve H for Dobson. However Steve was soon back on as Daban was injured and had to good off.


We were more attacking, as the game opened up and our defence remained strong and the midfield of Phil, Ty and Steve H working hard. We final created a clear chance, however Phil was brought down just outside the box. There guy got lucky remaining on the pitch and over free kick came to nothing. It was their goalkeeper how was busier although they did have one shot for the edge of the box which I comfortable handled.


We contained to press and the City of London were giving away free Kicks which we finally capitalised with a deep free kick from the right knocked back across the crowded six yard box and James headed in from close range.


City of London final push didn’t really happen and apart on free kick from 20 Yards which I easily caught, they didn’t create anything. Inside the last 10 mInutes Phil final scored a simple header from another good corner from James. Phil also missed another header late on.


Once we scored are second the main aim was to keep a clean sheet, which we did comfortable.


This was a great team performance everybody working hard and playing well.


Niall this was for you RIP



MoM – Mark Chappell although it was close with vote for Tom Johnson & James Emery

DoD – None 6th player put a foot wrong. However City of London No 3 or an outside shout for Ed breaking protocol in tapping up players.


Team – Martin, Mark, Tom, Joe, Kevin, Andrew, Phil, Ricardo, Ty, James & Steve H

Sub Daban.

Posted in Match Reports 6s

Merton 0-2 Bank of England

It was the second game of the New Year on Saturday and a trip back to the Hood for the first team.

The visitors were old rivals Bank of England, who had returned to division two following relegation last year. However, they were sitting in third place and having a decent season thus far.

Overall, the first half was an extremely cagey affair with not too much to write home about. Both teams defended well and there wasn’t a whole host of chances. Until the final phase of play, where Van has the ball fall to him 12 yards out only to blaze it over the bar.

The first goal was always going to be critical in game like this and after 70 minutes it went to the away side. Good play from their winner who split Rat and Jimbo before squaring it to the striker to tap home.

Following that the game was far more open. Bank tried to exploit the space that opened up as Merton tried to push for the equaliser. They were more chances including a good strike from substitute Joe, a terribly tame free kick from Jimbo and another miss from Van.

Less than 10 to play and the game was put to bed. 2-0. Jimbo tried to volley away a high ball down the channel, only managing to clear the ball over his own and perfectly playing in their striker.

A day to forget for the newly converted centre half.

No game this Saturday.

Team: Sherbs, Rat, Jimbo, Browner, Max, Josh, Sam, Josh F, Van, George, Jamie

Subs: Woody, Clappers Joe

Posted in Match Reports 1s

Claygate Royals Griffins vs Merton Under 10s


13th January 2019 – Under 10s report


After a short trip down the A3 to Esher, Merton were able to warm up and prepare in near perfect football conditions at the Claygate Recreation Ground. This was not Merton’s first time preparing to face Claygate opposition this season. Back in September, Merton had beaten Claygate Royals Hares 3-2 away. Today’s opponents were Claygate Royals Griffins. The referee for today’s match was the same referee from the September match. Could Merton deliver a similar result?


Merton started the match kicking left to right on the relatively small pitch. The pitch may not have been large but it was green and in good condition. When the match started, the opening exchanges saw both teams turn over the ball cheaply. With just two minutes gone, Faris won the ball and attempted to clear behind Max’s goal but his clearance accidentally nestled in the bottom left corner of Max’s goal. It was a fluke own goal that stunned both sets of watching parents into silence.


1 nil to Claygate


For the next couple of minutes, both teams continued to give away the ball with possession often lost in the midfield. For Merton, Harry was particularly effective in breaking down Claygate attacks. After 5 minutes, there was a noticeable change, urged on by Coach Neal, Merton began to ’wake up’ and started to play some of the fast moving two touch football that they are capable of. Merton were linking up more effectively in the midfield.


Six minutes gone, Maxwell won a tackle, raced toward goal and shot. He hit the left-hand post. Merton were now in the ascendancy; after some great link up play between Faris and Dave, Dave’s shot was pushed out for a corner. Claygate were blocking and clearing most of what was being thrown at them and as a consequence, they were holding on to their lead.


Their goalkeeper was having a particularly good period, during the eleventh minute he made 3 saves in quick succession. Would Merton be able to score today?


The answer to that question came in the 16th minute, Faris’ through ball found Maxwell who dribbled away from his marker and chipped the keeper who was rushing off his line. It went in!


1 all


Merton’s pressure had paid off and they were back in the game. Claygate responded in the best way possible for them. With 18 minutes gone, Merton turned over possession in midfield, Claygate attacked at pace and their resulting shot hit the underside of Max’s crossbar and bounced over the line before spinning out. The referee took a second to consider and the goal was awarded. She did not need V.A.R.


2-1 to Claygate

The game became more frenetic, Merton had chances but did not convert them. Claygate also created chances but did not extend their lead.


At half time, the score remained 2-1 to Claygate.


The second half kicked off at precisely 10.25 am with Merton now kicking right to left. Faris had a shot to the right-hand side of the Claygate goal. Near miss. Rio had a shot that also went close; this time just wide of the left-hand side of the Claygate goal.


3 minutes into the second half, after Merton failed to clear their lines, Claygate were advancing on the Merton goal. Their striker shot to the bottom left of Max’s goal. It went in.


3-1 to Claygate


The match entered a critical phase, if Claygate were to score again the match might be out of the reach of Merton. The game was very entertaining, a little composure on the ball was lacking at times but everyone was giving their maximum effort. Coach Neal’s beast of a fitness training session had clearly paid off. Crucially Merton got the next goal.


Five minutes gone, after a scrappy passage of play, the ball came to Percy who was able to slot home from close range.


3-2 Game On!


After 7 minutes, Merton won a free kick. It was quite a long way out. Claygate didn’t really expect a shot. Dave had other ideas and launched it into the top right corner of the goal. Top bins! Claygate’s keeper couldn’t stop it. It was a goal!




This was when Merton really began to dominate and to make their control of the game pay. There was some great play in the midfield from Louis, Percy and Dave. In defence, Harry, Joe, Ollie and Max were also playing very well. 


With 9 minutes gone, Dave started on a run toward Claygate’s goal, He fed Rio who raced towards the Claygate goal. He struck a powerful shot to the bottom left corner of the goal.

It was a great finish! 


3-4 to Merton


Merton were now leading for the first time. They continued to press home their advantage in an attempt to put the result beyond doubt.


After 11 minutes, Joe took a throw on the left-hand side. His throw was blocked and the ball came back to him. He struck a great shot into the top corner of the Claygate goal. Their keeper wasn’t expecting it and in went straight in.


3.-5 to Merton


Claygate were not finished yet; they were still creating chances of their own.


In the 12th minute, Claygate forced a corner. When the corner came in from the right, it was bundled in at the far post.


4-5 to Merton


More chances created by either side.  Play continued at a fast pace, both sides showing good energy and enthusiasm levels. Claygate hit the post in the 21st minute.


In the 22nd minute, Dave won the ball in midfield and drove toward the Claygate goal. He feigned a powerful shot and instead rolled it into the bottom left of the goal. A very calm finish.


4-6 to Merton


2 minutes later, Claygate went close again with a header that went just wide. Soon after the referee blew the full-time whistle to confirm a great away win for Merton. A great effort from all the boys including Bobby our 11th man.


Well done boys! 


Dave was presented with the Man of the Match award.


Author: Mike Pitt

Posted in Under 10s Reports

South Bank CUACO 7XI v Merton 6XI


Christmas & New Year break over, all looking to start football again, well if not snowboarding, shopping etc. didn’t get in the way. So from a team of 13 in midweek we finally turned up with the bare 11. Daban’s car not starting around 1.00pm.


We still had a reasonable line with youth up front and age at the back, however the pitch wasn’t going to help longish grass and heavy plus South Bank had 14 players.


We Start well and scored reasonable early with a good finish by Ricardo from inside the box. We continued to frustrate South Bank’s attack limiting them to long range efforts, whilst continuing to cause them problems but we did score again until nearly half time. Lewis continuing his fine scoring form.


Unfortunately we let our guard down just before half-time when we failed to clear full a free kick. So we go in at half time 2-1 up.


In the second half our efforts from the first half began to tell and the fact that South Bank had 3 sub meant our tired legs faced fresh legs and the number of free kick we (Ricardo) gave away told and South Bank scored 3 Goals including a OG.


Our attacking force also suffer with James having to good off for the last 10/15 minutes with an Achilles problem.


The good points were we didn’t stop running and trying to score right to the end, but without any luck. Our 10 men attacking line did mean that holes appeared at the back and enable Martin in goal to make a few saves.


The final result being 2-4 was disappointing but there were positives. The centre midfield pair of Ricardo & Phil worked tirelessly as did Lewis & James up front and the defence was solid for the most.


It was between Ricardo who seemingly wanting to get into the referee’s note book and Kevin get some early practice for the six Nation we giving away too many free kicks in dangerous areas.


MoM – Ricardo Inglesias with a mention to Tom Johnson

DoD – Daban (my car doesn’t Start) Babaker


Team – Martin, Steve, Tom, Joe, Kevin, Andrew, Phil, Ricardo, Matt, James & Lewis

Posted in Match Reports 6s

The Saturday morning was bright and crisp as the Merton contingent made their way across the capital to North West London. Awaiting them was the impressive Hive Sports facilities, usually home to Barnet FC but today it was to host the gladiatorial encounter of Merton FC and NUFC Oilers.

The squad arrived with a bright, New Year optimism despite a mixed run of form. The usual stimulating conversation lit up the changing room; everything from consumer advice on sock purchases to insincere apologies for the toxic stench emanating from cubicle two.

The Merton team lined up in the tried and tested 4-3-3 formation with a balance of pace and strength. The first half was a fairly even encounter with Merton nullifying the creativity of the talented NUFC midfield and the back four standing resolutely to the physical prowess of the NUFC front line. The deadlock was broken through a first half goal from Josh who burst forward from midfield and after some slick link up play with George, slid it past the 6 ft 4 NUFC goalkeeper.

NUFC hit back almost instantly with a 25 yard strike that hit under the side of the bar. The away fans went silent as the ref looked down at his watch… VAR ruled no goal and the game carried on.

After more waves of pressure, NUFC scored an equaliser. Truth be told, I can’t remember an awful lot about the goal but as I recall there was a good save from Sherbs and there player turned home the rebound. This could be completely wrong.

The second half was a far more drab affair with certain members of the team blowing a little harder than normal due to a lavish Christmas break. Despite this, the Merton team defended extremely well across the pitch and special mention goes to man of the match Max who despite setting up their striker in the 85th minute, defended with honour and deserved the title of MoM.
DoD (yours truly) worked so hard during the match he forgot what the score line was and it wasn’t until he tried to push the team into an ‘all out attack’ mentality that Browner reminded him that we were drawing 1-1 and not in fact losing 2-1.  

All in all, a very good point earned against a good team a long way from home. Up the Merton.

Sherbs, Max, Browner, Jimbo, Rat, Sam Harvey, Josh FS, Joe Grew, George, Jamie, Ivan subs: Jonny (ht for Van), Clappers (unused)

Posted in Match Reports 1s

Merton 3s vs Kew Reserves –

The first game of 2019 saw the 3s at the Hood, everyone was ready to run off all the turkey, mince pies and beer they had consumed over the festive period.

the opposition who sat 2nd in the league had narrowly claimed the reverse fixture early in the season 4-3 (the boars having been 4- 0 down at half time) so revenge was on the cards.

The changing room was a buzz with the sounds from a medley of songs from Rocky (the film franchise) getting the lads in the mood.

The game kicked off with the boars adopting a 4-3-3 formation due to the lack of striking options at their disposal, Fitz spearheading our quest for glory. There was some early pressure from the home team with the midfield trio of Vin, Neal and Mustard working hard and the front three looking to unlock the away defence, the opening 25 minutes were closely contested with a lot of physical output from both teams but little in the way of cutting edge.

The break through went to the away, after the ball was played in from the boars right wing an the eagle eyed referee spotted  a push by Ciaran McGowan on one of the opposing forwards and gave the penalty.

This was dispatched straight down the middle of the goal by the oppositions striker who looked as though he had enjoyed the last 5 christmas’ far to much. There was further pain inflicted on the boars minutes later when after being played in behind a prosaic back line the away teams forward made no mistake with the one on one, 2-0 in the space of 5 minutes, which is how the half ended.

The half time team talk focused on the players being braver on the ball and trying to play our way out of tough spots not play direct balls up to an increasingly isolated Fitz.

In truth second half was more notable for the amount of bookings handed out in what was not an overly rough game than the goal mouth action from either team. The main incidents of the second half occurred  in the last few minutes of the match, having ventured up for a corner in search of a way back into the game Iain was sent off for a handling the ball outside the area thus denying a goal scoring opportunity whilst trying to recover. Down to ten men Adam stepped in between the sticks but virtually his first job was to pick the ball out of the net after a Kew player nodded in, the referee seemingly missing the two handed shove in Grestys back allowing him the free header from six yards.

The game ended 3-0, I’m not sure it was a game that warranted that score line but in truth the Kew keeper was only forced into a couple of saves the entire match as the boars struggled to create any decent chances.

MoM – ‘Big’ Sam Kapadia – Great energy and quality on the ball
DoD – Iain Evans –  red card (worst refereeing decision since the triple booking from Graham Poll)

Special Mentions – Mustard –   His Triple Denim ensemble was something even Hector Bellerin would struggle to pull off and finally Nathen – asking to be subbed off as he was tired… after coming on as sub and don’t get me started on those pink boots!

We go again

Posted in Match Reports 3s

Merton U10s v Sandgate U10s – Sunday 6th January 2019


News arrived over the Christmas break of a well-deserved promotion from the top of division 5 to division 4 after a consistently successful first half to the season.


First up was as tough as it gets with a visit from top of the table Sandgate U10s on a dry mild morning.


The game kicked off and saw some good interplay from both sides on the sticky home pitch.  A number of passes never made it to their intended recipient as was becoming the norm in the early phases of home games.

With Harry unfortunately out ill Ollie was playing on his own at the back with a more loaded midfield needing to track back and support as needed.


Dave was also watching on today with an arm fracture and cast on.  To compensate we had our new team mate Bobby able to step in and support.


In an early exchange Maxwell won the ball deep in his own half and played in Farris who was up front and went on to create a chance for Rio whose shot was deflected out for a corner.  Nothing came of it and on we went.

The first Sandgate chance then followed and Max managed to get to it and shepherd it out for a corner from which Maxwell cleared.  This resulted in a chance for Farris which led to a Merton corner but to no avail.


Ollie was looking very solid at the back and choosing his moments perfectly to step in and challenge vs dropping off to let others join in defending.  It was like having all of the judgment of Harry and the application of Ollie in one player. 

Sandgate broke away and forced a good save from Max in a 1 on 1.  His judgment and timing has clearly been improving over recent months.

But the first goal was not far away.  It came from a Sandgate break and what was thought to be a good challenge from Maxwell but the ref awarded a free kick just outside the Merton box.  It was a cracker and nestled in the top corner to give the visitors the lead.


Merton didn’t let their heads drop and the next chance fell to the home side with Maxwell cutting in from the wing and clipping his shot in for a deflection out and corner.  Nothing came of it again and Sandgate cleared.


Then the equaliser came.  Percy showed great persistence in the Sandgate box and pushed through 2 challenges.  The ball fell to the keeper who attempted a clearance but straight at the on-rushing Percy and the ball was in the net.  1-1.

Both sides were straight back on it from the kick off and some good interplay from Sandgate led to a sweet cross on the ground and tap in for 2-1 to the visitors. 

Then, despite the Merton work rate another break led to another good cross and 3-1.  The Sandgate number 11 in midfield was a very calm and direct player who had created 2 of their goals.  Merton were up against it.


There followed some good play deep in our own half from Louis who played in Farris who in turn found Rio. Rio played a gorgeous little chip over the keeper for Merton’s second of the match.  2-3 and game on.


The half time whistle blew and the boys stopped for a well-earned rest.


The second half started with more intense football and Ollie continuing his fine form.


As the game wore on there were chances at either end and Sandgate were shading it.  Joe, Rio and Louis all looked shattered after their hard work and the Christmas break but kept going admirably.  Max was called into action again and more often.

Some soft free kicks were being given now and another shot came in from the latest for Sandgate which led to another save from Max who was starting to play a central role in keeping Merton in this.

Suddenly Ollie won another ball and found Rio who played in Maxwell for his first one on one.  He had a poor service since moving up front and was making no mistake with this one.  He clipped it over the keeper and Merton were back level at 3-3.  This was developing into a very good game but the opposition looking on were not best pleased and made their thoughts known through the odd questionable comment encouraging hard play from their team. 

Sandgate continued to have some good play and in the latest, just as it seemed they would score up popped Ollie to clear off the line.  There was hardly a Merton player now who looked like they had much left in the tank.  Even the relentless Percy was looking tired.  Having Bobby in the team was a great help with his calm solidity wherever he played on the pitch.


Rio was in the middle of the next key play for Merton after being played through by Farris but this time shot wide left.  A win against the top team in this new league seemed within reach as the minutes ticked down.


Farris had another opportunity soon after but shot straight at the keeper as the ball stuck under his feet.


Then the sucker punch as Sandgate broke forward again and after some tight play around the Merton box squeezed the ball in for 4-3 and the lead as we entered the final moments of the match. 


There continued to be quick fire chances at both ends, of which Sandgate had the better and forced some brilliant goal keeping from Max.  He clearly wanted to get his hands on the Man of the Match trophy today.


The ref blew the final whistle to the relief of the Sandgate team and Merton had shown that they were a match for this level having taken the top team very close to a result.


Man of the Match was a high quality problem for Neal and Roy with a number of good performances.  In the end it was double awarded to Max and Ollie who both richly deserved the accolade. 


Neal and Roy let the boys know after the game how proud they were of their work rate and determination throughout a tough match.  On another day they could well have got a win.  On to the next match!

Posted in Under 10s Reports

Merton 3s Vs Actonians. 


The curtain closer before Christmas, the 3s were desperate to end the year on a high and what better way to do it by beating a team that we really should of beaten the first time round at their home ground… 


Let’s not forget the fact that we travelled what seemed like 3 hours to find their pitches in the middle of nowhere last time. 


So we welcomed this game at the hood. 


Producing a strong line up, with a new look 3-5-2 formation.. The lads were confident of getting a good result with the team on show this afternoon. 


The ever pleasant Iain in goal, a back three in defence consisting of: new boys Scotty and Joe (both helping out from the 1s) and Big Vinny. wing backs: Sam KKK and Ryan, in the central midfield we had: Colonel Mustard in a new role, partnered with Blonde Sam & Josh (another lad helping out), and up top we had Aaron Byrne with gaffer Fitz. A strong bench with Nyle, Dan Peace & new Daddy Adam. 


1st half: 


Actonians had a strong first 5 minutes, playing with a high tempo. However once Merton calmed down and got a hold of the ball, things changed. We dictated the tempo and had more ball possession. 


Josh was key in the early parts of the match, keeping hold of the ball well and playing some good long balls to the paths of our strikers Aaron & Fitz. 


Sam K had a great early chance, running down the left, beating two defenders two and cutting on his inside beautifully before having a pop just outside the box. However the accuracy looked more like a Johnny Wilkinson drop kick. Another chance for Blonde Sam soon came, but his long shot effort was straight at the keepers gloves. 


Another half chance came, after Ryan skillfuly beat his man and played a great through ball on the right side to the path of

Aaron. Aaron beat the defender with raw pace, however his effort was just wide, he probably could of squared it into the path of Fitz on this occasion. 


Actonians failed to produce much chances this first half and rather spent most of their time pointing fingers at eachother. The only notable chance they had was from a corner where the ball bobbled about in the box with no one seeming to want to clear it until their player stuck his foot out but luckily skied the ball up in the clouds..


Our best of the game soon came begging before the end of the half, Fitz found himself clear with just the ball, the keeper and goal in sight but seemed to have got his footing mixed up in the box and blazed the ball over the bar. Unlucky! 


Half Time: 0-0


Merton should of been at least 1-0 up for their efforts. Clearly the better team in the first half threatening the oppo defence on plenty occasions and controlling the midfield battles and limiting their attacks. 


This was evident by the way Actonians were screaming and shouting at eachother on the pitch the first half much to the amusement of the Merton boys. Their half time team talk didn’t get any better with plenty of handbags getting thrown about. It was like watching an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. 


2nd half: 

Actonians came out strong this half, but we matched them up with the same intensity which was making up for a real Christmas cracker, with the rain pouring down violently! 

Our regular home attendant Curtis came to show his support with his umbrella ☂ and was relieved that we were producing a great showing! Would of been appalling if he came out in the rain to watch us being spanked! 


It wasn’t long before we made or dominance count, and turn it in our favour, Sub Nyle was through one on one, and calmly scored with a nicely placed side footed finish into the bottom corner. 1-0 Merton. 


A brief lapse in concentration for the first time in the game and Boom 1-1, not even 3 minutes after our goal. The game was 1-1 for a long period of the game, with Actonian sensing they could now nick a win threatened our defence on numerous occasions. But the back three held strong! 


With about 15 minutes to go, the oppo started constantly moaning to the ref now, producing silly fouls on the merton lads, one particular moment saw their stocky number 10 crying about it after two clear fouls on Aaron who was now dubbed “Neymar” for what was seen as two perceived dives by the oppo however anyone with a good IQ could see it was just dirty tactics by the Actonian boys. Our Colonel Mustard however cheeky remarked: “he’s better then Neymar” much to their annoyance. Haha. 


A mini fight soon broke out with their Centre back and new Daddy Adam who absolutely nailed their centre back to the canvas with the perfect tackle! I don’t think he was prepared for a muddy game at the hood. Adam was having a solid game since coming on the left stopping everything and bombing forward with real menace.

It was clear that Actonians were just frustrated now…. 


The moment soon came: Dan Peace received the ball, made a darting run, he then chose to hit a long range effort from like 30 yards!!! Which scorched into the top corner!!!! sending Merton into a frenzy!!!


You could see how much it meant to Dan with his celebration, the guy looked like Lebron James when he leaped in the air in joy 


The game should of been buried not long after that when Nyle picked out a beautiful through ball pass to Aaron who left his defender for dead but his shot narrowly missed the post. 


Actonians had a late push to try and seal the equaliser. But a few tactical fouls from Merton was required to see out a well deserved 2-1 victory & let’s not forget that De Gea type save tipped over from Iain at the death of the game when the oppp striker was one on one 


Full time analysis: Solid performance from the midfield who won their battles by being aggressive. Defence as a three were solid and compact. The wing backs and strikers linked up well by creating problems for the oppo.  

MOM: Josh 


Full time score: Merton 2 Actonians 1 

Posted in Match Reports 3s