Category: Match Reports 1s
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
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 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
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)
Merton 3 EBOG 1 (HT 3-0)
This was a cracking performance and win for our first team against a very good EBOG side who were unbeaten in the league so far and looking very likely to go back to the first division at the end of the season.
They started very slowly and we created some good opportunities and took the lead after about 15 mins. This was a deft Jimbo back heal from a Jonny cross. Soon after their left back decided to take the ball past George who took the ball off him and crossed for Jonny to score. Then just before half time we had a really good passing move down the left which seemed to have broken down and was half cleared to the other wing where Max fed Josh who finished decisively to make it an improbable 3-0. During the later stages of the first half EBOG had settled and played some good football carving a few good openings and missing them although I seem to recall that they got their taste for hitting the crossbar.
The second half got under way with EBOG scoring far too early for comfort and playing some good passing football. We defended resolutely, Scott and Browner at the heart of the defence with Max and Jordan doing well on the wings. EBOG created some great chances and were very unlucky and the crossbar came to our aid on at least three more occasions. But we carved out a terrific opportunity to make it four with a slick quick passing movement but Jonny shot narrowly wide. Isaac came on For Jordan with Vanny proving effective at full back and Isaac’s fresh legs working some relief. And we held out.
This was a good all round team performance and everyone put in a good shift with Josh playing a captain’s innings and being Man of the Match. In fairness you could make out a good case for almost all of our players.
EBOG looked a really good side and should in all probability be promoted at the end of the season. They were well organised and had three or four really good players who pulled the strings. They lacked alittle bit of discipline but I understand their frustration as they did not have much luck all afternoon. The ref had a good game, it was not easy and gave them a good share of free kicks. But they got on his back and picked up a sin bin. Still a great result for Merton and a great team effort.
Team: Sherbs (GK), Jordan, Browner, Scott, Max, Josh (Capt), Jimbo, Joe, Vanny, Jonny, George Sub Isaac for Jordan .
Merton 1 – 2 Old Finchleians
After a very frustrating 2-2 draw away to HSBC last week, the boars 🐗 welcomed Old Finchleians to the hood on Saturday.
The home side were keen to revenge their defeat in the cup earlier this season. A game in all honesty the team from North London won comfortably.
The first half was a competitive affair with both sides showing signs of intensity and will to win. However, it was Merton who would take the lead after 35 minutes.
Jimbo and Josh with some good play on the edge of the box, before an excellent back heel from the latter saw young George through on goal. He didn’t disappoint. 1-0 Merton at the break.
To be honest, the home side didn’t start the second half with as much intensity as they’d shown in the first 45, allowing Old Finchleians more of the ball. But without really creating any chances.
After 60 minutes it remained competitive with chances harder to come by. Only a few things of note, such as Jimbos huge fresh air kick #DOD!
With 10 to go and despite a fair amount of pressure it looked like Merton would hold on for a well deserved victory and important 3 points.
But, unbelievably the away side levelled direct from a corner. No foul on the keeper, just a lot of wind! Two weeks in a row!
And then with the last kick of the game, it was a needless hack from Scott 25 yards out to give the visitors a chance to win the game with the last kick from a set piece. Cruelly the forward strikes a pure shot in corner and the spoils head again to north London.
Real disappointment for Merton, who still can’t believe they lost that game.
Sherbs, Rat, Harrison, Scott, Max, Jimbo, Josh, Pritch, George, Ivan, Jamie
Subs: Woody, Joe, Glen
Dod: Jimbo (undeserved as always)
The 1st team have had a difficult start to the season with many challenging away days, depleated squads and tough cup draws, so it was refreshing to have a week off, be back at the Hood and to look around the changing room to see a strong mix of boars regulars and marque summer signings.
However, the optimisium was short lived, with the opposition NUFC Oilers (off the back of two wins a draw in the league) seemly not having read from the same script. Within minutes the Oiler’s had created their first chance, breaking through the midfield, before drawing a smart near post save from the recently called up Serbs. From the resulting corner their number 14 had a free header at the back post which hit the bar twice. For the next 20 minutes this was the pattern of play. Oiler’s pressing high, Merton giving away possession, Oiler’s shoot – Sherb’s saves, Oiler’s corner – free header no14 – Sherbs save. Repeat.
Sherbs having been called up from the 2’s due to an injury to our normally ‘very quiet’ regular keeper, made five or six goal saving stops in the first 20 minutes and kept the boars in the game. His performance was Hugo Loris esq (think World Cup winner not the Spursy lad).
A counter attack led by Rat, a driving run down the wing by attacking forward George and some fantastic no 9 hold up play from new signing Jamie led to Merton going one nil up against the run of play. George with the goal and Jamie with assist.
With the Boars having not only weathered the storm but also snatching a goal Clappers made the call for an early sub and Josh was introduced to anchor the midfield and disrupt their centre forwards. This didn’t pay dividends Immediately as Oiler’s countered from a Merton corner a pulled a cheap goal back. 1-1.
Before the half was over Merton had got a strong foothold in the game and just before the half time whistle some exquisite play in the centre of park from Woody released George who terrorised their left back before getting off a crossshot which was only half cleared. Jamie latched onto the defensive error and finished, in off the post, to give Merton the lead going into the break. 2-1 Merton. Jamie goal.
At this point Oiler’s heads were gone. A few strong boars challenges early in the second half and the Oiler’s were mouthing off. Unfortunately for them, the referee who had good game, did not like it and sent one of their whingers off for a 10 minute sin bin.
During this period it was time for Merton to kill the game off and what better chance than a soft penalty won by Merton’s usual penalty taker and all round nice guy Woody. Of course, nothing in football is that simple and overcame Josh to take the ball off Woody and step up to take the penalty. It was a fantastic penalty … low, hard, bottom right but I’m telling you now the Hood won’t see a better save this season! Ridiculous tip round the post from a clearly in form keeper.
Merton were the better team second half with H and Browner having nullified the attacking threat of Oiler’s centre forwards. Jamie, who led the line well all game, bagged his second on about the 75th minute mark when he instinctively pounced on a loose knock down in the area to finish and compete a brace.
Merton shut up shop and were not under much pressure until the 93rd minute when Sherb’s went from World Cup Hugo to Spurs Skipper with a soft goal kick straight to their striker who slotted. 3-2 Final Score.
MOTM – Jamie. Two very good goals and an assist.
DOTD – Josh. Saved penalty.
Boars on the march….. contenders by Christmas. Watch this space.
Merton @ Old Parks 2 – 4
More knockout football for the boars this week as they met Old Parks in the AFA cup.
Yet again this meant a commute to Ilford. Is there are an amateur club in the land that spends more time travelling to away games?
Old Parks posed serious opposition from the league above.
Merton with a much changed team from last Saturdays defeat; saw Jack and Cookie come into defence with a rare central midfield cameo for Ivan and Max. Also, good to see another debut as Dan made his first appearance up top.
During a very competitive first half the away side felt hard done by to be 2-1 down at the break. Originally taking the lead from a Jimbo corner and after a few deflections, Max was on hand to slot home from 5 yards. His first goal for the club. However, mistakes in midfield and a rebound from a free kick, meant the home side would be ahead after 45.
Merton felt this game was by no means over and were keen to test their opponents in the second half. Consistently a threat from set pieces it resembled somewhat of an England side from the summer. But it would be a third goal for Old Parks after 60 minutes that left a lot of work to do. And it could have been worse if Siri hadn’t made a brilliant penalty save following a handball from Jack that Nadal would’ve been proud of.
With 20 to play, Max bagged his second with a bullet header again from a Jimbo corner, setting up a great finale. Despite constant pressure and big chances, the home team were still a threat on the break and as they had been all afternoon were clinical when scoring a fourth. Assisted by Jimbos fresh air kick.
Unfortunately, it’s another loss for the 1s but with a bye week upcoming, the boys can be refreshed for their next league fixture.
Team: Siri, Cookie Jack, Harrison, Browner , Gabby, Max, Jimbo, Ivan, George, Dan
Big thanks to Jordan Cox who came back from Manchester to watch but ended up playing 20 minutes 💪
1s away v Old Finchelians – SAL Cup – 13.10.18
0 – 3
The day started with a pleasant trip up the Northern from Balham with Jimbo, Pritch and Harrison. We discussed whether we thought we could survive a plane crash into the sea, the height of the Shard, what a good player Phil Foden was and what an adventurer, his namesake, Ben Foden is. For information it’s Ben Fogle boys, not Foden.
It was during this journey that I realised I’d only brought one boot with me!!
Everyone arrived in plenty of time, even George, and we had time for a relaxing chat on the veranda. Luckily, amongst the relaxing, Stubbsy decided to get his kit ready and discovered that I hadn’t brought the socks! Thankfully there was a Sports Direct 10 minutes away and off Siri and I went with Jimbo’s request of “Can you buy yellow ones so they match by blister prevention socks”. “Shut up Jimbo I’ll get whatever colour they’ve got 13 pairs of” was by edited response! Whatever you think of Mike Ashley, you can’t beat 13 pairs of socks for £32.50. Thanks big man, I owe you one.
So at 13:50 we were set to take the field in our fetching new white socks. I’d always planned new socks for this game but not in these circumstances.
With a minute gone Old Fs played a ball over the top which Harrison, 40 yards from goal, dealt with easily. Oh hang on, no he didn’t, he somehow managed to kick it out for a corner. A well delivered corner, a ducking Joe Greeeeewwww at the near post and an unmarked Old F at the back post and we were 1-0 down.
For the next 10-15 minutes we were all at sea and only a couple of very good Siri saves, followed up by his usual Tourettes outburst, kept us in the game. After this we found our feet and competed well but with five minutes to go we conceded a second to go in at half time 2-0 down.
We were much better in the second half and forced their keeper into 2-3 very good saves but didn’t really look like we’d crawl back the deficit. Then with about 10 minutes to go Old Fs scored their third with a very well worked goal.
A disappointing result but again some encouraging signs from the youngsters and newcomers.
Old Fs were a significantly improved team from last season and deserved the victory. They’re also a good bunch and even bought us a jug in the bar.
The good thing about losing miles away from home is that you’ve got a good hour and a half to feel sorry for yourself on the way back. We managed to offset the dispair with a few pints on the way home and then another excellent round of the This is the Merton Quiz at the Hood.
Team: Siri, Joe Greeeewwwww, Harrison, Browner, Max, Stubbsy, Jimbo, Pritch, George, Jamie and EJ. Sub: Clappers
MOTM: Max Carveth
DOTD: Clappers (Me!!)