Category: Match Reports 3s
In game of persistence, battling against a solid opposition, a pitch with similar gradient to sectors of Everest and a wind that had the power to blow half of Merton’s players hair off (which looked plausible for any on looking fans passing by) Merton 3s put in a performance to be proud of against top of the league.
15mins into the game Merton went gone 1 – 0 down after a number of scuffed clearances from the back and a run through the middle from their striker, Iain was quick off his line and was unlucky not to get the save. 10mins later Ivan squared the ball onto a vegan styled juggernaut run whereby Pritch picked the ball up, run 10 yards and blasted the ball from outside the box into the bottom corner of the oponents goal.
Just before the break of half time after Merton arguably had the better chances of the half a quick free kick into the opponents number 9’s feet, slipped through on goal with a strong turn of place going into half time 2 – 1 down.
A very sluggish start to the second half saw Merton 3s make life very hard for ourselves, but we rode out the storm and 15 mins into the second half Merton got a free kick. Up steps Glenn and puts in a beautiful CROSS that finds its way into the top corner of the goal!
The next 10/15mins of the game was a very close with both teams getting chances. When the opposition got through on goal Jack and Bully managed to get behind the keeper where Iain made a brilliant save leaving the ball to slowly crawl towards the goal, Jack attempting a clearance ended up scuffing the ball perfectly slotting it in the bottom corner for possibly the worst timing to concede an own goal that you’ll ever see!
For the remainder of the game Merton played well and despite Neil attempting Cruyff turns as last man and Glenn hitting so many shots over the bar he would of out pointed Jonny Wilkinson in another sport, Merton 3s were unlucky not to come away with more and certainly a performance to be proud of to take into the next game!
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
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.
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.
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!!!
ABSOLUTE SCREAMER! 2-1
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.
Full time score: Merton 2 Actonians 1
It was a miserable, rainy day perfect conditions for
a derby game and we blew it. We lined up with Iain
in goal, Nathan LB Mustard RB, Neal and Mike at
CB, Sam S and Vin CM, Britney LM, Sam K RM with
Aaron and Fitz up top.
A lot was spoken about tactics before the game
but that all went out the window when a really poor
defensive error by Mustard let them in for an easy
chance to make it 1 – 0 to Carshalton. A simple cut
back from the byline was slotted in and we’d gone
behind early, AGAIN.
We had started trying to play football but were
struggling to keep the ball during the first 15 mins and
were 2 – 0 down before we got started. Poor marking
from a corner left them with an extra man and he
made no mistake smashing a decent half volley in the
top corner. Jimmy came on for Fitz after 20 mins and
made a difference but we were still chasing the game.
We managed to rally after that and started playing
some good football without creating many clear
cut chances. Then just before HT the ref (worst this
season) decided to sin bin Sam S for ‘harrassing’ him
(in my defence i’ve done worse this season and stayed
on the pitch) HT 2-0.
So we kicked off the second half with 10 men and
did well despite being a man down for the first 10
mins. We dominated the ball for long periods but still
couldn’t create much for the strikers. As we chased
the game it became more and more open and they
scored a terrible 3rd goal. A mistake from Neal gave
them a chance to square it in the 6 yard box, the ball
spun off Vin and nutmegged Iain for their third. Sums
up our season so far really.
Last modified: 07:40
Merton 3s vs Polytechnic 5s
The Boars returned to the hood against the team currently top of the league. Another much changed squad was depleted further by late withdrawals of Joe Vaughan for work related reasons and Adam Lynch whose better half disobeyed strict instructions and gave birth to their daughter, a massive congrats from all at the club. A positive was the return to fold of Dan Kelly who after his world tour.
Due to the multiple ins and outs most players were asked to play out of position.
The game kicked off and it didn’t take long for the visitors to take the lead, the ball was lost in central midfield and the ball was played through for the Polytechnic forward to side foot the ball past an exposed keeper, 0-1. After that early shock to the system the boars started to gain a foothold in the game, moving the ball around well and creating a couple of chances but not testing the keeper.
But all the good work was undone by a second goal for the away team, after breaking free down the right wing the ball was delivered to the back post where the opposition player headed home, 0-2. It then got worse as shortly after Polytechnic scored a third after failing to clear a corner the ball was worked back into the box where the opposition player rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the in guarded net, 0-3 at half time.
The boars retook the field after lengthy team talk, just the one change was made, Fitz took up residence between the sticks and Iain was called into action outfield with Dan Kelly making way.
But the positive start to the half Merton were looking for didn’t materialise and from a direct free kick on the edge of the box Polytechnic scored a forth and really ended the game as a contest.
The one bright note was the performance of San Peace over the 90 minutes and that performance was rewarded with his second goal in as many game. It was a great finish from a good 25 yards out that caught the keeper unawares, 1-4.
The scoring was completed when more space down the Merton left was exploited by the Polytechnic right midfielder, the ball across the six yard box was stuck away, 1-5.
MoM – Dan Peace
DoD- Iain Evans
A bad result but no time to feel sorry for ourselves as the small matter of a local derby against Carshalton coming up, a must win in every sense.
Actonians 5s vs Merton 3s
Its was an early start for the Boars match day squad as they journeyed to outer reaches of Central line in search of victory.
Having impressed in the previous weeks away victory against Wilsonians confidence was high that another positive result was achievable, the usual incoming and outgoing of players meant that 7 different players appeared on the team sheet from the previous week.
Coming in for their first 3s game of the year were Tom Johnson, Dan Peace and Peter Quainton, they were joined by merton veteran Mike ‘Mustard” Reed and Mike “Stoney” Stone.
Impressively most turned up in good time to listen to their choice of 90’s dance music blasted out by DJ Mustard, although there seemed to be a very broad definition of what dance music actually is, as evidenced by Michael Jackson gracing the nominations.
A short warm up was undertaken and with a decent pitch and reasonably benign atmospheric conditions in effect the scene was set for a decent game of football. Before getting underway a minutes silence was observed for the passing of a member of Actonians.
First Half –
Once underway Merton took a strong grip of proceedings getting the ball down and making some good off the ball runs to open up space in the Actonians final third, the only thing that was missing was the final bit of quality. However it was the home team that took the lead with there first meaningful chance, the ball was launched down field by the Goalkeeper and was misjudged by both centre halves which allowed the centre forward to collect the ball and somehow scuff the shot into the boars net, 1-0.
The setback did not deter the Boars from continuing to play the ball around with the same level of control as before, both full backs and wide midfielders were working well together to keep up the pressure on the home team defence and it was not long before the equaliser arrived. Following more good work down the right Gabby found enough time to put in a quality cross to the far post were it was impressively finished by Dan Peace 1-1. Parity did not last long however as from a corner won shortly afterward actonians retook the lead after the boars failed to clear the ball adequately, the ball falling to an opposition player who had time to bring the ball down and in a crowded penalty area find the net past an unsighted keeper, 2-1. Things then got worse for the boars as the third goal opposition goal followed shortly afterwards, this time the Merton defence could not deal with a free kick into the centre of the box and again the ball feel kindly for an Actonians player to force the ball past the dive of the boars keeper, 3-1.
Second Half –
Although two goals behind it had been a reasonable performance from the boars, the start of the half passed without much incident but that was soon to change, after what can only be described as a terrible tackle Actonians were reduced to 10 men with about 25 minutes left on the clock. Within 10 mins of having the numerical advantage the boars had a goal back, good work from Aaron down the right culminated in a great cross to the back post where Sam Spiers had timed his run to perfection to meet it, 3-2.
Unfortunately Merton could not make any further headway, shots where off target and good positions wasted. The nail in the coffin was when the home side won there only corner of the second half and promptly scored, the boars failing to mark tightly enough to stop the striker meeting a low ball into the box first and squeezing it past the keeper.
Final score Actonians 4 – Merton 2
A disappointing result given some of the football that we played and the standard of the opposition, but it shows that if you don’t do the basics right you get punished.
Merton Squad- Iain Evans, Mike Reed, Peter Quaiton, Tom johnson, Ryan Burchell, Gabriel Draghici, Mike Stone, Neal Davison, Sam Kapadia, Dan Peace, Aaron Byrne, Sam Spiers and Nathan Harris
Old Wilsonians 3s vs Merton 3s
Its game day and the team is looking solid with some new faces. The theme of this week
was songs by dead artists picked by Aaron Byrne.
The team is getting ready and warmed up and with Iain managing the team this week he
starts to tell everyone there positions and while doing so he realises that we have 15 men
instead of 14 and with some of the boys worrying they might not play because of Iain’s poor
maths skills the ref decides its fine as long as everyone gets game time.
Its kick off with the team looking confident and ready to kick arse. With nathan, britney, neil
and new kid travis on the bench. The game starts off strong for merton especially with glenn
constantly nutmegging the opposition which brings smiles for us on the bench it’s about 35
minutes and iain brings on neil for glenn and britney for sam kapadia. its half time and with
merton believing we should have a goal with the constant chances puts us with high hopes
of us winning the game.
Second half starts with subs made which are nathan for denys up front and travis for blonde
sam on the wing. The second half starts strong with merton constantly in the opposition’s
half and merton winning a corner which Aaron steps up to take, Aaron crossing it in with no
headers on it the ball bounces around in the box and britney being on the end of it goes for a
chip of the defender and goalkeeper the defender jumps up and hand balls it to block the
chip that was most certainly going in the ref does not see this which brings outrage for
merton especially adam with him running over to the ref in absolut outrage brings merton
having to calm him down.The game carries on with merton still attacking strong wins merton
another corner and with nathan who sees Aaron on the floor from the unlucky attempt on
goal which gave merton the corner, nathan decides to step up and take it. Nathan places the
ball down for a corner noticing that there’s a bit of a ditch which he knew could be a issue
which ended up him being right with nathan kicking the ball on the opposite side and straight
into a tree which brings everyone laughter and nathan knowing that he is most certainly
getting dotd. The game carries on with merton still being a strong side bringing us to wonder
why we haven’t scored yet. And merton gets a break with neil running with the ball towards
goal with him not seeing any other options other than taking a shot he does so which was a
terrible shot but still on target and the ball rolling extremely slow the goalkeeper managers to
let it in with his team in outrage not knowing why the goalkeeper could make such a big
mistake also bringing merton to 1-0 and in to laughter. Its kick off for old wilsonians with
them still in non-belief with the goalkeeper mistakes merton uses that to there advantage
and attacks straight away which brings the ball to travis on the right wing and him swinging it
into the box and denys heading it in with him recently being subbed back on for Aaron and
bringing merton to 2-0. And once again old wilsonians have kick off merton attack strong
bringing some unlucky chances with nathan putting a through ball to Denys and Denys
having no choice but to shoot with him still being outside the box the ball goes straight over
and merton still feeling driven to winning the game. It’s about 70 minutes in and merton still
being 2-0 up old wilsonians are pushing strong and merton and merton feeling nervous that
they might score. It’s about 75 minutes in and old wilsonians still pushing they managed to
get a goal bringing the score to 2-1 and merton feeling frustrated and worrying that they
might come back which isn’t the first for merton and will probably not be the last. Its kick off
for merton and merton not letting that get to them we push strong giving us another chance
with travis getting the ball and passing it to nathan and nathan running forward with only one
defender to stop him and denys running with britney just behind him it was a 3 on 1 chance
and it looking like it could be another goal for merton so with that being said let’s get back to
nathan running with the ball. Nathan ends up passing it straight across to denys and it being
a one on one with the goalkeeper the keeper decides to run out and slindes straight into
denys completely injuring him and the ref not giving any foul and ending the chance on goal.
So with that dneys is being subbed off for Aaron. It’s about 80 odd minutes in and old
wilsonians attacking strong forcing Iain to making a sub for ryan to come off for gabi which
was definitely a strong decision to make with gabi holding them off for the most part. The
game comes to an end leaving the score 2-1 to merton and everyone feeling joyces to the
fact we won which by the way isn’t often.
We head back to the changing rooms with smiling faces and preparing to play the winners
song which most of the boys have not experienced yet bringing absolut joy to the older lads
who have been with merton for while.
MOTM – NEW KID TOM
DOTD – NATHAN
Merton 3s v Old Salesians: 1-3
Fresh from a scintillating performance and 5 goals in the previous game, confidence was high that The Boars could record a second win in a row against local rivals Old Salesians. There were two debutants in the squad, Scott McGowan (or Fraser, according to Iain) and Jake Davies (fresh from impressing in last week’s interclub game, by nutmegging Woody 3 times). Additionally, Mustard and Ryan returned after their temporary promotions to the twos and Adam Lynch made his awaited return from injury (so fit, that he was playing his second game in less than 24 hours).
The pre-match playlist of “Bands you wish you could be in”, garnered some classics from greats such as The Prodigy, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bon Jovi to some absolute shockers from Busted, *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. We live in a country where demoncracy and diversity is rightly celebrated but the downside is that can result in selections that could make your ears bleed. Maybe this is why some opt for lateness, they increase the likelihood of avoiding Iain’s phenomenally bad taste in music….
A 4-4-2 line up saw a new CB pairing of Adam and Scott, replacing the stricken Lofty and Stoner, with Mustard and Ryan replacing Nathan and Glenn. The rest of the team from the previous victorious game deservedly retaining their places. The 5s (adopting the “first come, first served principle” – due to their early kick off) had laid claim to The Boars traditional pitch, which left them having to play on the, affectionately titled, “sh1t pitch”. A bit of cross wind and low sun were present and this would play its part (more on that later). Credit to the ref, for doubling the attendance figures by bringing his girlfriend. She was a welcome addition to Aaron’s dad (whom of course, is always welcome too, in fact, actively encouraged), to put the official attendance at 2. If this carries on, planning permission at The Hood, may be required to build a stand.
A really promising start was made by The Boars, with a dominating first 15 minutes. The ball was retained well with short passing and play that stretched the opposition and good defending from the front by Aaron and Fitz, in terms of hold up play and harassing the defence. Merton’s defence looked assured, with Adam and Scott quickly showing real promise as a pairing, both strong, good in the air and on the ball. Whilst there was a lot of good play, there wasn’t a great deal of goal-mouth action and neither keeper was particularly tested. Salesians’ first real attack resulted in a goal, with a breakaway down the right resulting in a cross being lofted in – the wind gave it a bit more distance which resulted in the ball finding the back post without a Merton player being able to win a header, with the unfortunate Mustard also blinded by the sun (a song by The Seahorses, I believe), which left their forward to head past a despairing Phil Mitchell in goal.
A slip immediately from kick off nearly let Salesians in for a second but Iain made a great save. After this wobble, Merton started to return to the play that they’d started the game with and improved their performance, again without particularly threatening the goal. One moment of particular note to Mike Stone on the sidelines, was an incredible lung busting 90 yard run from Mustard (clocked at 27.9 km/h), which involved a one two with Aaron and the deftest of touches to put it past the defender and run around the other side of him. The cross was ultimately cleared but the run very much excited Mike Stone, so much so that in the bar he was talking about “mould your own” again – a favoured conversation between Mike Stone and Mustard. Adam also made a great last-ditch tackle to put off their striker when through one on one.
At half time, the team-talk focused on what we could do to improve but recognising that we’d had good spells. It had the desired effect as within 10 seconds, Merton were level. Full credit to Aaron for winning the ball from their defence, breaking through, looking like he’d taken it a little too wide but then firing a quick low shot in at the near post from about 10 yards. Great finish and it was good to get clarity from Aaron during his celebration that “that’s what I’m talking about!”. This goal gave Merton confidence and the game was very even for the next 15-20 minutes. However as the game wore on, Salesians started to get the upper hand as Merton’s shape become stretched. Special mention to Adam for a crunching tackle that “in my day” would never have been a foul as the ball was clearly won first but it looks like the rules are changing. Neal got booked for some standard dirt. There was good play on the left between Ryan and Barry (and this is something we need to try and make more use of), which caused threatening moments.
With about ten minutes to go, Vin was replaced by Mike Stone and Scott was moved into midfield – this decision inexplicably resulted in Vin getting a DOTD nomination but as evidenced this week, farcical nominations can and do happen. Very shortly after this change, a Salesians breakaway down the right was played into the middle and their striker finished from close range. With a couple of minutes to go, a corner was swung in from the right and their central midfielder lost his marker and executed an acrobatic scissor kick, that defied what looked possible, given his rather stocky stature. There were a couple of late half chances for Merton at the end, but it was too little too late. The game finished 3-1.
In truth, the second half performance didn’t justify any other result. The ability to win is definitely within this team and in spells in the game this was evidenced, but as Barry and Neal said between them, we need to play the game to suit our strengths and show more grit / desire to win. We’ve got to earn the right to win by fighting for every first and second ball. Our best play comes when we play football and defend from the front / close as a unit. When this breaks down, the gaps across the pitch are too big.
We go again next week, against a team we’re capable of beating. Let’s turn the learning experience into an improved performance and a victory.
Team: Iain Evans, Mustard (captain), Scott McGowan, Adam Lynch, Barry Hughes, Sam Slater, Neal Davison, Vincenzo Di Matteo, Ryan Burchell, Aaron Byrne, Darren Fitzgerald. Subs: Mike Stone, Jake Davies.
Goal: Aaron Byrne
MOTM: Aaron Byrne
DOTD: Mustard (double denim)
3s 5 –2 HSBC 3s
After last weeks fruitless away trip the boars returned to the Hood still looking for there first points of the season.It was a much changed squad from the defeat to Kew. Mustard, Sam K, Mario and Ryan Burchel learning a call up to the 2s, Sam Speirs heading to the 4s and Sam S R and JV dropping out altogether.In came the ever dependable Neal Davison and Mike Stone, a bit of attacking quality was Added in the shape of Glenn, Lewis and Niall. And there was the welcome return of Barry Hughes.Gaffer Fitz opted for tried and trusted 4-4-2 formation that had helped the boars to almost pull of the most unlikely of comebacks the previous week.The side kicked off with Iain in goal Nathan at right back Barry left back and a centre back partnership of Mike Stone and lofty.The midfield consisted of Glenn left midfield Sam Slater right midfield and the central midfield pairing of Vincenzo and Neal, upfront the partnership of Fitz and Aaron completed the lineup. Which left the attacking options of Niall and Lewis on the bench.The boars kicked off and from the outset set about moving the ball quickly and with purpose. The first goal courtesy of Glen latching onto a ball into the left channel that had him in acres of room to pick a pass into the centre were Aaron made no mistake.From that point the floodgates opened as the boars tore through their opponents at will. Glenn Scored a cracking volley from theedge of the box and Aaron added his second and Sam Slater grabbed a good goal after a great pass from Niall that Beckham in his prime would have been happy with but the best was saved till last with Glenn picking the ball up on the right beating hisman and playing the ball into Niall who back healed the ball exquisitely back into Glenn’s path, the finish matched the move as he delicately dinked the ball over the exposed keeper.5-0 !!!!!!Sadly the boars were unable to tokeep a clean sheet as a lapse in concentration at the back allowed there left midfielder to squeeze the ball in at Iain’s near post just before the break.
The second half was much more of a struggle as a much improved opposition plus tiring legs meant that Merton spent the vast majority of the second half on the back foot. HSBC scored again with roughly 25 to play and will probably reflect that with abit of better luck and finishing they could have grabbed a point but a combination of the woodwork, a couple of good saves and poor finishing meant that when the final whistle went it was the Boars that had taken the three points.Possibly the best 45 minutes that the threes have produced in the last 3 seasons. MoMBarry for a solid first game back.DoD for Iain inflammatory comments about a fellow teammates manliness.
Merton 3s vs Kew Association
Another Saturday rolls around and once again Merton 3s are in action. Unlike the last 75 weeks this week we are away from home in Ham, close to Richmond.
This week it is a 1pm meet for a 2pm kick off however one of the 4 Sam’s, (annoying I know) goalie Sam decided to arrive at 12pm shortly after feeding his rabbit. His early arrival makes him the first person in the history of Merton to arrive on match day earlier than Mustard. As he likes to let you know Mustard lives in Essex which is very far away from most grounds so his early arrivals are spectacular. 1pm quickly approaches and everyone is present apart from Joe and Aaron (shock) to be fair to Aaron he did decide to walk a marathon to get here.
Once all the people on time had arrived we decide to make our way to the changing rooms. We are greeted by a lovely lady who shows us to changing room 6. Kew Association must of seen and heard Vincenzo’s dives in previous weeks as the changing room had ‘women’ written on it.
Changing room entered, food based music on (apart from Joe’s strange choice of Half the World away which I’m not sure has anything to do with food) kit bag in the centre of the room. The scene is set. Once the kit bag is placed, the lads like a bunch of wild animals start rummaging through to get their favourite numbers. Britney spots his medium, which is very important as mediums are rarer than a smile from Iain, and he jumps to grab it. Mario is extremely disheartened as we don’t have his number 8, we do however have multiple duplicates of numbers.
Once we have all changed with the aroma of deep heat in the air Fitz sits us all down to give us the line-up and team talk. As Fitz wasn’t there the previous week he has some help from assistants Iain and Mustard. The line-up he has decided is going to be:
Sam K Mustard Vin Ryan
Sam SL Lofty
Nathen Fitz Britney
Bench: Iain, Joe and Aaron
The decided line up was set and it looks a strong line up. Britney is back after a near career threatening injury, Mustard making his debut at CB and Mario back after taking a few weeks off to get married. The bench also looked very dangerous with some brilliant options to bring on if needed (which they were). Team talk was underway and the importance of the wingers were paramount as they were required to defend from the front and attack there fullbacks. Mario was decided to be the further forward of the midfield 3 to back up the forward 3.
With the team talk done we started to make the trek to the pitch. After walking through supermarket chain Iceland slaughter house we arrived at the pitch and to our surprise, hidden amongst the horses and trees was an extremely nice pitch. After the ordinary warm up and a few terrible shots at the goal kick off was here and we were raring to go, all wanting our first win of the season.
Kick off. Merton started the better of the sides with a couple of chances falling our way. A run from Nathen that started down the right and ended with him cutting in and getting into the box, he should of done much better with his shot but there was a slight nudge in the back which seemed to put him off. Another chance fell our way this time with Britney bursting down the left and trying to cut a ball back to Fitz on the edge of the box but it was cut out by a brilliant slide tackle. Merton were creating problems on the wings with the pace and trickery but allegedly weren’t doing enough defensively which the attackers didn’t agree with.
After all the early pressure from Merton we once again went 1-0 down after a pot shot from about 30 yards. The Kew attackers waltzed through our midfield to strike a shot down the centre of the goal and with Merton goalie Sam on the edge of his area for some reason the shot sailed over him. Another attack shortly after put Kew 2-0 up. 2 chances, 2 goals. This is becoming a far too regular occurrence for Merton 3s.
2-0 down and a big moment happens. A moment that people are lying about. Chinese whispers is a vicious game. The ball is in midfield with Mario, Fitz and Britney are busting a gut to get through on goal. Mario plays a lovely ball through to Fitz with the goalie and defender fast approaching him he goes for the chip over the goalie. It’s on target, trickling towards the goal but Britney with his eyes like a hawk notices a defender running back to get the clearance of the line (which he would have succeeded in) so he sprints towards the line up to try knock the ball in. The moment of truth. Britney jumps with the finesse of a young Chinese gymnast but the defender who is about 2 foot taller than Britney does his best Conor McGregor impression and elbows him viciously in the back. Britney now off balance, knowing he isn’t going to make the header, throws a hand at it. Slightly brushing his hand the ball goes in the net. The ref saw. Goal didn’t stand. Robbery. Should have been a penalty but instead he gets voted D.O.T.D.
The rest of the first half fizzled out with not much else happening. The early threat from the wingers was gone and we no longer had a foothold in the game. Late on in the first half Aaron came on for Nathen with Joe coming on for Britney.
The second half started and after some stern words and finger pointing from everyone we were raring to go.
The second half had not started like the first half with Kew pressuring us. However for some reason going 4-0 down made us a different team. A formation change from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 worked wonders with Nathen and Sam coming on for Mario and Fitz in CM and ST respectively.
A free kick won by Britney about 40 yards out, a smart quick free kick from Sam SL sent Vin through to chip a wonderful goal over the goalkeeper. 1 goal 3 to go. Vin was no doubt the star man in this second half with his marauding runs out of defence working wonders. He consistently fed Sam and Aaron up front who were getting joy out of there defenders. Joe Vaughn with some great tenacity in the middle kept winning the ball back for us. A special mention to Nathen who done his best Phil Jones impression by throwing his head on a ball that was on the floor. With about 20 minutes to go Iain came on for Mustard at CB.
4-2. A lovely header from Sam K goes into the top corner and the comeback was well and truly on.
4-3. Aaron is sent through by one of aforementioned Vin’s marauding run. He is offside but in keeping with the refs performance he didn’t see it. Merton were now one goal behind with about 5 minutes to go.
Last 5 minutes and Merton had all the possession but no real chances. Iain’s long throws were creating pandemonium in the opposition box but we couldn’t get the slight bit of luck we needed A couple of free kicks were won but none came to anything.. A couple free kicks also weren’t given most notably in the last couple of minutes, Britney was sandwiched but nothing given. Kew dug in well to hold off from a spirited second half performance from the lads.
Another disappointing Saturday for Merton 3s. However with a very new squad and a lot of summer transfers we are starting to gel and are looking better every game with the results soon to come.
Kew Association 4 – 3 Merton