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