Category: Match Reports 7s
Alleyn Old Boys 7s v Merton 7s
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, leading up to Saturday’s away game, players are dropping out left right and centre, the squad that is confirmed on the Tuesday, depletes each day, already losing the likes of Jacob to long term injury, Luke M moving onto pastures new, Josh, Dan, Niall being unavailable for selection, Billy pulling out on the Thursday with Tonsillitis, then Tom J drop out the Friday night and Andrew just a few hours before kick-off and Kieran, unfortunate not being able to shake of the hand injury picked up last week to go in goal.
Even with Ed & John G (of the 4s) jumping in to help out, we are fielding a much weakened side against a team who have yet to loose in the league. Even prior to kick-off, the previous night’s rain had yet to soak away and the ref was correct in calling the game off, however, against better judgement, we all chipped in to help with brooms and other ‘equipment’ to push the standing water to the edge. So, although a half hour late, we managed to get the game on.
(If you look closely, you can see Ryan doing the back stroke)
Basically, it was an even contest for the 1st 10 minutes or so… after that, we had all the luck in the world… unfortunately, the bad kind!! It’s hard to pin point how or what went wrong, but all that matters, is it did, and in spectacular style…!
1st goal set the tone, a few lucky breaks for the oppo sees AOB7s cross behind the lines and side foot pass our stranded keeper, 2nd goal sees AOB7 capitalise on a pass which got stuck in a puddle, 3rd goal… much the same… as did the following up to the amount of 8.
In-between the onslaught, Daban manged to open his account after a cheeky through ball from the captain that even the oppo applauded, Daban strike sees the ball in to the top corner, for the second, good work from Ed down the left who puts a cross in for Ryan to collect, turn and fire low into the corner.
At the final whistle and totally outplayed by a good, but not the best team we’ve faced so far… we hope this is the lowest this team ever goes. We go again next week against Bank of England 5s who are in mix, but seem to have better results than our 7s (not hard though!), and hopefully we get back a good few of the squad that was missing Saturday to push the 7s out of the rut they find themselves in.
To conclude (and pad this report out a bit!) we have a few comical moments to highlight the sort of day incurred, this also aids in the nominees for the Dick of the Day… Starting from the front and in no particular order …
Denzel- Came on second half and in fairness, done ok…
DOTD moment: Latches onto a great through ball and is clear on goal, but stops running to protest that he was not offside, only for the ref to inform him that his not blown up for any infringements and to carry on playing!! Giving AOB7s enough time to get back and dispose him of the ball! (An on a side note… throw in’s… not his strong point!)
Chris ‘Dodds’ – Started slow, got slower… almost needed resuscitating at half time, but still manged to come on for the last 10 or so in the second half…
DOTD moment – might be unfair, but needs to be mentioned… passed the ball forwarded, only to see it get stuck in a puddle, tries to somehow make amends which results in, not only Chris, but also Martin being wrong footed and sees the AOB7s forwarded stroll between the pair of them and slots the ball home!
Steve – We all know the joke about being ‘left back…’
DOTD moment – Passing across the goal to Martin and is marked by AOB7s striker, who steps across and takes the ball before Martin even reacts, and is now 8 yards out with the goalie stranded on his line, Goal!
Edward – we thank him for stepping up and helping out, really good to hear another voice trying to make a difference
DOTD moment – Well, apart from the school boy errors of losing the ability to take a throw in (was 3 or 4 times the ref blow up for a foul throw!!) or forgetting that you can’t remove the corner flag, to take a corner!!.. But the nominations was for the epic tackle that sees ‘Ed’ slide across the pitch, straight into the deepest puddle and emerging the other side with his top now see-through and clinging to the torso!! Some things can’t be unseen… !!!
But the winner goes to ….
John Gridley – Prior to the game, and realising the task ahead, he volunteers himself to go in goal. This is well received amongst the squad and is thanked by Martin who was to be elected keeper for the day.
DOTD moment – It’s understandable that after conceding 8 goals, you may be a tad upset, but at the final whistle, spitting the dummy and condoning your team mates to the opposition and declaring ‘it would have been 12 without me’ is one thing… but to then stomp off without even picking up his toys which was thrown all over the pitch after a very dramatic hissy fit, most unpleasant…
It took Ed a full half hour to calm him down in a locked changing room, we could the sobs thorugh the walls, of “please Ed, don’t make me ever play for the 7s again… I’m scarred for life and I’m only 102… take me back to the 4s…. PLEASE“ and fair play to Ed, apparently cradling johns head in his hands, promises him that he will never have to steep so low for the Merton cause again…Those pesky 7s will just have to make do next time!
MOTM – The opposition awarded the MOTM to the 7s captain, but this was declined, as a squad they all failed as a team and no one in this game deserves such accolade.
However…. The ‘Man Of The Moment’ award goes to Steve B, for his magnificent reply to a video clip issued by Civil Service 8s manager soon after the week be fore’s game…
Don’t worry, both videos will be issued on DVD format or available on download from ITunes for £99.99p, just in time for Christmas… Why not treat a loved one!!
Team: Missing. Never turned up.
PLEASE NOTE – The names in the above report have been changed to protect the innocent, the above is all ‘fiction’ and never took place, any person that may have had a similar experience, is merely coincidence and needs to up the dose of recreational drugs or get out more. It will be interesting to see how many people actual read these reports to the bitter end… Good luck next week ladies, going to need it!
Merton 7s v Civil Service 8s
Saturdays forecast: Grey, overcast and showers, could also sum up the 7s this term. Saturday was supposed to be the day the 7s showed there worth after fighting to the end for the 3 points v Sales last week. But with inconsistency creeping in, it’s becoming tough to call which 7s will turn up to each game
The day started quite well, Daban turning up only 30 minutes before a game is a vast improvement on missing the first half, but still becoming a common site to see him sprint over to get changed pitch side!
With Kieran back in goal after his loan to the 5s came to an end, we have Josh RB, Dan & Steve centre and welcome back Ram at LB, going with the same 5 in midfield as last week, seeing as it done so well, Ryan, Jacob, David, Andrew & Luke P seemed quite settled, with Billy once again tasked with roaming around up top.
The game started as expected, CS8s known for good passing football, also starting with 4-5-1 and take the game to the 7s. Matched up in the middle, once again the 7s marshalled by the captain, do well to contain the probing efforts of CS8s. the opening exchanges see Kieran the busier of the 2 keepers, and does well to stay composed with what pressure he is faced with
Playing ever deeper, the 7s start to rely on a counter attack, although running into a head wind, the ball can only be worked on the floor, first break for Billy comes as a through ball sees him contest a 50/50 with the keeper, with the keeper calmly dragging the ball back and passing to safety. No more than minutes later, same situation between CS8s Keeper and Billy, but this time, Billy anticipates the drag back and slides in with a tackle to rob the ball, only to see the tackle come shot to go wide.
As another CV8s attack is dealt with, the ball is punted high in the air, Jacob tussles to win the battle, only to see him left sprawled on the floor, something that look innocuous has left the young lad in a lot of pain. Unable to put any weight on the ankle, there’s no choice but to make an early change. Daban comes on to replace the injured midfielder
The first half comes to a close with both teams winning equal share of the spoils, a good tussle in midfield from both teams and both teams unfortunate not be nick a goal, but 0-0 is a fair reflection
Half time and Steve & David rally the team and call for composure, not only are the 7s in the game, but the feeling is we can nick this one.
Start of the second half and the 7s are the better of the 2 teams, closing down the opposition and playing out form the back, it wasn’t too long before Billy was once again released through the middle, again the keeper is off his line and meeting Billy at the edge of the area the 50/50 results in the keeper winning the ball, but getting bundled out of the area. Feeling aggrieved, the keeper exchanges a few words with the young striker and results in the gloved one throwing the ball square in the chest of Billy who does well not to retaliate.
As the situation calms down, the ref seemed to take an age to speak to both players together, then individually. Billy getting a warning, but with CS8s keeper seeing a red card (which was a bit harsh in my opinion).
None the less, it is at this point that CS8s, now down to 10 men, rally around and take a grip of the game. The 7s, seemingly switch off, are soon under pressure. Not dealing well with the ball over the top are made to pay when a good passing game from CV8s is rewarded with a goal that Kieran had no chance with.
The 7s now stunned, still not able to cope with CS8s attack have only Kieran to thank for keeping the score at 1-0. Even through a melee of players and taking an elbow straight in the face, Kieran was in no mood to go down without a fight
A change sees Andrew make way for Niall for his league debut
However, there’s nothing Kieran could do with the second, with everyone leaving the responsibility to each other to clear the ball just outside the area, sees a neat exchange of passes to cut through the defence, even with a last-ditch foul by Dan, which would have resulted in a penalty and possibly a red card had the ball not fell to the striker to dispatch in the corner, 0-2 against the 10 men of CS8s
A quick change in personal sees Dan make way for Luke Mora, to go with a reformed 3-5-2 and is almost instantly rewarded. A quick throw in from Billy to David, sees the captain drop and shoulder to get around the advancing CS8s player, although clipped around the ankles, still flicks the ball forward and from a full 30yards or so, unleashed a shot that curls beyond the keepers grasp and tucks into the top left-hand corner for 1-2. Game on!
Civil still not read the script, they have 10 men but make it seem like they have 12… the goal just sparked them back into life, and once again the 7s are left watching as the break down the right results in a tame cross that is going wide, wrong foot Steve 3 yards out and comes off his in step to go in the far corner. 1-3!!!!
What a knockout blow, truly feeling sorry for themselves, it’s with less than 10 minutes to go that CS8s twist the knife with one more well taken and deserved goal.
With the 7s in disbelief and from a commanding first half, how in the hell did this slip to a 1-4 deficit! The game ends and rightly so the Civil team take the points. The 7s walk off disheartened and speechless…. How did it go so wrong?
With an away game to Alleyn Old Boys 7s next week, who are currently unbeaten, the loss of Jacob for possibly 8 weeks and a depleted side, this couldn’t come at a worse time
MOTM: Even though he conceded 4, he can hold his gloves up high. Kieran Lee
DOTD: A last ditch attempt by Daban to take DOTD for openly admitting he has no clue what to do in midfield (after the votes had been cast), but Steve once again takes the accoladed for his stunning finish from 3 yards… in the wrong goal!
Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Steve, ram, Ryan, Jacob, David, Andrew, Luke, Billy
Old Sales 3s v Merton 7s
Always a bit nervous having a week off, you seem to lose a bit of momentum and it’s like starting all over again. Last season, the 7s never fared well after breaks, and always needed a game or two to get back into the swing of things
Today the 7s go back to the ground where they got thumped 7-1 in the cup to the Old Sales 3s, which on that day, Old Sale’s Reserves did not have a game and bolstered their 3s with half the squad! So, looking at the fixtures and seeing that, once again the reserves had no game and their 1st team was also playing at home, you can understand the feeling of ‘Déjà vu’.
Pitch side and waiting for a current game to end, we decide to have a warm up away from the pitch to get our game on. Discussion about the last game are at the forefront and it’s agreed a 4-5-1 is to be used.
Kieran this week steps up to the 5s and we have a great replacement in Lee Lenjhan between the sticks, once again, there’s a few later arrivals, so the squad is selected from those who turned up on time!! Josh again starting a RB, with Dan & Martin centre, steve on the left, the 5 across the middle starts with Ryan out wide, Jacob tucked in with David Centre and Andrew on the right, Luke Pellett back from his ankle injury far left, this leaves Billy up front, marauding around at will
As predicted, the OS’3 are a mixture of squads and start the better of the 2 teams, however, the new formation of 5 in the middle cuts out a lot of the play and for the first 10 minutes, the 7s do well to contain the OS’3.
Vocally, the 7s are improving and with ‘Lenners’ in goal, a further voice from ha back can be heard shouting commands. Although a few attacks result in shots from 20 yards or so, this does not faze the keeper and he confidently mops up these attacks from distances.
Still, it takes a full 20 minutes or so before the 7s get there first attack on the way, a good play worked down the flank is met by Billy and turned around for a corner, now in the OS’3 half, the game is being taken to them. Playing slightly higher up the pitch but still weary of the pace there possess, Dan and Martin are doing a fine job of containing the OS’3 striker. Closing down is quick and once again the 7s press and Billy is again terrorising the defence with Ryan and Luke now supporting
With the game swinging in the 7s direction, a good couple of chances go begging, one being a crazy first time volley from over 35 yards by the captain, who sees the fierce shot just sail over the cross bar.
Even when the OS’3 do break through, Lenners is there to calm things down and more often than not, launch balls over the top for Billy and Ryan to run on to, a weapon that we haven’t had before
Finally the pressure pays off, OS’3 trying to clear their lines sees David storm forward from the halfway line between 2 OS’3 players and first time volley a through ball to Billy to set him on his way for a 1v1, which is calmly rolled into the far corner. 0-1.
This seemed to have caused unrest in the OS’s squad, as now openly arguing and throwing in rash tackles, Billy is brought down around 20 yards out. Billy, picking himself up off the floor sets the ball and dispatches a delightful curling ball far right of the keeper for 0-2
Being on top, half time comes and the squad are buoyant, one change is made in Martin coming off for Tom in an attempt to contain the ariel threat, the game is under way
From kickoff, OS’3 are rallying around, they team talk must have spurred them on as the 7s are pinned back in their own half, now playing with 2 wide men, OS’3 are dictating play. This pulls back Luke P and Ryan in a more defensive roll leaving Billy to forage on scraps, which he does so well being unlucky with 2 attempts from range, lobbing the keeper on both occasions, one hitting the cross bar. However the pressure pays off for OS’3 and sees them pull a goal back from a neat passage of play, 1-2.
Now it’s the 7s turn to rally around, not wanting to relinquish the goal lead, the tracking and man marking is back as the first half. Getting a grip of the game, the 7s push back OS’3 and start to gain territory, 2 quick corners come to nothing but keeping the pressure on sees Luke P curl a great ball in which finds Ryan with a huge amount of goal to aim at but manages to volley high, what a let off
Not to long after, Billy is once again off on his heels and bearing down on goal, keeping pace Ryan sets off on the opposite wing as back up, Billy now in the area curls a shot towards the far corner which the keeper palms away, but only in the path of Ryan who this time makes no mistake under pressure from the OS’3 left back, powers his shot into an empty net
OS’3 come straight back, flooding the 7s half with players in an attempt to get a quick goal back. A change is now made, bringing on Daban for Andrew, who once again has done himself justice in the centre of the park and Luke M for Jacob who is now carrying a knock from the first half
Late in the game and now tiring, Tom goes off after getting a knock in the gut and Martin is back at left back. The youthful OS’3 continue to probe around and are soon rewarded with another well take goal. 2-3
Less than 10 minutes to go, the winds been knocked out the sails of the 7s, the attacks are relentless and OS’3 sense that not only is the draw on, but a victory if they keep slugging away. A strange decision to give OS’3 a free kick when they player ran across David and trip over his own feet, none the less, the protest are waved away and the from 20 yards, a ball is flighted into the far post which sees 3 OS’3 players attack the ball and force it over the line 3-3… !
With the game now coming to a close, both teams are giving it there all, Ref announces there’s 3 minutes of injury/overtime to play, OS’3 have the 7s on the rack with corners and throw ins in the 7s last third. Still undeterred, the 7s aren’t given up without a fight… once again Lenners pulls off a last ditch save and release the ball, this get worked to Luke P, who has 2 players keeping him company but still manages to release Ryan who has the legs to out sprint both the centre backs… keeper advances out just as Ryan approaches the 18 yard area, Billy keeping pace gives the keeper a decision to make, stand his ground or try and cut out the pass.. No need as Ryan makes the decision for him by ‘calm as you like’ slots the ball pass for 3-4 and the last kick of the game… Wow, what a contrast from the first game… and what a finish by Ryan to secure all 3 points for the 7s
After this epic encounter, we find ourselves at home next week against a Civil Service side, which you don’t quite know what you’re going to get. They have a mix of results so far. So, the only thing the 7s can do is go about their game like they did today, fully committed and not worrying what turns up… we shall see.
MOTM: Usual suspects getting nominated, but mentions have to go to the old boys, Martin and Steve, who are playing against strikers half their age and still keeping in touch. Josh & Billy once again head the votes but showing the composure to nick it at the end, it has to go to Ryan
DOTD: Turning up 45 minutes late and then arguing with Steve that his ‘done his warm up cycling here’… well done Tom J for making this easy!
Team: Lee, Josh, Dan, Martin, Steve, Ryan, Jacob, David, Andrew, Luke, Billy
Tom, Dadan, Luke M.
Old Blues 3rd v Merton 7s
‘Friday 13th’, is never a good start to a weekend, and with player’s availability changing on a day to day basis during the week, it was tough task knowing who to select, let alone be turning up. After last week’s demolition of OW8s, tails are up and eager to get back on the pitch.
Today we are in Ham for our second league game of the season against an unpredictable Old Blues 3rd team which has had mixed results of late. Warming up pitch side and watching the oppo run through there drills, the 7s seem confident of improving on the 3 points on the board
Kieran, in goal, Josh, Martin, Dan & Steve making up the back four, Midfield welcome back Jacob on the right, with Luke M stepping into the middle with David, Andrew on the left, leaving Billy & Ryan up top.
From the start, 7s looked off the pace, the centre midfield pairing seemed to be having trouble closing down the opposite numbers and not to long into the game, Kieran is in action to swat away a fierce shot. Not learning from this mistake, OB3s are running the show from the middle and it seems like OB3s have extra players on the pitch, 2 more close calls see the defence and goalie working hard to keep the oppo at bay.
It wasn’t long before another miss placed pass is intercepted by the very quick and pacey OB3s midfield, who seemed to turn on the gas to get past the defence to unleash a neat shot that beats Kieran on the left. 1-0
Kick off and more of the same, the 7s are suffering from a complacency hangover after having such an easy ride the week before, once again the OB3s midfield boss the game and pass through balls to their forwards at will and again Kieran is unlucky to get beat after getting hands on a tough shot only to see the ball fall to the advancing striker, 2-0
Some last ditch tackles from Steve & Dan saves the 7s from going further behind and with not even 15 minutes played. Even worse, top scorer Billy seemed to have pulled up with a hamstring and hobbles off for some treatment. It just get worse!!
Vocally, only the captain can be heard trying to rally the players to up the game, Steve, Dan join in knowing that we can do better, slowly the 7s get a foot hold in the game and start to put some passes together and finally get rewarded with a few shots, and although not on target, it would seem they OB3s keeper is struggling!
Late in the first half and after an appeal for off side is waved away, the 7s finally test the keeper, it could be deemed an own goal as the shot is parred into the net. 2-1 down at the break and some tough words to be had
Finally Daban decides to turn up, and a quick shuffle sees him replace Luke in the centre and Billy recovers from the mild pull and is ready to come back on. Game starts more the same, David & Daban are making a better fist of it this time, but still doesn’t stop the OB3s from going 3-1, Steve passing to David who loses out and can only watch as the player rounds the defence and finds the net. 3-1
Straight from Kick off sees Billy released with a long ball over the top, which finds him level with the centre backs who can only watch as he beats them to the ball (even after having 10 yards or so!) and with a single touch, lobs the advancing keeper form 20 yards, 3-2
A further changed sees Luke take over from Andrew on the left, who had run his heart out chasseing there right winger, as well as getting up to support the forwards. Still, silly mistakes are getting made and now what seems a single OB3s player is tormenting the 7s defence, sees him once again skip through and curls a lovely shot beyond Kieran who can only watch as its bends in. 4-2.
From the kick off, the tackles are now flying in for both teams, the ref, who to be fair, ‘wasn’t’ having the best day (and I have chosen not to make a point about this) had to pull the captions together before it got out of hand (or turned into a poor version of WWE!).
With Dabans energy in the middle and closing down the OB3s danger player, he robs the ball with a stern challenge, turns and takes off and leaves 2 more players in his wake, Billy sensing a foot race with the OB3s defence is struggling to stay on side and screams for the through ball which Daban obliges, at first, it seemed to be over hit, but with Billy’s pace, his a clear 15 yards ahead of any player and 1v1 with the keeper, which he makes no mistake for 4-3.
However, once again, a bit of bad luck sees OB3s danger man get his 3rd as he manages to ride 3 challenges, 2 with a bit of luck sees the ball bounce off and land back in his path to unleash another shot which Kieran almost got a hand too, to make it 5-3
Back to the drawing board, Josh & Jacob begin to have more joy on the right, a long ball from the back once again sees the OB3s defence panic, Billy now playing of their shoulders and looking to pick up on any mistakes, is once again rewarded and calmly rounds the keeper to roll in his first hatrick for Merton.
The game is now toing and throwing between the 2 sides, a couple of shots from the 7s of target and a side netting from Billy straight from the corner frustrates the team, stronger tackles against the OB3s players sees them protest, this just spurs the 7s on.
Still with 15 minutes to play, and tired of this OB3s player skipping around, his brought down with a heavy challenge around 20 yards out, Kieran lines the wall up, but is beat by a low shot to his left post for 6-4. Can’t catch a f****** break !!!!!!!
Again, kick off, can’t believe the 7s are still 2 down, the last 20 minutes has been all 7s, running, tackling, shooting. Another corner, Billy sprints from one side of the pitch to the other to take it, David, having his fair share of attention form the OB3s centre mid and centre back, take up man marking defence duties as he strolls in. You just knew that Billy was lining up for a shot after hitting the side netting at his previous attempt, and this time making no mistake, curls the corner directly into the near post for his 4th, and a score of 6-5.
Less than 10 minutes and a few more dubious decisions by the ref. Notably Daban fouled some 25 yards from the 7s goal, protest for a free kick are waved away, the ball is won back and cleared up field, once again Billy is free after clearly sprinting between the two centre backs but still 30 yards out, controls the ball…. And the whistle goes… the game has been pulled back for the foul on Daban !!!!!
Last minutes, the 7s having all the play, just can’t seem to find a way through the 10 man wall. OB3s openly shut up shop and pull rank, Billy is now marked by 2 players, one which is a little keen and keeps pulling him back, which the ref turns a blind eye to (or doesn’t see it!) that almost sees an exchange of blows as the older defender goads the young forward to strike him, not rising to it, he chooses to use a few colourful words instead
Full time and a hum-dinger of a game which is a hard loss to take. The slow start cost the 7s and the inability to change formation in the second half could have prevented a goal or two. It’s all a learning curve which was discussed in length after the game (which is a positive). The 7s still missing key players know they dropped the points as opposed to losing them, which is something different from last year
With a week off due to the Vets Game, which sees a call up for the 7s management team of Martin, Steve & David, the 7s next outing is away to Old Sales 3rd on the 28th … which was a horrific 7-1 loss in the SALC. Let’s hope we can avenge the score and get back to winning ways
MOTM: Scoring 4 and still on the losing side, very unlucky to really only have 1 half against a defence that could not contain the young lad. Mention also to Daban who could have been the difference between a point or so, as to how much difference he made on the pitch when he arrived. And Josh… Mr Reliable.
DOTD: DABAN…. Turning up at half time…. What could have been if he turned up on time!
Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Martin, Steve, Jacob, Luke, David, Andrew, Billy, Ryan
Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s
Finally the league fixtures start, after the SALC concluding with 1 win, 2 losses, 6 goals for (4 for Billy) 11 against!! Were now amongst our own. Although it’s the newly formed 6th Division, it’s more or less the same teams from last term, which we finished a strong fifth for a newly formed squad. This season, there’s talk we want top 3 minimum. So today, we need a good start
We welcome back OW8’S, a team we comfortably beat in the SALC 4-0 and twice beating them 3-1 last season, it’s a good game to bed in a few new faces
Going with the standard tried and tested, 4-4-2, we have Darren Fitzgerald volunteering to go in goal. With Josh, Tom, Martin, Steve making up the back 4, Luke M, Chris D, David & Ram as the midfield and Billy and his new boots, accompanied by Ryan up front.
Now, generally when doing a match report, there’s a certain amount of ‘padding out’ to be done, so that you can get across the type of game that went on… however, this time, more will be missing than can be remembered, as to how the team played today….!!
Yes, it was a poor side that we was up against, and the old cliché of ‘you can only beat what’s in front of you’ can be rolled out. But it was the manor that the 7s went about the job. Ruthless… and with more composure, this could have been a Merton record for a team win (No idea what it currently stands at, but Im sure we would have been close… )
1-0 : Games under way and in less than 2 minutes, David collects the ball, travels pass the OW8’s midfield, slots a ball between the defenders which Billy latches onto at pace, and calmly slots near post
2-0 : A move that started from the left back , shuffled around to the right wing, with Josh and Luke linking up, towards the 18 yard box, Josh & Ryan with a neat 1-2 into the area for Josh to dispatch a low far corner shot
3-0 : Corner from Billy to the far post, David winning the aerial battle and knocking down to Ram who controls and volleys over the static keeper
4-0 :Good work from the defence, passed out towards Luke M who curls a defence splitting pass forward for Billy to footrace the back 4, calmly slotting pass the advance keeper
5-0 : Billy with a near post corner, evades the defenders and drops centre of goal, Ram is ghosting in at ‘pace’ to slam home an unstoppable shot
Half time, and there’s not much you can say or change at this point and you feel for the guys waiting to get on the pitch. But the talk is about making this count, getting the goal difference up as that’s what lets us down last season… just with the one change, Luke who’s improving with each game makes way for ‘Kieran’ for a debut on pitch.
6-0: Took a while, the opposition stood firm for 15minutes until Ram slots in Ryan for a 1v1.
Change made – Ram off for Scott and a change to 4-3-3,
7-0 :Soon after, the ever energetic Ryan once again is on his heels after a neat pass from Kieran and skips pass the OW8’s back four to dispatch his 2nd
Change made – Steve off for Dan, Martin goes left back, Dan Centre
8-0 : Billy put through by David and he races clear, only for the keeper to get a good hand on his shot, which falls to Ryan to complete his Hatrick
9-0 Kieran down the right wing, Crosses, Billy leaves for David on the 18 yard, defender closing down gets lobbed with a back heel flick, David through on goal and as the ball drops, scissor volleys into the roof of the net
10-0 Ryan robs the OW8’s centre back and dispatches his 4th and our first ever double figure score is achieved for the mighty 7s
11-0 Kieran once again have all sorts of fun down the right wing, doubles up with Josh who with still 25/30 yards to go, accelerates into the box and drives a fierce low shot into the far corner again…
This concludes the goals, however, a few notable events that also took place,
Luke in midfield had a few good moments, one notable when being closed down by two players, calmly left the ball to run through his legs, leaving them both static and out of position, only to have no one backing him up. Chris coming back after from what someone said was a spell of old age (but clearly not the oldest in this squad!!) had a good baptism alongside David in the centre of midfield with some good strong work from the pair of them
First half and 5-0 up, David breaks up a OW8s attack, he dispatched a through ball for Ryan to latch onto, forced out wide and towards the corner flag, Ryan cuts inside and draws the keeper out, Billy having no problem keeping up with play waits in the penalty area before making a quick run as Ryan slots the ball across the goal line…
Unfortunately, Billy and his new boots manages to get to the ball just at the point it takes a bobble (not many saw this… but I’m sure it happened!!) and from 2 yards….. YES, 2 YARDS!!!! Hits the crossbar!!
There’s not many players that can score 2 goals, set up 3 and still walk of the pitch gutted, and feel like they let their team down, but to be fair, the young lad was first to ‘Man Up’ and take the DOTD award for that little miss hap, Don’t worry Billy… were sure you’ve got more goals in you this season, and there’s that other old cliché “you’ve got to be there to miss’em”…
So a job well done, a poor side put to bed by a team that showed, on their day, they can play some great football, now the trick is to take this form deep into the league and make a good fist of it.
Next week we are away at the unpredictable Old Blues 3rd, a team that has a few good and bad results already, and any team playing at home must be regarded as a threat. None the less… only a win is expected from the management as they look to go on a long unbeaten run
MOTM: Ryan…. Not only 4 goals and a few assists. But once again, never stopped running. Again, mentions for the other scorers, notably Josh “Mr Ever reliable”… 2 goals and another strong performance at right back. Billy, 2 goal 3 assists… but will be remembered for the ‘Jug Avoidance’ shot… (See below)
DOTD: Billy…. For blatant ‘Jug Avoidance’ … 2 Yards young man… 2 Yards!
Team: Darren, Josh, Tom, Martin, Steve, Luke M, Chris, David, Ram, Billy, Luke
Scott, Dan, Kieran
Merton 7s v Corinthian Casuals Under 21
With four of the Merton teams playing at home, and the epic 5s v 6s encounter taking centre stage, our little gem of a game v CCU21 was going under the radar. Turning up early and taking the brisk walk to the changing rooms, it was noted that the Merton little league teams must have been running some sort of intensive drills outside the club changing rooms, as for the number of cones, poles and balls sprawled around, I pitied those who had to take part… looked ruthless!
Changing room buzzing, as having to share with the 6s made it all the more entertaining, the 7s tally up the latest injury list which see the squad lose Steve Burchell to an attempted SAS assassination which results in a few busted ribs, Luke Pellett and Daban to ankle injuries, Scott with a twisted knee thingy, New lad Chris Dodd having to pull out on the day and Dan Alley loosing his hair products and having to make a late trips to boots… we do however welcome in on a new long term contract, Ryan Burchell (some say the better looking Burchell) Ram back from his overextended long arse holiday and on short notice Luke Mora dropping down to give us a welcome hand as well as the versatile Steve ‘Essex’ Harvey
Mangers David & Martin get summoned to the ref for the pre-game talk (a first, but gave away how the ref would be policing the game!). So, standing with our opposite numbers, the ref gave us fair warning and ask for any questions… at this point we first found out that the opposition plays in white! Not a problem, a quick rush into the changing room to mug the 6s of the yellow kit, this now makes new history of the first inter-club league or cup game where neither side will be playing in the traditional yellow! The second more concerning point was the CCU21 manager informing us that they will be continuing there warm up outside the changing room in there marked out area…
“Wait? What…. ?? that’s you warming up your team outside?! “
“Yes… Hope you don’t mind….”
“Erm… Nah…. Go ahead”
(Turns to Martin and whispers) ”You f###### kidding me… 2 hour pre-game warm up!)
Finally, out on the pitch and full 30 minutes before the game, with a mild jog across the pitch and back and half-hearted leg shake, we conclude the warm up. All eyes on the opposition as they take up residence on the halfway line. Looking prepared, there manager still going over notes with individual players with a leather-bound folder.. The 7s however are still being reminded by the gaffer they (CCU21s) took last week’s teams for 10 … we agree that no matter what, we not going to be a walk over.
Game starts as predicted, Kieran in goal is called into action straight away, good early handling and quick balls out to set the tone, the back four of Josh, Martin, David and Ram, see a fair bit of the early exchanges, David playing in the unfamiliar slot of centre back is soon on the back foot and in a foot race which the CCU21 strike, who wins at a canter, only for Kieran to be equal to the task.
Playing a compact 4-5-1 the midfield of Denzel on the left, Luke, Ryan on link up duty, tom and Jacob on the right,
With no more than 10 minutes played, and mostly on the back foot, it’s fair to say that the 7s was making a fist of it and still trying to play the ball on the deck, although being closed down at rapid speed, they still manged to counter attack with a few good passing moves.
With Billy up front, you’ve always got a chance, and now with a partner in Ryan to take some of the load off, they begin to split the CCU21s defence with some neat passing and running. A long ball up into the corner see Billy not only kill the pace of the ball in a touch, but with the second, passes the defender and gets a fierce cross in which Ryan almost meets but is beaten to by the defender. CCU21s openly talk that there’s the danger and to close the forward line down. Now with Ryan chasing every loose ball and Billy ghosting in behind, the 7s seem to be having more of the game.
On 30, Billy takes a high ball in his stride, somehow nutmegs the defender with a flick and gets on the end of his own ball, gets the cross over which beats everyone in the box, only for Ryan to pick up the pieces, drops a shoulder goes around the player who can only grab and pull him back by his shirt, clear penalty
Billy, steps up and hits hard and to close to the keeper, which results in a strong glove to push the ball back into the path of Billy who follows up at pace to slam into the roof of the net. 1-0 the 7s!!
With 15 minutes to go, the CCU21s are relentless to get an equaliser before half time, wave after wave of attack the 7s are now playing a 4-6 formation, Billy & Ryan are now in between the midfield and defence, chasing back to help out.
On a rare attack, Ryan wins another free kick, which is cleared by the CCU21s defence, and with Josh, David & Ram marking the opposition forward in the their half, the hopefully clearance sails over their heads and into the 7s half, Kieran decided not to come as the CCU21s forward has left David & Josh for pace and is now bearing down on goal. Ram, instead of heading to the player, goes straight to the goal as cover for Kieran is now made to come out and meet the forward 1v1, this allows enough time for Ram to get to the goal line just in time to meet the shot, however, being wrong footed and out of position, he improvises and manages to back heel the ball off the line and away from danger
However, with 5 minutes to go and from our own throw in, the wall of resistant’s is finally broken. Losing out to a 50/50 tackle, and 3v4, the CCU21s splice the back four apart and leave Kieran exposed for a well taken shot. 1-1 and half time couldn’t come quick enough
Half time talk, more of the same, keep it tight and don’t give up.
Second half starts the same as the first, notably a change of tactics from the opposition which now see them marking tighter up the pitch and closing the 7s down a lot quicker. Not even 10 minutes into the 2nd half sees CCU21s go 2-1 up with some nice one touch passing. You can sense the 7s was there for the taking, but thanking fully for some woeful finishing and their inability just take the shot without trying some trick, always give the 7s the last-ditch chance to get the tackles in.
15 minutes in sees the score go to 3-1, again not much can be done when the oppo get it right, but they did seem to be getting frustrated at not scoring at will. Resulting in the first booking of the game for decent towards the ref
A change has to be made, Ram needing to catch a breather, Andrew steps in a left back, Luke too takes 5, and on comes Steve H,
Now the fitness is telling, Kieran was now the final line of defence. All the good work in the first half was being put to the test. Still, 3-1 was respectable in the scheme of things. David & Martin was taken great pleasure in reminding the opposition they had a combined age of over a hundred!! Still, they had the last laugh, with a break down the left resulting in an unstoppable cross/shot to make it 4-1. With the game petering out, and finally finishing 4-1, it was a moral victory for the 7s, one which can be built on going forward
Now that the SALC is completed, we look forward to the coming season and league fixtures. We welcome back OW8s for the first home game who we defeated 4-0 only 3 weeks ago and fully expect a stronger opposition to be turning up to make amends
MOTM: After missing last week’s game, he makes some sort of amends with today’s performance, although, once again, Josh putting in a sterling effort, Kieran takes the majority vote within the team.
Mention for Ryan, never stopped running and looks to be settling in alongside Billy, who himself done well against a strong defensive side (4 in 3 for the cup!)
DOTD: Anyone who lets in four… sorry Kieran, it’s your job to stop the goals!!
Team: Kieran, Josh, Martin, David ©, Ram, Jacob, Tom, Ryan, Luke, Denzel, Billy
Andrew, Steve H.
Old Salesians 3rd v Merton 7s
Away, and against a very good Old Sale’s side who’s reserves had no game, you just knew the team will be bolstered with a few senior players. With a 3oc kickoff, most of the team arrived in good time and high spirits after the opening day victory, although Daban managed to get lost and turn up 15 minutes before kick-off and the ever-illusive Kieran doing his best to never turn up, we need a quick reshuffle of the starting line-up that was originally planed.
Martin dons the gloves and a back 4 of Josh, Tom, Dan & Steve, with Jacob on the right, Andrew, David making up the centre with Luke on the left, this left Billy and Scott up front.
From the start, OS3 took the front foot, passing around freely and creating problems with their slick 1 touch triangles, not long into the game, OS3 was in behind the back four which, lucky for the 7s, came to nothing, but this was going to be the start of things to come.
No more than 15 minutes gone and from around 25 yards, a hopefully cross/shot from OS3 midfield seemed to have caught Martin flat footed and dipped just under the bar for 1-0. A further few minutes later, and another break into the box, Dan tracking his man sticks out a foot and clearly trips the attacking player which results in a well taken penalty for 2-0. Dan, having a stiff talking to by the Ref, subbed himself for Daban which creates a reshuffle, and sees David drop back in to the back 4 and Daban going centre
Although down but not out, the 7s keep probing, with Billy being some nuisances to the OS3 back four, snatches a good chance to make it 2-1, followed up by a decent 1v1 which the keeper done well to save. Finally, Billy gets released down the left, skips past the right back and gives the keepers the eyes before curling a left footed, outside of the boot, low into the far corner. 2-1.
This made OS3 step up there game and with 2 pacey forwards, it was not long before the offside trap was (debatably) sprung again, with Steve still appealing, the forward bearing down on Martin dispatched a neat curling shot from 18 yards that curled into the top corner for 3-1
Half time, a few words and reshuffle of the players, Luke comes centre and Dabs going wide left, the 7s start with intent. Billy still having a good battle with the oppositions defence was always a threat and now Luke playing centre started to pull the strings and slot some neat through balls for Billy to run on to.
Still, with all the possession at the start of the half coming to nothing, OS3 being a threat on every attack, it was only a matter of time before it become 4-1, still not giving up, a further change sees Denzel come on for Andrew and slotting on the left and Dabs coming centre with Luke,
With chances being made, Billy once again showed skill with a neat back heel to Scott, with only the goalie to beat, sees his shot go high and wide. Soon after, Billy himself found space just inside the box, only for his tame shot to be straight at the keeper. Now tiring, the 7s being pulled apart by the forward line of OS3, shipped a further 3 goals before the end of the half.
Full time and frankly p***** off, the score does not reflect the effort the guys put in, although never looking likely to win, if the 7s took their chances and possibly had their first-choice keeper, it may have been more respectable. With a home game next week v Corinthian Casuals Under21 who beat todays opposition 4-3 and took OW8s for a 10-0 stroll, it looks like this motley lot will have another busy day to look forward to.
MOTM: Special mention to Daban, who came on and was full of energy but just couldn’t find that final ball, Billy again, always looking like a threat and now with 3 in 2 was out voted by 1 in favour of Luke, who was outstanding in centre midfield pulling the strings and frankly, never gave up.
DOTD: Made easy for not turning up, this week goes to Kieran ‘Lord Lucan’ Lee. Thanks to Scott who voted for himself after another blank day, where he squandered be far the easiest goal chance this season (will have nightmares about that one!)
Team: Martin, Josh, Dan, Tom, Steve, Jacob, Andrew, David ©, Luke, Billy, Scott
Merton 7s v Old Wilsonian 8s
After a few mish mash friendlies which included a 3-2 v SBC, an epic 8-5 v CS8 and a game that will never be mentioned again…! It would accumulate in the father & son of Goldings to be 2 a piece in the pre-season.
The closed season has seen a few changes to the squad, notably in the management roll where Dan Alley stepped down after a very good 2016/17 debut season and sees the 7s captain David Golding step up to the management roll. First job for the new manager was securing his no2, which see the very youthful looking Steve Burchell finally coming home to the 7s. To complete the new look management, we have Martin Quainton in as 7s Director of football!
Squad changes have seen Tom R, Adam E and Noor leave, although rumour has it that one may be retuning. The loss of Malcolm to injury in preseason was a blow but happy to report he should be back before the end of year, Kieran signing full time for the 7s in a coup by Dan before stepping down, further in comings are Marvin (although still carrying a knock and has yet to do a full 90), Jacob, Luke, Daban and Billy who hopes to be over his injuries that kept him out for most of last year’s campaign, comes back into the fold
The start of the SAL cup season which see us grouped with Old Wilsons 8, Sales 3rd and for some reason Corinthian Casuals under 21!! We get our new season on the way against the OW8s.
Nothing like a 1230ko to open the season, the 7s turning up in force and only missing Marvin & Malcolm to injury, Martin to another triathlon (remarkable effort…) and the late drop out of Daban due to work, still sees the 7s with 13. With Kieran between the sticks and a back four of Josh (last year’s players player of the season) Dan, Mark Chappell of the 6s on his debut trial (rumour has it, he may be available in the January transfer window once the 6s drop out of Europe!) and Steve ‘don’t call me Burchell’ Burchell at left back, we start with a strong back 5. Going with three in midfield of the new signing Jacob on the right, El Capo David in the centre and Tom J on the left and three up front of Billy centre flanked by Denzel and Luke, we kick off in the early afternoon sunshine
Early exchanges see the 7s get into the swing of things and with a very composed back four, stroke the ball around comfortable with not much pressure form the oppo. So, bedding in the new signings and getting everyone a touch, the opening 10 minutes see’s the 7s go close with Luke and Billy getting onto some good though balls and crosses. Pushing forwarded, the 4-3-3 soon switched to a 4-4-2 with Denzel switching to the left wing in front of Steve to give him cover, the change looked to have worked straight away, with once again Luke going close.
With all the possession going with the 7s and the centre backs calmly clearing up any threat, it takes a single effort from Billy Golding to steel the ball after an error from the OW8s keeper, comfortable rounding him and slamming in form a tight angle to give the 7s a deserved lead with 20minutes played.
The remaining of the half sees the 7s dominate, with only the odd lap of concentration from the centre mids (as pointed out by BURCHELL) almost gifting the OW8s an equaliser, we go in to the break 1-0 up
Half time sees Denzel, who had a strong defensive game on the left wing, make way for Scott to join Billy up front and Luke to drop on to the left wing in a more attacking roll, the 2nd half kicks off in more of the same. 7s dominate from kick off and grow in confidence, some great first-time touches from the midfield see any threat from OW8s quickly snuffed out and soon defence turns into attack. With 10 minutes gone in the second half, a further change is made, with Dan making way for Andrew ‘Dobby’ Dobson joining the David in centre midfield, but as an attacking mid, and Tom dropping into centre back, Dobby instantly gets involved with attack
OW8s still pressing wins a corner which is cleared up fielded to Billy, who.. still in his own half, takes on the OW8s defence in a foot race, Jacob on the right wing provides back up as Billy sprints past the OW8s defence and comes 1 on1 with the keeper, still at pace, the keeper rushes out as Billy takes a sweet knuckle shot, which see the keeper get a strong glove on the ball at full stretch, a good save from a great shot, but fortunately the advance Jacob is there to smash the ball home for a 2-0 lead
This spurs the 7s on more, now cutting the OW8s apart with fluent passing, even the watching Merton FC seemed to be impressed with the 7s performance. This sees Steve B slotting a perfect through ball to Billy who timed his run perfectly, only for the ref to pull the game back for offside, which would have surely been a goal… and Billy, wouldn’t have to wait long for another opportunity
Another OW8s attack was broken down by David, muscling the ball off the oppo outside the 18 yard box, skipping through 3 players challenges and pushing forward, Billy starts a run form deep and is released with a defence cutting pass from the old boy, Billy latches on with only the keeper to beat, this time Billy makes no mistake, sending a powerful shot that goes in of the post for 3-0
A further defensive cutting pass from Mark to Billy, these old boys in the 7s have a cracking range of passing, results in another great save, soon followed up by a double shot form Scott at close range, which seemed to be harder to miss than score, but in fairness, it was the OW8s ‘Glove Man’ that was only keeping the score respectable.
A further corner won by the attacking two, finally see’s Mark & David get there timing right, with Steve whipping in a cross to the near post, David beats the defender in the air to flick past the keeper for 4-0 (and his 4 goals in 5 games scored from corners must be mentioned!)
The remaining minutes of the game, sees the 7s comfortable run out winners, with better finishing the score could have been double figures, but this will be something that can be worked on. Special mention to Kieran who basically had 1 shot to deal with and only about 6 touches in the whole game, and to the new lads who got there first game under the belt for the new season.
Saturday sees the 7s away to Sales 3rd who lost 4-3 to CCU21. With their reserves having no game Saturday, we expect a strong opposition to turn out in what is the 2nd group game in our pool
MOTM: Tight voting between Josh and Billy, but Billy takes it for his 2 well taken goals and energy all over the pitch. One to look out for this season
DOTD: Fair play to Steve to nominate himself ahead of David (Some wonderful passing, as well as woeful!) for his run of his own half, and shot from 25/30 yards… which rolled about 2 yards ahead of him (other than giving us that laugh, had an immense game with Mark C at the back)
Team: Kieran, Josh, Dan, Mark, Steve, Jacob, Tom, David, Denzel, Billy, Luke
After the long drive to Bromley, Merton 7s were ready to face Old Wilsonians 8th‘s. Having faced them 3 weeks previously in which they fielded some notably better players, Merton were expecting another difficult game. With some regulars missing; Dave, Malcolm and Josh. The 7s, much like all political parties currently, had scrambled around to get players. In what turned out to be a very balanced squad. Lining up in the classic 442 the game got under way with Merton seemingly under the cosh early on. OW8 were dominating the first 10 minutes, with Merton not settling into the game. OW8 pounced and scored from a break. 1-0 down. After this, the 7s found their heads and took hold of the game for the rest of the half. With Chris and JT dovetailing beautifully in midfield to control the game. Spreading out wide to the two full backs of Dan P and Ed to create opportunities with both Jon Taylor and Scott profiting from this control. Jon Taylor’s tireless running allowing him to go through one-one with the keeper, who managed to save from point blank range. With the 7s in control, the pressure finally led to a breakthrough with Chris playing a cross-come-shot from the left-hand side outside the box. The ball floated its way past the keeper and into the top corner. 1-1! He definitely meant that! With all to play for the 7s were enjoying the game with nice interplay, but they were soon halted when they lost the dynamic and powerful Adam E. Who went off after hurting his shoulder as he tried to cushion his fall to the ground after being slide tackled. However, with Pete coming on in his place the 7s looked better for it! With Pete slotting in and dominating the flank with his hold-up play and running. Before the break there was one final incident when Scott had pressed the OW8 CM causing him to loose the ball, this lead to him kicking out at Scott. Infuriated by this Dobson went to Scott’s defence and shouted down the “Fat James Bay” (in his words). The CM was shown only a yellow card for this! As the referee deemed his frustrations to be with him not the team and so was only a yellow – very strange. No changes were made at half-time, with the team looking stable and the only thing asked was more of the same. However OW8 seemed to dominate for the first 10 minutes yet again, and like before they were able to get a goal during this little period of dominance. The striker smashing the ball from inside the box on the left hand side, past Martin’s near post side. Soon after this, Jon Taylor was replaced by Adam E who recovered from his shoulder injury. Dan P at RB was straight swapped for Scott at ST. Whilst Pete was moved from RM to ST alongside him. Adam E coming back to RM. The 7s then dominated for the rest of the game with the midfield two again dominating over OW8, however with all the dominance the 7s couldn’t make any headway. That was until 3 minutes from normal time. Dan P collected a long ball on the left channel, spinning past his marker he sent through Pete clean through. Pete then rounded the keeper and slotted home for 2-2!
Starting XI: Martin (GK), Dan P, Dan (C), Steve B, Ed P, Adam E, Chris O, JT, Dobson, Jon Taylor and Scott Subs: Pete
MOM: Dan P for his excellent play at RB in the first-half, before seamlessly switching to ST and setting up the equaliser in the dying moments of the game.
DOTD: OWE CM aka “The Fat James Bay” for his constant moaning and shouting at the ref and then kicking out at Scott
Carshalton 6s v Merton 7s
The fixture no one was looking forward to and it showed. On a great sunny Saturday afternoon, we strolled up on the back of 5 games unbeaten against the champions, who have scored over 80 goals and only conceded 11 in 14 games. Well, no surprises as to how this pans out!
The pre- game warm up was conclude without the captain due to arriving late, but still managed to hash together a team talk about getting amongst them and maybe putting it about, to let them know there in a game… from the whistle, the 7s held it together for around 10minutes before the flood gates opened, it was easy to see that they were there in body but absolutely not in spirit, this was a hiding to nothing.
With C6’s commanding a 5-0 halftime lead, the 7s made few changes, as well as b******ing from the captain to play with a bit of heart, the second half was by far better. Keeping it simple, C6s still run the game, passing freely and cutting the team apart a will, but in the final third, the 7s became more resilient, put the tackles in and rode there luck, even manging to win a few corners at the other end.
Eventually, the luck run out, an own goal after a mix up at the near post sees the comer deflected straight in and a thunder bolt into the top comer sees the game finishes 7-0.
If there is to be a silver lining, the Home fixture was a 12-0 affair, so losing 7-0 away must be seen as an improvement. But still shipping 19 goals in 2 games against a team who clearly should be playing at a much high level, begs the question as to why they managed to be put in this division.
On a more positive note, with only 2 games remaining, the Form guide looks pretty impressive for the 7s
Team: Gubby, Josh, Dan, Tom J, Martin, Noor, David ©, Andy, Adam E, Adam , Scott
Malcolm, Andrew D, Delman