Norsemen (a), September 30: Lost 1-2
A sojourn to anywhere upwards of Ally Palace should come with some sort of health warning. The north is a foreign country, they do things differently there.
In Merton 2s’ case, this was various interpretations of timeliness ranging from 30 minutes early (preppy top marks PQ, DQ); bang on time (Adam, Gibbo, Jamie); late but with regular WhatsApp updates from the car (Gabby); or late because of getting on the wrong train entirely (Cookie).
Merton came strolling out of the traps with all the verve of Dame Thora Hird attempting to find a biscuit under her sofa. Sherbs watched on as the backline was broken, made a decent attempt at a tackle, but was stranded as a subsequent cross went to a Norseman to put into an empty net.
Up front, Rayner and DQ were creating upwards of zero chances until the last 20 minutes of the first half when Team Handsome started to get on top of things. Andy Holder-Ross came off the bench for a hobbled Pearcey and notched. Merton went in with their tails up.
Second half, said tails made their way limply back between Merton legs as Norsemen ground out a territorial advantage, hit the bar a couple of times, and eventually scored after a defensive error.
Merton responded by not doing a lot apart from overhitting crosses and musing the tiresome journey home. Joe Grew did manage a GOAT clearance: somehow smashing the ball against his own bar hard enough to clear out of the area. Astonishing.
Cookie, DQ, and birthday boy Dan Rist commiserated by drinking until 5am: #lads. MOM was Joe Grew, because he stood pretty firm in the face of an average performance.
DOTD was Sherbs, not just for the first goal, but also for counting on paper using concentric circles instead of the traditional five-bar gate. Maybe it’s a keeper thing.
Tuesday 18th April
Merton 1sts VS Southbank
An evening kick off always brings with it an odd sense of novelty that some embrace and others shy away from. Peter Brown was uncharacteristically upbeat and bullish commenting that he has the rare opportunity to work-out his day’s frustrations on the football pitch whilst Simon wasn’t really up for it and decided to leave his football boots at home, an early candidate for Dick of the Day surely!
The pre match bants was as strong as ever with people noticing that Matt Bosher was the new fatty of the team (until Woody arrived) and Browner was dressed in the Tesco uniform, which kept us occupied for a while.
With about 20 minutes left before kick off 4 players decided it would be a good idea to go out to the pitch to warm up, Tom Rowe failed to notice that out of a bag full of balls, the one he picked was flat but that didn’t stop the dedicated few from warming up in true “end of season fashion”…….. by hitting balls at Rat in goal, .which looked like some kind of secondary school bullying, forcing the small kid to stand still while the bigger kids tried to hit him with a ball. As coined by James Tilley, we were living up to the tag of Rag Arse Rovers……..until the opposition turned up. They had decided that practising corners with 10 players standing in the box heading the ball out was a good warm up. Still, we continued our fun until Clappers turned up with his shorts pulled up as high as Simon Cowell, but at least he had his boots on. Games faces on! Clappers instigated a proper warm up…… we had done 4 shuttles from the goal line to the edge of the 6 yard box when the ref signalled that start of the match….brilliant! Surely everyone had warm muscles ready to start fast right??
The line-up told you all you need to know about how the game had begun….Ivan, Bosher and Clappers in the middle of the park, not an ideal mid field trio but they ran around enthusiastically enough. The pitch was awful, hard as concrete with small patches of grass which ensured the ball would jump up if it ever ran along the ground to you, which was rare.
The ball was hoofed from one end to the other by both sets of defenders whilst everyone else got to grips with the pitch and their touches, to be fair to them, the Merton back four seemed to be the only ones who started well, straight from the whistle. The opposition had a 6ft.4, 18 Stone midfielder which led to some funny looks and chuckles between clappers and Matt as Ivan was left to mark him. Mis match maybe??
The game continued with not much to note as both sides settled, the opposition threatening more than Merton, with a few runs that didn’t seem to reach their full potential. There were flashes quality from Merton as everyone got to grip with their positions and with a few one-twos and some good movement out on the wing by Tom, we started to create some chances. With some neat passing from the back Tom released Kieron down the left wing who ran at defender s and seemed to be through on goal, his shot (or low cross) troubled the keeper who pushed it in to the 6 yard box and after a failed clearance Tom smashed it in the back of the net from close range. It would be fair to say it was slightly against the run of play but 1-0 to Merton nonetheless. We were lucky to retain the lead after a blind pass from Clappers to nobody, but that didn’t stop Clappers calling Browener….as though it was his fault…..and Tom Rowe giving a hospital pass back to Siri which put him under unnecessary pressure. The opposition’s huge midfielder started to impose himself a bit and began playing some good balls forward so Ivan began the lock down in midfield. The usually unaggressive attacker seemed to change to “Will Low” mode……the Silent Smasher. Ivan began dominating the massive midfielder, snapping away at his ankles, pushing him off the ball and at times nearly physically picking him up! In a David and Goliath scenario that may one day be made into a film, Ivan stopped the man mountain from playing where others could not and began frustrating him. Ivan had done his job and had this rubber stamped by the Ref after the beast like man complained that “number 7 keeps fouling me”! Job done, a new midfield Enforcer was born! The half played out with the same quality of football but on a positive note, everyone was starting to get warmed up.
The half time team talk was relatively short (thank god) and a few changes were made to save a struggling Tom and a puffing Bosher. Woody has finally arrived so went into the middle and Ivan went out wide………normal business ensued and Merton began creating better moves with a bit more composure in the middle of the park. Passes began going to feet, people started reading the game better and Merton started controlling the game. Every long pass forward from the opposition was being eaten up by Browner and Rat with Cooky and Connor controlling their respective sides. After another round of substitutes and position changes Merton began creating better and better opportunities with Woody half-volleying a pass forward which sliced open the opposition’s defence and nestling nicely on Kieron’s foot. He touched it past the defender and was on goal, a nicely placed passing shot would suffice and it would be 2-0 but Kieron went for the chip…….the ball did not ripple the net! Another good opportunity but the quality of the finish did not match the quality of the move. Another break down the left wing with Charlie and all he needed to do was deliver the ball into the box with Ivan back post and Clappers running into the box but Charlie lashed it high and out for a goal kick. The game became a bit more of a battle towards the end with a spirited performance by the Oppo, who refused to give up, fighting until the very end even though they were already relegated. There were a few moments where the ball bobbled into our box and wasn’t cleared properly which gave Southbank a chance to level the game but their shots were smothered well by our defenders, worthy contenders for MOM.
The whistle blew and the game was won. A cheeky 3 points on a Tuesday evening.
We all settled in the bar for a drink and to vote for MOM and DOD. As instigated by Woody as usual, Ivan was unfairly voted DOD for no other reason than jealousy from the real dicks of the day and Rat rightly won MOM.
Additional highlights include Tom Rowe spotting a message from Sherb’s wife on Clapper’s phone as he was checking for nominations…..some say it was a picture message!…….and Charlie was heard walking out of the club house with Ivan and Matt whispering softly, so that there was no chance the oppo could hear, “Good luck in Div 3 you *****!”
Onto the results from today then.
In a Weirside double, the 2s flew the flag (we actually have a flag, lending credence to said metaphor) by trouncing the oppo 5-2. DQ with a brace to continue his barnstorming season, while Dan Kelly and Manny (2) also got amongst it.
The 1s went down 2-0 alas. The 5s fought hard for a 2-2 draw, with goals from Dulanie and Rich Gibbs.
The 6s went down 1-0 to Old Salesians, a blinding, late finish from someone doing the business.
Big congrats to the 7s, who pulled off an excellent 6 points in a double header against Wilsonians. 3-0 in the first game and then 3-1 in the second. Well done lads!
SATURDAY 18th MARCH
JOSEPH HOOD – FROM 4.45PM LIVE IRELAND V ENGLAND, GAMES, BETS, FOOD & BEERS IN THE BAR.
FRIDAY 14th APRIL –THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY – JOSEPH HOOD – 11AM START (PROMPT)
The annual Long Good Friday Event returns at Merton, VETS GAME with the legends from Old West Citz, Merton X1 friendlies, YOUTH GAMES and SENIOR FRIENDLIES much more. Hot food + hot cross buns in the bar – with a good old drink and catch up to celebrate the start of Easter. Not one to miss!!
SATURDAY 13th MAY – 1PM to 10PM, Joseph Hood
Merton FC is staging its inaugural 5/6-a-side World Cup splitting all the members & teams up equally & fairly! There will be two pools, involving a group stage, semi-finals & final & a PLATE competition.
FOLLOWED by a BBQ & BEER!
ALL are welcome – please join the event page on Facebook to state your interest!
SATURDAY 27th MAY, AWARDS NIGHT & FA-CUP FINAL
AWARDS DAY & NIGHT AT MERTON FC, JOSEPH HOOD – 2PM START (PROMPT).
Inter club friendly, fish n chips, the fa cup final in the bar & awards.
Due to the hood pitches being unplayable the big club league game today, 6s vs 7s was played at Wimbledon Common extensions. A very good game played by both team, good clean tackles and no agro. Final score 3 – 1 with Pete getting a hat trick, lucky for him club house was closed so no jug from him!! 1s played away to old Finchleians where 8 goals were scored, the game ended 4 – 4. 5s also played at extensions losing 6 – 0 to Ibis Eagles.
On a blustery afternoon at the Hood, Merton FC’s last game of the season was to follow on a day that coincided with a few Merton farewells and an end to a character building season on and off the pitch.
After an unusually indifferent season of highs and lows on the pitch, Merton were cheered on from above by one of our beloved boars who we lost this season (smiler boar) Nick P.
Our oppo got the better of us earlier in the season when the need for substitutes was ever so apparent. Merton had an almost full squad to pick from for the final home game.
Joe (with beard)
A few familiar yet mainly absent faces back in the team for this one.
Merton started off the game from the kick off pressing high up and won the ball back from a Nottsborough start. The ball was collected in midfield and played out to Glenn on the right hand side of the area, a swift cross in to the box, and Denys was on hand 7 yards from goal to finish well in the bottom left hand corner to make it 1-0 to Merton within 30 seconds of the kick off. Good finish and pressure from Merton, and a finish to start the tempo for the first half for Merton.
Merton were pressing constantly and after a few challenges on the Nottsborough forward players early on, Merton had a lot of the ball and were spreading the play across the midfield and to the two forwards well.
10 minutes in, a ball in to midfield from defence was played out to the left wing, crossed in to the area to Darcy who stuck the ball past the keeper from 5 yards to make it 2-0. Merton cruising and playing great.
A few fouls were given by both teams (but mainly Tony P) as Nottsborough tried to keep the ball, and the Merton back line stuck together well. 25 minutes in, Merton possession, chances created, and not an opposition chance on target to note.
30 minutes in and more Merton pressure and pressing resulted in another goal. Great pressure from the Merton defence gave the ball to Ricky on the left wing, who combining with Mustard/Glenn, gave Ricky a sight at goal from 30 yards out. The keeper only slightly off his line, Ricky lobbed in an audacious effort (and screamed as if giving birth) over the keeper which nestled in to the side netting. Great strike, and rightly so a Merton bundle followed…
3-0 up and in complete control. Some say it was the handsome (and rightly so missed) faces that were back for Merton on the day, some say it was Denys’ relentless effort chasing down the Nottsborough back line, some even say it was the fear of being replaced by the fluorescent boot wearing, ‘pregnant’ substitute Donno that spurred the team on?! However a great first half from Merton and with a full team and all round commitment- showed us what the season could have been like had the personnel being consistent.
Second half and Ross and Donno were on for Denys and Joe (with beard).
The second half did not start as comfortably as the first half did. The Nottsborough players pressed higher up (possibly a last throw of the dice) to try and gain some momentum in the Merton half. 10 minutes of pressure from the oppo was dealt well with by the Merton back four. 15 minutes in and a through ball from Tony at right back was knocked through to Donno by Ross – as seen many times this season Donno has a tendency to think he is faster than he is – legs moving faster, and upper ‘torso’ area lagging slightly behind; the keeper came out of his area to collect the bouncing through ball. Donno managed to nick this past the keeper slightly in the air (or so he thought) until the oopo keeper decided to stop his effort, and handled outside of his area. Red card. Oppo down to 10 men. Free kick to Merton.
After a few minutes from the oppo complaining and Merton discussion on who to take the free kick, Glenn took responsibility. Most of the Merton teams’ pancakes on Tuesday night were as flat as this free kick – as Glenn confessed (whilst chuckling to himself) ‘errr – that was rubbish Tone’ – yes it was Glenn. Yes it was.
Shortly after a free kick given in Mertons’ half after Tony wrestled had their left winger to the ground and in the same movement pulled his shorts down – (great technique) – a Nottsborough attacked resulted in their centre half cuddling Neal violently, dragged him to the floor whispering sweet nothings’ in to his ear (who can blame him?!) – a free kick was given quickly and taken by Dan up field to Ricky. Through ball to Donno and those pink boots were deliberating whether to go to the keepers left, right, over the top – in the end a toe-poke through the keepers’ legs was good enough to make it 4-0. Good finish in to the bottom corner of the net.
The opposition at this point had their heads down, but kept bombing forward and trying to hold the ball up in the Merton half. Their forward intent led to a lot of chances for Merton to score more, as their back line was nowhere to be seen.
Ross had a great chance to make it 5-0 when a through ball from Donno with only the keeper to beat, smashed an effort off the post. Donno then had 2-3 chances to wrap the game up and… didn’t. Ball was won by Ross within the Merton half, edge of the area, squared to the opposite side of the box to Donno, Tony was free with an open goal in front of him – yet inexplicably gravity pulled Donno and his excess ‘muscle’ to the floor for the umpteenth time. An open goal or two from Donno were quickly forgotten about when the final whistle went on what was a great end to the season and showed a great team spirit throughout the team.
Great performance from the boars and no bookings (unbelievably)!
Best of luck to Donno on his new venture in Spain – last appearance for him in a Merton shirt and farewell to those pink boots…
4-0 home win.
Dave ‘Dad bod’ Donovan
1s beat Weirside 3-0 on pens (1-1) and progress to S/F of SAL Prem Cup. 2s win 1-0 at Old Blues with DQ goal. 3s beat Nottsborough 4-0 and 4s beat Lloyds Warren 4-0. But our usual bankers prevent a clean sweep with 5s and 6s both losing 3-1.
The victorious 3s, who ended their season on a high note with a 4-0 win. Huge credit to these guys – a difficult season, with a final league position that didn’t do justice to their performances, and plenty of narrow defeats. But a great team spirit maintained til the end. Well done lads
Merton FC WORLD CUP!
Don’t fancy a trip to Russia or Doha in the next six years? The good news is that this year, the
World Cup is coming to you. That’s right folks, Merton FC is staging its inaugural 5/6-a-side World
Cup on Saturday 13th May at the Hood (assuming all league games are done by then – we may
have to do it a week later!!!!!).
Our plans at this stage are provisional depending on numbers, but the aim is to organise 8 senior
teams, with squads of roughly 8 players each. Ideally, we will have seven pots, each containing
names from the respective seven senior teams at the Club. We will then draw one name from each
pot to compile each team, so that there is a good mix of strength from across the club. Goalkeep-
ers will be kept separate and added in thereafter to make up the eighth member of the squad.
The draw, should the enthusiasm warrant it, will be done on Facebook Live closer to the time, thus
making for an enjoyable spectacle.
We will then separate the 8 teams into two pools of four, with the four teams in each section play-
ing against each other in a round robin (ie: 3 matches). We will then have semi finals and a final,
along with a plate section for those who don’t make the playoffs.
Games will be 20 minutes’ long, with three pitches marked out. That means there will be some op-
portunity for rest every third game as well. We’ll also mark out a fourth pitch for the Youth section,
so that they can stage a similar tournament. Would be great if we could include parents or coaches
in their event as well – the more people we can get involved, the better.
We will decide if it is 5 or 6-a-side closer to the time, depending on numbers. Start time will likely
be in the region of 1pm. Price is also TBC, although we will aim to keep it to £10 each, including
The aim is to make this a family-friendly occasion, with a barbecue afterwards (a big thank you to
Darren Avey, who has kindly offered/been roped in to cook us burgers and sausages) and also
other amenities like jumping castles and what not. There will also be Premier League football on
too, which will be televised at the bar.
We’ll be doing this properly too, with a trophy and prize giving. A pretty exciting concept, and
could hopefully commence a fine new Merton tradition. The idea is in its embryonic phase at this
stage, so all suggestions are welcome. We may even listen to them. Either way, it should be a won-
derful day out for all of us.
ALL WE NEED FROM YOU AT THIS STAGE IS TO CONFIRM WHETHER YOU ARE
KEEN TO PLAY!!!!
Please let Mike Todt, Neal Davison or Sherbs know. All are welcome to come along,
so tell your family and friend. We will be creating an event on Facebook too. Many
thanks in advance for your enthusiasm lads!
Today’s youth results, some very tough games today, but the lads have done well.
U9s lost 4-1 to Wangas Youth
U11s No game
U13s beat G4G FC 5-2 and move into second in the division 3pts ahead of third place and closing in on the leaders who are 8pts ahead but we have 2 games in hand and have yet to play them.
U14s drew 2-2 with AC Fulham in an epic top of the table game, we stay top but it’s tight.…
U15s lost 5-4 in another equally important match against Wallington Wanderers.
Big week next Sunday at the Hood as U11s host Roehampton Rangers in the Cup semifinal and U13s, U14s, U15s are all at home. Get down there and support the future of Merton FC!