Category: Under 9s Reports
19th November 2017
Merton Under 9s 5
Kingstonian Under 9s 1
Goal scorers: Faris 2
This week saw the under 9s play away against Kingstonian under 9s in the second game of the mini festival. A pre match weather warning message was received the night before from the coach, telling parents and boys to wrap up warm for the match. Arriving at the pitch, there was a chill in the air, but conditions were perfect for a game of football. The boys arrived on time for the warm up; absence of Coach Neal who had the task of picking up David, he had the address on his phone which ran out of battery. After finding David’s location, he finally arrived to take over the warm up from Roy. Roy looked pretty warmed up himself fishing the balls out from the ditch behind the goal.
The facilities at Kingstonian’s ground were nice, hot drinks available and pitch close to the patio area. This meant no sinking in the mud whilst watching, the shoes stayed clean and feet not as cold this week.
Referee who had a good game started the match promptly. This week the formation was to be 1 in defence and overload the midfield/forwards. The starting line up was Max (GK), Ollie (defence), Joe, Louis, Percy (midfield), Lewis and Faris (Forwards). Subs this week were Archie, Harry and David. This formation worked well throughout the game. Both teams started well creating numerous of chances. 1st goal came from a mistake from their defender and goalkeeper. This led to Faris pouncing on their mistake and putting the ball into the net. We continued to create chances, until they broke through and scored making it 1 – 1. The boys not looking downhearted kicked off and this is where they absolutely played the best football they have played this season. Changes made, David, Harry and Archie on. David picked the ball up just inside their half and hit a thunder strike at the goal, it was on target but a superb save by the keeper denied David his first goal for Merton. The save was parried out by the keeper which fell to Faris’s feet who placed the ball into the net. 2 – 1 and that’s how the half finished.
The second half, wow total football is all I can describe it as. It had everything in it; great passing, good link up play, hard tackling, one touch passing, great defending and a wonder save from Max. The opposition didn’t really put any pressure on Max in goal, who, apart from a one on one situation and pulling off the save of the season had a quiet second half. This could have been for the great defending from Harry (Tony Adams) in defence. He was solid all game including a great tackle near the end to deny them from scoring another one on one goal.
Now for our 3 goals, first one was by Archie. After what looked like a two footed challenge by Archie, not according to the ref, somehow got back to his feet and managed to place the ball beyond the scrambling keeper. 3 – 1 and now a bit more comfortable. Second goal came from an Ollie free kick, who crossed the ball into the box. The ball bounced through to Louis at the back post to put the ball into the net. Our third came from a through ball by Archie to an on running Ollie through on goal who placed the ball beyond the keeper. 5 – 1 and well deserved.
All the boys played their hearts in this game, everyone was buzzing from this result. It was good to see the progress they have made from the start of the season. Observation made is that it seems every time Roy’s daughter, Lauren doesn’t show for a game the boys win, just saying.
Moments off the pitch – Lewis managing to break the MOM trophy before the game. Luckily later that day Roy found a replacement.
The fumes of alcohol coming from Stewart and telling us that Percy is never drinking if that is what he will smell like after a session. One way of keeping kids off of alcohol I suppose. Taff preparing himself for an afternoon with Paddington and showing us his new Doc Martins!!
Spectator Bobby, warming up with the team and smacking Joe in the crown jewels with the ball. The corner we took, not realising that one of their players was still scrambling out of the ditch after getting the ball.
Last game next week of the festival fixtures at home to Croygas. A local derby and rival match against some of the boys former team mates. Play like they did today and we will smash ‘em
Sunday 12th November 2017 – Merton U9s vs Westside Youth U9s (again)!
The Merton U9s were in confident mood as they turned out for another bash at beating Westside Youth. There was a distinct feeling of ‘one that got away’ given a great performance the week before and a narrow defeat to some great breakaway goals from a very good opposition.
The big difference between the weekends seemed to be that whilst there was no sight of any WhiteWalkers, winter had definitely arrived. A cutting wind scythed across the pitches and the parents carrying goals suspected they had been kept in deep freeze overnight. Definitely gloves needed next time around.
Before the game the ref gathered both teams and managers around centre circle to carry out a minute silence for Remembrance Sunday. Both set of teams did themselves proud and observed perfectly.
With a full squad at our disposal Neal and Roy called the changes and the game began. Line up for start of match was Max (GK), Archie and Harry (defence), David, Louie and Percy (midfield), Faris (forward and captain). Subs were Ollie, Lewis and Joe. Merton immediately set about their opponents in confident mood and shaded the first scoreless 15 minutes with some good link up play. It was very quickly evident that the mid week rain (great fun for training on Tuesday) had led to a very sticky pitch. A few of the lads slipped at key moments and got the ball under their feet at times. But, as the old adage goes, it’s the same for both sides.
It was clear that the mid-week coaching had been taken on board by Faris who enjoyed a great game the previous week. He produced a series of passes to find good position and bring his team into play in attacking areas. This had an obvious positive effect on proceedings.
There was also some strong defending and Max pulled off a couple of solid saves and held the ball well. We also looked to play it positively out from the back on every occasion. Great for the boys development and decision making under pressure.
However, the first goal came for Westside Youth after they got a better foothold in the game. It felt like a real heartbreaker as the Merton boys had done well this far. It was aided by a slight slip in the area when trying to clear the ball by a Merton defender.
A second for Westside followed and Merton had to dig in to keep spirits up, as their performance thus far deserved. 2-0 at half time and all to do second half.
At half time a Westside parent was heard to say to their leggy number 10 he should have a pop from outside the box (clearly an established tactic) and it proved to be sharp advice. After 5 minutes he let rip from 15 yards and the ball found its home in the top of the Merton net. Gutted. Hard to keep out for Max given its pace and height.
Westside scored their 4th and final goal of the game after a few more minutes and you felt for the Merton boys who weren’t 4 goals worse in their performance. The Westside team had played together for the last 3 years and their understanding of each other was evident as a strength. Merton just came up short in some key moments but this is the learning ground that can’t be replicated outside a competitive game.
Into the last quarter and Merton got their rewards after another good move with short passes led to a chance for Lewis to have a long range shot, goalkeeper parrying it, which led to Faris following it up into the Westside net.
4-1 and so it finished. A consolation well deserved for Merton.
Neal and Roy spoke to the boys who knew they could beat this very good side from Westside if they got their game hooked up. Another chance will follow in the away game of course later in the season.
Parents were proud of the efforts and plenty of endeavour and quality all around. Lewis earned the Man of the Match award from an all round swash-buckling, box-to-box display including a handful of defensive interventions to help out his team mates. Cracking job Lewis. The average distance run by many of the players has increased noticeably as the weeks have passed and more of that running is into the right areas at the right time. Lewis typified this against Westside.
Onwards next week to an early away game near Richmond Park. Here’s hoping for hot drinks on site!
Merton U9 vs Wandgas U9, mid-season friendly, Sunday 29th October 2017
With no fixtures during half-term Merton U9s chose to build on the huge strides made over the first few weeks of the season with a friendly against Wandgas U9s.
Neal and Roy ran the now familiar team drills in warm-up under yet another cracking autumnal morning.
Merton U9’s lined up with just 8 in the squad due to the absences of Faris (chilling next to a Greek Pool a la Ronaldo) and David (chilling in bed with man flu, or possibly mom flu given Chell’s reports of feeling the same).
The opposition had brought along a couple of extra players to bolster what has been a squad still finding its’ feet this season.
The ref blew and Wandgas kicked off. The extra hour of sleep must have suited Merton because they were straight at it, closing down the opposition to win the ball and attack. They did this repeatedly to great effect in the opening 10mins, missing a few chances after some lovely one- and two-touch interplay. But they also found the back of the net through Archie, Lewis and Joe in quick succession with confident finishes against and ever-stretched defence.
As the half wore on Wandgas found their feet more and settled into the match. They were outdone one more time via a goal for Louis and then at 4-0 they hit back through their diminutive forward wearing 7 on his back. It’s a good thing David was not able to play as the comparison of the two players could have led to a Stewards’ Enquiry as to whether there was a 5 year gap between the sides. Merton endured a little ragged period during which Wandgas grabbed another through a nice free kick which the ever-reliable Max couldn’t quite get to so that they went in 4-2 at half time.
After the turn-around Merton picked up the initiative again and extended their lead through Percy who was having another dynamo-like game in the middle. Louis came on to play up front and Ollie added his relentless energy to the busy mid-field. The boys returned to some lovely interplay to create chances for each other and Louis put the next one away with his left peg after some pin-ball Wizardry from the midfield pressed into the Wandgas box. All the while Archie was making some cutely timed interceptions and playing it out with aplomb, as has become commonplace for his game. Next to him Harry was working hard and having a solid game especially against the strong number 5 from Wandgas.
It was 6-2 and a few wayward, though not malicious challenges led to the odd tear and break in play. Not satisfied with their work Merton kept pushing to the end and grabbed another through Louis’ newly discovered left foot and a cracker from Percy who does like the odd spectacular strike.
As the match drew to a close Wandgas maintained a positive attitude and kept at it, working hard to prevent any more Merton goals. They were outdone just once more as Louis nicked his hat-trick and underlined Merton’s superiority to mark up an 8-2 win at the final whistle.
Roy and Neal shared their thoughts with the team and awarded MotM to the deserving Joe who had quite simply stepped up a level for his team. Overall the boys had done themselves proud and continued to take their training ideas onto the field of play.
The anticipated battle between Taff and Archie to get the first round in after the game failed to materialise as the Merton bar manager didn’t make it in. Plenty of warm backslapping accompanied the happy crew as they trudged off to their awaiting carriages, looking forward to next Sunday when the competitive games return.
15th October 2017
Under 9s 3
Hampton and Richmond Boro Yth Stags 4
Scorers: Lewis, Faris, Percy
We returned back at The Hood this week for a 10.30 kick off against Hampton and Richmond Stags. Following last week’s win another before the half term break would be nice. Excitement was in the air as we received the message in the week that the new yellow kit was ready for the boys to wear and debuting on home soil. We were told to turn up early so the boys could change into it, all boys were there ready, even Faris. They changed on the side line and before it got dirty, posed in the goal for the team photo. The second message of the week received late Saturday from Roy, the referee had cried off due to injury and was looking for a willing volunteer; well let’s just say Roy really knows how to silence a bunch of parents. No joy with a volunteer or replacement ref on the day, so Roy stepped up and took the whistle.
Starting line up this week was Max in goal, Ollie and Archie in defence, midfield of Lewis, Louis and Percy and Harry up top. On the bench were Joe, Faris and returning from his holiday, David. With the boys looking smart in their new kit we started were we left off having majority of the possession in the first 10-15 minutes but again just couldn’t find the net. You could see that the training Tuesday nights were paying off as the boys were now playing as a team, talking and passing to each other. It fell to a defensive error, which lead to the oppo who hadn’t really threatened our half scoring the first goal, slotting the ball into the near post. We kicked off and continued to press the oppo. Three changes half way through first half, Archie, Ollie and Louis off for Faris, Joe and David. We equalised with a peach of a shot and goal from Lewis, left foot looping over the stretching keeper. 1 – 1 and back in the game. That’s how it stayed until the half time whistle. It was looking like one of those games where we had most of the possession but not finding the goal.
Couple of changes made and the second half began, the oppo also making some changes which made them slightly stronger. Confusion is only what I can put it down to what should have been our second goal. What looked like a handball by the oppo and then the ball scrambling over the line? The shouts of hand ball and confirmation from the oppo manager lead to the stand in ref giving Merton a penalty. Up stood Percy, unfortunately his shot was saved by their keeper. What I would say is that their goals were mostly due to defensive errors and not clearing the ball quick enough. Including one that could well have done with goal line technology. We did manage to get two more goals but it wasn’t enough to level the match. Faris scoring bottom left near post from an assist from Archie and Percy slotting the ball bottom right corner of the goal. I do believe that this is a game we should have won, given that we had most of the possession and best chances. The boys are definitely improving game by game and were unlucky in this match.
MOM went to Percy who has shown consistency over the last couple of matches and managed to get on the score sheet as well, well deserved.
Observations this week: Stuart had a run in at Percy’s Saturday game with a sunglasses wearing man (Terminator) who didn’t like the decibels being shouted from the sideline or Stuart’s jokes to lighten the situation!! and Roy’s watch doesn’t do Fergie time.
No game next week due to the international break (half term). Potential friendly on 29th against Wongas at 11.00 where there is a Merton club day for the youth section.
8th October 2017
Merton Under 9s 4
Halliford Under 9s 3
Scorers: Harry 2, Louis, Lewis
Nice autumn away game in the outskirts of Staines. Scenic route taken pass Hampton Court Palace, along the river Thames pass Kempton Race course to our destination of The Matthew Arnold School. Everyone arrived for the meet time, little walk across to the pitch ready for the warm up and team talk. Starting line up this week was Max (GK), Joe and Ollie (Defence), Louis, Percy and Lewis (Midfield) and Faris (Striker). On the bench were Archie and Harry, with David still away in Disney land with Mickey and friends and all the roller coasters.
The first half we started strong and put pressure on their defence and goalkeeper but couldn’t find the net, their keeper making some good saves. For about the first 5 minutes Max was standing in his area with surprisingly not a lot to do. The first goal unfortunately came from the opposition, and unfortunately due to the intensity of the match I’ve forgot how it went in. The boys got themselves together, kicked off and continued as they started the match. Couple of changes have way through the first half, Harry and Archie on. We got the leveller from Lewis who dribbled pass a couple of players and placed the ball in the bottom right hand of the net. His first goal of season and well deserved. That’s how the first half finished, the players gathered for well earned drinks, short rest and team talk.
Second half, couple more changes and onto the exciting but intense 25 minutes. We continued to play some good football, passing the ball about, clearing the ball out from the back and shooting first time at goal. Again they took the lead from a corner that wasn’t cleared, 2 – 1. Percy was having yet another great game in centre of midfield, with his endless running and closing down. We drew level yet again with a sweet left foot shot by Harry into the top right corner. The boys never gave up and with some good passing Harry got us in the lead making it 3 – 2. There came upset in the last 10 minutes as they scored to level the game again to make it 3 – 3. A few more changes, Harry off to be denied a chance to get a hat trick. With about 5 minutes of normal time to go, the ball was played over the top to Louis who calmly controlled the ball and composed himself in front of goal to score his first goal of the season and put us back in the lead. Now, for the second week running, Fergie time was played and the last 5 minutes of added time was squeaky bum time. The boys played their hearts out, not one of them having a bad game, defended well and saw the game out to go on and win their second game of the season.
This was a great but nail biting match to watch, which had everything in it. There were new goal scorers, end to end play, post hitting, defending, passing and the ball hitting the back of the opposition net.
Man of the match was close between 2 goals Harry, Percy’s engine in the middle, but was given to Louis for another great performance and getting on the score sheet. Winning treats at the end of the game supplied by Roy.
The win made the drive home a lot more enjoyable.
Next week’s game sees a 10.30 kick off at home against Hampton and Richmond Borough Youth Stags. On the agenda is Taff helping with the goals and Stuart supplying the pom poms for the new sideline cheerleaders (Lewis’s sister and friend).
1st October 2017 (away)
Merton Under 9s 0
Old Ruts 12
MOM – Ollie
Pleasant mid morning kick off for the under 9s, away to local rivals Old Ruts. We played them pre season where it was a close game, this was the total opposite. There was definitely and bit of ‘Fergie time’ on the watch. Neal took the warm up once everyone arrived, couple of games and then some shooting practice. Taff even lent a hand with the Old Ruts mum’s carrying the goals out; they must have been lighter than ours!!!
Missing one player this week, David, who was running around Disney Land hopefully not slide tackling Mickey Mouse.
Starting line up of Max in goal, Harry and Joe in defence, midfield of Percy, Archie and Louis, up top was Faris. Lewis (Hazard) and Ollie on the bench. Although we conceded 12 goals there were some positives in the match. The boys played the ball about and made some good passes and one twos, getting the ball out to the wide positions. We did have chances but just couldn’t convert them. Old Ruts had some good players who could put the ball in the net. We went in the first half with the score being 5 – 0. Clearing and losing the ball near our goal was our down fall for the goals.
The second half was a bit like the first but the boys worked harder to try and get some goals back, Percy doing the upmost to control the centre of midfield who I thought had a really good game, Louis having game of season so far running up and down the wing and getting into scoring positions but not finding the net. Archie putting in the crunching tackles, with one of them causing slight injury to knee and being fireman carried off by Neal. Faris’s passing and movement was better, just didn’t have his scoring boots this week. Harry and Joe also doing their best to stop the Old Ruts scorers from getting more goals. Ollie doing what he could at the back trying to help Max defend the goal and picking up man of match this week. There is a trophy but Lewis’s mum forgot it!! Max although picking the ball out of the back of net numerous times did pull off some very good saves.
And poor Lewis who is still looking for his first goal. Lewis was given the chance to open his scoring this season after being fouled in the box and stepping up taking the penalty. Unfortunately it was his or the teams day to get a goal. The keeper pulling off a great save denying Lewis his goal.
The score line didn’t hinder the teams’ spirit and look forward to the long away match next week against Halliford Colts FC.
24th September 2017
Merton Under 9s 3
Twickenham Tigers 2
Goal scorers: Faris 2, Own Goal
Another home game for the under 9s against Twickenham Tigers. Parents ensured players got there on time for a warm up and some practice set piece drills laid on by the coach. Keys available this week for the changing room meant the goals were out nice and early, corner flags in, spectator fencing up and pitch inspection done. Roy’s homemade poopa-scooper was needed for a few areas of fox/dog mess scattered about the pitch, believe you could see him on the next Dragon’s den with that creation!!
Formation of 231, starting line up of Max (GK), Archie (Captain for day, just like his dad the day before for Merton 6s) and Harry defence, midfield 3 of Ollie, Joe and Lewis with Faris up top. On the bench were David and Louis. Percy was missing this week, not giving up the opportunity of a free bar at a wedding this weekend. The boys started well passing the ball about between each other and getting the ball into the spaces and out wide. We certainly look like we are forming a great team just after 2 games and boys all linking up nicely. Max rushing out of area, not realising how far out he was palmed the ball away outside the area, referee awarded a free kick. The free kick on the edge of our box saw the first goal go in for the tigers 1 – 0. Boys picked them self up and kicked off, continuing to press forward to get a goal back. Lewis or as I have learnt from sideline nickname of Hazard didn’t stop running and trying to get goal he deserves. Faris again got us back level dribbling the ball about in the box and finding the net. Couple of changes in the first half, David and Louie coming on for Ollie and Joe. That’s how it stayed until half time 1 – 1.
Second half and two changes, Archie and Harry off for Ollie and Joe. The boys started the second half well and were playing really good football. They had chances but their goalie (a girl) was pulling off some excellent saves. We took the lead with Faris getting onto a long pass through their defence, goalie came out but Faris, left foot placed the ball into the bottom right of the goal, 2 – 1. It could have been 2 – 2 with all players in their half the ball broke to 3 of their players running on to goal but sweeper Max came rushing out to clear the ball for a throw. Archie and Harry back on for Faris and Lewis. Again Max had a great day in goal pulling off some great saves. We scored to make it 3 – 1, Harry getting the ball out left, cut back and passed to on running Ollie who shot but had it cleared, ball fell to Archie who hit the ball for it to come off one of their players and go beyond the diving keeper who tried to stop the ball but it went behind the line. I thought this was Archie’s goal but having looked back at the footage filmed by Harry’s mum on sideline it was just an assist. The Tigers made the game interesting in the last 5 minutes getting a goal back to make it 3 – 2. Final two subs back on Faris and Lewis for David and Louis. We held on, they had a couple of corners which we cleared. One moment at the end which made me laugh, we had a goal kick, oppo on the half way line, ball passed out by Max to our defender the Tigers shouted charge like Gladiators and ran towards the ball. This led to the ball being played over the top to Faris who ran onto goal one on one with the keeper; hit the ball for it to hit the post. Lewis followed in but couldn’t connect and get his goal he so deserved. That was the last moment of the match as the referee who had a good game blew the whistle. 3 – 2 to Merton and first win for the team.
This was a very good and exciting match to watch, which was end to end and had the nervous ending. Next week’s game is away to local rivals Old Ruts Youth who we played in preseason.
17th September 2017
Merton Under 9s 3
Carshalton Athletic Whites 5
Goalscorer: Faris (3)
Under 9s first home game at the Hood, everyone got to the ground early as per the coach’s orders. Pitch half ready, just the important items waiting to be retrieved from storage, the goals. On Manager’s agenda for next week’s game a set of keys for the changing rooms.
Coach Neal (yes I have now got name spelt right) took the boys for a warm up and pre match tactic run through. Starting line up was Max (GK), Ollie and Archie in defence, Louis, Percy and Lewis in midfield and Faris up front. David, Joe and Harry on the bench. The team started well controlling their passes and getting the ball forward. Faris had his shooting boots on today scoring all 3 of the goals in the first half. He took all three goals very well. 3 changes made half way through the first half David, Joe and Harry on for Ollie, Archie and Faris. Carshalton brought it back to make it 3 – 3 at half time, a good match so far with Merton looking a lot better from last week’s game. Some positives to take in for the half time team talk.
2nd half and a couple more changes made. We continued to play some good football, working it from the back, unfortunately Carshalton took the lead, scoring two more to make it 5 – 3 with about 5 minutes to go. Last of the changes and the boys tried to get the goals. David trying a spectacular over head shot just to see it land on the top of goal net and Lewis smashing a worldy only for the ball to hit the corner of the upright. Had it gone in would have been contender for goal of the month. All the boys worked hard but couldn’t bring it back. Game ended 5 – 3 to Carshalton but defiantly improvements and positives to take into next week’s game at home to Twickenham Tigers.
Man o f the Match was tight choice for the coach and manager, hat trick scoring Faris was just edged by Archie with his great tackling and some real quality on the ball.
Merton Under 9s vs Esher Wizard Whites Under 9s
9th September 2017
10.00 Kick off
Score: 1 – 6
The newly formed under 9s kicked off their season with an away game against Esher Wizard Whites. Managed by Roy Crabb and coach by Neal Davison they gathered the kids for a warm up and tactic talk before the 10 o’clock kick off. The boys started off well, playing some good football, passing ball about and getting ball out wide. Unfortunately so were Esher, so getting any chances to shoot were slim. Esher took the lead with their player slotting the ball beyond Max. 1 – 0. 3 changes made half way through first half and we managed to level before the end of the half. Poor distribution by their keeper to their defender (who was in front of own goal) saw Farris pounce on the keepers mistake, gather the ball and hit it into the top of the net. 1 – 1 and going into the 2nd half with a draw.
Boys gathered on sideline, had their drinks and listened to the gaffer and coach’s half time team talk. Start of the second half and a couple of changes made. For most of the 2nd half Esher pinned us in our own half and piled on the pressure, Harry was playing well in defence along with Ollie and Archie trying to keep the ball from going in, Max pulling off a lot save including impressive one from their free kick, tapping the ball onto the crossbar. Unfortunately a couple of defensive error and some good play saw Esher put the ball in 5 more time making it 6 -1 at the end of the game. David, Louis, Lewis, Joe, Percy and Farris all worked hard to get the ball in Esher’s half, but Esher had the edge over us. Lewis making a great run near the end, taking on 3/4 of their players but got tackle just as he was about to strike.
All the boys worked hard and tried their best in their first league game, a bit more work needed to get the best out of them and to see them turn into a great team. Man of match went to Harry for his great tackling and defending.
It was also proud moment to see son put on Merton shirt having played and still playing for the club for over 15 years, like wise for Neal.
Next game at home against Carshalton Athletic Whites.
On a lovely sunny April morning away at Barnes football ground, Merton under 9s took on Barnes at a 6 a-side match with no substitutes (due to holiday commitments). It was an all-round superb display by Merton with a gutsy, technical and energetic performance shown by all the players. A total team game.
Barnes set off to a quick start with an opening goal, but from then on Merton were in the ascendancy. Harry deservedly won the man-of-the match award with a determined performance, with some fantastic crosses and an important goal. Do-Hoo scored twice, one with a penalty (after being sandwiched by the other side) and Tommie with his pace scoring the fourth. Sam again made some significant catches in goal (and won a best moment award for one of his saves), whilst Jack added pace down the wing. Callum was as strong as ever in midfield and defence.
Given the lack of substitutes, it was decided to “rest” the players by playing a rotational system, which was very effective as the boys preserved their energy and progressively dominated each quarter.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable game for players, coaches and spectators alike in a great setting. Although playing a 6 a-side game, the boys were not phased and showed great patience, skill and character to wear the other side down and to seize control of the game.
Thrilling match with a superb result!
U9s Pitch Marshall