First Team Match Report vs HSBC – 19/09/2020
First Team Match Report vs HSBC The Southern Amateur Division 2 kicked off on Saturday for the 1’s as we welcomed old foes HSBC to the Hood. Even with Covid restricting the late Summer vacations we still only managed to patch together 12 names on the team sheet. Sam Harvey given the starting berth on the bench following an exhausting Cricket season. Clappers made a rather bold decision to switch pitches to the less playable and slightly larger pitch which meant Niall’s pink box training drills from Wednesdays session went out the window and we were back to plan A of lump it forward and hope for the best. Luckily for us, George’s University has closed their campus so plan A wasn’t a bad shout. The game started fast with HSBC, profiting with an offseason promotion following the shock folding of Carshalton, being particularly buoyant out of the blocks and winning most of the early possession. A HSBC corner after about 10 minutes was the best opportunity of the early exchanges and with VAR not in action in the SAL HSBC can feel hard done by that they weren’t profiting from a goal mouth scramble as it looked as though the ball had gone well over the line. Well cleared by Harrison. Following the shock Rat got the back four going and H and Max in the middle started to get control of the game. Browner, seemingly having learnt to throw the ball during lockdown, was causing all sorts of pressure down the left with his inch perfect long throws. One of these was elegantly brought down by Josh who turned sharply and released George down the left wing. George beat his man for pace, then again with some skill, before cutting in and finishing well from an acute angle. A brilliant solo goal which merited his starting place even though he turned up with no socks or shin pads 10 minutes before KO. Glenn was dragged shortly after, Clappers protecting a prized asset who was clearly carrying the cobwebs of Aiya Napa, and Sam Harvey was on with a point to prove (spoiler alert he didn’t prove his point). A couple of good half chances fell to the wrong man on the edge of the box (Aussie Max) and we were in at half time one up. Lots of pats on the back for the back four and some good chat from Clappers about the need for a positive start to the second half fell on deaf ears. Within 3 minutes the dangerous no5, picked out before KO as he scored two against last season in the cup, was free 30 yards out and let off a rocket into the the top bins. A proper contender for goal of the season. Sound System Sam in goal no hope. 1-1 Aussie Sam, Rat, Jimbo and Browner then shut out HSBC. Snapping into tackles, dominating in the air and bullying the HSBC frontline. I don’t think HSBC had another chance, an even game was just waiting for its moment… That moment came on the 80th minute. Aussie Max going down in heap with a scream to win a penalty. Up stepped Josh, confident, ready to deliver and with the crowd on his side. What happened next cemented his nickname in Merton folklore, old fat shit Josh literally rolled the ball into the keepers arms for what must be the worst penalty witnessed at the Hood for many a season. The players, the GK, the fans and even the ref were shocked. So much so the final whistle should have been blown then because the next 10 minutes were spent with confused men trying to comprehend that penalty miss rather than winning the game. Final result Merton 1-1 HSBC MOM – Jimbo. Yes you read that right. DOD – Old fat shit Josh. All 11 votes. Our next opponents are Old Finchleians in the league.