Merton 1s v Norseman – 22nd February 2014
After two home defeats on the 3G it was good to get back to grass and winning ways but this was as hard fought as it was welcome. Having lost our last two games and gone to all the trouble of renting and expensw of 3G it does seem that the more effort you make to play the game the less likely you are to get anything from it. Despite the long journey Norsemen is a great place to go with such good facilities and always a good competitive game. In Clappers absence Tills stepped up to captain and organise a rather makeshift team with quite a number of regulars missing from the line up. Despite that the team settled quicker than the opposition and created a number of chances. After just 3 mins Femi had a shot cleared off the line following a good passing movement. From the resultant corner Browner put a free header just wide. We created a few more chances but did not take them until 35 minutes when Jason Marsh latched on to a through ball and slotted it home. By this time Norsemen had started to get their game together and the goal signalled an end to our attacking in the game. It was not a case of ‘Parking the bus’ as being pushed back. I don’t remember us having another shot at goal after that. From then on it seemed to be a game played almost exclusively in our half and anot insignificant amount of that in our penalty area. We withstood a real onslaught from Norsemen . It was quite an aerial bombardment with Tills, Woody, Browner, Hitch and Clowesy winning a lot of headers all over the park but importantly clearing the 16 corners and even more of the excellent long throws directed into our six yard area. Norsemen also played the ball along the ground to a couple of quick forwards but our defence which was now pretty much the whole team snuffed out the danger. Sherbs chipped in with a solid performance in goal and made a couple of outstanding saves. Although Norsemen seemed to get more than their fair share of 50/50 calls from the referee nothing really dropped for them with the ball bobbling at the worst moment. But all credit to our boys who gave their all and defended magnificently. Tills put in a great shift, leading by example and organising the team in defence and everyone supported him well. To me the second half seemed to last forever so it was a little ironic that the Oppo spent a couple of minutes complaining that the ref had played a short half. It was a bitter blow for the oppo who played pretty well and gave their all but it really was not their day. But for us it was a good journey home with 3pts secured from a 1-0 away win somehow even more satisfying because it was a little fortuitous. (Pics of the game are on SAL website but as the photographer only pitched up for the last 25 mins they are all in our half and feature Sherbs in most of them.
Team:Sherbs (GK) Michael Lynch, Browner, Hitch, Clowesy, Pat Manton, Tills (Capt), Woody , Femi, Jason Marsh, Vanny, Subs (Rolled) Jase Thomas, Dan Whiteman
Written by:James Tilley