Merton 1s v Old Actonians – 12th April 2014
After Tuesday night’s excellent win against B.B. Eagles we had another crucial and difficult game away at a side who had beaten us 4-2 at home (well on 3G at T&M). In the last few weeks Old Actonians’ promotion challenge had unexpectedly fallen away so we were not quite sure what to expect but were prepared for the hard game we got. We arrived a little early as there was hardly any traffic. The pitch looked good and facilities are nice. Only Browner was missing this week. He has had a terrific season at Centre Back paired with Clappers. Dave Hitchcock stepped up to the plate again and did very well. It was a tight scrappy start but we settled down better and got on top and after 25 mins the pressure told with Woody scoring directly from a well placed free kick. Although we pressed we did not increase the score and just before half time a really good move from Old A’s and an early cross was squandered. This would have been a bitter blow and we were relieved to see the shot go across the goal and just wide. A good team talk by Clappers at half time and we set in for a hard 45 mins. Whilst we were on top Old As have some talented players and threatened but our well organised defence held firm. Snooks, Will and Woody dominated in midfield and Ackers and Matt Bosher were lively up front . We created some chances but we could not get that second goal and it was tense. It got tenser. Over the last few weeks Sherbs has mastered the long goal kick; not the distance but the amount of time it takes. He always manages to look really busy collecting and setting up the ball. The highlight of these little pantos was when they ballooned the ball onto the pavilion’s flat roof and before they could get another ball into play for him Sherbs was waving from the roof in his attempts to retrieve the ball. At last the whistle blew for another really good 3pts and we sat nervously in the bar waiting for the B.B. Eagles result to come through. When we found out that they had won we knew that the wait would go on. (See Post Script). All the lads played really well. The defence performed as a solid unit well protected by the competitive mid field. We had a very lively attack with Vanny , Dan Whiteman, Bosh and Ackers. It was another excellent away win. Away form Played 11 Won 9 Drawn 1 Lost 1 which is pretty special.
On Tuesday night after the 2s game we heard that BBEs had lost at Norsemen 4-3 and as they needed to win all their remaining games to get ahead of us this meant that we (and Old Garchonians) were promoted to Division 1 of the Southern Amateur League. It is 60 years since we were relegated from there and we have spent a lot of that time in Division 3. This is an enormously exciting prospect and it is really a tremendous achievement by Clappers who with the help of Tills and an excellent squad of players have really done Merton proud. Well Done Lads. The 1s last game of the season is on Saturday April 26th at home to Old Garchonians so please come along and support the team and celebrate their success.
Team: Sherbs (GK), Gravesy, Dave, Clappers (Capt) Al G, Will, Woody, Snooks, Vanny, Bosh, Ackers. Rolling subs Pat M, Dan W.
Written by:Max Herbert