Merton 1s v Old Garchonians – 26th April 2014
So we were able to approach the last game of the season with promotion to Senior Division 1 secured and a match against the side that would be promoted but as Champions. Old Garchonians had already beaten us heavily a few weeks ago and whilst it would have been nice to avenge this our main objective was to give a good account of ourselves and expunge the 7-0 humiliation. Having said that I thought this was a game that we could win. This was a very good game against a very good side. Old Gs settled better and were on top and it took us a few minutes to get a foothold in the game when we did it was a more even contest but Old Gs remained slightly on top. There were very few chances for either side. Sherbs saved well at the far post from their best chance and Ackers hit the post from ours but otherwise both defences dominated in their last third.In the second half Old Gs put us under increasing and sustained pressure. They had the balance of play but we had some ood moves and chances. They struck the bar with a terrific strike and Sherbs had a to come out for a double save but with 15 min to go they scored what proved to be the winning goal with a very good move down the left and an excellent cross and finish. After that we pressed for the rest of the game but their defence held out. They deserved the win but of course a draw would have been nicer and not wholly unfair. The game was well reffed and it was good to have Gareth Dineen thundering up and down the line.
Old Gs are a very good team who have secured promotion through to Division 1 without losing a single game. They pass and move very well and there two central defenders and centre mids were outstanding again in this game. It will be interesting to see how they fare next season in Division 1. Congratulations to them for another excellent season and a well deserved Championship.
This has been a great season for the Firsts and even in defeat they looked a good side. It really has been a team/squad effort with many players contributing to the success. Clappers has organised the team really well and has been at the heart of the defence where Browner has had an excellent season. Al G who took over from Jonesy at left back has also been outstanding as he showed in this game when he surged forward in the last 15 mins as we pressed for the equaliser. It was good to see Jonesy back forthe2s playing again after his nasty injury. Dave Hitchcock has been playing in the last 5 or so games and was at right back today and again didn’t put a foot wrong standing in for the suspended Rat. Gravesy (Rat) has played his part during the season with his reading of the game and excellent use of the ball. In midfield we have also strengthened this season with Woody being back to his best and scoring goals again. Snooksy in his first season with us has looked a very good influential player and Will Lowe has been a constant and talented grafter who can fill in anywhere. We have missed Tills for the last 6 or so games but he was back today for a substitute appearance. After the disruptions of fatherhood he had settled back into the side and was back to his dominant best when he suffered a freak injury. But his support of Clappers and the team has been an important factor. Pat Manton has provided a lot of support at crucial times in midfield when called upon. Up front it has been Ackers, Bosh, Vanny and Dan in various combinations. It has been a real boost to have Ackers back at the club and he and Bosh have always worked well together. Vanny free from injury has had a good season. Dan Whiteman has chipped in cultured performances and some crucial goals. Sherbs came in since Christmas when Angus Lees was posted missing and did very well securing the Golden Gloves club award for the second successive season. The whole season though the first team effort has been supported by call ups from the reserves who with injuries of their own have suffered as a consequence. Crucial wins were secured none more so than the 1-0 win at Norsemen when Clowesy and Jason Marsh were outstanding in a magnificent team performance with 6 first team regulars missing. I regarded that result following two home defeats on 3G as the turning point and the base for the run we then put together that secured the historic promotion. Clappers has done a terrific job in organising the team on and off the pitch and has had a great season on it aswell.
Now is the time to celebrate the achievement and prepare for the challenge that awaits us next season. Well done to all those who have turned out for the 1s.
Team: Sherbs (GK), Al G, Browner, Clappers, Dave Hitch, Will Lowe, Snooks, Woody, Vanny, Ackers, Dan, Subs Tills, Pat Manton, Bosh (In the second half the subs were rolled to give everyone a chance to make a contribution and they did.)
Written by:Max Herbert