Merton 1s v Old Salesians – 26th November 2011
The score line was not a fair reflection of a well fought game which Salesians deservedly won but not by the margin the score suggests.
Starting up the hill and into the wind against last season’s cup winners looked like a tough prospect and it looked even tougher after 10 minutes when we gave their right winger too much time and his low hard cross was slammed into the net from close range. However within five minutes we were level when Clappers powerfully headed in a typically well directed Rayner corner.
The rest of the first half was an evenly fought affair with both sides having their fair share of possession with Merton creating a few half chances and Oaksey, at his excellent best, keeping out the best Salesians could offer. Vanny and Femi were occupying the Salesians back four whilst our back four were getting to grips with the regular Salesians’ attacks. Half time was imminent and a close 1-1 looked like something we could build on with John, Tilley, and Woody starting to match their midfield three but then SMASH the Salesians centre back strode forward and powered a 25 yarder into the top corner and minutes later we were in the changing room frustrated that we hadn’t held on.
The second half started very much like the first, except without the wind which had chosen to disappear much to our disappointment, and both sides enjoyed good spells. However after about an hour Salesians got their third and the game changed. As they relaxed and we pushed for a goal the gaps started to appear and Oaksey was called upon to make good save after good save if the oppo beat our valiant defending. We called on Jase and Will to replace Woody (a little Thailand jaded) and Vanny (another hamstring twinge leading people to ask whether he’ll ever play 90 again) but both found it hard to impose themselves on the game and the waves of Salesians attacks continued and finally the fourth goal went in. However we continued to attack and push for a goal to make the score line a bit more respectful but for all our efforts that final ball eluded us.
Lots of positives to take from the game where we didn’t look a league below our opposition but also we need to learn from them and start to respect possession some more. Fitness and application were good and if taken into the league we should progress.
To rub salt into our disappointment Terry “4 points” Baker decided to nip back to the Hood straight after the final whistle so he could watch the 2s however he forgot that he had the valuables in his car so the Merton boys sat patiently in the bar with no money and just one sock each waiting for his return.
Team: Oaksey (GK), Clowesy, Clappers, Kev Wood, Jonesy, John Lynch, Tilley, Will Low (Browner), Vanny (Willgo), Femi, Rayner
Written by:Simon Clapperton