Merton 3s v Charshalton 3s – 12th November 2011
Following last week’s disappointing result at Norsemen we arrived in Carshalton with a full squad, although still without Shaun Jones and a host of others. This meant three players making their Merton 3rd team debut for the season from the bench, Mark Wrigley, Luke Freestone and Tony Postleweight.
We were quietly confident heading into the match with what we thought was an improving Carshalton side with three wins on the trot. From the warm up though it was clear they were missing a few players. With this is mind, we set out in a 3-5-2 formation with Simon Murphy and Chris Callus given the tough wing back duties.
From the kick off we were in the ascendancy, although were nearly caught out once or twice early on from Carshalton breaks. After 15 minutes we took the lead, with good built up play leading to Dan Smith being brought down in the box. He stepped up and clinically put the penalty away.
Our second followed shortly after, with some great play down the right hand flank. A series of passes left Dan S near the corner flag, after holding off a challenge, a simple pass inside found Chris who had run from deep unmarked. His well-placed cross found Kieran Tiddy who’s shot was blocked, but as he often is, Dan Kelly was on hand to smash home the rebound from a few yards out.
We continued to press and should have made it three with some guilt edge chances being missed. We were made to pay for this after 40 minutes, when some soft defending from a Carshalton quick free kick, allowed their centre forward to dribble 10 yards before scoring with a shot from 25 yards, that John Himsworth was not quite able to get a hand too. A quality finish, but slack on our behalf.
Whilst conceding just before half time, we remained confident at the break. We remained unchanged for the second half and while under a few brief moments of pressure at the start of the half, our back three of Paul Riches, Darren Pearce and Ryan Perry continued to look relatively comfortable with Carshalton’s forward line.
After 55 minutes we regained our two goal margin. Another piece of good build up left Dan K bearing down on goal from 8 yards out, when he was clumsily brought down from behind. Whilst no card was given, Dan S stepped up to casually put away his second penalty of the day.
A series of substitutions followed, with Tony coming on for Ricardo Iglesias, Luke on for Dan K and Mark for Chris.
15 minutes later we killed off the game, a long throw from Mark was flicked on by a Carshalton player, with the ball finding its way to Kieran Tiddy on the edge of the box, who hit a beautiful side foot volley into the far post top corner. (Clearly the goal of the day!)
With the Carshalton heads now down we continued to push forward in search a fifth. The goal came with 10 minutes to go, more positive play down the right left Marc Cottrell in space outside the box. After a touch inside, he slotted home from 20(ish) yards… and the ‘crowd went wild’… In truth, it was a quality strike, only marginally bettered by Tiddy’s volley.
With the game now waning, a Carshalton corner resulted in our 6th goal of the day. After dealing with the corner, the well played clearance down the park left Dan S one on one with the keeper, which was placed calmly into the corner of the net to complete Dan’s second hat trick in the last month.
With the game now all but over, we conceded a silly free kick in the last minute, 25 yards out. Their best player stepped up and slotted direct from the free kick, a quality strike to end a disappointing day for Carshalton.
It was a well-deserved three points, and proved valuable in ensuring we kept up with the leading pack (The top 5 sides all winning this week, including a Norsemen 10-0 win – making our loss last week all the more respectable). We will need to ensure we approach next week’s game away against Old Finchleians with the same positive approach, seeking an improved performance following the 2-2 draw with them in October.
Team – John Himsworth, Ryan Perry, Darren Pearce, Paul Riches, Simon Murphy, Ricardo Iglesias (Tony Postleweight 55), Kieran Tiddy, Marc Cottrell, Chris Callus (Mark Wrigley 70), Dan Smith, Dan Kelly (Luke Freestone 65).