Merton 4s v Warlingham B – 20th October 2012
This Saturday saw the 4’s travelling to Merton in the Surrey cup. Merton looked like a very good side so we knew we would have a tough game. The ground wasn’t the easiest to find so we started with a bare 11 with Richard and Sam Donovan struggling with the locals to get directions!
Merton started strongly, they were a very well organised outfit and had some very strong players. However we matched them with grim determination at first and then gradually our football started to flow. After 30 minutes of quite equal possession Jack Fortune got clear through and I could see the first goal coming, unfortunately he hit the ball like a little fluffy bunny in a summer dress and the ball just about reached the keeper. Never mind, he is a defender after all! The last 15 minutes remained quite even with both teams doing well but our keeper had probably been a bit busier pulling off a couple of great saves.
I gave Jack a rest at half time and brought on Sam Donovan to sit behind Kevin up front. We started confidently and were winning a lot of the challenges, defensively we had been excellent with Luke completely in control at the back. Unfortunately after 10 minutes Rob pulled up with his hamstring so had to come off, so Jack was on again. We had had all of the normal niggles during the game about offside, with the lino deemed to be always wrong and cheating. I must say that the positions all the moaners were in on the half way game them a perfect view to make such a clear cut decision and the abuse was obviously very well founded. I have made a note to pit forward a proposal to have the linesman stand still on the half way line and just have a guess for offside, makes much more sense. Unfortunately Bruce Forsyth was reffing and he became more and more senile as the afternoon went on. Some of his decisions at the end wouldn’t have looked out of place at live at the palladium, poor old fella. Anyway the game was heading for a draw and the dreaded extra time when Merton brought on their big striker, it didn’t take long for him to get an opportunity and he hit the ball like a bullet into the back of our net. That was the 86th minute so it looked like curtains for our cup run ! We continued with great spirit and 2 minutes later Kev Badcock hit an absolute beauty from the left which floated magnificently into the top right hand corner, sensational!!
So extra time, that wasn’t good because we were knackered. The first half went by without incident, apart from the ridiculous calls from the sideline and Brucey apologising for his legendary wrong decisions. The 2nd half kicked off and both sides were tired, Merton however took the initiative with another great strike from the big man and it was going to be tough to come back. We battled well butdidn’t have enough to get that equaliser and went out to a very good side. Good luck to Merton in the next round and all the best toBrucey on strictly this evening.