Merton Reserves vs Old Stationers (Double Header) – 23rd February 2013
It was minutes before the first match against Old Stationers that manager Ian Lewis mentioned back-to-back wins in Double-Headers were as rare as Ivan Gladkow wearing an outfit you couldn’t ridicule.
So, ten minutes in, watching Chris Rayner dispossess an opponent, play three one-twos and ultimately create a goal for Femi Arogundade, he must have known something was in the air. Old Stationers soon equalised, but Team Handsome always looked like winning it. Oliver Ross tucked away a penalty deliciously after a rather soft handball, Arogundade increased the lead further and, in what proved to be the goal of the day, Ross released Gladkow who found Paul Pearce with a pinpoint cross. Pearce’s forehead did the rest.
What of match two? Could Merton, in cold High Barnet, actually do the business twice? Yes they could, and yes Chris Rayner could, capping an incredible 90 minutes (let’s be fair, he did wane somewhat in the last 30 minutes after his earlier Herculean, season-defining efforts) with a goal after 22 minutes. It brought the scores level. Thereafter, Graham Willgoss, reborn this year as a tough-tackling mercurial midfield menace, was forced to join the Merton injury list following another ball-winning challenge. Luckily, another bruising performance by David Quainton in midfield helped ease the pain and, on the right, Gladkow was beginning to purr like the fat girl who thought she could pull Ross later that night in the Captain Cook. Gladkow scored, and then an effort so poached Humpty Dumpty would’ve been proud of it saw Pearce end the day’s finishing.
Has a team so good looking ever performed so well for two solid hours? 4-1 and 3-1; Team Handsome just became Team Irresistible.
Report by:David Quainton