Merton vs Civil Service – Saturday 13th September 2014
After last weeks baptism of fire against a classy Old Wilsonians side it was off to Chiswick for our first away trip of the season and another tough test to face Civil Service who narrowly avoided relegation last year. Clappers was forced to shuffle the pack through some unavailability so in came Rat and Jonesy at full back, Ackers slotted in to the middle three and Whiteman down the left. Both teams started brightly but it was the home side that found their rhythm quickest and it wasn’t long before Angus was called in to action when a couple of direct moves resulted in one on one situations which the big number nine couldn’t capitalize on. We then tightened up across the back line and Browner and Rat dealt with the pace and movement of their front two well whilst Jonesy and Clappers kept the left flank locked down. We were also in control further up the pitch with some good moves of our own with Ackers and Snooks at the heart of most of them but we couldn’t carve out a chance of note until a well delivered Van free kick found Browners flick on and Tills controlled well on the edge of the box before dispatching a floated effort over the keeper and in to the net. 1-0 to the good and looking comfortable until the Services tricky 10 twisted to the bi line before centering for the nine to force home the cross and bring the sides level before half time. It was just about deserved on the balance of play but a shame to concede a reasonably soft goal again after a lot had been discussed after last weeks sloppiness. No sooner had the second half started when Angus and Rat combined to some how keep the scores level after a remarkable goal line save and clearance. We then found our feet again and dominated the middle of the park without really releasing Van and Whiteman in to areas where they could cause damage. Bosher worked tirelessly without much reward but almost restored the lead for us when his menacing shot was tipped around the post by the keeper. In all honesty we could have nicked it but the game deteriorated slightly through some niggly tackles and behavior which the ref did well to control. Theo was a threat from the bench. When the full time whistle came it felt like a relief to get off the mark with a point tinged with frustration that we might have dropped two. It was a decent performance though and whilst we are up and running it isn’t going to get much easier with the visit of last years winners Old Owens at the Hood next week.
Team: Angus, Rat, Browner, Clappers (c), Jonesy, Tills, Snooks, Ackers, Van, Whiteman (theo), Bosher (Mike Kelly)