U14s vs Kinstonian Yth Colts – 17.09.17
Kingstonian Youth Colts v Merton FC U14: Score 5-3
GK – Milo
RB – Liam
CB – Nikoy
CB – Entri
LB – McKenzie
CM – Theo
CM – Daniel
RW – Hugo
LW – Justin
CF – Kieran
ST – Fareed
Goalscorers: Fareed (2) Diego (2)
Our first away game of the season was against Kingstonian Youth Colts and the team was keen to set the pace from the start. The teams looked to be evenly matched and there was a high tempo with the opponent’s number 8 and 9 possessing strength and skill as they looked to get in behind our defence. It was Hugo who had the first real attempt with a rasping drive that was unlucky to just clear the crossbar. The breakthrough came midway through the first half after a great chipped through ball over the top by Liam that was finished emphatically by Fareed on his weaker foot. The rest of the half saw Merton under pressure as the Kingstonian goalkeepers’ long kicks consistently caused problems in defence. Milo made two outstanding saves to keep the score at 1-0 when their strikers managed to get through 1-on-1. Just before half time McKenzie produced an outstanding last ditch tackle, winning the ball cleanly and preventing a clear shot on goal by their standout number 9.
The second half was much more open, and it started off in great fashion for Merton with a good reverse pass by Liam which was well controlled by Hugo who cut in and crossed where Fareed was waiting to pounce. Unfortunately for Kingstonian it looped off their defender into the net for an own goal. Another two goals followed for Merton with debutant Diego scoring both. The first was again created by great play from Hugo who had an excellent game as he cut in and laid it off for Diego who scored with a composed finish into the side netting. Another good finish from Diego made it 4-0 to Merton and the game looked wrapped up. However Kingstonian put up a good fight and made it an interesting finale as a strong free kick, which was destined for the top of the net, was tipped onto the bar magnificently by Milo but the rebound was prodded into the unguarded net. Kingstonian made it 4-2 with a corner that was whipped in and headed home powerfully and you could sense they believed they could get something out of the game with 10-15 minutes to go. Fortunately Fareed put the game to bed with a well-taken finish after some battling by Daniel on the edge of the box. Kingstonian managed to score a consolation goal in the last few minutes with a well-taken finish by their strong number 8 and the game ended 5-3.
It was a strong battle that was evenly contested and played in great spirit with no cards. Nikoy put in an excellent display at centre back as did Milo in goal who made several excellent saves and they take joint man of the match.