Merton U10s vs Claygate Royals – cup match – Sunday 9th December 2018


This was to be another hard lesson for our fast growing U10s side.  Today’s curriculum was based on the importance of taking your chances to avoid paying the price of cup defeat, albeit after the agony of penalties.


The game kicked off slightly early with Constant Merton pressure in the first 5 minutes. Shots came in from Farris leading to a good early save and Rio who went narrowly wide.


Farris then played in Rio twice in quick succession and he shot just wide again. Good passing from Merton followed and the onlookers wondered if this was going to be another strong performance following good form this season so far. 


Maxwell then won the ball in midfield and played through Rio who shot again and the keeper made a 3rd good save. The Claygate keeper was looking as solid as any we have seen at Joseph Hood Rec this season.


But elsewhere Claygate could not impose any control on the game and Farris made a nice turn after winning the ball on the touch line and was fouled. Merton failed to make use of the free kick and moments later it was Percy on a good run on the right and his shot was deflected for another corner for Merton.  Again the ball was cleared by a belligerent defence. 

Claygate had hardly entered Merton’s half after 10 minutes but suddenly they had an aimless pass forward which went straight through to Max for his first touch. 

Another good run by Farris led to a cross but again Claygate made a clearance.  As Claygate had a little more of the ball our defenders spent more time involved and their play in to midfield was excellent, especially from Ollie and Harry. 

Dave, Louis and Joe were subbed on in midfield and Dave had an early shot which hit the stanchion.  Then a good run from Joe and his shot was saved.  The Claygate keeper was having a blinder.


Ollie and Harry continued as solid as ever at the back.  The first shot by Claygate took 15 mins to muster and it was wide and tame.  They soon forced another shot and this one was an easy save for Max. 

Louis then went on a forceful run on the right and was tackled as he looked to play the ball across the Claygate box. He then linked up in midfield with Percy which led to a shot over the bar. Then another good move followed involving Dave, Louis and Joe who crossed for Dave who headed high for the Claygate keeper to save. 

Another good move followed after wonderful determination from Ollie to win the ball high up-field but the move resulted in a blazed shot over the bar again. Another shot followed by Joe but this time at the keeper. It was as if Merton could control the entire field but just could not hit the target.


After another good move from Merton broke down and Claygate broke away and forced a good saving tackle from Joe who prevented a shot at the expense of a corner which was cleared by a combination of Ollie and Joe. 

A good half ended goal-less with Merton on the attack through Dave and Maxwell.

As the second half kicked off Joe played a nice through ball early on to Louis who finally struck first blood for Merton in the bottom left corner.  1-0 to Merton.

No sooner had Merton scored than a mess up in defence led to a calamitous Claygate equaliser.  A body blow when commanding so much of the game.

The boys redoubled their efforts.  A good tackle by Louis won the ball and released Farris for a mazy run and shot wide.  A pattern we had seen plenty.

Play was then stopped for a foul as Louis clipped the back of a Claygate midfielder who stayed on the ground for a few seconds.

Attack after Merton attack led to saves and misses. Good play but not the goal. The onlooking supporters were transfixed but wondered if Merton might pay the price of their profligacy?

More chances followed but Merton didn’t manage to finish them off.  The tension was huge. 

Percy then made a good challenge and won the ball and crossed but it was cleared yet again.  More shots from Maxwell and Rio followed.


The ever calm and resilient Harry was having his usual solid game and in the next attacking move passed the ball well with Louis.  The move led to a shot from Percy but another save.

Another passing move between Harry, Louis and Rio led to Maxwell having another shot which was blocked yet again.

Claygate then got a free kick on the edge of the Merton box right on the point of full time but it was blazed over. 1-1 and penalties which proceeded as follows:

Maxwell – narrow miss wide

Claygate scored 0-1 

Rio scored 1-1

Claygate score 1-2 

Louis shot saved 1-2

Claygate shot saved by Max 1-2

Harry shot saved brilliantly by keeper onto the post 1-2

Claygate score 1-3

Dave shot saved 1-3 and Claygate are through


The opposition manager summed up the morning nicely as he shook Neal and Roy’s hands and said “I’d hate to play your team on a great pitch.”

Posted in Under 10s Reports