Esher Yellows U10s vs Merton U10s
Sunday 10th March 2019
This was an early kick off in Thames Ditton with a mild and sunny morning. The need for winter wrap-up came from strong winds which cut through all who ventured out. As the parents sheltered next to the boundary fence the boys kicked off.
Today Harry was missing due to his commitments to charity fund raising for the Marsden march and Bobby stepped in.
Merton were kicking into the wind for the first half and struggled to reproduce their best form. Playing 1 at the back in Olly the wide players needed to drop back when needed and be more mobile than usual. Olly was working as hard as ever and marshalling the team from the back.
Somehow they struggled to get going and Esher grabbed 2 quick goals to go 2-0 up. They were also missing chances with some wild shooting which helped keep Merton in the match. Suddenly
Merton broke and Percy, Joe and Rio passed the ball forwards right through the middle of the pitch and Rio finished with aplomb to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
This was a short respite as Esher continued to create chances and took their next after 20 minutes to make it 3-1. The boys didn’t get themselves down and from the next corner the ball was floated
over for Louis to volley home from close range for 3-2.
The ref blew for half time and Neal and Roy got the boys together for their customary coaching talk.
The second half started and Merton were now kicking with the wind behind them and it was Esher who were struggling to clear their lines. Nonetheless they got the next goal as Merton were caught short at the back and it was now 4-2 to the home side.
Rio was having a good game and he was played through again mid-way through the second half and took his chance again to make it 4-3. Merton now had some momentum and the next couple of opportunities were missed. Bobby, Louis, Farris, Rio and Percy all had chances but none found the back of the net.
Then Percy took a pot shot from outside the box and the keeper fell on the ball and much to the consternation of the home team the ref blew for the goal as he adjudged the ball to have crossed the line. 4-4 and it was all to play for in the last few minutes.
Sadly for Merton there was to be a winner and not for them. Esher broke again 2 minutes from the end and Merton could not get the block in and 5-4 it went.
Merton had another chance to level through Percy but the keeper blocked it and sent the ball out as the final whistle blew.
Another one that got away and some learning for the boys from this narrow loss.
Rio earned a deserved man of the match award for his all-round attitude, directness and goal scoring.