Whitton Wanderers Falcons U10s 3 – Merton U10s 0 – Sunday 6th October 2018

Merton U10s fell to their first defeat of the season in a sun-drenched match which threw up a surprise result where Merton had the lion’s share of the play and an avalanche of chances.

After an early start for the mini trek over to Hounslow for this early kick off the crowds were anticipating another Merton performance and win which would never arrive.  The first half got underway and Merton showed signs of their endeavour as they repeatedly broke forwards in numbers only to miss their opportunities to put the ball in the net.  Whitton’s keeper was very able and handled well but when Merton could have finished off their breaks they would often shoot wide, at the keeper or fail to connect their final pass.  This was to be the pattern of much of the game.

As Whitton grew into the game Max was forced into some stops and displayed some excellent handling as further evidence of his ongoing development between the sticks.  At the other end of the pitch Merton were getting a few corners from last ditch clearances yet could simply not convert from any of the positions they grafted so hard to create.  Lots of huffing and puffing but too many players seemed to lack that final bit of quality to seal the deal.

The second half started as the first ended with nearly goals from Merton and Whitton looking sharp on the break with pace and power out wide requiring some good work from the ever-reliable Harry and Ollie.  Neal tried to change things up and move players around.  Farris had worked hard but not had any service up front until now and suddenly burst into life with some good wide play only to see his chance go begging like all those before.

After 10 mins Merton played the ball out from the back without enough care and Whitton got hold of it and fired a great effort on goal which Max did superbly to push around the post.

Then followed a strong win of the ball by Louis in his own half, he played in Rio who passed to Farris and again Whitton got a toe on the ball to snuff out the danger.

As Whitton lumped the ball forwards high in the air Harry controlled it with one deft touch, leading to applause from his adoring fans on the side-lines.  No sooner had he put the ball just where he wanted it that his forward pass went straight to a Whitton mid-fielder, leading to the kind of sharp analysis from his old man we have become used to. 

Merton continued to boss the game and the number of shots reflected that.

Pressure from the midfield on every goal kick was causing issues for Whitton.  The latest effort led to Merton midfield winning the ball and Percy had a shot just but it was just wide. Again!

Surely Merton would not throw this game away after having so many chances?

More continued pressing to win the ball succeeded repeatedly and shots were often the end result.  But the ball would not go in the net.  A number were from distance and a little more patience might have helped.

Dave went on a good run, exchanging the ball with Joe and his shot hit the post.  More ball was won from Merton pressing hard and the latest effort led to a tidy bit of play from Louis to cross the ball for Dave to shoot again and this was yet another post.  Another break, another shot gone begging, this time from Percy. 

As the game wore to a close there was a muddle up in the Merton defence leading to a soft Whitton goal.  To add insult to injury this followed immediately after a great save on the line from a combo of Louis and Max. 

Merton heads started to drop but another good run and one-two with Farris led to Dave having a shot but the Whitton keeper was equal to it.

Another Merton corner and Farris was free on goal but pulled the ball just wide. Amazing. “We could play all day and won’t score” said Dan. Wise words.

In a subsequent Whitton break they had 3 on 1 which led to Ollie making a very smart challenge.

Suddenly another Merton foray and they made it 2-0. Merton were clearly gutted.  This was becoming a lesson in how you can lose when you deserve much better.

Another bit of pressure and another Whitton goal despite hard chasing from Merton. How did this end up 3-0?   As the game wore to its end Merton still pushed for their reward.  Louis made a twisting run and was fouled on the edge of the Whitton box.  He took the free kick and put it over bar.

Game over. The boys knew they let this get away.

Ollie and Harry were jointly awarded Man of the Match.  Lots of learning to pick out of this one.  On the upside lots of good football despite the lack of reward.

Posted in Under 10s Reports