Under 15s vs Kingstonian – 08.01.17
Kingstonians overcame Merton for the second time this season with a 1-0 win to boost their league position.
Number 7 tapped in a volley after the Kingstonians left mid was given too long on the ball and curled in a brilliant cross only for the unmarked centre attacking midfielder, lurking at the back post, to tap it into an open goal.
Merton dominated in the centre of the pitch and were very unlucky in the closing minutes of the game, when the ball came in from a corner and Jamie Esteban rose above the defenders to smash a header onto the crossbar.
Dan and Darren’s side, who are 7th in the league only 2 points behind whitton wanderers, have played four more games than Kingstonians, who sit 5th very comfortably. Although Merton showed good pieces of play in the first half, Kingstonians got the result that was expected and their defence played a big part.
A year ago Merton were 12th in the league and had only one point after 15 games so to think that they travelled to Kingstonians and came away with a 1-0 loss is very respective. They showed good spirit and battled till the last minute.
Kingstonians are by far the best defensive team in the league and there are a lot of stats to back that up. They have only conceded 2 in their last 5 games and conceded 11 in 7 games this season. Merton found it hard to find a way through and Kingstonians built from the back. The yellows strikers Sam, Bradley and Felix just couldn’t beat the defence.
It could be argued that Merton deserved a penalty when Bradley controlled the ball, knocked it forward and accelerated past the centre back but was then pushed in the back to stop the counter attack.
Connor, the Kingstonians goalkeeper, pulled off some great saves in the closing five minutes of the game when Merton really piled on the pressure. Alex, Merton’s right attacking midfielder, played a neat one two with Harrison and took the shot at speed, dipping right into the top corner. However, it was stopped by a great dive from the goalkeeper.
At this point the reds made it clear they were looking for the goal to kill off the game by bringing on their tall, pacey striker. For one moment it looked over when he turned on the ball and beat two Merton centre backs only to skew his shot weakly wide.
A breakthrough for Merton seemed imminent. Attack after attack, shot after shot but the back of the net just wasn’t found. The rain poured down on the pitch and it made it hard for both teams to play their football.
One minute injury time wasn’t enough for Merton and it was clear the game was done. Kingstonians won it because of their defence. Merton dominated because of their midfield. It seemed an unfair result for such an even match.
However, Merton have to look on the bright side and finish this month in a high because their 3 upcoming fixtures could potentially all be wins. Hampton away will be a test but it’s safe to say if Merton perform the way they did today then they will win comfortably.
On the other hand, Kingstonians face a few challenges with Haworth away, whitton away, Bedfont away and Wallington home. Last time the reds faced whitton it finished in a 3-0 deficit. So Kingstonians know they are certainly still in the title race and need to keep putting in these performances.
Merton, who are surely aiming for a mid-table finish, will keep working on their defence and will probably work on scoring more goals and creating more chances. The yellows are under new management this season and are doing well to pick up the pieces from last season miserable 3 point finish.