Jay Jay scintillating run from the half way line, reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo against Fulham in 2007/2008 season, this one hit the post as oppose to being scored though.
Louie Nicholas free kick 30 yards out that left the upright racking!
Another game another season, we had a pretty strong squad for what was meant to be our first game of the season, to be honest, Merton presented as much threat as we expected from them, if pass history was anything to go by.
We started the match with as much anticipation and anxiety that the start of the season normally brings. Having just watch our 2nd lose 0 -2, a lot of us started the game, thinking we would not lose out in the same way. We were missing our defensive linchpin in Gary Jones, but having gotten two members of the second squad, we were satisfied that, that would be enough to see us past the finish line comfortably, Merton had other ideas.
Under the watchful gaze of the new 3rd Team Supremo, Keith Nicholas (Gaffer), we took the field in a 4-4-2 formation. 2008 Player of year, Jerry Vasquez, fresh from injury, and Jed Wood made up our midfield, our bench, had players that would have started in most teams, how we could fail to win. How indeed?
The game started rather slow, both team feeling each other out, Merton showing their quality with some early break, the defensive midfield linchpin (No# 6 for all you who played on Saturday that fail to land a proper tackle on him)finding space in the middle and setting off each attach. The early sparing was shaded by us as we tried to impose ourselves with some good pass and move phases. Merton then had a little spell where we lost our cohesion and struggled to keep the ball effectively. Neither keeper was really tested, which was a shame as it would have been lovely to see if Merton’s keeper could move still, since I had run over him like a trailer earlier in the game.
The first half ended with Merton hitting the post from 5 yards out, with Farhad nowhere to be found, having been flatten by a 16 stone forward. At half time Keith (Gaffer) made a few changes, for the first 15 minutes we dominated possession, Merton struggled to clear their lines, but as always, you have to make possession count. After dominating most of the possession and creating a few half chances Merton broke away down our right, got to the by-line and cut the ball back across our penalty area to their advancing forward. With the ball rolling across our 6 yards box, and AP looking as if they don’t know how to clear their lines, the ball was duly bundled home, 0 – 1. A Carbon copy their goal was scored 10 minutes from time, either side of a scintillating run from Jay Jay, which ended up hitting the post, and a brilliant Louie Nicholas free kick that hit the same post, as well as some solid penalty claims that went unanswered.
Having enquired about one such penalty claim, that the ref could clearly saw, having been not 2 feet away from the incident, he then profess to saying he didn’t see it as he had sun in his eye. (I think a lot more than that was going on)
The game ended with all of us knowing that the game could have gone the other way, Merton were no pushovers, having finished last season a point away from promotion, a few better place tackles and a bit more alertness upfront would have given us the win. In the end we will endeavour to take out our frustration on Bank of England comes this Saturday. Hopefully! Football Bloody hell!