Having taken 4 points from their opening two fixtures, Merton Social III went in to their home game against Chessington KC Reserves full of confidence and looking for another important three points. Last season this fixture had tended to be a fairly drab affair, with the ball seeming to spend more time out of play than in, and the midfield bypassed for most of the game. This game proved to be no different.
Chessington had a clear game plan from the outset: send the ball long or out of play at every opportunity, while Merton looked to get the ball down and string some passes together in midfield. A cheap surrender of possession in the middle of the park, left the Merton back four exposed and the Chessington winger fired a low drive past Tom Powell to give the away side a flattering 1-0 lead at half time.
Merton responded well in the second half and looked dangerous particularly down the right flank. Ludo was causing the defence problems and looked certain to equalise midway through the second half, only to see his effort smothered behind by the 'keeper.
Having got the lead, Chessington were more than happy to let Merton have the ball, conceding foul after foul and clearing the ball out for throw-ins at every opportunity. A rare corner allowed the away side to double their lead, with some poor marking presenting their midfielder with a free header to seal the win.
The Soche were largely limited to set-pieces themselves to cause problems, with Chessington not allowing us to get the ball down and play. Even at full-time most of the lads felt as though they had hardly played or seen the ball in such an uneventful game.
A disappointing way to end the unbeaten run then, but no time to dwell on it with a tricky cup tie away at North Leatherhead next week!