After 2 wins on the trot (3 if you count the cup game we never played) Merton were against a team with no wins in the league but a couple of decent results of late meant we knew it wouldn't be an easy game. We started off with 19 available players. We had so many available that I was due to play for the 3's, Anstey and Alex were due to play for the 2's and a couple of players were rested. One by one however the numbers dwindled. Meaning all of a sudden myself and Alex were drafted back in. Best excuse for pulling out goes to Ollie who had to pick up his new car.
Without many wingers available this week there was much debate pre-game about what formation to go with. It was decided that we go with a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield. An untried formation but on paper looked like an attacking one that would get us goals. So we started with. Aron, Kiran, Broughy and Eddie at the back. Midfield of Danny, Dom, Harry and myself with Louis and Bruiser up top. My current record reads played 2, lost 2, goals against 8, goals for 0 so hopefully that record will improve.
Before we could get started we had some issues with the kit. M.C decided not to tell anyone that they had a red kit so we turned up without our away kit and spent 20 mins stealing tops from Colliers Wood on the pitch next to us so that the oppo could borrow them. Wish we hadn’t bothered now!!
The oppo were pretty much a carbon copy of AMY, with the big pitch we probably should have changed the formation but decided to give it a go. It lasted 10 mins... It was obvious that we were getting raped out wide and outnumbered while we couldn't get our passing game going as we were looking to play through the middle with a lack of width it was attack after attack from the oppo. Eventually the scored, albeit a shit goal. Long range effort headed towards goal and unfortunately Nick couldn't keep it out as he could only push it into the corner of the net.
I made a change, took myself off. Harry on the right, Matt came on the left and we had a flat 4-4-2 to try and cope with the lack of width. While we were trying to get to grips with the new formation and speed of M.C United they scored again, with an even worse goal. Massive deflection from a shot off Kiran that wrong footed Nick who only managed to get a foot onto it but that also went into the corner of the net.
We told Bruiser to help out in midfield to stop it becoming a rout and eventually we started to get a grip on the game.
In truth early on Louis looked lively but too many people were either not at the races or struggling with the initial formation and surprise at how quick M.C came at us. Bruiser who had another morning of shagging looked knackered and had he not kicked into gear would have made way at half time. Instead Louis who was now working the lonely lone striker role he hates so we brought him off at half time for a breather. Bruiser who ended the 1st half really well went up top with my behind him. Eddie came on for Harry so we had Eddie on the left wing and Matt on the right. Alex had already replaced Eddie at left back. Eddie took himself off for Al despite giving him loads of shit for not putting his flag up when the ball hadn't gone out of play in the build up to the 2nd goal.
We started the 2nd half really well and we went for M.C. We put them under so much pressure they started to give the ball away like we had in the 1st half. Then 5 minutes in and Bruiser crossed the ball towards Eddie, it took a massive deflection which fell to Eddie, the wee man couldn't get his Head onto it but their defender could and put it into his own net. Eddie got the ball out of the net and back on the centre circle to get us ready for kick off.
We carried on piling on the pressure and worked really hard to get the equaliser, unfortunately we didn't create many chances. Bruiser heading wide but that wasn't an easy chance. We were starting to look really tired in midfield trying to close down the oppo so quickly, Dom and Danny in particular were struggling after working their ball bags off.
Then young Kiran got caught in possession and M.C were off on a counter attack, I'm sure he tried to place his shot in the opposite corner but sliced his finish past Nick to make it 3-1. Heads went down understandably but we brought Louis on for Kiran to get 2 strikers on the pitch and went for a very attackign 3-5-2 formation. We later brought Harry on for Dom and then Dom on for Danny to try and keep it fresh in midfield, but we didn't count on Alex getting sent off for a professional foul. Not many of us argued with the decision!!
Let's forget about the first 20 mins but it was a good effort from everyone. We were solid at the back with Aron and Broughy the pick of the back 4. Midfield worked so hard by the time they had the ball at feet they were too tired to do anything with it. In the car on the way home we commented that I must have been Kaka in the midfield 4 (a formation Milan used to play), for half a second I was pleased until Harry piped and said something about being cack. He claims he was talking about himself instead of me but I'm not convinced!!
MOM went to Bruiser this week. We only had about 4 votes but most of them went to him.
After the game we were all busy blaming the loss on Anstey's tactics but then were delighted to hear he had given away a penalty in his match, obviously not delighted to hear the 2's had not won but his return from injury has yielded an own goal and conceding a pen. No more of that please mate when you start for us on Saturday.
Although it could be worse, my record now reads played 3, lost 3, goals conceded 11, goals for 1. Another recorded that needs to change pretty soon otherwise retirement looks like it could happen sooner than originally hoped.
11 of the lads along with Anst, Terry and a few mates all went to Fulham for Oktoberfest after the problems with a previous venue that we won't talk about. From what I have heard it sounded like a good night. Kyle remembers nothing but got a cab home as he couldn't speak, or walk the 8 min journey to his new flat. He does love Merton though. And Anstey looks wasted in one of the pictures that was sent around.