The Merton Social World Tour has been ongoing since 2012, and it in we’ve travelled all over the world without leaving the country. We’ve travelled to Little South Korea to play Kingston Tigers, Sunny Barcelona to play those Spanish lads I can never remember the name of and also to little Beirut to play Lower Green. We’ve taken in so much culture in such a short space of time. Yet, no travel bucket list is complete without a trip to Central Europe and in particular the Eastern Bloc.
Saturday, the soash travelled to St Martins old hood, to play at a ground they’ve never lost against a team that couldn’t speak English. The United Nations of Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania took to the field to try and halt the western invasion into the east. We’ve had many a battle with the east over the years, such as the Cold War and Rocky IV (No-one kills Apollo Creed on my watch!), but this battle was arguably the most important. Fresh from back to back victories, the twos were buoyed by form and the addition to the squad of DJ Daryl West and first team manager Chis Anstey.
Merton lined up in their familiar 4-4-2 formation:
After great games the week before, Sam and Larkin Jr earned a starting berth. Taylor switched to right back and Anstey came in to be Terry’s third partner at the back in the last three weeks (that kind of stat usually requires a test from the clinic…). On the bench, we had West and the Moores Murderer, who were both well up for it and couldn’t wait to get their boots dirtied.
Now, as the paraphrased saying goes; “When in Romania, do as the Romanians do”. So to show respect to Dimitri, Sergei and our other Romanian friends, I’ve decided to change a few words into Romanian in this match report… just so they can understand it on the off chance they drop in for a read. However, there is a slight problem with me doing that... The word for “Ball” in Romania… and this is God’s honest truth… just so happens to be “Minge”. Some of you jolly southerners may not have heard this very elegant and colloquial term before however if you’ve seen a single episode of Geordie shore in the 6 years and 12 seasons it’s been running – you’ll know it’s a quite vigorous term for a vagina. Oh well, here goes nothing…
The game started really well, with Merton getting their foot on the minge early and making sure that we were competing for both the first and the second minge. One thing Merton did so well last week was making sure that if the minge was there to be won, we got well and truly stuck into it and this week was no different. We started strong and capitalised on a loose minge early on, with Will and Weighty combining nicely up top, but unfortunately Weighty smashed the minge rather than delicately stroking the minge and ended up sending the minge way over the bar and into space almost losing the minge in a bush in the process. Minge.
In midfield, Motspur had started with a strong central three. One of which was Dimitri. A Romanian tank who was a first division player back in the homeland before he moved over here to become a Bus Driver/Handyman/Cleaner (delete as applicable). Dimitri was strong in the air and decent on the floor and for the first 15 minutes gave Morton and Al the run around in the centre. It became pretty clear that both him and Sergei were players and everything would go through them. Morty and Al had a little look at themselves, nodded and then did what every good English player does to a foreigner that is better than them, kick em, hard! For the next 30 minutes to half time, Morty and Al didn’t really get into the game, but took themselves out of it and Dimitri and Sergei with them.
Thankfully Merton’s midfield two didn’t need to play football, as the wingers were doing that for them. Wilson on the left and Sam on the right were causing havoc and one of the pivotal moments in the game came just 20 minutes in. After a superb bit of tracking to cover the winger, Wilson got his head to the minge to clear, unfortunately some total spastică from the opposition missed the minge entirely and planted his nut on Jon’s eye. As the ball broke and Merton attacked, Jon was on the floor crippled as blood poured from his face. Cue Dr. Eva Tayliero who cracked open the first aid kit and got a stitching. Looking like the lovechild of Terry Butcher and Humpty Dumpty, Jon was told in no uncertain terms by the referee that he shouldn’t carry on and was immediately subbed. A crying shame since he was playing so well and creating many a chance, but unfortunately his bad luck with injuries continued. Meanwhile, there’s talk of Dr. Taylor becoming the next Clooney in the reboot of ER. Watch this space.
Daryl came into the fold and nearly scored with his very first touch. A sublime diagonal pass from Wowk travelled 50 yards into the path of West, who struck the minge cleanly, but it rolled agonisingly wide of the far post.
Merton did have an unbelievable shout for a penalty, when Fryer was fouled 5 yards inside the box and the referee agreed – except for the tiny detail that he thought fryer was outside of the box and inexplicably gave a free kick on the edge of the area. Despite fryer not moving from his spot and inviting the ref to take a look, the man in the middle was having none of it and waved away the protests. Odd.
Half time arrived and Merton’s defence had been really solid. Terry and Anstey winning everything and the odd time Scott had to make a save, he made it well. Andy’s long throws were causing problems and Taylor had won a far few headers on the other flank. We looked tidy, but there was a long way to go if we were to take something from the game. One change came at half time and that was to bring on Chris for Weighty, to try and use his pace to get in behind the defence.
The change seemed to bring everyone to life and The Moores Murderer up top was butchering the minge and a great piece of interplay with Fryer saw the striker open his Merton account. Chris Moores racing into the box quicker than Sir Jimmy Savile into nursery and dispatched the minge low into the bottom right corner of the net. Mind it took a bloody age to cross the line, but when it did, the scenes were jubilous!
Sadly for everyone, Chris had been practicing his dead fish celebration and after notching his goal flopped over onto the floor, dislocating his shoulder in the process. Ouch! On came Dr. Taylor but unfortunately he’s one-trick pony and after spending 15 minutes trying to bandage his arm with sellotape, the shoulder was still popped out. So poor Chris had to leave the field. What an action packed and wonderful cameo he’d made and one that had given us a superb lead.
As one injured soldier hobbled off, another came back on as Wilson and Weighty both came back into play and immediately both were involved in a key chance, weighty and Wilson swapping passes before the latter slid the minge into Will. Fryer’s shot however sailed over the bar. There was another great chance for Sam who connected sweetly with the minge for a volley and lobbed the keeper, only for it to be chalked off for a dodgy handball.
Fryer was exerting his strength and was dominant all of the second half. So much so it began to force Motspur to play the minge long over the top. Sadly, it was this from where the equaliser came. The hoof from the went in behind the fullback to Sergei, who strode into the box…
Having scored an Oggie off his ballsack the week previous for the firsts, Anstey managed to mark his twos bow in style, by chopping down the onrushing winger in the box for a penalty. To be fair to Anst, he got his foot on the minge well, just took the man afterwards and whilst most premier league refs would have waved it away, at this level – we couldn’t really have any complaints. Step forward the Tank who arrived up the pitch to cries of “Lovitură dimitri, Lovitură!” having no idea what that meant, we guessed it was Romanian for “score you daft prick”, but in the end the big man ignored the chants and stuttered on the run up, before smashing the minge Wilson style into the roof of the net.
He then retreated to centre back to try and protect the draw, but despite this, there was still a chance for Merton to reclaim victory when a late run into the box from Weightman saw the minge fall on the edge of the area to Sam, but the headlines weren’t to be written on this occasion as the winger could only sidefoot his effort at the keeper.
The final whistle blew and a fair result was achieved, Motspur were a good outfit and while on another day we could have taken our chances and won heavily, it was also the kind of game we’d have lost last season. Much credit should go to everyone for digging deep and despite not having our best game, remaining unbeaten for another week.
Man of the Match
Many people on the pitch did what needed to be done most notably Alex in CM who sacrificed himself for the team many a time. Scott made some great saves to keep us level in the first half and Larkin had a fine game at full back. Wilson played through the pain barrier and while he was only on the field for 10 mintues, Chris’ contribution was vital. However, for yet another week’s tireless work ethic and all round battling performance, man of the match was Will Fryer. A superb game mate, well played!