After a very regrettable trouncing at the hands of the clinical Dynamo Kingston, the mighty Merton Social III were away against small-town opposition Hook Venturers. A somewhat ironic name, as one would struggle to envision any of their players venturing out of Chessington.
Bolstered by the return of class-act Tom P in goal, experienced footballer/warrior Dave Assaly at CB, and new recruits Oly and Billy of superstar-DJ fame, Merton were looking for defensive solidity to compensate for their previous result.
The Mighty Three's started brightly, forcing the Hook captain off the field within 10 minutes. This was possibly due to the sheer majesty of the Blue & Black, however most likely due to the player really needing to avoid any more strenuous exercise in his life, for fear of actually shattering a knee.
Afterwards, play settled into a familiar "boot it up or out" style of play from not-so-Venturous Hook, and the Soche-elites were forced to clear many a long ball, and take many a throw in. However this did not deter the III's from attempting to pass the football. The crowd were witness to some truly elegant play from the midfield and wingers (watch out Daniel), along with plenty of effort and endeavour from Tom L up front, resulting in numerous near-misses and woodwork-smashes.
Merton were struggling to contain the one bright spark in Hook's team, a young lad with quick feet on their right wing. However, Oly Cappermole made sure that he was figuratively taken out of the match, by literally taking him out (fairly, mind you). A good old fashioned cruncher, which sent the crowd into raptures and the young lad into hiding.
With the match dying down, Tom P was left with little to do as the impregnable back-four (led by the indubitably handsome Chinese/Swedish number 5) kept Hook's diminutive forwards at bay. Suddenly, the illustrious player/manager of the Soche sent a free-kick in from deep, resulting in Hook's veteran-speed centre-back slicing the ball into the back of his own net.
Now was the time for concentration, but true to form the absent-minded Merton III's almost let Hook back into the game soon after resumption of play. However, Tom P showed why the press have labeled him a class-act, by being a class-act and pulling out a absolutely t'riffic save after having almost nothing to do all match.
To jubilant cheers from the crowd, the mightiest 3rd team in South London magestically saw out the remainder of the match, even managing to hit the bar once again before the final whistle.
A deserved 3 points, a deserved clean-sheet, and a deserved selection of crisps courtesy of Paul at Chessington's finest/closest public house.