First things first, Alex would like to personally apologise for the lateness of the last three match reports. He was due to do the Cup Quarter Final game and the subsequent match v Parkside but has since embarked on a trip to India to find the “next Radha Krishna.”
So the gaffer has taken up the reins again despite Alex claiming his match reports were better, a view he said was shared by the squad. I hope the smug justification I feel while I pick up the pieces of his journalistic shit show aptly comes across in the following three reports.
Merton had found themselves in a Cup Quarter Final for the first time in a couple of years against the still pointless LM United. With Merton’s Christmas Party later on and the queue already forming outside the Antelope, the lads were really keen to get the job done and hoped their pre tie favourites tag wouldn’t weigh too heavily on their shoulders. We required all of our organisation and leadership skills and meticulous attention to detail to shine through. Then the gaffer realised he’d forgotten his boots.
I phoned Holly who was over the moon at the news. Perhaps a day shopping in town, perhaps a romantic brunch on the river? Alas no, she was asked to trek across London to Tooting to deliver said boots. Fair play to her I couldn’t believe she actually went ahead and did it. She wouldn’t arrive until half time though which meant a start on the bench for the shamed gaffer.
He was joined by Dom Hague and Eddie Suich, who after being virtual ever presents this season, were doing their turn on the bench (Broughy, Quinno, Bruiser, Danny and Kyle I’m sure would handle such news with similar good grace).
So we lined up with:
Matt Aron Bruiser Alex
After being instructed to stay predominantly on the right hand side of the pitch to use the space that Quinno would naturally vacate by coming inside, and keep Louis on the left of the front two to use his strong left foot, Jox immediately charged into the left hand channel and won a corner.
From this corner from Quinno, Aron got up well (who later admitted that the end of season race was playing on his mind) and headed goalwards. This was cleared off the line by a LM United defender but only straight into the back of his teammate and into the net, 1-0 Merton after about 2 minutes.
Which quickly became 2-0 after a neat passing move saw Jox slip in Harry who coolly slotted the ball in off the post from about 12 yards out. Someone later compared the goalkeeper’s hands to the Radha Krishna poppadoms but they surely couldn’t possibly be that brittle and lacking in flavour.
And before the lads could blink, we’d got a third. To the utter disbelief of his watching mate Oli and club benefactor Davis, Quinno genuinely dropped his shoulder and did someone on the OUTSIDE and played it to the ever advancing Matt who composed himself before delivering the perfect cross to the back stick. Fair play to Kyle, because I’m not sure I’d be risking heading the ball with in his follicular condition. He got up like James Brown (American soul singer) and headed in like James Brown (Hartelpool United striker). Great goal and Merton were 3 up after 15 minutes.
What I haven’t yet mentioned was the gale force wind blowing in the direction of the LM United goal which obviously helped Merton get in the ascendancy early on. And I think at this stage it was fair to say we took our foot off the pedal a bit. It stayed 3-0 for the next 15 minutes before an absolute worldy of a strike from the opposition (looking back we have conceded some absolute belters so far this season), a volley into the top bin from 20 yards. The defending in the build-up could have been better but hats off to striker it was a peach. This proved a bit of a wake-up call for Merton who brought on Eddie and Dom (I still didn’t have my boots).
When I did leave to meet Holly at the station I believe Louis scored a great goal before half time to make it 4-1. I didn’t see the goal so sorry Louis but I’m reliably informed it reminded people of a Rhino.
So 4-1 half time and I came on. Merton were playing some decent enough football going forward but now had the wind to contend with. This allowed LM united back into the game somewhat And Wrighty possibly should have done better with a free kick that allowed them back into it, although it also must be said that no one reacted to the rebound either. This made it 4-2.
There was a bit of a stalemate after this until Jox “struck” what seemed to be the winning blow, a bobbly shot that the defender inexplicably sliced into his own net. It was Jox’a goal as his “shot” had been on target but it’s safe to say Jox benefited from this particular interpretation of the rules.
The problem with doing match reports so long after the games is that you forget things that happened. They definitely made it 5-3 but I can’t remember how before Jox got in behind again and cut one back towards my midrift which I kneed in off their defender. This time the ball was definitely going out for a throw in before his intervention so I couldn’t quite claim this one.
Two own goals and another really dodgy one turned out to be the difference for Merton. It’s also safe to say no one was particularly arsed how it happened and we were happy to head to the curry house with a win before the Christmas do. I think Bruiser was MOM but I can’t be sure. I’ll work it out at some point.
Top things that happened in the night:
1: The quality of food and service at the Radha Krishna. £35 a head was glorious value.
2: Fighting off the hordes outside to gain access to the Antelope for the Christmas Do.
3: Gary agreeing to become Vice Chairman
4: Louis’s news song
4: Bruiser, Alex and Anst playing with a dog called Sergeant Woof in the Antelope the beer garden
5: Tram and Social bants incl. slide tackles from Bruiser
6: Game Management discussion in the cab that sent me into a deep deep sleep.