Strength to Strength - 2015 in Review
Merton Social ended the season in emphatic style, three teams grabbing three wins on the same day for the third time this season.
For the Firsts, it ended in emphatic style as Meton ran out 2-0 winners against LM United, yet Keeping another clean sheet in the process and pushing them up to second in the table ahead of bitter rivals Kingston Albion. After back-to-back promotions, many would be forgiven for thinking Merton's principal side might have struggled this term however under the leadership of Anstey the First team are going from strength to strength.
A strong pre-season where Chris was able to recruit well has certainly helped and the introduction of Sheffield Uni legend 'Broughy' to the back line has certainly helped Merton plug the gap at the back. Harry Parkin is another new boy who has made an immediate impact, scoring goals for fun in the Merton midfield and together last seasons Player of the Year Dom hague and Skipper Danny Winters, the first team midfield is looking the strongest it's ever been.
A 2-1 victory over NPL Reserves helped the Second Team end 2015 in third place as goals from Morton and Webber helped the two's to their 3rd victory in a row.
Ending last season on a bitter low with a 7-2 defeat to league champions LM United Reserves, many wondered how Merton would turn the corner. A number of injuries and shoddy commitment meant that we had to rely on players with the wrong attitude. Morton and Taylor got together in the summer to plan the future of the team and highlighted a few players that would need to be cut and a number of areas to recruit if Merton were to have a successful season. The planning session ended in great success, but with the new recruits unavailable until September, Merton faced a tricky August, losing the opening two games.
What followed was a renaissance, where the seconds went on the best streak in recent seasons, Winning 7 and losing 1 of their next 9 league games smashing 21 goals and conceding just 10 in that time.
New recruits Josh Tovey and Joe Cox have been instrumental to this success, while the form of Jon Wilson, Matt Elwell and Terry Denness has also helped push the stripes up the table and at the halfway stage of the season, The twos already have more wins and points than the whole of last season.
Under the leadership of player/manager Thomas Kenny, Merton's Third Team have gone from strength to strength and are currently halfway through their most successful season to date.
Last season, the three's ended the season with 5 wins and 18 points, so to be sat joint top of the table with 7 wins and 23 points by Chrismas is a phenomenal achievement.
TK has been helped massively by some strong recruits, most notably Jack Bingham and Captain Jack "Sparrow" Dowell who have been the heartbeat of the team so far this season.
Another great recruit for the Threes has been goalkeeper Tom Powell, who is a serial appearer in club Team of the Week's. Having a real goalkeeper apparently helps quite a bit , since the thirds have kept a number of clean sheets this season - something they only did twice last year.
The III's ended the year on a brilliant high, with TK leading by example, and grabbing the winner in a 1-0 - something that's becoming a regular scoreline for the lads.
All in all, a wonderful way to end 2015, as all three Merton teams look to begin 2016 - going for the title... Who'd have imagined that 4 years ago when we only had one team in division 4...