Nobody told me it feels so good to win AET
Feeling Blue, Well I'm trying to forget the feeling that i miss you,
Gaffer Anstey spent most of the morning trouble-shooting for the lads with the now ritual pre-game FAQs regarding where the ground is, how much match fees are and what time kick off is. It would really help if he sent some kind of email to the lads before. Just a tip for you mate. Or indeed if said lads read the email…no wonder he fancies a move to Amsterdam!
Feeling Green, When the jealousy sweels and it wont go away and dreams,
It was a glorious day down at the extensions. A-ron arrived glowing like a Greek God and the mild weather made for a cheery warm up, Dom was particularly heartened by the conditions, as we vaguely twatted balls around the numerous unoccupied pitches. After what seemed like a tumultuous week for availability and with Moffat pulling out sick after one too many rounds of calamari we actually lined up, looking pretty solid with good options on the wing and some pace in the team (massive thanks to Josh and John from the 2s):
Feeling Yellow, Im confused inside a little hazy but mellow.
A-ron Anstey Paul Al
Josh Dom Danny Massey
Feeling Red, When you spend all your time with your friends and not me instead,
Lennox looked like a young team and they started the game energetically. Their centre forward looked like a cross between Eddie and Ethon with a top-knot to-boot and was literally 16 (looked about 12). He was withdrawn however after the opening 5 minutes after it became clear that he wasn’t going to get anything from the powerful pairing of Anstey and Paul “ Paul’s ball” McLean at centre back. Merton were pretty slow getting out of the traps with a sloppy start.
When i think about all of the things that i feel i lack,
However, after 15 minutes we began to assume control with some lovely quick passing in and out of midfield and defence and linking up with the forwards trying to utilise the pace of Jox and Jack in behind. This approach almost bore fruit as Jack was slipped through on the right hand side (despite starting at left wing) but he stumbled over the ball and scuffed his shot (classic Massey!). The fluffed chance may also have had something to do with the fact that Massey was struggling to differentiate between the red and orange kits, more on this later.
When its not gone right, all the colours are faded.
We were putting pressure on their defence while they looked to get their pacey players through on the break – especially the Iniesta lookalike up top. After a few corners and byline crosses we eventually struck in and around the 30 minute mark with some good interplay down the right and Josh beating his man to deliver an accurate low pass which Jack met and converted with ease from 5 yards out. All this while being colour blind - what a hero!
Nobody told me it feels so good, Nobody said you would be so beautiful, Nobody warned me about your smile, You're the light, You're the light, When i close my eyes, I'm colourblind
Unfortunately Jox had to go off just before half time with his hammy playing up from last week. Fortunately Jox’s gf was on the sidelines to keep him company although she buggered off back to the car after realising that she’d have to spend the remainder of the match talking to Jox/watching the likes of us playing our high quality brand of footy. Jon came on to replace him and started well getting at their full back and generally making a nuisance of himself on the left wing.
Half time came with us clearly dominating and playing the better footy – we should have been a couple of goals to the good but they had had some dangerous breaks – one in particular where their rapid right winger missed a clear one on one (perhaps Al's heaving breathing 10 yards back was enough to put him off!). So half time message was get out there and finish them off...after we gave them our yellow away kit, so Massey had no excuses now!
The second half saw Anstey take his turn up top replacing Harry with Bally coming on at centre back. We were a bit slow getting out of the traps (surprisingly) but again started to dominate.
Jack and John were ripping their men apart ‘literally’ but we couldn’t quite deliver the final ball to the free-scoring centre-half-cum-centre-forward (no not Bruiser the other one!). Anstey did come close with a cute effort as he stylishly flicked a ball goalwards only for the keeper to pull off a decent save. On keepers I just need to mention how well Grindley was playing, our very own Manuel Neuer communicating well and acting as a buffer to their counter attacking threat with well timed dashes and clearances outside of his box. However, one such dash resulted in their player on the edge of the area with us unable to clear our lines – it somehow ricocheted through and their player side footed goal wards – Al could only open his legs to let it though deflecting off his instep en route to Bally who had done well to get back on the line but could only poke it further into the corner! An irritating goal but a warning that we need to be less profligate in front of goal.
Anstey withdrew Al who was replaced by Josh (Harry had previously returned to the fray) to play at right wing back, going for it with the 3-5-2 that has been a successful option in recent weeks. We almost immediately made it count with a good headed chance for Dominic Hague who if anything met it to well as he arrowed it into the floor so powerfully it bounced up over the bar. Danny was getting a bit bored of controlling the game in midfield so put in a gruesome tackle on Iniesta who kicked off a bit and then started apologising immediately as he clocked the sheer girth of the Merton skipper. Harry also chipping in that Danny would ‘eat him’! The small child came back on and pushed Danny and then A-ron firmly floored him while cleaning winning the ball. It was a bit unfair. Especially when he bench pressed him. Full time 1-1.
So into extra time, Al coming back on to replace John who had put it a great shift. We were pretty pissed off that we’d not managed to put these out of sight but tbf they had some decent ball players and had stayed resolute throughout.
Anstey and Massey were linking up well and early in the first half of extra time Massey who could finally tell the difference between the two shirts cushioned Danny's lofted pass sumptuously and lashed it in on the half volley – smashing finish! Danny's first assist for Merton after 500 games. We finished the game off with Jack being set through on goal by Dom and finished unerringly low into the corner, in the second half of extra time.
So the mighty soash’s cup run continues after a tough and bloody long game. But that keeps our 11 match unbeaten run intact and we’ve definitely got better at seeing games out after a bit of a shaky start to the season. This could be another Historic season for the Soash as we look for yet another promotion to God knows what league (prob League 1 or something).