As The Curtain Falls...
And thus the curtain falls on another season in the Kingston and District Football League.
The 2s have had a few laughs and shed a few tears. The high point was perhaps the 3-0 demolition of Chessington at home, one of our biggest rivals, who we dominated from the first minute to the last. We’ve also had some lows, conceding 11 goals in 2 games to Corinthians, and not grabbing a well-earned win against one of the top 4 was a frustration.
What better way to finish the season than a home game at Raynes Park against bottom of the league Epsom Casuals?
With the squad we had put together there was no question that anything less than 3 points would be a sour way to finish the season.
The team set up as:
Josh Tovey took up a place as temporary linesman, and was itching to get on when the Gaffer confirmed that we would use the rolling subs rule to our advantage against an Epsom bare 11.
Few of us were impressed to hear that Elwell had forgotten the oranges; he is automatically out of the running for man of the match!
During the team talk, the Gaffer asked for everyone to enjoy themselves today. His Assistant gave some words of wisdom and told the CMs to watch their ankles against the opposition’s fat d1ckhead in the middle, more on him later in the show.
The game kicked off and Epsom took the early initiative.
They moved the ball quickly and caught the 2s off guard, however they were not able to fashion a decent chance.
But it didn’t take long for the 2s to get themselves involved. Moffatt and Webber started to win the vital challenges and were quick to release Wilson and Elwell and get some forward momentum going.
With our first meaningful attack, we were ahead.
We defended an attacking throw in and Moffatt found Wilson on the halfway line in space. Fryer was on his bike, and Wilson slammed a through ball onto the chest of Fryer and the ball landed nicely in his path. Earlier in the season Fryer might have snatched at the shot, but he took an extra touch, strode away from the defender, and struck a beautiful finish from inside the right of the 18 yard box, straight into the bottom left corner, giving the keeper no chance.
Arguably Fryer’s best goal in a Merton shirt.
The game was fairly even, and possession was shared between the two teams.
However one difference was in the final third.
Merton were freely getting the ball into the opposition box, and squandered some glorious chances to extend the lead.
A rogue bobble foiled Morton’s chance to pop one in from 5 yards, and the very same bobble was it again as Andy Moffatt leathered a shot into the heavens. Wilson was charging past the right back on a regular basis, and as usual Fryer was heavily involved.
Even when the fresh legs of Tovey entered the fray, Merton still struggled to be clinical and kill the game off early.
At the other end of the pitch there was a familiar pattern.
They played the ball over the top from deep, and every single time their player had started his run too early and was flagged offside. Each time they moaned and could not see that they were so obviously miles offside, which may go some way to explain why they are rock bottom of Division 2.
For the most part Cox and Dowell (making his debut for the 2s) cleaned up any loose ball, using their full backs to good effect. On the sole occasion that Epsom breached our defences, Larkin was out like lightning to smother the ball.
At one point their fat d1ckhead played the ball in front of himself to run onto. Cox spotted the potential danger and calmly played the ball out. Fatty then unleashed a bizarre tirade at how Joe could “’ave it” and how he’d just “smashed” him!
As his own players and all 12 Merton men looked at him in sheer disbelief, he smugly trotted back to the halfway line, as if he just won a contest and dropped mic.
The first half ended with us having had much the better of the chances, but knowing that we needed the comfort of a second goal.
More rotation as Fryer came back on and Elwell grabbed the flag.
Again it was Epsom that started brighter, however their second wind didn’t last too long, and the game began to open up.
Moffatt and Webber now had far more time on their hands to be creative in the middle, and were at the start of every Merton attack.
Our main problem was that we were doing a rather uncanny impression of an Arsenal performance, by trying to walk the ball into the back of the net. It was frustrating for all, but you could feel a goal coming.
The ref was not in the mood to help Merton though.
After some excellent build up play, involving the whole midfield and both strikers, the ball was belted at goal. At least it would have been, had their shocking little left back not handled the ball and patted it down on the ground. Nope, no penalty awarded.
Again while we attacked, Josh received the ball. He jinked his way into the box and as he was about to pull the trigger, the little left back took out his standing leg. Arguably even more blatant than the first shout, but either way, no penalty awarded.
Not a vintage goal by any means, but they all count!
A corner was whipped to the back post by Moffatt, and a quick game of footy pinball started. Morty is not one for arcade games, and thought “f&ck this”, so nodded the ball into the net from 5 yards out.
A bit of breathing room, but also this seemed to anger our opposition, even though they hadn’t mustered any decent chances thanks to Dowell and Cox.
Their #7 started to give a bit of agro to Elwell and Wilson. Elwell manfully squared up to the oppo’s best player, at which point he announced that he was a boxer, and Elwell was seen screaming and running at great speed in the opposite direction.
Then came the moment which set Whatsapp ablaze.
The ball was cleared from a corner and Moffatt sent the ball downfield. As he kicked the ball the fat d1ckhead (you’ll remember him from earlier) came in with a horribly late challenge.
As Andy politely asked the player to refrain from exercising such disregard for his well-being, Fatty took exception to Andy’s eloquence and decided to headbutt the poor boy, who was celebrating his 30th birthday. The heatbutt wasn’t enough, so out came a right hook, directly onto Andy’s schnoz. Now as most of you will know, Andy’s face is his meal ticket. What he lacks in charisma and footballing talent, he makes up for with devilish handsomeness.
Taylor was the first player on the scene, and as Fatty wrestled Moffatt to the ground, Tails pushed the idiotic opponent away from his buddy.
Fatty went low on Tails and for the briefest of moments a low-budget WWE style grapple ensued, only to be ended by Fatty smacking Tails on the ear (yes, the ear!).
Fortunately for both Moffatt and Taylor, Fatty hits like an 11 year old schoolgirl, and as both players looked at each other with a little grin on their faces, Joe Cox and nearly the rest of the Merton team waded in to try and plant one on Fatty. Cox got closest with a limp-wristed open-handed b1tch slap. It was ALMOST all Merton players, but as Moffatt and Taylor nursed their wounds, Wilson moaned that he had made a great run down the wing and was ready to score??!!
Hardly surprising but the ref had no choice but to send Fatty for an early bath.
To be fair to his team-mates, they did make sure that Moffatt and Taylor suffered no lasting damage.
The next 5 minutes were a non-event. The Merton players tried to calm themselves down, and the opposition players tried not to look so embarrassed at what their colleague had done.
With the added space, the game opened up and it was one-way traffic.
Fryer had two good chances, Morton tripped on the ball and couldn’t grab his second, and Moffatt, Josh and Webber all took pity on the oppo and didn’t want to hurt their feelings.
However, Jon Wilson is a nasty piece of work, and was happy to be the bad guy.
Josh was unleashed down the right wing; he cut back inside and curled a cracker onto the head of Wilson. Wilson was being marked, but the defender stood and marvelled at Josh’s cross, and Wilson headed the ball in to make sure that Merton won, and he sat atop the 2s goalscorer table for the season.
An easy last 5 minutes was played out, with the defence looking solid and assured, and the midfield playing with a freedom, they have rarely had this season.
The final whistle blew, the ref took some details, in case a police investigation followed the unsavoury incidents, and Merton strolled off, knowing the only disappointment from the day was that we didn’t score 10.
Man of the Match
Hard to pick out one man. The defence was a solid unit, and perhaps the most organised it has been all season. Moffatt constantly showed some of the touches the 2s have missed this season, Webber won everything in the middle and kept their best player very quiet in the second half. Wilson cemented his place as Merton 2s’ top scorer, Fryer had an incredible first half, and did a job in midfield in the second half when needed, and even with a knee injury Morton showed real heart to grab the vital second goal.
But there is little doubt that the true stand-out performance was from Jack Dowell. In his first game for the 2s, he slotted into an unfamiliar position seamlessly and looked like he played there for years. Cracking performance lad!