Unfortunately another loss for the Soche, even after a dominant home performance against Tooting Bec A’s. Going into the match things were looking good: Carlito had managed to avoid injuring himself putting up the nets, we had drafted in some quality subs in the form of Leach Jnr and spirits were high.
Right from the off Merton came out of the blocks looking strong and not too long after the start star striker Tom Leach had a goal dubiously disallowed for offside – surely this was a sign of things to come? However following the initial spark Tooting Bec took an early lead after a corner came out to one of theirs, on the edge of the box, who managed to get a shot off that found its way through the crowded box. This goal marked the beginning of an early wobble from the Soche and before we knew it we were 2-0 down after failure to clear a Rory Delap style long throw into the box.
With an uphill battle to climb the mighty Soche refused to lay down and what ensued was a game of sheer dominance fuelled by some true grit and determination from every player. The midfield battled hard with Oly “the Caped Crusader” coming close to a red card on a number of occasions. The defence battled on and started winning their headers and this paved the way for the team to really start creating some chances as they saw the first half out.
The second half carried on in much the same way for the Soche; holding on to a lot of possession in the oppositions half and having a number of chances stopped by the oppositions defence hoofing it for a corner or a throw in. But the pressure continued to rain down on the Tooting Bec penalty area, with Leach Snr even hitting the bar with a rather sublime scooped shot. The pressure proved too much after Leach Jnr was brought down in the box after receiving the ball from a lung busting effort from his older brother – the Soche were awarded a penalty and a route back into the game. TK stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted it home, as only the Gaffa should.
The team remained strong with a stalwart defence and continued to reap havoc up top. Despite having little to do in goal Phil made some good saves when called upon. With the score at 2-1 Merton continued to dominate in search of that all-important equaliser and a first point of the season but unfortunately it wasn’t to come. As the final whistle went the visitors blew a sigh of relief and Merton left the field feeling a little hard done by. It was a valiant team effort from the Soche with a number of positives that they will be looking to carry forward in to the first game of what will undoubtedly be a successful run in the cup!