It was the year of our Lord 2016 and on the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Merton Social IIIs descended on Croygas for an epic cup fight of their own. The Mood on the train was one of remembrance for the battle. The Lads wondered whether William the Conqueror was on Shnarg Patrol the night before that fateful day, resulting in victory. Fortunately for Merton it was only Chino who was in a bad way, having been led astray by the devious Yon.
The Soche had by far the better of the early exchanges, dominating the ball and looking comfortably the more accomplished side despite being from the league below. A burst down the right by Cape resulted in a cut back to Leach, who expertly laid off to Fletcher’s right foot. The Fizzed shot rebounded off the crossbar leaving the Soche cursing their luck. Shortly after TK whipped in a free kick that was over the shoulder toe punted towards goal by Cape only to be saved again. It has been the III’s nemesis not taking the lead when on top and it looked like it may continue.
This trend continued throughout the first half with Merton turning the screw and Wallington looking to have little in reply, which could not be said of Thomas and TK, as the two Titans locked horns just before half time. After receiving the ball and doing well in the box, Thomas unleashed a shot which was saved onto the bar by the keeper, TK however felt that the ball should have been squared and tensions flared. One can only imagine that if King Harold and William the Conqueror had met on the battle field all those years ago they would have been as fiery, if only Harold had threatened to Bench William he may never have lost that day.
On to the Second half and it was a much more shit affair. The Soche were once again drawn into a shit game with hundreds of free kicks and no flow. The defence were solid throughout in the air with Carl, Rev. Lovejoy, Tindall and Tom easily dealing with what was thrown at them. That was, until two faster players were introduced and Wallington nicked a goal on the break. Loveday was nutmegged outrageously and the Soche were one down.
The most comedic moment of the game was courtesy of the opposition goalkeeper claiming that pass backs are ok if you take a touch. Unfortunately TK nearly hit the corner flag with the resulting free kick, one of a few wasted chances to get back in the game late on, including a truly bizarre one on one attempt by Leach against the third choice keeper to don the gloves for the opposition. The crowd watched on as Thomas trundled toward goal unchallenged - IT FELT LIKE SLOWWW-MO - as the keeper stayed rooted to his line, seemingly unmoved… In the end it turned out he didn’t need to as tom passed the ball against his static shin. Quite a day for William and Harold, but in the dying minutes Plymouthians sealed the victory with some dumb goal.
The Soche Walked away disappointed and one can’t help but feel that a poor start to the season has left them too over cautious to do the things on the pitch they know they can do well. Much like when you haven’t linked a chick for a while, over thinking things and not being free spirited. The signs however were positive.