Away: Short Angry Lad, Old Lad, Big Lad, Bigger Lad, Skipper, Fat Lad, Alright Lad, Talkative Lad, John, Dave, Half-Decent Lad. Subs: Young Lad, Slightly Less-Fat lad
Referee: Tristan Samuels – First visit to KGP this season for the whistler from West London, was given top marks (100/100)
Attendance: 00,006 - just 8 short of the highest ever in this competition at King Georges Park. Including a first trip to the ground for the referee’s dad who went to fetch our match ball every time it went over the fence. The visitors came with 2 fans housed in the usual away bit of over by the fence near the trees.
Man of the Match: Gary Webber picked up the accolade with 7 votes, Logan coming second and Nick Ball third.
19 mins Tom Pye’s excellent long-throw is flicked on by Will Fryer toward the penalty spot. Michael Logan leaped highest to power a header into the far corner of the net at the Kimber Road End to make it 1-0.
48 mins After putting the away side under some serious pressure, Louis Mayne picked up possession after a terrible clearance from the goalkeeper, he took a touch wide to round the keeper and drilled in a low shot from 18 yards. 2-0.
62 minsMichael Logan was on hand to finish off a great piece of play from Merton as he got on the end of a great ball into the box and side footed into the bottom corner past the goalkeeper. 3-0.
70 mins Again, persistence was rewarded as Ian Taylor thumped a long clearance forward to the halfway line. Louis Mayne flicked on the ball and then chased down his own flick on, putting the defender under pressure, our striker capitalised on a loose touch and stripped the ball before slotting past the keeper again. 4-0.
75 mins Merton won a great free-kick around 35 yards from goal. Morty whipped in the ball to the back post where Tom Pye was leaped and headed the ball toward goal, as the keeper fumbled, Gary Webber was in the right place to smash home a half-volley from close range – straight into the roof of the net. 5-0.
84 mins Merton had won another free-kick 40 yards from goal, again Morty swung it straight into the back post and on to Gary Webber’s head. In an echo of his finish from last week against Trinity Res. Gary Webber nodded the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from 8 yards to complete the rout. 6-0.
"It is great to get back to winning ways after what was a strange draw last week away at Trinity. We had three or four players who have not been playing too many games out there, they came in performed well and played competitively at this level, it can only be positive for the team and the future. It’s important to have players pushing and giving me a selection headache, Logan and Moores came into the side this week and have really staked a claim for a regular starting berth with two great performances.”
"I thought the first half we didn’t really stick to the plan. There were a lot of Hollywood balls into nowhere and we were often flagged offside. We were bypassing the midfield and not making the ball do the work on the deck as we’d discussed. 2nd Half however, we were much improved. We made Reigate work for every touch of the ball they had, we put them under pressure and we played some lovely one-touch football in the middle of the park. It’s no surprise we scored 5 in the second half.”
On Nick Ball’s great performance in nets:
"Nick’s got that je ne sais quails that makes him a top footballer wherever he plays. If I was Scott I’d be shitting me keks with fear wondering how I’ll get back in the side. If I was Sam, I’d be even more worried because both Nick and Scott don’t wank on biscuits.”
Reigate Priory boss Old Lad said:
"It was a horrible day. When you give exceptional players time and room, you make it a long, long evening. It went from bad to worse when Fat Lad went off at half time. This time last year, they were at the top of the KDFL, they are a fantastic side.”
Asked if Gary Webber's performance was the difference:
"To be honest, when I saw him turn up I didn’t think he looked like a footballer at all. He was really awkward and lanky and looked like a Pepperami. I heard he even once got nutmegged by a clown at the Hasbro 7-a-side tournament. He took his goals well mind and ran about a lot so I guess you could say he was the difference. The whole midfield were class though, particularly the wide lads, so I think we were just second best to a fantastic side”
Our biggest victory in this competition since the 3-1 success at Motspur Park in September.
It's also the first time Merton Social have won three successive home games for 3 years.
Nick Ball became only the second goalkeeper in the history of Merton Social to keep a clean sheet on his debut (Sam Wowk being the only other player). It was our second clean sheet of the season and means it’s now been 152 minutes since Merton last conceded a goal.
Louis Mayne has started just two games this season: both have ended in victories. Nick Ball played in his first even win for the second team, having previously only drawn or lost.
This was our fifth highest win since the second team was formed 6 years ago, And the first time we’ve scored more than 5 goals without any player scoring a hat-trick.
Top Five Scoring Victories for the Seconds
2014/15 16-0 St. Martins 2012/13 11-0 Kingston Tigers (cup) 2012/13 8-1 St. Martins (h) 2012/13 8-1 St. Martins (a) 2016/17 6-0 Reigate Priory ‘A’
This was also the highest scoring victory of any Merton team this season, and the highest ever in our history in the SSEC.
Ian Taylor kept his 2nd clean sheet in 3 apps at centre back. The other coming in a 2-0 win against St. Martins in 2013/14
Despite making 5 changes to the side that drew with Trinity Reserves, a rampant Merton Social breezed past Reigate, scoring six without reply, leaving them battered and bewildered and cementing their position at the bottom of the table.
Josh Tovey and Sam Wowk were both absent from the two’s, but replacements Louis Mayne and Michael Logan both bagged braces - the latter his first goals at home for the club. Gary Webber’s fox-in-the-box routine twice added to last Saturdays goal, taking his tally to 3 for the season. The Social also hit the goal frame thrice and missed two open goal’s on a day when it could/should have been ten.
While The back four of Merton had a quiet afternoon, they were put under pressure very early. Reigate determined to make use of their size advantage with long-ball football. The first half was quite poor for Merton offensively, but at the back we were very accomplished. Ian Taylor was dominant in the air while Alex Hall’s reading of the game was second to none – often intercepting passes and starting attacks. Nick Ball in goal was doing a tremendous job of organising and keeping everyone right, while the fullbacks of Tom Pye and Andrew Larkin were getting forward and delivering crosses at every feasible opportunity.
It was no surprise when we went 1-0 up thanks to very much that. A surging run from Pye wide right won a throw in deep into the opposition half. His long throw was right on the head of Fryer who flicked the ball into the path of Logan to rise high and nod in his 2nd goal of the season. It was very nearly 2 when Will Fryer cannoned his shot off the post from a tight angle at 6 yards, sadly no-one was on hand to follow up the re-bound with Webber inches away from connecting.
In the absence of Andy Moffatt, Ian Taylor was on corner duties and for some reason kept shooting from the flag. One of his efforts to the back post was unfortunate to cannon off the bar and go behind for a goal-kick.
Moores twice and Pye nonce, (that the adverbial for 9-times, I’m not calling Tom a child molester. Although I should point out that what he does in his own time is none of the clubs business and we have no knowledge of him luring children into his car wearing a Cookie-Monster outfit…), went close with long range efforts but thankfully the tree’s remain undamaged.
At Half-Time Merton had coasted and never really got out of neutral, never mind first gear, but a change in tactics at half time was the catalyst to Merton romping home in the second 45.
Merton doubled their advantage shortly after the break. Louis Mayne exploiting a very poor pass from the goalkeeper, dispossessing their centre back, rounding the custodian and then slotting home to make it 2-nowt. We were beginning to really move through the gears and Mayne again came close to adding another, this time he skinned his man on the halfway line, sprinted down to the byline before flashing his shot just wide of the far post.
The third goal came after a good period of Merton pressure. Alex Hall striding out of defence with the ball and playing a nice one-two in the midfield. As a freekick was given, we quickly took it and played the ball out wide to the left flank. A lovely move between Morton, Larkin and Mayne saw Logan pop up on the edge of the box, take the pass in his stride and slot the ball into the bottom corner of the net. At that point the disconsolate goalkeeper looked close to tears and when Logan was through on goal for his third and slashed a shot wide before the flag went up, you could hear the keeper screaming that it was “unfair” and that it should be a “gentlemans game” …bless.
Gentlemen would be the last word you’d use to describe Merton’s second half performance as we bent over Reigate and banged the shit out of them, before pulling out and jizzing all over their face.
Further goals seemed inevitable and when Louis Mayne grabbed his second and Merton’s fourth, it ended any faint hopes the oppo might have had of salvaging any pride from the game. Taylors long clearance to Louis demonstrated to the seconds exactly why the first team call him “The Rhino”. Louis won the header then chased down his own flick-on, putting the defender under pressure, dispossessing him and then firing past the keeper in rampant style. His 3rd of the season as the lads look to close the gap on Josh at the top of the scoring charts.
Merton had been excellent from set pieces last week against Trinity and again made everyone of them count in the second half. First off, Louis had been held back near the sideline around 40 yards from goal, Morty stood over the ball and told the lads exactly where it would go. The skipper swung the ball into the back post where Tom Pye rose to get on the end of it hitting it toward goal and the awkward figure of Gary Webber. Plebs took the ball down and smashed home a half volley into the roof of the net (albeit via the goalkeeper’s gloves.). MoM Webber secured his brace moments later when Merton had another free kick in a near-identical position. This time Morty putting the ball square on Gary’s head as he powered the pass straight into the back of the net, rounding off what was an absolute rout.
Merton could have made it 9 if it wasn’t for a spectacular trio of misses. First, Logan missing an empty net (albeit from a tight angle) in a bid for his hattrick, then Webber blazed over Louis Mayne’s cross from 6 yards Akinbiyi style, after sprinting the length of the field to get on the end of it. Finally, the best/worst of the day fell to Chris Moores, who had been exceptional and sprinted over 30 yards to get on the end of Morty’s defence-splitting throughball, but after rounding the keeper and doing the hard work, Chris’ tired legs were unable to steer the ball home and he hit the shot over the bar with the goal gaping.
Having barely dirtied his gloves, Nick Ball was called upon in the final moments to preserve the well-deserved clean sheet, when Merton were caught behind on the counter attack. However, Bally was off his line like a greyhound and slid in to deny the opposition a consolation.
A cracking performance 2nd half that sorted out our goal difference and pushed us up to 2nd in the league. While we often played exhibition stuff, we’re going to have to do a lot better in the next game, which is almost certain to be against one of the top sides in the division. It was fun to play against the whipping boys, but there’s lots of areas that need improvement – most notably, our slow starting first half performances.
Man of the Match wasn’t a close vote but it really could have been anyone out there. A lot of the lads did the unfashionable, particularly Alex Hall and Will Fryer, who weren’t among the goals but did the thankless task to allow others to take the glory. That’s what Merton Social is all about. No-one can deny Gary Webber the accolade though, coming so close last week to pinching it – he was fully deserving after a well-taken brace. Well played mate.