Good, didn’t want to win anyway

As Will Fryer’s god awful penalty skimmed delicately off the ground bouncing not once, not twice, but thrice on the way through to the goalkeeper – who had time to dive the wrong way, get back up and then dive again to save – a collective sigh of relief could be heard coming from the away side. “Thank God for that”. I mean, seriously, if we’re all honest with each other we’re so happy to be out of that competition. It’s fucking shite. Every year we travel to the arse end of nowhere to play against a massive bunch of bellends who all grew up on the same council estate and think they’ve still got the chance of being scouted by Arsenal even at the ripe old age of 32. The type of lads who grew up idolising complete cunts like Martin Keown, Ben Thatcher and any player that’s ever played for Chelsea between 2005-present. You know, the kind of opposition that don’t really care about breaking someone’s legs in a game because they don’t have jobs to go to on Monday morning. So, shit journey and cunty opposition aside, at least we’d been entered in completely the wrong competition by the 2014 KDFL secretary of the year runner up. I think deep down, we all really wanted to face a 6th successive away fixture in the Surrey County Cup against a side that had battered every team they’d played against and were divisions higher than us. Ranting aside, Merton love playing against better teams than themselves. The reason being, we actually have to try. None of this “foot off the gas” mentality that see’s us punting balls to nowhere and running away from the ball in the centre of the pitch. We all have to work hard and use our brains to make sure we’re in the game for 90+ minutes.

Having a squad of 16 on Wednesday reduced to just 12 on the day was kind of a blessing in disguise. Everyone got a minimum of 70 minutes on the pitch and it was much needed fitness for some of the team who haven’t been playing regularly of late.

<uch of the pre-match talk focussed on the gaffer’s decision to play a negative formation, moving Merton’s first choice centre halves of Webber and Fryer into midfield so that we could have 9 men behind the ball and use Louis as the focal point of our counterattack. It was either going to be a stroke of genius or seen as paying Bedfont too much respect but what it resulted in was an intriguing tactical battle, where Merton soaked up the pressure and tried to hit the opposition on the counter attack time and time again, making extremely good use of the limited chances we had. It was safe to say that if you’d come to the ground in search of free-flowing football, Sunbury was definitely not the place to be. In a scene akin to something from groundhog day, the oppositions centre mids kept trying the same ball over and over again to no avail. Partly because their distribution was god awful – and partly because when they played the pass the Merton defence were playing the line so perfectly that Scott was able to gather or see it clear every time they tried. Merton were buoyed at Scotty Fitzgerald being back in sticks, after Paul Cooper, Sam Wowk and Nick Ball had all deputised really well, it was great to have Scott commanding his area and gathering up the loose balls. Fortunately, to mark the return, Opta were on hand to record all of Scott’s passing stats from the game

0-1 Scott’s could do little though 30 minutes into the first half when Bedfont did take the lead, with what was effectively their first shot on target. A decent enough finish all said and done, their winger clipping a back spun shot into the open side of the Merton net from distance. However, while they’d had a lot of possession, we’d restricted them to only having shots from distance very well – most of which only troubled the trees and the farmer’s tools over in the far shed. Merton were behind rather unfortunately, but we never felt like we were out of the game. 1-1 We kept hunting and were rewarded with a goal just before half time. Again Merton dropped deep to soak up the pressure and create space for Louis, who was able to take a midfield pass, turn and run toward goal. After a neat one-two with Logan, Louis Mayne turned and fired the ball into the back of the net from 16-yards. The AFC lads were livid. They couldn’t believe they’d been pegged back by such minnows and they began arguing amongst themselves as a result. Their mentally-challenged centre back calling Fryer a “Fucking Tall Cunt” was one of the highlights of how inarticulate the Bedfont lads were. I mean, there’s clearly so much wrong with Fryer you could pick on – why choose his height? At half time, Merton felt like they’d put in a good shift but were aware there was still a long way to go and with no Extra Time available for Surrey Cup matches, we knew that the game needed to be decided in 90 minutes in order to avoid a lottery.

Taylor had been kept out of the squad by last weeks MoM Larkin and came on to great applause from the referee, who took every opportunity to call him by his first name. At one point, he even said “well done ian” when our assistant manager made an accurate throw in. Clearly someone had been wanked off pre-match…

We were using the substitutions well and rotating nicely as a unit. We kept pressing and pressing and were starting to come into the game more and more. So it was massively disappointing when we conceded another goal

1-2

It’s not even worth dignifying this with a description, it was long ball, their winger scuffed a shot, someone scored. It was garbage... that’s about all I’ll say for it.

Merton kept going though and wouldn’t let things lie, Abbey and Alex were coming forward with the ball and we were starting to make a number of chances. Logan going close with an effort before Louis flashed one wide of the far post. Fryer was being an absolute handful as well and kept winning freekick after free-kick, one of which Elwell swung into the box and Webber was inches from getting on the end of it. Another one Morty put right on Louis’ head but our inform striker could only graze the bar with his effort. Eventually, Merton would get their reward for the pressure and unsurprisingly, it would come from Louis.

2-2

Our tactic of playing to their arrogance was working, sitting back, inviting pressure, defending well and then hitting them on the break. A great through ball to louis from deep saw him turn his man and get in one-on-one. As Louis rounded the keeper, Merton’s big man was clattered by the keeper and a penalty was awarded. The keeper being cautioned in the process. Louis Mayne stepped up and smashed it straight into the middle of the goal and again giving another example of why penalties drawn are more valuable than assists – as you can’t assist your own goal! :)

The game could have gone either way and with five minutes left, it started raining cards. Their left back had already been cautioned for a trip on Sam in the first half so when Fryer threw himself to the ground in the second, going down faster than a thai ladyboy whore, the referee had little choice but to flash a red. That then sparked some dissent from the Players, two of which went into the book before the final whistle sounded and the ref signalled Penalties.

Louis, Fryer, Elwell, Taylor & Morton were the players selected to bag, with Bedfont electing to take the first penalty....

The oppo bagged their first, which was quite odd - given Scott's excellent position in the net...

0-1 Down it was Louis' turn to step up...

0-1 But the striker was unlucky to see his shot tipped onto the crossbar...

a goal down, Scott decided to mix things up and adapted another starting position this time...

0-2 But again Bedfont buried it.

Have no fear though, Will Fryer stepped up and he was sure to bag...

0-2 but sadly, the keeper was more than equal to it

Scott mixed things back up again for Bedfont's third penalty...

0-3 which they sadly scored

There was a moment of brief hope for Merton as Matt Elwell spotted the ball...

1-3 and banged it into the bottom right.

It was now all on Scott, he had to save it...

1-4 But alas, they scored meaning they took the tie. They celebrated, while Sam Wowk took out a digestive and absolutely batched all over it, covering it in Jizz before eating it.

A genuine sigh of relief was heard. Our annual Surrey Cup nightmare was over and we'd shown real character to come out of the game with some real pride.

Man of the Match

While everyone played excellently, the voting was almost unanimous this week, Louis Mayne's battling performance and brilliant brace earning him a much deserved reward. Well played mate!

#archive

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