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Late to the Party

Last night marked one of the most significant and prestigious events on the arts calendar. The 89th Annual Academy Awards. If anyone was daft enough to stay up until 1am to watch it, then brilliant. Pat yourselves on the dick and take the rest of the match report off. If you’re an ugly bastard like Sam Wowk and value your beauty kip, then basically all you missed was the Superbowl, without the 6-hour ad-breaks, without Lady Gaga flashing her ball-sack on stage and with probably the most comical refereeing decision you’d have seen since we lost 2-1 on Saturday. Basically, in the words of Paul Calf – it was a “bag o’ shite”.

There were many similarities between last night’s film awards and Merton’s game against a bunch of part time footballers, part time Weatherspoon enthusiasts. Firstly, there was recognition for brilliant acting, in the form of golden statues and yellow cards… There was a major gaff by PwC employees in both events and of course, all the talk centered on what everyone was wearing… The Oscars had Emma Stone in her elegant, gold Dior number while Merton had Sam Wowk in his 1980s athletics shorts that looked like they’d come straight off the £1 sales rack at Sports Direct. In fact, the only thing “Hollywood” that Merton could conjure was the word itself emblazoned across Sam’s bent arse!

The events both started in exactly the same way, with a look back at those we’ve lost this year. A prominent gasp and a tear was felt at the Oscars when they recalled the life of Carrie Fisher who sadly passed of a heart attack, while Merton’s own in memorandum mourned the loss of Matt Yelwell, who sadly injured his arse playing badminton.

There were also special mentions for Josh “Going back to Bristol for the annual combine harvester convention” Tovey, Joe “I only play against teams called Shaftsbury” Cox, Will “In law’s birthday in the Wirral” Fryer and… the man that no-one missed… Gary “The Mrs Booked a holiday” Webber.

The host walked out and his opening monologue focusing heavily on his feud with Chris Anstey and how Brexit was a joke, he then moved on to telling the lads that he would shoot from every free-kick he got and that we should all use the Merton App. Halfway through this, he was interrupted. There was a security alert at the door that delayed proceedings. Someone had turned up without a ticket, in strict violation of the dress-code and was asking for Entry.

His name wasn’t on the list that had been submitted to the officials, but thankfully the ref was willing to make an exception. Apparently, the guest “had a mare” after spending all morning googling Maddie McCann and forgetting what time he was supposed to be at the ground.

On to the awards...

The Award For Best Attendance

Winner: John Abbey

John turned up before the meet time, meaning he was ready and raring to go at kick off - and you could tell. He was straight in with the first tackle of the day while everyone else looked sluggish and uninterested. He had to mark a giant, but remarkably won his first (and only) header of the day within the first 5 minutes of the game. Outstanding.

The Award for Best Tosser

Winner: Sam Wowk

In the first half, Sam’s goal kicks were on-point - kicking it almost the length of the field and at one point forced their keeper into a save! However, we were getting much more joy from his throws as Sam found range when tossing the ball deep into the opposition half from hand. All that practice tossing off on biscuits has obviously paid off…

The Award for Best Challenge

Winner: Alex Hall

Merton were pressing really well in the first half, pushing Old Plyms back into their own half. While we were getting a bit of a kicking off the ball for our troubles, we were not allowing the opposition any chance to get out of their third. The one time that we did allow them to get forward, a long ball down the left wing was pounced upon by their striker. Cue Alex Hall with an incredible Bobby Moore-esque, last-ditch tackle to rob the man of possession and come away with the ball cleanly. Keeping the score firmly at 0-0.

The Award for Best Girly Squeal

Winner: Tom Pye

There were a few nominees’ in this category, but Tom was clearly in a mood after being rushed out of the house and not being able to complete his vinegar strokes. Playing an offside trap without a lino and squealing “Margins!” was a moment for the fans and nudges him ahead of the pack to take the award.

The Award for Best Foul Throw

Winner: Ian Taylor

When you’ve got an experienced linesman, from the Ryman league no-less, officiating – you’ve got to be by the book. As Ian raised one heel as if he was receiving a dreamy moonlight kiss from Ryan Gosling, the referee blew up for the 14th foul throw of the first half. An SSEC record.

At the interval, we broke for refreshments and the scores were even. Scott Fitzgerald was in surprisingly great nick up front, holding the ball up well and moving around while Loveday, Costello, Abbey and Pye weren’t giving the opposition a sniff. Findlater was his usual busy self and Wilson had come close with our best effort of the day. We felt we had this going into the second half…

The Award for Best Oggie

Winner: Adam Loveday

Unfortunately, Old Plyms took the lead in unfortunate circumstances. A cross to the near post was dangerous and needed turning behind. Just like his PwC colleagues at the Oscars, Loveday got the wrong envelope and thought he was infront of the opposition net – executing a perfect Diving header into the back of the net, before realising it was the wrong goal!

The Award for Best Goal

Winner: Adam Loveday

Again, just like his PwC colleagues, there was a chance of redemption. Loveday quickly got the right envelope and from a dangerous free-kick, smashed a header into the right net. Leaving the defence absolutely stranded. A brilliant finish and a deserved equaliser.

The Award for Best Assist

Winner: Ian Taylor

There was literally only one contender for this as Ian picked up his second award of the night for delivering the inch-perfect free-kick from deep straight onto Adam’s head.

The Award for Best Man-Marking from a Corner

Winner: Merton Social

Shouts of “who’s got number 5, who’s got number 5, number 5 is free” could be heard three miles away as their Number 5 (lucky to still be on the pitch after his earlier stamp on John Wilson) leapt unmarked and nodded the ball into the back of the net. We all could have done better here. One man was free (I won’t name and shame) but we need to take more responsibility from defending set pieces and give clearer instructions. Not just “who’s got him” we need to find that man and tell him. In any case, the most dangerous threat was not picked up and we’ve conceded a defeat bringing goal.

The Award for Best Dive

Winner: #7

The most garbage player on the field duly picked up a yellow card after doing nothing else all game. The fact he was punished for diving was deserved as he’d been at it all game anyway and deserved at least a £10 fine for being fucking shit! A notable mention to the lad that went down holding his nose when abbey hadn’t touched him in the box trying to con the referee. He got up 10 seconds later and said “yeah, I know you didn’t touch me”. Bunch of cunts.

The Award for Best Referee

Winner: Manny Harris

The Mark Clattenberg of the SSEC and one of the greatest refs we’ve had in a long time. Makes Bob Gash look like Pierluigi Collina in comparison. However, he did give a foul throw against Ian Taylor which made tickled me… so he scored 100/100…

The final whistle blew and Merton had lost against a team that it’s a travesty to be beaten by. They offered nothing and in return we allowed them to leave with all three points. Poor attendance really lets down the entire club, we’re just thankful that an injured Sam agreed to go in goal, our goalkeeper agreed to play outfield and Loveday and Costello were on hand to answer the call to arms. Without a linesman we struggled and received a £10 fine. Without a sub we were blowing and were punished.

As the event ended and everyone fucked off home to cry into their pints, there was just the matter of the showpiece award to give…

The Award for Best Man of the Match

Winner: Sam Wowk

For this award there was only one nominee. Injured and unable to change direction, Sam had an incredible game in sticks and didn’t put a foot wrong. The one player that unequivocally did not deserve to be on the losing side. Well played mate.

On a final note, I’ll leave you by two quotes to remember:

“Better three hours too soon, than a minute too late” – William Shakespeare

“If you’re fucking late next week you can all fuck off you bunch of cunts” – Simon Morton



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