After a three-week hiatus the Soche were eager to get back into the swing of things. The team welcomed back talismanic CM, Ben RH, after a month on tour/the sesh. He wasn’t the only one who felt slightly worse for wear. His trusted CM partner Oly had undertaken a ludicrous 100-mile journey from Seshwich. Not one to require a spa day post-sesh, it’s the kind of commitment we’ve come to expect from Merton’s most notorious hatchet man.
Undeterred by a rail replacement bus the Soche arrived at the home of the Wandgas Worcester Park Vets feeling confident. As well as the responsibility of leading the front line, Merton’s diminutive striker had also been given the added task of bringing the balls. Alas, the responsibility proved too much and the Soche were forced to warm up with a shit ball the gaffer had purchased eagerly in the Black Friday sales. Also, absent were any goals for Merton to hit balls over, and more importantly, the opposition. Once they eventually emerged from their cosy club house it was no surprise to see the OAPs had been forced to recruit some of their children/grandchildren to do some of their running. After the arrival of the slyly-seshed ref, who insisted on giving a bizarre pre-match pep talk, the game got underway.
Helped by a surprisingly sluggish Merton and buoyed by their new found youth ‘The Gas’ started brightly stringing together a few passes, something the away side were finding difficult to do. However, it was Merton who created the first real opening. A looping ball falling onto the foot of Tom who hooked it towards goal only to see it rebound back of the bar. The Soche continued to press with a couple of half chances and could see their were opportunities to be had against the back-line of Griff and co. Midway through the first half Merton were awarded a freekick from a typically agricultural challenge. TK floated in the ball which bounced off Tom and fell to Fred who’d lost the attention of the Neanderthal right-back ‘Griff’ to calmly chest down and rifle home his first of the season.
The gloss was quickly taken off as the Vets instantly equalised. JD and the Rev got in a mix up, perhaps surprised to see the presence of Phil so far off his line, to make matters worse Merton’s no.1 dropped the ball at the feet of their striker who made no mistake. Despite Phil’s protests that he had 2 hands on the ball the sesh-ref allowed the goal to stand. Within minutes the Vets were ahead. A dubious offside was waved away by the sesh-ref and one of the non-Vets rounded Phil to give the Vets the lead.
The Soche were rocked. Daniel took it upon himself to start a fight with a young Vet for no reason and the handbags came out. Perhaps Daniel had actually intended his outburst to spur on his teammates through sheer embarrassment and it worked. Just before half-time Merton were level with the best move of the match. TK and Ben linked up well to find Daniel who channelled his red mist to deliver a low cross to the back post. Proving that lightening can strike twice and maybe pigs can fly, Fred arrived to slam the ball into the roof of the net to bag his second.
Relieved at no-longer being behind to a bunch of old bastards Merton started the second-half well. TK forcing their keeper into a good save and JB uncharacteristically messing up a presentable chance. Tom missed his now customary one on one (though in fairness the ball was played behind him) as the Soche pressed for a winner. After the hour mark Merton, and the match, went off the boil. The sesh had caught up with the midfield and the Soche were drawn into an old-fashioned slog that played into the Vets hands. Merton needed a hand and as luck would have it they duly got one.
Despite their caveman tendencies the Vets continued to play out from the back. Perhaps blinded by the arrogance that comes with age the Vets got their comeuppance. A shnarg pass any Merton man would have been proud of fooled the keeper who, under very little pressure, slipped. The ball trickled towards goal and just before it creeped over the line, TK smashed it home from half a yard. Now Merton just had to defend.
Expecting the kitchen sink Merton dropped deep but the onslaught never really arrived. The closest the Vets came was appealing for a back pass from Big O, but the sesh-ref was right, it was just a shit miskick and he knew it. The Soche welcomed the final whistle knowing they had done just enough to earn the warm embrace of the club house, where the Rev, relieved at the 3 points and shocked at the 7 lagers on tap, bought another legendary round for his trusted shipmates.