Saturday 5th
February 2011

Intermediate Division Two League

Merton Abbey FC v Fulham DFC

After a tough goalless
drew with Claygate & Ditton last week, the Whites were looking forward to a
tough away challenge to Merton Abbey in Bellingham, knowing that they had
failed to beat them in the past three encounters between the sides.

The FDFC lads expressed
their dismay at having to listen to the Gaffer back in full roar after his trip
away to Galway. His booming voice caused headaches for all and sundry! The
Gaffer, Martin ‘Mad Man’ Willis and Captain Jimmy had a quick discussion over
the team line up and announced the line up in a changing room resembling a
shipping cargo box!

Only one change was made
to the team, Gill making way for Lampert at left back. Jimmy won his 99th
appearance on the day and one way from the century club alongside with Ben
Lampert, Andrew Vorster, Gaffer, Shyloh Morally, Mark Gill, Nick Beese, Ryan
Pendley, John Docker, Daniel ‘Del Boy’ Hogan and Ewan McGreevy.

Owing to the small and
narrow pitch, the Whites were clearly aware of the need to play quickly and at
tempo to catch the opposition out, and Del Boy, Willis, Swift and Wylde clearly
read the script early doors as they presented difficulties to Merton Abbey’s back
four. Soon enough, FDFC were a goal up when Willis was cut down just outside
the box. Hogan stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner for a
well-taken free kick. FDFC’s joy was soon short-lived as Merton Abbey equalised
via a well-taken goal from their No. 9.

Soon after, Hogan fired
a volley against the post after some great build up play from Sellers and
Willis. However, Hogan wasn’t finished just yet. Del Boy wheeled and dealed on
the ball in the opposition half, beating two players before beating the Merton
‘keeper all ends up with a driven lob into the far corner of the net.

Spurred on by regaining
the lead, FDFC continued to attack and should have been further ahead at the
interval after misses from Wylde and Swift, the latter firing over from six
yards out, after being put through one-on-one with the Merton ‘keeper!. As it
was, the Whites made it to the half time whistle with their 2-1 lead intact,
aided by some solid defensive work.

The Whites management
praised the team for an excellent team performance the first half, especially
against a strong prevailing wind, and reminded the lads that Merton were still
a threat and that another good 45 minutes was required to get the three points.

Merton Abbey did indeed
show never say die spirit as they continued to seek ways to breach the FDFC
back line; however, Willis benefitted from a defensive mix-up by pouncing on a
loose ball and slotting it into an empty net to give the Whites a cushion. FDFC
continued to create chances to seal the result, boosted by a strong performance
from Sellers, ably assisted by Gregory alongside him. Unfortunately, despite
the number of chances being created, the Whites still couldn’t get that crucial
fourth goal.

The game quickly turned
when Merton Abbey were awarded a hotly disputed penalty, to the surprise of the
FDFC team, as there did not appear to be an obvious infringement in the box.
The Merton Abbey captain made no mistake from the spot. However, Willis pounced
again and punished the opposition defence to restore the two-goal cushion and
notch up his 16th goal of the season.

Merton still did not
give up, and capitalised on a fortuitous free kick award, their No. 7 receiving
a quick ball and firing a well-hit shot into the roof of the net from 25 yards
out, as the FDFC midfield were too slow to close down the threat. The number of
twists and turns in this match had already been substantial and there was to be
one more as Hogan popped up with his hat trick after a well-executed break by
FDFC. Almost immediately after, the referee blew for full time, thus giving
FDFC their inaugural victory over Merton Abbey in what proved to be a roller
coaster of a match.

The Gaffer expressed his
relief at winning such a crucial match and relishes the challenge of playing
away to 3rd placed Tolworth Athletic on this coming Saturday. The
whole team played solidly for the majority of the game, and put in a
disciplined performance. This was epitomised by Remi Sellers, who took the man
of the match award for taking the game to the opposition’s three-man midfield
and playing a key role in some of FDFC’s goals

Final score Merton Abbey FC 3 – 5
Fulham Deaf (HT 1 – 2)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Lampert, Harding, Evans (Captain),
Monksfield, Swift, Sellers, Gregory, Wylde, Willis and Hogan

Unused subs :- Gill, McDougall, Arnold, Alexander, Sarraf

Photos: Lucy Hawes

FDFC Management celebrate

Daniel Hogan let’s rip

Nick Gregory celebrates Hogan’s goal.

More photos can be found here on the Fulham DFC Facebook page