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Division One

Sunday 03/10/04 - Division 1 - MERTON EAGLES vs. FC Morden

After some difficulties in the first few weeks of the season in getting a full side out, it was reassuring to again have more than the bare 11 to select from.


A fairly strong Eagles line up started tentatively, with Morden coming close to scoring in the first minute or so, as Joe's right foot saved a certain goal. However, that was the only time in the opening half hour that Morden looked dangerous, as the Eagles then proceeded to play superbly, creating chance after chance and running the opposition back four ragged. The first goal came as a result of an excellent cross from Lee, and Ben surprised his team mates - and probably himself - by finding the back of the net with a sweet volley.


1-0 quickly became 2-0 with another fine goal, this time from Luke, who decided that having only two defenders in front of him was not worth going on a dribble for, and tonked the ball in to the bottom corner from outside the box. Soon after, Pete made it 3-0, with a deflected shot after a good run.


At this stage, Morden had no answers to the Eagles' intelligent passing and movement, although memories of the previous week's performance came flooding back when Morden managed to make it 3-1 with a well-taken goal.


The second half started off in a competitive spirit, with both sides knowing that the next goal would be crucial. Thankfully for us, it was Alex who managed to score it, again after a good move down the left. After that, there was no doubt as to who would win, just a question of how many more we would score.


Chances continued to be created, with Pete going close with a lob over the keeper that unfortunately bounced over the bar, Dave managing to thump the ball straight at the keeper's teeth, and Ben sprinting from the half way line and just sending his shot the wrong side of the post.


A tactical masterstroke saw Tom and Mass come on in midfield, and Mass nearly managed to talk his way into the ref's book after expressing his

dissatisfaction over an incorrectly awarded free kick. The Eagles defended superbly, with very little getting through Nathan and Barry in the middle, and Lee and Adam working their boots off down the flanks.


With the system that we now play, there is a lot of responsibility on the full backs to perform, and both did so yesterday, with terrific assistance from the wide front men, Pete and Alex. Morden created only one other chance of note, which Joe did well to parry away.


A final score of 4-1 did not really reflect the Eagles' superiority, but the team should be pleased with another win and an excellent performance. Every player from 1-11 played a blinder and we now seem to be comfortable with the 4-3-3 formation that we are playing this season.


Teams with decent wingers might be able to exploit the space on the flanks, but every time Morden tried that yesterday they ran into

problems as soon as they tried to cut in. The defending was solid for 90 minutes and we looked likely to score every time we went forward, as the pace and movement of our front three was always a threat