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Match Report Merley Cobham vs Verwood Town 23-Jul-19


We looked a bit livelier at the start of this game than we did at Wareham. Some midfield play had the sides testing each other and it was 4 minutes gone when Nicolson, breaking on the left opened up Merley. Nicolson cut to the bye line and delivered a great cross forcing a corner. Dyer dropped the ball in the box but the keeper managed to force a passage through the scramble of players to punch clear.

Merley almost went in front on 8 minutes with a line ball over our defence. A couple of runners, and a shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly saved by Rolfe. A follow up volley and there was Rolfe again to fling himself across the flight of the ball to beat the ball away from danger.

A minute later he couldn't do anything about another high ball, this time down the middle that left us stranded at the back. A clear shot on goal and Merley went ahead 0-1.

Hall cut out a threaded pass intended again for runners, a pass found Rutten, Rutten's intelligent delivery reached Nicolson. A cross into the box was just too much for Gray to reach and a missile launch killed the chance.

Nicolson hit a cross ball for Davies to follow up. A good volley on target was beaten out. Davies followed in on goal but again his shot we down the keeper's throat.

Merley found a chink in our defence to be exploited and we were opened up like a can of sardines as a line ball on their left sent a runner free. Rolfe beat out a shot with feet. Tilsted and Gajjic combined to create a move through the middle and Maddocks took up the running to give Rutten a chance on goal but a defensive blockade on the edge of the area cleared danger.

We were a bit more coordinated half way through the half and some good football followed. Hall and Maddocks were architects of a great break. Dyer overlapped and a terrific cross dropped in the box but too far for Gray to reach.

Merley reacted but Tilsted and Gajic were a solid pairing. Tilsted wrapped up one attack and Gajic didn't give way for the aerial balls.

26 gone and we relaxed on the edge of the box. Hall had dropped deep and a good interception stopped the threat. Hall on to Davies. A good mazy run and Davies slid the ball across the box for Gray to rifle the leveler. 1-1.

A minute to go and another half chance fell to Gray. He didn't allow this chance to get away 2-1.

Half Time 2-1.

Changes at half time meant a rest for Josh Hall Tyler Rutten Ethan Maddocks Owen Nicolson. On came Adam Holmes Micky Cowland Jack Stuttard and Alex Eaton.

Eaton was straight into the game winning a tackle at the back and sending a good low ball into the area. Gray had a shot but hit defenders. Davies chipped back into the area but it was cleared by a strong header.

14 minutes into the half Gray came off to give Laurent a run. 3 minutes later Gajic followed in on a left side attack. A quick look and the ball finished up in the top corner. 3-1.

Merley were defending a bit deeper as the half progressed and Laurent had to batter through a couple of tackles to open up space in the Merley third. His ball across the box had Eaton stretching but just missing the opportunity to put a fourth on the score board.

We relaxed and Merley full of running took advantage and pushing us back to prove our defensive qualities.

Thompson had swapped gloves with Rolfe and climbed high to thump out a couple of crosses. Tilsted and Gajic won their personal heading battles.

Merley pounced with a good move down their left and a deep cross found an unmarked head 3-2.

In the closing ten minutes Merley had a good % of play but couldn't break our defensive barrier.

44 minutes saw Davies coast round a defender and a low pass 3 yards out was just too far for Laurent to grab his first goal for the Club.

Result 3-2