Match Reports

FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 8-1 LONDON LEFTFOOOTERS (HT:5-0)
    (Challoner 12,44,69;                 (Garett 72)
     Redrobe 32; Watson 35;
     Olah 45;, Appleton 57(Pen);
     Fletcher-Hoyes 85)                         

Date: Sat 8 Apr; KO: 15:00                                 Weather: Sunny
Competition: GFSN League D2                          Ground: St John Bosco

A glorious Saturday afternoon saw a Joey Challoner hat-trick and a masterclass of passing by Jack Fletcher-Hoyes as Mersey finished their GFSN season with a flourish against a large London Leftfooters squad. Mersey dominated from the word go and the sense of positivity flowed right through the team with Mersey almost scoring after 10 minutes with Michael Robinson shot forcing a good save from a tight angle. Mersey got their first goal on 13 minutes when Challoner won a free kick on the edge of the box which he took with accuracy straight into the bottom corner. Mersey continued to press and almost added a second on 23 minutes, a goalmouth scramble saw a Michael Robinson effort hit the bar and bounce down on the goalline. Despite protests the ball was deemed not to have crossed the line and the match remained 1-0. Mersey did add a second just after the half hour when Robinson beat the onrushing Leftfooters goalkeeper for pace. His cross found Barry Redrobe who's tame effort was spilled into the net by the Leftfooters keeper.
Mitchell Watson scored his first ever goal for Mersey from the right corner of the area which was no more than he deserved as he was once again having a solid game in the black and white kit. Mersey then added two goals in the final minute of the half with Challoner scoring his second of the afternoon and Adrian Olah once again scoring from a tight angle for the second time in as many games.
Into the second half and the Leftfooters started tha half a little more assured and they had chances of their own including a header which went just over the bar. Challoner, now looking for his hat-trick was becoming the heartbeat of the Mersey attack and after a shot going just wide he won a penalty on 59 minutes, however recent misses meant John Appleton took the spot kick and his scuffed penalty fortuitously sent the keeper the wrong way and nestled in the bottom corner. This made Challoner all the more determined to score but it looked like it wasn't to be, his next shot forcing a good save. He finally got his goal on 69 minutes, a deft lob in the top corner from 25 yards. 

Leftfooters were much improved in the second half and managed a consolation, Jarvis Garett's shot from right back position found it's way into the net after the sunshine was reeking havoc with Louis Fitzsimons in the Mersey goal. They kept Mersey out until near the end of the game however Jack Fletcher-Hoyes rounded off the scoring for his first goal in Mersey colours, his header directly from a corner showing the training drills regarding corners are beginning to pay off for the team. It was richly deserved for Fletcher-Hoyes.


Manager Comments: A great day and eveining with the footers as always! On the field we did what was needed and its great to see some new faces settle into the team. Although we are likely to miss out on promotion by just the one goal it has nonetheless been a great season as many new players transition into regular starters.

FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 1-3 YORKSHIRE TERRIERS (HT:1-1)
      (Challoner 37)                         (Todd 20,90; West 68)

Date: Sun 26 Mar; KO: 13:00                             Weather: Sunny
Competition: M62 Unite the Union League        Ground: Archbishop beck

Mersey Players Man of the Match- Craig Stewart. A superb debut at the heart of the central defence against tough opposition

A sunny Sunday afternoon saw Yorkshire Terriers maintain their 100% record over Mersey Marauders in what was the fourth fixture between the two sides this season however a much improved Mersey saw them hold Yorkshire to a much closer scoreline than in previous games. Both sides started the game brightly with Joey Challoner and Ian Freddie pulling the strings in their respective midfields but it was Yorkshire who had the first chance of the game. They were awarded a penalty on 12 minutes after Chase Newton fouled his man in the box however there was relief for Mersey as Josh Sedman fired his penalty wide of the left hand post. The game was still even but Liam Todd gave Yorkshire the lead on 20 minutes, shooting hard and low in the corner after cutting in from the right wing. The match was an even game but Yorkshire were having the better chances, Liam Todd again on the half hour forcing a reflex save from Michael Robinson. The Yorkshire defence were holding their own thwarting the Mersey attacks with Luke Shepherd having a solid game winning everything at centreback. Mersey however got their chance on 37 minutes, Andrew Gun-Why, who was playing for Yorkshire, brought down Ryan McBride on the edge of the box and Joey Challoner converted the free kick accurately to equalise.
Into the second half and again the game was even but Yorkshire were still having the better chances. Liam Todd thought he had given Yorkshire the lead back on the hour however he was denied by a stunning one-handed Michael Robinson save. Mersey looked solid at the back this half and were more than holding their own until a slice of fortune for Yorkshire gave them back the lead with 22 minutes of the game left. Adam West fired a cross-cum-shot from 40 yards which somehow nestled into the top corner. Mersey continued to battle on and in the last quarter of the game were showing an attacking threat having a glorious chance on 85 minutes however Ryan McBride failed to find the empty net from what was a great cross. Mersey pressing for the equaliser left them vulnerable on the break and Liam Todd wrapped the game up in the last minute knocking home a rebound after Ian Freddie's shot was parried by Robinson.

Manager Comments: Despite the deafeat we competed well today and it was great to see 3 new debutants in Craig, Mitch and Michael who slotted in well.


FT: London Titans 2- 4 Mersey Marauders (HT 1-0)

Date: Sat 11th March; KO: 16:00                            Weather: Sunny
Competition: GFSN       

Mersey players Man of the Match: Such was the pride in this performance all players agreed that the whole team should be recognised for today's result.

A warm March day in London saw Marauders come away with 3 valuable points in a thrilling encounter. The opening exchanges saw Titans go in one to the good in a half they largely controlled as Mersey looked to play on the counter. Mersey posed much more of an attacking threat in the second half and James Nelson was rewarded for his endevour playing up front alone slotting in neaty to equalise. Mersey's tails were up and Adrian Olah added a superb 2nd following a Pete Tilsley assist to net his 5th of the campaign. Titans created chances throughout equalised a second time despite calls for the offside flag.

It looked as though Mersey would settle for a point but another debutant Steve Keller had other ideas cutting in from the right wing to slot in the far corner. In a frantic finish it was Mersey who confirmed the victory when captain Joey Challoner rounded the stranded Titans keeper and slotted home excellently from 20 yards out.

Team: Robinson, Tilsley, Carrington, Hoyes, Gun Why, Williams, Dowling, Challoner, Newton, Olah, Nelson. Subs: Thomas, Johnson, Keller.


FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 0-3 VILLAGE MANCHESTER FC (HT:0-3)
                                                     (Cooper 18; Nelson 32, 36)

Date: Sun 26 Feb; KO: 14:00                             Weather: Light Showers
Competition: M62 Unite the Union League        Ground: Archbishop beck

Mersey Players Man of the Match: In a game of few positives manager Paul Williams performed well creating a few opportunities in the opening half. Regi Stillwell on his return to action also had an excellent game.

Mistakes were punished in a match that was much more even than the scoreline suggested. Mersey started brightly looking to take advantage of a bullish Ryan McBride upfront who started the game the way he meant to go on tangling with Manchester's Rob McPherson after only 5 minutes, a heated exchange between them showing how much both sides were up for the game. The first real chance fell to Mersey on 12 minutes, Paul Williams finding Joey Challoner in the box however the latter was tripped and Mersey were awarded a penalty. Challoner took the penalty however Jeremy Baker in the Manchester goal guessed the right way and made a smart save. Mersey looked the stronger team but it was Village who took the lead on 18 minutes with Alan Cooper taking advantage of good play down the right wing to shoot hard and low from 15 yards. Mersey almost equalised 3 minutes later a Joey Challoner free kick from 40 yards was heading for the top corner but Jeremy Baker was on hand to tip the ball over the bar.

The game stayed even going into the half hour however shortly after two James Nelson goals put Village firmly in the driving seat the former London Leftfooter taking advantage firstly of Mersey appeals for another penalty which was correctly not given and then 4 minutes later an opening after a Mersey pass in defence went astray. Mersey had a chance to pull it back to 3-1 however Ryan McBride's attempted lob was acrobatically plucked out of the air by an excellent Jeremy Baker. Right at the end of the half James Nelson was denied a hat-trick by a strong save from Louis Fitzsimons.

Into the second half and some changes were made, Michael Robinson going in goal and Jack Fletcher-Hoyes coming on for his debut. The second half was a game of few opportunities but Fletcher-Hoyes was impressing with his confidence on the ball. Mersey had the ball in the net on 73 minutes through Colin Dowling in his first match in 4 years however his effort was disallowed for offside, meanwhile Village captain Alex West had been driving his team on all game although arguing with everyone for everything. With 5 minutes to go the referee finally lost patience with him and booked him for dissent. There was once last chance for James Nelson to complete his hat-trick but Michael Robinson made a good save to deny him the match ball.



FT:  MERSEY MARAUDERS 2- 2 Jockey Club (HT:0-0)
     

Date: Thurs 26 Jan; KO: 19:00                        Weather: Cold
Competition: Friendly        Ground: Delta Taxi Stadium, Bootle FC

Mersey Players Man of the Match: Edson Paredes. A suberb debut, linking up play well on in midfield and out wide.

Team: Robinson, Williams, Onborg, Carroll, Gun-Why, Carrington, Williams, Challoner (C), Paredes, Votskis, Meggison Subs: Bryan

Freezing conditions did not stop Mersey taking up the opportunity of a game on grass under the foodlights at the Delta stadium. Having suffered heavy defeat last time out Mersey set up with a back five and competed very well in an opening half of few chances. The best of which fell to Michael Meggison as his low shot finished inches from the post.

The second period started in similar fashion until midway through when a Joey Challoner free kick was spilled into his own net by the Jockey keeper. Mersey held out for a long period until a spell of pressure saw the scores level despite claims of offside. Mersey responded well and went ahead for the second time when Ryan Mcbride took his one on one chance. However, only moments later Mersey failed to deal with a cross from their right which was headed home from 6 yards. Both teams could have sealed the win with Ryan McBride curling just over for the Marauders.

Managers Comments: The lads took on board what they needed to do in this game which made us look a solid outfit once more. Credit to Edson and Colin who looked at home on their debuts.



FT:  MERSEY MARAUDERS 0- 9 Yorkshire Terriers (HT:0-6)
     

Date: Sat 14 Jan; KO: 12:00                        Weather: Cloudy
Competition: M62 League        Ground: Archbishop Beck Sports Centre

Mersey Players Man of the Match: Steff Carrington. Despite a torrid afternoon Steff worked hard to compete in the midfield and battled well

Team: Fitzsimons, Tilsley, Riley, Carroll, Gun-Why, Carrington, Newton, Challoner (C), McBride, Redbrobe, Robinson Subs: Williams, Meggison, Johnson, Guy.

A torrid afternoon saw Mersey receive another harsh lesson at the hands of the increasingly strong Terriers side notching up their 9th straight win. Mersey competed well in the opening exchanges and even had some opportunities of their own including at effort blazed over by Chase Newton. However, Mersey had a nightmare 25 minutes conceeding six goals. Billy Quinn now against the Marauders adding one of several headed goals. Joey Challoners free kick was well saved to deny the Marauders.

Mersey dug in deep in the second half as Terriers rang the changes. Our best effort fell to Michael Meggison who couldnt quite get the ball under control. Yorkshire could afford a missed a penalty and added 3 further strikes to seal their M62 league league title with a game to spare.

Managers Comments; Hard to comment as the Terriers were stronger in all departments. A lack of experience to keep the ball in difficult circumstances is something to learn from.


FT: LONDON ROMANS 3-1 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:2-1)
      (Nellis 6, Lemonius 43,            (Quinn 12)
        Dominic 51)

Date: Sat 10 Dec; KO: 14:00                        Weather: Cloudy, Light Showers
Competition: GFSN Cup Quarter Final         Ground: Vale Farm, Sudbury (N. London)

Mersey Players Man of the Match: Louis Fitzsimons. A very assured performance with one or two stand out saves.

Team: Fitzsimons, Votskis, Nash, Carroll, Gun-Why, Quinn, Newton, Challoner (C), Bryan, R. Williams, Robinson Subs: Williams, Meggison, Olah, Thomas, Johnson, Avo.

Mersey Marauders' hopes of retaining the GFSN Cup were ended as a strong London Romans side demonstrated why they are challenging for the London Unity League title this season. Romans started very positively and scored just after 5 minutes, a corner whipped into the box was headed off the line only as far as Nellis who headed the hanging ball in for a 1-0 lead. Romans were looking to dominate the game but Mersey had other ideas and manage to equalise on 12 minutes, a dangerous ball by Andy Gun-Why into the box caused confusion in the Romans defence and the physical presence of debutant Billy Quinn beat both goalkeeper and defender to head the ball home.

Romans slowly began to dominate the game and were beginning to turn the screw particularly from corners, two of them were headed off the line but the Mersey team were resolute and were frustrating Romans. On 35 minutes Romans thought they had snatched a lead but the right hand of Louis Fitzsimmons came to the Mersey rescue. Romans finally managed to take the lead just before half time when popular GFSN member Jaymil Lemonius headed in from another corner.

Into the second half and the quality of Romans shown with their one touch football although Mersey were battling hard in defence and midfield with Quinn winning most of the battles, Romans however won a corner on 51 minutes and increased their lead when the number 17, Dominic headed in at the back post. Romans continued to press and were always more likely to score but the Mersey defence held firm and on the 2 subsequent occasions they were breached Fitzsimmons kept the score at 3-1 with two very good saves

Managers Comments: All good things must come to an end and we have had a great cup run over the past 18 months. To lose against this Romans team in London was no disgrace. Some fine performances on the day.  


FT: YORKSHIRE TERRIERS 6-0 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:3-0)
      (Carter 2,4,41, Butler 69,83
        Todd 85)

Date: Sun 4 Dec; KO: 15:00                          Weather: Cold
Competition: Northern Cup Quarter Final      Ground: Middleton Leisure Centre, Leeds

Mersey Players Man of the Match: Pete Tilsley. The lads voted Pete man of the match for his solid performance at right back (4 votes). Remarkable considering he told the manager before the game of an injury he was carrying-  a blister from his shoes on a night out. Mentions for Dimi, Andy, and Joey also in the voting.

Team: Mcmullen, Tilsley, Leary, Votskis, Gun-Why, Gascoigne, Newton, Challoner (C), Olah, Robinson, Williams Subs: Fitzsimons, Meggison, Bryan.

A Tom Carter hat-trick crowned a magnificent Yorkshire Terriers performance against a spirited Mersey to book their place in the semi-final of the Northern Cup. Yorkshire have bolstered their squad in recent weeks and three new boys Ferdinand, Carter and Quinn (who is originally from Liverpool) played in the match and did not disappoint. It only took Carter 2 minutes to open the scoring, he was rather fortuitous that no offside flag was given against him but the finish was superb finish right in the top corner. Carter then doubled his tally two minutes later taking advantage of a misplaced clearance to smash the ball first time in off the post. Yorkshire had their tails up but Mersey dug deep to try and get back into the game with Tilsley starting some excellent moves from right back and Challoner winning the midfield battle forcing a number of set pieces deep in Yorkshire territory. Yorkshire were still dangerous and physical on the break having a number of shots one forcing McMullen into a good save down on his left side. After the half hour Yorkshire began to dominate again with Liam Todd being a handful upfront his physical presence causing Mersey problems although testing the boundaries of fair play on occasions. Yorkshire won a couple of corners and on each one Todd was battling with the Mersey keeper with Yorkshire players hoping to smash home any loose ball, however Gun-Why and Tilsley managed to clear two off the line.

Yorkshire finally made it 3-0 with 4 minutes to half time with Tom Carter breaking the offside trap rounding McMullen and completing his hat-trick despite a valiant effort by Tilsley to clear it off the line. Mersey had their best chance right on the stroke of half time a Mersey free kick deflected forcing the Terriers keeper into a fine save.

Into the second half and Louis Fitzsimons came on for Mersey in goal and Alex Bryan in midfield, meanwhile Carter and Todd were brought off for Terriers as Yorkshire had a comfortable lead. There were fewer chances but plenty of midfield battles with Yorkshire new boy Ferdinand putting in some solid challenges while Newton and Challoner were battling well for Mersey. Mersey were more than holding their own in the second half until once again Yorkshire scored a beauty a Dom Butler rifle in off the post from 25 yards with under a quarter of the game to go. Mersey still battled hard in a search to get on the score sheet with Michael Robinson being a nuisance upfront however with 7 minutes left Dom Butler scored again in bizarre fashion, a cross from the byline somehow flying into the top corner. Liam Todd completed the scoring with 5 minutes left after coming back on with once again a beauty from 25 yards into the top corner.
Yorkshire had two chances to score right at the end, firstly Liam Todd was one-on-one but Fitzsimmons strongly dived at his feet to make an excellent save and captain Luke Shepherd found himself in a rare position high up the pitch with the goal at his mercy but was denied by the woodwork.

Managers Comments: A dissapointing result considering there were long periods of the game where we managed to keep the terriers at pay. A lack of physical presence in higher areas of the pitch is no reflections on the players who continue to work hard and commit to the cause.



FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 3-2 Liverpool Echo (HT: 2-0)
(Olah, Challoner, Meggison)

Date: Sun 27 Nov: KO 10am   Weather: Sunny
Competition: Friendly             Ground: Archbishop Beck Sports Centre

Mersey Players Man of the Match- Declan Carroll. A superb debut. Dominant in the air, assured on the ground and even capped it off with a goal.

Team: Fitzsimons, Tilsley, Riley, Carroll, Gascoigne, Newton, Challoner (C), Olah, Carrington, Robinson, Williams Subs: Meggison, Redbrobe.

Marauders bounced back to winning ways with a fine victory to avenge their 9-2 loss to the same opposition on the open day of the season. Both teams wore rainbow laces in support of Stonewalls football for everyone campaign. Mersey started the stronger with plenty of pace outwide creating a number of chances. Within 10 minutes Robinson had broke down the left and squared to Olah who slotted into an open goal for his 4th of the season. The second followed a stray clearance from the Echo goalkeeper which was brought down neatly by Robinson. Robinson then laid off to Challoner who then exquisitely curled low into the open goal from 45 yards in his first game as captain. Mersey had chances to extend their lead but the Echo grew stronger in to the game and began to control midfield. Mersey were well marshalled by debutant Declan Carroll and his colleagues in the back four to keep a two goal adavantage going into half time.


If the first half was all about attacking play the second half was all about committed defending. Louis Fitzsimons displayed solid hands in goal and pulled off two brilliant saves. However, it was fitting that after the Echo did pull one back that the excellent Carroll restored the two goal advantage slotting in at the nearpost following a set play. Marauders could have had another through Ryan McBride after some neat skill by Michael Meggison but his effort was well saved. Joey Challoner made a match saving tackle at the end following a rare Mersey mistake to ensure victory.

Managers Comments: Every single player who played today was excellent and deserves credit. A real step up from last time out. Tough games ahead but if we can keep that committed attitude going forward we will give a good account of ourselves.



FT: LEICESTER WIDLECATS 4-0 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:2-0)
      (Newitt 14, Kalogerou 36,
        Gillions 55 PEN, Nibbs 81)

Date: Sat 12 Nov; KO: 13:00                        Weather: Wet
Competition: GFSN League Division 2         Ground: Judgemeadow College, Leicester

Mersey players Man of the Match: John Hamilton. A solid performance in tough circumstances in what proved to be Johns last game as captain. Committed and fearless as ever. Joey Challoner again receiving plaudits for his efforts in midfield.

Team: Robinson, Thomas, Hamilton (C), Wright, Williams, Newton, Challoner, Tilsley, Olah, Carrington, Meggison Subs: Bryan, Johnson, Avo, McMullen

Clinical finishing and a strong physical presence were the difference between the two teams as Leicester Wildecats saw off Mersey to go top of the GFSN League Division 2. The match started evenly as the poor conditions meant neither side could play a passing game and it was Mersey who had the first effort on 2 minutes, a Joey Challoner shot going just wide. There was few chances early on but nevertheless Leicester opened the scoring on 14 minutes. A long ball down the left channel allowed Leicester to break behind the defence with Kalogerou forcing Michael Robinson to commit to coming off his line, however Kalogerou produced a quality cross to allow Gary Newitt to score into the empty net. After that there was little in the way of goalscoring chances although a Leicester cross-cum-shot did manage to hit the bar. Leicester doubled their lead on 36 minutes with Kalogerou going from provider to scorer. A long ball down the wing opened the Mersey defence followed by another quality cross to allow the talismanic Greek to stab the ball home.
Into the second half and Mersey started the stronger team but were struggling to find a breakthrough. Mersey looked like they may have gotten back into the game but those hopes were given a cruel blow when Leicester were awarded a penalty on 54 minutes with Chase Newton adjudged to have fouled his man as the ball was being crossed in. Up stepped Darran Gillions to fire the spot kick hard and low into the left corner. 
Mersey went more attacking in the hope to atleast score, Joey Challoner was trying to pull the strings in midfield but was thwarted by some questionable challenges from a very physical Leicester team. That said Mersey had chances falling to both Newton and Paul Williams for a rare goal but neither could convert. Meanwhile at the other end Gillions was sensing more goals and on 2 occasions forced Robinson into good saves. Leicester completed the scoring 9 minutes from time a shot from the left side of the penalty area was well saved however Steve Nibbs was on hand to smash the ball into the net.

FT: THE JOCKEY CLUB 7-3 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:2-1)
       (Jockey player 16, 33, 54,       (Robinson 43, Meggison 49, Hamilton 83)
         62, 64, 72 pen,85)   

Date: Sat 29 Oct; KO: 13:00                        Weather: Cloudy
Competition: Friendly                                  Ground: The Jockey Club, Aintree


Mersey players Man of the Match: Michael Robinson. Solid performances throughout but Michael got the nod following his excellent goal and work rate.

Team: Fitzsimons, Votskis, Hamilton (C), Riley, Gun-Why, Newton, Challoner, Tilsley, Robinson, McBride, Bryan. Subs: Meggison, Shaw, Williams, Redrobe.

A physical and combative game on a wet pitch saw Mersey be a match to the Jockey club in large parts of the game. Both sides struggled with the pitch during the early exchanges but Mersey began to have the upper hand, that said the first chance fell to the jockey club on 12 minutes their winger cutting into the penalty area and hitting a shot against the bar.

The opener came on 16 minutes in bizarre fashion, a 40 yard header, the Jockey midfielder had won the header and his nod forward took an awkward bounce on the edge of the area and looped over the goalkeeper's head. Chances again were very few until 33 minutes when Jockey Club took a 2-0 lead the striker's effort being tipped onto the bar and bouncing the wrong side of the line from a Mersey perspective. 
The game became more physical with some meaty challenges from a few of the Jockey players and also from Newton and Robinson so by the time Gun-Why made a 'tactical' foul on the edge of the area, the referee had had enough and the yellow card came out (he became the first Mersey player to be booked in over a year). The Jockey club had a few more chances towards the end of the half hitting the bar and post but it was Mersey who scored just before half time with an excellent curling Michael Robinson effort cutting in from the left.

Into the second half and Mersey started brightly and on 49 minutes got a deserved equaliser through Michael Meggison who slotted home neatly. At 2-2 the game looked quite even but Jockey club took the lead again on 54 minutes. With a thrilling contest bubbling nicely on the hour the game still looked like it could go either way however the Jockey club really put themselves in the driving seat on 62 and 64... this was followed by a couple of Mersey chances firstly Ryan McBride shooting just over and then Joey Challoner forcing a good save from range. Jockey club took a 6-2 lead on 72 minutes after a nightmare spell for Mersey, this time it was a penalty after the Jockey player was brought down by Mersey keeper, Louis Fitzsimmons.

On 80 minutes Meggison had a glorious chance to pull one back but fired wide, Mersey did pull one back though with 7 minutes left when the Jockey defenders attempted header deflected past his own keeper. As John Hamiltons ball was heading goalwards we are letting him claim it. There was a time for one final goal for Jockey from a free kick.

Managers Comments: Some very positive play from the team yet again. We naturally suffered when we made changes mostly notably in the back four. However, this scoreline does not reflect the strides that the team has made in recent months.

FT: Cardiff Dragons 1-7 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:0-4)
Goals: Nash 2, Olah, Michaelson, Atherton, OG 2.

Date: Sun 9 Oct; KO: 13:00                         Weather: Sunny
Competition: GFSN Round 1                     Ground: Blackweir Fields

Players Mersey Man of the Match: Joey Challoner and Carl Nash. Okay so two is cheating but they could not be split each picking up 5 votes. Carl added two goals including one following some audacious footwork as well as being a rock at the back. Joey ran the show in midfield wearing the captains armband for the day.

Team: Robinson, Williams, Nash, Wright, Gun Why, Challoner (C), Newton, Tilsley, Michaelson, Olah, Carrington. Subs: Thomas, Meggison, Johnson, Atherton.

Mersey capped of a fine weekend ensuring that they started the GFSN league campaign with 3 points. Cardiff showed an early threat with some reinforcements from a day earlier and Mersey needed the tough tackling Wright and Nash to set the tone. Mersey sprang into action with Steff Carrington and Joey Challoner going close from long range. Pete Tilsley nearly notched his first Mersey goal with a fine effort clipping the post. However, it was a succession of corners from the right that was to break dragons resistance. A couple of own goals and a flicked header from Tom Michaelson netting his first Mersey goal put Mersey 3 up. A fine Carl Nash move leaving the goalkeeper and defender on the floor before slotting home sent Mersey 4-0 to the good at half time.

Cardiff again started the second half brightly but Mersey responded well to add 3 more goals to their tally. Adrian cutting in on his left foot to smash the ball in the top corner was the pick of the bunch. Craig Atherton also opened his Mersey account to cap of a great day. Cardiff Dragons added a well deserved consolation.

Managers Comments: A fantastic weekend on and off the pitch. Cardiff Dragons were fantastic hosts and play the game in a great spirit. The weekend was a credit to the GFSN


FT: Cardiff Dragons 2-8 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:0-4)
 Goals: Olah 2, Carrington 2, Meggison, Challoner, Hamilton, OG.

Date: Sat 8 Oct; KO: 13:00                         Weather: Cloudy
Competition: GFSN Round 1                     Ground: Blackweir Fields

Mersey players man of the match: Adrian Olah. Mentions for many players who had solid games but Adrian got the nod for his brace and running in behind.

Team: Robinson, Tilsley, Nash, Wright, Gun Why, Newton, Challoner, Hamilton (C), Olah, Carrington, Meggison. Subs: Thomas, Guy, Johnson, Williams, Atherton, Michaelson.

After the drive down to Cardiff the Marauders got straight to action hitting four goals in the opening 30 minutes. Mersey found plenty of joy from balls over the top and crosses on an unreliable surface. Adrian Olah netted twice as he caused havoc in his new right wing role. Chris Wright would have headed in the fifth had it not been for a hand ball on the line. Although this resulted in a red card Mersey manager Paul Williams did his good deed for the campaign asking the referee to re-instate the Cardiff player in the spirit of the fixture. John Hamilton had his spot kicked saved but was given the opportunity to redeem himself in the second half as he sent the keeper the wrong way to cap of his excellent performance. Steff Carrington bagged a brace, one deflected and one fine finish from outside the box on his debut. Mersey stepped off the gas at times but could have scored more and David Johnson came close hitting the post.

Managers Comments: Job done and some promising link up play between new players.

FT: VILLAGE MANCHESTER 2-2 MERSEY MARAUDERS (HT:1-1)
       (Golds 40, Easey 66)                       (McBride 34, Robinson 55)

Date: Sun 2 Oct; KO: 13:00                         Weather: Sunny
Competition: M62 League                            Ground: Albert Park, Salford

Mersey players man of the match: Ryan McBride. Several nominees with the indestructable Chris Wright and Chase Newton recognised in a great team performance. However, Ryan gets the nod in the tie break having added an extra dimension to the Mersey attack capped of with an audacious goal.

Team: Fitzsimons, Gascoigne, Votskis, Wright, Gun-Why, Newton, Hunter, Challoner, Olah, Robinson, McBride. Subs: Bryan, Meggison, McMullen. 

The gay north-west derby once again entertained as Village Manchester came from behind twice to claim a draw in the first game of the M62 Unite the Union League. The early openings offered little chances as both defences were on top. Adrian Olah was looking sharp and pacey on the left but the Village right back Lewis Wilkinson was having an equally good game defending his attacks. After 25 minutes both teams had only one shot each and neither was troubling the keeper. Village brought on Paul Golds who was unbelievably quick down the wing helping to swing the balance of the match. 

On 33 minutes Village won their second corner of the game, the corner was headed away. Mersey broke and were on the counter as Robinson found McBride free of the last defender, although he had Olah as an option he decided to chip the ball over the onrushing keeper. The move paid off, 1-0 Mersey. Village continued to play well and equalised 6 minutes later after Paul Golds used his pace to go past 2 players and slot the ball low into the goal from 15 yards. Village dominated towards the end of the first half but a good save by Louis Fitzsimmons right at the end of the half kept the score at 1-1.

Into the second half and again both defences were on top until 55 minutes when Mersey took the lead when Michael Robinson latched onto a back pass coolly slotting the ball home. Mersey were going through a good spell and 10 minutes later won a free kick just outside the right corner of the penalty area. Joey challoner's effort was denied by a great save with the keeper's fingertips pushing the ball onto the bar. Village went on the counter attack following that freekick and equalised with a stunning 30 yard screamer from Matt Easey.
With the score at 2-2 both teams believed they could win the game and the last 20 minutes saw the game stretched and a little frantic at times. Village were rightly aggrieved when the referee failed to spot a handled backpass especially as Mersey ran up the other end and won a corner. In the last 5-10 minutes Manchester had a couple of chances and almost got a last minute winner but like at the end of the first half a Fitzsimmons save kept the score level.


Managers Comments: Delighted with the team performance with the team working well in a new system and adding an attacking threat to their defensive work. Well done to Mark and Dimi making their debuts and Chris Wright for being a rock at the back despite being under the weather.


Leicester Tournament
6aside
Mersey Marauders 1= Vase Cup QF, Mersey Marauders 2= Group Stages
Date: 4th September KO 10pm

MM1: Robinson, Newton, Williams, Challoner, Leary, Meggison, Gun Why. Players Man of the Match: Joey Challoner
MM2: Mcmullen, Shaw, Olah, Johnson, Avo, Tilsley, Aldred, Hewitt. Players Man of the Match: Chris Hewitt








On the face things there was little to cheer as Marauders failed to win a game in Leicester. However, pride should be taken in particular by Mersey Marauders 2 well looked after by Matt Shaw who battled tremendously well. Chris Hewitt showing a fine example of this picking up Man of the Match as he continues to learn the game.




Mersey 1 didnt perform well enough by their standards but can consider themselves a little unlucky as injuries and the rub of the green (it was over the line ref!) didnt go their way.

Onwards and upwards. Well done to all the lads who came.

Pride Cup 
FT: Mersey 0-1 Terriers, Mersey 1-0 Village 2nds, Mersey 0-2 Village Elders, Mersey 0-1 Village 1sts, Mersey 0-4 (or more... we lost count) Deans. 

Tournament 
Match Report by Paul Williams
Date: Sat 21 Aug; KO: 4pm          Weather: Manchester!
Opposition: Village x 3, Terriers, Deans  Ground: Wright Robinson Sports Centre
Goals: Meggison 

Squad from: Fitzsimons, Mcmullen, Bryan, Tilsley, Bayliss, Wright, Williams, Shaw, Newton, Challoner (C), Olah, Robinson, Meggison 

Players Man of the Match: Joey Challoner, A real team effort but Joey was a popular choice for some great work in midfield just pipping the indestructible Chris Wright to the award.

Mersey put in a spirited 125 minutes of football at the annual pride cup. Replicating the week before Mersey narrowly lost out by a goal against Terriers cruelly punished in the last minute of the allotted 25. A strong recovery saw Mersey pick up a win in the next game thanks to goal on his debut from Michael Megisson. However, Village came out on top in the next two games despite solid if not goal threatening Mersey performances. Tired legs began to show against Deans who went on to become tournament winners  

Managers Comments: Sometimes the greatest success is getting a team together for a tournament and all working hard for each other. For this reason I am as proud as any victory we have ever had in the knowledge that the main part of this squad has only been with Mersey for only a year or less. 



FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 1-2 YORKSHIRE TERRIERS (HT:1-2)
Friendly
Match Report by Paul McMullen.
Date: Sun 15 Aug; KO: 11:00          Weather: Partly Cloudy
Opposition: Yorkshire Terriers         Ground: Walton Hall Park
Goals: Hamilton
 
Players Man of the Match: Chase Newton. A popular choice amongst players having worked his socks off at right back then the holding midfield role. Mentions for Ste Bayliss putting in a great 30 minutes at left back and new Marauder Peter Tilsley looking the part in midfield. 
 
Team: McMullen, Newton, Riley, Wright, Gun Why, Newton, Hamilton (C), Shaw, Challoner, Robinson, McBride. Subs: Jennions, Tilsley, Williams, Bryan, Bayliss, Gascoigne, Fitzsimons, Avo.

Our first match of the new season against GFSN opposition saw Mersey narrowly lose out to the Terriers in a splendid game played in high spirits. Mersey started the match off brightly with Michael Robinson having a very early chance but his shot was just wide however after the first few minutes Yorkshire settled into the game often playing some quick football down the wing. Yorkshire were dominating the midfield however the Mersey defence of Gun-Why, Wright, Riley and Newton were resolute to thwart Yorkshire each and every time limiting them to long range shots. With 20 minutes into the game both defences were on top and it was clear that it would take something special to open the deadlock, that something special happened a few minutes later, Jack Mac for Yorkshire rifling a screamer into the top right hand corner from 25 yards in what is an early contender for goal of the season.
 
 Yorkshire with their goal advantage continued to dominate midfield but could not break down the defence until after the half hour when a last minute challenge on Mathew Barton fortuitously saw him on the floor with the ball still at his feet, on onrushing McMullen had committed himself to narrowing the angle but the halt of Bartons run saw him caught in no-mans-land allowing Barton to poke the ball home.
 
Yorkshire with 2 goal lead almost made it 3 directly from a corner but Newton headed clear off the line, however a minute later, a Mersey attack saw confusion between Yorkshire defence and goalkeeper with the ball falling to Hamilton who made no mistake stabbing the ball hard and low from 12 yards.
 
Into the second half and Mersey made some changes including Liam Jennions coming on upfront for what will sadly be his last game for the club for now before he moves to London. Yorkshire also brought on Liam Todd with the hope of putting the game to bed. Again both defences were on top and there were few chances, Mersey toiled but lacked cutting edge upfront. After an hour Yorkshire had a great chance on the break to make the game 3-1 and put the game beyond Mersey but were denied by an excellent Michael Robinson save with his legs. Mersey had a chance to equalise at the death with Paul Williams beating his man and fizzing a ball across the box but the Yorkshire defence stood firm and cleared their lines hanging on for a narrow victory.
 
Managers Comments: Its no fluke that the Terriers were promoted to Division 1 and they have had the better of us in recent years. A lot of credit needs to go to the Mersey players asked to play in a new system and style. Whilst a lot of work is still to be done there were some encouraging signs to build on.
 
FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 1-10 HMP KENNETT (HT: 1-5)
Friendly
Date: Tue 9 Aug; KO 20:00                       Weather: Cloudy
Opposition: HMP Kennett                        Ground: JMO Sports Park, Skelmersdale
GOALS: Challoner

PLAYERS MAN OF THE MATCH: Carl Nash. Michael Robinson came in close second after some second half heroics in goal but Nash was solid and showed class throughout in difficult circumstances 

Team: Fitzsimmons, Gascoigne, Riley, Nash, Tilsley, Olah, Hamilton (C), Shaw, Challoner, Bayliss, Robinson. Subs: Jennions, Newton, Bryan, McBride, Williams, Thomas, McMullen, Hewitt

A tough character building test was in store for Mersey when they took on the prison guards of HMP Kennett, nevertheless Mersey started off well and after 5 minutes took the lead, a Matty Shaw through ball found Joey Challoner who poked home into the bottom right hand corner. They continued to pass well but the lead was short lived with Kennett equalising on 11 mins. The game looked very even in the first quarter but two quick goals shortly after 25 mins put Kennett firmly in the driving seat one of which was a Joey Challoner OG which meant that in the first half hour he had scored for both sides.

A late challenge from behind on Michael Robinson, which he took exception to saw a few afters off the ball. It was nothing more than handbags though and the match was played in great spirits overall. Mersey then had a chance to pull it back to 3-2 however John Hamilton's header from a Darren Gascoigne cross failed to hit the target. Ryan McBride broke through the offside trap with 7 minutes of the half to go and slotted the ball home from a tight angle and an error at the back saw Kennett go 5-1 up.

Into the second half and changes were made, however Kennett scored two goals on 55 and 57 minutes, one took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Robinson (now in goal) the other was a cross-cum-shot which found it's way into the bottom corner. Kennett had several more attacks including one that forced a splendid double save from Robinson and they also had a shot denied by the crossbar. As Mersey pressed higher with the hope of scoring some goals they were undone on the counter attack and a breakaway led to Kennett scoring their eighth goal. 
Mersey came closest after a great ball in by Joey Challoner was nicely laid off into the path of to John Hamilton by Darren Gascoigne but the later blazed over and Kennett scored two more goals towards the end of the match and eventually won the game 10-1.

Managers Comments: Kennett are always a tough opponent especially as the first opponents of pre-season. Despite a good start our fitness and in experience showed and every mistake was punished. In addition we were able to give some new players their debuts and rotate the squad. Better times ahead for this great bunch of lads. 

FT: MERSEY MARAUDERS 2- 9 LIVERPOOL ECHO (HT: 3-0) 
Match report by Paul McMullen 
Friendly

Date: Sat 2 Jul; KO: 16:00                       Weather: Rainy
Opposition: Liverpool Echo                    Ground: LFC Academy, Kirkby
GOALS: McBride, Kramessi

TEAM: Robinson, Dior, Wilson, Riley, Olah, Challoner, Hamilton (C), Newton, S.Fitzsimmons, Johnson, Kramessi. Subs; McMullen, Gascoigne, Avo, L.Fitzsimons, Fletcher, McBride, Appleton, Bayliss, Vellido, Williams.
MANAGER'S MAN OF THE MATCH: Paul McMullen (some great reactionary saves)

Our preseason began at the LFC Academy as ever growing LGBT side Mersey Marauders took on the Liverpool Echo in a celebration of our growing squad, our new Grow the Game grant and our new sponsorship courtesy of The Lisbon bar. A packed squad of 20 players were present and a new wave of optimism was there for all to see.

Mersey started the match brightly and almost immediately Leonardo Kramessi was showing how dangerous he is aiming to be the season putting in a cross the first minute that led to the first corner of the game. As play settled the match seemed fairly even but Liverpool Echo took the lead early on after a defensive lapse from a corner. Mersey tried hard to restore parity and nearly did after 20 minutes with Joey Challoner forcing the Echo keeper into a smart save. The Echo doubled their lead after half an hour with a shot drilled low into the bottom left hand corner. A confident Echo dominated the rest of the half and added a third 5 minutes before half time. They nearly added a fourth in the last minute of the half but an agile Michael Robinson sprang to his left to brilliantly turn the shot round the post.

Half time and many changes were made, this match was about showcasing the squad size and giving everyone opportunities. This led to Louis Fitzsimons making his debut. Into the second half and Mersey started the half well but very quickly Echo began to turn the screw. Two quick goals were scored the first taking a cruel deflection and the second when a cross found an unmarked player in the 6 yard box for a well taken finish. The Echo continued to dominate but a cross cut out by Mersey keeper Paul McMullen, followed by a remarkable double save minutes later kept it at 5. Echo then had a glorious one on one chance but couldn't convert and instead could only find the shoulder of the onrushing Mersey keeper. They did get their 6th though after passing the ball round the Mersey box their number 6 slotted the ball hard and low into the corner.

Mersey suddenly had a decent spell with George Fletcher and Neftali Vellido impressing on the right hand side. A John Hamilton shot rattled the post and Vellido fired just wide from 10 yards. Fletcher's challenge gave away a penalty on 75 minutes. Echo scored. Five minutes later Mersey got their first goal of the match and indeed the season, an assured Ryan McBride rounding the keeper with a clinical finish meant the score was 7-1. Into the last 10 minutes Echo responded and made it 8-1 with a shot past the onrushing McMullen, hard and low right into the far corner. Into the last minute and Echo scored their final goal of the afternoon, a direct free kick from 20 yards into the roof of the net, but the scoring was not over, Mersey had just enough time to run up the other end from the kick off with Leonardo Kramessi scoring his 10th goal for the club with the last kick of the game.

Despite the heavy defeat there were many positives to be taken from the game. Football is likely to improve by the time the season comes both with practice and with preseason matches to get players' sharpness back. Also the attitude from everyone was excellent and the atmosphere is still highly spirited.


2015-2016 Season

28th May 2016
GFSN Cup Final:

Mersey Marauders 1 London Falcons 0 (Match report by Paul McMullen)

A glorious hot day at Sutton Coldfield's Central Ground provided the setting for a tense final between the Marauders and Falcons. Mersey looking to win the cup a second time following victory over the Falcons on penalties in 2013 faced a strong Falcons team buoyed by the fact they had retained GFSN Division 1 status in recent weeks. It was they who started the brighter, passing the ball crisply with Mersey struggling to maintain possession in the opening exchanges. The first real chance came after 20 minutes and despite all of Falcons' possession it fell to Mersey. A long ball found Neftali Vellido on the left wing who managed to cross to Joey Challoner however a Falcons defender managed to block the shot.

That scare sprung Falcons into life and a minute later they rattled the cross bar with a shot on the edge of the area. Falcons continued to turn the screw and an attempt to lob Michael Robinson in the Mersey goal almost came off but Robinson managed to tip the shot onto the crossbar, with the woodwork saving Mersey for the second time. At this point Mersey were struggling and were reduced to long balls and direct football, however a long ball saw Joey Challoner with a sight at goal, however he was pushed wide by the Falcons keeper who got the slightest of touches to put the ball out of harms way. Falcons continued to press and had a shot well saved by Michael Robinson, shortly after the the woodwork once again saved Mersey as a Falcons cross came of the outside of the post. 

Into the last minute of the half and a hopeful long ball found Bernie Gibson who was charging towards goal, however he was pulled back and a free kick was given 35 yards out. John Appleton hit the free kick towards goal and with the Falcons' keeper only able to parry. Vellido typically pounced on the rebound guiding home. 1-0 to a jubilant Mersey. They had weathered the storm and believe started to set in. 

Into the second half and Mersey made two changes with Andy Kent and Danny Bell replacing Mike Riley and Chase Newton who had both put in great shifts. Mersey kept the ball better in the second half and were at times dominating the play but neither side managed to get a shot on goal. Bells's energy and in particular Kent's domination at the back proving a real tonic. With 15 minutes to go Mersey brought on Leonardo Kramessi to try and put the game to bed. His pace terrorised the Falcons defence, and with 5 minutes to go he had a shout for a penalty after a nudge in the back. Regardless, Mersey hung on to the 1-0 lead to win the match and the GFSN Cup.

Man of the Match: Chris Wright, dealt with every attempt that Falcons made to break the defence. Too many excellent performances on the day to mention in this game and throughout the competition. 


Mentions also to Andy Kent and Bernie Gibson who were playing their last games for the club, we thank you both for all you have given to Mersey.

Team: Robinson, Spencer, Wright, Riley, Leary, Hamilton (C), Newton, Appleton, Challoner, Vellido, Gibson. Subs; Kent, Bell, McBride, Kramessi, Gun Why, Williams, Bayliss, Johnson, McMullen 




14th May 2016
Friendly

 

Nottingham Tournament (Match report by Paul McMullen)

 

A glorious, sunny day in Nottingham was the setting for a great afternoon of football to celebrate Nottingham Lions' 10th birthday. The tournament consisted of four teams; Nottingham Lions (Their newer and younger squad players), Nottingham Ballbois (The club's former name before changing to Lions last year featuring their long serving players), ourselves and Leicester.

 

Tournament 1st group game: Nottingham Ballbois 1 Mersey Marauders 0

 

An unfortunate Mersey can feel aggrieved at this scoreline. Nottingham scored early on in the game with a well taken goal however there were suspicions of offside. Mersey dominated the latter half of the game but could not find the breakthrough, however their strong and legitimate claims for a penalty when Ammar was tripped in the box were denied by the referee. Over in the other game Nottingham Lions drew with Leicester 1-1. Leicester took the lead when a Nottingham defender bundled into his own net from a corner. Nottingham then equalised with a goal from a fine run.

 

 

Tournament 2nd group game: Nottingham Lions 4 Mersey Marauders 1

 

A pacey Lions team took advantage of their ability to play direct football and put Mersey to the sword. They signalled their intentions from the word go and soon found themselves with a 3-0 lead all three goals involving their quick players breaking the offside trap and scoring from a one on ones. Mersey took the opportunity to regroup and change tactics which meant that they only conceded one more and were unfortunate to, a one on one was saved but cruelly landed right to another Nottingham player. Mersey did get a consolation goal through Ross to provide a silver lining to that game. In the other match Nottingham Ballbois drew with Leicester 1-1.

 

Tournament 3rd group game: Mersey Marauders 2 Leicester Wildecats 0

 

Although it was a friendly afternoon out and results didn't matter Mersey really wanted to finish the tournament on a high with at least one win and produced a solid defensive display against Leicester. The opening exchanges were about industry and endeavour in a match that saw few chances however way into the latter part of the game Mersey found a breakthrough. While Leicester were appealing for a foul that had gone unpunished Mersey pounced and put in a ball over the top for lead scorer Leo Kramessi who tucked it away for his ninth goal of the season. Mersey still impressed defensively and another goal by Ross shortly after put the game to bed. Leicester had a glorious chance at the end but were denied by a superb Michael Robinson save.

 

The group finished with Mersey taking a respectable third place. Both Nottingham teams finished 1st and 2nd so decided to do a penalty shoot- out rather than play a final as three 45 minute games in the baking sun was enough. Mersey also took part in a penalty shootout with Leicester. The quality of the penalties weren't too great by either side however Mersey won the shootout 5-3 (both sides taking 11 penalties).

 

Man of the Match: Adrian Olah. Solid at left back in just his second outing. Committed effort in every game. Mentions to Mike, James and Ross for 120 minutes work and good performances.   

Team; Robinson, Thomas, P. Williams, Olah, Riley, Leary, Appleton, Kramessi, R. Williams, Kramessi, Newton, Avo, Fitzsimmons, Bayliss, McMullen, Alblooshi.

30th April 2016
Friendly

Mersey Marauders 2 John O'Neil XI 8 (Match report by Paul McMullen)

A mixed Mersey Marauders team took on a team of Mersey player John O'Neil's friends. There was 7 of them so to run the fixture and give everyone at Mersey an enjoyable game time we provided them with Ryan McBride, Krzysztof Winikajtys, Andy Kent and Matty Shaw for his debut.
O'Neil XI made the better start to the game with the quality of their players showing, with many first team players missing Mersey were overrun in midfield and O'Neil XI took the lead on 5 minutes. O'Neil XI continued to dominate but with a cup final less than a month away all the Mersey players were eager to impress no matter what side they were on this led to O'Neil XI's second goal after 15 minutes coming from a Mersey player. Krzysztof with an exquisite volley finding the top corner to take a 2-0 lead.

With the team 2-0 down Gibson and Hamilton rallied the midfield and began dictating the centre of the pitch helping Mersey to settle and begin to hold their own against the opposition. Mersey chances were few and far between however they pulled a goal back after half an hour when David Johnson got on the end of a Leonardo Kramessi ball and shooting low into the bottom left corner for his first ever goal for Mersey. Mersey then nearly equalised, Kramessi with another break crossed in for an unmarked Paul McMullen to volley from 15 yards but his shot was just wide. O'Neil XI dominated the latter of the first half but an in form Michael Robinson was commanding his area well and made a splendid save to tip a rifling shot over the cross bar.

At half time it was 2-1, into the second half and Matty Shaw went from defensive player to attacking player and was looking  dangerous for O'Neil XI who began to pepper the goal but for a couple of good saves from McMullen now back in goal... one of which prevented a Johnson own goal meaning he would have scored for both sides. However McMullen's good start to the 2nd half didn't last and Mersey soon found themselves 4-1 down. Mersey then pulled it back to 4-2 on the hour with Kramessi taking advantage of some rare poor defending from O'Neil XI and scoring his 8th of the season to further cement his position to win the Mersey Golden Boot. He is now two goals ahead of Neftali Vellido with two matches left to play in.
Unfortunately in the last 30 mins Mersey's lack of players and match practice showed and they conceded a further 4 goals although 2 of them should have been disallowed for offside. The final score was 8-2 but the game was a lot better than the scoreline suggested.

Man of the Match: David Johnson. His goal beautifully taken and his overall contribution was excellent. Mentions also go to Kramessi who got a goal and an assist along with Robinson who made some great saves in the first half and thwarted many attacks in the second half.

Team: Robinson, Williams, Wright, Riley, Gun Why, Fitzsimmons, Johnson, McMullen Hamilton (C), Gibson, Kramessi. Subs; Avo.
Representing John O'Neil X11: Shaw, McBride, Winikajtys, Kent.




16th April 2016
Friendly

Mersey Marauders 3 Leicester Wildecats 3 (Match report by Paul McMullen)

It was honours even at Archbishop Beck as Mersey entertained Leicester in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Mersey dominated the opening exchanges with their first chance coming less than a minute into the game, a dangerous Michael Robinson cross found Leonardo Kramessi but he couldn't convert. Mersey continued to dominate and after just 3 minutes the deadlock was broken. Ryan McBride's run was capped off with a sublime finish to score his third goal of the season and Mersey's first of the afternoon. McBride came close to adding a second when put clear through but his lobbed effort just cleared the crossbar.

Mersey continued to pile on the pressure looking for an early second goal however Leicester slowly began to settle into the game. Leicester were winning the midfield battles and looking more of a threat however their final balls were cut out by a solid Chris Wright on several occasions. Shortly after the half hour Leicester equalised in controversial fashion, a Mersey clearance flew high into the air and dropped down infront of the goal. Paul McMullen in the Mersey goal failed to catch the descending shot but kicked it away. The referee inexplicably deemed the ball to have crossed the line and despite protests awarded a goal to Leicester.

Leicester began to dominate play and almost took the lead before half time, a cynical foul by Darren Eden gave Leicester a free kick 25 yards out however their effort was denied by the crossbar. Mersey had another chance too, a whipped in ball found David Johnson 5 yards out but his shot went wide.

Into the second half and Mersey rang the changes with both Adrian Olah and George Fletcher coming on to make their debuts. The impact was immediate, an excellent through ball by Olah finding Ryan McBride who was brought down on the edge of the box. While Leicester were still organising their defence, George Fletcher took a cheeky free kick and Mersey took a 2-1 lead to the fury of Leicester who believed the referee should not have allowed such a quick free-kick to be taken. Five minutes later Leicester were level, their striker breaking clear from the defence and slotting it home in the bottom left corner. More changes were made which saw Michael Robinson go in goal and Leo come back on. 
Mersey began to dominate in the latter stages with Kramessi and Fletcher linking up well and causing havoc on the left, Sean Fitzsimmons also having an excellent game playing his part in the linkups. A Kramessi pass found Fletcher in the box who was brought down for a penalty. George Fletcher converting the spotkick, 3-2. The lead lasted less than 30 seconds as Leicester shot directly from the kick off lobbing Robinson in the Mersey goal.

With the game into it's last 10 minutes an injury to Leicester, a lack of subs and the friendly nature of GFSN saw Mersey player Chase Newton put on a Leicester shirt and make an immediate impact for them thwarting another Fletcher cross. In the final minute Fletcher on a hat-trick was put through by Kramessi but his shot only found the side netting leaving the game ending as a 3-3 draw.


Man of the Match (as now voted for by players): Joey Challoner, gritty and industrious in midfield and did not put a foot wrong. 
Mentions to Chris Wright solid at the back, Sean Fitzsimmons having his best game and good days for the two debutants (Olah and Fletcher)

Team: McMullen, Thomas, Wright, Appleton, Gun Why, Robinson, Newton, Challoner, McBride, Johnson, Kramessi. Subs; Olah, Williams, Fitzsimmons, Winikajtys, Fletcher, Jennions.


3rd April 2016
GFSN  Match day 6


Mersey Marauders 1 London Titans 1

Mersey finished the season with a well earned point against a strong Titans team thanks to a late own goal. The result means that hopes of promotion are on hold this season but it does demonstrate a form of consistency in a season of transition having won 2, lost 2 and drawn 2 in Division 2. The contest started evenly but the Titans started to exert some pressure at the mid way point of the first half when Michael Robinson was called into action for the first of many occasions following a long range effort. Titans later hit the woodwork for the first of a few occasions in the match, however, Mersey could have taken the lead when Neftali Vellido was brought down in the Titans area. Captain John Hamilton stepped up but his effort was saved. The Titans pilled on the pressure and eventually took the lead through a fine strike which even Michael couldn't get a hand to.

In the second half Mersey brought on Craig Wilson for a welcome return and started to create some pressure of their own. Some fine corners from Joey Challoner keeping the Titans defenders honest. Titans had chances to put the game to bed and would have done so had it not been for Chase Newton who headed off the line and Michael pulling off another fine stop.

Craig took one for the team when he received a nasty cut above the eye and it was this type of determination which Mersey got their reward from when one of Joey's less accurate corners was miskicked into his own goal by a Titans defender. 1-1.

Mersey have been the king of comebacks on several occasions this season which demonstrates the character of the players. Well done on a hard fought league campaign following the disappointment of last seasons relegation. We are also glad that Craig is patched up and his looks haven't been affected!!

Man of the Match; Michael Robinson. We couldn't possibly mention all the times he came to Mersey's rescue today but we can say well done on an excellent performance. Other solid performances from Mike Riley, Antony Spencer and Chase Newton  but as ever it was a great team effort.
 
Team; Robinson, Spencer, Wright, Riley, Gun Why, Hamilton (C), Newton, Challoner, Vellido, McBride, Kramessi. Subs; Wilson, Thomas, Johnson, McMullen, Fitzsimmons


20th March 2016
GFSN Semi Final

Soho FC 1 Mersey Marauders 2
Mersey struck twice in the last 10 minutes to come from behind sending them into the GFSN Cup final. This will be a repeat of the 2013 contest against London Falcons who will be out for revenge after penalty heartache.

Marauders had the better of the first half and can consider themselves unlucky to have gone in one down. Starting the game solidly and dealing with every ball Mersey started to make territorial advantage, winning corners and free kicks. Joey Chalonner's superb volley didn't quite dip enough and Neftali's curled free kick came agonisingly of the bar, striking Anthony Spencer before looping over. Then came the sucker punch, on the only occasion that Mersey didn't clear their lines Soho FC took full advantage. Mike Robinson managed to get an outstretched boot to the ball but it unfortunately struck the on rushing attacker who slotted home.

Mersey responded well in the second have, Ross Williams came into the contest as Mersey went to a more traditional 442. Playing a pressing game, Mersey forced corner after corner but Soho managed to just about deal with some great deliveries by Neftali. After Mersey couldn't make the pressure tell it appeared that the game may drift as Soho looked more comfortable...

Then came the thrilling finale as Mersey took off a defender to go 3-5-2 and pille the pressure on. Mersey started to use the width of the pitch to great effect. Ross Williams crossed superbly and Leo Kramessi headed just over which looked to have been Mersey's best chance. However, with around 10 minutes to go Mersey won a free kick. Joey whipped it in and Anthony's effort struck the bar but this time it fell Mersey's way as he was able to chest the rebound over the line- 1-1.

You would think that Mersey would settle for extra time but no one playing their second game in two days was willing to let that happen. Joey was over the ball for another set piece on the edge of box just a few minutes later, this time going near post. Soho didn't clear and it fell to Neftali which only mean one thing as his effort went under the outstretched arm of the Soho keeper sending Mersey into Marauder's heaven.

Danny Bell  hit over which would have sealed the victory before Soho had a late rally. Danny later took one for the team going into the book as he brought down his man 30 yards from goal. The well struck free kick was parried by Mike Robinson and then it was heart in mouth time but Mersey cleared their lines to reach the cup final in May.

Man of the Match: Chris Wright, Another commanding performance with an added bit of steal to make sure that no passed. Everyone in the team was outstanding today.

Team: Robinson, Spencer, Wright, Leary (C), Gun Why, Newton, Challoner, Gibson, Krammessi, Vellido, Bell. Subs; R Williams, P Williams, Darren Thomas, David Johnson.

Overall a great weekend on and of the pitch.

19th March 2015
GFSN League Match 5

Leftfooter's 1 Mersey Marauders 0
Marauders made the train journey south to kick of the weekends double header starting with the footers. On a difficult surface chances were at a premium in a very even contest. It was a set piece which provided Mersey's best opportunity when the impressive James Leary headed over following an out swinging corner by Paul Williams. The footers keeper tipped over another corner but Mersey did not manage a great deal from open play nor did the footers well marshaled at the back by Chris, James, Andy and Darren Thomas who came on for injured Ste Bayliss.

In the second half it became apparent that it was going to take something special to break to deadlock. Joey Challoner  had a dipping effort flying inches over which would have been a contender for goal of the season. Footers Steve Sawyer had a similar effort which drifted wide. Sadly for Mersey he was just setting his sights. With 15 minutes to go he latched on to a clearance and struck excellently into the bottom corner off the post. Mersey battled to get back in the game trying to gain what would have been a valuable point in their bid for promotion. Still it wasn't to be. Despite this it was great effort by everyone and it proved to be the start of a great weekend in the capital.

Man of the Match: Chris Wright. It was either to be the big man or James Leary who didn't put a foot wrong. However, Chris in his first 90 minutes in a while looked as assured as ever.

Well done to Shaun Fitzsimmons making his debut for the cub.

Team; Robinson, Bayliss, Wright (C), Leary, Gun Why, Kramessi, Wlliams, Challoner, Newton, Winikajtys, Johnson. Subs; Thomas, O'Neil, Fitzsimmons.

5th March 2016
Friendly

Mersey Marauders 4 Bernie Gibson XI 8

An enjoyable match for a fantastic cause was played at Mossley Hill at the weekend. Mersey kicking uphill had to dig in deep on a muddy pitch in the early exchanges. Rather surprisingly Marauder's took the lead when Leo Kramessi broke down the left and finished with a fine solo effort. Eventually Gibson's 11 took charge, scoring the next 4 goals including an excellent set piece and a converted penalty following a typically robust challenge from Mersey keeper Paul McMullen. Mersey managed to bag another in the first half thanks to Ryan McBride who broke the offsite trap and slotted home.

Mersey kicking downhill proved a far more potent threat in the second half. Despite this the come back in truth was never on as Gibson's 11 hit Mersey on the break all too often. Ryan and Leo both managed to match their first half scoring exploits. Leo was inches away from a hat trick which would have put Mersey within two goals with 10 minutes to go. but a fine cross and headed goal wrapped up the scoring for the opposition.

Man of the Match: Mike Riley. Barry Redrobe also had a sterling game in midfield and the two scorers deserve credit but Mike headed and cleared more balls than anyone this season and put in a real shift.

On another note is was great to see Darren Thomas returning to action even if his new bright pink boots might need a good clean before the next game.

Team: McMullen, Williams, Riley (C), Bayliss, Redrobe, McBride, Johnson, Kramessi, Vellido, Winikajtys. + one of Bernie's mates!

16th February 2016
Friendly
 
Mersey Marauders 1 vs HMP Kennet 11
Goals: Gormley
 
Little to cheer in this one as Mersey Marauders suffered their second 11-1 defeat of the season. The opening exchanges were more reflective of the narrow 2-1 loss that Mersey suffered to Kennet earlier in the season in an open match with both teams looking dangerous. However, after the opening goal Kennet proved more clinical and streetwise in their play. The first goal saw Mersey caught in possession and despite a good save from Mike Robinson the ball only fell to an opposition player to tap home. Mersey did create their fair share of opportunities. Sefyan Hussein slid the ball beyond the keeper but it didn't have the legs and was cleared of the line. John Hamilton hit the bar with a suberb volley but it was Kennet who took their chances and led 4-0 at the break.
 
The second half was disappointing from a Mersey perspective and Kennett scored 7 more including one from Ryan McBride. On a positive note Josh Gormley making his Mersey debut struck a fine goal after some earlier near misses. Paul Willams headed against the bar from an Ammar Alblooshi corner but the game had already long gone as Kennet hit double fiqures.
 
Man of the Match: Ste Bayliss. Some excellent defending from Ste and work rate to match.
 
Team: Robinson, Bayliss, Riley, Nash, Gun Why, Kramessi, Newton, Wright, Hussein, Johnson, Hamilton (C). Subs; McMullen, Williams, Alblooshi, Gormley
 
31st January 2016
GFSN League Match 4

Mersey Marauders 1 vs Village Manchester 0
Goals: Kramessi

Marauders took a vital step in their push for promotion with another hard fought victory against Village. In an action packed game in wet and windy conditions Marauders had by far the better of the first half. A midfield trio gained dominance in the center ground well supported by pace out wide and hold up play from Bernie Gibson as the lone striker. Joey Challoner on his debut pulled the strings alongside the industry of John Hamilton and Chase Newton. John had an early headed opportunity well saved after a great cross from Tim Harris. After Tim himself had an effort cleared of the line from point blank range and seemed that we were heading for 0-0 at half time . However, Tim was again involved on the stroke of half time when some great link up and eventually led to an overlap allowing Leo Kramessi who caused countless problems with his pace to strike home is 5th of the season and into the joint lead of the Mersey scoring charts.

Village Manchester proved a more potent threat in the second half as the game became less structured. As Village pushed for an equaliser Mersey still looked dangerous on the break. Paul McMullen needed to be alert of his line on a few occasions and whilst he only parried to a Village player with one save, he made a remarkable stop from point blank range from the follow up. Mersey had another headed effort from John saved, Bernie had an effort saved and Joey blazed over. A lot of credit needs to go to the back four; Kent, Nash, Riley and Gun Why who all defended imperiously to secure a battling win for Marauders.

We will now be hoping that Yorkshire can get a result against Manchester meaning another two wins in our remaining games would secure promotion.

Man of the Match: Joey Challoner, rewarded for his recent hard work in training, his passing, vision and work rate proved a real tonic in Midfield. Special mention to Carl Nash who is always a rock at the back and a calming influence on those around him.

Team; McMullen, Kent, Nash, Riley, Gun Why, Harris, Kramessi, Hamilton (C), Newton, Challoner, Gibson. Subs: Redrobe, Williams, Johnson.


9th January 2016
Northern Cup Semi Final

Mersey Marauders 2 vs Yorkshire Terriers 6
Goals: Hamilton (2)

An afternoon to forget for the Marauders who again went down at the hands of the Terriers. Few highlights spring to mind other than two consolation penalties from captain John Hamilton in the second period. Mersey defended well enough in the open exchanges and Tim Harris making his home debut in an unfamiliar right back role played his part. However, Mersey couldn't get their own game going and eventually played themselves into trouble on the first of a few occasions to go 1-0 down. The Terriers grew in confidence with this and Marauders lost shape and with Terriers going in two to the good at Half Time.

Mersey altered their shape in the second half but failed to make inroads as passes went a stray. The Terriers took full advantage and scored a double before Ammar Alblooshi was brought down and Hamilton converted. Barry Redbrobe's last action for the day saw a fine run and effort drift just over. His replacement David Johnson got into a good position on right and his cross was handled by a Terriers defender. Hamilton sent the keeper the wrong way to add a little respectability to the score.

Mersey should keep their heads up going into some important fixtures in the knowledge that they were against tough opposition without some regular players and recent performances show that they can play a lot better.

Man of the Match- Tim Harris. Looked solid and deserves credit for playing in the unnatural position of right back that no one has made their own for Marauders.


Team; Torres, Harris, Kent, Riley, Gun Why, Hamilton (C), Newton, Redbrobe, Hussein, Alblooshi, Kramessi. Subs: McMullen, Bayliss, Johnson.


5th December 2015
Friendly

Mersey Marauders 4 vs Soho 1 FC

Mersey and Soho didn't let the small matter of both their would be opponents forfeiting their GFSN Quarter Final spots as they took to the field in wind swept conditions in Leeds for a friendly. A good spirited game with each team borrowing a couple of Yorkshire Terriers to make up their squads ended in Mersey victory. However, It was Soho who took the lead early on from a corner and subsequent mix up between defender and goalkeeper leading the ball finding its way home. Despite this Mersey looked assured and played some good football despite the conditions and it was no surprise when the impressive Leo Kramessi levelled the scores and then put Mersey in front following a goalkeeping error.

In second half Soho rallied and credit to John Hamilton and is Defensive partner Davey Liddle from the Terriers keeping things tight at the back. Chase Newton was assured in defensive midfield but perhaps his biggest contribution was bringing along his brother Perry who was excellent in goal despite the earlier mix up and even capped things of with a fine volley in an 15 minute cameo outfield. Before this Tim Harris had slotted home and Mersey where back on top.

Man of the Match: Leo Kramessi. Some excellent performances including a good debut from Sefyan Hassan and Barry Redrobe was assured as ever. However, Leo adding his goal poaching instincts to his good work down the right gets the nod.


14th November 2015
GFSN League; Match Day 3


Mersey Marauders 9 vs Cardiff Dragons 2

A first league win since the 2013-2014 season now gives Mersey the chance of pushing for promotion in the second part of this campaign. It was an expected victory against a Dragons in their fledgling GFSN season. All credit to them for using the competition to use a wide range of players both male and female, they came down in numbers and had a great trip despite the inclement weather.

To the game itself and Mersey acquitted themselves well in the first period. Neftali was unplayable and after scoring in the opening two minutes and he went on to complete a first half hat trick  including one sumptuous curled effort from range. Leo Krammessi continued his fine form scoring his first Marauders goal and John Appleton struck to put Mersey in a commanding lead. There could and probably should have been a few more but it was enough to rotate the squad in the second period.

All credit to Cardiff who took advantage of Mersey dropping down the gears with two goals. Mersey did still manage another 4 however including a 2nd for Leo, Cerr Kahn a debutant goal from Adam Fairclough (well done Adam).  


Man of the Match; Neftali Vellido- Fours goals and couple of assists, not a bad days work. He certainly looked at home on the left hand side. Maybe the manager will take note of that having played him up top in the previous games :-)


17th October 2015
GFSN league; Match day 2

Yorkshire Terriers 4 vs Mersey Marauders 0

A bad day at the office for the Marauders. The score line was a little harsh based on our first half display and we was very disappointed to go in one nil down having created a few chances and played some of our best football of the season. James Leary came close to converting a ball in from John Appleton and a superb moving involving Ammar Alblooshi and Neftali Vellido ended with Spaniard clipping the top of the crossbar.

Despite this it was a failed clearance which led the Terriers opening the scoring. John Hamilton's injury forced him to withdraw early in the second half and further injuries to Leo, Ammar and Andy Gun Why made it hard for Mersey to gain momentum and towards the end the Terriers took advantage with some clinical finishing to put the game to bed.

Bridge Cup; 
Terriers 8 vs Mersey 0
Dublin Devils 7 vs 0

Sadly the scores don't reflect too well on Mersey when in fact we did well to field a team consisting of hobbling injured players and a weakened side. In the second game we needed to borrow a Dublin player to make up the numbers. The main thing is the lads took part in the event and many stayed on for what was a cracking night out in Leeds.

Man of the Match; Leonardo Kramessi. He probably ran more than any player on the pitch-even when he was injured. Pace to burn and I am sure he will be a great addition to the team in games to come.  

October 2015

3rd October 2015
GFSN Cup Round of 16
Mersey Marauders 2 vs Village Manchester 1

A memorable day as two second half goals fired Mersey into the Quarter Finals of the GFSN cup. Barring the victory over Yorkshire in the 30 minute game at the Pride Cup this was Marauders first victory since the same stage of competition last season. The first half didn't live up to a cup game of such magnitude and was largely uneventful. However, Village did have the better of the play and competed well. Before Village took the lead there was little in the way of chances, Village headed wide of the post and later Carlos Torres was well positioned to save and keep hold of a rare shot on target. The goal on 40 minutes was headed in by Village striker Stephen Holmes following a well taken set piece.  

The introduction of Bernie Gibson just before half time and John Appleton moving into midfield at the start of it allowed Mersey to compete better and eventually get on top. Mersey's greater possession and sharp play was rewarded mid way through the second period. John Hamilton got the signal to go forward from defence after a free kick was awarded mid way through the Village half.  Appleton whipped in a great delivery and it was Hamilton making the back post run who controlled superbly and drilled home the equaliser into the bottom corner. 

Ammar Alblooshi and debutant Leo Krammessi both had a pivotal role in the second. It was Leo making an impact on his debut who was brought down on the edge of the box and the quick thinking Ammar fed Mersey's Neftali Vellido through on goal with a quickly taken free kick. This was clinically dispatched in typical fashion by the Spaniard. Mersey saw the game out well partly due to Chris Wright's determination to stay on the field whist carrying a hamstring injury. In fact it was Mersey who could have put the game to bed when Hamilton's effort just went over the bar from long range and Liam Jennion's had a goal bound shot blocked.

A great cup victory which we will hope to take into our domestic form away at the Terriers next time out.

Man of the Match- Andy Gun-Why. In his 7th consecutive start I feel that his consistent performances deserve the award.

Chase Newton also performed well in the holding role again and he or John Hamilton would have been equally deserving.  

September 2015

20th September 2015
GFSN League Match 1
Wolverhampton Warriors 1 vs Mersey Marauders 1

Chase Newton's late goal earned Mersey Marauders a welcome point on the opening day of the season. Featuring 3 league debutants it was a battling performance from the Marauders who had to dig in deep to keep the game within their grasp on many occasions. Warriors provided the most potent threat in the opening exchanges. Luckily for Marauders the two best chances both went wide of the post, firstly having an agonising effort steer wide past the onrushing Michael Robinson in goal and then striking wide from a few yards out when Mersey failed to clear a corner. Mersey still managed provide a threat going forward and had a series of free kicks outside of the Warriors box without quite finding their range. However, it was it was Warriors who took the lead a fortuitous cross come shot drifting into the top corner.

The second half continued in similar fashion, Warriors struck over the bar when clear through and it was the continued good work from Chris Wright and James Leary which prevented more opportunities. Mersey did pose a greater threat going forward, John Hamilton hitting just wide of the upright with a well struck volley and Ammar Alblooshi turning well past his marker and forcing the keeper into a good save. Warriors will feel that the game should have been put to bed on at least two occasions. Firstly, blazing over from the spot after Paul Williams was adjudged to have fouled in the box and then aggrieved at having a goal disallowed after the flag was raised. However, battling Mersey still went in search of an equaliser. Leary heading wide following a wicked ball by John Hamilton and then Williams glanced the ball agonisingly wide. However, it was Newton who slotted home after Alblooshi forced the keeper to parry into his path following a well worked short corner.

A spirited performance from Mersey who will be hoping to build on a good away point.

Man of the Match- John Hamilton. He was simply everywhere. Battling in midfield, breaking forward to provide an outlet when Mersey was under the cosh. He eventually finished the game as Mersey's third centre back, a captains performance.

Other mentions to the superb James Leary and Chris Wright and to the ever improving Andy Gun Why proving to be a revelation at left back in his 5th consecutive start.

15th September 2015
Friendly;
HMP Kennet 2 vs Mersey Marauders 1
 
An 88th minute free kick was the undoing of Mersey in a superb match up against Ryan McBrides lot. In the first half Mersey went one down after failing to clear from the edge of the box in an otherwise flawless defensive display. As the half progressed Mersey settled on the ball and started to cause trouble noatbly through John Hamiliton who had earlier tested the keeper with a fine effort and Ammar Alblosshi impressing on his debut. However, it was another debutant Michael Robinson who assisted John with a superb through ball, John got away from his marker and clipped the ball over the unrushing keeper.
 
In second half the game became more open, Michael Robinson now in goal saving well from a header and John Hamilton having his free kick tipped over. In the closing minutes Ste Bayliss prevented a goal scoring chance with a foul just on the edge of the box. Sadly, the resulting free kick was well dispatched into the top right hand corner.
 
A superb effort setting Mersey up for their first GFSN fixture on sunday  
 
Man of the Match- James Leary. This was the toughest call yet and could equally have gone to Carl Nash or John Hamilton. Some other top performances including Chris Wright, Andy Gun Why and the two newbies Michael and Ammar.
 
 
August 2015
28th August 2015
Pride Cup;
Mersey Marauders 4 vs Yorkshire Terriers 0
Mersey Marauders 0 vs Village Manchester 2

Mersey Marauders put on a more than respectable showing in this years Pride Cup. Having watched Village and Terriers finish in stalemate Mersey took to the field and put in their best performance in a long while in the short 30 minute game. Risto Ristov was a constant threat tucking away the first emphatically from the spot after he was fouled in the Terriers box. His second was a sublime chip from long range putting Mersey in a commanding position. The organisation of the team was notable with five in midfield providing protection to a solid backline. Risto completed his inevitable Hat trick with another fine finish having been put clear by the impressive James Leary. Liam Jennions completed the scoring winning and converting Mersey's second penalty.

When a refreshed Village came up against Mersey the organisation of Mersey was put under a much rigorous test. Village kept the ball well stretching the Mersey Midfield  but balls in box were dealt with well by Carl Nash and his third centre back partner of the season Mike Riley. After 18 minutes the pressure told, Mersey for once didn't clear their lines and a low finish in to the corner put Mersey's chances of winning the cup in jeopardy. Abandoning the 5 man midfield in attempt to get back in the game only allowed Village to capitalise on the extra space. Eventually grabbing a second confirming that they would pip Mersey to the Trophy by a point. Mersey can be proud of their efforts and especially the improvement that many of the fringe players are showing.

Man of the Match- Risto Ristov. Many stand out performances but Risto was a cut above with a silky touch and lethal finishing.

22nd August 2015
Mersey Pirates 5 vs Mersey Beats 2
Friendly @ Mossley Hill
 
It was about time a Mersey team gained a victory and it was Chris Wright's Mersey Pirates who romped to victory over Chase Newton's Mersey Beats. The game might have been a friendly and part of our 10 year celebrations but it was competitive throughout.
 
You will have to excuse the lack of finer details this time around as the game was followed by many beverages at the fundraiser! What I do remember is that the Pirates caused havoc in the Beats defence. Risto Ristov hit a supeb hatrick with Andy Gun Why and the returning Eduardo Gomez completing the scoring for Chris Wright's well marshalled team. Bernie Gibson scored with two neat finsihes for the Beats.
 
We finished with an all team penalty shoot out and the Pirates made it a double victory with a sudden death winner dispatched by John Hamilton. Congratulations to the impressive Risto Ristov who now has 4 goals in his first 2 Mersey games.
 
Chris's Man of the Match; John Hamilton, uncompromising at the back and dangerous when moved forward
 
Chase's Man of the Match; Peter Lloyd battling through injury. The Pirates didn't get any joy down the right wing with Lloyd's no nonsense defending.
 
Thanks to everyone who played, especially the returning players for making it a special occasion. 
 
9th August 2015
Wirral Radio FC 11 vs Mersey Marauders 1
Friendly @ Leasowe

 
Our second friendly took place over the water and proved a rude awakening ahead of the new season. To be fair Wirral Radio FC have a settled side playing regular competitive Football and another unfamiliar Mersey side with two more debutants had a tough task from the outset. The first half was more competitive than the second with Mersey competing well but caught cold from midfield runners beating the offside trap, one or two may have been called. At 3-0 down Mersey started to create chances with Redrobe, Williams, Guy and Winikajtys getting into good positions without testing the keeper.

Mersey went in 4-0 down and perhaps should have been aiming to keep the score down against a fitter and more experienced team. Instead  larger appeared and as heads dropped and fatigue set in Wirral Radio punished Mersey at seemingly every opportunity. The only reward was a debut goal from Risto Ristov with good footwork and a nicely taken finish. Despite the score line we came away with some more match fitness. Mersey also forged good links with a local team who have kindly given us a few shout outs on Wirral Radio.

Man of the Match- James Leary. Just edging out John Hamilton with a disciplined and committed performance under tough circumstances.  

JULY 2015

26th July 2015
Mersey Marauders 0 vs Village Manchester 1
Friendly @ LFC Academy

The first friendly game of the season was held in the fine surroundings of Liverpool FC’s Academy. Village started the better of the two teams through greater composure on the ball and by winning most aerial balls in the centre. Some imperious defending from the new centre back pairing of Craig Wilson and Carl Nash restricted Village to shots from mainly outside of the area. Mersey needed a last gasp clearance from Paul Williams and the help of the crossbar to keep scores level. 

Mersey’s limited chances came through John Appleton’s fine long range passing; debutant John Meehan clipped the outside of the post with a well struck effort. Krzysztof Winikajtys also came close with the ball falling on his wrong side. The second half saw a better Mersey performance with Barry Redrobe’s introduction providing the composure and guile to bring his team mates into play. 

Both sides had opportunities but it was Village’s Rob McPherson (who we know well from playing in Mersey’s last game against Saltire) who hit the net with a volley from outside of the area. Mersey came closest through David Johnson whose shot narrowly cleared the crossbar. A few efforts from outside the box including Craig Wilson (now upfront) and Luke Graham tested the Village keeper. Village were dangerous throughout and the result was a fair reflection on the game. Nonetheless with three new debutants (Liam Jennions, Kyle Smith and John Meehan) injuries and players missing this was a promising performance from Mersey whose preseason gathers momentum. 

Man of the Match - Carl Nash. Good in the air, strong and composed on the ball.