One of the toughest things about running a football club is creating a winning side. You need a group of players with skill, athleticism, passion, experience, and ambition. You also, crucially, need stability. Considering the Men's squads lost an incredible 44 - yes, forty-four! - players since last season, the current players can hardly be blamed for struggling.
Yet, despite that, the much hoped for turnaround appeared closer than ever at the start of the month; the 1sts narrowly lost 0-1 to Chessington KC Reserves, with two former players appearing for the opposition, the 2nds had a dominant game but couldn't kill of Merton Social B and had to settle for a 1-1 draw, whilst the Women showed significant progress, holding Wandsworth Borough to a 2-4 win, halving the goal difference from their previous encounter.
For every half-step forward, we seem to be taking two back. Or, in some cases, ten... The 1sts shipped a decuple (new word, everyone) of goals in an incredible 2-10 defeat to Cheam Village Warriors - a team we drew 1-1 with last season. The 2nds capitulated to A.M.Y Reserves 0-3 in a thoroughly gutless display. However, the Women showed them both how to do it with a sparkling performance against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Alissa Schlecht scored the equaliser but, in all honesty, the hosts should have scored three or four. The 1-1 draw doubles their league points tally from last season and real progress is clear to see.
Another weekend and another chance to try and grab those points the Men's teams are crying out for; the 1sts were denied against Battersea Ironsides A (1-2) in no small part down to another appalling bit of refereeing from our old chum from previous encounters... The 2nds had a most eventful game with an early soft goal conceded, a Tali Kiwanuka equaliser, then another embarrassing defensive bungle, a proper bollocking for all concerned at half-time, a cruel own goal, a laughable deflected goal-kick and, for the first time ever, a linesman given a red card. If it was televised, you might confuse it for comedy. Kew Park Rangers were the ones laughing with the points from a 1-4 win.
And so, the final weekend in November and based on what came before, most of us couldn't wait for it to be over. The Women went down 1-4 to Baldon Sports. The Men's 2nds conceded one before Dare Mustapha took matters into his own hands, beat four men as he ran the length of the pitch before squaring it for Tim Bamigbade to tap in just before the break. Despite looking like having chances to take the lead, Tooting Bec B netted two from close range before Big Tim powered past their left-back and smashed in his sixth of the season - but the boys couldn't find that crucial third (2-3). And, as this has been possibly the worst month for the Men's team in terms of results, how better than to end on another low; Dover House Lions, who were only sixth in the league, crushed the 1sts 2-9. Kenny Ekette scored twice to take him up to five for the season.
Roll on Christmas...