Giants hit ten to end season on a high

Giants v. Chessington Sports

10 - 4

28th April 2018

The Giants last game of the season was a thoroughly entertaining and dominant display against a spirited Chessington Sports team. The two teams had met before in early November with the Giants recording their first win of the season on that occasion, coming from behind to record a 2-1 victory thanks to two goals from Jake ‘Vardy’ Wright. That had proved a turning point in the season with the Giants going on an unbeaten run through to Christmas.

Today’s match exemplified the progress made since that drizzly day in November. The boys played with a swagger and confidence, closing down the opposition, battling for the ball and looking for the defence splitting pass that would open up chances to score.

At times the interplay was wonderful, with smooth passing, quick turns and surging runs proving too much for the Chessington team to handle. The lads displayed more of the battling attitude that had served them well in last weekends friendly against the Teddington Eagles when the Giants had raced into a 4-0 half time lead thanks to goals from Julius and Josh. On that occasion the team had relaxed allowing the Eagles to claw back to draw 4-4. Today the Chessington Sports team were always second best.

Again the boys surged into a 4-0 lead with two goals for Seb and two for Eli within the first quarter. The Giants were dominant in defence and midfield with the boys battling for the ball and controlling the game. The first goal came after a great cross from Jake and a clean strike from Seb. Eli then scored two to put the Giants three up and firmly in control. Both came after goalmouth scrambles and were reward for persistence as the ball ricocheted around the box. The fourth goal followed a nice interplay between Julius and Seb with Seb slotting home. Josh in goal had a quiet quarter.

Julius took over between the sticks in the second quarter and was immediately into the action having to pounce on the ball following a more progressive approach from Chessington. The Giants struggled to get out of their own half and after several fine saves from Julius the Sports finally gained a foothold in the game, firstly from an own goal and then taking advantage of dithering in the Giants defence for their second goal. Josh restored the three goal advantage following a weaving run to give a 5-2 lead at half time.

The Giants re-exerted themselves in the third quarter with their strongest spell of the match. Jake, Seb and Julius were marauding forward and Chessington were powerless to contain them. Seb turned provider with a defence splitting pass that Jake latched onto for his first of the game. Julius was then tripped on the edge of the box following a strong run and powered home the resulting free kick. Jake, the Giants top scorer for the season, then struck his second of the day when slipped through by Julius. Louie, in goal, kept the Sports at bay but couldn’t prevent a late strike from the edge of the box from creeping into the net. 8-3 going into the final quarter.

The Giants scored nine against Nutfield Dragons in December but had never managed ten. Was a record on the cards? The quarter started badly and Chessington pulled a goal back following sloppy defending but the Giants were soon back in control. Tom scored the ninth, with from the edge of the box, his first of the season and reward for perseverance up front. Time was ticking down and having missed several further chances the Giants finally reached the ten goal milestone when Josh ran the length of the pitch and struck home for his second of the day. A record score on the last match of the season led to celebrations and doughnuts all round. A fine end to a great season and just the start of a World of Adventures.

Manager Dan ‘Wizard’ Crosby has done a wonderful job leading his team and was proud of his boys, their team spirit and the huge progress they have made through the course of the season. Bring on September!

Man of the match: The whole team

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants tame the Molesey Wolves

Giants v. Molesey Wolves

3 - 1

14th April 2018

What a difference a month makes. Four weeks ago the Giants struggled in a snowstorm in Ashtead. Today the boys enjoyed a comfortable victory over the Molesey Wolves under clear skies and a warming sun. Spring has finally come and the friendly match was switched to Udney Park as the cricket season gets under way in Bushy Park.

The Giants have come a long way since their last match at Udney back in September when they were soundly beaten. Despite a three week break over Easter the boys stepped back into a familiar structure repelling the Wolves attacks, pressing their opponents and probing for opportunities to threaten the Molesey goal.

The first quarter was evenly matched with the two teams sparring with each other but creating few chances. The boys pressed forward and won several corners towards the end of the quarter but were unable to capitalise.

The Giants took control in the second quarter upping the tempo and repeatedly threatening the Molesey goal. Seb opened the scoring after breaking through the Wolves defensive line and striking into the corner. Jake followed this up with the Giants second a few minutes later, running the length of the pitch and rounding the keeper for a fine individual goal. Julius and Seb were in control at the back and Louie, in goal, comfortably dealt with any forward play from the Wolves.

The Molesey Wolves battled hard in the third quarter biting into tackles and working hard to keep the game competitive but they lacked a killer instinct and Eli, taking his turn in goal, was rarely threatened.

The Wolves pulled a goal back in the final quarter after a defensive mix up but this only served to stir the Giants into action and Jake quickly restored the Giants two goal advantage with his second of the day. The Giants were hunting in packs, pressing the Wolves into errors and marauding forward and only the Molesey keeper prevented the Giants from putting gloss on their victory.

Man of the match: Jake

Reporter: Hu Dano

Determined Giants too strong for Bookham

Giants v. Bookham Colts

3 - 1

24th March 2018

The Giants last competitive win was back in December and since being promoted to Group 2 they have suffered five losses in a row. The omens were not good. Bookham Colts dispatched the Teddington Eagles 4-0 last weekend, manager Dan was away and so were three of our team. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame hails from Bookham and the Giants loyal following may have felt that pigs would sooner fly than they would see a Giants victory. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

Tim Wright took charge of our depleted squad and was seen before the match waving a piece of paper and a mysterious jar. Had he found the magic formula that would transform the team’s fortunes? Whatever it was the boys trotted onto the pitch with fire in their bellies.

The teams were evenly matched in the early exchanges with both defences on top. The Giants were playing to a game plan, tenacious in the tackle, squeezing the play and giving the Colts little time on the ball. The team were playing with energy and determination and their confidence grew when Jake broke down the right side and passed across for Josh to stroke the first goal into the net. In a half of few chances Seb held firm in goal and repelled the Colts best effort with a fine save.

The second quarter was again a tight affair. More sturdy defending from both sides restricted shooting chances and Julius in goal pounced on any balls that came near him. Half time and the Giants were still leading 1-0.

The Giants took control in the third quarter with two quick fire goals. The first came direct from a throw in with Julius launching the ball towards the penalty area and Seb latching on to it to fire past an advancing Colts keeper. Bookham were rattled and fell further behind when Seb again burst through their defence to strike his second of the game. 3-0 to the Giants, and it stayed that way until the end of the quarter with Tom keeping it tight between the sticks.

The Giants were keen to score more and pushed forward in the last quarter leaving gaps at the back. The Colts were starting to create chances and deservedly scored a consolation, with our fourth keeper of the day, Charlie, powerless to stop a late strike. This proved to be the last kick of the game and the boys walked off to cheers from their loyal fans. This was a hard fought and gritty performance and magician Tim ‘Ranieri’ Wright was delighted with his team. Perhaps he needs to bring his mysterious jar to the next match although he claims it was merely gum to calm his nerves.

Man of the match: Seb

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants slip up in the snow

Ashtead Wanderers v. Giants

7 - 2

17th March 2018

Samuel Pepys is Ashtead’s most famous resident, living in the village as a boy in the 17th Century. Even he would not have found much to write about the football played by the Giants today. The Beast from the East returned bringing with it a blast of cold air and a flurry of snow that distracted the players and fans alike, with some clearly wishing they were snug and warm inside.

The Giants put in a disjointed display and failed to match the energy of their opponents from Ashtead who, at times, were able to roam at will through our defence and could have won by more than the 7-2 scoreline.

The Giants started brightly enough and the early exchanges suggested that the match might be a close one. The Wanderers broke the deadlock after a slip up in the Giants defence but the score was soon level following a meandering run and strike from top scorer Jake. The Giants worked hard in this first period with some tough tackling from Julius and Jake and they almost added a second goal when Charlie shot narrowly wide.

As the snow started to come down more heavily the Wanderers gradually took control. A series of errors allowed the home side to extend their lead to 4-1 in a 15 minute long first period – the referee had not realised that we normally played four quarters.

Things didn’t get any better in the next period and the Giants attacking intent led to gaps at the back which the Wanderers exploited with three more goals to lead 7-1.

The Giants gained some self-respect in the last period, taking control of the game and tightening up at the back. Josh, in goal, made a fine save to deny the Wanderers and Jake scored his second of the game with a shot across the goal into the far corner.

The final whistle sparked a rush to get off the pitch and into the warm.

Man of the match: the Beast from the East

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants beaten in battle against Walton’s Warriors

Giants v. Walton Warriors

4 - 5

10th March 2018

After a five week break enforced by frozen, waterlogged and snow sprinkled pitches, the Giants were back in action at Bushy Park against a committed Walton team. The match was a thriller with the Giants fighting back from three goals down to lose by a single goal in a fiercely contested and evenly matched game.

The Warriors lived up to their name putting in a battling performance. After a cautious start the Giants grew into the game and returned the Warriors steel with a passionate and rugged display. At times the game resembled a rugby match with both teams hunting in packs, rucking for the ball and battling to advance a few yards up the pitch. Passes were intercepted and shots were charged down in a thoroughly entertaining game.

The Giants started slowly, taking time to find their game after over a month without a competitive match and lacking the fluency that their passionate spectators have grown to expect. The Warriors took advantage of this early caution to press forward in a dominant first quarter. Louie was commanding in goal and made several fine saves but could do nothing to stop an angled strike across the goal to give the Warriors the lead and they followed this up with a second goal soon after to lead 2-0.

Manager Dan Crosby switched the team around for the second quarter and the Giants tightened up at the back and added bite to their tackling. Against the run of play the Warriors extended their lead with a clean strike from a free kick, but the Giants were in the game now. Soon after the Giants got a free kick of their own and Jake pulled a goal back with a wonderful strike into the top corner. The half time whistle sounded with the Warriors 3-1 up.

The Giants were in their stride now. Josh, Jake and Seb were pressing up front and Julius was imperious at the back, intercepting the Warriors attacking efforts. The Giants were rewarded with a second goal after fine interplay between Josh and Jake allowed Jake to strike home for his second. The good work was however undone with a lapse in concentration soon after, allowing the Warriors to restore their two goal advantage.

The Giants were back on the attack in the final quarter but fell further behind when a fierce Warriors’ strike went in off the post. No chance for Charlie in goal. This spurred the Giants to renewed effort and Jake ran through the Warriors tiring defence for his hat trick and followed that up with a fourth goal a few minutes later. Time was ticking down … would the Giants have time to salvage a dramatic draw? With less than a minute to go the Giants were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Jake stepped up to strike but it was not to be … the ball whistled past the post.

Man of the match: Jake

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants humbled by Redhill Youth

Giants v. Redhill Youth

0 - 13

3rd February 2018

The Giants fought hard in the drizzle in Bushy Park but came up against a stronger side and fell to their heaviest defeat since the early days of the season.

After the last two matches, where poor starts cost the Giants a chance of victory, manager Dan Crosby set his team up to contain the opposition in the early exchanges but it was clear from early on that the Redhill team were a skilful and disciplined outfit.

With Louie in goal and Eli in defence, the Giants held out early on, but once the Teddington goal had been breached the goals flowed regularly throughout the game. There were chances for Teddington, Jonty tested the goalkeeper when clean through and Josh ran the length of the pitch only to be denied by the keeper, but the Redhill defence, sponsored by Sainsburys, held firm and restricted the Giants to few chances. At the other end Seb made some terrific saves in goal and Julius and Charlie were in fine tackling form, but you could Taste the Difference between the sponsored side and our lads.

Teddington’s loyal supporters thought that the Giants could have had a penalty when Jake was challenged firmly in the penalty box, but the referee disagreed and the Giants failed to score the first time since September.

Man of the Match: Seb

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants felled in the woods at Oxshott

Oxshott Royals v. The Giants

5 - 2

27 January 2018

In 1977 Monty Python’s ‘Jabberwocky’ was filmed in Oxshott woods. ‘The monster so horrible that people caught the plague to avoid it’, was accidentally killed by a young barrel maker, played by Michael Palin. The Giants went to Oxshott without fear, but, as with their last match in Walton earlier in the month, early mishaps cost them in a close fought and entertaining contest.

Oxshott has become a popular home for footballers, particularly those that wear the blue of Chelsea, with former players John Terry, Didier Drogba, Graham Le Saux and Solomon Kalou together with manager Carlo Ancelotti all reputed to live in the village. It was perhaps a surprise therefore that the Oxshott Royals play in the colours of their London rivals Arsenal.

The Royals attacked straight from kick off and within the first minute the ball was nestled in the back of the Giants net. Two more goals followed in quick succession and Teddington found themselves three goals down and with a mountain to climb. The Oxshott pitch was larger than the Giants were used to and recent rain created sticky conditions underfoot. The vocal support on the sidelines feared that this could be a long day.

But heads did not drop and slowly but surely the boys grew into the game, pressing the Royals and starting to create half chances of their own. Eli, Tom and Josh pushed forward and good saves from Louie in goal and some last ditch tackling from Charlie prevented the Royals from increasing their lead.

The Giants dominated the second quarter. Jake terrorised their defence, dancing through at will. He scored once with a clean strike from the edge of the box and but for some great saves from the Royals keeper could have had a hat-trick. The Oxshott side created few chances with Julius at the back sweeping up any dangerous balls and Louie proving dependable in goal. With the score 3-1 at half time it was game on.

The Giants continued to press at the beginning of the third quarter and a fizzing shot from Josh was just a whisker wide of the Royals goal. Against the run of play the Royals extended their lead, a third goal for their No 6 putting the Royals 4-1 in front. This was hard on the Giants who had looked solid in defence after the early mishaps. Undeterred they continued to press and Josh got his reward for some excellent attacking play with a goal to bring the score at the end of the third quarter to 4-2.

The pattern of play continued in the final quarter with the Giants growing in confidence. Seb was masterful in defence and Jake, Jonty and Louie probed the Royals defence for opportunities. But the Giants couldn’t add to their goal tally and a chip from the Royals No 6 proved the only goal in the final quarter to give a final score of 5-2.

Assistant Manager Tim Wright, stepping in for Dan, will have been proud of the boys but wishing the game had started five minutes later.

Man of the match: Jake

Reporter: Hu Dano

Colts shoot down rusty Giants

Gemini Colts v. The Giants

7 - 3

13th January 2018

The Giants fell to their first defeat since October on their opening outing of the new year on a grey day in Walton. Their prize for an unbeaten run in November and December had been promotion to Group 2 and the Gemini Colts proved tough opposition on their home turf.

The game was closer than the 7-3 score line would suggest but was lost in a four minute spell in the first half when the sleeping Giants conceded four quick fire goals.

The game had started well with robust tackling from both sides and few chances on goal. Eli was commanding in defence snuffing out the Colts forward play and Seb in goal dealt comfortably with the early shots on goal. Up front Louie, Julius and Jake battled hard against a robust Walton defence but were thwarted in the early exchanges. The Colts broke the deadlock with a rasping shot from range to take a 1-0 advantage into the first break.

The second quarter went horribly wrong for the Giants. Heads dropped when the Colts scored a second and this was followed up by a series of clinical strikes from the boys in lime green. By the time the Giants had regrouped they found themselves 5-0 down. Some measure of pride was restored when Josh struck a fine free kick into the far corner of the Walton goal but the Colts quickly restored their five goal advantage only moments later. This brought exasperated looks from the Giants vocal supporters who felt that the referee had missed a clear foul on our last defender who was thrown to the ground in the build up to the goal. The Giants faced an uphill battle, 6-1 down at half-time.

In the second half the boys proved they could compete at the Group 2 level. The Giants started to show the form that had gained them promotion and dominated possession. Josh struck twice more for his hat-trick, a second in two games for the club, to bring the score back to 6-3 at the end of the third quarter. Were the stars aligned to allow an unlikely comeback against Gemini?

The Giants continued to push in the last quarter but excellent work from the Colts goalkeeper prevented any further Teddington goals. The Colts added shine to their victory with a late strike to give a final score of 7-3.

Man of the match: Eli

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants thrash toothless Dragons

Giants v. Nutfield Dragons

9 - 2

9th December 2017

‘Come not between the dragon and his wrath’ spoke King Lear but the Giants had little to fear from the Dragons of Nutfield as they romped to a 9-2 victory on a crisp morning in Bushy Park.

The Giants are growing with every game and never looked in danger as they took on a Nutfield team for a second week running. The long grass and sticky conditions in Nutfield were replaced by a touch of frost on the shorter grass at the Royal Park and the boys responded with some slick passing and a solid team performance.

The Giants were on the attack from the off with new boy Josh surging forward to shoot narrowly wide within the first minute. Encouraged by this good start the boys continued to press forward and Josh was rewarded a few minutes later with the opening goal and his first for the club. This was to be the first goal in a great first quarter. Julius added a second a few minutes later following a penetrating run and shot and Josh struck his second a few minutes later. The Giants were rampant and the Nutfield Dragons conceded a fourth when their defence inadvertently deflected the ball into the net direct from a corner for a 4-0 lead to the Giants.

The Dragons tightened up in the second quarter bolstering the defence and despite pressing forward the Giants failed to add to their score. A mix up in the Giants defence allowed the dragons to pull a goal back and it was 4-1 at half time.

The Dragons resistance was broken early in the third quarter when Josh struck again for his hat trick in an excellent debut performance and Eli, Seb and Jake each scored to put the Giants well in control at 8-1.

Louie made it 9-1 after a surging run and cross from Seb and after a goalkeeping error allowed the dragons to pull one back, the Giants almost got a tenth when the ball was grasped by the Dragons keeper on the line.

The hard work in training is starting to pay off with five wins in a row and six different scorers today. Manager Dan Crosby will sleep well tonight!

Man of the match: Josh

Reporter: Hu Dano