Giants hit six past mesmorised Cobras

Giants v. Moor Mead Cobras

6 - 2

Saturday 13th October 2018

The cobra (genus Naja) can deliver a fatal bite injecting a toxic venom that attacks the nervous system and causes paralysis. Such is the power of the venom, the King Cobra has been known to bring down a giant of the animal world, an Asian elephant. The cobra hails from Africa and Asia with the spitting variety propelling its venom out of its mouth through the air. Fortunately the Cobras from Twickenham were less frightening than their namesakes and also less phlegmatic than the infamous Frank Rijkaard.

On an unseasonably warm day at Bushy the ‘Naja’s were well beaten by a Giants team that were quicker to the ball, pressed harder and had more tricks up their sleeves. The Giants were like Ninja’s over running and over powering their Serpentine foes.

The Moor Mead Cobras started well and in the opening five minutes the Giants struggled to get out of their own half. Our referee for the day was late but fortunately Mark, who happened to be wearing a black top, volunteered to take command. In a quiet opening the boys were on best behaviour and there were no incidents of note. As the quarter progressed the boys found their feet with both Julius and Jake going close. The minutes were ticking away when Jake finally broke free and netted with a clinical strike.

The Giants went two up early in the second quarter courtesy of Mr Consistency, Noah, who kept up his record of scoring in every game in which he has played. Tom was having an excellent game up front and it was his pass that opened up the opportunity for Noah to calmly stroke the ball past the Moor Mead keeper. Zai and Josh both came close as the team pushed forward looking for more goals. The Giants left gaps at the back but the Cobras were unable to take advantage of the space, and couldn’t get past the resolute Zai in goal who made several good saves. The score was 2-0 to the hosts at half time.

The Giants went further ahead straight from the restart, Zai striking into the top corner for a peach of a goal. The boys were on song now and marauding forward at will. The Cobras defended admirably as the Giants camped in their half and got a goal back against the run of play with a clean strike from the edge of the box for 3-1. The momentum was however with the Giants and Julius capped a fine performance with a firm strike across the keeper into the corner of the Moor Mead goal to restore the three goal lead.

The final quarter saw more attacking play from the Giants as they pressed forward to add to their goal tally. Zai got his second for the day after a battling and energetic performance to make it 5-1. The Cobras didn’t give up and took advantage of hesitant defending to get their second of the day but were undone immediately as Josh scored the Giants sixth following a jinking run through the tiring Moor Mead team direct from the kick off.

This was solid and high-energy performance from the Giants, their third win in a row and first home victory of the season. Manager Dan Crosby, back after a week away, was proud of his boys but won’t be complacent. Today’s match was comfortable and thoroughly deserved but there will be sterner tests ahead and had the Cobras been a little more potent upfront the score line could have been a lot closer.

The Team: Charlie, Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Noah, Tom, Zai

Goalscorers: Jake, Noah, Zai (2), Julius, Josh

Man of the match: Zai

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants put eight past spirited Colts

Epsom and Ewell Colts v. Giants

4 - 8

Saturday 6th October 2018

It was another away match and another resounding victory for the Giants today as they broke the Colts resistance in an entertaining encounter in Ewell. The boys are finding scoring easy at the moment, notching up eight goals today to follow seven last weekend. Defending is however proving more tricky and the Giants were guilty of lapses today that allowed their opponents to keep a foothold in the match until the final quarter.

Manager Tim, stepping in for Dan today, was an anxious and animated figure on the touchline but the Colts manager was even more vocal sending a constant stream of instructions and encouragement to his players. We may never know what the cry of ‘elastic bands’ means in Ewell but it failed to deter the Giants attacking play.

In customary fashion the Giants gifted the Epsom and Ewell Colts an early goal turning the ball into their own net under pressure from a battling Ewell side. Undeterred the Giants pressed forward and equalised almost immediately with Zai scoring his first goal of the season after a smooth passing move. The boys took the lead shortly after when Jake broke free of the Colts defence and stroked the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the goal.

The second quarter was a muted affair with no goals for either side. However it wasn’t without excitement as the Giants offered the Colts two presentable opportunities to score from the penalty spot. On each occasion, Josh in goal, repelled the Colts strikes with excellent saves. The Giants were 2-1 to the good at half time.

The third quarter was evenly matched with three goals for each side in an entertaining spell of end to end football. The Colts drew first blood to bring the score back to two apiece. Josh then slotted the ball past the Epsom and Ewell keeper for 3-2. Defensive indecision allowed the Colts to equalise before Josh restored the Giants lead. Yet again the Colts responded for four each and once again Josh scored, this time tapping in after a fine save from a free kick struck by Seb. 5-4 to the Giants at the end of the third quarter. This was a tough spell for their loyal fans watching on the chilly October morning.

The boys relieved the tension in the final quarter taking control of the game and rattling in three further goals without reply. An attacking trio of Jake, Josh and Zai ran the Colts ragged with Julius behind them in defence picking up any loose ball and pushing it back upfield. Charlie was relieved to have a quieter spell in goal.

Jake got the first goal of the quarter after a fine passing move, Josh then scored his fourth, shooting under the Colts keeper, and Zai was quickest to respond after the Epsom and Ewell keeper saved Jake’s free kick, for his second of the day. It could have been worse for the Colts; Julius was unlucky to miss out on a goal when the keeper juggled his shot just wide after a long shot from the half way line and Jake came close to his hat-trick, shooting just wide towards the end of the match.

The attacking play is really starting to click for the Giants now, but manager Dan, back next week, will have to impress on his players that handling in the penalty area is not a good idea unless you are playing in goal.

The Team: Charlie, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Seb, Tom, Zai

Goalscorers: Zai (2), Jake (2), Josh (4)

Man of the match: Josh

Reporter: Hu Dano

Magnificent Seven in Horsley

Horsley Pumas v. Giants

1 - 7

Saturday 29th September 2018

On Saturday The Giants travelled into the Surrey countryside for the first time this season and took on the Pumas from Horsley. In beautiful sunshine, and with the verdant Surrey Hills as a backdrop, the boys put in their best performance of the season so far and were rewarded with a comprehensive victory.

The Giants started tentatively and fell behind to an early goal but recovered quickly to put seven past their opponents without further reply. The boys were quicker to the ball, more combative and direct in their play and when they passed were able to split their opponents defence and threaten the Pumas goal. Jake between the sticks in the first half and Julius in the second, were rarely troubled.

The Giants first goal came following a period of concerted pressure, with Seb crossing for Eli to chest the ball into the net. Seb turned from provider to scorer for the second with a delightful strike over the Pumas keeper and into the roof of the net direct from a free kick. Eli was energetic throughout the quarter and burst through the defence to score his second of the day and the Giants third for a 3-1 lead at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter brought more of the same with Julius and Josh both going close and Louie scoring the only goal of the quarter following a pass across the goal from Josh. The boys were 4-1 up and in complete control at half time.

Jake got the Giants moving early in the second half skipping through the Horsley defence to slot home and the boys were 6-1 up shortly afterwards when Noah kept up his record of scoring in every game this season, following a smooth passing move. The Pumas had six players on the pitch but were still unable to hurt the Giants at the back with Seb in defence calming repelling their attacks and Julius tidy in goal.

The final quarter brought more of the same, the only surprise being that the Giants only managed one more goal, a tap in for Jake when set up by Josh.

This was a comfortable game for the boys and after a topsy-turvy few weeks the Giants have won both their away games, whilst losing both at home. Last weeks encounter, at home to the Warlingham Colts resulting in a hard fought 6-3 loss, with the Giants goals scored by man of the match Noah (2) and Louie. Next week the boys are on the road again and manager Dan will be hoping the boys can keep up their fine away form.

The Team: Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Seb

Goalscorers: Eli (2), Seb, Louie, Jake (2), Noah

Man of the match: Eli

Reporter: Hu Dano

Giants well beaten by rampant Lions

Giants v. BB Sport Lions

3 - 9

Saturday 8th September 2018

The Giants kicked off the new season full of optimism on a bright Saturday morning at Udney Park. Having finished last season with a storming 10-4 win against Chessington Sports, and with two new recruits, Noah and Zai, added to the squad over the summer, the Giants loyal following looked forward to an entertaining contest against new comers BB Soccer Lions from Coulsdon. This was to be a tough and humbling start to the season. Lacking match practice, the Giants were outplayed by a well-drilled and focused Lions side and ended up on the back of a 9-3 spanking.

Manager Dan Crosby took a full squad to the game and this worked against the Giants who were unable to find a rhythm to their play. The regular substitutions made it difficult for the boys to grow into the game and we saw little of the passing game that was starting to emerge at the end of last season.

In contrast the Lions rotated between just six players and had a clear game plan, pressing hard and giving our players little time on the ball. The Lions were straight out of the traps, hungry to impose themselves and in a fast and furious first five minutes were three goals to the good before the Giants had settled. It could have been worse, Josh in goal for the first quarter, made several fine saves to keep the boys in the game.

The Giants rallied, with Jake going close with a shot from a free-kick, and gained a foothold in the game when debutant Noah, scored following a goalmouth scramble. 3-1 to the Lions at the end of the first-quarter.

The second quarter was better but despite more good goalkeeping, this time from Seb, the Giants fell further behind as the Lions pressed and harried our boys into mistakes. The Lions scored two more to lead 5-1. A goal for Charlie from another goalmouth melee ensured that the Giants fans could still dream of a second half comeback.

The Giants improved in the third quarter and had their best spell of the game. Julius introduced some steel in defence and calmly repelled the Lions forward play. Up front Josh ran tirelessly at the Lions defence and was rewarded with a goal to bring the score back to 5-3.

The optimism was however short lived. The Lions reasserted themselves in the final quarter and scored their sixth goal after another defensive lapse. With the game already lost the Giants were chasing shadows and the Lions went for the jugular rattling in another three goals to put gloss on the scoreline.

So its back to the training ground, with manager Dan hoping that the Giants will find some of the last seasons form against a familiar opponent, Chessington Sports, next week.

The Team: Charlie, Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Seb, Tom, Zai

Goalscorers: Noah, Charlie, Josh

Reporter: Hu Dano

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