BB Soccer Lions v. Giants
7 - 2
Saturday 9th March 2019
The Giants cup dream is over. The boys knew they were in for a challenge against a BB Lions team that play in a higher league and that had comfortably beaten them in the season opener back in September, but in the cup anything can happen and the earlier rounds had brought the best out of the boys with wonderful displays in their victories over the Old Coulsdon Colts in December and ESPA Titans in January. This was the semi-final and a chance to recreate their victory against the BB Lions sister team, the BB Tigers, in Whyteleafe; a chance to progress to the final and challenge for a trophy.
The game started well for the boys. Playing downhill on the home teams sloping pitch they shifted the ball with composure and spirit in the early stages. Firm tackles were exchanged with the Lions players and in an entertaining opening quarter it was the Giants who drew first blood with Noah pouncing on a loose ball after the Lions keeper could only parry Josh’s free kick. At the back Seb was in commanding form and he and Jake were quick to close down the BB team. When the Lions did break free they couldn’t get past Julius who was energetic in the goalies green shirt.
In the second quarter things got even better for the Giants when Josh skipped through the Lions defence to plant the ball in the net. Josh and Zai had further chances to extend the lead but the Lions were always a threat going forward and pulled a goal back direct from a questionable free kick to leave the score at 2-1 to the Giants going in to the break.
The dream was still on but the Giants had had the advantage of playing with the Whyteleafe slope in the first half. Would a single goal lead be enough to defend as the Lions came at them in the second half?
Manager Dan brought fresh legs on for the second half but they were powerless to prevent an onslaught from the Lions in the third quarter. The home team pounced on indecision to quickly turn a one goal deficit into an unassailable lead. The Lions roared as the Giants shrunk and in a mad ten minute spell the Lions scored five times.
The dream was over but to their credit the boys battled on and steadied the ship in the last quarter. The Lions found it harder to break the Giants down and could only add a single goal to their tally. Eli, Louie, Tom and Charlie all created chances but will have to wait until next time to see the net furl.
Manager Dan was proud of his boys despite the defeat. The cup has brought the best out of the team and for the first half they more than matched their opponents. The boys showed fighting spirit, energy and commitment and combined this with some nice passing and movement. It’s back to the league next week and if the Giants can carry some of today’s battling performance into their game the omens are looking good for the rest of the season.
The stats from today:
Shots: Giants 15; Lions 23
Shots on target: Giants 11; Lions 14
Corners: Giants 5; Lions 6
Free kicks: Giants 1; Lions 5
The Team: Charlie, Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Seb, Tom, Zai
Goalscorers: Noah, Josh
Man of the match: Jake
Reporter: Hu Dano