St. Gertrude's v. Giants
3 - 4
Saturday 16th March 2019
Since the turn of the year the Giants have saved their best play for cup and friendly matches but after a slow start this weekend the boys finally secured their first league win of 2019 against a combative St. Gertrude’s side. It was another long trip across south London, for the Giants loyal fans, beyond Ewell, Banstead and Purley, to Sanderstead, home to Kate Moss in her formative years, Ruth Ellis the last woman to be hanged in Britain and Charlie Kray brother of Ronnie and Reggie. The chances of an eventful day looked high. A fresh wind blasted across the St Gertrude’s ground but the pitch was beautiful, with a verdant green sward and no sign of the brown sticky stuff on the even surface.
Manager Dan chose to play in white today, perhaps to freshen things up or maybe because playing in blue and red stripes reminded him of an inconsistent Palace side. The early stages of the game were frustrating for both manager and fans. The boys started hesitantly, failing to impose themselves on the game and giving the home side space to run. In contrast St Gertrude’s were positive, hungry for the ball and strong in the tackle. They wrestled control of the game and in a disappointing early spell the Giants found themselves three goals down.
The boys were not helped by some dubious refereeing decisions, including the award of a penalty after Jake had bravely grasped the ball from under the feet of the Gertrude’s striker. To add to this Manager Dan’s game plan was disrupted by a first quarter that extended to fifteen minutes and a second of just five. The boys salvaged hope for the second half when Josh scampered through the St Gertrude’s back line and planted the ball in the net. 3-1 to the home side at half-time.
If ever there was a game of two halves this was it. Having chased shadows in the first half the boys came out fighting in the second. Switching Jake out of goal and into midfield gave bite to the team and with Julius sitting in behind providing added security, the home team found it hard to break through. Having bombarded the Giants goal in the first half St. Gertrude’s were restricted to shots from distance in the second and had just one shot on target in the entire second period.
The Giants were growing in confidence. Jake was masterminding the Giants play, carrying the ball up the pitch and distributing it to Tom, Louie and Noah further upfield. The whole team was energised, chasing balls and pressing their opponents and it seemed only a matter of time before the Giants would score. It was Louie who got it, advancing onto Jake’s through ball, pulling away from the defender and chipping the ball over the advancing keeper. The boys continued to press and drew level through Noah; reward for his persistence as he slotted the ball past the keeper at the second attempt. 3-3 with ten minutes to go.
The momentum was with the Giants and the victory was secured when Jake shot across the keeper into the far corner of the net after a bursting run into the box. The final whistle was greeted with rapturous applause ... and a little relief. The boys had turned defeat into victory in the most emphatic way coming from 3-0 down to win 4-3.
The Stats from today:
Shots: Giants 20; St Gertrude’s 16
Shots on target: Giants 12; St Gertrude’s 5
Corners: Giants 8; St Gertrude’s 3
Tackles: Giants 10; St Gertrude’s 12
Free kicks: Giants 7; St Gertrude’s 2
The Team: Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Tom
Goalscorers: Josh, Louie, Noah, Jake
Man of the match: Jake
Reporter: Hu Dano