Chessington Sports v. Giants
6 - 7
Saturday 15th September 2018
Last year the Giants secured their first win of the season in Chessington on a drizzly day in October. On that occasion it was a battling performance and a narrow 2-1 victory. The first victory for the Giants has come earlier this year and again Chessington were the vanquished team.
George Cohen, right back for England in the 1966 World Cup, vice captain for the final and described by journalists as an ‘immaculate defender’, hails from Chessington. Today’s game however was not one for the defensive purists and at times both teams were guilty of lapses that led to an entertaining goalfest.
The Giants fans arrived in relaxed mood, sitting back and enjoying the late summer sunshine and the early play suggested a comfortable victory was on the cards. The Chessington Sports had other ideas. They battled back into the game and as they grew in confidence the tension increased on the sidelines. The Giants fans were on their feet urging their team to greater efforts and they responded with a battling last five minutes to secure victory by a single goal.
Manager Dan Crosby was a relieved man at the final whistle. The team played some great football in spells and defeat would have been a travesty after a fantastic first quarter when the boys stormed into a 4-0 lead. In this first spell the team played as a solid unit with Jake energetic and robust in defence, chasing down loose balls and preventing the Sports from making any forward progress. Up front Josh was a menace, dribbling through the Chessington back line. Dan would have been impressed with how the team worked for each other and how they interchanged with Eli dropping back from midfield into defence to allow Jake to progress forward and add extra goal threat.
Josh scored the Giants first running through the Sports defence to score low in the corner. Two more goals followed in quick succession both from corners. The first a penalty, dispatched by Jake, when the Chessington defender handled direct from the corner; the second, an own goal off a Sports defender, who inadvertently turned the ball past his own keeper from Josh’s corner. The best goal of the quarter was however the last and followed fine interplay between Jake, Noah and Josh, with Josh claiming his second of the match (see photo above).
The second quarter started well with Noah scoring the Giants fifth following a defence splitting pass from Jake. The Giants however started to get over confident, pressing forward and leaving gaps at the back. Louie between the sticks for the first half, had had a quiet match, but there was little he could do as the Sports broke free to score two late goals in the second quarter to reduce the Giants lead to 5-2.
In the third quarter the Giants reasserted themselves and pressed forward with attacking verve, but the Sports continued to present a threat, and Noah, taking over from Louie in goal, was made to work, demonstrating some good handling as he repelled the Sports shots. It was Josh however that made the difference with some scintillating runs through the Sports team and with two fine finishes to take his tally to four for the day and put the Giants in what looked like an unassailable lead at 7-2. It could have been more; the Giants hit the crossbar and missed a few gilt-edge opportunities in this quarter. They were however leaving gaps at the back and the Sports pulled a goal back for 7-3 going in to the final quarter.
The Giants thought the game was won and took the foot off the gas in the last quarter. With the team switched around, the Giants lost their defensive discipline and this nearly cost them the game. Charlie was left exposed in defence as the midfield stepped up and could do nothing as the Sports broke forward to score two quick fire goals. The Chessington team were on the ascendency and the boys had to knuckle down and put in the tackles. Zai, Julius and Charlie battled back and Louie came close to scoring up front. The Sports pulled another goal back to make the score 7-6 but the Giants survived a frantic last five minutes.
There was relief at the final whistle as the Giants held on for a deserved victory. The boys worked hard today and showed some clear improvement on last weeks outing, but Dan will have seen lots to work on in the coming weeks. The boys played some excellent football in spells but are still finding their feet at the back after the long summer break. Next week we welcome the Warlingham Colts Warriors to Udney Park and will be looking for our first home win of the season.
The Team: Charlie, Eli, Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Zai
Goalscorers: Josh (4), Jake, Noah, Chessington own goal
Man of the match: Josh
Reporter: Hu Dano