Reigate Youth Wildcats v. Giants
5 - 5
Saturday 30th March 2019
For a second weekend in a row the Giants travelled south to play in Priory Park in Reigate. Last week they came away with a 4-3 victory against the Reigate Royals; today they were up against the Reigate Youth Wildcats – a third game against the Wildcats this season. With one win apiece in the earlier contests this promised to be a competitive match.
With manager Dan celebrating his elder son’s cup final victory it was Tim who was calling the shots on the sidelines. He travelled with a depleted squad of just six players, after several late withdrawals, and on the day this made the team selection easy. The game had the feel of an end of season encounter, played out in balmy spring sunshine and the boys started slowly perhaps with their minds elsewhere. On a firm and uneven pitch the ball was playing tricks with them. After an even start the Wildcats went ahead when the ball bounced over the Giants keeper and into the net after a long punt upfield. Two more goals followed for the home side again in unfortunate circumstances and before the boys had settled into the game they were three down. The Giants had their chances with Louie going close on several occasions including seeing a shot rebound off the post.
The Giants went further behind early in the second quarter when a long shot slipped through our keepers hands and at 4-0 down it looked like it was not going to be a good day for the boys. However they showed no signs of giving up, perhaps remembering their heroics of a fortnight ago when they had come back from three down to win 4-3. Before the quarter was out Josh pulled a goal back with a jinking run and clean strike. There were chances for more with Tom going close but at the half time break the Giants had plenty to do at 4-1 down.
Things got worse early in the second half when the boys conceded again but this only spirited a superb comeback. A quick review of our two previous matches against the Wildcats reveals that only the 3J’s score against them with goals split between Josh, Jake and Julius and so it turned out in the third quarter. Josh grabbed his second of the match striking spectacularly into the net from a free kick; Julius forced his way into the box and slotted past the keeper into the corner and Jake finished off a great team play with a tap in. The Giants were on top; the Wildcats were on the backfoot and at 5-4 it was all to play for going into the final quarter.
The Giants had their tails up, the Wildcats had theirs between their legs and it was only a matter of time before the boys drew level. It was Josh who got the goal, completing his hat-trick in a great all round performance. The Giants were looking good for victory, Seb was controlling the backline, Louie steady in goal and Jake, Josh and Julius marauding forward at will. The Giants peppered the Reigate goal, hitting ten shots in the final quarter and forcing four corners but try as they might they couldn’t find the winner. The Wildcats goalie was their hero making several fine saves and ensuring that it is honours even between the two sides over the season.
Tim was a happy manager at the end but left wondering how things might have been had the boys started the game in the way that they had finished it. This was the first draw of the season and after three games unbeaten the Giants are finding life more comfortable in League 4 now.
The Stats from today:
Shots: Giants 23; Wildcats 14
Shots on target: Giants 12; Wildcats 9
Corners: Giants 4; Wildcats 2
Tackles: Giants 17; Wildcats 12
Free kicks: Giants 1; Wildcats 1
The Team: Jake, Josh, Julius, Louie, Seb, Tom
Goalscorers: Josh (3), Julius, Jake
Man of the match: Josh
Reporter: Hu Dano