Giants v. Merstham Youth Wolves
4 - 5
Saturday 12th January 2019
After their great run through November and December and promotion to Group 4, the Giants were defeated by a single goal in their first match of the new year. They came up against a spirited and determined Merstham Youth Wolves side and lost by a single goal in an entertaining but bruising encounter.
The early exchanges looked good for the Giants with plenty of attacking endeavour in a solid start. Charlie, Noah and Eli were pushing the ball around the pitch, with Josh supporting from the back. Noah and Charlie both came close to opening the scoring but the boys were outdone by a quick counter from the Wolves and they drew first blood. Undeterred the Giants bounced back courtesy of Noah who twice beat the Merstham keeper from close range to put the Giants 2-1 up at the break.
Dan switched the team around for the second quarter and before they had settled they found themselves 3-2 down. Taking instruction from their manager the Wolves came out fighting, pressing the Giants into mistakes and hunting as a pack. They pressed straight from kick off surprising the Giants and running through to score. Moments later they took the lead, again taking advantage of uncertainty in the Giants defence. The boys settled and for the rest of the quarter matched the Wolves robust physical play with resilience and fortitude.
The game was evenly balanced with both teams battling to gain the ascendency. Chances on goal were at a premium with both teams hard in the tackle and the pattern of the game broken by free kicks and injuries. It was the Wolves however who got the next goal ending the third quarter 4-2 to the good.
It looked like the game was over when the Merstham team scored a fifth early in the final quarter but the Giants rallied. Seb had moved from goal to play up front and twice he came close, before shooting a sweet strike into the corner to reduce the arrears. Moments later Louie scored a beauty, striking the ball across the keeper and into the far corner from a tight angle and at 5-4 the comeback looked on. The boys pressed for an equaliser, marauding forward with their loyal fans cheering them on. Josh came close with an audacious overhead kick and several long shots whistled past the post. At the other end Noah, now in goal, twice pounced on the ball to save Wolves breakaways.
The final whistle came too soon for the boys to grab an equaliser but their effort and perseverance will have pleased the manager on a day when they were not at their best after the Christmas break.
Team: Charlie, Eli, Josh, Julius, Louie, Noah, Seb, Tom, Zai
Goalscorers: Noah (2), Seb, Louie
Man of the match: Noah
Reporter: Hu Dano