Result : DRAW 1-1 vs Spencer Supervets
Match Report : Jatin Patel
The day started with glorious sunshine, the echos of other results coming in during the morning (mostly wins), the Mens 3s playing high noon on the show pitch and deservedly got stuck in to make a comfortable win of the day. A stepping stone for the Titans to follow suit. Don’t see why the same feat could not be repeated against Spencer. We had a good line up! After a brief Cobra meeting between Laurence the JKP, the formation was finalised along with the starting line-up. All the games in this league will be tough and there is no point in looking at previous weeks results to gauge whether it will be an easyor not. Spencer are always a tough oppo to play against and how we apply ourselves on the game would determine whether we get the upper hand or not. The game was evenly poised with Spencer getting more of the ball and moving it around trying to break the mould of the tough set up of the midfield maestros of Wiz, Kulvinder, Nigel & Ben.
The 2nd line of defence with Peds, Brian, Wolffe and Laurence stood strong and thwarted any attempts on our goal. The heat map would have shown the game pre-dominantly played in the midfield and slightly more in our half then we would have liked. We found the pressure from Spencer a bit hard to handle not to mention frustrating as we found ourselves camped in our own half. Strong words from Wiz at the beginning of the game to keep our forwards high and supporting them when the ball got to them was rare and at best resulted in a turnover as Spencer played a very defensive set up. On few occasions that we did get to the oppo D, we were not clinical enough to cause any problems and their keeper was clearly having a sun tan with his gear on. Half time loomed and any tactics discussed at the beginning of the game clearly didn’t materialise into effective opportunities.
The stats would have been a dismal read! We had to change our formation to impose ourselves on the game. Half time talk was all about…step it up if you want to win this game!! The 2nd half looked different, we were more pressing, JKP, Greg & Tony James were easy to find, we managed to get into the D and had a shot or two (more than what we conjured in the 1st half). We were recycling the ball well but the Spencer resistance stood firm and we had to work harder to gain anything out of the game. We used our subs well with Arnie coming on to help out up front and in midfield, Nick Hollett with his legendry flat stick defending and falling over in the process (trademark) halted any attempts that could have had a dent in the score line. The Ibiza sun must have worked wonders on Justin’s tan (no he doesn’t tan that easily) was brought into action on couple of occasions and he stood firm with saving short corners and anything else that came his way. It was a breakaway goal that started the misery of the afternoon when Spencer broke through our high press and were able to attack our right flank. It was 2v2 but a Crossfield ball played by the Spencer right mid was hit into the D which the forward connected 1st time with perfection and it flew into the goal. Well taken but how many times would that go in out of 5 attempts?
Time to pull up your socks and work harder now as loosing at home is never a nice result and puts a damper on the weekend. As JKP always says, we play till the final whistle and we imposed and upped our game as we needed to not just equalise but go on to find the winner. More attempts on goal came by with a Laurence’s trademark mazy run…he got into the D with the keeper in front of him and tried to squeeze it past the inside of the post…keeper was at hand to foil the attempt. JKP had a shot from a narrow angle that flew past the goal. Umpire and Spencer defender felt the Sonic Boom as it whizzed past!! Another attempt on goal by Greg saw his shot saved by the keeper, JKP had another attempt this time but not breaking the sound barrier with his tomahawk which for some reason was intercepted by his own team mate and resulted in a 16. I am sure that was going in as the keeper was side footed?
Wait, there is still time for one more paragraph!! The game was poised to end in disappointment and the consistent pressure paid off when Tony James saw Ben’s ghosting run into the D when Spencer were ball watching and with panache, controlled a great pass and calmly threw the keeper off balance before slotting home the equaliser. A relief on many faces and the Crowd from the Balcony sighed with relief that a draw is not what we deserved but we will take it, Spencer were robbed of a win that they had worked and defended well for and were clearly disappointed not to take all 3 points. A very poor performance on the whole, a loss would have been hard to digest but took solace on the point gained. Titans travel to Tulse Hill & Dulwich next week to re-ignite the winning ways. The mission continues!!
Thanks again to Team Manager for managing the game and the bench. Your presence is much needed! Thanks to the watching crowd from the balcony on the support throughout the game!!