On a particularly damp Saturday, the team sleepily gathered to face the mighty Old Georgians. Captain set the scene: there’s a trend of Titan taking 20 minutes to switch-on, falling behind to early goals and chasing the game and that’s not helped by the team rocking up late. So with his rollocking ringing in our ears and nodding pledges to do better, we set about doing the same again against one of the best (if not the strongest) in the league.
We started off hesitantly (again). Old Georgians (rather unsportingly) played with purpose and intent from the outset.
We had an early warning as OG marauded through the inside right channel before crossing to their left attacker who was unmarked at the top of the D and fortunately missed the target. We thought, that’s interesting. Within 5 minutes, a decent run down our right flank led to a cross to the left attacker unmarked 3 yards out, who didn’t miss. They say that 70% of communication is non-verbal. Turns out that isn’t the best way to organise a defence. Who knew?
Southgate was riled and started taking the fight to them. Both teams looked dangerous. Old Georgians managed to win a short corner. The OG centre forward stood in front of the valiant Justin completely unsighting him, a slight deflection and we were 2 goals down.
From then on, Southgate dominated the play, battered their defence which were entrenched in their own 25 for the rest of the half. We won 5 short-corners. Howey’s injections were good, we were stopping well and were perhaps a little surprised at the time we had at the top of the D. Alas we gave their goalkeeper lots of practice but couldn’t get the goal we so desperately needed. The OG goalkeeper rolled back the years tactically by lying down with 2 postmen and the 2nd ‘runner’ ready to sweep off his pads. But we didn’t profit.
OG reached for their super weapon – the arial, but leggy Laurence and our savvy defence wasn’t having any of it. Predictable. Good effort from their left-back to smash our beautiful club-house but not much danger.
Some fantastic running from Brian down the wing, from Ben (everywhere) and Howey creating chances. A remarkable wobble from Peds into the D and a ferocious shot through the crowd, only for the keeper to save with his face. At the half-time whistle, we knew we were in the ascendency.
2nd half continued as we finished the first; intense pressure on an entrenched OG who barely entered into our 25. Perhaps as many as 4 further short-corners but to no avail. Tempers frayed and OG moaned. A vicious revenge-tackle on Brian resulted in a yellow for OG. Someone got a green card for not retreating quick enough. Your humble witness was rather harshly handed a yellow for the same offence. First in many years. But it changed nothing; we battered, they batted away.
Ben, Brian and Howe were on the charge as we had worked out that they weren’t equal to a good old-fashion leg-race. Ben fired the ball into the D, a deft touch by yours truly and another near miss from a couple of yards out. Captain won us a bunch of short-corners and shot narrowly wide. We could have had 5 goals by then. Xmas turkey still not digested!!
Your faithful author’s stick-skills were looking particularly flabby with a series of mis-controls from 5 yard passes. Peds was by now chomping at the bit to get back into the D so yours truly wandered higher still, into right wing as we took a corner from the left. Greg managed to pick it up just outside the 23 and fed Ben who selflessly laid off for yours truly to to score from 3 yards out.
But too little, too late. So Captain was right. We need to turn up on time, prep better and fly out of the traps. A game that was truly Southgate’s to win and with the chances spurned, it could have been a different story to read.