READING REDSOX 2 – SOUTHGATE TITANS 2 (20th Jan)
SOUTHGATE TITANS 0 – OLD GEORGIANS 5 (27th Jan)
HAMPSTEAD & WESTMINSTER 5 – SOUTHGATE TITANS 2 (3rd Feb)
AGGREGATE: SOUTHGATE TITANS 4 – THE REST 12
Match Reports by Ben Turner
As the snowdrops stretched themselves towards the promise of the warming sun, Titans took to the field against the mighty Reading, who sit confident atop Mount Olympus. An injury crisis yet again befell our warriors, who reached the realm of Berkshire with only 10 players! Reading took pity and lent us a player – not one of their own squad of youngsters, mind, but a sexagenarian whose own match had been cancelled that day. No matter, under Jatin’s stand-in, yet stand-out, leadership we organised our ranks, and prepared to do or die.
How the 10+1 held out against the might of Reading will surely become legend. Let it be recorded in the annals how the doughty defence held resolute and strong, rebuffing wave upon wave of Reading midfield trickery; how Malcolm and Brian constantly terrorised their flank and ripped through their ranks; and how Jatin appeared once, then twice at the far post for unchallenged tap ins (taps in?). Reading were fortunate to emerge from the fray as equals, their second arriving with only minutes remaining. “You wanted it more” was heard in the bar later. We will remember.
Hopefully we’ll also be able to forget the next two matches against OGs and H&W! The injury and availability crisis deepened, the stand-ins and double-ups were extremely welcome, but the irregulars were swiftly put to the sword by two well organised foes replete with international Masters caps.
A bright moment against H&W was resetting and recovering to 3-2 down at half-time. A ballistic Jatin PC dipped tantalisingly and the defender’s deflection up into the net removed any doubt from the umpire’s mind that it may not have been dipping enough. And a Joergen worldy – a reverse strike from an impossible angle from the left of goal that flew over the GK’s shoulder into the far top corner – temporarily blunted H&W’s mood. But they soon put a stop to our comeback and killed our joy.
Titans now sit second bottom in the table. Several 6-pointers lie ahead in the ground rush towards season’s end.