Having lost their first game of the season last weekend, a more nervous-looking Tigers took to the pitch for this league game against Knaphill. The starting line up was Eli (GK), Conall, Louis, Liam, Harry, Lucas C, Lucas B, Daniel D, Mac, Alex J and Joe.
The first half started well with the ball being passed around in the Tigers midfield. A nice touch from Mac put the ball out to Daniel D to earn a corner. The resulting corner kick found Joe’s head but was just too high for the goal. At the other end, the Vipers started to pile on the pressure and only an offside call prevented a goal. For the next few minutes, very few chances were created by either team and any Knaphill attacks were quickly snuffed out by Liam and Harry, but both teams started to settle into the game. In the midfield, some nice passing play between Alex J and Mac saw a shot from Alex which almost resulted in a goal. Mac then put in a good cross to Louis, but his shot sailed over the net. Mac then had a shot of his own that was also too high.
The first substitute was made 25 minutes into the game as George came on for Joe who had picked up a knee injury at the last match. George, Alex J and Mac immediately started to link up and a cross from George found Mac’s left foot in front of goal. Unfortunately, Mac’s shot had no power so was an easy save from the keeper. Just before half-time the Vipers keeper handled the ball outside the box. Alex J took the free kick which nearly found the back of the net, but a save earned a corner. This led to another corner when Alex J was again unlucky not to score. At half-time the score was still 0-0, even though the Tigers had created most chances and had had the majority of the possession.
Eli was substituted in goal for Jasper at the start of the second half. The Vipers came out fighting in the second half and Jasper did two great runs to thwart the Knaphill strikers. The possession stayed with the Vipers and Jasper was forced to do three more good saves in quick succession before the Tigers managed to put together their first attack of the half; this resulted in a shot from Alex J just wide of the net. Fifteen minutes after the re-start Alex W replaced a heavy-legged Mac in midfield. A nice bit of play resulted in a shot from Daniel D which skated across the front of goal. At the other end, a long-range shot from outside the box was easily saved by Jasper.
Alex J was taken off and Jaiden was brought on in defence which meant Louis moved up to the striker position. The change in formation gave the Vipers the upper hand and Jasper needed to make two saves. Jon then replaced Conall in defence and the Tigers continued having to defend off the Vipers. Against the run of play, Daniel D got hold of the ball, took it out to the far corner and struck a shot that curled beautifully to find the back of the net. The Tigers were delighted to see the scoreline move to 1-0!
The last ten minutes saw Mark make a few more changes; Suyash, Daniel W and Bradley came on for Alex W, Lucas B and George. The Vipers continued trying to equalise and Jasper was called into action a few times causing the nails of the home-team spectators to be bitten to the quick. Knaphill were unlucky not to score right at the end as the striker broke through, looked like he had Jasper beaten but then sent the shot wide. Full time 1-0.
The win should help with the Tigers confidence, however there is definitely work to be done on passing and keeping possession as the Vipers were all over the Tigers in the second half. The leagues have been re-jigged with the three worst performing teams moved down a league, which should mean that the games coming up will need the Tigers to play well and keep pushing forward. Man of the match could have gone to Harry, Jasper or Liam, however Liam received it for his solid performance in thwarting the Viper attacks.
Team: Eli (GK), Jasper (GK), Conall, Louis, Harry, Jaiden, Liam, Jon, Bradley, Lucas B, Lucas C, Daniel D, Alex J, Alex W, Daniel W, Mac, Joe, Suyash.
Goal Scorer: Daniel D
Man of the Match: Liam