Team Sheet : Coby, EthanR, EthanT, Isaac, Lewis, Mason, Oliver, Rui, Stanley, Thomas, Travis
Still not a full complement of Iguanas this week. The keeper returns, but James was now unavailable.
The game was meant to be away, but a late pitch inspection at Hatfield Peverel showed the pitch to be unplayable. So, the game was played at home, in the cold, at short notice.
Oliver, Travis, Lewis, Mason, EthanR, EthanT and Coby got us underway.
The first 10-15mins of the game were very 50:50. Travis was showing a captain’s performance up the left wing, breaking dangerously and distributing well. EthanT was battling hard in the midfield too. And Oliver was being called into action with some good decision making after a few weeks out.
Coby, EthanT and Lewis worked well together to create a half chance that went wide. Then at the opposite end, Travis, EthanT and Mason were all involved in a goal line clearance. The team were all over the pitch and working well together.
The Giants picked up the pace a little as the half developed, so the shape was changed with Thomas, Isaac, Rui and Stanley coming on for Travis, Coby, Mason and EthanT.
More good link-up play saw Isaac, Stanley and Lewis pushing forwards, but again the shot just went wide. And then on the return break, EthanR put in a mighty tackle to quash a Giants’ break.
The Giants built in strength, with constant pressing into the Iguanas’ half, but Oli was in good voice when coming to collect the ball quickly. Thomas made a fantastic defensive block from a strong Giants’ shot.
Rui was showing great dribbling skills, making good progress up the field. But the Iguanas’ shooting wasn’t accurate enough to convert good pressure, and on breaks the Iguanas were being a little weak in tackles, allowing the Giants to relieve pressure on their half.
A final quick break after a Giants’ mistake on the ball saw Lewis sprinting towards goal, but the shot just went wide.
Oliver, Lewis, EthanT, Thomas, Coby, Isaac and Travis resumed the game for the Iguanas.
The Giants were quick out of the blocks and a fierce shot from the left prompted a good diving save from Oliver. However, the ball was still in play. Oliver managed to get up and set for the second shot, but a deflection from an Iguanas’ defender saw the ball sneak inside the post.
Typically, of the Iguanas, they did not let this get their spirits down. Thomas in particular was fired up, breaking quickly and striking a couple of decent shots, one just going wide and the other deflected out.
A few Iguanas’ corners went harmlessly wide, and another solid link-up break by Coby, EthanT and Thomas went wide of goal.
The whole team were putting serious effort into the game, and there was some fantastic passing on display, but the final connection was eluding us today, and the few times where accuracy was spot on, the Giants’ keeper managed to save the ball from going in his net.
Travis continued from his first half performance, bossing the left wing in both halves of the pitch.
Rui and EthanR came onto the pitch for Isaac and Coby. Lewis and Travis made way for Stanley and Mason.
The few times the Giants managed to break free, EthanR was in position, reading the play excellently and keeping the ball away from his area. Rui was also solid in defence, giving the Giants now way to extend their lead.
However, time was running out, and our earlier inaccuracy would prove costly. A final corner of the game was whipped into the box, but Mason’s shot from the corner saw the ball go just wide.
This was another game where the Iguanas showed some great passing and dribbling skills, and despite an unfortunate goal were never really in trouble in their own area. Good link-up and quick breaks across the pitch gave the Iguanas a number of opportunities, but today wasn’t to be their day. If the team continue to play like this, the results will go the other way more often than not (as proven over the season).
Iguana of the Match : EthanR – a very solid, hard-working performance today, keeping the Iguanas out of serious trouble.