On a sunny Monday afternoon, the TGS 1st XI came up against their second opponents of the season, Hillview. The game started at lightning pace and within the first minute TGS had conceded a free kick in the middle of their own half. With a lot to do from the free kick, a Hillview player stepped up and rifled the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal. It was a wonder goal. Despite the wall’s best efforts and keeper Byerley getting a touch, TGS found themselves down a goal within two minutes of kick-off. The TGS team bounced back though and immediately looked dangerous from the restart. Middelboe saw his headed effort hit the bar and go over and Scrivener almost got the better of his man down the left hand side only to be denied by some scrappy defending. However, it was eventually Scrivener himself down the left hand side who through his quick feet and pace drew the foul from the Hillview full back and won a penalty. Smith (c) stepped up and continued his rich vein of goal scoring form, by putting the resulting penalty away calmly to the keeper’s left. Having levelled the score, TGS looked increasingly confident and only three minutes later Middelboe had benefitted from a long ball from Byerley, taking it down nicely and then tucking the ball away at the keeper’s near post. After an action packed first 15 minutes, the match saw a quiet spell. Despite TGS dominating possession and putting a lot of pressure on the Hillview defence, the last ball was just missing the precision it needed.
Hillview however saw a lot of success down their right hand side despite solid clearances from Krumins at left back. Hillview won several corners but with no success due to brilliant defending from the TGS defence. Haigney, Bignell and Gower often making decisive tackles and winning important headers. They were also supported well by White and captain Smith, as they were quick to track back and get the ball away. It was a clearance that led to the third for TGS. Smart interplay between front three Middelbow, Scrivener and Ahmed saw Middelboe through on goal again. Good passing football finished by Middelboe into the bottom corner. 3-1 down and Hillview started to take more risks, playing an extremely high defensive line. Despite their substitutions in defence the Hillview team couldn’t stop Middelboe getting his hat trick on the stroke of half time. Quick thinking from debutant Page in midfield found Middelboe and a fine individual effort was rounded off with a placed finish into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The second half got underway and TGS made two changes. Mr Harrison put Ryder-Richardson and Cockram on in place of Krumins and Gower. Hillview played with renewed energy, knowing they needed to overturn a 3 goal deficit. With a more focussed performance, the Hillview team reduced the TGS team to a scrappier second half with both sides launching long balls forward. With neither team creating any clear cut chances, Hillview and TGS had a few long range efforts from outside of the box. Most of the TGS efforts went over, whilst Byerley made some good confident saves down low to stop any chance of a Hillview comeback. With 15 minutes left TGS scored again and this time it was a special effort. A long ball from the back found Ahmed, who chested the ball down beautifully and Haigney who had gone up for the preceding corner volleyed the ball straight into the far side of the goal leaving the Hillview keeper with no chance. With ten minutes left, Mr Harrison made two more changes bringing Gower and Krumins back on replacing Page and Scrivener.
A special mention should be made for debutant Page who linked up well with Smith in the centre of midfield and helped TGS control the middle of the pitch. Scrivener also created many chances, often beating his man and winning the penalty that got TGS back into the game. In the dying minutes of the game it was one of the replacements who scored the goal. Gower who had started the game at right back found himself further up the pitch at right wing and he instantly made his presence felt in his new position. Making the most of a cross that the Hillview defence didn’t deal with he smashed in the volley from close range and wrapped up the 6-1 win for TGS. All in all it was a confident and strong performance from the TGS team.
Result: TGS 6-1 Hillview
Goals: Middelboe (3), Smith, Haigney, Gower
Man of the match: Middelboe