There was ample time to warm up due to the late arrival of the referee, who set the tone of the game from the off by telling Fish that he’s the terminator and shan’t be crossed. With only 5 or 6 4th team regulars in the squad it was a fairly new look OT’s team.
15 minutes in chances were coming thick and fast with the pace of the front three causing problems for the defence – getting in behind but not converting any chances. The 4’s came close through headers from Scotty and Phil off a few Beckham-esque crosses from Fish.
Against the run of play, Reigatians striker found himself through on goal only to be fouled by some rather questionable defending form Curtis (now on trial at London Wasps), who tripped and rugby tackled the striker to the ground. First blood went to Reigatians after the penalty was converted.
There was an immediate response from the OT’s as they kicked into gear and leveled the score after a great run from Danny saw Bismark through on goal and a slot the ball home from close range. Shortly after, OT’s nicked another just before half time and went 2-1 up, this time through 4’s resident Scotty who found himself free at the back post to calmly finish his dinner.
The second half saw OT’s dominating again with Oscar continuing to put in some important tackles, Evan controlling the midfield, and Justin tormenting the LB. Again, plenty of chances were being created but with no success, the general theme of the game. Reigatians found themselves levelling the score again at 2-2 with a poorly constructed goal.
It was then OT’s turn to get on the scoresheet once more after some persistent play from Scotty saw the ball pop up for Danny to head home over the keeper. The 4’s stayed on top and looked like they were going to close the game out at 3-2 when Luis Ponce suffered a real ‘calamity James’ moment as he pushed a throw in into his own goal, 3-3…. Disappointingly, that was the final chapter in a game that had more back and forth than an episode of the Chucklevision.
In the end, it feels more like 2 points dropped rather than 1 gained, but after some necessary shooting practice the squad looks strong for the season ahead!
Match report by Justin Schall