LIGERS CLAIM TW11 BRAGGING RIGHTS
By Neil SINCLAIR
Confident 4-2 win sees off Wolves
Ligers secured Teddington bragging rights with a comfortable win against local rivals Teddington Athletic Wolves.
Desperate to avenge the defeat suffered in December, Ligers were pleased to be able to kick-off with a full bench, whilst Wolves lined up with just 11, a reversal of the earlier fixture. The wind was howling off the A316 and playing with it at their backs for 35 minutes certainly gave Ligers full advantage. Gabe was given the task of marking Aidan Hobday, and with Dylan starting at the centre of defence, Ligers successfully strangled the visitors’ midfield. John and Frazer were stroking the ball around well, Hayden was causing headaches for the Wolves defenders, George and Ilyas were finding plenty of room in the attacking third. Inevitably, George Lee
opened the scoring receiving a neat through ball from Frazer Pickrell
The first half was all Ligers, although Aidan Hobday and Oliver Merrison did get shots away for Wolves. Tommy and Joe were very solid when anything came their way and for most of the half, Ligers were bombarding the visitors penalty box. Ligers made three changes after 25 minutes which did nothing to disrupt their dominance. Gabe Sinclair
was sent tumbling as he made a typical run through the Wolves box. It looked a soft penalty as the ball seemed to be beyond his control but Toby Chilvers
buried the resultant spot kick to double the lead. Then, with referee Jude Hollis about to blow for half-time, George Lee
turned provider to put Kevin Kota
in for Ligers’ third. It was possible that only the excellence of Wolves centre-back Archie Twigg kept the goals down to three.
With some trepidation about having to play into the gale, Ligers actually started the second half in complete control. Within three minutes, George Lee
put the result beyond doubt with a stunning left-foot finish, curling the ball into the top left corner from the right corner of the penalty area. In a season of exceptional finishes, it was a “worldy” from Ligers goal machine.
It looked like more goals would come for Ligers as George had another effort saved and both Gabriel and George P-M failed to scramble the ball over the line in goal mouth melees. Ligers again made three changes on 50 minutes, giving George a well-deserved rest and allowing Dylan to have a rare run up front. With Frazer and Tommy also leaving the fray, some of Ligers’ concentration left with them. Within two minutes, Aidan Hobday found himself unmarked on the edge of Ligers box and buried the shot beyond Matt. Things went slightly downhill for Matt who up to this point must have been anticipating his second clean-sheet bonus of the season: trying to shepherd the ball over the dead-ball line, Matt let Josh Cooper pinch the ball and a speculative cross/shot was scrambled off the line by Toby. Gabe then raced back to steal the ball as Wolves appeared to be about to walk it in. A Wolves corner almost sneaked in at the back post as Zac and Matt got in a horrible mess but the home team managed to repel the resurgent Athletic, and John, Hayden and Gabe linked well on a number of occasions to get the ball back up the other end. Hayden hit the bar and Dylan tested the keeper. With just three minutes remaining, Joshua Cooper was rewarded for his persistence with a fine finish that made the closing seconds somewhat frantic for a hitherto almost complacent Ligers.
It was ultimately a very good win against one of the league’s better sides, and of course it assures the bragging rights at several schools in the Borough of Richmond. Tommy and Sam showed their burgeoning abilities as full-backs and John seemed to revel having the runs of Hayden and Gabe to benefit from his skilful passes. And once again George demonstrated what a fantastic predator he is.
Elsewhere, Charvil, Barton and Woodley Saints recorded victories so Ligers still find themselves in joint 7th place. Next week, Ligers travel down the M3 to Hawley Raiders, odds on to extend their winning streak.