A 4-4 Triumph!
Against the team who beat us 6-1 in September and without our goalkeeper, captain, top scorer and three other regulars, Falcons were just denied a win when a last minute penalty resulted in a 4-4 draw against Imperial College Old Boys.
Keeping with the same formation that won against SLFN the previous week, Matt returned from nose trauma to deputise for Conal in goal while Ben replaced the absent Chris in defence. Frank, Lee and Toby also came into the side to replace Jimmy, Will and Rob.
The opening stages were fairly even in possession with the opposition looking to use their huge height advantage to good effect with a series of long throws. We dealt with these pretty well but a sliced clearance from a corner landed perfectly for their winger who hit a great shot into the roof of the net to make it 1-0 on 30 minutes.
However, Falcons rebounded brilliantly to snatch two goals and go into the break 2-1 up. First of all, Pete pounced on a goalkeeping spill to nail the equaliser on 35 minutes and then Toby used great strength to turn his defender and hit a terrific shot from the edge of the box to put us in the lead on 40 minutes.
We started to pass the ball better in the second half and were looking comfortable until the angle of the sun meant dealing with the long throws became even harder. Goals were traded as the opposition got on terms from a long throw but Lee's charge down on the goalkeeper put us 3-2 up around the half hour mark. The home team then scored their third from a corner.
Injuries threatened to weaken us further as Kieran and George were forced off but fortunately Abdul and Matt proved able deputies. Then, our free kick went over the opposition goalkeeper to put us 4-3 up with ten minutes to play.
Could we hold out? Sadly not as Matt brought down a striker to hand them a penalty with a minute left and we conceded from a fourth set piece to leave the score at 4-4.
It's fair to say that we went into this match with pretty minimal expectations. Despite the number of missing regulars, their replacements stepped up to the plate and put a marker down for future selection. Although we conceded four goals, we again showed great defensive solidity, only allowing a good team one shot on target from open play. What we would have given for Chris and his height to be available!
The point helps us close the gap on Ocean Rangers and a win against them would give us a fourth placed finish at the end of the season. Well done everyone!