Home league match played on 08 November 2015.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

2 minutes extra time played.

Despite last week’s mauling at the hands of Cup favourites Golden Farmer the Titans faithful turned out in their droves for this crunch match at the historic Estadi Del Ringmead.

These two teams met on the opening day of the season and with the titans nursing numerous injuries and a weakened squad the outcome was largely one sided, ending with Bearwood running out extremely convincing 11-1 winners.

However, much has changed at the Estadi Del Ringmead since the opening day of the season. Rather than rest on his Laurels and hope for the best, Club Owner and General Manager Robbie Lemon has since rung the changes both in management and playing staff.

Following a dismal start of 4 losses on the bounce Werrett was appointed as part of the Management and Playing staff along with an influx of some much needed experience to the side with the likes of Watson, Watt & Eggleton. Put this alongside the welcome return of star striker Barnes to the side, an already young talented squad and coming off the back of 3 straight wins you could see why the fans had their minds firmly focused on home revenge!

Lemon & Werrett had somewhat controversially decided on a change of tactics for this encounter, which following a string of 3 wins on the bounce was questioned in many corners by the fans and pundits. In a rather tense press conference on the Saturday Werrett & Lemon decided to assure fans of the reasons behind this change of plan detailing the need for a more expansive brand of football to be brought to the club to not only improve the team going forward but to excite the fans and players alike.

The atmosphere at kick-off was electric and both teams seemed to feed off this energy with little sign of any structured play but plenty of whole hearted tackles flying in, around 10 minutes into play double disaster almost struck for Titans with Defensive rock Spreadborough crashing into star no.1 Eggleton in a committed effort from both to put their body on the line to prevent a certain goal, this not only almost resulted in a goal but also serious injury to both players. However, these Titans have lived up to their name on numerous occasions over the past few weeks and both managed to escape relatively unscathed and the goal un-breached.

However, just as the Titan fans finished breathing their sighs of relief Wanderers struck!

A long ball over the top which looked nothing more than that somehow made its way through to the Bearwood striker who capitalised on some indecision in the Titans defence and pounced, slotting home from close range past Eggleton.

This seemed to spark the Titans to life and within minutes of the restart Watt was played through with a magnificent defence splitting pass, with the experienced striker showing he had lost little of his legendary pace he raced onto the pass knocking the ball round the onrushing keeper only to be wiped out in mid flow by the big number 1!

The challenge was not only late but dangerous and sent the Titans faithful into a frenzy calling for a penalty but even more so a red card as with the keeper rounded and a tap in to come this was surely a no brainer.

Unfortunately this was not one of George Maxwell’s best performances of his refereeing career and inexplicably awarded only a yellow card and just to rub salt into the wounds adjudged contact to have been made outside of the box, the resulting free-kick came to no avail and Titans were left feeling hard done by.

As the half continued Titans began to take more and more control of the game, with Watson & Meyer in particular linking well in Midfield chances were beginning to come thick and fast.

With Barnes in particular playing a slightly deeper forward role to normal, Titans were able to bring the striker into play more regularly and the Wanderers defence were coming under increasing pressure from his presence on the ball, frustratingly for the fans Barnes’ normally lethal touch in front of goal was absent and continued to be thwarted by the inspired Wanderers keeper who really should not still have been on the pitch.

Wanderers survived the onslaught and Half-Time arrived with Titans somehow trailing 0-1.

Both teams emerged from the tunnel for the second half looking determined but it was the Titans whose half-time team talk appeared to have the most impact.

Straight from the off the home side began to increase the pressure and spaces were beginning to appear in the well drilled Bearwood defence.

Just when it appeared that it was just a matter of time before Titans struck Wanderers almost doubled their lead. Following a breakdown of a titans attack Bearwood raced away on the counter attack and following some nice play from their pacey right winger the ball broke for their striker inside the box who struck a powerful effort on goal, as the home crowd drew in a dreaded breath in anticipation of the net bulging the Titans No.1 Eggleton somehow manged to throw a left arm out deflecting the ball skywards and then calmly plucked the ball from the air as it descended from the heavens. It was a lightning fast reaction save from the experienced keeper and a reminder to the fans that with saves like he could play a big part in the Titans promotion push this season.

However, he was not finished there, upon claiming the ball from the air he spotted a gap in the Bearwood defence (must have been those new contacts), with one well aimed and almighty boot Eggleton had played through Watson on goal, his strong run from Midfield caught out the Wanderers defence latching onto the ball in space leaving the Titans midfield general with just the inspired wanderers keeper to beat, Watson duly obliged with a calmly taken finish rounding the keeper with consummate ease and slotting home left footed from a narrow angle with the ball just managing to make it to the back of the net to the despair of the sliding Bearwood defenders, a well-deserved equaliser.

At this point there only looked like one winner, Titan’s continued their high press which was putting Wanderers under all kinds of pressure but once again the Football Gods were not with the Titans. Only 5 minutes later they were once again trailing.

Titans failed to clear a dangerous corner swung in from the left hand side and from the scramble that ensued the ball broke to the Bearwood striker who smashed the ball home from close range. Completely against the run of play and leaving the home fans in disbelief.

The home side took a few minutes to recover from the blow, Werrett & Lemon decided to ring the changes at this point making wholesale changes in an attempt revive the team.

Dinsdale came into the Midfield alongside Watson, and Meyer came back to the field in place of Wheatley who at the tender age of 17 continues to grow in stature game by game.

Rather than let their heads drop Titans once again began to grow in dominance but the luckless Barnes continued to be denied in his duel with the Wanderers keeper and following a very heavy challenge early in the second half his movement appeared to be slightly hampered.

Unfortunately for the away side the Titans epitomise their name and have shown time and time again that they will not lie down and go quietly into the night (or Sunday afternoon) at least without fight. Just as the away fans began to ring out another chorus of ‘Who are ya’ the home fans erupted as the partly injured and somewhat luckless on the day star striker Barnes somehow summoned the energy to outmuscle the Burly Bearwood centre back off the ball leaving him one on one once again with his nemesis, this time however with the chips well and truly down the talented striker made absolutely no mistake, rounding the keeper expertly and smashing home into the empty net. This wasn’t a time for huge celebrations for the Titans players, that was left to the fans, the Titans smelled blood and it was straight back for kick-off.

Surely now there was only one winner but to the away side’s credit they did not fall completely back into their shells, with around 10 minutes remaining the game now began to look finely balanced, Titan’s still in the ascendency but with so much at stake both sides were looking rather nervous in defence and desperate in attack.

Following a fine passing move from the home side a dangerous shot was blocked and for once on the day ref Maxwell called it right awarding the Titans a corner.

As tricky Midfielder Meyer stepped up Barnes came short drawing out a Bearwood defender from the box, Lemon & Werrett refused to comment in the post-match interview on whether this was a move straight from the training but either way it worked, Meyer swung a beautifully placed cross right under the nose of the Wanderers No.1, given his strong performance you would have been forgiven for thinking it was the keepers ball all day, Watson had other ideas…

This was a modern day Phoenix from the Ashes moment with Watson emerging from a crowd of players to beat the keeper to the ball and power home a devastating header, taking a blow to the head for his troubles and sending the El Stadi Del Ringmead faithful and the whole team into delirious celebrations.

It was the icing on the cake of an inspired performance from the Titans Midfielder who despite numerous strong performances all over the field had been the driving force throughout.

8 minutes remained and it was now squeaky bum time. Titans dropped Watt back into Midfield alongside Tubb, Watson, Meyer, and Dinsdale and brought on Lemon to provide some much needed cover for the over run Foston down the left.

It was hearts in mouths time for the Titans faithful as the pressure began to build, despite the pressure little chances were created and with some solid defence displays from Ottley & Foston, an excellent showing from Biggs at RB and the ever present Rock & Captain Fantastic Spreadborough holding it all together the home side managed to hold on for the 3 points and revenge was theirs!

A superb battling performance and never say die attitude from the Titans who left to a standing ovation from the home faithful making it now 4 wins on the bounce, 4 games into the season the Titans were written off by the media, now……it appears anything is possible………!!

J Bloggs

Titans Times

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