Giants 2020 - 2021

Wednesday 21st April 2021
Langton Giants 3 - 0 Three Bridges Youth - MSYFL CUP FINAL !
Elliot, Bertie, Patrick

Squad: James H, Ollie, Bertie, Jack, Patrick, Brodie, Conor, Alf, James D, Elliot, Simba, Tom A, James J, Tom G, Max, Tom V

So they did it, after 11 years as a team, the Langton Green Giants have won a trophy from 11 aside football, to add to the multiple 6 aside victories.
A nice flat but very bobbly pitch and an opponent who wanted to play at 100mph and test our defence with direct play meant for a tough evening, throw in some early signs of nerves and things were far from plain sailing for most of the night. The game started in bright sunshine and ended in freezing cold darkness, but thankfully for us the game only got brighter the longer it went on. The first 30 minutes went by in a bit of a blurr, neither team in control of the match and if anything they looked the more threatening with their long balls creating some difficult moments which we needed to address, something we did with a minor tweak to instructions rather than a significant formation change. Then the breakthrough, a clever little pass from Bertie outside the full back released Tom G who pulled it back smartly for Simba to flick over the defenders and goalkeeper heads towards the back post, it wasn't certain whether it was going in or not so Elliot made sure, as he should, and slammed it into the back of the net. Things got even better very quickly, as from the kick off Brodie won the ball back and had a long range effort which the keeper parried round the post for a corner. Elliot delivered it to the near post where Bertie met it was a sublime glancing header into the far top corner and suddenly we were two nil ahead. A scoreline which remained until half time.
We knew this game wasn't over though, Three Bridges were playing well and were a threat so the next goal was vital. We were now mostly in charge, dominating possession and creating a few chances, James D shooting narrowly wide from an angle after some superb build up play being the best of them. Then with about 20 mins to go, a penalty to Three Bridges after another long ball caused a bit of a desperate last ditch challenge. To be fair, for all the attempts, this is the first time this tactic had really caught us out. This was a big moment in the match though as a goal for them now would change the pattern of the rest of the game, so the save that goalkeeper James pulled off down low to his right was not only brilliant, but timely too..... as you could tell from the reaction of his team mates who rushed to congratulate him. A defining moment for sure.
We looked for that third goal to finish things off. Brodie went close with a low shot from distance well saved, then Conor tried an outrageous volley from 30 yards out that somehow the keeper tipped onto the crossbar to keep out. James D's pace had caused their back line problems all night and with 5 minutes left it proved too much for one defender who resorted to pulling him back just as he was about to shoot. Thankfully the linesman spotted it and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Penalty man Patrick to smash the spot kick right into the top corner so settle our nerves and the result. 
All that was left was to collect medals and lift the cup, with injured Captain Tom V collecting it with skipper for the night, Jack, who also deservedly collected a Man of the Match award from the league officials to round off a perfect evening. My god it was cold by the end though.

Sunday 11th April 2021
Roffey FC 3 - 5 Langton Giants - MYSFL Semi-FInal
Alf x 2, Elliot, Patrick, Simba
Squad: James H, Bertie, Jack, Patrick, Ollie, Brodie, Tom A, James D, Alf, Elliot, Simba, James J, Max, Tom G
Finally, after a near 4 month wait, we were able to return to competitive football and play a semi-final that had been postponed since before Christmas. Perhaps understandably we started off quite poorly, looking rusty and nervous in possession and unable to get our attacking rhythm going. Thankfully, the back 4 of Ollie, Pat, Jack and Bertie were in commanding form and James H in goal alert and ready to fend off the danger, without their performances in the opening 20 minutes this semi-final could have looked very different. Roffeyy only actually created one clear chance during this period and James H was quick out to close down the angle which resulted in the shot going narrowly past the far post. With neither Conor or Tom V available, Tom A was thrust into centre midfield duty and helped himself to a very decent performance, pairing up well with Brodie just behind Alf. Eventually we started to play a bit, with Elliot creating an opening for himself, his low shot well saved round the post. Alf then dinked inside and hit a shot from close range with his left foot that was deflected up and onto the bar as we started to look more threatening. Elliot was felled near the edge of the box, got up and smacked a fabulous free kick into the corner of the net that was too powerful for the keepers outstretched hand to keep out to give us a precious lead, but at this stage it was very much against the run of play. Things only got worse for Roffey as Alf latched onto a deflected Elliot shot and fired home a second. Being completely honest, Roffey would have been quite within their rights to feel a tad hard done by at being 2 nil down but it really settled our nerves as we finished the half very much on top, Simba nearly adding to the tally but his close range shot was charged down by the keeper, Tom G going agonisingly close with the follow up. In the dying seconds of the half Tom G did brilliantly to win the ball in the box and pick out Alf who headed home to give us a 3 nil lead at the half.
The second half started well enough, Patrick firing narrowly over the bar, but then a Roffey free kick wasn't cleared and they stabbed home a goal they would have felt they deserved. After earlier being denied what looked like a stone wall penalty for a pull on Alf, we were then given one when Tom G was bundled over in the box. Our penalty form this season has been abysmal, so it was a great relief when Patrick slammed this one home with the minimum of fuss to reinstate our 3 goal lead. Just when we thought we could relax, again we failed to clear a ball into our box and again they poked it home to cut the deficit to 4-2 with 15 minutes still to play. Thankfully the defence got back to where they had started the match and then Simba broke away thanks to a great ball from James D, ran half the length of the pitch and calmly slotted home past the goalkeeper to make it 5-2. Credit to Roffey who in injury time fired home a brilliant bending free kick from the edge of the box to leave the final score at 5-3.
So that's it, the boys have done it and got themselves into the Cup Final! With no league now to fight for this gives us the only chance of silverware, and in such a disrupted season, wouldn't that be nice.

Sunday 13th December 2020
Haywards Heath Town Youth 0 - 2 Langton Giants 
Patrick, James D  
Squad: James H, Tom G, Jack, Max, Bertie, Patrick, Brodie, Simba,, Elliot, James D,  Alf, Tom A, Ollie
With a game and a training session now under our belt we travelled to Haywards Heath with confidence after last week's great performance and a healthy win over this team in the cup just before the lockdown. Haywards Heath though deserve a lot of credit for their performance today, they set out to deny us space, stand firm and defend in numbers, something they did superbly well as we struggled to create clear cut chances on a wet and heavy pitch (nice little stadium though!). The biggest boost today came in the form of a returning Tom A, finally back from fitness having been out injured since the end of September. We did have some chances in the first half, Patrick unlucky to see a goal bound volleyed effort blocked from Elliot's corner and Simba, Brodie and Elliot himself (with a free kick) also going close. The best chance though came late in the half when Elliot was felled in the box and we were awarded a penalty but this was saved.
No need to panic though, we were clearly the better attacking side and our defence had done very well to fight off any counter attacks when they threatened.
More of the same in the second half, several chances well saved by a goalkeeper who had a very good game overall and others spurned, Brodie going closest when meeting James D's low cross at the near post, inches wide. James D was creating havoc down the left wing all game with his pace and early crosses, the ball just wouldn't fall for a green shirt. Finally the break through, another Elliot corner met by Patrick, this time with a towering powerful header right into the top corner from quite a way out for a header, a really superb effort that the keeper could only get his finger tips to as the ball hit the roof of the net. Still at 1 nil there could be no relaxing so when James D finished off from the 6 yard box there was a great sense of relief, the chance being created thanks to some brilliant build up play down the left hand side between Bertie and Tom A, with a well executed 1-2 on the edge of the box releasing Bertie to pull the ball back to be fired home. Simba has another excellent game, his form this season has been exceptional, and when he rolled the centre half the referee spotted the pulling of his shirt and we were awarded another penalty, which was also missed. That means we have now missed 7 of our last 8 penalty kicks, so with a cup semi-final to prepare for next week, guess what we will be working on Tuesday night?
All in all a very good win, not at our absolute best, in tricky conditions and with missed chances (and penalties!) so to come away with 3 points was very good news. A special mention has to go to the defence and keeper for a clean sheet and really denying a good team any clear shots on goal for 90 minutes, gives us the platform for victory when the goals aren't flowing.

Sunday 6th December 2020
Langton Giants 5 - 1 Lewes Juniors  
Simba x2, James, Jack, Brodie  
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Max, Bertie, Patrick, Brodie, Simba,, Elliot, James D,  Alf, Tom G, James J
With Lockdown 2.0 interrupting the season it was fantastic to be back on the pitch today after a six week absence for the visit of the current league leaders, Lewes Juniors. Shorn of three key players, Tom V, Tom A and Conor (the latter for well reported and totally unfair reasons) and with no time for a training session we weren't quite sure what to expect today, especially when you add in a new home pitch to the mix. What we got was a superb performance from them all.
James D got us up and running with a controlled volleyed effort from near the edge of the box, fed by Elliot's brilliant cross. This was a counter attack goal though that all started back in our own box when Jack won a tackle and Patrick cleared our lines. Ollie then took off down the right, beat two players before cutting inside and feeding Simba who slotted home very clinically to double our lead. Brodie swung in a corner for Jack to head home our third and things were looking very good at this stage. Understandably given the break, our energy levels dropped a little as the half wore on and Lewes came back into the game, putting our back four under pressure. They won a  free kick which wasn't cleared sufficiently and the fall was fired home from close range to leave the half time score at 3-1.
The next goal would prove vital and thankfully it came to us, Brodie slotting home from close range after a Bertie corner had caused all sorts of commotion in the Lewes defence. James J went agonisingly close to opening his Langton account with a superbly struck effort that smacked against the face of the crossbar and the Lewes keeper made a string of very impressive saves to keep the score line down. Our own keeper James H, was faultless with his feet and positioning all afternoon and when he was called upon to make a save late on was well up to the task with a smart stop. Simba grabbed his second and our 5th thanks to an excellent pass from James D to set him up and the win was complete.
Given the circumstances, this really was a very impressive performance and has set the boys up nicely for the coming weeks, we are all keen to get the other boys back out on the pitch as soon as possible though, that's for sure!

Sunday 18th October 2020
Langton Giants 9 - 3 Haywards Heath Town Youth - MSYFL Cup, 1/4 Final
Brodie x 3, Alf x 2, Elliot x 2, Simba, Conor, 
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Max, Bertie, Conor, Brodie, Simba, Tom G, Elliot, James D, Patrick, Alf
Another week, another new opponent, another 9 goals! Today we faced Haywards Heath Town Youth in the quarter final of the league cup and we continued our recent high scoring form, albeit without perhaps achieving the same level of performance for large periods of the game. The first half brought us three goals, all of them from outside the box which demonstrated how good our shooting was but also how deep our opponents defended as we struggled to get closer-in chances. Brodie opened the scoring from Ollie's pass before Elliot smashed a volley high into the roof of the net, with Conor scoring one of his now trademark long range efforts to the opposite corner. Disappointingly though after our third goal went in we stopped playing, failing to create a single chance in the final 15 minutes of the half as our standards dropped. A handball in the box gave Haywards Heath a penalty which was well converted to leave the score at 3-1 at the half.
The second half started well enough, Alf extending our lead thanks to a great cross from Tom G before Ollie performed the same trick, finding the head of Simba at the back post to make the score 5-1 and at this stage we appeared to be cruising. A totally avoidable sin bin left us with 10 men for the next 10 minutes and during this period Haywards Heath helped themselves to two goals and suddenly the score was 5-3. Thankfully Brodie and Simba combined to reinstate a 3 goal lead with the goal of the game, a brilliant 1-2 between them which saw Brodie grab his second of the match. Tom G again the creator of our 7th goal, this time his cross feeding Alf before Tom G himself was so unlucky to strike the crossbar from distance. Brodie was able to complete his hatrick with a superb downward header from Ollie's excellent cross before Elliot rounded off the scoring with a thunderous strike after cutting inside from Conor's pass.
So on to the semi final we march, well done boys.

Sunday 11h October 2020
Langton Giants 9 - 1 Three Bridges Youth 
Elliot x 3, James D x2, Bertie, Patrick, Brodie, OIlie
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Patrick, Bertie, Conor, Brodie, Simba, Tom G, Alf, Elliot, James J, James D, Max
A new opponent and a new home pitch as we faced Three Bridges Youth at Ashurst. Despite the undulations on the pitch it wasn't in bad nick and neither were we as we started strongly against a physical, competitive opposition. Elliot very nearly opened the scoring with what would have been an early contender for goal of the season as he weaved in and out of a number of tackles, it felt like half the Three Bridges team, only for his low right foot effort to be well saved by the keepers outstretched foot. We didn't have to wait long though, Brodie finding an overlapping Bertie with a sumptuous ball and the flying left back finished neatly past the keeper. Conor, who had an exceptional game, found Elliot on the edge of the box for him to cut inside and finish firmly with his trusty left foot to double our lead.James D was unlucky to see a firm strike come back off the crossbar before Elliot made the score 3 nil with a free kick, which may or may not have been intended as a cross! Our defence was again in great form, so it was a real shame when James J was on the end of an appalling challenge when at full pace, resulting in him having to sit out the rest of the game, hopefully nothing too long term, we wish him well. Just before the end of the half Three Bridge cut the deficit with a scrappy goal (from our perspective) and meant the match was still in the balance at the break.
It remained that way for the first 15 mins of the second half as Three Bridges came back into the contest. James D worked hard to win possession on the left wing and cut into the box, only to be tripped by a defender. Patrick followed up his own well saved penalty kick to settle the nerves. It is probably fair to suggest this goal dampened our opposition's spirit somewhat as from that moment onwards it was all Langton Green. Simba, who's link up play all game was excellent, set up Brodie superbly for him to add our 5th, before Elliot set up James D for the next goal, before he then hit the crossbar for a second time in the match. James D then repaid the favour, crossing for Elliot to complete his hatrick. Tom G won the ball and found James D for his second and then right back Ollie grabbed the ninth, and final, goal of the game when Brodie fed his overlapping run.
So a bit of a lopsided scoreline when you consider the competitive nature of the first 60 minutes, but a very good performance from the boys to come through the way they did in such style.

Sunday 4th October 2020
Lewes Juniors 0 - 4 Langton Giants 
Conor, Elliot, Alf, Bertie
Squad: James H, James J, Jack, Patrick, Bertie, Conor, Brodie, Simba, James D, Alf, Elliot, Ollie, Tom G
On an awful day weatherwise, with pouring rain and high winds, and missing three key players in skipper Tom V, Tom A and Max the boys somehow managed to go out and put on their best performance of the season against a very well organised and talented Lewes side who had been unbeaten up until this point. We very nearly scored our fastest ever goal, Elliot denied within 10 seconds of the kick off before turning provider when cutting the ball back for Conor to meet with the sweetest of strikes into the far corner from the edge of the box to open the scoring. A number of chances were created to double our lead, all of which were frustratingly not taken until Elliot himself got on the end of Alf's superb through ball and finished with a low strike into the corner. A counter attack brought about Leswes' only significant chance of the half but keeper James was more than up to it, with a fine double low save to keep the score 2 nil at half time.
The first 20 mins of the second were the most difficult of the game, with the wind in our faces and a resilient opponent who deserve credit for the way they responded. Thankfully, our defence was in imperious form and our goal only came under serious pressure on a couple of occasions and both times James H had the answer. Firstly tipping a very difficult high ball that got caught in the wind over the crossbar before another double save from a tight angle. Any nerves were settled though when Patrick won the ball, progressed up the pitch before finding James D who delivered a fantastic cross that Alf fired home. The scoring was wrapped up when Ollie produced a superb cross from the right that opposite full back Bertie met with a thunderous header to see the game end 4 nil.
That's 5 wins on the spin in all competitions, a great momentum building, just need some luck on the injury front now!

Sunday 27th September 2020
Perrywood Sports 0 - 5 Langton Giants - MSYFL Cup - 2nd Round 
Elliot x4, Brodie
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Max, Tom V, Brodie, Tom A, Tom G, Simba, James D, Alf, Elliot, James J, Conor
The second round of the cup required a ridiculously early alarm call to travel and face Perrywood Sports, another new opponent for us. Our hosts started well, looking organised and strong at the back, with the first 20 minutes going by without us really threatening to score and at this stage it looked like being a tough morning. James D went closest with a good low effort but it was Elliot's appearance from the bench which made all the difference with two quick goals, one after Alf had pressured the keeper into a mistake and one following a glorious cross field assist from James D. Early in the second half, Elliot completed his hat trick thanks to a brilliant Simba pass.
Brodie added to the scoring with a smart finish following on from an outrageous 1-2 with Elliot before Elliot wrapped things up thanks to another SImba thru ball.
The downside to the game was a worrying looking injury to the skipper, Tom V, and one of the highlights was the all round defensive performance, with Tom G putting an outstanding performance in at left back (that and the great camera work from Ellis to overturn a ludicrous red card decision after the game).
We now have a couple of league games to look forward to before we face Haywards Heath in the quarter final. 

Sunday 20th September 2020
Langton Giants 4 - 1 Withdean Youth 
Elliot, Alf, Simba, James D
Squad: James H, James J, Jack, Patrick, Max, Conor, Brodie, Tom A, Tom G, Elliot, James D, Alf, Simba, Tom V, Bertie
A bit strange playing the same team two weeks in a row and the smaller pitch at the Rec made it significantly more difficult to break down a determined Withdean team this time around. Whereas last week after 20 minutes we found ourselves 4 nil up, today we found ourselves 1 nil down after a shaky start, Alf went closest to an equaliser when unlucky to see his well struck effort come back off the crossbar before Conor controlled a strike superbly from the edge of the box only to see it brilliantly tipped over the bar by the keeper. We didn't have to wait too long to level though, James J charging up the right wing before finding Elliot who finished smartly. James J, who had an excellent game all round including one goal denying block from nowhere, was involved in the build up to our second goal too, Elliot finding Alf who showed great calmness to give us the lead at half time.
Simba started the second half well for us with a strong run from Alf's pass and thunderous finish into the roof of the net before James D completed the scoring with a sharp finish, again from an Alf assist. Throughout the match the defence and James H mostly kept Withdean quiet as an attacking force, despite the aerial bombardment from long balls and long throw-ins.
So less goals this week but still a good win and good three points, back to the cup next week!

Sunday 13th September 2020
Langton Giants 10 - 2 Withdean Youth - MSYFL Cup - 1st Round
James D x3, Conor x2, Elliot x2, Tom G, Tom A, Alf
Squad: James H, Bertie, James J, Jack, Patrick, Conor, Tom V, Tom A, Alf, Simba, Elliot, Max, Ollie, James D, Brodie, Tom G
Our first cup game of the season saw us welcome Withdean Youth and it is fair to say we started the quicker of the two teams, quickly racing to a 4 nil lead thanks to goals from Elliot after a great 1-2 with Simba, Conor with a couple (one from distance and one from an Elliot corner which wasn't cleared)  and James D with a header from Tom G's excellent cross. 
To their credit, Withdean then fought back well, especially through their exceptional striker who was  a real handful throughout. James H was required to make a great save before then having no chance when Withdean countered at pace to pull one back. Tom G settled things when scoring his first goal for the club, it had been a long time coming and he'd been so unlucky on so many occasions, so it was rightfully celebrated by all ! Withdean again fought back, scoring a second goal before James D found space in the box and fired home our 6th.
As Withdean tired space became easier to find and 4 more goals were taken, 2 more from James D, one for Tom A. another for Elliot and finally Alf wrapped up proceedings with our 10th. 
Good to be into the next round of the cup, back to league action next week.

Wednesday 9th September 2020
Langton Giants 5 - 1 TW Foresters
James D x2, Elliot x2, Tom A
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Max, Bertie, Brodie, Tom V, Tom G, Alf, Simba, James D, Pat, Tom A, Elliot
Our first home game of the season and it was great to make a rare appearance at our spiritual home, the Langton Green Rec, against local rivals TW Foresters. A very competitive opening 20 minutes passed by in a flash, with a few chances along the way and a big save from James H, tipping a powerful drive onto the crossbar, but it was James D who set us on the way with an excellent piece of striker play, pressing from the front to win the ball and finishing with a spin to give us the lead. This settled things down a bit and we slowly started to take control of the game, Tom A doubling our lead with a towering powerful header from Brodie's well delivered corner. Tom A saw a shot saved on to the post and James D was denied by some excellent goalkeeping, leaving the score at 2-0 at half time.
A rare sight to start the second half, a superbly delivered right footed cross from James D, met by an even rarer sight, an Elliot header into the net made it three before Elliot again was on hand to finish smartly from a brilliant Ollie cross (just one of many pieces of quality from the standout player on the night). A long range effort saw Foresters claw one back before Brodie had one of his trademark free kicks tipped onto the post. Tom A set James D away with an excellent through ball to finish superbly well to make the final score 5-1.
A good performance, despite some glaring misses (!) and a welcome three points to get us up and running. Well done boys.

Sunday 6th September 2020
Horsham FC 2 - 1 Langton Giants
Squad: James H, Ollie, Jack, Patrick, Berti, Brodie, Tom V, Tom A, Alf, Elliot, James D, Max, James J, Simba, Tom G, Conor
Finally, after a 6 month wait, we got to take to the pitch in a competitive game of football and in a new league, the Mid Sussex Youth Football League Division 1. Our first game saw us travel to the brilliant facilities at Horsham FC where we were made to feel very welcome. 
Horsham are one of the best teams in this league and played some excellent football. That said, the Giants pretty much dominated possession throughout the game and will be very disappointed to have not won the contest. For all the possession we had though, we didn't create enough chances and when we did either our finishing let us down or we were thwarted by a very impressive goalkeeper who was outstanding throughout.
After conceding a brilliant opening goal from distance we instantly leveled through a firm and accurate strike from debutant Conor, a very smart finish from a clever set by Elliot and it looked like we would go on and secure all three points with us camped in the Horsham half. A very disappointing and sloppy goal was conceded though which gave Horsham a lead to defend, something they did superbly well and we were left frustrated, a strong shout for a penalty and a Simba effort against the post from a tight angle being the closest we came.

So a disappointing result, not our best performance, but enough to show we should be a very competitive team in this division. Well done to Horsham on a very good performance.