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LUL Cup QF: Titans West 5 knocked out but Outwest through
Report by Terry Connolly
Titans West 5 were knocked out of the LUL Cup Quarter-Finals by Falcons Fitlads after losing their single-tie game 3-0 at Old Deer Park.
Meanwhile, a few miles away in Barnes Stonewall FC and Titans Outwest played out a classic match that will go down in history as one of the great games ever to be played in LGB-friendly football.
Facing an uphill struggle to recover from a 3-1 defeat in the first leg, not even torrential rain or a rainbow could stop them from playing the match. The game plan was simple – attack attack attack. This team knew (and so did Stonewall) that it had goals in it and the best defensive record in the league.
Beal scored Outwest’s first goal after ten minutes, and five minutes later Paul T got another to equal the tie on aggregate.
Stonewall heads dropped and Titans went on to win the first half 5-0 (6-3 on agg) with further goals from Tickner and Peter Knight.
The second half was even crazier. With complacency setting in, Titans replaced 6 players all at once, and Stonewall smelt blood by scoring twice (making it 6-5 on agg).
Tickner managed to pull another goal back (7-5), and then ’fox in the box’ Maurice saw a header from the 6 yard line appear to bounce over the line, however the match officials couldn’t tell for sure and the ‘goal’ wasn’t awarded. Almost immediately, Stonewall then raced down the other end of the pitch to grab another goal (7-6).
Tickner managed to get his fifth goal (8-6) but injuries started to creep in with several Outwest players coming down with cramp.
Tal gave away a needless free-kick on the edge of the box which Stonewall spectacularly scored from. This made it 8-7 to Titans with only minutes remaining. The roles had been well and truly turned. I can’t quite remember how they got their equalizer, but they did, right at the end. 8-8 on aggregate.
5 minutes into extra time and Peter K was the hero when he scored an identical goal from his first, another rebound. 9-8 on aggregate. Surely we could hang on now. We almost did. They threw everything at us and we defended bravely. Everyone back in hand-to hand fighting, nerves fraying, doing whatever it took to keep them out.
Birchy made a couple of amazing saves, one punching over the bar and another diving bravely at Eric’s feet to calm Titan nerves. Swiss Tom (singled out by Eric as the sole cause of the Stones’ defeat because of it) also stood out by clearing a shot off the line.
Stonewall were down to 10 men when they got a corner in the last 2 mins. Their keeper came up. There were 21 men in the box! It came to nothing. But as Birchy took the goal kick quickly to feed the ball to Beal who faced an open net with their keeper struggling to get back, the kick landed at the foot of one of their players near the half way line who hoofed it back goalwards.
In slow motion we all just watched as it looped over Birchy’s arm onto the underside of the crossbar and in. They had equalized again in the last 30 seconds. 9-9 on aggregate.
Onto Penalties and with Stonewall missing all their penalties, and us scoring 3 out of our 4 (ironically it was Tickner, the 5 goal hero who missed!) Outwest were through.
A fantastic game, Titans were a credit to the club and deserve their place in the semi-final