Reigatians VI 4 – 4 Old Tiffinians IV
OTFC 4s travelled to Reigate for their last game of the season. It was also a crunch game. A win or a draw would secure fifth place in the league for TIffs. But a defeat would allow Reigate to finish fifth and drop Tiffs into the bottom half of the table.
The week before, against Old Secopians, Tiffs had started slowly and were 3-0 down before eventually coming back to lose 4-3. Against Reigate the pre-match team talk was therefore all about the need to start better and defend better at set pieces. 15 mins into the game Reigate were 2-0 up – both goals from set pieces.
In the second half, Stephen Dwyer – returning after injury/international duty – pulled one back for Tiffs with a penalty. But Reigate soon restored their two-goal advantage. Then two more goals for the impressively suntanned Dwyer (bringing his season total to 22, the highest in the league) brought Tiffs level at 3-3.
Then the drama really began. With 5 minutes remaining, the referee awarded Reigate a debatable penalty, which was duly converted. Stung by a sense of injustice Tiffs swarmed forward from the re-start. With 2 minutes left to go, Tom Flynndinho picked up the ball on the half-way line, powered past two Reigate players and, from the edge of the penalty area, rifled a low curling shot into the bottom corner of the net. A fantastic goal. Tiffs were ecstatic.
The referee blew for full time a moment later and the game finished 4-4.
The dramatic comeback epitomized the great team spirit in the 4s this season. The draw secured fifth place with a record of played 18, won 6, drawn 6 lost 6. A tremendous achievement given this is only the second season the 4s have been in existence. Bring on next season.
Man of the match: Tom Flynn.