Titans kicked off the New Year with a home game at Cave Lane against Garforth Rangers. Having beaten Rangers in a pre-season friendly and losing to them in the away fixture with the last kick of the match, Titans knew that they were capable of winning this game and started brightly, playing some good passing football. Unfortunately keeper Ewan started the game with an injury, and after 15 minutes TItans suffered a blow when he had to retire from the action. Luke bravely pulled on the keeper’s shirt but by this time Titans were already 0-2 down as the Rangers strikers capitalised on their defensive problems. However with the pack reshuffled Titans started to grow in confidence again and got their just rewards for some good football when Ben fired home from inside the 6-yard box. As half-time approached Titans were looking the better side and went into the break with a single goal deficit knowing that they were capable of turning the game around.
Titans sprang out of the traps for the second half determined to take the game to Rangers, and it wasn’t long before they levelled matters at 2-2 – Matty latching onto a superb through-ball from Callum and making no mistake with a cool finish. The Rangers players heads seemed to drop, and Titans took the lead for the first time when Ben fired home a terrific shot from the edge of the penalty area – 3-2!
Titans were now putting in a great team performance, with the two Jamies looking solid in the centre of defence and Charlie chasing down anything that came down his side of the pitch. Substitute Mikey, replacing the reliable Matt, was making some great forays forward and putting the Garforth defenders under pressure. In the centre of midfield Lily and Jocky were getting a foot on the ball and passing well, with Paul and Callum looking dangerous on opposite wings. Up front both Ben and Matty were looking to threaten the Rangers goal and it seemed only a matter of time before they extended their lead. This eventually came courtesy of a great curling shot from Matty that left the visitors’ keeper clawing at thin air. Having turned a 2-goal deficit into a 2-goal lead, the game was now looking safe for Titans. However the Rangers players refused to lie down and there was still time for them to pull a goal back which led to a nervous final 10 minutes. Titans weathered the storm though and held on for a well-deserved victory.
Man-of-the-match was a tough choice as there were several contenders, but the award went to Ben for a strong performance and a couple of great goals.