A statement of intent!

Giffnock 5 – 5 Hillwood

Adam (2)
Jake (3)

What a match! What a performance! What a launchpad for the rest of the season! Giffnock put in one of their finest performances to date to bounce back from the disappointments of last week and have laid down a statement of intent for the rest of the season. A performance full of positivity, commitment, desire and no shortage of skill saw Giffnock battle to a hard-earned – but thoroughly entertaining – 5 -5 draw.

It was no less than they deserved, and on balance of play a victory would have been the justified outcome. The teams reactions at the end of the game spoke volumes; Hillwood dejected after their game plan based on complacency fell apart – in contrast to the happy, proud faces of the Giffnock boys – who quite rightly came off the field to the applause and congratulations of the coaches and the ultras assembled on the touchline.

The self-belief was evident right from kick off as Giffnock worked hard for each other in all areas of the park. Despite going down to an early goal after 4 mins – Giffnock defended well and started to impose themselves and the equaliser scored by Adam from a corner after 11 mins was very much with the run of play. Giffnock continued to pass the ball around nicely and it was clear Hillwood were getting frustrated – a yellow card for dissent – one of 5 that Hillwood picked up during the game. Giffnock’s pressing was paying off – and some good link-up play saw shots from Harrison , Jake and Charlie bring out good saves from the Hillwood keeper. A freekick to Hillwood on the 25th min just from the outside of the box saw them score a 2nd goal and they pushed hard to establish more of a lead. Some committed defensive play from Leon and a headed clearance from new start – Ricardo – kept Hillwood from scoring more- and it was the last minute of the half when stand-in keeper Jack produced a great save to see the half close with only one goal in it.

Out early for the 2nd half the big question for the Giffnock fans was whether of not the boys could maintain their intensity – they needn’t have worried – and despite losing an early goal Giffnock kept pushing and responded almost immediately – with Harrison and Adam linking up for Giffnock’s 2nd goal. Matan came on for Ricardo in the 55th min and slotted in nicely down the right wing. The high-tempo would have started to take it’s toll on lesser teams but the desire and commitment of Giffnock to play as a team saw them continue to push. The goal-line clearance by Kieran was indicative of the team spirit on display.

The final quarter of the match delivered another 5 goals – as the game tipped one way and then the other. 2 goals from Jake in the space of 4 mins saw Giffnock go 4-3 up – the 2nd being a wonderful solo effort that saw the talismanic striker take the ball from near the half-way line, skip past 2 Hillwood defenders and coolly slot it home from 15 yards. Cleary rattled, Hillwood resorted to some cynical play and a scything challenge on Harrsion saw the ref reaching for his pocket. The defensive-line of Giffnock was disciplined and committed – limiting Hillwood to speculative long-range efforts – 2 of which were very lucky to have nestled in the top corner.

With 5 mins to go and Giffnock 5-4 down – the boys dug very deep and lifted the intensity once more – a freekick taken by Harrison 40 yards out saw the keeper fumble the ball and Jake pounced to get his 3rd and Giffnock’s 5th. The ref blew his final whistle – but not before he had brandished the final yellow of the match as Jake was chopped down as he was pushing for a winner down the right.

The coaching team were rightfully very pleased after the encounter – and if a quote had been sought this is probably what they would have said “That’s the kind of performance that can set the tone for the whole season – a Hillwood team that really fancies itself was humbled by a gritty, focused, and silky team performance from Giffnock – we only had one sub and no first team keeper so hats off to Jack and his explosive left foot – who proved to be a very worthy last-minute stand in. The boys will be looking to replicate this intensity going forward and this is the kind of result that will make the rest of the teams in the league sit up and take notice. Every player was excellent today and the desire to work hard for each other was there from the first minute to the last. Roll on next week!”