Down 4-1 at quarter time on Saturday, Goulburn Geckos co-coach Jake Staines was reeling.
The United Hockey Club had gotten off to an extremely fast start which left the Geckos a mountain to climb.
But it was evidently a challenge the home side was ready to take on, and an early goal in the second quarter began an epic fightback which saw Goulburn score six of the next eight.
"It was an unreal game," Staines said.
"It probably would've been a good one to watch, because it was a good one to play.
"I don't think it was a comeback, it was more that we didn't feel like we were losing by that much. They had just scored goals when we hadn't, even though it was 4-1 it didn't feel like we were down three goals.
"And then the second quarter we came out and scored pretty quickly, and once we scored that one we got another one and had the momentum for the rest of the game."
The Geckos rebounded to win 7-6 on Saturday, in front of an encapsulated home crowd. It was their fourth win from their last five matches, which marks a significant recovery from their poor start in the first four rounds, which resulted in three losses.
It was also their biggest scalp of the season, that of the now third-ranked team.
As a result of its performances over the last month, Goulburn has climbed to fourth on the Capital League ladder.
But a dangerous opponent awaits the Geckos tomorrow night, when they take on Central in Canberra.
"Central are a really handy side, and I think they've just always had that good core so I think it'll be a tough challenge tomorrow night," Staines said.
"Training's on tonight, so we'll go through a few team tactics and won't overdo it because we're playing tomorrow night."
Throughout the season, Goulburn's primary challenge has been consistency in its lineup.
Almost every week, several replacements are called in due to injuries and outside commitments. The uncertainty around the makeup of their team has caused the Geckos to struggle to produce the high level of hockey to which they have become accustomed in recent years.
"At the moment we've got three blokes out injured, and you've got the odd bloke who's doing something else and can't make the game," Staines said.
"That's a fair chunk of the team and you're relying on fill-ins. That's hard work when you're calling on guys who don't train with you.
"It'll be good to actually have two or three weeks in a row when we're all on the field."
On Saturday, Carson Woolner and Daniel Fleming filled in for Goulburn, while 17-year-old Danny Nicholls made his debut for the team as goalkeeper.
Staines praised the three for their willingness to step up, and congratulated Nicholls on making a solid debut against a very strong team.
In recent weeks, the team has become accustomed to seeing new faces each match. It helps, Staines said, that many of the fill-ins are quality players who have been with the side in past years, but for various reasons cannot commit to a full season in 2021.
"The guys who are filling in are really handy, and it'd be nice if they were full time players but they've got other commitments," he said.
"The team's doing awfully well at adapting each week to new players coming in. As much as they're adapting, they've played with them in the past, it's just not the same side every week."
The Geckos will face Central from 7.40pm tomorrow night, on Carter Field at the Lyneham Hockey Center.
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