01/08/15 v Hamilton Accies SFC at Tannochside Primary School 1-1 (0-0)
Colin Howard; Adam Walker, Ally McNaught (c), Allan Lennox, Alan Galindo; Gary Duncan, Sean Connolly, Raymond Ford; Darren Dunsmore, David Blair, Neale Waugh. Subs (all used) Kieran Friel, Stephen Cairley, Craig McKenna, Robert Shimmons
Our first IFA League game of the season saw us make the short journey to Uddingston to take on Hamilton Accies.
The game was taking place at Tannochside Primary School on a surface which looked suspiciously like Holyrood, never a problem for us to play on.
A playing squad of sixteen travelled to South Lanarkshire with two youngsters coming along to make their debuts. The new Transport Executive, The Goat, naturally made the trip, and also naturally failed to get on the pitch.
The Boss selected Colin in goals; the Four A’s at the back, Adam, Ally, Allan and Alan; Gary, Sean and Ray were in midfield; LHD, Darren and debutant Neale Waugh (no relation to Jack and Stu) formed the forward line. On the bench we had the experience of Craig and Boab and the youth of Kieran and our other debutant Stephen Cairley.
We had played Accies twice before with both sides experiencing an away win and knew we were in for a tough game.
For the first half an hour or so there was little in the way of goalmouth action although the Boss declared that it was as good a game as he’d seen for a long time, and he knows his football.
Both teams were trying to play a passing game but the game was getting bogged down in midfield and any high balls into the defences were cleared away to good effect.
There were a few fouls which the excellent referee spotted but our set piece delivery wasn’t the best. However, we got a corner kick right as Ally swung over a cross which Gee got his head to but a defender was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
A couple of minutes later and Neale combined with Kieran, on for Darren who literally had a nosebleed, to set up Sean but his shot from the edge of the box was saved.
Goalless at half time and the Boss made a couple of changes with LHD and Sean making way for Craig and young Stephen who went to right back (yes, another full back, you can never have too many) with Adam moving forward.
A hard fought game continued to ensue although the home side were starting to put pressure on our defence.
On the hour mark Accies should have gone ahead when a run down the right saw a cross reach an unmarked forward on the penalty spot but his first time effort was brilliantly turned round the post by Colin.
Another change was then made by the Boss with Boab coming on for Ally in his favourite left back position and Darren went back on for Kieran who got hit with the ball in a place that can best be described as delicate.
Ten minutes later and we broke the deadlock through our new striker Neale. Lenny, not for the first time, burst from defence and passed to Adam who flicked the ball with the outside of his boot to set Neale free. It was the chance Neale was looking for and he used his pace to get away from a defender before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner past the keeper. An excellent finish from the young man.
A minute later and Accies nearly equalised when Colin miskicked to a forward but his shot went wide, much to everyone’s relief.
Accies turned on the pressure and got an equaliser with ten minutes to go as their big number 7 burst through the middle and fired an unstoppable shot into the net from 25 yards.
Inspired by the Accies goal Craig tried his luck from distance a couple of minutes later and connected with the ball perfectly but the Accies keeper just managed to tip the ball over the bar.
Both sides went in search of the winner and Darren had a shot saved before the referee blew for offside as an Accies player was clean through, a tight decision but the referee’s decision is final.
And the final decision the referee made was to blow for full time and both teams had earned their first IFA League points of the season.
THE FINAL WORD FROM THE BOSS
A good solid start to the league season against an improved Hamilton side. They look a tough outfit, in both a footballing and physical sense, this season and we stood up well over the piece.
Overall, it was an encouraging performance from the team over 90 minutes, there were no failures and there was an evident team spirit with every player pulling together for the cause. Was also great to see two debutants fill in very nicely, Stephen Cairley impressed in defence second half, and Neale Waugh ran himself into the ground as a lone striker, a goal was the very least he deserved for his efforts.
It’s going to be a tough season as we play more and more games in this IFA League and to start in such a fashion with a tough away point can only be a positive. More performances like this one will see us secure more positive results and that is exactly what is required.
Our next game is away to Bully Wee United in two weeks, and more of the same would go down very nicely indeed.