Tuesday 1st November – One For The Road League
v EK Milan at K-Park,
Martin Kelly, Arthur McCue (c), Allan MacKenzie, Stuart Waugh, Calum Stewart (Danny McFarlane), Ally McNaught (David Blair), Stephen Fox, Sean Connolly, Paul Joyce, Alan Galindo and Adam Walker
No games for four weeks then two in three days, what clown organises the fixtures ?
We’ve been on the go since 1987 but we’re still capable of firsts and this was one as we played our first game in the beautiful town of
Talking of Legends, our Arthur was making his 200th appearance, a tremendous achievement for someone who has contributed so much on and off the park since his debut in 2002. To celebrate the achievement Arthur was named skipper for the night.
Jack, Craig, Andy D and CC (away on submarine training) missed out after the Registrars game but we welcomed Wee Al back into the fold along with P.Danny and Tall Calum, another resident of EK.
This was another of the long forgotten “One For The Road League” games and EK had asked to be allowed in once Appin dropped out. As ever, we are the only team who play any regular games in the “League” so I can’t see how it can continue, but that’s for another day.
The K-Park facility hadn’t been long opened and there was a guy checking the footwear before anybody was allowed on the pitch. As the surface was no better than Lesser Hampden this seemed a wee bitty over the top. It also sent Sean scurrying back into the dressing room to change out of his high heels.
Anyway, EK had a young side and were obviously up for the game as they kicked off and attacked us at about 100 mph.
We settled into the game well though and Adam and Gee both had chances but the keeper made a double save to prevent us taking the lead.
The game was being played in the EK half and Paul received a bad foul from the home centre half, or cynical foul if we’re being honest about it.
The free kick was cleared to the edge of the box where Foxy, of all people, tried a shot but the ball disappeared into the darkness behind the goal never to be seen again.
Ten minutes into the game and Stu went down injured, a legacy of slide tackles on Fortress Holyrood on the Sunday, but bravely carried on, well Danny wasn’t sufficiently warmed up to replace him at centre half.
On a wide pitch we were using the width well and Adam received the ball on the left and outpaced the EK defence but shot into the side netting from a tight angle.
Gee was next to threaten after a sparkling move down the left saw him find space on the edge of the box but his lob went over.
A goal surely had to come and it did, for EK (I guess by now you could see this coming).
A low cross to the back post saw a forward unmarked and we were a goal down against the run of play.
We nearly lost another a few minutes later when a shot from the edge of the box hit the bar and Wee Al headed the rebound behind for a corner as EK put the pressure on.
Paul almost got an equaliser after a free kick from Ally found him in space but the keeper gathered his shot before we went two behind.
The referee, who was consistently bad all night, awarded EK a free kick outside our area for a “foul” by Wee Al. The kick was crossed into the area but only half cleared and we couldn’t stop the loose ball finding int way into the net.
Despite being behind we kept pushing forward and Adam forced the EK keeper into a good save when he was through one on one.
Sean then did well and found Paul on the right but his cross was blocked as we continued to attack.
Of course, all our attacking left us vulnerable to a counter attack and EK made it three when a deep cross was tucked away at the back post.
If we were to have any chance in the game we’d have to get a goal back before half time and low and behold we managed it with just a couple of minutes remaining.
Ally just failed to connect with a low cross into the area but when the ball was put back into the danger zone Gee knocked it home to make it 3-1 at the break.
One change at half time as LHD came on for Ally and went up front with Paul, Gee moved back into midfield.
We’d had a good finish to one half so we hoped to have a good start to the second but within a couple of minutes we lost a sloppy goal and we were back to a three goal deficit.
With Adam and Gee on the wings we decided to use their pace to beat the home side’s offside trap and it nearly worked when Adam was through with only the keeper to beat but shot straight at him and a good chance was gone.
Both teams were creating chances and Martin saved well from a shot from the edge of the box as EK went in search of a fifth.
On the hour we pulled a goal back, and a historic one it was too. Our delivery from set pieces had been dreadful all night and Sean swung over a front post corner but we didn’t have anybody there. Not to worry though as a defender obligingly knocked the ball past his own keeper for our second goal.
Why was this an historic goal ? Well, it was the fiftieth own goal scored for us since we began. A very proud moment.
The celebrations were still continuing as we lost another goal a couple of minutes later as we switched off yet again.
Ally came on for Arthur who had been disappointed that his 200th game present had been a speedy, young winger up against him.
Wee Gee fired over from the edge of the box before we grabbed another historic goal.
A long ball found Paul who beat the offside trap and then slipped past the out rushing keeper before slotting the ball home.
Why was this an historic goal ? Well, it was Paul’s 50th goal for the Club in his 191st game.
But how does that compare with other players who have scored 50 goals, I hear you ask ? Well, Tubsy Raeburn took 166 games, our All Time Top Goalscorer Jazza took 157 games and the Great Kenny McLellan eventually got his 50th goal in his 43rd game.
What does this prove ? Only that I have too much time on my hands to check these things.
As with our last historic goal, the concentration went and we lost a sixth as EK took advantage of the game being stretched and one of their guys lobbed our keeper, a rare occurrence.
The play was still raging from end to end but EK ended the scoring when they took advantage of poor marking to score a seventh.
There was still time for Paul to get in a similar position as his goal as he beat the offside trap and rounded the keeper. This time though the keeper took him out with a disgraceful challenge which was totally unnecessary no matter what the score was in the game.
We made nothing of the free kick and were left with one last chance in the final seconds but LHD somehow managed to head over from inside the six yard box with the goal gaping. Luckily for the long haired one, none of the locals on the sidelines knew him or cheered his miss !
A disappointing result and performance and we should have made more of a game of it if we’d taken the many chances that came our way.
But, back to the dressing room to celebrate with Paul and Owen Goal and the Shampain flowed long into the night…………