Sunday 11th October - Friendly
v Evening Times at Holyrood Sports Centre
Martin Kelly, David McLean, Calum MacDonald (Allan MacKenzie), John Crosbie, Stuart Waugh, Ally McNaught (Calum Colquhoun), Andy Dick, Fraser Marr (Ally Dick), Paul Joyce (c), Andy McNaught (Danny McFarlane) and Michael Monti
After a week off it was back to the action as the best evening paper in Glasgow, the Evening Times, sent what's left of their staff to Holyrood to take on our young lads, and Crossers.
Our previous game at Perth had created some team selection posers. I mean who would have thought so many people in the team could play darts ?
There were fifteen in the squad and it was decided to let Fraser and Andy “The New Machine” loose from the start in what some people described as "madness" and others as "a brave but foolish move.”
Wee Al was late arriving and was on the bench so Big Calum started at left back whilst Young Calum, Danny and Ally Dick, making his first appearance of the season, joined Al in the technical area.
There was a large crowd assembled for this Glasgow derby with Robert, still with crutches, and Arthur, out with a groin strain, giving their support along with Andy Da and QPSFC supporter extraordinaire Mad Michael.
To get the team going it has been decided to get a player to pick their musical selection for the dressing room and Davie was first up but unfortunately DJ Campbell forgot to plug the turntable in so the moment was gone.
Our opposition were an unknown quantity and all we knew was that Fraser Gibson was organising things and, hopefully for our sake, playing.
"Let's get stuck into them from the start and don't give them time to settle", was the rallying cry in our dressing room but unfortunately the Paper Boys must have been listening as that's what they did to us.
For a scratch team they seemed pretty good and, with a strong wind at their back, they dominated the early part of the game.
We were hoping to make use of any corners we got but again the opposition stole that one from us and opened the scoring when we failed to mark up and lost a headed goal.
Things weren't looking too promising and Big Calum limped off with Wee Al going to left back. We had hardly made the change before Andy “The New Machine” had to come off as he had a stitch (can't remember the Old Machine ever having that "injury", he preferred to let the ball do the work) and Danny replaced him.
Danny (aka Gary) got a huge cheer from his new fan club after his recent appearance on Your Call with Jim Traynor. Good to see his recent moment of fame getting the appropriate recognition.
Anyway, we were still on the back foot and a second goal followed to make it an uphill struggle.
We weren't getting into the Times' half, far less creating chances, but, in a rare attack, we pulled a goal back when Michael rounded off a three man move with an excellent finish and we were back in the game.
The goal gave us a boost and for the next ten or fifteen minutes we started to play well and take charge of the game. Chances were few but we were in the game and had the wind advantage in the second half to look forward to.
However, we lost a goal in the last minute of the half and it was another goal from a corner as a ET guy got a free header and, after the ball came off the bar, he shot home giving Martin no chance.
It was a bad goal to lose at a bad time and we made a couple of changes at the break with Ally D and Young Calum coming on for Fraser and Ally Mac.
Being two goals behind it gave us the perfect chance to go gung ho and Stuart, although still in central defence, was given a roving commission. We had decided to try and get some shots in as well with the wind behind us and we were given a boost when Gibby went in goals for the Paper Boys.
The second half started as if it was two different teams on the park. We pushed forward in numbers and attacked from the start of the half whilst The Paper Boys looked disjointed and disorganised.
It was good to see people having shots from distance and although they went wide the idea was there.
Gibby wasn't inspiring confidence in the opposition goals and Paul managed to pull a goal back when Michael found him in the area in space and he made no mistake.
Once again our full backs were pushing forward and some of the passing football was the best we have played all season as we played the ball about on the deck with confidence.
We thought we'd equalised when Paul headed home from a corner but the referee decided that the ball had gone out before it reached him. Well, the referee decided after asking Fraser Gibson's old man behind the goal. A good decision ?
Despite our excellent football it was a simple goal that did get us our equaliser as Gibby failed to hold a shot from Davie and the ball bounced off him and onto Paul's foot and into the net.
All the play was in the Times' half and they took the decision to change their keeper but it still didn't explain why they ran up the park and scored to make it 4-3 totally against the run of play.
Still we pushed forward and their new keeper made a good diving save from somebody or other as more and more bodies were up in attack looking for a goal.
Naturally we were taking a risk of a counter attack and that's what happened when we got caught out despite Crossers' desperate last gasp effort to block a shot. The old yin took a hit from an attacker and the on rushing Martin and limped off with a superb bruise on his leg. Ally Mac took his place and naturally was told to play up front.
Despite our best efforts we couldn't find the net again and the game ended with us two goals behind.
For most of the first half we'd been second best to a good looking team but once we got the wind advantage our performance improved. It certainly was a bit manic at times but it was good to see us wanting to score goals. If we could concentrate a bit more when we don't have the ball then we will cut out the opposition's chances.
Well done to the Evening Times who were greeted after the game by one of their, and our, illustrious former players, Logan Taylor. "Good to see you back Logie", said nobody in particular.
All in all an enjoyable game and it was good to see so many back in the Social Club afterwards for a wee drink.
Player of the Day: John Crosbie
Sssshhhhh the Captains talking
“Very disappointing result this week lads. We knew the wind would be a factor and the Paper Boys used it to their advantage much more than we could, though it was unlucky to concede the third just before half time as it dropped off the bar to one of their players for an easy tap in. We started brighter in the second half but a combination of pushing to get back into the game/forge a lead and some poor defending ultimately let the game slip away from us. Next week is a game/day to be enjoyed regardless of result as it has special significance, hopefully the following week though we can give a good account on the football park as we travel to Troon to what I suspect will be a rather large grass park.”