Sunday 11th December - Friendly
v Garrowhill Over 35's at Glasgow Green
Martin Kelly, Eileen Myles (Arthur McCue), Calum Colquhoun (Allan MacKenzie), Stuart Waugh, Jack Waugh, Ally McNaught, Andy Dick, Craig McKenna (David Blair), Paul Joyce (c), Alan Galindo and Adam Walker
Our last game of the year saw us up against new opponents in the shape of Garrowhill Over 35’s who had been trying for about a year to find a date to play us.
Nothing much was known about the veterans’ team but there was an insinuation that they would be fitter than us despite their age, a disgraceful assumption.
Only a squad of fourteen for this 4pm kick off and we welcomed back Safehands, Eileen and Andy D after their stint with the QPSA Legends.
The game was at Glasgow Green, where we hadn’t played for many a year, and there was a cold wind blowing up and down the park which was normal for The Green.
What wasn’t normal was our formation as Mister C, in a desperate measure to get a win before the end of the year, went for a 4-3-3 line up with Adam and Ally wide and Andy D, Craig and Gee in the middle of the park with Paul up front. Veteran full backs Arthur and Wee Al were benched in favour of Eileen and CC and they had the Waugh Twins in central defence for company.
Garrowhill kicked with the wind in the first half and nearly scored after a couple of minutes from an inswinging corner but luckily Adam was on the line to clear.
The hosts corners were causing us all sorts of problems in the wind but we hung on with Safehands shutting his eyes and trying to punch them clear.
Despite playing with a new formation we settled reasonably quickly (well at least it wasn’t three at the back) and Gee had a long range effort tipped round the post as we started to get into the game.
It was a hard battle as Garrowhill’s front man was pretty nippy but kept getting caught offside, thankfully.
After about twenty minutes we took the lead with a superb goal. Ally got the ball in his own half and ran up the right wing until he reached the penalty area. Gee had made a run into the middle and Ally spotted him and played a perfect pass to Goal A Game who fired the ball home with his left foot.
A minute later and Gee nearly made it two as Paul set him up but this time his effort was saved.
It had been a hard, but fair, game up to this point but a tackle from Craig upset one of the Garrowhill guys and he kicked our starlet. Somebody then threw on some handbags and the referee stepped in and sent the two of them off.
The referee then decided that both teams could bring on a sub so LHD came on up front with Paul going into midfield.
It was a harsh decision to send off our Craig but it’s amazing how he’s started getting into trouble with referees ever since he became a Crosbie. As they say, “like faither in law, like son in law !”
Before the game restarted a quick call was put out to third rate keeper Dougie but he couldn’t get down to the Green in time as he was appearing in pantomime with the Krankies. Why phone Dougie ? Well, he has a penchant for handbags……….
Anyway, things got worse for us when we lost an equaliser. A shot from distance was saved by Safehands but the rebound was put in by a Garrowhill guy. Now, far be it for me to complain about decisions but the guy who scored must have been offside when the first shot came in and he may also have used his hand to control the ball as well. But, them’s the breaks.
Within a minute we nearly regained the lead when Adam made a strong run and put over a cross for Ally who saw his shot saved.
The game had opened up now and there were chances coming at both ends but unfortunately it was Garrowhill who got the next chance.
A hopeful through ball ran into our area and Safehands went to get it but slowed just as an attacker got there first. Down went the attacker and penalty was the result. In Safehand’s defence his mind was on the new album which The Petting Zoo are bringing out in January. The quirky “Higgs Boson, Hadron Collider” can be purchased from all good record stores and Poundland.
Anyway, up stepped the Garrowhill keeper (!) and he put the ball into the net to make it 2-1. A strange person to take the kick and we’d never allow someone to take a penalty just to boost their ego, would we CC ?
Just before the half time whistle Adam saw a shot saved and we’d competed well in the first half.
On came the veteran full backs and off went the youngsters as we went back on for the last forty five minutes of 2011.
The half time talk had been about keeping going and keep creating chances and we got an equaliser within a couple of minutes. A free kick was awarded outside the box and Gee stepped up to curl the ball into the top corner via the keeper’s outstretched hands.
A minute later we should have been ahead when LHD got through on his own, rounded the keeper, steadied himself then hit the ball off the post. It’s the sort of chance that Andy Boy might have scored, but then again, maybe not.
We had the upper hand and Garrowhill were content to hit us on the break but they got back level when Safehands saved a one on one, the rebound hit the post then eventually the ball was hit home.
Back we came again and scored another cracking goal from a very unlikely source, Wee Al !
Al came forward from left back and played the ball to Adam. Adam told the wee defender to keep going then played an inch perfect pass to Al and he was through on the keeper and, having little time to think or panic, he fired the ball into the bottom corner for a brilliantly worked goal.
It had been 82 games since Al had last scored way back on 16th April 2000 in Oban against Coasters. That was a great goal as well and hopefully we won’t have to wait another eleven years for his next one !
Our midfield were playing superbly now and had the game by the scruff of the neck with some of our passing being a joy to behold.
Just after the hour mark we went ahead when Ally swung over a corner and Andy D headed home.
Another corner nearly saw a fifth goal as Gee had a header tipped over the bar by the keeper.
Back came the hosts and Arthur had to clear off the line at a corner as it showed we’re weren’t getting it all our way.
The game was being played mainly in the Garrowhill half but we got caught out again when another breakaway saw a shot hit the post before the rebound got put in to make it four all.
That goal didn’t put us down for long though and Paul made a great run through the middle and played in LHD who made no mistake this time as he slotted the ball past the keeper.
Last game of the year and we were playing as well as we’d done all season and Gee nearly made it six but his long range effort went inches wide.
Into the last ten minutes and Safehands saved us when he did well to block a one on one but we were to get the final goal with just eight minutes to go.
A fine passing move between Ally and Adam ended with a ball to Gee and he completed his hat trick by tucking the ball under the keeper.
Now that we were two ahead Andy D came off and CC replaced him and proceeded to run about like a mad man, which he is, for the last few minutes, thankfully to no effect.
That was the end of the scoring and we had won a hard game by playing a passing game that we rarely produce.
It was an all round performance and everybody played their part including two of the subs scoring and the other making a goal line clearance. The midfield, in particular, ran the show and they created plenty of chances which we took.
There was no better way to finish the year and this was our eleventh win since January as we’ve gradually got better as a team.
Let’s hope we continue this form going into the New Year.