Sunday 13th September – Friendly
v Calders at Toryglen Sports Centre 4-7 (3-1)
Martin Kelly, Craig McKenna, Calum MacDonald (c) (Paul Stormonth), Arthur McCue, Ally McNaught, Robert Shimmons (Fraser Marr), Calum Colquhoun, Andy Dick, David McLean, Danny McFarlane and Michael Monti
Two wins on the bounce and a good turnout for those games meant confidence was high the week leading up to the game against old foes Calders. Unfortunately by the time Sunday arrived our first call offs came.
Out were Crossers, who had injured himself at the end of the Partick game and was struggling to walk with a leg injury; Andy Boy, who had "boy flu" after a severe dose of alcohol on the Saturday; and skipper Paul who turned up on crutches after injuring his ankle the day before.
One call off would be a blow but three was stretching things too far, particularly as Paul hadn't missed a game since November 2005 and had played in 103 games without missing one.
The squad was down to thirteen and we had two debutants in the ranks, Danny and Calum who had both played for Thistle the previous week as they were short of players.
We stuck to the 3-5-2 system with Martin in goals and the same defence of Craig, Calum and Arthur in front of him. In the middle of the park were Young Calum, Andy, Ally, Michael and Robert with Danny and Davie up front. On the bench we had Fraser and Jazza so talk about strength in depth !
The tactics were simple, keep the ball on the ground, which we managed to achieve in the two previous games, and talk to each other as we have been very quiet so far.
The passing on the ground was easy enough at the start of the game and it wasn't long before we took the lead when Andy got his first goal for the Club when his shot from twenty yards flew into the bottom corner of the net.
A good start but we had to make an early change when Calum Mac limped off and Jazza took his place at centre half. It was a foot injury sustained in the Thistle game that forced Calum off, a disappointing way to celebrate his first game as Vice Captain.
The play was mainly in Calders half and we went further ahead when Ally found space down the right and he took the ball into the area before unleashing a shot into the net past the keeper.
A third goal wasn't far away but not before we had to make another change when Robert limped off this time, the beautifully coiffured Fraser going into the middle of the park.
Calders had a few chances but were tending to miss the target and we made them pay for their misses when we scored a third. It was Danny this time who celebrated his first goal as he knocked in a rebound after the keeper had dropped the ball.
Everything was seemingly going okay but a Calders goal on the stroke of half time brought them back into the game and would trigger off their fight back. It was a bit of a fluke as well as a lob from midway in our half looked like going over the bar before it just dropped into the net.
No personnel changes at half time, as we had nobody left to put on, but Young Calum was complaining of a thigh knock in a day of injuries but soldiered on.
There were, however, positional changes as Fraser went to the right of defence, Craig to the centre and Jazza moved up front to make it a 3-4-3 formation.
The changes didn't work in our favour as Calders pulled another goal back but Danny restored our two goal lead when he got in behind the defence and scored from a tight angle for his second goal of the game.
Unfortunately that was to be the highlight of the half for us as the roof fell in and we got very quiet.
Calum strapped his foot up and came back on, for the other Calum, and went into defence and nearly marked his return with an own goal as he got in a mix-up with Martin but we managed to clear the ball.
We weren't as lucky with most of Calders efforts as they managed to get plenty of room to get shots on target and there was no way we were going to hold out.
Two goals were lost in a hurry and then worse was to follow as the defence was breached by another three quick goals as the heads went down rapidly.
We couldn't get into Calders' half for long periods and we only had a few half chances when we did. One good chance we did get came from a great move involving Andy and Ally which ended with Davie heading just wide.
One last opportunity appeared in the last minute as Craig went on another mazy run from the back but as he touched the ball past the last defender he was brought down to give the Calders guy a deserved booking. All very well but we would have preferred the goal which I've no doubt Craig would have scored, even if it was only a consolation.
Anyway, the quietness of the team was very evident when the game went away from us and Calders deservedly ran out winners for their second half performance alone.
So our first blip, but the injuries didn't help us at all and we could have done with a wee change in the second half when things were going against us but unfortunately we didn't have anybody fit to bring on.
Going forward we proved that we can score goals and that's what the game is all about so no point in being disheartened.
Hopefully we will have a few more bodies available for the next couple of games and that will help us. The more games we play the more people will get to know each other as well which should help when things go against us.
Onwards and upwards..............
Player of the Day: Ally McNaught
Sssshhhhh the Captains talking
"They say football is a game of two halfs, well Sunday proved that point. We started off the brighter team and went about causing them problems, only to be pegged back and ultimately let the heads go down when we went behind. From there it was an uphill struggle as we let them control and dictate the play. But let's not dwell on the negatives, we will put it behind us and move on with two anticipated games against Scotspurs at home and Ormond Saints away in the next two weeks to look forward to. The away game is especially anticipated because, as the Club motto says, BIBO CAUSA INBIBO !"
SKIPPY (the one legged Kangaroo)