Sunday 14th April v Coasters at Glencruitten
David Stewart; Ally McNaught, Calum Colquhoun (c) (Danny McFarlane), Alan Galindo, Allan Mackenzie; Gary Duncan, Sean Connolly, John Crosbie (Robert Shimmons), Ross Dunbar, Paul Joyce; David Blair (Martin Kelly)
One of the highlights of the season is our trip to Oban and we left Glasgow on a wet and windy day as we headed to the West Coast town.
Once we reached Tyndrum we checked with Coasters that the game was still on as the rain was torrential. Five miles along the road however the sun was out and the weather remained dry all the way to Oban.
With the gig game in mind plenty of energy drinks had been consumed on the way so there was no chance of tiredness or dehydration for our athletes.
After changing at Mossfield Stadium we made the short walk to the pitch at Glencruitten. A pitch that was very wet it has to be said.
Fourteen to choose from so the Boss went with David in goals; Ally and CC at full back with Gee and Al in central defence; five in midfield consisting of Crossers, Gary, Paul, Sean and Ross: LHD up front. Stripped and ready for action on the bench we had Boab, Danny and Safehands (only to be used in emergencies).
Coasters had a cast of thousands to pick from (presumably Oban Saints’ game had been called off the day before !) but were missing two of their inspirational figures in Manager John Scotty Scott and Murray MacGregor who has just become a father to twin baby girls, congratulations to Mugsi and his wife Fiona.
Our record in the Oban area isn’t great and we have only ever won one game before, our very first one in 1995 when we defeated Appin 5-0 at North Connel. Wee Al played that day, not that he remembers anything about it, and he was hoping to emulate that feat on this visit.
Our start couldn’t have been any better as we took a very early lead with a cracking goal. Ross picked the ball up in Coasters half and somebody shouted “shoot” so he did and the ball flew into the top corner from about thirty yards with James the keeper well beaten.
It was a shock lead but it didn’t last long as we lost a goal from our own corner. Our kick was cleared and Coasters broke away and a cross into the back post saw Woogie dive to head past David.
Two minutes later and we were back in the lead as a long pass found LHD on the edge of the Coasters area and he looked up and smashed a shot low into the corner of the net.
The lead lasted barely sixty seconds when Roy fired a long range shot low into the net and we had had four goals within the first fifteen minutes of the game.
The hectic pace slowed but we gave away a silly penalty when CC inexplicably handled a cross but Kenny Wotherspoon even more inexplicably put the spot kick wide of the post.
David was a busy keeper and he couldn’t stop Kenny scoring a third goal and we went into the interval a goal behind.
Crossers was relieved to be subbed at half time by Boab as we went to build on a good first half.
However, two minutes into the second half and Kenny made it 4-2 giving us an uphill battle.
David made a stunning save from close range and was keeping the score down but eventually after an hour the floodgates opened.
A headed goal was followed by a shot off the post which hit David and rebounded into the net as Coasters piled on the pressure.
Away Day Danny was brought on in midfield and showed some nice touches, not that we were surprised of course.
Coasters were goal hungry though and another goal came before Kenny eventually completed his hat trick with Woogie finishing off the scoring just before the end.
Safehands had been sent on for the last few minutes up front to cause some damage but sadly he didn’t.
A nine two defeat but we had competed well, particularly in the first half, but maybe the energy drinks wore off too soon.
Back to Coasters for hospitality and the Shield presentation to James the keeper before we headed for the usual rowdy and happy bus journey home.
Thanks to Gav and the Coasters guys for their hospitality and we’ll see them again at the Ian Younger Sixes in June.