Sunday 24th March v Partick Thistle at Toryglen Sports Centre
David Stewart; Ally McNaught (Robert Shimmons), Calum Colquhoun (Sean Connelly), Alan Galindo, Jack Waugh; Craig McKenna, Andy Dick (c) (Adam Walker), Paul Joyce, David Blair (Gary Duncan); Scott Macrae (Stephen Mosley)
After our great adventure in Germany it was back to normality with a home game against Partick Thistle.
The game was originally meant to take place at Fortress Holyrood but a combination of snow, ice and a 2g surface meant that we were offered the chance to go to Toryglen and we took it.
Toryglen being of course the scene of a famous game in December 1987 against Dumbarton [wrong side of the road, get on with: Ed).
The reason why a pitch became available was due to health and safety (gone mad) reasons as there were high winds and a freezing cold temperature which caused the cancellation of all the youth games at Torgylen. Good to see we’re breeding them tough in this country as we sit atop the world football rankings.
It was freezing, it was windy but we assembled a sixteen man squad, and Uncle Crossers who declined to play and couldn’t even get a game for Partick. Sad times for the auld yin.
There were two new faces in the squad and one was a new keeper (hooray !) as Safehands had been left out for football reasons and Andy D was playing in midfield.
Our new keeper was David Stewart whose father Colin played for us back in our first season and scored on his debut at Annfield, Stirling Albion’s home ground at the time.
So we had David in goals; Ally and CC were the full backs with Gee and Jake in central defence; four in midfield, Andy D, LHD, Craig and Ross; Paul and Sebo up front.
Thistle started with twelve and they are always a difficult opponent as they like to pass the ball about in the middle of the park.
However, a combination of the strong cross wind and the fact that we were pressed them quickly in the midfield meant we controlled the first half.
After a stramash at a corner Sebo fired home the opener then LHD made it two before half time with Thistle having few chances and David not being troubled much.
Our new keeper did have to turn a high shot over the bar which had Safehands on the bench shouting about “an unbelievable save, best I’ve ever seen”.
Half time and the Boss brought on Sean, Adam and Gary as the wind continued to blow across the pitch.
Thistle upped their game in the second half and David made a couple of saves as they tried to get back into the game.
Their pressure eventually paid off when they scored with a shot from outside the box which flew into the net then they were unlucky with an offside goal which might not have been.
Robert and our other new signing, Stephen Mosley, a Queen’s supporter who had been working in London and occasionally following Dulwich Hamlet, both came on before we sealed the victory after a nasty incident.
Craig was fouled in the middle of the park and referee Jim played advantage which ended with another foul on the edge of the Thistle area. Meanwhile Craig and the guy from Thistle that fouled him had had words. Gee stepped in to calm things then one of the old Thistle guys stuck the heed on Wee Gee because “it’s ma boy”.
Not good and Gee was left with a cut above his eyebrow and the Thistle guy walked off in lieu of getting sent off. Eventually things calmed down and we could get back to playing football.
And what better way to play football than score a third goal which Ross did superbly by curling the free kick from outside the area into the top corner.
There wasn’t too much time left and we ran out deserved 3-1 winners after an excellent all round performance.
Thistle subsequently apologised for the incident and it’s one of very, very few that have happened in all the years we’ve been playing against them (first game 1994).
However, another win for Andy Boy’s Black and White Army and a hard fought one too in poor conditions.