Game 650  25/04/10  Friendly

v Calders at Torgylen Sports Centre  6-1 (5-0)

Martin Kelly, Arthur McCue (Calum Colquhoun), Allan MacKenzie (Ross Thomson), John Crosbie, Stuart Waugh (Calum Stewart), Adam Walker (Danny McFarlane), Craig McKenna, Andy Dick (Fraser Marr), Paul Joyce (c) (David Blair), Ally Dick (Andy McNaught jnr) and Sean Connolly (Ally McNaught)

Scorers: Joyce, Ally Dick 3, Walker, Blair

It had been a busy week for Mister C. The Evening Times defeat was the final straw and drastic action had to be taken.

First of all he phoned QPFC to make sure that the Social Club bar was open at 1pm so Short Haired Fat Dave was still unavailable.

Then money had to change hands in a back street in one of Glasgow’s less salubrious areas as a “doctor” was persuaded to examine Big Calum’s knee and tell him he was out for the season.

It wasn’t the first time this “doctor” had been used as he had previously pretended to be a surgeon when Arthur’s “toe” had to be operated on. In fact Arthur had been given ten cans of Guinness then, when he conked out, a plaster was stuck on his leg and, thankfully, he was out for four months.

The last task was to text Robert and tell him that the game was at Barlia at 2pm.

All of the above were necessary for the sake of the team as, after all,  that’s all that matters.

Despite the injuries and “call offs” we still had a squad of nineteen at Toryglen for the big game against Calders. Jaaack was missing with a genuine injury but Uncle Crossers was back as well as Andy Boy and CC Calum, and also Tall Calum whose previous appearance had been a cameo of McNaught junior proportions.

Obviously the appearance of Crossers made Safehands Martin react like a dog with two tails and he was first to get changed and out the dressing room as he apparently had something important to do before the game.

The squad of nineteen had stretched our kit resources to the limit and the Richard brothers were left without any kit. They were dispatched to the Calders dressing room to see if they could borrow some shorts and socks from the opposition.

Unfortunately the Calders team had made their way to the pitch apart from Big Danny who was able to help the Richard brothers, when I say help I mean he gave them his spare pyjama bottoms which he always brings in case of emergencies.

It was a slightly embarrassed Ally and Andy who came back into our dressing room as Danny is going through a Disney phase and it appears Hannah Montana jammy’s are his favourite’s at the moment. Could have been worse I suppose, he could sleep au naturale then we would have been in trouble. 

Incidentally, Team Joyce’s part in this problem has to be recognised. Quite frankly it’s not good enough to not bring enough kit even if they have to travel by bus from Kilmarnock with two young kids then humph the kit bag all the way up the hill and down again at Prospecthill Road. Commitment, aye right.

Anyway, Mister C decided to start with an experienced team, with a dash of youth, and Martin was in his usual place in goals; Arthur and Wee Al were the full backs with Crossers and Stuart in central defence; Adam was on the right of midfield with Sean left and Andy Richard and Craig in the middle; Paul and Ally Richard were our strike partnership.

The team were pumped up and raring to go as we ran out the dressing room and burst through the “Welcome Back Crossers, I Love You” banner which somebody had put up at the entrance to the pitch.

Our last game against Calders had ended in an exciting four all draw so neither team was out for revenge. Our opponents looked a strong team and we hoped to get a lead in the first half before we unleashed the weans after the break.

A good start is always something we aspire to but this start was as good as we have had all season.

Within the first ten minutes Ally R had had two great chances when he was through on goal but he skied them wide. Hopefully this wasn’t to be the shape of things to come.

It wasn’t as we continued to pile the pressure on the Calders defence who were struggling to clear their lines.

But, just as we thought it was one way traffic, Calders burst forward and it took a superb tackle by Stuart to prevent us going behind.

The first goal wasn’t far away though and it came for us as Paul fired home inside the area to break his goal drought and put us ahead.

Calders were still making mistakes at the back and giving us plenty of room in attack and Ally R made it third time lucky when he shot into the corner past the keeper.

Of course, no game is ever that easy for us and any time our opponents attacked they looked dangerous although thankfully Safehands didn’t have to make any saves.

The good chances were all coming our way and Calders offside trap was getting breached more and more as we stormed forward.

From one break through the trap Ally R was left on his own with only the keeper to beat and he rounded him before scoring our third.

The substitutes were buzzing (that’s the last time CC and Ally Mac are allowed to bring glue filled crisp packets) and their mood was boosted even further when Ally completed his hat trick when he again was left on his own with only the keeper to beat. Seven goals in seven games this season is an excellent effort from Ally.

It was a half we could only dream of and made it five just before the break when Adam turned the ball into the net after Paul had headed a corner goalwards.

Half time and we were five goals ahead. But would it be enough with the second half team we were about to put on ?

Off went Arthur, Allan, Stu, Sean, Andy R, Paul and Adam as CC, Ross, Tall Calum, Ally Mac, Fraser, LHD and Danny took their places.

The second half started slowly as Calders upped their game and we knew that one goal lost could start a comeback of phenomenal/Irn Bru proportions.

The storm was weathered though and we got back into the game and the young ones were putting pressure on the Calders players and giving them no time on the ball at all.

Fraser was outstanding in central midfield, with a wee bit of help from Craig, and he tried his luck from distance a couple of times and both efforts went………….a mile wide.

Incidentally, we are all on tenderhooks waiting for Fraser’s first goal but what sort of celebration does he have planned ?

Well, I can exclusively reveal that his celebration is similar to something he’s seen on the telly where the scorer brings out an accessory from about his person.

It turns out that Fraser goes on the pitch every week with a nun’s outfit tied round his waist and a Julie Andrews mask down his sock which he is going to put on in homage to his favourite musical character when that elusive first goal occurs. Oh well, each to their own.

Anyway, back to the game. It had all become too much for Uncle Crossers and Ally R and they both asked to come off as they were knackered with Paul and Adam taking their places.

Up front LHD was showing his usual good touches and he also showed an unexpected turn of pace to beat the offside trap and run from the halfway line with only the keeper to beat. Would he score ? Nope, he beat the keeper but the ball came crashing back off the post and left him lying on the ground looking as if he was waiting for a Canadian seal hunter to come and put him out of his misery.

When he eventually dragged himself off the ground he asked to come off because he had actually run half the length of the pitch, probably a first, and needed a time out.

So, who would replace him ? We needed a forward of similar build, ability and speed and we had just the man in Andy Boy who had thankfully declared himself fit after hurting his knee in a thirty second cameo against Kaisayr. It was great to see him back and just what we needed in attack. It shows the strength of the team when we can bring a player of such ability on………oh, wait a minute.

LHD came back on when Andy Boy fell over the first time the ball went to him and it looks like he’s injured again. Is Andy Boy the only person in our history who is going to make more appearances than minutes on the pitch ?

It was good to see LHD back and he did what was expected of him. He scored our sixth.

Adam, who was running riot down our right, got away from the Calders left back yet again and put over a cross which LHD knocked in with his knee. No massive celebrations for a change as he was only doing his job and he was knackered.

We were playing football you can only dream of and there came a sublime moment of genius from Fraser. Seriously, Fraser.

Our multi skilled midfielder picked up the ball in the middle of the park, nutmegged Danny in his jammy’s then, without looking, played a thirty yard pass down the line for Adam to run on to. The crowd on the sidelines were in raptures and it was the biggest cheer that’s been heard this season since someone said, “I see Big Cal’s gone down injured again”.

Adam got the ball under control then put over another superb cross which was just waiting for the finish, in fact it was easier to score, it would have been goal of the season, but no, nobody could get on the end of the cross. Can I just point out, for anybody interested, that Danny was playing at centre forward.

What a pass from Fraser and it was worth the admission money alone (free entry for children, pensioners and the partially sighted) and definitely in the top 100 moments of the season.

The only question left was, could we get a shutout. Oh so very nearly but not close enough unfortunately.

In almost the last move of the game a cross to the back post found Calders Wee Jackie unmarked and he headed past Safehands to give his side a consolation.

It wasn’t Martin’s first run in with a wee Calders forward but the other one is under investigation at the moment and is therefore sub judice.

Oh well, it never took the gloss off a superb ninety minute performance where the auld yins set the game up and the young ones carried on the good work.

It’s difficult to single any players out and everybody was excellent but Tall Calum had an outstanding second half in only his second appearance and hopefully we will see more of him (not in that way Crossers).

Calders were as poor as I’ve seen them and, apparently they had players missing (not an excuse we can use when we can get hammered with upwards of nineteen turning up), but we can only play against who they put out against us and all the other nonsense people say after games.

It’s probably the best win we’ve had since the first game of the season against Ormond Saints as our two other non-exhibition wins came against teams that had to borrow some of our squad because they were short.

A good day, a good win, an excellent attitude, a few drinks after the game, a long walk to Shawlands with two kids and a kit bag to get the bus home, a hangover Monday. Football, don’t you just love it !

Captain Comments:

Sunday was a prime example of what can be done when eleven minds work as one !.
Some of the football was top notch and even with seven or eight changes at half time we picked up where we left off and could have easily scored another five in the second half.
Special mention to Ally for his hat trick, that boy Walker for his audacity to steal goals (mine too might I add), Marzzo for his ability to keep cool when being bawled at by the captain and produce a wonder pass that Xavi would have been proud of and, of course, Andyboy for his obligatory 30 second cameo !!!











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