Saturday 29th August 2015
IFA League v Fir Park Corner at Toryglen Football Centre
Alan Galindo; Robert Shimmons, Ally McNaught (c), Scott Macrae, Allan Mackenzie; Gary Duncan, Craig McKenna; Darren Dunsmore, Ross Pollock (David Blair), Raymond Ford; Derek Muir
At last a home game, and an IFA League one at that, against Fir Park Corner (Motherwell).
We could only muster a squad of twelve for this Saturday morning game and by the time Jim the Ref turned up we were down to a bare eleven as LHD had disappeared for an early comfort break.
The Boss picked the following line up to start the game; Gee in goals (again); Robert and Ally at full back; Wee Al and Sebo at centre back; Gary and Craig in front of them; Darren, Ross (first appearance of the season) and Ray the next line; and Del up front.
The centre back pairing of Wee Al and Sebo was an unusual one but one we’d tried before in Perth on Wee Al Day when the wee Highlander had a shocker on his 200th appearance. Probably just the emotion of the whole occasion, or the stress of playing alongside Sebo.
After two away draws in the League we were in confident mood despite the positional and personnel changes and the fact we were playing a strong Fir Park Corner side.
There was a strong wind at Toryglen and it was generally blowing across the park towards ASDA rather than up and down. If there was an advantage then we had it in the first half.
We started superbly and after only thirteen minutes we were two goals ahead.
Before we scored we should have had a penalty when Darren put the ball round the keeper and was brought down but Jim, as usual, waved play on.
Undaunted we took the lead after only seven minutes. Ally swung over a corner and it made its way to the back post where Sebo was waiting to knock the ball home. Even playing at centre back doesn’t stop Sebo scoring.
Four minutes later and we were two ahead as Gee launched a kick which looked to be heading to the FPC keeper but Darren ran like Usain Bolt to get to the ball first and he headed the ball into the net past the shocked and stunned Well net minder.
FPC tried to get back into the game but we were quick to close them down and, when they tried to play the ball out of defence, a combination of Del, Darren and Ray were there to make sure they either had to play the ball long or out the park.
After half an hour Well thought they had scored when a cross from the right saw a forward hit a close range shot but somehow Gee managed to tip the ball brilliantly over the bar.
Inspired by the save we went three ahead two minutes later when Craig won the ball in midfield and passed to Ray. Ray crossed the ball into the middle and, after a stramash involving the keeper, a defender and Craig, the ball ended up in the net with our midfielder getting the final touch.
Three up at half time was more than we could have dreamed of and LHD came on for Ross.
The second half was a totally different game and we were camped into our own half as FPC took control of the ball.
For the first fifteen minutes or so we were pegged back and Gee had to bring out all his handling skills as Well put on the pressure.
Time ticked by and we held out and eventually managed to get into the opposition half but FPC were still Well on top.
There were plenty of scares round our goal but stood firm and with less than fifteen minutes to go we scored a fourth goal.
Del received the ball on the left and took it for a run before cleverly lobbing the keeper to make sure of the win.
Two minutes later FPC pulled a goal back but it was too late and we had earned a famous victory.
Considering the players missing this was an excellent performance and the effort and commitment was superb.
As the weekend’s results came in we found out we were top of the IFA League and the question is, can Boss McNaught emulate the great Higgy Higgins and lead his team to a Championship ?