Archive for August, 2008

Game Seven – Maryhill vs. Cambuslang Rangers

August 29, 2008

Maryhill vs. Cambuslang Rangers

Maryhill 3 vs. 2 Cambuslang Rangers

Stagecoach Central Dist League – Division 1
Saturday 23rd August 2008, Kick-Off 2pm
Lochburn Park, Maryhill

Maryhill’s ground Lochburn Park is hidden away up a short hill just off Maryhill Road. It’s easily accessed from the city centre by the number 40 bus and indeed any of the buses that go along Maryhill Road.

Some things you see at junior grounds that you won’t see at a league game.
1.) Terracing. At junior games you get to stand on terracing. Most time dilapidated terracing that is probably a risk to your health.
2.) Picnic tables and chairs. Now I don’t suppose every junior ground has these but Maryhill’s does. Big wooden chairs and benches like you would see in a country park.
3.) Substitutes climbing up onto the roof of the ground to retrieve the match ball.
4.) A linesman in a suit and anorak. At games of this nature it’s normal that the referee is taking charge on his own. Usually a representative of each team will take a flag and patrol each line. Their role is simply just to flag when the ball goes out of play. Judging by today’s game they don’t bother keeping up with the play and simply pick a spot and stay there.

This game took a wee while to warm up but once it got there it was a cracker. Maryhill got in front when a header from Willie Sawyers clipped the post and trickled over the goal line.

Cambuslang got back into it when a great through ball resulted in a perfectly measured lob from the edge of the box by Chris Quinn. Just before half-time Cambuslang took the lead when Quinn scored direct from a corner. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. Although it wouldn’t be long until I saw it again.

In the second half Maryhill fought hard to get an equaliser, going close on a few occasions. They appeared to chuck the fightback away however when centre forward Charlie Hobbs stupidly got himself sent off for a tame headbutt. What followed was another classic junior match moment as Hobbs had to be escorted from the field by his team mates as he attempted to square up to several opposition players. He was waved from the field by Cambuslang’s goalkeeper who was shooed back into his goal by one of his defenders. Once off the pitch Hobbs made to throw a water bottle into the crowd as his manager restrained him. This type of behaviour is pretty typical of the junior game, where players really go for it when they lose their temper. Of course such bammery is not exclusive to the junior ranks, but I find that they do it best.

The Sending Off

The ten men got themselves back into the match when a goalmouth scramble resulted in a Cambuslang defender booting the ball off the line and straight off the backside of Sawyers.

It was all Maryhill from then on and they got their winner with the game’s second goal direct from a corner. God knows how Jon Connolly, Cambuslang’s keeper, managed not to see the ball until it was a yard over the line but that’s when it caught his eye. It was from the same side as the first goal direct from a corner and I did look along the line to see if there was some discrepancy such as a wonky goal-line, but it all seemed to be fine.

Connolly then managed to get himself booked by pointlessly protesting to the referee about the goal. He had narrowly avoided a booking minutes earlier when the ref thought his mouthing off was the product of his left back who had been told to ‘shut your mouth’ seconds earlier.

Maryhill had a couple of good chances to kill the game off but they both resulted in weak finishes. However they hung on for the win in this five-goal thriller.

It's 3-2

A match report from the Maryhill website is here.

More of my photographs are here.

Maryhill: Quinn, Wilson, Robertson (McManus 66), Trialist, Trialist, Smith, Sideserf, Currie (Trialist 66), Hobbs, Stanley, Sawyers. Subs not used: Barr, S.O’Neil, Montgomery

Scorers: Sawyers (19, 68), McManus (84)

Sent Off: Hobbs (59)

Cambuslang: Connolly, Doak, Lynch, Irvine, Bishop (Gray 87), Kenna, Ferguson, Hughes, Ogilvie, Miller (Boyce 72), Queen (Sweeney 76) Subs not used: Marshall, Steele.

Scorers: Queen (38, 42)

Attendance: I did a head count and got 87.

Referee: Alistair Ross

Game Six – Scotland vs. Northern Ireland

August 27, 2008

Scotland vs. Northern Ireland

Scotland 0 vs. 0 Northern Ireland

International Friendly
Wednesday 20th August 2008, Kick-Off 8pm
Hampden Park, Glasgow

I wondered how long I could go without attending a nil-nil draw. I got my answer tonight. Trust Scotland.

The 7,000 Irish fans who attended helped to provide a bit of atmosphere for this friendly. I say ‘helped’ but really they provided it on their own. They sang, chanted and waved their flags constantly throughout the night, from before kick-off until the final whistle. A chunk of the Scottish support predictably booed ‘God Save the Queen’ as it played its role as Northern Ireland’s national anthem. Only The Sun attempted to make much of a big deal about that in the next day’s papers, claiming that ‘The Tartan Army would be reported to UEFA’. A guy in front of me stoically gave the Irish fans the finger for the duration of the anthem.

Tonight was the debut of Scotland’s new home strip. A kit that has apparently been modelled on the 1978 kit, thanks to its faux collar, which in actual fact looks nothing like the 1978 shirt. It’s my favourite Scotland strip for a while though. Mainly because they’ve made it much simpler, as well as having got the colour back to a more traditional dark blue shirt with white shorts and red socks.

This wasn’t much of a match. The two sides were well matched and there was very little to report on the first half.

The second half sparked the game into life, with Scotland initially looking like they might be able to break the deadlock. Darren Barr had a good header on target, but he couldn’t mark his debut with a goal.

Scott Brown, it’s safe to say, looked uncomfortable in his position out wide on the right, but that may also have been down to the treatment he was receiving from Northern Ireland’s left back McGivern. But after one reckless challenge too many in the 57th minute that was put to an end when he got his second yellow card and was sent off.

Red Card

At that point it looked like Scotland might make the breakthrough, but it was more likely to be the visitors a few minutes later when substitute keeper Alan McGregor gave away a penalty. However he made amends by making a great save from David Healy’s well-struck spot-kick.

The latest Englishman to become a Scot made his appearance in the 62nd minute when Derby County’s Kriss Commons came on. From my days playing Championship Manager I remember that Commons was always a decent buy. A lot of people have doubts about us blooding English born players but the manager has to pick the best players available to him, so I don’t knock it. If it’s in the rules I don’t see why we shouldn’t go for it. He did little in his short time on the pitch, but by all accounts he’s a player who gives his all, so I’ll look forward to seeing more of him in the dark blue.

A flash shot from James McFadden well held by his Birmingham City club mate Maik Taylor was about the closest Scotland came to getting a goal.

The Irish fans remained in good voice throughout the match, despite the lacklustre encounter. Here they are, mocking us, the Scottish support for only turning up 21,000 strong.

Scotland: Gordon (McGregor 46), Alexander, McManus (Barr 46), Weir (Berra 72), Naysmith, Brown, Thomson (Robson 46), Darren Fletcher (Stewart 69), Morrison (Commons 62), Miller, McFadden. Subs Not Used: Marshall, Whittaker, Boyd, Steven Fletcher, Clarkson.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley (Duff 76), Evans, Craigan, McGivern, Baird, Clingan (O’Connor 58), Davis, Brunt (Feeney 55), Healy, Paterson (Shiels 46). Subs Not Used: Mannus.

Sent Off: McGivern (57).

Attendance: 28,072

Referee: Nicolai Vollquartz (Denmark).

There are some photographs on my Flickr page here.

A report of the game is on the BBC website here.

Game Five – Yoker Athletic vs. Clydebank

August 18, 2008

Yoker Athletic 2 v. 0 Clydebank

Sectional League Cup
Saturday 16th August Kick-Off 2pm
Holm Park, Yoker

Another local derby this was a spirited 90 minutes. Clydebank has existed as a junior team for five seasons. Before that Yoker Athletic were the town’s only junior side. For readers outwith Scotland ‘junior’ is a rank of non-league football in Scotland.

This season Clydebank have moved from their former home at Glenhead Park in order to ground share at Yoker’s Holm Park ground. Both teams are confident this will be a good move as they work together to improve the ground. Last season Yoker had the unenviable record of having most home games postponed. I wonder how the increase in the pitch’s use will effect postponements this season. The sides play in different junior divisions but they meet today as they’ve been drawn in the same group in the Sectional League Cup which opens the junior season.

Clydebank sat at the top of the five-team group at the start of the game. One team from each group qualifies for the quarter-finals.

Yoker got the first goal within a minute of the kick-off as striker Davie Kirkwood glanced home a header past Stefan Gonet. Clydebank were up against it from then on. Although they pushed forward often and hit the crossbar twice they never really looked like getting back into the match.

In the 78th minute Yoker’s recent signing Kirkwood scrambled home a second and that was that.

Clydebank did fight until the last minute, but to no avail.

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In such a small game you can hear every shout from the crowd and every utterance on the pitch.

The Yoker defence in particular were very vocal with their keeper, Kenny Meechan, shouting at his back four to stay in line. He was also keen to offer them praise whenever they played a good ball.

He marshalled their substitute left-back frequently, reminding him that he had asked to be kept right before kick-off.

“Don’t listen to him,” he told the number 15 when the sub suggested the reason he was out of position was that he doing what the right-back told him to.
“Listen to me,” the keeper replied. “I’ll keep you right. He’ll just pull a ‘Where wur ye?’”

The other thing I noticed that I’ve certainly never seen at a senior game is the referee and linesman answering their respective critics.
“Is Stevie Wonder reffing?” one wag in the crowd shouted.
The referee gave him a withered look and shouted back, “Aye, that’s a belter.”

The linesman also vociferously explained his decisions to Yoker’s back four whenever they frequently felt aggrieved that their side weren’t getting offside decisions or free-kicks.

Yoker’s keeper eventually came a cropper thanks to his constant back-talk. As he prepared to take a goal-kick he shouted at the referee that there were, “Too many people supporting the one team here.” The linesman immediately flagged for the referee and reported the keeper for calling the ref a cheat.

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“Yellow card?” the ref asked his assistant before approaching the keeper.

“Did I call you a cheat?” the keeper asked, genuinely surprised that was how his patter was being interpreted. “I didn’t mean that. I apologise. I apologise.”

There’s a report of the game on the Clydebank website where you can also watch highlights of the match.

There are some more photographs here.

Yoker: Meechan, Vickers, O’Hara (Lalli 38), Cameron (Bissland 12), Schoneville, McKellar, Carson, Gallagher, Kirkwood, Marshall, Jordan. Subs not used: Bell, McKenzie, Malone.

Scorers: Kirkwood (1, 78)

Clydebank: Gonet, McInnes, Lynn, Maxwell (Bowie 77), Cunningham, Packham, Allum, Hailstones, Proctor (Scobie 57), Jack.A (Selkirk 57), Fisher Subs not used: Docherty.

Attendance: I didn’t do a head count but around about 100 should cover it.