Rutherglen Glencairn 3 vs 2. Cumbernauld United
Tuesday 21st July 2009, Kick-Off 6.30pm
Toryglen Regional Sports Centre, Glasgow
The second match in my double header. When I arrive at Toryglen Sports centre the rain is teeming down. I’m already soaked on my walk from Mount Florida train station. I had just about dried off from earlier in the day and now I’m really wondering what possessed me to come along to this one.
I’ve already sat on a packed 5.28 train from Glasgow Central, heaving with commuters heading home from work, so I’m not really feeling the love for football at this moment in time. The rain stops just in time for kick-off however and it turns out to be not too bad an evening at the end up.
The pitch at Rutherglen’s New Southcroft Park is being relaid so they’ve opted to play this friendly at the new multi-million pound sports centre in the shadow of Hampden Park.
I notice that more than one Rutherglen player takes time out to relieve themselves at the side of the pitch before the kick-off.
The game begins at a decent pace and much like the game at lunchtime it’s obvious that the two sides are going at each other.
The first goal comes in 5 minutes when Paul McLaughlin pounces on a blocked shot and fires the ball in to put Rutherglen 1-0 up. The equaliser comes but 8 minutes later when a ball comes over the top of Rutherglen’s defence. The keeper has it all in hand though as he shouts to his trialist defender “It’s comin’, it’s comin’, it’s comin’…” before realising “It’s no’!” Martin O’Neill nips in between them and touches the ball in from the edge of the area.
After 22 minutes Rutherglen go back in front as new signing McLaughlin bags his second goal with a beautiful free-kick fired from 20 yards out into the postage stamp corner. It stays that wait at the interval.
I barely have time to go inside to get a drink out of the vending machine at half-time. By the time I’ve walked round about a quarter length of the pitch, got my drink and came back out the second half has kicked off. There can only have been around 5 minutes of a break. With a large number of substitutions by both sides however, there’s no real need for the players to have any kind of long rest. Rutherglen’s side is now made up mainly of trialists and fringe players. Six trialists are among their eleven substitutes used in the second half.
Cumbernauld come back into the game in the early periods of the second half, but a clumsy challenge in the box gives Glencairn the chance to increase their lead. Paul McDougall banged the spot-kick home to make it 3-1.
With five minutes to go Cumbernauld’s number 6 fires home a cracking free-kick into the top corner to make the final score 3-2.
It appears that the pitch was only booked for 90 minutes as the ref calls time with about 40 minutes played in the second half. Two other teams immediately rush onto the pitch and for a split second I’m tempted to ask one of the players who they are and stay to watch a third match of the day, but then I mind I have a life away from football matches, they’re starting the fourth season of The Wire tonight on BBC2 and I’ve got another disc of Rescue Me to watch and so I head for home.
Nomadic Fitba also has a report of this game.
Rutherglen Glencairn: Turner (McNeil), Kerr (Trialist), Paul (Barr), Trialist (Kane), Palmer (Trialist), Thomson (Trialist), O’Keane (Gentile), Hopkins (McShane), McArdle (Trialist), McLaughlin (McDougall), Carr (Trialist). Sub not used: Fraser
Scorers: McLaughlin (5, 22), McDougall (68 pen)
Cumbernauld United scorers: O’Neill (13) No. 6 (85)
Referee: Alasdair Ross