Clydeside AFC had a break from league duty on Saturday to play Park Sports in the Scottish Cup second round. A potentially difficult tie, seeing as their opponents had started their league campaign very strongly. The tie was made even tougher as the local boys were rocked by three late call offs to illness on Friday night and Saturday morning, plus the enforced absence of Robbie with an ankle injury.
The illness and injury was so bad, that Florence Nightingale was named as the first aider for this match. 😫
Fingers were crossed that there would be no further park issues, after turning up a few weeks previously and their park had been given away. The official line about that incident was that teams had to bid for a park that morning, and unfortunately CAFC hadn’t pitched high enough! 🤥😂
For the first time, the coaches decided to get all the players in the changing rooms prior to game, for a decent team talk and to go over a few issues. It had been decided to name Leo as team captain, James as vice captain and Connor to step up when either was missing.
Leo had to explain himself to the coaches when he was spotted using the changing room hair dryer on the other players’ legs. He quickly explained that he was carrying out the pre match warm up as requested!! 😄
Due to injuries, there were a number of players filling in at unfamiliar positions, but their attitude to this was great, as they realised it was helping the team. The early stages of the game were very even with the boys carrying out the pre match instructions to a tee, and working extremely hard with and without the ball. Full backs Luke and Kaiden were tackling well, and supporting the wide mids when required. Some great play between Josh, Cameron, Carter and Connor created a brilliant chance for Lewis but the big Park keeper stopped it well and prevented the hosts taking the lead. At the other end James and Kieran were dovetailing well to prevent the visitors getting clear chances, and when they did, young Robin was quick off his line.
Just as it looked like they were going into the break with a well deserved 0-0, they were undone by a poor refereeing decision. As the Park striker stood a yard offside, he was allowed to carry on and finished well past Robin. Terrible decision and so harsh on the youngsters.
We don’t like to criticise refs, but when we saw his name was Mr Magoo, there was always a chance he might not see everything clearly ! 👁👁
Someone shouted ‘taxi for the ref,’ and quick as a flash, big Paul Murtagh had offered him a fare. Paul did explain that as he was now a student, he needed every penny he could get ! 😂
The job for the CAFC coaches was to quickly lift the team’s spirits after such a disappointing end to the half. Whilst this was happening, J O’Malley had threatened to remove his string vest, as he was feeling so hot, but the other parents had diplomatically persuaded him, that he looked better with it on!!!😫
Into the second half, and young Ethan replaced Carter to bring some fresh legs. However, whether it was tiredness from the home team or good play from the visitors, the game changed dramatically in the next 15 minutes.
A combination of slackness, poor defending and strong play saw Park Sports score 3 goals to virtually kill the tie off. Such a shame after all their great efforts first half.
To the boys’ credit, they kept plugging away to see if they could score and salvage something from the tie. But the big visiting keeper was having an inspired game and his handling was superb.
Same could be said of young Robin in the home goal, who displayed the same bravery and shot stopping that he had done over at Renton.
Just as the clock was ticking down, the last word went to big Leo who got the ball 30 yards from goal. As his dad screamed ‘ Don’t hit it from there,’
the youngster demonstrated that he doesn’t listen to a word his dad says and hit a screamer into the bottom corner. Tremendous goal but too little too late and CAFC’s Scottish Cup dream is over till next year !
It was certainly a game of two halves, with Clydeside very good in the first and poor in the second! There were a lot of contributory factors including a lot of recent sickness and illness curtailing training and only 12 fit players available on the day . Hopefully this is a one off, but if there’s a struggle for numbers each week, then the coaches will have to look at the possibility of increasing squad size for more options and competition!!!
Onwards and upwards to our next fixture! 😄