PETERSHILL 1 GLENAFTON ATHLETIC 1
The ’pros and cons’ of synthetic pitches is one of the main topics that continue to fuel debate across the length and breadth of the footballing community – players, supporters (spectators), club officials and administrators to name a few. The need to change in itself is often one of the stumbling blocks of progress and I am sure there would be a few tears shed in Springburn when the plans to demolish Petershill’s famous old stadium were first muted. On yesterday’s evidence the tears have dried up and the players, supporters and club officials had a new spring in their steps (no not because of the plastic pitch) in their fantastic new setting. The contrast between the old and the new
The Glens certainly appeared to make most of the playing surface passing their way from box to box in wave after wave of attacks. However, as on the grassy stuff in recent matches converting this possession into shots at goal was proving more difficult and clear cut goal scoring opportunities were thin on the ground. Simon Eeles almost made the breakthrough in 11 minutes darting deep into the Peasy’s box to beat the defender to the loose ball and unleash a thunderous shot, but with keeper Parry beaten it crashed off the top side of the bar – to add salt to the wound, Simon took a bad knock in the process.
Ten minutes later the game was further delayed when Petershill’s boss Stevie Easton was sent to the new stand for one outburst too many and by the end of the match several Peasy players’ names were also in the book for similar offences. Ironically, the home-side enjoyed their best spell of the half soon after. In 22 minutes a free kick was won on the edge of the Glens’ box. Although the low hard strike beat the wall Gary Matthews did well to get down and parry the ball and then make an excellent double save from the incoming Stevie Dallas.
Five minutes later the Peasies took the lead when James Coulter got on the end of a corner kick and hammered the ball off the underside of the bar, and according to the assistant linesman the ball crossed the line. Rumours, emanating it should be said from the travelling support, soon spread round the ground like a Mexican wave –‘the assistant referee is Shuggy Bakhramov, grandson of the Tofik Bakhramov the Russian linesman at Wembley in nineteen sixty six’.
The Glens recovered well from this set back and once again had the Peasy’s defence on the back foot. A Willie Howie thunder shot from just outside the box whizzed past the post and proved the worth of the security nets behind the goals. The luckless Parry would soon be wishing that these nets had been positioned in front of his goal. In the dying embers of the half the Glens were awarded a free kick from 25 yards out and as the box filled with white jerseys, each with their own maroon markers, all awaiting Simon Eeles free kick. Si thundered the ball to the keeper’s top right hand corner, where Parry got both hands to it but dropped it like a hot Ayrshire tattie and in doing so the ball bounced over the line, according to the assistant linesman. As the Sunday Mail hack put it ‘Eels shot is too slippery’ although he made no mention of the conga(r) celebrations that followed!
The aforementioned rumours grew arms and legs and apparently, according it should be said to the home support, the standside linesman was Shuggy’s twin brother Dougie! As the half-time whistle blew players from both sides aired their grievances and each in turn were assured by the match officials that both decisions were correct. Glasnost is miles better!
Half-time Petershill 1 Glens 1
Gary McGuigan who had defended admirably throughout was replaced by Chic Connolly, giving the Glens more options going forward. John Paul Grant who had picked up a booking in the first half for a badly timed tackle was replaced by ‘new-signing in waiting’ Jamie Doyle. Within 3 minutes of the re-start young David Gormley had to enter the fray after Gavin Brown was stretchered off following a bad head knock.The Peasies gave the Glens little time to bed in the changes and started the half with a new found sense of urgency and it was now the visitors that were on the back foot for prolonged periods.
The Glens got a second wind and the contest became more evenly matched in terms of possession and David Gormley’s enthusiasm added a much needed spark to proceedings. Half way through the half with one twist and turn he left the impressive Ryan Jordan and James Coulter for dead on the half way line and broke forward at speed, threaded the ball but with too much pace, into the box for Stephen Whalen to chase, and the advancing Parry was always going to got there first. His final touch may often let him down but Gormley was now very much in the thick of things.
A disappointing feature of the Glens play was the execution of set pieces. A number of free kicks were won on the outskirts of the box but the cross into the danger area or shot at goal were typically of the lukewarm variety. Willie Howie, took matters into his own hands and burst through the middle on two occasions, one finishing with another shot that tested the security nets and the other with a well timed and judged interception by a Peasy defender at the edge of the box. With 10 minutes remaining Parry redeemed himself when he brought a Stevie Agnew attack to an end with an excellent block on the six yard line.
Dallas was still causing the Glens problems but with 3 minutes to go it was the possibility of facing an Alex Burns free kick from the edge of the box that posed the greatest threat to the Glens not taking a share of the spoils, memories of his wonder strike at Loch Park still ‘toasted’ in our minds. The kick was delayed as another Peasy was booked, and the big hand on the clock was now heading towards ‘goal the winner’. The wall was beaten again but not the big G – and there would be no further scoring.
Full time Petershill 1 Glens 1
PETERSHILL: Parry, Wild, Merriman, Jordan, McAleenan;Carrera, Coulter, McVittie, Dalla, Burns, Asante
GLENAFTON ATHLETIC: Matthews; McGuigan (Connolly), Gow, McGregor, Quinn; Eeles, Howie, Grant (Doyle) , Agnew; Whalen, Brown (Gormley)
John Paul Grant with Steven McGregor
Simon Eeles on the move
Simon's shot about to be dropped and bounce over the line
Stevie Agnew burns rubber !
Old and New - welcome home Peasies