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Stormy conditions but Aray prevail
28 October 2011
Scottish Hydro Premier Division
Glenorchy 0-5 Inveraray
An early morning pitch inspection declared that The Mart had withstood the elements and was indeed, there or thereabouts, in a playable state. Although many others would probably disagree with that assessment as the rain came tumbling down, it was better to get the game played than wait till the freezing conditions that November or December would bring!
Inveraray arrived in Dalmally looking for 2 massively important points in their quest to avoid the drop alongside the home side. Glenorchy were without Grant MacPherson from the previous week's line-up but his place was taken by the industrious figure of Duncan 'Doch' MacDougall at full back.
With just 6 points left to play for, if Glenorchy were going to get off the mark then now would be one of the best opportunities they would get. Any hopes of grabbing this point meant that the first goal in the game would be crucial and, in order to gain belief, Glen had to hold Inveraray at bay for as long as possible. They managed this for just 42 seconds before Christopher Crawford evaded his marker, Ewan Murray to fire home past the despairing Andrew Smith. Smith's mood was already in a dark place after recieving a blow to the eye in the warm up from team mate Scott MacIntyre which may have hindered his performance....so he says!
This was a massive setback for the patched up home side and it was to get even worse after just 7 minutes courtesy of the caman of Garry MacPherson when a mix-up in the Glen rearguard invloving Smith and half back Findlay Ross left him free to tap the ball into an unguarded net. 2-0 and game over might have said. Would they be wrong?
Both sides were struggling to get the hitting into shape on such a heavy and waterlogged pitch and, as a result, the game became bogged down in the middle of the park. The Glen defence of MacDougall, James Livingstone, Ross and Morrice were dealing with the 'Aray forwards to a certain degree and restricted their chances as best they could.
Glenorchy were struggling to create anything up front however, with John McNulty, Andy MacLean, Iain Livingstone and Graham Morrice not seeing much of the ball to deliver anything worthwhile to trouble Graham MacPherson in the Inveraray goal. Garry MacPherson had another drive well saved by the caman of Smith and Chris Crawford passed up a couple of guilt edged opportunities to extend the lead.
An injury to Ewan Murray meant he moved up front for the remainder of the half with Graham Morrice switching back into defence. An intriguing battle was developing in the centre between Glen's Kieran MacKay and John Smyllie which went to and fro as the game progressed.
As has seemed to be the case with Glenorchy this season they have conceded goals in crucial 5 minutes before the break and this feat was to be repeated after a spell of constant Inveraray pressure when Garry MacPherson's shot took a cruel bounce past Smith and crawled over the line to make the half time scoreline 3-0.
Manager, Allan MacKechnie gathered his troops in and told them to keep believing in themselves and not disintegrate as was the case up at Kilmallie a few games ago. The pride of the players was enough to make sure this did not happen today.
The rain continued to pound down as the second half got underway thanks to referee, Innes Wood. Play became scrappy once more and Glenorchy's defence was standing up to the threat posed by MacPherson and co a lot better than in the opening period.
The Glen midfield of Scott Livingstone, MacKay and Duncan Smith were also beginning to find their feet and gradually began to gain the upper hand on their respective opponents and drove the Glen further up the pitch.
Neil Campbell and Garry MacPherson both squandered excellent chances to add a fourth for the visitors. MacPherson's in particular was a blatant miss after he was clean through then fired miles wide of the target.
Glenorchy introduced Steven Turner and Scott MacIntyre into the forwardline as the half wore on to try to salvage a way back into the tie. Any hopes of this were dashed after 70 minutes though when that man MacPherson completed his hat-trick with a flashing drive that left Smith helpless.
Just 2 minutes later and Chris Crawford grabbed his second and Inveraray's fifth of the afternoon with a crisp strike high into the net. It was well and truly game over now and Inveraray began to create chances at will but somehow missed most of them.
Glenorchy never threatened at all in an attacking sense through the whole game and were relieved when Innes Wood brought the game to a conclusion with the final score 5-0 to Inveraray.
With so many key players missing though, Glen could take some positives from some individual performances with Graham Morrice, in particular catching the eye at half back with his tough tackling.
Next week see's the visit of Lovat to Dalmally for the penultimate Premier League game of the season. With no points on board yet, Glenorchy will look upon this as their best opportunity to register having already held Lovat to a 1-1 draw in this season's Camanachd Cup.