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No Love Affair This Time!
03 November 2011
Scottish Hydro Premier Division
Glenorchy 0-4 Lovat
With just two games left of their season, Glenorchy were still pointless and the visit of Lovat to Dalmally was seen by many as their only real chance to alter that statistic. Conditions were once again not the best for this fixture, with the grass at quite a long level and the rain which meant it was not going to be a day for big hitting or dribbling.
Both sides were desperate for the points for very different reasons. It was simply a game which Lovat had to win, knowing that they had already been held to a draw here in the Camanachd Cup 2nd round back in June. Glenorchy welcomed back Scott McKillop into the fray and he slotted straight back into his usual full back berth.
Referee Billy Wotherspoon got the game underway eventually after he deliberated about whether to cancel it as the rain continued to pound down leaving puddles all over the pitch. Perhaps surprisingly it was the home side who got off to the better start and young John Mcnulty tested the Lovat keeper with a low shot which was pushed behind for a corner. At the other end, Greg Matheson was looking very dangerous and he should have put Lovat ahead when he fired high over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
Glen were grateful for this let-off and very nearly snatched the lead themselves when Duncan Smith hit a shot which was saved with his outstretched hand by the keeper. This seemed to serve as the warning Lovat needed that this was going to be no walk in the park. They went ahead after 25 minutes when a corner across the box was misjudged by Graham Morrice and Owen Ferguson gleefully dispatched powerfully into the net leaving Andrew Smith in the Glen goal stranded.
Chances were at a premium after this however as the wind and rain made conditions almost impossible for the players as sticks began to slip put of hands. Glenorchy's Ewan Murray received the first yellow card of hte game when he hauled back Jamie Matheson as he marauded towards goal. The Glen midfield of Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross and Kieran MacKay were beginning to dominate as they half wore on and Livingstone was unlucky when a long distance effort sailed just over the bar.
But, just 5 minutes before the break the visitors extended their advantage courtesy of Greg Matheson who shot home low and hard from 20 yards to make the half-time score 2-0 to Lovat.
Glen boss, Allan MacKechnie took the chance to regroup his players at the interval and reiterated his belief that chances would come if the boys kept plugging away. The Glenorchy backline of Scott MacKillop, Ewan Murray, Graham Morrice and Duncan MacDougall were managing to keep the Lovat forwardline at bay in the first half with relative ease.
This wasn't to be the case in the second half though, and after just minutes had elapsed Greg Matheson got his second from a short free-hit to rifle high into the net past Smith to make it 3-0 to the Kiltarlity men.
This was just the start Glenorchy didn't want as they knew the next goal in the game after half-time would be crucial. Duncan Smith, John McNulty, Sandy Leiper and Andy MacLean in the home forwardline were finding it harder to get into the game as Lovat pressed home their superiority.
Leiper forced a great save from the Lovat keeper however when he was through one-on-one after 58 minutes and just 4 minutes later Smith made a superb save with his hand from a rocket shot from Owen Ferguson.
As the match became more and more bogged down tempers started to flare as Kieran MacKay and Martin Mainland were involved in a nose to nose flare up which the referee dealt with without any cards. But, a few minutes later Duncan Smith and James MacPherson had a tussle which resulted in a pushing match between players from both sides and a yellow card for MacPherson.
The game was beginning to drift away from Glenorchy and this was emphatically proven on 81 minutes when Owen Ferguson grabbed his second and Lovat's fourth of the afternoon after he reacted quickest to a save from Smith and slotted home. Glenorchy felt Greg Matheson was offside when he scored though and were rightfully angry at the decision.
With just 5 mintues to go and conditions and tempers alike both beginning to wane Billy Wotherspoon blew for full-time early which meant that Lovat won the match by 4-0.
Still no points for Glenorchy in this disastrous season and just one fixture left to remedy that with the visit of Glenurquhart to Dalmally next weekend. Although what kind of state the pitch will be in after this meeting remains to be seen!