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Brown off the mark as Glen record back-to-back wins
20 March 2012
South Division One
Glenorchy 2-0 Strachur
After finally registering points on the board for the first time in well over a year, spirits within the Glenorchy camp were high going into the first home game of the season against newly promoted Strachur. The previous week's fixture for Glen against Kilmory was cancelled due to unplayable pitches both at Dalmally and in Lochgilphead whilst Strachur went into the game still pointless following a 2-1 home defeat to Oban Celtic.
It was an early start for the home contingent with puddles residing all over the field in the morning but by throw up the pitch was in great condition given the weather although it looked very heavy. Glen made 2 changes to their starting 12 with Fulton Ronald and Lorne Brown coming in for the absent James Livingstone and hamstring victim John Sartain.
Perhaps somewhat suprisingly it was Strachur who were the quicker starters and Angus Campbell fired just past after only 30 seconds. This warning wasn't heeded by Glen and their play began to become very disjointed for the opening 20 minutes with tempers flaring and arguments breaking out, it's safe to say it was far from the ideal start.
Another long range effort from the Strachur centre forced Glen's newly famous keeper Andrew Smith into action with his hand. Glen were struggling to create anything but Kieran McKay shot inches past after reacting quickest to a loose ball just outside the box.
The Glen centreline of Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross and Sandy Leiper were struggling to get going in the opening period but spurred on by some hard tackling and industrial work from the experienced Ross began to make some headway as the interval approached.
Then the big talking point of the half came just 5 minutes before half time when Lorne Brown bundled the ball past the Strachur keeper and seemed to be unceremoniously brought to the deck which referee Robert Baxter seemed to agree with and pointed to the spot. But, after deliberation with the goaljudge Baxter seemingly changed his mind and awarded a goal hit much to the bemusement of almost everyone in attendence. Brown subsequently had to leave the field and was replaced at full forward by Kenny MacDougall. Although it would have been a somewhat undeserved lead for the Glen, it was still a baffling call which left the scoresheet blank at half time.
Glen's Kieran McKay shows some neat stick-work to outfox the Stachur defence
Glen manager Allan MacKechnie was not satisfied at all with his side's first half showing and made that crystal clear to his players by demanding an immediate improvement or changes would follow.
This rollocking worked a treat for MacKechnie as Glen came out a lot quicker than the first half with Alex MacPherson and McKay getting shots away on target. It seemed like a goal was coming and it duly did after 52 minutes when good link-up play between Duncan Smith and McKay created the chance for MacPherson to fire a brilliant drive beyond the reach of the keeper to put Glen 1-0 up.
More chances followed for the home side with MacDougall rifling just over as the forwards finally began to function. Strachur were still in the game whilst the difference between the sides was only one goal. Brown was then reintroduced after recovering from his injury and he took the place of Scott Livingstone with MacDougall reverting back to the wing. But the home backline of Grant MacPherson, Duncan MacDougall, Ewan Murray and Fulton Ronald were repelling the attacks now with long hitting by MacPherson and tough tackling from Ronald now a prominent feature.
With 20 minutes to go, Glenorchy made their second change of the match with Leiper being replaced by Steven Turner in a straight swap at wing centre. If you had told Turner 12 months ago he would be playing on the wing for Glen he wouldn't have believed you or even entertained the thought but he slotted in seamlessly apart from a wee dive or 2.
With Strachur starting to throw more bodies forward as time ticked down and this left them vulnerable and a little more exposed at the back. Glen would exploit this to the full with just 12 minutes remaining when excellent and unselfish play from McKay presented Brown with a free shot from the dee which he took superbly to make the score 2-0 and seemingly end the game as a contest.
Both sides had further chances though, with a looping Strachur shot catching the wind and almost deceiving Smith at the back post. McKay and MacPherson both shot just wide as they seeked what would have definately been the killer goal. Glen replaced Ross with Scott MacIntyre for the last 5 minutes as the game ended in a 2-0 win for the hosts and kept their perfect start to the season going.
Credit has to go to a young, battling Strachur side who never gave up and could maybe spring a shock or 2 this season. Next up for Strachur is a trip to take on Kilmory in the league whilst Glenorchy have a local derby to contend with away at Taynuilt in what is sure to be a fiesty occasion.