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S-train's strike unable to stop Glen sliding to defeat!
04 May 2012

Marine Harvest South Division One

Glenorchy 1-2 Glasgow Mid Argyll

With an unblemished start to the league season, Glenorchy encountered Glasgow Mid Argyll at Dalmally in their fourth league fixture. The sun split the sky as the two teams assembled in the centre circle with Glenorchy making two changes to the starting 12 which faced Oban Camanachd in the previous game. Sandy Leiper and Scott MacIntyre coming in for the absent Duncan MacDougall and Scott 'the snake' Livingstone.

Although GMA were two points clear of the home side in the league table they had played two games more so this was more or less win or bust for the visitors' title aspirations with Oban Camanachd looking unlikely to drop many points. Manager Allan MacKechnie reiterated to his players the importance of a fast start and bagging a few early goals to boost the confidence.

The match started in fairly mundane fashion with neither Andrew Smith in the Glen goal or his counterpart in the visiting net having much to do. The Glen midfield of Kenny MacDougall, Findlay Ross and Sandy Leiper were seeing most of the ball as the tackles flew in in the middle of the park.

John Sartain strokes home the opener for Glenorchy

Glenorchy were first to threaten when John Sartain drilled a low skimmer of a shot just off target and Scott MacIntyre followed that up with a 20 yeard drive that whistled inches over the bar as the home side pressed for the opener. MacIntyre was showing some neat touches in his first start of the season in the Glen forwardline.

GMA answered back though and a 5 minute spell of pressure resulted in Smith making a top class save with his stick above his head and then two chances for Craig Anderson that flew just wide of the upright. These chances were enough to make gaffer MacKechnie re-jig the side with Alec MacPherson, who had started in defence, moving up front in place of MacIntyre with Graham Morrice slotting in at half back for his first involvement this campaign.

The Glen forwardline of Sartain, Alec MacPherson, Duncan Smith and Lorne Brown were now starting to find their feet in the game with Brown firing just over the bar after 28 minutes. Glenorchy got that opening goal they were after when John Sartain reacted sharply ahead of the advancing GMA keeper and nudged the ball over the line to make it 1-0 to Glenorchy with 30 minutes played.

This was Sartain's first game back since his hamstring treatment and he was relishing being back in the action as he nearly doubled his tally just a minute later with a shot saved by the outstretched hand of the keeper.

Alec MacPherson and Duncan Smith both missed chances to increase the lead before half time but the encouraging thing for the home side was the frequency with which the chances were being created.

Half time came with the scoreline at 1-0 at to the hosts and although content to be in front, manager MacKechnie slammed his players' performance at half time and demanded much more in the second 45 as he believed Glen wouldn't win the game if they started as lacklustre again.

With the gaffer's words ringing in their ears, Glen started a bit stronger but still couldn't find that killer second goal with GMA growing in confidence the longer it stayed at just 1-0.

GMA were now enjoying the bulk of the posession and chances as they pushed for that elusive equaliser. Andrew Smith having to look sharp on a few occassions with the Glen defence of Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Morrice and Fulton Ronald having to cope with a pacey visiting attack.

Lorne Brown fired just past the post from a corner as Glen responded and Alec MacPherson fired over after good set up play by Kenny MacDougall. Glen then introduced Iain Livingstone at wing centre in place of Sandy Leiper with just 25 minutes remaining.

The general consensus among the spectators was that GMA looked the more likely side to score and this they duly did after 72 minutes when Craig Anderson evaded his marker to fire a low shot home past Smith to make it 1-1.

This setback prompted a flurry of activity as first Alec MacPherson, who had already been booked, hit out at a GMA player after being pushed over but got away with it and then Glen's captain Findlay Ross was unceremoniously lashed to the deck with a very reckless swing that ended his afternoon with James Livingstone, who was suffering from the flu, coming on up front with Alec MacPherson dropping back to full centre.

Glen were now desperate for the winner and Sartain and Brown both created chances for themselves which the GMA keeper dealt with but it was GMA who scored next after 83 minutes when Fulton Ronald, who had an outstanding game, inadvertantly knocked the ball past his own keeper when making a tackle and GMA now lead 2-1 with just over 5 minutes to play.

Glen flung Grant MacPherson up to full forward with Brown retreating back to full back for the remaining exchanges. No chances were really created at either end though as the game ended in a 2-1 victory for GMA.

This result ended Glenorchy's unbeaten start to the league campaign and could maybe act as reminder that all games in this league are tough. Glen remain on 6 points whilst GMA move on to 8 having played 2 more games.

Not many positives for Glen from this one apart from the fact they can't possibly play as bad again as they look to bounce back with a run of victories in the league. Next up for GMA is a home clash with Strachur in the league whilst Glenorchy don't have a game on Saturday due to Beauly's involvement in the MacTavish Cup.

Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Ewan Murray, Alec MacPherson, Fulton Ronald, Sandy Leiper, Findlay Ross, Kenny MacDougall, John Sartain, Duncan Smith, Scott MacIntyre, Lorne Brown. Subs Used: Graham Morrice, Iain Livingstone, James Livingstone.

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