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Game of Two Halves sees Glen Victorious!!
29 August 2012
Marine Harvest South Division One
Glasgow Mid Argyll 1-3 Glenorchy
Glenorchy made their second longest league trek of the season to Yoker in Glasgow on Saturday to take on Glasgow Mid Argyll in a clash which neither side could really afford to drop points in with Oban Camanachd looking very strong at the moment in the quest to land the title and promotion to the Premier League.
The Glen made two changes from the previous week's starting line up with Ewan Murray and James Livingstone returning in place of Scott MacIntyre and John McNulty. The match was delayed slightly in getting underway due to the shards of glass that were on the field in places but this was quickly resolved to the satisfaction of both sides.
Referee, Lachie Wood got the tie underway and it was GMA who were first to signal their intent with Craig Anderson firing a low angled shot just wide and then Andy Mathie spurned a glorious chance when he was unmarked but his effort lacked any real conviction and Andrew Smith in the Glenorchy goal was able to save with his feet.
It was a very fast start from the home side and the Glen backline of Grant MacPherson, Scott McKillop, Ewan Murray and James Livingstone had their work cut out as the pressure began to tell.
Glen created their own chances though, with Sandy Leiper firing over the bar from just outside the box and John Sartain then forced the GMA keeper into action for the first time with a high strike which he palmed away to safety.
Kieran MacKay then tried his luck from distance with a lobbed effort which was again scrambled away and then Scott Livingstone made up good ground down the wing and his cut-back found Sartain whose low drive brought a superb save.
GMA were still having the better of proceeding however and Anderson and Mark Bain both came very close with a few shots but they just couldn't force Smith into any real trouble as the half time whistle beckoned.
Then, just 5 minutes before the break, GMA hit the front when a slip from James Livingstone meant Craig Anderson received the ball unchallenged at the back post and his strike flew past Smith and into the net off the post to put GMA 1-0 up.
Innes MacMillan had a chance to add to the scoreline just 3 minutes later but his strike was dealt with by MacPherson's outstretched stick and so the half-time whistle came with GMA leading by a single goal and the game was proving to be as tight as was expected by pundits and supporters.
Glen's gaffer, Allan MacKechnie ripped into his players at the interval and emphasised to them that if the scoreline stayed the same then any hopes of the league title or even second spot in the league would be gone. He demanded much, much more effort and he was about to get duly rewarded.
The second half begun as if a different side in black and white had emerged with everyone winning loose balls. 50/50's and a much greater urgency was on show.
The Glen's midfield of Kieran MacKay, Findlay Ross and Duncan Smith began to totally dominate in the middle and this, in-turn, enbaled the forwardline of Sartain, Scott Livingstone, Leiper and Lorne Brown to start playing some shinty.
Brown, who had returned to his more accustomed positin of full forward after last week's outing at full-back, began to find space and his snap-shot on the turn whistled just wide as the momentum in the game began to switch.
For all their possession however, it was goals that were required for the visitors and the equaliser wasn't long in arriving. After 55 minutes, a lofted ball from half-back McKillop arrowed in towards Brown but his marker got his stick to the ball first, but only succeeded in wrong-footing his own keeper as the ball spun backwards and tricked over the line to make it 1-1.
A slice of luck, no doubt about that! But now it was a question of what could GMA do in response to this setback and would Glen make the most of their good fortune.
Just 5 minutes later this question was answered when Brown received the ball 20 yards out after good work from Leiper and his low shot flew into the corner of the net to put Glenorchy 2-1 up with just half an hour to go.
It was some turnaround indeed as GMA seemed shellshocked and were struggling to create any real headway at all in the Glen half. Glen then added a third after 65 minutes when Leiper picked up a long ball from Murray out wide and he dribbled past his man and played a one-two with Brown and then slipped the ball into the net to make it 3-1.
It was a brilliant goal and showed the confidence that a couple of goals can give you. Sartain then came very close to adding a fourth with a powerful drive that the keeper touched around the post with his stick.
With the points being ever so crucial, it was only natural that Glen would become more defensive in the latter stages as they tried to hold to what they had. GMA began to create chances of their own with Anderson screwing a golden chance off target and having another drive fly just past the post.
After a mad couple of minutes when Glen just couldn't clear the ball and a skirmish or two, Lachie Wood brought the game to a close with the final score being 3-1 to Glenorchy.
This was a massive 2 points on offer for both sides and the men from Argyll will be delighted to keep the pressure on Oban Camanachd at the top. It was as big a game of two halves as you're ever likely to see and although Glen will be disappointed with the performance in the opening period they will be pleased with the spirit and determination shown thereafter.
Next up for GMA is a home game against Kilmory in the league with Glenorchy having a local derby up next in the shape of Taynuilt's visit to Dalmally. This is sure to be a keenly fought encounter and form will undoubtedly go out the window for this game.
Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Scott McKillop, Ewan Murray, James Livingstone, Kieran MacKay, Findlay Ross, Duncan Smith, John Sartain, Sandy Leiper, Scott Livingstone, Lorne Brown. Subs Unused: Scott MacIntyre, Steven Turner, Andy McLean