St. Patrick’s Vs Clydebank FC – 2004
St. Patrick’s 5 – 2 Clydebank FC
After a disappointing opening game in the league we had the opportunity to make amends at home against Clydebank. It certainly was never a foregone conclusion as Clydebank are a decent outfit likely to give every team a run for their money. The return of some players from injury significantly boosted the squad options and morale.
The forecasted rain continued to streak across the atmosphere towards its inevitable crash onto the wet ground from hours of constant precipitation. We headed out regardless, but very much aware of the challenge that laid ahead. Our start was timid and tentative giving the initial momentum to Clydebank. The visitors grew bolder with a few forays forward and enjoyed a good part of the midfield play. They made their own luck twelve minutes in when they mopped up a keeper’s spilled ball from a free kick to open the score. The goal was loudly cheered by the strong travelling support. As for us, the disappointment was clearly edged on our faces. To add to our misery we gave away a penalty two minutes after conceding. However, Clydebank failed to capitalised by putting the spot kick wide. They will live to rue this missed opportunity. A swift tweak and switch of personnel in key positions and our play gained the stability it lacked in these early exchanges. Five minutes after surviving the penalty call we pegged the visitors back. Tyler found Euan who fades his immediate marker before driving onto goal with the defender in tow. The keeper came out to meet the danger head on, but could do nothing to halt our striker’s run. With an open goal to aim at Euan took another touch with the Clydebank defender now in range to challenge. But he held him off before smashing the ball into the back of the net to draw us level. A minute later Ben fed Euan after some great work on the left. Euan turned the defender who brought him down in the box. Penalty! He dusted himself off then sends the keeper the wrong way to double our score. The visitors recovered momentarily to hold the tide. But it was clear the momentum was ours. We increased our lead just before the break to put us in a commanding position. Aidan threads the ball through to Euan who beats the defender and strikes into the far bottom corner to record a brilliant hat trick. We went to the break with a good cushion but we had no intention of going to sleep.
At the restart the rain had stopped and the sun was out. Two minutes in and Clydebank were pinned down, literally. From approximately twenty five yards Euan inherited the ball and without a second thought struck a fierce shot into the far top corner. Our support celebrated the quality of the strike which summed up a great recovery by the team. The boys that came on in the second half played their part. The defence had recovered from a shaky start to limit the visitors. However, they were caught cold when Clydebank conjured up a chance out of nothing to reduce the score. But soon after our lead was restored when Michael put a ball through to Harald on the left. Harald brought the ball down then drove towards goal, rounded off the keeper and smashed the ball into the net. As we headed towards the end of the game some frustration showed on both side. Joseph went into a tackle in the dying seconds. The uproar that ensued earned him a straight red and an unnecessary fracas. The ritual end of match handshake ceremony turned into a recrimination huddle which was no more than a public display of individuals’ frustration. If only we all reminded ourselves that this is only a kids’ game and our sole purpose is to ensure that it is played in the right spirit, fairness, respect, honesty and integrity.
The boys deserve praise for their resilience in turning the game round and eventually overwhelming the opposition. Some went about their job today quietly, Owen, Patrick, Jack, Dom, Ricky, Joe, Lennon, Dylan who came on to get some more minutes under his belt, Jamie who is slowly returning to fitness, they all played a big part.