St. Patrick’s Vs Drumchapel Amateurs – 2004
St. Patrick’s 2 – 1 Drumchapel Amateurs
As the nation woke up this weekend to a new dawn post Brexit, we took a similar path contemplating what seemed a bleak future. To compound matters, league leaders and reigning champions were rolling into town. This fixture has always been close, yet Drumchapel have always walked away with the lion-share of victories. Therefore, what chance do we now stand post Brexit?
History will simply define The Alamo as the siege of a fort defended by a handful of Texan farmers against 5000 Mexican troops during Texas’ fight for independence. Well, the rebels were wiped out but their cause was successful as Texas eventually gained independence from Mexico. However, the term will go on to adopt a new popular meaning to describe sheer resilience against overwhelming odds. In our case, the odds were for the group of players, some injured and others on the fringes of the larger squad to come good against the league leaders. Armed with good training and no more than a gambled stake in the future of their team, they turned up to Bothwellhaugh to find out for themselves the hard way.
We started off well with our plan of action still fresh in the minds. But not long after kick off frustration started to show as some passes and initial runs went awry. Just a matter of correction and focus as the game went on. The quality of our overall play however was already causing the visitors problems. If only we could relax and simply do what we knew we were capable of. Three minutes in and we were ruing our luck. A flighted ball into our goals was scooped by Joe but he had no time to react as the Drumchapel forward tapped in the loose ball from close range. We certainly had good reason to be disappointed as until then our play was more deserving of the lead. We were still masters of our destiny and we pushed on regardless of the early setback. We maintained momentum and frustrated the opposition more and more as they struggled to contain us. We came close to drawing level as the Drumchapel support grew restless. The inevitable finally came from a completely unexpected source. Joseph is known and appreciated for a lot of his work on the pitch, but certainly never expected this from him. As he inherited the ball outside the penalty and drifted to the right side we wondered for a split second if he was really going to do a Kompany. Totally against our best judgement he did. The ball flew in the air as our eyes locked into it like a guided missile. Mouth open we got ready to unleash criticism towards Joe for going for the wrong option, but found ourselves instead screaming for joy as the ball gently nestled into the back of the net. He was immediately mobbed by his long suffering team mates and rightly so, because this was a collector’s item. Around Bothwellhaugh we celebrated the fantastic strike for exactly what it was, a rare treat. The goal reaffirmed our belief and boosted our confidence. On the wings Owen and Jack were solid and composed. This offered a deeper insight into their inner strengths, but most of all their expressed desire to fight for the team with a great attitude on show. Jamie and Patrick stood to task working well together. Aidan dragged a heavily strapped thigh off the injury table to captain the team. Next to him in battle Michael gingerly went about his role challenging the opposition. Sitting at the bottom of the apex was Joseph, tenacious as ever. Ben slowly but surely was getting the measure of the visitors back line. Harald in an unfamiliar role was tasked with the non flattering job of helping cut out the opposition’s forays forward. As for Euan, his combative drive was certainly more than ever needed today. It was no surprise that coming off at the break that emotions were raw. The boys wanted this and it showed.
At the restart the message was very simple; be a team, support each other and be positive. They went back on reminded that success was intrinsic and that the real enemy was their own negativity. In such a close game like today a good break or bad call could alter the score at any time. We didn’t get the break when Euan got through on goal and was brought down just outside the penalty area. Harald went through on goal but was denied by the keeper. In the second half we hoped to capitalise on those breaks. Ben’s hard work started to pay off with positive end product. He got through the defence and was heading to a sure goal in very similar circumstances to Euan’s run in first half. This time the same defender copped a yellow. The free kick came to nothing. But it was a warning the visitors should have heeded. Because when Ben returned again in the twenty third minute he was unstoppable. His quick feet took him behind the back line and a clean low strike with his left flashed past the keeper into the net. Cue the celebrations around Bothwellhaugh. There was nothing the opposition could do. Our play deserved the break and our jubilant support on the sidelines could hardly believe it, because nobody but us knew the heartache that got us to this second goal, the depth of despair that took hold of the team the last couple of weeks, the trauma of clinging on to existence when mortally wounded. Yet the boys rose like one. The minutes turned to hours as tackles clattered into feet in a desperate effort to alter destiny. When the visitors finally broke clear through on goal Joe stood in the way saving with his feet, then pulling off an incredible double point blank save to kill off any chances the visitors had to come back. The final whistle sounded the victory chime that relieves from the exhaustion of battle. The physical scars could be tended as hasty handshakes brought the formalities to an end. We had earned the right to fight another day.
Today’s game was a simple reminder that, with a great attitude we are as good a team as any. The boys are good as any and we all should reinforce that at home, training and in games. The long term objective remains the same, to help them grow into responsible and confident citizens of the world, and mental positive attitude will go a long way in helping them get there With a couple of great signings we are no doubt witnessing the dawn of a new era.