St. Patrick’s Vs Palace Park Pride – 2004
St. Patrick’s 11 – 4 Palace Park Pride
We were back at Bothwellhaugh for our Scottish Cup fixture against Palace Park and it felt good. Good positive vibe all round the team as we welcomed back Mairtin & Ben joined the team. However, Ollie unfortunately is still recovering. Our hopes for sunshine were dashed much later when a downpour gave us an unwelcome good soaking.
The game started very well for us. We had hardly kicked-off when Dom was awarded a free kick. Beau stepped up and dispatched the ball past the keeper. The game was 30 seconds old. This early setback must have wounded Palace Park’s pride as it jolted them into action. They went close with a couple of balls behind our defense. In goals, Joe was prompt and focused in his decision making and dealt with the threat diligently. If our back line was hoping for quiet game then the pacy Palace Park forward line must have got them to think again. However, we still had the upper-hand despite Palace Park’s fightback. Fourteen minutes in and Ben delivered a great pass to Gallagher on the right wing. Gallagher drove inside, fought with the last defender for the ball, recovered to poke the ball on to Dom who lashed it low into the net to extend our lead. From a seemingly comfortable ascendancy, Palace Park wrestled the ball back from our defense to beat Joe and reduce the lead. We bounced back from the disappointment and went on another attack. Euan drew a foul taking on a couple of defenders. Beau took charge and gently lifted the ball over the wall and into the net. Beau’s deft execution of the free kick certainly makes his case as a dead-ball specialist. No sooner did we restore our advantage than we extended it with a brilliant and clinical move. Ben moved the ball from midfield wide right to Gallagher who promptly delivered a great cross for Ricky to head in from close range. Before Palace Park had the time to recover we increased the score when Dom’s through ball was finished off by Ricky. Just before half time Palace Park pulled another goal back as our defense failed to react to a ball in the box.
We went to the break with a three goal advantage. Yet well aware that the game had a long way to go. Mairtin came on for Ricky. Jamie was brought on later for Euan and his impact was immediate. After fluffing his first attempt at a cross, he picked up a great pass from Dom and struck the ball low past the oncoming keeper into the net. Two minutes later we made Palace Park pay again. A free kick ball was delivered into the danger area. Dylan controlled, then rolled the ball out to Mairtin who unleashed a venomous strike past a busy six yards and into the net. Overran Palace Park struggled. Mairtin helped pile on more misery when his split pass from right deep into the left wing released Jamie who easily beat the keeper for his second. We were camped in the Palace Park half. Under pressure the Palace defender handled the ball in the penalty area. The referee had no option but to point to the spot. Dylan took it and made no mistake. But Palace reminded us of their inherent ability with a brilliant goal of their own struck from just outside the penalty area. We responded immediately with a goal from Ricky from close range who recorded a deserved hat-trick. Tyler was then through lifting the ball over the keeper to extend our lead. As we headed to the end of the game Palace kept fighting and capitalised on another goal opportunity right at the death with a clever finish.
Until now we had managed to maintain a clean sheet. The disappointment of losing four goals however will not take away from a great performance by the boys. We now hope that our walking wounded will fully recover by our next fixture and add to the team’s strength.