Real Fife Vs St. Patrick’s – 2004
Real Fife 1 – 4 St. Patrick’s
The great thing about the Scottish Cup is that it allows young people to visit places across the land they probably would not have visited. The worst thing is of course being compelled to travel to those places. With grassroots football being primary funded by parents and supported by dedicated coach volunteers, distant travels could be a challenge. We were expected in the County of Fife where Real Fife laid in wait in the third round of the Scottish.
Throughout the night, fierce gale winds had battered the city. When morning came, the rain and wind unabated made us wonder if the journey from West to East would be in vain. Deep down we wanted the game played as we looked to bounce back from a disappointing league result. And so, in the wind and rain the vehicles headed East from across the city. In the vicinity of our destination there rose a majestic rainbow to accompany us in our quest. We were welcomed in the East by a more clement weather and the skies stayed dry. Game on!
For once in a very long time we were blessed with a full squad. The boys were raring to go. They took to the pitch confident. But it’s the home team that made the most of the first few minutes. The game was only two minutes old when the home team’s striker made the most of a rash challenge to draw a blatant penalty. It was converted with no fuss greeted by loud cheers from the home crowd. An early wake up call for us if we needed one. Regardless, the boys settled down and slowly but surely started bossing the game. Since their successful spot kick the Fifers hardly threatened our goals. A few tasty tackles could not mask from our dominance of the proceedings. Joe started in goals and confidently distributed the ball well, was hardly troubled since the spot kit. Joseph had a brilliant game securing the right flank, most likely his best game to date. His industry was rewarded with a very high ball-winning rate. Beau and Dylan were solid and dealt efficiently with the opposition strike threat. Certainly made up for the foul that gave away the penalty. Reilly, athletic as ever was out on the left flank supporting the lively Tyler. Dom locked the down the midfield with Gallagher in front of him and Mairtin on the right flank. The Ricky and Euan partnership was restored up front. Ollie, Jamie, Lennon & Ben will come on with telling contributions. Fife held on to their early lead for twenty minutes, then they failed to clear a deep teasing ball. Euan was onto it, drifted to the left of the penalty area then swept the ball with the inside of his left foot low into the far corner to draw us level. The Fifers were now up against it, rattled by our bold offensive play. Well contained the game turned physical making the referee’s job even harder. A a few yellow cards were dished out to maintain discipline. Just before the break Mairtin on the right wing delivered a telling cross with his left foot into the penalty area. Ricky went for the volley and missed, but Euan was there to collect and strike on the turn to help us take lead just before half time.
At the restart Lennon, Ollie, Jamie and Ben came on. If Fife ever thought that we would take our foot off the gas, then they could not be more wrong. They were about to be blown away in the first five minutes of the restart. Ben has been searching for his first goal of the season for a while now, despite coming close so many times. Ladies and Gentlemen, the wait is finally over and it was well worth the wait. Deployed in the middle of the park, Ben picked up the ball in the opposition half, side stepped the first defender, then the second, sized up the goals then let fly a ferocious screamer into the far top corner. The smile and swagger that lit up his face was even more priceless as he was mobbed by team mates in awe of his incredible feat. As for Fife, they were done and dusted. The quality of Ben’s goal was like a dagger buried deep into their hope of a fight back. We struck again two minutes later when Euan put an inviting ball through to Ricky to finish from close range. The game went on for another 35 minutes but was already won. We continued to dominate with discipline. Jamie had a commanding performance, energetic and much improved accuracy in his distribution. Ollie was efficient in defense, intercepting a crucial last man situation to deny Fife. Lennon was composed when needed snuffing out danger from the opposition and keeping a clean sheet. We had two goals chopped off for offside but came away with a well deserved victory.
This was a good win. It showcased the boys resilience, strength of character and recovery from setbacks. It is also a costly win with visits to Minor Injuries to help with recovery process from sores inflicted in the heat of battle. But comes next weekend, we will be out there with a team ready to do battle again, that’s the spirit of St. Patrick’s. The passion for who we are and what we do can only grow in the journey we take.
We take this opportunity to thank Real Fife for their wonderful hospitality.