St. Patrick’s Vs Shettleston Juniors – 2004
St. Patrick’s 3 – 2 Shettleston Juniors
We returned to League duties after a two-week hiatus from football. We hosted Shettleston at Bothwellhaugh on a cloudy morning disrupted by on-and-off precipitation. However, it was certainly not the snow that was predicted in some quarters of the Met Office. Regardless, we had to snap out of the torpor visibly taking hold on the players’ faces in this early morning.
With Dylan away on a school trip across the channel and Dom still not shaking off pains, their team mates were tasked with the challenge of putting more points on the board. Our approach from kick-off was positive. Our early forays into the opposition’s defence showed great promise. Despite the opposition’s hard pressing, our game was flowing with some great passing interplay. But whenever the opposition had the ball they threatened our back line. With twenty minutes on the clock, Shettleston capitalised on a dead ball to sweep the loose ball into the far corner to open the score. It was against the run of play and some might argue that it didn’t matter in the least because we should have been able to comfortably clear the ball. Nonetheless, we were a goal down and chasing the game. With a goal to the goods Shettleston were full of energy closing down at every opportunity. If we had to hit back we certainly needed to pull out something special out of the locker. We laboured for a while looking for that magic move to unlock the door to the visitors’ goals. The moment finally came with three minutes to go to the break. We moved up the pitch and the ball was played up to Euan who held it up then puts it through for Harald to run onto. Harald pounced as expected won the ball then engaged the oncoming keeper, rounded the keeper and headed to the near post. The Shettleston defence scrambled to the goaline to rescue the situation. Meanwhile, out of the picture Euan headed to the far post. Harald had picked up his striking partner’s run, rolled the ball into his path and Euan finished from close range into the roof of the net. It was relief all round for the home crowd. We went to the break level.
After the break we were determined to put daybreak between ourselves and the plucky visitors. We went for minimal changes with only Ricky coming on for Harald. We didn’t have to wait for long. Aidan worked a great ball on the right and delivered the perfect cross to Euan in the eighteen yards. Euan controlled the ball mid-air with the right to bring the ball down, then on the swivel turn volleyed the ball with the left into the bottom corner at the near post. It was the tonic we needed. The quality of play crowned by this top drawer finish would surely see off Shettleston. But the visitors remained resolute. Owen and Jack took the field. Owen was pushed further forward and nearly got on the scoresheet within seconds of coming on. Ben worked out a few great balls into the box that went unclaimed. However, things were about to get worse. From a corner kick Shettleston won a free header to draw level. Once again we made it hard for ourselves with only a few minutes to go. Chances came and went. Harald was thrown back on. Shettleston held. The clock was running down. We kept fighting for a win, even if it seemed out of reach. Even deep in time added on we kept on going, looking for that elusive break. Ball played to Harald, he takes a touch, then holds the ball. Michael’s clever overlap run is not tracked. Harald rolls the ball on to Michaaaeellll…… he smashes the ball with a fierce left foot past the hapless Shettleston keeper. Cue the celebrations! It was no more than we deserved and we are thankful.
We are also thankful for everyone’s effort in helping with the team. May the closeness of friends, the comfort of home and family, renew your spirits this festive season.