Season 05/06

 

Season 2005-06

Match reports can be found under the stats

 

(Milanda's score always comes first)

 

Date

Opponent

Comp

Home\Away

Score

Scorers

Aug 13th

Hillhead

Friendly

A

0 - 2

-

Aug 20th

Islay

Friendly

A

2 - 3

Coyle, Sime

Aug 27th

Ballieston Thistle

William Drummond

H

0 - 5

-

Aug 30th

AFC Columba

William Drummond

A

1 - 3

Dunn

Sept 3rd

Ferguslie Park

Friendly

H

4 - 2

Crawford, McColgan, Addison, Murray

Sept 10th

Allander

League

A

3 - 3

Sime, Coyle, Dunn

Sept 17th

Crosslands

League

H

8 - 1

McColgan, Fawns, Coyle (2), Crawford (2), Reid (2).

Oct 1st

Invac

League

H

2 - 5

Fawns, Williamson

Oct 8th

Club Athletic

League

A

4 - 4

Crawford, Sime (2), Early

Oct 15th

Club Sporting

League

H

6 - 1

Coyle (3), Crawford, McColgan, Early

Oct 29th

Red Star Ballieston

GDSML Cup Round 1

A

1 - 7

Reid

Nov 5th

Renfrew Town

League

H

2 - 0

Reid (2)

Nov 12th

Strathclyde Uni

League

A

5 - 2

Early, Reid (2), Murray, McColgan

Nov 26th

Deanpark

League

A

3 - 2

McColgan (2), Binnie

Dec 3rd

Parklife

League

A

1 - 3

Binnie

Dec 10th

Pursuers

League

H

6 - 3

Reid, Coyle, Dunn, Murray, OG, Williamson

Jan 7th

Andrew Watt

League

H

1 - 1

Duncan

Jan 14th

Allander

League

H

2 - 0

Williamson, Crawford

Jan 28th

Glenavon

John Rae

H

3 - 3 (4-2 aet)

Reid, Williamson, Binnie

Feb 4th

Crosslands

League

A

5 - 0

Reid (2), Williamson, Murray (2)

Feb 11th

Invac

League

A

1 - 4

Preston

Feb 25th

Islay

John Rae

N

3 -1

Early, Crawford, Coyle

Mar 11th

Strathclyde Uni

League

H

2 - 1

Reid, Murray

Mar 18th

Club Sporting

League

A

1 - 4

O'Neill

Apr 8th

Pursuers

League

A

3 - 1

Coyle, Murray, Addison

Apr 15th

Deanpark

League

H

3 - 1

Williamson, Crawford (2)

Apr 22nd

Hamilton Wanderers

League

H

6 - 1

Early, OG,Sime (3), Williamson

Apr 29th

Andrew Watt

League

A

3 - 3

Fawns, O'Neill, Williamson

May 6th

Deanpark

John Rae Final

N

2 - 0

McColgan, Murray

May 9th

Pursuers

League

H

6 - 2

Crawford, Coyle, O'Neill, Reid, Binnie, Williamson

May 13th

Renfrew Town

League

A

0 - 2

-

May 20th

Hamilton Wanderers

League

A

5 - 2

Murray (2), Binnie, O'Neill, OG

May 27th

Club Athletic

League

H

1 - 0

Early

Appearances

 

League

William Drummond

GDSML Cup

John Rae

Total

Scott Preston

20 (2)

-

1

3

26

Craig Fawns

18 (3)

2

-

2 (1)

26

Ross Early

21

1

1

3

26

Martin Coyle

21

2

1

2

26

Andy Scott

20 (3)

2

1

-

26

Dave O'Neill

18 (4)

-

1

2

25

Scott Grant

12 (8)

1(1)

1

1 (1)

25

Paul Murray

18 (2)

-

1

3

24

Kevin Williamson

11(8)

2

-

3

24

Mark McColgan

18(1)

1

-

3

23

Mark Reid

14 (3)

(1)

1

2(1)

22

Steven Walker

16

2

1

2

21

Thomas Addison

11 (5)

2

1

(2)

21

Dave Crawford

14

-

-

2

16

Paul Duncan

7 (4)

1(1)

-

1

15

Jim Binnie

8(3)

1

-

3

15

Brian Dunn

4 (3)

2

-

(2)

11

Hugh Dullaghan

6(1)

-

-

1

8

Paul Sime

4(1)

(1)

-

(1)

7

Stuart Mackenzie

2 (3)

-

1

-

6

John Soutar

(1)

2

-

(1)

4

Graeme Hyslop

(1)

(1)

-

-

2

Michael Lee

(1)

-

-

-

1

Martin Johnston

(1)

-

-

-

1

Alan McMillan

-

1

-

-

1

 

Goals

 

League

League Cup

GDSML Cup

John Rae

Total

Reid

12

-

1

1

14

Crawford

10

-

-

1

11

Coyle

9

-

-

1

10

Williamson

8

-

-

1

9

Murray

8

-

-

1

9

Sime

6

-

-

-

6

Early

5

-

-

1

6

Binnie

4

-

-

1

5

McColgan

3

-

-

1

4

O'Neill

4

-

-

-

4

Fawns

3

-

-

-

3

Dunn

2

1

-

-

3

Preston

1

-

-

-

1

Duncan

1

-

-

-

1

Addison

1

-

-

-

1

Own goal

3

-

-

-

3

Division B League Table

TEAM

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Club Athletic

24

19

1

4

91

29

62

58

Invac AFC

24

16

4

4

75

31

44

52

A.C.Milanda

24

15

4

5

79

47

32

49

Club Sporting AFC

24

14

4

6

76

53

23

46

Renfrew Town

24

14

2

8

67

40

27

44

Strathclyde University

24

13

3

8

73

50

23

42

Allandar AFC

24

13

3

8

63

51

12

42

Andrew Watt

24

10

6

8

75

59

16

36

Pursuers AFC

24

9

4

11

47

56

-9

31

Parklife AFC

24

5

3

16

42

73

-31

18

Crosslands

24

4

2

18

29

83

-54

14

Deanpark AFC

24

2

4

18

41

86

-45

10

Hamilton Wanderers

24

1

2

21

26

126

-100

5

William Drummond League Cup - Peterson Park

 

AC Milanda 0 Ballieston Thistle 5 (HT (0-2)

 

Team - Walker, Addison, Fawns, Dunn (Grant), Soutar, Binnie (Duncan), McColgan, Early, Scott, Williamson (Reid), Coyle.

 

Milanda’s season couldn’t have got off to a harder start. Opponents Ballieston Thistle were runners up in the first division last season and won both the GDSML Cup and the Vince McGlinchey trophy. Milanda were deprived of the services of Murray (suspended) and Scott Preston who, it was decided in the dressing room prior to the game, was in China to hone his martial art skills in readiness for the season ahead. Murray made himself useful by filming the Cup-tie from the sidelines.

 

In the early stages there was little to choose between the sides. Underfoot conditions were wet and slippery and both sides took time to adapt. Milanda were first to threaten when a cross-cum shot from Scott went narrowly past with Coyle trying to get on the end of it. Milanda again came close when a great run from Coyle took him past two defenders into the box. As he hit the bye line his cutback found Williamson at the front post but he couldn’t get enough on the ball to divert it into the net. It was to be the start of a frustrating afternoon for the Milanda forward.

 

Halfway through the half Milanda fell behind, slightly against the run of play, when a Ballieston player was allowed to advance into the Milanda half unchallenged. As he cut in from the right he drifted past two Milanda players before hitting a left foot shot that, despite Walkers getting a hand to, still ended up in the net.

 

Milanda rallied and a great interception from Scott allowed him to release Coyle as Milanda found themselves 2 on 1. Williamson made the angle for a Coyle pass which he duly delivered but his first time shot didn’t make the keeper work too hard and the chance was lost.

 

At this stage Milanda were playing well and were making Ballieston work hard for possession. McColgan in the middle of the park was finding time and space to operate and Coyle was a constant pest with his running at the Thistle defence.

 

Milanda were caught with a sucker punch though. A corner for Milanda was cleared to the edge of the box which Addison failed to control. A lightening break up the park saw Ballieston with a 4 on 2 advantage and a cross from the left presented an easy tap in at the back post.

 

It was a bit tough on Milanda after the effort they had put in during the first half. They did have three other chances to get a goal back before the half time. A lofted cross in from Scott found Williamson in space who brought the ball down on his chest but as he waited for the ball to drop a defender made a last ditch clearance. Early then had a chance after Ballieston froze expecting a throw in to be given after a long punt up the park. The referee waved play on and Williamson gathered on the right as he cut the ball back to the edge of the box Early just couldn’t get a shot away and was again denied by a fine bit of defending. The last chance of a finely balanced first half again fell to Williamson. Scott made a break into the box and his cutback found Williamson sliding in from the penalty spot. This time he got a clean strike on the ball but the Thistle sweeper managed to get himself in the way and the ball was cleared.

 

As the half time whistle blew Milanda were unlucky to find themselves 2 down.

 

The second half was a different story as Ballieston began to control the game and Milanda were reduced to long punts up the park. After an hour Milanda made two changes and brought on Reid and Duncan for Williamson and Binnie.

 

Ballieston made it three soon after when a Thistle forward found space in the box and calmly slotted it past Walker from 10 yards. Goal number four quickly followed when a deep cross to the back post was partially palmed away by Walker but unfortunately it fell kindly for a Ballieston player who had an easy task to roll the ball into the net.

 

Milanda rallied briefly with Coyle making some great runs but luck in and around the box deserted Milanda and they just couldn’t get the goal their play deserved.

 

Grant replaced Dunn as Milanda began to tire in the strength sapping conditions and Ballieston threatened to over-run the Milanda defence. Walker made three or four outstanding stops to deny the Ballieston fifth but he was only postponing the inevitable when the best goal of the day flew into the net after a great strike from about 25 yards.

 

As the game drew to a close Ballieston seemed happy enough with their morning’s work and Milanda were just happy to hear the final whistle.

 

Although 5-0 seems like a bit of a drubbing Milanda matched Ballieston for long periods, particularly in the first half, and it would have been an interesting game if Milanda had got the first goal. As it was, Ballieston took their chances and in the last 15 could have bagged a few more. Still a lot of positives for Milanda with good performances from Scott, McColgan, Walker and Coyle.

 

Man of the match – The season’s first man of the match was a very close thing with the four mentioned above all staking claims but for his unselfish running and sheer hard work this weeks award goes to Coyle.

 

----------

William Drummond League Cup - Drumpellier

 

AFC Columba 3 AC Milanda 1 (HT (0-0)

 

Team - Walker, Addison, Grant, Dunn, Soutar, Fawns, Williamson, Duncan, Scott, McMillan (Sime) (Hyslop), Coyle.

Scorer - Dunn

 

Milanda made the long trip to Coatbridge to play the 2nd and final cup tie in the William Drummond League Cup. It didn’t look too promising before the game as Milanda only had 10 players. Manager McMillan decided he would fill the 11th jersey until Paul Sime or Hyssie turned up after hasty phone calls.

 

The Milanda team that started was much changed from Saturday’s game. Last season Milanda easily despatched Columba in a Cup tie but it was never going to be as easy tonight. To be honest the first half of the game was pretty dull with little of note happening. Scott had Milanda’s best chance but blasted over the bar from 15 yards after making himself some space in the box. At the other end Walker was a bit busier for Milanda but was never really troubled until he left a cross to go by and found it coming back off the post but the danger was cleared. 20 mins in and Paul Sime turned up and immediately replaced McMillan and joined Coyle upfront. Unfortunately he failed to warm up and pulled his hamstring on his first run. Not what Milanda needed on a night like this. With no subs he had to carry on but his contribution was severely restricted. Hyssie turned up and he replaced Sime who by this time had to admit defeat.

 

Half time arrived and 0-0 was a fair reflection on the first half.

 

The second half was a bit livelier. Columba took the lead when a break on the right ended with a Columba forward having loads of time to pick his spot. The loss of the goal woke Milanda up and they in turn started to put Columba under pressure. A Williamson header went past the right hand post and the same player couldn’t quite turn in a though ball from a tight angle although Milanda got a corner out of it when no one touched it. Milanda did get the equaliser they deserved after Dunn who despite close attention from Columba defenders managed to stick his header into the top right hand corner after connecting with a long throw from Fawns.

 

The game could have gone either way at this point and both teams pressed forward in an effort to find a winner and this led to the game becoming more and more open. As the game entered the final quarter Milanda began to tire and Columba used their subs’ fresh legs to turn the game in their favour.

 

With 15 mins left Columba once again took the lead. A short corner wasn’t picked up and as the ball was deflected into the box Milanda stood still and a hook shot from the edge of the box left Walker helpless. Milanda visibly wilted and the inevitable third arrived soon after. Another corner wasn’t dealt with and on the edge of the box a Columba player was unchallenged as he picked his spot. It was all over for Milanda although they did try to rally but tiredness meant they couldn’t exert any real pressure on Columba.

 

Columba should have made it 4 when their sub waltzed past the Milanda defence and picked his spot but Walker got down superbly to turn it away for a corner. The final whistle meant Milanda failed to qualify for either the William Drummond trophy of the Vince McGlinchey Cup.

 

Given the circumstances Milanda made a real go of getting something from this cup tie but didn’t have the required fitness to play for 90 mins and tired legs let Columba take advantage in the final 15. Fitness will be the key this season as Milanda has a strong looking squad this year but unless we up the fitness levels we’ll always be struggling in the last 15/20 mins.

 

Man of the match – Coyle again put in a tremendous shift with little return but it was new boy Paul Duncan, or Scouse to his team-mates, who just beat him to the man of the match award. A lot of vital tackles and interceptions and tried to support the frontline as much as possible.

 

----------

League - KGV

 

Allander 3 AC Milanda 3 (HT (1-1)

 

Team - Walker, Grant, Dunn (Addison), Preston, O'Neill, Williamson, McColgan, Early, Scott, Sime (Fawns), Coyle.

Scorers - Sime, Coyle, Dunn

 

Milanda’s started this year’s league campaign like last year with a trip to Bearsden to meet Allander. Allander seem to have become Milanda’s bogey team after surviving a 2 nd half onslaught last season they managed to hang onto all 3 pts and later in the season again putting up a great defensive display at Netherpollok to secure a point. On Saturday they once again frustrated Milanda although on a positive note we’re now 1 pt better off than this stage last season.

 

Milanda started the game the more positive of the two teams and used the pace of Sime to try and get the Allander defence turning. Despite having most of the early pressure they found it hard to break the Allander defence down and only had a few long range efforts to show for their toil.

 

As happens so often to Milanda they lost a goal against the run of play. An Allander forward picked up a break from defence and his direct running took him past two defenders and a clear run on goal. O’Neill managed to halt his progress but unfortunately used illegal means and a penalty was awarded and Milanda didn’t have much complaint about the decision. The resultant penalty was calmly slotted into the right hand corner sending Walker the wrong way. Milanda were soon level after Sime picked up a long kick out from Walker and he drilled a low left foot shot past the Allander keeper. Milanda continued to keep the pressure on but couldn’t convert the pressure into goals. A succession of corners and throw ins failed to give them the breakthrough before half time.

 

The half time team talk concentrated on keeping it tight and not letting Dougie, Allander’s most dangerous player, too much space so within 45 secs of the restart Dougie had scored after Allander attacked down the left from the kick off and a cross into the box found him unmarked and he finished from 8 yards. A bit of a disaster for Milanda and worse was to follow as Allander increased their lead. Milanda were caught on the counter attack but managed to get bodies back to defend against the cross into the box. When it did arrive O’Neill attempted to steer the ball out for a corner but instead thumped it off the Milanda post and as everyone stood still it landed nicely for an Allander player to make it 3-1.

 

Milanda made a change when Sime, who had earlier injured a knee, was replaced by Fawns who joined Coyle upfront. Allander began to sit much deeper believing they could hold onto their lead. This allowed Milanda to see much more of the ball and they pushed Allander further and further back. Coyle began to see much more of the ball and chances started to come Milanda’s way. The goal when it did arrive was a little fortunate but testament to Coyle’s determination when he slid into block a defenders clearance and the ball caught out the Allander keeper as it found the left hand corner. Allander were now finding it hard to get out of their half although they still looked dangerous on the counter attack. Milanda continued to press for the equaliser and won numerous corners and throw ins that were launched into the box but Allander thwarted almost every attack until they finally succumbed to the pressure.

 

Yet another corner from Coyle was played into the box but was knocked up into the air. Williamson and an Allander defender both fought for the ball and it eventually found its way back to Coyle and his cross was turned into the box via a combination of Dunn and an Allander defender but we’ll give to Dunn.

 

Having drawn level Milanda still had 15 mins to take all 3 points. The keeper tipped a shot from McColgan over the bar and he made an almost identical save from Scott a few mins later. Try as they might Milanda just couldn’t find the winner and Allander yet again defended bravely and resolutely to hang onto a point.

 

A promising start to the league although disappointing not to get all 3pts but can be pleased with the fightback from 3-1 down particularly as the way we lost the goals could have seen the heads go down.

 

Man of the match – Some hard shifts carried out all over the park. Andy Scott worked hard down the left and O’Neill behind him put in a solid display but this week’s MOTM award goes to Scott Preston. Despite his lack of match practice Scott Preston put in a commanding display and didn’t even get booked.

 

----------

League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 8 Crosslands 1 (HT (4-0)

 

Team - Walker, Mackenzie (Preston), Crawford, O'Neill, Scott (Grant), Addison, Early, McColgan, Murray, Coyle (Reid), Fawns. Sub not used: Dunn.

Scorers - McColgan, Fawns, Coyle (2), Crawford (2), Reid (2).

 

A surprisingly easy first league win of the season for Milanda against the GDSML new boys.

 

Boys was the operative word because Crosslands put out a much younger team than had been anticipated and it was clear in the first 15 minutes that they would be unable to cope physically with their more experienced opponents.

Crosslands are trying to groom these youngsters for their afternoon team and while some of them looked highly talented they will have to fill out a bit before they are ready.

Skippered by Thomas Addison (well, he had bought a new pair of silver boots), Milanda were four goals up by half-time.

Midfielder Marc McColgan got the ball rolling when he popped up at back post to fire home an inch-perfect cross from Craig Fawns.

Fonzie, who was up front alongside Martin Coyle, fired in the second after his strike partner had seen a shot saved by the acrobatic Crosslands keeper.

This double act struck again for an excellent third goal, Fonzie setting up Coyle to lob the advancing keeper.

Davie Crawford, whose power in the air gave Crosslands all sorts of problems, went up from the back to head No.4 from a long throw by the Fonz.

 

In the second half, the one-way traffic continued and Crawford netted with another header after Coyle had curled over a superb cross with the outside of his right boot.

Coyle, a doubtful starter for this match due to a badly-bruised leg, fired in the sixth goal after a tremendous pass from Scott Preston. The words "tremendous", "pass" and "Preston" in the same sentence – a world first surely.

Crosslands got a goal back at this stage after Dave O'Neill was robbed of possession outside his own box. Steve Walker did well to save the initial shot but the visitors' No.9 knocked in the rebound.

 

Another good through pass, this time by Andy Scott, paved the way for the seventh goal. McColgan looked favourite to score but the keeper blocked Ginger's effort and it was left to substitute Mark Reid, a substitute for Coyle, to knock home the loose ball.

Reid showed that his honeymoon hadn't sapped all his strength by finishing off the scoring with a powerful volley from outside the box after Fonzie had set him up.

 

All in all a satisfying day for Milanda who gave a professional performance that would have brought even more goals but for some top saves by the keeper, notably from Crawford and O'Neill, and a candidiate for miss of the season by the stand-in skipper. Fonzie provided a cutback that left Adda with an unguarded goal at his mercy but the silver boots somehow contrived to knock the ball wide.

 

Paul Murray, who has promised to score 15 goals from midfield this season, got a couple of sniffs at goal but didn't manage to make anything of them. We think he said in the dressing room that he was feeling a bit weak after his abscess of the previous week but it's difficult to be sure as he still appears to be speaking in tongues.

 

MAN OF THE MATCH: A few candidates here, including Crawford, Coyle and McColgan, but for his goal, the assists and general all-round performance the award goes to Fonzie.

 

----------

League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 2 Invac 5 (HT (1-1)

 

Team - Walker, Addison, Preston, Grant (Williamson), O'Neill, Reid, Early, McColgan, Murray, Coyle, Fawns. Sub not used: Mackenzie, Hyslop.

Scorers - Fawns, Williamson.

 

A game of chances missed and chances taken. Unfortunately for Milanda they didn't take theirs.

 

Milanda took the game to Invac from the first whistle and a fine run by Coyle got him to the byeline and Fawns just failed to convert his cross at the front post. Despite this encouraging start Milanda were almost immediately hit with a sucker punch when on Invac's first attack they went behind. A corner was knocked into the box and Preston's tried to attack the cross but his header only succeeded in knocking it back to an Invac player at the backpost who had an eternity to knock it past Walker with the Milanda defence static. A poor goal to lose so early in the game.

 

Milanda were unlucky not to be back on level terms a few minutes later when another great run from Coyle saw his cross knocked back into the path of Reid but his first time shot crashed back off the crossbar and bounced to safety. This spurred Milanda on and Early was next to find himself in a goalscoring position. With the Invac defence claiming offside he collected the ball just outside the penalty box and advanced into the box unfortunately his shot/cross went wide of the left hand post.

 

The equaliser did finally arrive when Fawns calmly drilled a cut back into the corner of the net. Although Milanda were looking strong at this point Invac were causing the Milanda defence problems and should have regained the lead when a neat pass into the box saw the Invac forward make himself a bit of space but his wild shot over the bar saw the danger pass. At the other end the crossbar once again denied Milanda. Coyle broke in from the left and from the edge of the box hit a screamer that the Invac keeper knew little about until he saw it coming back off the bar.

 

There was no more scoring and Milanda would felt a little unlucky only be level at Ht.

 

The second half proved to be a bit of a nightmare for Milanda. Invac took the lead when their centre half was allowed a free header at a corner and he placed his header into the right hand corner. Worse was to follow when Invac increased their lead to two. A free kick was conceded on the edge of the box and a simple shot round the wall left Walker standing still.

 

Milanda tried hard to get back into the game but found the Invac defence and goal keeper in good form and despite firing in free kick and corners never put Invac under any great pressure. While pushing forward the Milanda defence were susceptible to the counter attack and on one of these attacks Invac got goal number four. There was a hint of offside about the goal but the finish was clinical.

 

As the game entered the last 10 mins Williamson replaced Grant as Milanda went to three up front in a final attempt to salvage something from the game. A brief glimmer of hope arrived when Williamson managed to re-direct a Coyle cut back into the net but the comeback was shortlived as Invac scored goal number five soon after.

 

A strange display from Milanda. Controlled the game for long spells in the first half lost a sloppy goal but recovered well and should have been in front by HT. Never got going 2nd half and the quick 1-2 from Invac knocked the stuffing out of the team. Will need to do better next week against league leaders Club Athletic.

 

Man of the match: Not many contenders this week but given his unselfish running that led to two goals and with a bit of luck would have had one himself if his shot had been 2 inches lower this week's award goes to Coyle.

 

----------

League - Blantyre

 

Club Athletic 4 AC Milanda 4 (HT 2-3)

 

Team - Walker, Grant, Preston, Crawford, Scott (O'Neill), Williamson, Early, McColgan, Murray, Coyle (Reid), Sime. Sub not used: Mackenzie, Dunn .

Scorers - Crawford, Sime (2), Early.

 

Milanda traveled to darkest Blantyre to meet current league leaders Club Athletic.

 

Milanda hit the ground running and were 3 up within 20 mins. The first came form crawford after a free kick was swung into the box from Grant. Sime then made it two soon after when he collected a long ball on the edge of the box and he buried his shot past the CA keeper. CA had no answer to the early Milanda play and found themselves three down and the goal again came from the left foot of Sime. Picking up the ball 8 yards out he hit it high and hard past the shellshocked CA keeper who couldn't believe what was happening in front of him.

 

Milanda then took their foot off the gas and allowed CA to finally get a foothold in the game. Milanda didn't heed the warning sign and a quick 1-2 from CA pulled them back into the game. A throw in from the left was worked to the edge of the box where a right foot shot caught Walker on the edge of his 6 yard box and unable to stop the ball as it flew into the top corner. This galvanised CA and they were further rejuvenated when a mistake by Crawford let them in for their second goal. It was a bit of a disaster for the normally reliable Crawford as a normally simple pass was made difficult by the sun and he lost the ball in its glare and it slipped under his foot. CA's number 11 was on it in a flash and did well to squeeze his left foot shot into the neat with Walker closing the angle down. Walker did get a touch but not enough to avoid it hitting the side of the net on it's way in.

 

It was now game on and there were a number of meaty challenges flying in as the game became a real contest. Williamson nearly gifted CA the equaliser when clearing a cross but he managed to crash it off his own crossbar and fortunately the danger was cleared. As it was HT arrived with no more scoring but an interesting 45 mins awaited.

 

CA started the second half much better than the first and tried to push Milanda back into the defence but Milanda held firm and gave little away and tried to get forward themselves using Sime's pace up front to get in behind CA's defence. There was little in the way of real goalscoring opportunities and both defences held firm until halfway through the second half when CA finally got the equaliser they were looking for. Milanda were unable to clear a ball knocked across the 6 yard box and the finish at the back post made the game level and a frantic 20 mins was guaranteed as each side searched for a winner.

 

There was plenty of tough tackling and hard graft from both sides. As the game entered the last five minutes Milanda finally broke through and should have secured the three points. A corner was played into the box and fell to Crawford. His shot was blocked on the line amid claims of handball which the ref waved away. As the complaints continued the ball fell to Reid outside the box ad his perfect cross was dispatched in to the net via Early's head. This should have been the signal for Milanda to shut up shop and play the game out but all credit to CA who never gave up and attacked Milanda from the restart. Walker tipped a shot from the edge of the box round the post for a corner. As the seconds ticked away it looked as if Milanda would hold out but disaster struck almost on the final whistle. A hopeful cross from the left was flighted to Milanda's back post where a CA player found himself unmarked and with time to put the ball past Walker to make the game all square. There was hardly time for the kick off before the whistle signaled the end of an entertaining and incident packed game.

 

A hard ending to accept for Milanda but possibly overall a draw was a fair result. Credit to CA for coming back from 3-0 down and then losing one in the last few mins. Milanda can look to being 3 up after 20 mins and not going on to kill the game off and a real opportunity lost. Still if the level of commitment is kept up to that level each week we won't be far away come the end of the season.

 

Man of the match: Some uncompromising performances all over the park but for his 2 goals and general ability to make a nuisance of himself this week's award goes to two goal Sime.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 6 Club Sporting 1(HT 4-1)

 

Team - Fawns , Preston, Dunn (O'Neill), Crawford, Scott(Sime), Early, McColgan, Murray, Coyle, Williamson (Binnie), Reid. Sub not used: Grant, Addison .

Scorers - Coyle (3), Crawford, Early.

 

Milanda's best display of the season as they carried over the hard work and graft of the previous week and added in a little style for good measure.

 

Milanda still smarting from throwing away 2 pts last week were in no mood to make the same mistake again. They were made to wait though before they could make amends as the CS player bring the strips had been stopped by the police and as a result arrived a little later than expected. Similar to last week Milanda took an early lead. A long ball looked to be the CS keepers but Coyle managed to get himself in between the defender and keeper to get a touch and leave the keeper stranded. Another fantastic start but it was shortlived. A long and high free kick reached Milanda's backpost and with everyone standing watching CS scored the equaliser. Almost a carbon copy of last week's equaliser.

 

With Milanda pushing 5 men into midfield they completely swamped CS and kept any supply to their front men to a minimum while having an extra man in midfield meant Milanda's forward were getting plenty of support. Milanda regained the lead from the head of Crawford when for once a free kick to the back post was to Milanda's benefit. CS tried once again to get back on terms and had a great chance when their centre forward was put through but he skied over the bar. Then it was the turn of a CS defender who found himself on the end of a cross at the back post but screwed his shot wide. Milanda gave themselves some breathing space with two quick goals before half time. Williamson put in a left foot cross that a defender could only knee towards his own goal but he was relieved to see the ball come back off the post and cleared away for a shy. From the resultant throw in the ball fell to Coyle on the edge of the box and his shot took a slight deflection before beating the keeper. No 4 quickly followed when a first time shot from the edge of the box by McColgan found it's way through a tangle of legs and again the keeper was helpless. Milanda could be well pleased with their effort of the first half and were deservedly ahead.

 

The second half was more of the same. Milanda kept the pressure on CS aware of the loss of a three goal lead the previous week. Coyle completed a fine afternoon's work when completing his hat-trick after finding space on the edge of the box and calmly drilled home his third and Milanda's fifth.

 

The best was kept until last though when a sweeping move was finished off by Early who left the CS keeper with no chance as his measured finish found the top left hand corner.

 

CS kept going to the finish and with a bit of luck and composure in front of goal would have got a couple back but it just wasn't to be their morning. A good result for Milanda against a team Milanda have often struggled in the past and the best display of the season.

 

Man of the match: No one had a bad game this week and some excellent performances from Preston, Crawford, McColgan, Murray and Early but i suppose we'll have to give it to Coyle for his hat-trick and general all round play.

 

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GDSML Cup - Stepford

 

Red Star Ballieston 7 AC Milanda 1 (HT 4-0)

 

Team - Walker, Grant, Preston, O'Neill, Mackenzie, Addison, Early, Murray, Scott, Coyle, Reid. Subs not used: Dunn, Hyslop .

Scorer - Reid.

 

Red Star get lucky after 7 breakaway goals, two of which were offside. Referee never gave Milanda anything. Not even a five goal start.

 

Back in the real world a backs against the wall display against a team far too good for the league they are in. Walker saved a penalty and Reid got Milanda's goal after a Red Star defensive mix-up.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 2 Renfrew Town 0 (HT 1-0)

 

Team - Fawns , Preston, Crawford, O'Neill, Addison, Early, Murray(Scott), Binnie, Coyle(Grant), Reid, Dunn (Williamson) . Sub not used: Duncan.

Scorers - Reid (2).

 

Milanda kept up their good work in the league after a tough physical encounter with Renfrew Town saw Milanda emerge muddy and bruised but with all 3 pts.

 

Chances were few and far between in this game as defences mostly came out on top. The midfield was where this game was won and lost. The game started as it meant to go on with a few meaty challenges and this was a common occurance over the next 90 mins. There was little of note in the first 10 mins until the first chance arrived and it fell to Renfrew. A corner from the left was knocked to the back of the six yard box and the Renfrew player had a free header but luckily for Milanda his header went over the bar when he should have done better. This was the warning Milanda needed and they began to take control of the midfield with Early, Coyle and Murray all taking turns to cause the Renfrew midfield and defence problems. It was from an Early interception that Milanda broke the deadlock when his forward pass found Murray and his first time ball into Reid's path was hit with the outside of his right boot and gave the Renfrew keeper no chance.

 

Renfrew tried to get back into the game but found Milanda's back three more than up to the task with 'cortisone' Crawford not having to worry about the sun this week. Neither team were making any real chances and hopeful long punts were running out of play or being collected by the goalkeepers. Dunn, sporting the new Milanda croptop, almost made it two for Milanda when his header from a corner bounced past the left hand post. The best chance of the first half fell to Reid who found himself all alone 16 yards out but screwed his shot wide but Milanda still ended the half one up thanks to his earlier strike.

 

Second half was more of the same, uncompromising tackles and a few niggles between players began to surface. Coyle in particualr was singled out for a hard time and a number of fouls went unpunished. Reid was provided with one of the few chances of the second half when sent clear and he found himself one on one with the keeper. He chose to try and lob him but his attempt wasn't high enough and the keeper had an easy catch. Milanda made a change with Williamson replacing Dunn upfront and he was involved in the move that made the points safe for Milanda.

 

A long ball down the left saw Coyle slip his marker and as the keeper rushed out to tackle him he knocked the ball inside to Williamson who, after a great shout by Reid, flicked it into his path at the backpost and he buried the chance to give Milanda a deserved 2 goal cushion. Soon after Coyle was repleced by Grant and Murray by Scott as Milanda played out time. Renfrew tried to get something back but couldn't break down a dogged Milanda defence and their moaning at the ref, Milanda and fellow players increased 10-fold. As it was the final whistle saw Milanda take all 3 pts and leapfrog Renfrew in the league.

 

Man of the match: A great all round team effort. Every ball was fought for and excellent support all over the park for team-mates. One man though was head and shoulders above the rest and that was Ross Early who gave a solid and committed performance that saw him putting in last ditch tackles, breaking up attacks and providing some midfield grit.

 

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League - Stepps

 

Strathclyde Uni 2 AC Milanda 5 (HT 0-1)

 

Team - Walker, Fawns , Preston, O'Neill, McColgan, Early, Murray, Scott (MacKenzie), Coyle (Hyslop), Reid, Williamson ( Duncan).

Scorers - Early, Reid (2), Murray, McColgan.

 

Milanda secured another three points and for the second week running beat the team above them in the league and now sit in 2nd place. A day of bizarre goals and a final score line that was a bit hard on Strathclyde.

 

After a week of heavy downpours the Stepps pitch was in excellent condition and, although the pitch was almost as wide as it was long, it was almost perfect footballing conditions. Milanda made the early running and closed down their opponents at every opportunity. As the half wore on chances fell to Early, Williamson and Coyle but none of them made the Strathclyde keeper work too hard. Strathclyde were having difficulty retaining possession and couldn't find any way through the Milanda midfield and defence.

 

Milanda's pressure finally told and they took a deserved lead through Early. A loose ball in midfield was picked up by Williamson who played a first time pass into Reid and with the Strathclyde defence finding itself outnumbered he delayed his pass just long enough to give Early a chance to get into the box and he sent a neat right foot shot past the keeper. It was no more than Milanda deserved and they pressed forward to get goal number 2. Williamson had a great chance after a Fawns free kick left him with a free header 8 yards out but he did a 'Lovenkrands' and pulled it wide of the target.

 

At the other end Strathclyde were beginning to find their feet and started to make the Milanda defence do some work. They should have equalised when they scorned the best chance of the half. A break down the right ended in a cross that the whole Milanda defence missed including keeper Walker but as the ball bounced up the Strathclyde forward could only put his header into the side netting. Milanda finished the half the better and an O'Neill shot nearly went out for a throw in.

 

Strathclyde appeared to be getting a severe talking to from their manager at half time and took their time coming back on the pitch. Whatever their manager said it had an effect as for the first time Strathclyde began to look the more dangerous team going forward.

 

Milanda looked to have weathered the early storm and tried to take control of the game again but from a Milanda attack led to a Strathclyde goal. A corner by Murray was played out the box and the resultant counter attack avoided a number of challenges that eventually led to the equaliser. This gave Strathclyde renewed energy and they pinned Milanda back and looked the more likely winner until one of the most bizarre goals of the season restored Milanda's lead.

 

A break down the right looked to be coming to nothing when the cross was easily collected by the Strathclyde keeper on the goaline. For reasons best known to himself he placed the ball down as if he was taking a bye kick. Reid who was standing a few yards away couldn't believe his luck and rolled the ball into the empty net. The keeper looked to the ref for help but none was forthcoming as he pointed to the centre circle and Milanda were back in the lead. Worse was to follow for Strathclyde as Milanda increased their lead a few mins later after a cut back from the left found McColgan on his own at the back post and he scored his third of the season. That should have made the points safe but in true Milanda style they never make things easy and Strathclyde's second goal was comedy gold.

 

Somehow the Strathclyde striker avoided challenge after challenge in the box and got a shot off which Walker managed to slow down. As it spun off him and headed towards the goal O'Neill had a chance to clear but worried about putting the ball into the net he completely missed his clearance as the ball spun towards the goal. The ball then bounced up and hit the bar before a lurking Strathclyde player finally stuck it away and it was game on again.

 

It was then time for daft goal number three although this was the least bizarre of the three and was quite straightforward as a Murray corner kick was missed by everyone and despite a last ditch attempted clearance by the defender the ball had crossed the line. The goal finally killed off Strathclyde and Milanda had chances to increase their lead which the finally did when a break from defence saw a reversal of the first goal when Early put Reid through one on one with the keeper and he calmly slotted it past the keeper outstretched left hand and the points were safe.

 

Oh aye and Hyslop got a game

 

Another hard fought three points which could have gone either way but the key moments in the match went Milanda's way and in the end ran out deserved winners although the pivotal moment was Milanda's 2nd goal as Strathclyde were looking the more likely team to win at that point. Still we'll take the luck while we can.

 

Man of the match: Again another great team effort and many contenders this week for MOTM. Early again was solid in midfield, the defence, apart from a couple of hairy moments, didn't let much by and Reid upfront apart from his two goals put in an excellent shift but this week's MOTM award goes to Andy Scott who had a superb first half and won just about every tackle. He was a bit quieter in the 2nd half and nearly lost the award after his hat-trick of sliding tackles that all missed the ball..

 

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League - Bishopton

 

Deanpark 2 AC Milanda 3 (HT 1-3)

 

Team - Walker; Grant, Crawford, O'Neill; Addison, McColgan, Preston, Binnie, Scott; Duncan, Fawns. Subs not used: Dunn, Mackenzie, Hyslop.

Scorers - McColgan(2), Binnie.

 

Under-strength Milanda left Erskine with three points but they had to work extremely hard to get them. With regulars Kevin Williamson, Ross Early, Martin Coyle, Paul Murray and top scorer Mark Reid all unavailable for one reason or another, the team had to be severely rejigged, especially up front where a new combination of Craig Fawns and Paul Duncan was tried.

 

The versatile Fonzie and Scouser caused Deanpark a number of problems in the first half as Milanda, backed by a strong wind, dominated in attacking terms. However, the goals were provided by supporting midfielders. The opener came when Fonzie picked up the ball on the right and squared it perfectly across for Marc McColgan to fire home from close range. Ginger had done well to burst forward when he saw the opportunity coming and that was to be a feature of his play throughout the 90 minutes. Goal number two followed fairly quickly and followed some good build-up work by Davie Crawford, Scott Grant and Scouser. However, it was Fonzie who produced the final pass to send Jim Binnie in on goal and he showed composure before beating the Deanpark keeper.

 

It was looking promising at this stage but, not for the first time this season, Milanda shot themselves in the foot by conceding a needless goal. Andy Scott should have cleared a fairly harmless ball on the edge of the box but made a hash of it and allowed one of the home strikers to cash in and beat Steve Walker. But Milanda were back on the goal trail again when Ginger finished off another good move with a cool finish from Scouser's pass. From then until half-time it was one-way traffic as Milanda tried to build a bigger advantage for the inevitale onslaught in the second period. Binnie blasted a decent opening off target, Scott Preston had a header saved from a pinpoint Thomas Addison cross and Adda himself fired a long-range effort wide.

 

As expected, Deanpark had more of the play after the turnaround but they didn't create too much in the way of danger. They didn't have to, though, because Milanda went into charitable mode again and gifted them a second goal. A long ball could have been dealt with comfortably by Grant but his attempted header back to the keeper didn't work out as planned and one of the Deanpark forwards bounced to reduce the leeway.

 

Milanda were still making chancces on the break but the finishing was poor and so the fourth goal that would have provided a cushion never really looked like coming. Ginger broke through and blasted over, Addison failed to convert a superb chance from less than a yard and also shot straight at the keeper from a difficult angle when he had two team-mates screaming for a cutback. Binnie's control let him down when he had a chance to double his personal tally, although what looked like a push on him by the keeper during the same incident might have brought a penalty. Referee Dan Boyle decided there was nothing wrong with the challenge.

 

In between times there were one or two scary moments around the Milanda goal but some good goalkeeping by Ted allied to strong defending by Grant, Crawford and Dave O'Neill. In the end, the team held on and there was a collective sigh of relief on the sidelines. The result was certainly better than the performance but the wind and the heavy pitch didn't make things easy for a makeshift team and, on reflection, it was a good morning's work.

 

MOTM everyone worked hard and there were no failures. It was especially good to see Scott and Grant put their mistakes behind them, keep their heads up and contribute in both defence and attack. The midfield did a fine job collectively and Fonzie and Scouser, although paired together for the first time, linked well. However, the acccolade must go to Ginger who never stopped fighting for the cause and scored two vital goals.

 

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League - Bearsden

 

Parklife 3 AC Milanda 1 (HT 1-1)

 

Team Fawns, Grant, Preston (Dunn), O’Neill, Scott (Murray), Early, McColgan, Binnie, Addison, Coyle, Duncan (Williamson). Sub not used Mackenzie

Scorers - Binnie.

 

Milanda traveled to Bearsden knowing victory would take them top of the league as Club Athletic were on cup duty. Sadly it wasn’t to be as Milanda failed to cope with the swamp like conditions.

 

Milanda almost found themselves one down after less than a minute when slack play on the left allowed Parklife’s pony tailed centre forward a clear run on goal but Fawns was quickly off his line and did enough to put him off before the ball was partially cleared. The ball came straight back though and Milanda were relieved to see the shot just skim the top of the bar.

 

Milanda took advantage of this let off by taking the lead and a goal the Parklife keeper won’t want reminding of. A break down the right saw Addison slip a pass down the line to Duncan as he made his way to the bye line he swung in a cross that looked to be an easy take for the keeper but he somehow managed to let the ball slip and Binnie was left with an easy tap in from 6 yards. Milanda couldn’t build on this lead and Parklife were unlucky on two or three occasions not to equalise. Milanda did have a couple of efforts including a 20 yard lob from Grant who had to have medical attention for the nosebleed he incurred being that far up the pitch. Addison saw a rocket free kick come back off the wall and McColgan and Scott also had attempts on goal but goal number two eluded Milanda.

 

Milanda’s luck at the other end couldn’t hold and Parklife finally got a deserved equaliser when indecision in the Milanda box left the Parklife forward with plenty of time to place the ball in the bottom right hand corner of the net.

 

Milanda were then denied two chances to regain the lead by questionable refereeing decisions. The first involved Early who was clearly fouled in the box and as everyone including Parklife players stopped waiting for the whistle the ref waved play on claiming Early went down in ‘installments’. Milanda felt further aggrieved when a few moments later Duncan sent Coyle free with a perfectly weighted pass but the ref this time did blow his whistle to indicate he was offside. Considering Coyle was at least 5 yards onside when the ball was played Milanda were feeling hard done by when the half time whistle blew.

 

Milanda started the second half looking to get back in front but were finding passing in the underfoot conditions difficult and moves constantly broke down as the ball bobbled or got stuck in the mud. Parklife looked to be coping with the conditions better and took the lead when slack play in the Milanda defence once again led to a goal. This prompted some changes for Milanda when Murray replaced Scott followed a few mins later by Williamson coming on for Duncan who had put in a hard shift with little reward. The introduction of Murray saw Milanda getting forward into dangerous positions but again the final ball just wasn’t being delivered. There was one almighty scramble in the Parklife 6 yard box that saw about four different Milanda players taking a swipe at the ball and managing to knock it about a yard further forward each time before it was eventually cleared.

 

Parklife delivered the killer blow soon after with a clinical counter attack. Williamson tried four times to get the ball into the Parklife 6 yard box but every time a Parklife player got his body in the way before it was launched upfield and a stretched Milanda defence could do nothing to stop goal number three.

 

Milanda continued to huff and puff but still couldn’t make any real impression on the Parklife goal and the final whistle saw a golden chance to put pressure on Club Athletic gone.

 

A disappointing result after the great league run Milanda had put together over the last couple of months. To be fair to Parklife they played well and coped with the conditions better and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them up challenging at the end of the season.

 

MOTM – Overall it was a fairly average performance from Milanda and although there was plenty of effort not many stood out. Early again had a solid game in midfield along with McColgan and the front two never got any real return for their hard work but this week’s MOTM award goes to Dave O’Neill who made some vital interceptions and had one of his best games in a Milanda jersey.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 6 Pursuers 3 (HT 4-1)

 

Team Walker, Preston, Crawford , O’Neill, Mackenzie (Grant), Murray, Early, McColgan, Coyle, Reid (Scott), Dunn ((Williamson). Sub not used Addison

Scorers - Reid, Coyle, Dunn, Murray, Own goal, Williamson.

 

Milanda finally reached top spot in the league after seeing off a dogged Pursuers fightback. For the second time in two weeks Milanda had a chance to go top with Club Athletic idle this week. Although CA have games in hand it's good to see Milanda top of the pile at least for a short time. They did make hard work of it though as Pursuers made them fight all the way.

 

Milanda took a while to get going in this game and had the wood work and Walker to thank for not going behind early on. A cross into the box found a Pursuer forward all alone at the back post but Walker was quickly out to close him down and his shot came back off the post. A big let off for Milanda but Pursuers continued to press and Milanda were looking unsure of themselves until nerves were calmed when Milanda scored against the run of play. A poor kick out was collected by Early and he played a short pass to Coyle who tried to flick it through for Reid. A Pursuers defender managed to intercept and tried to turn it back to his keeper but was short and Reid had continued his run and touched it past the keeper into the corner.

 

That should have calmed Milanda down but they continued to be second to every ball and Pursuers hit back with a deserved equaliser after another long ball caught the defence square and this time Walker had no chance form close range. This finally kicked Milanda into life and they began to find their rhythm with Early, Murray and McColgan starting to control the midfield. Milanda regained the lead when Coyle broke in from the right and hit a low cross that deceived the keeper and ended up in the net (and this week I'm sure it was Coyle). Goal number three quickly followed and it was trademark Milanda. A long throw from Murray found Dunn and his header found the corner of the net. Goal of the game was next up when Murray bamboozled the Pursuers defence and waltzed round five of them before finding the bottom right hand corner of the net with a low left foot drive. A definite contender for goal of the season.

 

After a ropey start Milanda reached the break three goals up and were looking comfortable. At half time Milanda made a change with Williamson replacing Dunn.

 

Milanda pressed Pursuers early in the second half but despite a number of corners and shys were unable to extend their lead and paid for not taking advantage when they found themselves in trouble after a quick Pursuers 1-2. Crawford couldn't get the ball from out of his feet and his attempted clearance gave Pursuers a chance to break and they capitalised by reducing the deficit to two goals. Milanda were suddenly on the back foot and looking uncomfortable and Pursuers pushed forward to take advantage. Milanda were having problems clearing their lines and were giving possession away too easily. Pursuers won a corner and as the ball was played into the box it ricocheted around the boxa few times, was kicked off the line before falling kindly to a Pursuers forward on the 6 yard line and he had an easy task to steer it into the net.

 

From looking comfortable and in control Milanda were now looking edgy and unsure.. They did however weather the storm and once again took control of the game. They established a two goal cushion courtesy of a Pursuer head. Another long throw from Murray was deflected into his own net by a defender and it looked all over for Pursuers.. A few minutes later Milanda made the points safe when Williamson headed home a Murray coner and Pursuers's brave fightback was finally killed off.

 

The game finished and Milanda had finally reached the top of the league at the 2nd attempt, with one game to go before the xmas break Milanda should hopefully stay there and put a bit of pressure on CA.

 

MOTM - Some good performances this week particualrly in midfield and not much to choose between Murray and Early but the latter just gets the vote for this week's man of the match.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 1 Andrew Watt 1 (HT 0-1)

 

Team Fawns, Addison (Johnston), Preston, Crawford , Scott, Binnie, Murray, Early, McColgan, Coyle (Dunn), Reid (Duncan). Sub not used Soutar

Scorer - Duncan .

 

Only attempt to watch video clips if you have broadband or similar. Best way to do it is to put cursor over link and right click your mouse and choose the option 'save target as'. This will let you save the file to your PC and then you can watch it in windows media player. If you have dial up forget it. Any problems let me know.

 

Match Report

 

Milanda started 2006 with a point against 3rd place Andrew Watt but were disappointed not to take all three.

 

Clockwatch

 

3mins. Early gets the break of the ball after a mix up between two AW defenders leave him with a great chance 10 yards out. Early gets a good strike but the keeper makes a great save and the ball is cleared.

 

5mins. Slack play, a feature of the first 15 mins, in defence allows AW to break but an offside decision prevents the opener.

 

10mins. The opening goal is only delayed as slack passing allows AW to attack down the right and a cut back from the byeline sits up nicely for the AW forward to put a right foot shot past Fawns.

 

11mins. Good work by Binnie results in a dangerous cross into the box but Reid's header is saved.

Crawford and Adda attack a corner from Murray

 

13mins. Some excellent work by Coyle wins Milanda a corner. The corner is half cleared to McColgan on the edge of the box but his shot is high and wide.

 

24mins. A long free kick into the box is knocked down by Crawford to McColgan, who doesn't get enough power on his shot and the keeper manages to get down and deflect it for a corner.

 

32mins. Milanda almost caught out on AW counterattack. Addison manages to partially cut out first ball and a brave Crawford header gets the ball to safety.

 

Murray prepares to put in a free kick. Dunn prepares to put out some traffic cones.

 

34mins. Murray gathers the ball on the left of the box and his powerful shot smacks off the bar.

 

HT 0-1 A first 45 of missed half chances and little or no luck in and around box as shots, headers and passes just fail to find their mark.

 

46mins. Milanda start well and Early is unlucky as his shot goes the wrong side of the post.

 

47mins. A Coyle cross finds Reid in space but his header goes over the bar.

Reid fails to find the target.

 

49mins. Reid involved again as he makes some space on the edge of the box but can't get a shot on target.

 

51mins. Coyle shows some touches and knocks the ball forward to Reid whose header finds Murray. His shot come cross unfortunately is turned past the post by Reid.

 

57mins. Milanda make a change and it's a debut for new boy Johnston who replaces Addison. A move which sees Binnie move to left back and Coyle slot into midfield.

 

59mins. Milanda escape going 2 down. A mix up in the Milanda box allows a AW forward to stick out a foot and his shot comes back off the bar. Would have been harsh on Milanda if it had gone in as Milanda were dominating the game at this point.

Milanda defenders get in each others way and leads to AW hitting a shot off the bar.

 

60mins. Milanda immediately go up the park and win a free kick and then a corner but fail to put AW keeper under any real pressure. Milanda seeing plenty of possession but a well drilled AW defence is keeping Milanda at bay.

 

69mins. Coyle neatly beats two players in the box but his shot is saved down low at the near post.

Keeper saves from Coyle

 

70mins. Another Milanda change with Duncan coming on for Reid.

 

72mins. The woodwork saves AW again. A thundering Coyle shot smacks off the right hand post with the AW keeper beaten.

 

75mins. McColgan tests the AW keeper again but still has no luck.

 

78mins. Great knock on from Coyle gives Murray a chance but his shot goes past the post.

 

81mins. Coyle takes a sore on in the box after a corner.

Ya Bassa - That was sore

 

85mins Dunn on for Coyle who hasn't recovered after being winded.

 

87mins Milanda finally get the equaliser. McColgan is fouled on the edge of the box and as AW are slow to organise their wall Murray plays a short pass to Duncan and his cultured right big toe knocks it past the AW keeper and into the net.

Milanda finally equalise. Wild scenes of celebration.

 

89mins After all their hard work to get back into the game AW have two great chances to steal the points. The first sees an AW forward clean through but fortunately his finish is poor. The same player gets free again a few seconds later on the right but again rushes his shot and puts it past.

 

FT 1-1

 

A frustrating and disappointing morning for Milanda as they slip further behind Club Athletic in the league. Milanda just couldn't convert possession and chances into goals. To their credit Andrew Watt were well marshaled in defence and caused a few sweaty moments in the Milanda defence especially in the first half.

 

MOTM - Hard to choose this week. Was a fairly average performance all round. Murray showed some nice touches and was unlucky with shot that hit the bar, similarly Coyle had some inspired moments and watched one come back off the post. Ross Early also worked tirelessly in the midfield but this week's award goes to Scott Preston who had a solid game at the back and although the defence were a little shakey at the beginning and end of the game they mostly kept the chances for AW forwards to a minimum.

 

More photographs here.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 2 Allander 0 (HT 1-0)

 

Team Walker, Addison, (Grant) Preston (O'Neill), Crawford , Scott, Murray (Dunn), Early, McColgan, Duncan, Fawns, Williamson. Sub not used Mackenzie

Scorers - Williamson, Crawford.

 

Milanda secured their first win of 2006 with a display that deserved more than the 2 goals they finished with. A combination of Milanda being unable to convert numerous chances and some excellent goalkeeping from the Allander keeper kept the scoreline respectable.

 

Milanda had to make an early change when Reid pulled a hamstring in the warm up. As a result Fawns was pushed up front and Addison came in at right back.

 

The early part of the game was only memorable for Allander forward 'Dougie' throwing his toys out of the pram with his own team-mates and getting involved with Milanda's Preston and Crawford. Twice in quick succession the referee had to deliver him a lecture. This calmed him down a bit, but all through the game he was constantly moaning at just about everyone. This suited Milanda as he's been a thorn in Milanda's side in the past but he never seemed focused on this game.

 

Milanda made most of the pressing in this game and were getting in behind the Allander defence. Duncan had a shot pushed round the post by the Allander keeper but Milanda couldn't take advantage of the corner. A succession of corner and long throws put Allander under pressure but Milanda couldn't find the breakthrough.

 

At the other end Milanda although not under a lot of pressure were lucky to see a loose ball go over the bar. Milanda did though finally make the breakthrough after a slip by the Allander sweeper.

 

A ball on the edge of the box looked to be an easy clearance for the sweeper but as he slid into clear he failed to make any real contact. Williamson nicked the ball from him and ran in on goal. As the keeper came out Williamson neatly rounded the keeper and placed his left foot shot calmly into the net. As cool a finish as you'll see all season . It was no more than Milanda deserved.

 

Fawns had a chance to double Milanda's lead shortly after when a bouncing ball was missed by Allander and Fawns was one on one with the keeper but he couldn't get a good enough angle on it to get it past the keeper who easily saved.

 

Half time arrived and Milanda should have been more then one ahead.

 

The second half was mostly one way traffic as Milanda looked for number two. a whole host of chances were squandered.

 

Fawns had another one on one but the keeper got down well to smother.

 

Early had two great chances one from a Murray cut back that he couldn't get on target.

 

Murray found himself one on one but again the keeper was up to the task.

 

Williamson saw a header from a Murray throw in just fall the wrong side of the post.

 

Fawns put a shot over the bar after the ball fell kindly at the edge of the box.

 

Fawns also had a great free kick superbly saved by the Allander keeper who really kept his side in it.

 

When the goal finally did come it was simple but effective. A long throw from Fawns was met by Crawford who was under pressure from two defenders but managed to get a header away that beat the Allander keeper who had tried to come out and claim the ball.

 

The goal finally killed off Allander and although Milanda still had a bit of defending to do they never looked like surrendering the victory.

 

A good win for Milanda against a team that has become a bit of a bogey team for them in the last few years. Considering it was done without Coyle and Reid, Milanda's two top goalscorers it was all the more creditable. .

 

MOTM - McColgan in midfield was one of many top performers but this week's MOTM has to be Crawford who had a superb game in the middle of the Milanda defence and crowned it off with the second goal. Not afraid to get in where it hurts and kept Dougie quiet.........at least on the football side.

 

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John Rae Trophy - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 3 Glenavon Thistle 3 (Milanda win 4-2 on pens) (HT 0-1)

 

Team Fawns, Grant) Preston(Adison), O'Neill, Murray , Early, McColgan, Duncan Dunn), Reid (Soutar), Williamson. Subs not used Scott, Hyslop

Scorers - Reid, Williamson, Binnie.

 

A classic cup tie encounter went down to the wire before Milanda finally scraped through to the Semi finals after winning a nailbiting penalty shoot out.

 

The morning should have been a lot calmer for Milanda after wasting a succession of chances in a one sided first half. As early as the first minute a through ball from Murray caught the Glenavon defence turning but Williamson couldn't get it under control and his shot was blocked by the keeper.

 

Milanda continued to take the game to Glenavon and gave their back line little rest. An inviting cross from Murray was met by Williamson 16 yards out but his header went a couple of yards wide. It was then the turn of Reid to try his luck. A back post corner wasn't properly cleared and Reid found the ball at his feet three yards out but couldn't get the touch that would have given Milanda the lead. It was Reid again a few mins later who tried a volley from the edge of the box but again couldn't quite connect properly.

 

Milanda kept the Glenavon defence under pressure with long throw after long throw but the final touch eluded a succession of Milanda players. the first half was summed up when a long throw was knocked onto the bar by the Glenavon keeper. As it fell Williamson tried to get on to it and then Duncan finally got a header and it landed in the keeper's arms.

 

As so often happens in these games if you don't make your pressure count you get hit by a suckerpunch and so Milanda went a goal down completely against the run of play.

 

An awkward spin of the ball in midfield left two Milanda players chasing a Glenavon forward as he advanced into the box and with their first shot on goal put Milanda behind. Milanda could scarcely believe it as they had complete domination up until this point.

 

Half time approached and still Milanda spent the majority of their time in the Glenavon half but inspired goal keeping was frustrating Milanda. As half time arrived Milanda were still one behind having completely controlled the first half.

 

Having done everything but score in the first half Milanda didn't make any changes and continued to chase the equaliser. Glenavon came into the game more in the second half but still struggled to contain Milanda's midfield. long throw in's were allowing Milanda to create chances with knock downs and flick ons and it was from a Williamson flick on that Early had a chance in the box but couldn't keep his shot down. By this point Murray arms were dragging on the ground from the number of long throws he had taken.

 

The best move of the match ended up with Reid knocking the ball into Duncan's path but his shot was straight at the keeper. This was to be his last contribution to the game as Dunn came off the bench to add his sizeable presence to the Milanda attack. His impact was immediate.

 

The game entered the last fifteen and it looked as if it was going the be one of those days for Milanda as they just couldn't find a way through. To their credit they never gave up and their perseverance finally paid off when another long throw was knocked on by Dunn and waiting at the back post was Reid to place his header into the net.

 

Milanda searched for a winner to avoid extra time but were forced to defend as Glenavon mounted some late attacks but neither team could find a way through and 30mins of extra time beckoned.

 

Both teams could be forgiven for easing off after the effort put in over the previous 90 mins but the pace of the game rarely let up. Both teams wanted to win it before the dreaded penalties and the game began to open up. Milanda still had the bulk of the play but Glenavon started to pose more problems and regained the lead when their centre forward was left free in the box to pick his spot. In fact they could have increased their lead but fawns came out well to block and keep the deficit to one. This could have knocked the stuffing out of Milanda but back they came for the second time in search of the equaliser but they had to wait until the second half of extra time before it arrived.

 

Again Dunn made a nuisance of himself at a corner and ball bounced around the 6 yard box before falling to Williamson who hooked a right foot shot towards goal and with the aid of a deflection it ended up in the net. A few minutes later and Milanda were in front for the first time in an epic tussle. A seemingly harmless cross was thrown into the box and seemed to be going behind when Binnie suddenly appeared at the backpost. After doing a bit of ball juggling he headed it past the static Glenavon keeper. It had taken Milanda 115 mins to get the lead but only took them another two to throw it away.

 

A clumsy challenge by Addison on the edge of the Milanda box provided an opportunity for Glenavon to get a rare strike on goal. A low left foot shot found the corner of the net despite Fawns getting a hand on it and the game was destined for pens.

 

This was the 2nd time Milanda had faced Glenavon in a penalty shoot out and had lost the previous one in the final of the tournament in 2004. Glenavon were first up and the nerves got the better of the taker as he shot high over the bar. Fawns swapped goal saver for goalscorer and calmly slotted his penalty away to put Milanda 1up. The next Glenavon penalty was scored to make the scores level before Grant gave the advantage back to Milanda. Glenavon's 3rd was converted and Murray made it 3 out of 3 and 3-2 for Milanda. Fawns became the Milanda hero when he saved a poor Glenavon spot kick and gave Early the chance to put Milanda through. Without a hint of nerves he calmly dispatched it into the bottom left hand corner and a thrilling cup tie was finally brought to a close. Handshakes were offered all round and both teams had to be congratulated for serving up a cracking cup tie and playing it in such a sporting manner.

 

Milanda made hard work of this tie and made enough chances to win 10 cup ties but never gave up even after falling behind a 2nd time. The players kept their nerve though and the penalties were expertly taken with the Glenavon keeper never getting near any of them.

 

MOTM - fantastic effort over the 120 mins from everyone. The midfield dominated throughout and the defence limited the amount of chances to Glenavon who unfortunately scored with their first two shots on target. the Milanda forward line should have made more of the chances they had but never stopped working and got some reward in the end. MOTM this week though goes to Paul Murray who had a fantastic game on the left wing and we'll over look his one on one moment.

 

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League - Blairdardie

 

Crosslands 0 AC Milanda 5 (HT 0-2)

 

Team Walker, Binnie, Preston (Grant) O'Neill, Scott, Murray (Soutar), Early, McColgan, Duncan, Williamson (Fawns), Reid Subs not used Addison, Dunn

Scorers - Reid (2), Williamson, Murray (2).

 

A comfortable morning for Milanda as they visited joint bottom team Crosslands. Coyle was still out injured but Japanese boy Preston made it back from Tokyo in time to take his place in the starting 11.

 

Milanda controlled this game from the off and had few moments of real concern over the 90 mins. The Crossland's defence didn't receive much respite on a morning where Milanda should have had a lot more than 5. Considering their pressure it took Milanda about 20 mins before taking the lead. Before that they went close with an Early header hitting the post, Reid putting a shot by and Williamson unable to keep his shot down after a corner.

 

When the opener did arrive it was from the right foot of Reid. Both Reid and Williamson closed the keeper down after a passback and Williamson managed to get in the way of the keeper's kick. The ball fell to the Crosslands right back but his attempted clearance was poor and allowed Murray to attack the byeline and his cross was finished off by Reid from 12 yards.

 

As soon as the ball hit the net the result was not in doubt. Crosslands had offered little in attack apart from one breakaway and any time they ventured over the halfway line the Milanda defence coped confidently. Milanda doubled their lead when a knock-on from Williamson landed nicely for Reid who calmly lobbed the advancing keeper to score his second. The Crosslands goal was under almost constant pressure but the closest Milanda came to scoring again was a left foot thunderbolt from Scott. His 25 yard rasper was touched onto the bar and over by the keeper but the ref decided it was a bye kick.

 

Milanda killed the game off moments into the second half. Straight from kick off Early closed down a Crosslands player who had recived the knock back and he tried to take a touch too many. The ball broke to Williamson who found Reid with his pass. Meanwhile Early had continued his run to the right wing where he received the ball back from Reid and after beating a couple of players sent in a perfect cross for Williamson who got in front of his marker to power in a header at the near post. It was game over and the only question was how many for Milanda.

 

Despite their dominance it was only to be 2 as Milanda took the foot off the gas. It was a quick 1/2 from Murray who had another good game on Milanda's left wing. Both goals were similar in execution. His first was a powerful left foot finish at the back post when a deep cross found him in plenty of space. His second was a result of route one football when Walker's kick out was nodded on by Williamson and again Murray found himself in plenty of space and time to pick his spot to make it 5 and fire a shot past the crosslands keeper at his post.

 

Milanda used their subs after this with Soutar coming on for Murray, Grant for Preston and Fawns for Williamson.

 

With the game won Milanda eased towards the final whistle and another three points and their second consecutive clean sheet in the league.

 

A fairly solid morning's work from Milanda and although Crosslands worked hard and never gave up they posed little threat to the Milanda goal.

 

MOTM - Murray again had a cracking game and took his goals well, There were a number of candidates this week but the award goes to Dave O'Neill who never lost a header all day and put in tackles at all the right moments. He also nearly got himself on the scoresheet, the Crossland's scoresheet that is after a header towards his own goal just spun the right side of the post with Walker completely stranded.

 

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League - Cowglen

 

Invac 4 AC Milanda 1 (HT 2-1)

 

Team - Fawns; Dullaghan, Grant, O'Neill, Scott, Binnie (Mackenzie), Preston (Addison), McColgan, Murray; Coyle, Reid

Scorer - Preston.

 

Milanda's hopes of keeping the pressure on league leaders Club Athletic were dashed when they lost for the second time this season to Invac. Especially as Club Athletic lost at home to Allander. A team missing several regulars and including new signing Hugh Dullaghan was no match for the Cowglen boys who were fitter and stronger on a big pitch that was very heavy, particularly in the goalmouths.

 

Despite a promising start that saw them take the lead, Milanda literally got bogged down and rarely looked anything other than second best. The opener came early on when the Invac keeper missed his attempt to punch away a Mark Reid corner, allowing Scott Preston to head home at the back post. However, Preston, who had been playing in midfield, didn't take much further part in the game due to hamstring trouble. Thomas Addison went on at right-back, allowing Dullaghan to move into midfield.

 

Invac came storming back in search of an equaliser and put together some threatening attacks but when they did get on terms it was a real gift of a goal. Craig Fawns clearly shouted that he would claim a cross from the left but team-mate Andy Scott got in his way and when the ball bounced off his head it left the keeper stranded as one of the Invac forwards knocked the ball into the unguarded net.

 

Martin Coyle set up an opportunity for Reid to get on the scoresheet at the other end but his effort was well off target. Fawns had some good saves after that but it looked as if Milanda might reach the break level until Scott Grant lost possession of the ball near the halfway line. Invac broke forward and took advantage of a pedestrian defence to score a simple second.

 

Early in the second half, Invac scored their third goal. A simple ball over the top found the entire defence moving out and the home team's right winger ran on to set up another easy finish for one of his strike partners.

 

Despite being two goals behind, Milanda tried hard to get back in the game and made a couple of very good chances. A Paul Murray pass was cleverly dummied by Coyle to let Reid into the box but the keeper pulled off a good save from his shot. Then Murray found himself with a chance at the back post but again the Invac No.1 was equal to the shot. If those chances had gone in, there might have been a chance to take something from the game but Invac went on to score another tap-in after Fawns had done well to parry a powerful drive.

 

To sum up, a miserable performance on a cold, wet, miserable day. Invac have now put nine goals past Milanda for the loss of three in two league meetings and they could be challenging up at the top of the table when they start catching up with their fixtures.

 

MAN OF THE MATCH ? Dullaghan impressed on his debut with his fitness and tenacity and Fawns did little wrong despite the fact he lost four goals but the award goes to Marc McColgan who grafted in midfield throughout the 90 minutes and didn't deserve to be on the losing side.

 

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John Rae Trophy Semi Fina - Paisley Racecourse

 

Glasgow Islay 1 AC Milanda 3 (HT 1-1)

 

Team Walker, Preston Crawford, Dullaghan, Binnie, Early, Coyle(Dunn), Murray , McColgan (Addison), Williamson, Fawns (Reid), Subs not used Grant, Scott

Scorers - Early, Crawford, Coyle.

 

A morning to remember for Milanda after a superb team performance means they will face Deanpark (1-0 winners against Gilmorehill) in the final of the John Rae Trophy. This appears to be becoming a welcome habit for Milanda as this will the 3rd time in four years Milanda have reached the final. On paper the semi final looked a hard task as Glasgow Islay won the 2nd division last season and demolished Milanda 6-1 on their way to the title. Currently holding their own in the first division Milanda started this tie as the underdogs.

 

All the early pressure came from Milanda and they looked a determined side as they played against a strong wind in the first 45. Although seeing a lot of the ball not many chances were being created. Williamson was caught marginally offside after intercepting a Fawns shot. Fawns hit a shot over the bar from a Williamson lay off but clear cut chances were thin on the ground.

 

Then against the run of play Islay took the lead. A high ball out of defence got caught in the wind and the Milanda defence hesitated before attacking the ball. This allowed the Islay forwards to take advantage and despite some last ditch defending an Islay forward broke clear and gave Walker no chance in the Milanda goal. It was scarcely deserved as it was Islay's first real attack but it counted nonetheless and Milanda were now facing an uphill battle.

 

Milanda came storming back and Coyle was unlucky with a shot while Crawford made himself a nuisance at corners and throw ins. Williamson had good claims for a penalty when he was fouled on the edge of the box but as he tried to keep his feet the chance was lost. Eventually the Milanda pressure paid off and long throw into the box bounced up perfectly for Early to poke home. It was a deserved equaliser and Milanda pressed for a 2nd before half time but despite keeping Islay pressed back they were unable to add to their one goal.

 

The second half was mostly a list of Milanda attacks with only the occasionally foray up the park by Islay who looked unable to get a hold of the game and give their forwards some service. Long punts up the park were easy meat for Preston and Crawford and anything that got past them was dealt with by Walker. At the other end Milanda were again finding it hard to breakthrough. Coyle had a great run and shot saved by the keeper. Then a corner from Murray came back off the post when it looked as if it was going to go straight out. The constant pressure was surely going to see a Milanda goal and when it did it was a little fortunate. A corner into the box found Crawford who lashed a shot goalwards. It looked to be heading safely to the keeper but an Islay defender tried to clear but only succeeded in deflecting it past his keeper and Milanda had one foot in the final.

 

This sparked a bit of life into Islay as they realised their final chance was slipping away. For the first time in the game they put some real pressure on the Milanda defence but the workrate across the whole Milanda side limited them to hopeful crosses into the box that caused little problem.

 

Milanda needed a third to make sure and were denied a stonewall penalty to give them this chance. Some fancy footwork from Coyle on the left saw him beat two men and he was chopped to the ground. A clear penalty but the ref waved play on to Coyle's disgust. It only delayed the inevitable though and the killer goal arrived from the right foot of Coyle. A clearance from defence had Islay claiming offside but the ref was having none of it. A defender got back to challenge Coyle but he slipped past him and as the Islay keeper advanced Coyle hit a low shot from outside the box under his body and into the net. There was still 10 mins left on the clock but Islay were a beaten side and Milanda ran down the clock in complete control. The final whistle arrived and Milanda were in the final. Sporting handshakes were offered all round and credit has to go to Islay who took defeat well and wished us luck in the final.

 

Probably Milanda's best team display of the season against a good side who were worthy winners of the league last season. Attitude, workrate and encouragement were first class and if we carry that forward in the league and the final who knows what can happen.

 

MOTM - No man of the match this week. There were many great individual performances but this was an all round team effort and deserves to be recognised as such.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 2 Strathclyde Uni 1 (HT 1-1)

 

Team Fawns, Preston, Crawford, Dullaghan, Scott, Early, Addison(O'Neill), Duncan (Grant), Coyle, Reid, Murray (Williamson). Sub not used Dunn, McColgan

Scorers - Reid, Murray

 

Another valuable three points for Milanda. it was 2nd against 4th and as a whole host of teams line up behind Milanda in the league it was vital Milanda didn't slip up. Games between the two teams are usually tight and close affairs and this one was no different. Chances were at a premium and close marking and a packed midfield left little room for manouvre.

 

It was Strathclyde Uni that broke the deadlock after the first 15mins produced lot of determined play but little in the way of goalmouth incidents. The goal when it arrived was rather fortunate for Strathclyde. A loose ball in midfield was picked up and the Uni player was allowed to advance unchallenged. he tried his luck with a 30 yarder which would have been a safe safe for fawns but it hit a Uni player on it's way and totally wrong footed Fawns who could only watch helpless as it ended up in the net.

 

Milanda searched for the equliser and Reid was unlucky to sky a shot over the bar after a corner. Murray had an effort go narrowly past but it was proving tough for Milanda to make any real chances. The equaliser finally arrived after great work by Scott in the midfield. A tremendous tackle from Scott 10 yards into the Uni half broke kindly for Milanda and the ball was sent into the box where Reid controlled it and hit a right foot volley into the net..

 

The second half saw both teams search for a winner. A draw was really no good to either side. As the half progressed Milanda took a grip of the game and began to put the Uni defence under real pressure. At the other end Fawns was left with little to do other than kick outs as Dullaghan, Preston and Crawford gave Strathclyde forwards little change.

 

The winning goal when it arrived was from Murray playing a more forward role than normal. As Milanda broke Coyle fed Murray a perfect pass and he hit a superb left foot drive past the keeper. Milanda sent on all 3 subs as the conditions began to take their toll. Despite Strathclyde pushing for an equaliser there were never any real moments of concern for milanda and the final whistle saw another 3points in the bag.

 

MOTM - Two players were outstanding. Scott and Dullaghan both put in great tackles and won vital headers all through the game. Really couldn't split them and they share this week's MOTM award.

 

Also good to see Old Milanda star Gerry McGinty come along and see some of his prodigies.

 

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League - Hamilton Palace

 

Club Sporting 4 AC Milanda 1 (HT 2-0)

 

Team Walker, Grant(Preston), Crawford, Dullaghan, Scott (Fawns), Early, O'Neill, Duncan (Williamson), Coyle, Reid Subs not used Addison, McColgan

Scorers - O'Neill

 

Just one of those morning for Milanda where lady luck slept in. Milanda started badly and didn't really turn up for the first 30 mins and from almost their only 2 attacks CS found themselves 2 up. Milanda rallied as the half finished but the CS keeper was in inspired form.

 

The second half was all Milanda but they were caught cold ont he counter attack and found themselves 3 down. Eventually Dave O'Neill pulled one back as Milanda threw everything at CS. Coyle had 3 attempts cleared off the line, balls were hitting defenders and being deflected out or over the bar. The CS keeper continued to make excellent saves and some he kept out he didn't even know about. The final and killer goal was another breakaway from CS and Milanda had to finally admit it wasn't going to be their morning. A couple of CS players admitted they were slightly embarrassed by the scoreline as they had almost scored with all their chances. If Milanda had converted even a third of theirs they would have been comfortable winners.

 

MOTM - Plenty of effort and huff and puff with little reward. Can't really remember anyone standing out.

 

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League - Glasgow Green

 

Pursuers 1 AC Milanda 3 (HT 0-1)

 

Team Walker, Preston, Crawford, Dullaghan (Grant), Addison, Coyle, McColgan, O'Neill, Scott, Williamson (Duncan), Fawns (Murray), Subs not used Dunn,

Scorers - Coyle, Murray, Addison

 

Not a morning for pretty football as soggy underfoot conditions and a swirling wind did its best to make football as difficult as possible.

 

Pursuers were first to threaten when a swift passing move left their forward clear on walker but he did enough to put him off and he hit the side netting. Milanda finally managed to get up the park and a knock on from Williamson slipped Coyle in behind the defence but he couldn't get his shot on target. Williamson himself had a chance a few mins later when slipping clear of his marker but his shot didn't give the Pursuers keeper much to do. Preston then had a superb last ditch sliding tackle which needed to be precise as he was the last man.

 

Milanda took the lead from the penalty spot. Another knock on from Williamson again found Coyle, he crossed into the box but the ball was cleared and somehow found it's way back to coyle who beat two men but the last man clearly hauled Coyle down. It looked just inside the box and the ref agreed. Coyle calmly stroked the penalty into the bottom left corner with the keeper going the wrong way.

 

Coyle again was involved in another chance for Milanda when picking up a loose ball just overt the halfway line. Unfortunately his cut back to Fawns was just intercepted by a back tracking Pursuers defence. Milanda then lost Dullaghan after he overstretched in a tackle. Grant came onto replace him.

 

Milanda went into half time 1up and faced a second half with the wind behind them.

 

The wind continued to play havoc and neither side could really get to grips with the conditions. fawns had a chance when a header from a Pursuers defender put him clear. He couldn't get good enough angle and his shot could only hit the side netting. It was about Fawns last action as he was replaced by Murray and an inspired substitution it was.

 

As Murray entered the fray Milanda had a shy in their own half which was launched down the line and Williamson knocked it to the edge of the box where Murray took a touch and hit a low right foot shot across the keeper into the net. That should have been the points in the bag as Pursuers had rarely threatened in the second half but Milanda went to sleep and allowed them back in the game. Milanda had several attempts to clear the ball but failed and it eventually squeezed through to a Pursuers forward whose shot found the net with Walker unable to get near it. Suddenly it was game on again.

 

Milanda made their final change when Duncan came on for Williamson. The points were made safe when a pass from murray found Addison in space inside the box and he calmly stuck the ball away.

 

As the game drew to a close Walker made an excellent stop when closing down the angles as pursuers sought to get something from the game.

 

A good three points for Milanda in difficult conditions and still gives them a chance of promotion.

 

MOTM - Think well give it to Adda this week seeing as he scored and had some excellent runs throughout the game.

 

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League - Nethercraigs

 

AC Milanda 3 Deanpark 1 (HT 1-1)

 

Team Fawns, Preston, Crawford, O'Neill, Addison, Coyle, McColgan (Binnie), Murray, Williamson (Scott) Duncan

Scorers - Williamson, Crawford (2)

 

A dress rehearsal for the Cup final in May and unlikely either team found out much about the other that they didn't already know.

 

For the 2nd week running the wind played a part in proceedings making it difficult to judge the flight of the ball. Both teams took their time to adapt and it was Deanpark who took an early lead. A clearance from defence caught out the Milanda defence as it was knocked on and the Deanpark player made no mistake with his one-on-one with Fawns.

 

Milanda began to play football on the deck and made in roads into the Deanpark box but the final ball was lacking. Milanda had a great chance when Addison was sent clear on the right. Williamson made his way into the box in support and waited to pull the trigger as the cross came in but a last ditch tackle left Milanda with only a corner for their effort.

 

The equlaiser did finally come and the wind played its part. Murray stuck a toe out and the ball spun up in the air the Deanpark defender tried to bring it under control but managed only to completely miss the ball and it spun into the path of Williamson who gratefully received the gift and drew the keeper before putting it into the left hand corner.

 

Milanda survived a scare a few moments later when a shot inside the box came back off the post before a brave block by Crawford cleared the danger. At the other end Coyle wasn't far away with a shot from outside the box after Williamson had intercepted a poor goal kick. It was honours even at half time.

 

The second half was much the same as the first with Milanda pressing while Deanpark tried to hit on the break. Milanda took the lead after a corner kick was cleared back to murray who sent an inch perfect ball to the back post where Crawford was waiting all alone to head past the keeper.

 

The game threatened to boil over as tempers became a bit frayed as Milanda stood firm against Deanpark. The points were made secure when in an almost identical goal to the second Crawford got his second. This time it was Addison who delivered the final ball and Crawford was once again in the right place at the right time.

 

Milanda had chances to put the game out of site but time and again the wrong option was being chosen and Deanpark continued to search for a lifeline. They seemed to think constant moaning at the ref was the best way forward but the official refused to be swayed and Milanda for the second week running recorded a 3-1 victory.

 

The Cup final will be much harder than this but good to get whatever psychological benefit we can get from this fairly straightforward victory.

 

MOTM - Has to be Crawford this week. Solid at the back and always capable of getting a goal or two and his goals proved vital.

 

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League - Nethercraigs

 

AC Milanda 6 Hamilton Wanderers 2 (HT 4-1)

 

Team Walker, Binnie(Grant), Fawns, O'Neill (Dullaghan), Scott , Reid, Coyle, Early, Murray(Lee), Williamson, Sime

Scorers - Early, OG, Sime (3), Williamson

 

Not a game for the purists. A very scrappy affair that barely saw Milanda move out of second gear. A hard and bumpy pitch didn't help matters.

 

It was Wanderers who took a surprise early lead when a corner into the box went unchallenged and the resultant free header was placed past Walker. Milanda responded immediately and a few minutes later an Early header brought the sides level. The Wanderers keeper was a little unlucky at the goal as he got a hand to the header but could only push it onto the underside of the bar.

 

The goalie again was out of luck with Milanda's second. A corner from the right by Murray was swung in to the 6 yard box and the keeper came out to punch only to see the punch rebound off a defender back and into the net. Both Coyle and Murray tried to claim but it was a clear own goal. Milanda continued to keep Wanderers pressed in their own half and number three was not long in following. A ball into the box found Sime, playing his first game since October, and he sent a left foot shot across the keeper and into the far corner. Wanderers were beginning to fall apart at this point and were failing to close Milanda down and a real hammering looked on the cards.

 

Milanda's fourth came from the head of Williamson who lost his marker as Murray hit a free kick to the back post and he bulleted his header past a stationary Wanderers keeper.

 

4-1 was the half time score and it could have been a lot more.

 

Milanda took the foot off the gas a bit in the second half and let Wanderers back in to the game a bit more but they were never under any real pressure. Milanda put the game well beyond doubt when Sime scored his second with a right foot shot from inside the box. Coyle then had a great chance to get on the scoresheet when one on one with the keeper but he blasted wildly past the post from 6 yards.

 

Sime completed his hat-trick when hitting a loose ball in the box goalwards and catching the Wanderers keeper off his line. Not a bad return to the team and he has now scored 6 goals in 5 appearances.

 

Surprisingly that was the Milanda scoring finished as they eased right down. All the subs were used and new boy Lee got a chance to impresses and had some nice touches. Wanderers got a reward for not throwing in the towel with a well taken goal that gave Walker no chance.

 

In the end a fairly easy victory for Milanda that could and should have been a lot more.

 

MOTM - Despite not playing for 6 months comeback kid Sime has to take it this week for his hat-trick. Only another 24 goals to go to reach 30..

 

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League - Blantyre Sports Centre

 

Andrew Watt 3 AC Milanda 3 (HT 1-2)

 

Team Walker, Grant Preston (McColgan), O'Neill, Scott Reid, Early, Coyle, Sime (Williamson), Fawns Subs not used Addison

Scorers - Fawns, O'Neill, Williamson

 

A tough game in very warm conditions set Milanda up nicely for their Cup Final next Saturday.

 

Andrew Watt were first to threaten and Milanda found themselves pushed back in the first five minutes. Milanda then had a major let off when O'Neill was judged to have brought down an AW forward as he headed for the byeline. The resultant penalty though was hit well past the left hand post.

 

Preston and O'Neill in the centre of the Milanda defence were given plenty of work to do and were unable to stop AW taking the lead when a fine finish from the edge of the box left Walker helpless in the Milanda goal. This finally woke Milanda up and they put the AW defence under some pressure. Murray had a chance with a free kick on the edge of the box but couldn't find a way past the wall. Milanda did finally get an equaliser from a long ball out of defence that found both fawns and Scott looking in off side positions but the ref waved play on and the lob from Fawns found the net.

 

The game was very open and both teams were prepared to attack as often as possible and it was milanda who took the lead in rather fortunate circumstances. A murray corner was knocked to the front post where Coyle tried to get a touch but both he and the defender missed it and the ball carried on into the 6 yard box where O'Neill was waiting and he turned it skillfully into the net with both his shins

 

At the other end Aw had a couple of clear cut chances but were unable to keep the ball down. half time saw the score remain 2-1 to Milanda.

 

Milanda made some changes early into the second half with McColgan replacing Preston which saw Early move back into defence. A few minutes later Williamson replaced Sime and was only on the park a few seconds when AW equalised. A free kick was floated to Milanda's backpost and an unchallenged header was sent back across the goal and into the net.

 

the game was still wide open as both teams went for victory and it was Milanda who looked to have taken the points. A loose ball in midfield was picked up by McColgan and his inch perfect pass found Coyle on the left. Both Williamson and Fawns were in the box waiting for a pass. The pass when it arrived found Williamson who had made a run to the front post and he touched it right footed across the keeper and it hit the inside of the post and into the net.

 

AW came storming back and tried to find another equaliser but despite plenty of effort they couldn't create any real goalscoring opportunities. Milanda at the other end had chances to make the game safe but couldn't take them.

 

As the game entered the final few mins disaster struck for Milanda when a long shot was spilled by Walker and an Aw forward was first to react to bundle the ball into the net and AW had rescued a point.

 

Over the piece a draw was a fair result. A hard but fairly fought game between two evenly balanced sides. A good workout for next week.

 

MOTM - Some excellent performances from preston before he went off and O'Neill in centre of defence but this weeks MOTM is Ross Early after a fine display of ball winning both in the air and on the ground.

 

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John Rae Trophy Final 2006

 

Deanpark 0 AC Milanda 2 (HT 0-0)

 

Team Walker, Preston, Crawford, O'Neill, Binnie(Grant), McColgan, Coyle, Early, Murray , Reid(Sime), Williamson(Fawns) Subs not used Addison, Scott

Scorers - McColgan, Murray

 

The game the whole team had been looking forward to for many weeks finally arrived on Saturday morning and it was a relaxed Milanda squad that arrived at Greenfield Park for the John Rae Trophy Final against Deanpark. On paper Milanda were considered favourites having beaten Deanpark twice in the league, the last game only a few weeks ago, and 30 points separating the teams in the league but Milanda were expecting a tough game and so it turned out. McMillan, the Milanda manager, had the toughest job of the day when deciding who was going to make the squad and the starting eleven. not a job any of us would have liked.

 

Greenfield Park was bathed in sunshine and it promised to be a very hot and energy sapping contest. The pitch was a mixture of bare patches and long grass in the corners and everyone knew it was going to be a final won with a bit of luck but mostly with hard graft.

 

Milanda wanted to play against the wind in the first half but lost the toss but Deanpark opted to play with the wind in the first half which looking back on the game worked in Milanda's favour.

 

Like most cup finals the early stages were nervy scrappy moments with little football being played. As players began to settle the first half chance of the game came Milanda's way. A ball from midfield gave Williamson a chance to get into the box where a lucky break of the ball gave him a chance to cut back to Early on the edge of the box but his shot was well blocked.

 

Deanpark's tactic of playing a high backline worked effectively in keeping dangerous Milanda attacks down to a minimum. The wind assisted this tactic as the ball was holding up in the wind and Milanda couldn't exploit Reids pace upfront as much as they would have liked. On one of the few occasions Milanda did get behind the Deanpark defence they found the keeper in good form.

 

The two best chances of the first half both fell to Deanpark. The first was the better of the two. A high ball into the box left O'Neill exposed and he missed his attempted header leaving the Deanpark forward one on one with Walker but he hurried his shot and screwed it wide of the post. A real let off for Milanda. The second chance was a quick counter attack when the Deanpark sweeper burst forward and they were suddenly 3 on 2 as the Milanda defence tried to get back. As the Deanpark sweeper moved forward he had options both right and left but 25 yards out he decided to hit a shot that rolled harmlessly passed the post. A calmer head would either have taken it in further or used one of the two players in better positions these were chances Deanpark would live to regret.

At the other end Milanda created a few more half chances with both Early and Murray nearly getting on the end of crosses but Deanpark defended well and half ended scoreless.

 

The second half was in contrast to the first as Milanda finally began to find some space and play some passes. This extra space was mainly down to the wind helping Milanda press Deanpark's defence back towards their goal. Milanda's midfield began to exploit the space and Coyle, Murray and McColgan started to get more involved in the game. The forwards began to get better service as a result and for the first time in the game Milanda took control and limited Deanpark to only the odd counter attack

Milanda had a great chance when a Reid cross found Murray arriving late at the back post but he couldn't control his shot and it flew wide. This created a flurry of Milanda chances. Coyle found himself set free in the box but a last ditch tackle cleared the danger before he could pull the trigger. McColgan then had a shot from the edge of the box that the keeper saved well and held as Milandas forward's moved in to pick up any scraps. It was then Williamson's turn to have a go after he picked up on a mistake by the Deanpark centre half but his left foot shot was blocked and spun away for a corner.

 

The Deanpark goal was leading a charmed life at this point and the best chance of the game so far then fell to Murray who found himself all alone in the 6 yard box but he wanted to much time and the keeper got out well to block. the ball then spun to Coyle who also had his shot blocked before finally it came out to Williamson whowas unable to beat an onrushing defender and the chance was lost.

 

Milanda finally broke the deadlock with a fantastic strike from the edge of the box. A clearance fell perfectly for McColgan and his right foot shot from 20 yards gave the Deanpark keeper no chance. McColgan did well to keep the ball down and it was a goal fit to win any cup final. Milanda had one hand on the trophy but the game was far from over and Deanpark immediately hit back and Milanda let the concentration slip for a second and Deanpark found themselves with a great opportunity to equalise but again a lack of composure saw the chance screwed past the post.

Milanda made a couple of chances when Reid was replaced by Sime and a few minutes later Fawns came onto replace Williamson. Both forwards like everyone in the team had run their socks off and it was hoped some fresh legs could get the all important second goal.

As the game entered the final 5 mins nerves were beginning to show. Binnie went down with cramp but was able to continue for a few mins.

 

The game was finally made safe for Milanda when Murray found himself in a similar position to his earlier miss made up for it by burying his shot from 6 yards. Milanda could finally breath easy as the Cup was theirs. Binnie finally admitted defeat with cramp and Grant replaced him for the last few mins. Deanpark made one final effort but it wasn't enough and the final whistle meant Milanda became the first winners of the John Rae Trophy.

Warm handshakes were offered all round and Deanpark were gracious in defeat despite their disappointment. If they had taken one of their first half chances things could have been different but over the 90 mins Milanda probably just about deserved victory.

 

All that was left to do was to collect the winner's medals and captain Williamson proudly accepted the cup that signaled the start of a day of celebration.

MOTM - Not a bad performance on the park and everyone put in a fantastic effort. The defence were superb throughout with Craw, Scott and Dave hardly putting a foot wrong. Ted had little in the way of saves to make but coped with anything he had to deal with. A clean sheet in a cup final is impressive. The midfield had a fairly quiet first half as they had no space to operate in but they burst to life in the second. Binnie and Early, as ever, were solid in the tackle and rarely lost a ball. While Coyle, Murray and McColgan pushed the team forward and tried to create chances. Superb strike from Ginger for the goal and Murray's calm finish eased the nerves at the end. Upfront a thankless task for both Williamson and Reid with few chances coming their way but they never stopped chasing lost causes. Their replacements Sime and Fawns kept the Deanpark defence on their toes and Sime would have had a great chance but for a questionable offside decision. Grant had little time to make an impression but could have scored with a header late on.

 

Hard to really pick a MOTM but if pushed Scott Preston ably assisted by his defensive partners was immense.

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 6 Parklife 2 (HT 1-1)

 

Team Walker,Grant, Crawford (Binnie), O'Neill, Scott, Addison, Coyle, Early, ,Murray, Williamson, Reid (Duncan), Subs not used Dunn,

Scorers - Crawford,Coyle,O'Neill, Reid, Binnie, Williamson

 

I'll keep this short so we can forget about tonight's performance. Milanda's entry to Comic Relief started early. A night where everybody was pish. We can just be glad we didn't play like this on Saturday. A very very poor performance against 9 men which may have been part of the reason for such an abysmal attempt to play something that resembled football.

 

For the record

 

Crawford scored with a header

 

Parklife Equalised

 

HT was 1-1

 

Coyle scored after a determined run

 

O'Neill showed the one flash of skill all evening with a shot from outside the box for no 3

 

Reid scored a penalty

 

Binnie with a neat right foot shot from the edge of the box

 

O'Neill then scored an own goal

 

Williamson eventually scored in the last minute.

 

In between a host of chances were squandered including Crawford putting the ball over the bar with an empty goal beckoning.

 

Murray rounding the keeper and hitting past the post

 

Williamson with a free header that went past the post

 

Scott having all the time in the world to bring the ball down and run in on goal but hitting his shot wildly past

 

Apologies to anyone else's moment of embarassment I've missed.

 

Hopefully that's out the system but it was terrible.

 

Even Bruce could have improved our peformance. :-)

 

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League - KGV

 

Renfrew Town 2 AC Milanda 0 (HT 0-0)

 

Team Fawns,Grant, Preston, Dullaghan, Scott, O'Neill ((Addison), Coyle, McColgan, Early, ,Murray, Williamson

 

For the first time since the League Cup earlier this season Milanda struggled to get 11 fit players on the park. Despite plenty of hard work and effort Milanda didn't deserve to take anything out of this game.

 

Renfrew set the tone for the game by putting Milanda under pressure from the off and for probably the first time this season a team was capable of matching Milanda in the air.

 

Milanda found it difficult to get beyond halfway without resorting to long clearances. Renfrew were creating numerous chances that their forwards contrived to put past the post and over the bar. They thought the breakthrough had come when Fawns misjudged a through ball on the edge of the box and brought down the attacker and a penalty was awarded. Fortunately for Milanda the penalty hit the top of the bar and away for a bye kick.

 

This gave Milanda a boost and for the first time began to pressure Renfrew's back four but they made little headway with only a Williamson half chance making the keeper do any work. Milanda's task was made harder when Dullaghan had a recurrence of his thigh injury that saw him going off for treatment which left Milanda down to 10 men. he eventually re-joined the fray but was clearly hampered by his injury.

 

Despite being under the cosh for most of the half Milanda reached half time with the game goalless.

 

Milanda then lost O'Neill at Ht and Addison was his replacement but he was also injured and Milanda were effectively playing with 9 fit players.

 

Milanda lasted to about halfway through the 2nd half when the inevitable happened. A corner was hit to the back post and a free header allowed Renfrew to take the lead. Worse was to follow when Milanda lost possession straight from kick off and gave away a foul on the right of the box and from the free kick another free header and another goal.

 

Milanda did their best to try and claw their way back into the game but it was a mountain too high. Coyle had Milanda's best chance of the game but the keeper saved his close range shot well and that was about it.

 

At the other end Fawns had a great one handed save that prevented Milanda falling further behind.

 

Given the lack of bodies and the circumstances Milanda had done well to keep it to 2 and were grateful for the final whistle when it came.

 

Couldn't fault the effort, especially the players who were carrying injuries, and everyone , tried to get something from the game but a huge park with 9 fit players, hot morning and against a fit, young and eager Renfrew Town just proved too much.

 

MOTM - Not many contenders this week but Scott Preston carried on where he left off last week and can't see past him for this week's award.

 

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League - Hamilton Palace

 

Hamilton Wanderers 2 AC Milanda 5 (HT 2-2)

 

Team Walker, Grant, Preston, O'Neill, Binnie, Early, McColgan, Coyle, Scott, Fawns (Reid), Murray (Addison)

Scorers - Murray (2), Binnie, O'Neill, OG.

 

THE scoreline was more impressive than the performance as Milanda took the three points required to clinch third place in the table with one game to play. As often happens when playing a team at the other end of the league, the attitude left a lot to be desired. A sloppy first half saw an improved Wanderers side deservedly reach the interval on level terms and it took a couple of late second-half goals by Milanda to make the victory look respectable.

 

There was no sign of the problems that lay ahead when Milanda took the lead after a mere five minutes. Craig Fawns put fellow front-man Paul Murray through and even though the keeper blocked the first shot he was helpless as the Milanda man picked up the rebound and tapped it home. Twelve minutes later it was 1-1. Defender Dave O'Neill got sucked into a midfield skirmish when there was no need, leaving Milanda's rearguard exposed, and when Wanderers won the ball and broke on the right there was no one to stop their player surging into the box and firing past Stephen Walker.

 

However, Milanda restored their advantage two minutes later when Fawns' cutback from the left was forced home at the back post by Jim Binnie after Murray had failed with his attempt. Milanda had a bit of luck when Binnie blocked a netbound shot with his body in unorthodox fashion. Wanderers claimed he had used his hand and it certainly looked suspicious but, not for the first time, the referee's decision favoured the away team. In the 34th minute, Wanderers got back on terms for a second time.

 

Suicidal defending saw possession carelessly conceded, allowing one of the unmarked Wanderers attackers to knock home a cross at the back post. Six minutes before the break, Milanda had an opportunity to go 3-2 ahead when Andy Scott was the victim of a rash challenge just inside the right-hand edge of the box. Martin Coyle took the penalty but his effort wasn't strong enough to beat the keeper, who dived to his right to pull off the save. Milanda finished the half with Coyle pushed forward to make a three-man forward line in the hope that the ball would "stick" when it went towards the Wanderers' box but at the interval it was still 2-2.

 

A goal-line clearance by Marc McColgan and a good save by Walker prevented the home team going ahead early in the second period. In the 54th minute, Murray relieved the pressure with Milanda's third. McColgan and Scott combined superbly to set him up and he cut inside an opponent in the box before hitting the ball home at the keeper's near post with his right foot. The points were not safe until the last 10 minutes when substitute Mark Reid added some much-needed energy to proceedings. First he placed a corner on to the head of O'Neill who finished powerfully from close range. Then the newcomer hassled a Wanderers defender into knocking the ball past his own keeper to make the final score 5-2.

 

MAN OF THE MATCH? Murray made a big contribution with his double strike but the best players for most of the 90 minutes were in midfield. McColgan, Ross Early and Binnie worked particularly hard, with Binnie just edging the award for his goal.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 1 Club Athletic 0(HT 0-0)

 

Team Walker (Addison), Grant, Preston (Mackenzie), Crawford, Scott (Williamson), Early, McColgan, Coyle, Dullaghan, Fawns Reid.

Scorer - Early

 

Milanda finished the season on a high by beating champions Club Athletic in a very tight and hard fought affair. Despite the game having no bearing on league placings it was played with a competitive edge. Both teams wanted to finish the season with a victory.

 

It was a day for defences who kept genuine chances down to a minimum. CA were first to threaten when beating the offside trap but their number 9 despite having plenty of time couldn't beat Walker who saved well. It was the start of a bad afternoon for the CA number 9 who missed 5 real goal scoring opportunities.

 

There was little goalmouth activity at either end. Milanda's only real chance of the half came when Reid hit the side netting with a shot that he would have hoped to at least get on target.

 

Milanda were forced into a substitution with 25 mins on the clock when Scott had to come off injured and Williamson replaced him. This move saw Reid dropping back into midfield and Williamson joining Fawns upfront. There was little change in the play however and the half ended goalless.

 

Milanda started the better in the 2nd half and were unlucky not to go ahead when a superb 25 yard volley from McColgan that came back off the bar with the goalkeeper completely beaten. This initiated a spell of concerted Milanda pressure. Williamson had a header well saved by the CA keeper after a pinpoint free kick by Fawns.

 

At the other end Walker was kept busy as CA created chances but again their no 9 couldn't finish. Walker then sustained an injury after bravely coming out to clear a through ball and colliding with the CA forward. After treatment he carried on for a short while but was eventually forced to admit defeat with Fawns taking over in goals and Addison coming on. Milanda then lost Preston when a late tackle, that the ref never saw, that finished his game prematurely and Mackenzie, making a rare appearance replaced him.

 

Both teams weren't content to settle for a draw and a double Williamson header was cleared off the line twice before being cleared. CA at the other end were still wasting chances when they beat the offside trap again only for their forward to put past the post when a cut back looked a better option.

 

Milanda finally broke the deadlock with 10 mins remaining. A throw in from the left was headed on by Dullaghan and helped on by the head of Williamson to Early. His header was on target but looked a safe catch for the keeper but he let the ball slip through his hands and into the net and give Milanda the lead. CA tried frantically to salvage a draw but Milanda stood firm and held out for victory.

 

A draw would probably have been a fair result but the result meant Milanda were unbeaten against the champions and should have had the double over them after leading 3-0 and 4-3 with a minute to go in the first game of the season.

 

MAN OF THE MATCH - Solid performances all round in a hard and tight game. Early again was solid in Milanda midfield and Coyle made some trademark runs down the wing. In defence Milanda stood firm against a lively CA forward line and last line of defence was Walker who gets the final MOTM award for some crucial saves and for taking one for the team when coming out of his box for a clearance that got him an injury for his troubles.

Match Reports