Season 08/09

Season 2008-09

 

Milanda build on the previous year's 5th place and go one better. The best league position in their history.

26 years after his Milanda debut Williamson pulls on a Milanda shirt for the last time.

Andy Wilson sadly retires on medical grounds.

Martin Johnstone does the double of top goalscorer and player of the year for the 2nd time.

 

Match reports underneath stats

 

(Milanda's score always comes first)

 

Date

Opponent

Comp

Home\Away

Score

Scorers

Aug 9th

Scotsman

Friendly

H

1 - 4

Early

Aug 16th

Strathclyde Uni

Referee's Shield

H

0 - 8

-

Aug 23rd

AFC Columba

William Drummond

A

3 - 4

Bradburn, OG, Evans

Aug 30th

Parklife

William Drummond

H

5 - 4

Williamson, Evans (2), Johnstone, Coyle

Sept 6th

AFC Columba

League

H

4 - 2

Johnstone, Russell, Preston, Early

Sept 13th

Andrew Watt

League

A

5 - 1

Evans, Early, Coyle (2), Johnstone

Sept 20th

Ballieston Thistle

League

A

2 - 3

Johnstone, Walker

Oct 18th

Ferguslie

League

H

1 - 2

McColgan

Nov 1st

Glenavon Thistle

GDSML Cup

H

3 - 0

Evans, Russell, Johnstone

Nov 8th

Islay

League

A

3 - 1

Johnstone (2), Walker

Nov 22nd

Kilpatrick Thistle

League

H

3 - 7

McColgan, Bradburn, Johnstone

Dec 13th

Glasgow Athletic

GDSML Cup

A

2 - 5

Early, McColgan

Dec 20th

DS Street League

League

H

4 - 1

Early, Johnstone, Coyle, Bradburn

Jan 17th

Andrew Watt

League

H

3 - 2

Early, Williamson,Coyle

Jan 24th

Invac

League

H

1 - 2

Johnstone

Feb 14th

Scotsman

Vince McGlinchey

A

1 - 6

Johnstone

Feb 21st

Ferguslie

League

A

5 - 1

Coyle, Evans, Grehan, Johnstone, Bradburn

Feb 28th

Garnethill

League

H

2 - 1

Hardwick, Preston

Mar 7th

Glasgow Athletic

League

A

2 - 2

Crawford, Walker

Mar 14th

Islay

League

H

3 - 0

Johnstone, Walker, Evans

Mar 21st

Invac

League

A

0 - 3

-

Mar 28th

Kilpatrick Thistle

League

A

1 - 1

Johnstone

Apr 4th

DS Street League

League

A

1 - 1

Grehan

Apr 18th

Bellahouston

League

A

2 - 2

Own goal, Williamson

Apr 25th

Vale Utd

League

A

1 - 1

O'Neill

May 2nd

Renfrew Town

League

A

2 - 1

Johnstone, Preston

May 6th

Glasgow Athletic

League

H

2 - 1

Grehan, Crawford

May 12th

AFC Columba

League

A

1 - 3

Crawford

May 16th

Vale Utd

League

H

1 - 5

Coyle

May 20th

Baillieston Th

League

H

2 - 5

Grehan, Evans

May 23rd

Bellahouston

League

H

0 - 3

-

May 26th

Garnethill

League

A

 

Milanda awarded pts

May 30th

Renfrew Town

League

H

4 - 1

Johnstone, Wilkie, Grehan, Coyle

Appearances

 

League

William Drummond

GDSML Cup

Vince McGlinchey

Total

G. Evans

25

2

1

1

29

C. Fawns

23

2

1

1

27

M. Walker

18 (6)

2

-

(1)

27

T. Addison

14 (5)

2

1

1

23

J. Wilkie

16 (4)

1

(1)

1

23

S. Preston

17 (1)

2

1

(1)

22

M. Coyle

17 (1)

2

1

1

22

M. Johnstone

19

1

1

1

22

D. O'Neill

16 (2)

(1)

1

1

21

K. Grehan

17 (1)

-

-

1

19

M. McColgan

16 (3)

-

-

-

19

M. Bradburn

11 (4)

2

1

-

18

K. Williamson

9 (6)

1

(1)

1

18

J. Binnie

9 (6)

1

-

1

17

M. Russell

14 (1)

2

-

-

17

S. Grant

4 (8)

(1)

(1)

(1)

15

D. Crawford

12

1

-

1

14

A. Scott

10 (3)

-

-

-

13

R. Early

7 (1)

1

1

-

10

B. Traynor

4

(1)

1

-

6

P. Duncan

1 (1)

1 (1)

 

 

4

C. Preston

3

-

-

-

3

A. Hardwick

2

-

-

-

2

D. Jackson

1

-

-

-

1

J. Clifford

(1)

-

-

-

1

P. Malone

1

-

-

-

1

C. McLaughlan

1

-

-

-

1

K. Greening

-

-

1

-

1

 

Goals

 

League

William Drummond

GDSML Cup

Vince McGlinchey

Total

Johnstone

12

-

1

1

14

Evans

4

3

1

-

8

Coyle

7

1

-

-

8

Early

4

-

1

-

5

Grehan

5

-

-

-

5

Walker

5

 

-

-

5

Bradburn

3

1

-

-

4

Williamson

2

1

-

-

3

Preston

3

-

-

-

3

Crawford

3

-

-

-

3

McColgan

2

-

1

-

3

Russell

1

-

1

-

2

O'Neill

1

-

-

-

1

Wilkie

1

-

-

-

1

Hardwick

1

-

-

-

1

Own goal

1

1

-

-

2

League - KGV

 

Islay 1 AC Milanda 3 (HT 0 - 1)

 

Scorers - Johnstone (2), Walker

 

Fawns Wilkie Preston Scott Addison Evans McColgan Walker Bradburn Johnstone Williamson (Grant)

 

Never an easy trip for Milanda to the KGV parks in Renfrew and this game was no exception although Milanda made it tough on themselves. It was the proverbial game of two halves. Milanda just never got going in the first but were a different team in the 2nd.

 

Another all change side for Milanda as a number of players were unavailable for various reasons. This might have been one of the excuses why the first half was such a disjointed performance. Milanda seemed unable to tackle and retain possession and it was a surprise it was only 1-0 at HT. The goal summed up the first half display. An unchallenged break into the box resulted in a fairly weak effort on goal but Fawns let it bounce off his shin and an Islay player had a tap in for the opener. Milanda rarely threatened at the other end. Williamson had an early chance from a cut back but his sliding effort was blocked by a defender. Evans had a couple of long range efforts that were both high and wide. He did have Milanda's best effort of the half though when he picked up a loose ball from a corner and his shot came back off the underside of the bar. The ball fell between McColgan and Johnstone and they seemed to put each other off as McColgan dragged his shot wide.

 

The defence were the only part of the team to emerge with any real credit after a poor first half. A deserved bollocking from Milanda boss Macmillan sent the team out with renewed purpose in the 2nd half and it had the desired effect as Milanda drew level and then took the lead within 10 mins of the restart.

 

Both goals had a slight element off good fortune about them.The first started from a McColgan a pass to Evans midway in the Islay half. He lobbed the ball forward to Johnstone. A defender tried to intercept but his touch took the pace off the ball and it landed perfectly for Johnstone to take round the keeper and stroke the ball into an empty net. A few mins later Milanda had the lead. Addison had a shot from well outside the box and it was clearly going wide until Walker managed to get his head onto the bouncing ball and re-direct it towards goal. The keeper was completely wrong footed and tried to scramble across his goals but it was all in vain as the ball landed just inside the post to give Milanda the lead. Milanda had their tails up and Islay looked a bit shellshocked at the quick turnaround in the score and were mis-placing passes and needlessly knocking the ball out of the park.

 

Milanda had to make an enforced substitution as Williamson was replaced by Grant and Williamson's sprint to the dressing room was the fastest he had moved in 5 seasons. What happened in the next 20 mins on the park is at present still waiting confirmation from the Milanda boss and we'll update the report if he can remember anything. As for what happened in the dressing room we'll just not go there. So while we wait for further updates here's some music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamson returned to catch the last 5 mins and was in time to see Fawns make up for his earlier error after the Milanda defence had been sliced open leaving the Islay forward with a great chance to equalise but Fawns was equal to the task and he knocked away the shot with his right foot. Fawns also had a huge part to play in the third and decisive Milanda goal. His huge kick out was completely misjudged by the Islay centre half. As the ball bounced it sat up perfectly for Johnstone and although the keeper got both hands to his header he was unable to keep it out the net and the 3 points were Milanda's. There was barely time to kick off before the ref ended the game. A hard fought for 3 points and a result that puts Milanda up to 3rd in the table with a game against 2nd place Invac coming up next week.

 

MOTM: Every week seems to see a completely different Milanda side take to the field. This week it was a real struggle in the first half but it was night and day when compared with the 2nd half. A much improved performance in the 2nd which the whole team should take great credit for. Scott Preston was immense at the heart of the Milanda defence and on any other week would have been the clear winner of the MOTM award but this week it is going to two goal Martin Johnstone. Often an unsung hero who covers every blade of grass upfront and is always a great outlet for a defence when they are under pressure. I'm sure I even saw him make a tackle in his own penalty box in the first half.

 

----------

League - Stepford

 

Milanda 3 Kilpatrick Thistle 7 (HT 0 - 3)

 

Scorers - McColgan, Bradburn, Johnstone

 

Team - Fawns. Wilkie Preston Addison.Scott (Binnie) Evans McColgan Walker (Bradburn) Early Russell Johnstone Subs not used Coyle Grant

 

MILANDA played this match in their blue and red outfit but red and white with fluffy beards would have been more appropriate because all Kilpatrick Thistle’s Christmases came at once in a pre-festive giveaway that had to be seen to be believed.

 

The visitors were undeniably the better team but let’s just say they did not have to work too hard for their goals.

Despite having their fair share of the play in the first half and coming close with efforts from skipper for the day Marc McColgan, Martin Johnstone and Gerry Evans, Milanda found themselves 3-0 down at the break because of some suicidal defending.

 

A bright start to the second period offered hope they might get back into the match as Mark Walker headed just over the bar and one or two other attempts just missed the target.

However, the frailties at the back resurfaced midway through the half and three quick goals had Kilpatrick coasting.

Injuries to Andy Scott and Mark Russell hadn’t helped Milanda’s cause but by this stage a total humiliation was on the cards.

 

To their credit, the players never stopped trying and pulled one back when Thomas Addison’s free-kick was headed back across goal by Early for McColgan to stoop and nod home from close range.

 

Kilpatrick duly made it 7-1 but the final two goals of the day came from the home team. Substitute Martin Bradburn rose well to head home a pinpoint cross from Johnstone and Johnstone himself fired in Milanda’s third at the near post from a corner by one of the other substitutes, Brian Traynor.

 

All in all a pretty horrible morning. Perhaps Milanda were unnerved when they saw Derek Forbes, a 50-goal striker last season, back in the Kilpatrick line-up. If so, they should have realised this is no one-man team – he didn’t score any of their seven goals.

 

MOTM: The midfield and front players worked hard throughout despite the nightmare that was unfolding behind them and Ross Early in particular stood out.

 

----------

GDSML Cup - Glasgow Green

 

Glasgow Athletic 5 AC Milanda 2 (HT 2 - 2)

 

Scorers - Early, McColgan

 

Team - Fawns O'Neill Preston Addison (Wilkie) Greening Evans McColgan (Williamson) Coyle (Grant) Early Bradburn Johnstone

 

It was third time unlucky for Milanda as the twice postponed cup tie finally got underway.

 

Milanda were first to threaten when the GA keeper had to be alert to push a McColgan shot away for a corner in the first minute. Fawns was then called into action in the Milanda goal when a swift counter attack by GA left the defence exposed but fawns saved well to keep the scores level. Fawns was much the busier keeper in the early stages and had to push a shot from the edge of the box round the post. From the resultant corner he had to push a near post header over the bar.

 

Milanda couldn't relieve the pressure and it was no surprise when GA score, all be it a rather fortunate goal. Milanda fail to close down on the edge of the box and Fawns has the shot covered until Addison tries to deflect the ball away on the edge of the 6 yard box but only succeeds in wrong footing Fawns and gifting GA the lead.

 

GA continue to press home the advantage and have 5 corners i quick succession and should have doubled their lead but the GA forward can only put his chance over the bar.

 

Milanda slowly get into the game and a good pass from Coyle sets Evans free on the right and his pass to Bradburn is well saved by the keeper. Coyle and Johnstone then combine to give Coyle a chance but his toe poke is pushed away for a corner. New boy Kevin Greening then provides Evans with a chance but again the effort is deflected for a corner.

 

Just as Milanda look as if they are going to get an equaliser they sell one at the other end. A straightforward corner into the 6 yard box and the GA centre half rises unchallenged the header beyond Fawns. A poor goal to lose just when Milanda were getting back into the game.

 

Despite this setback Milanda come roaring back into the game. A shot from McColgan is deflected for a corner although GA protest that it didn't hit any of their players on the way out. This seems to affect their concentration for a few moments and Greening's corner is met by Early's head at the backpost to make it 2-1. A few mins later and it's all square. A Greening shot from 25 yards is spilt by the GA keeper and before he can retrieve the ball McColgan slides in to level the scores. All credit to Milanda for hauling themselves back into the game and they finish the half the better team with Greening again involved as he manages to avoid a few tackles on the edge of the box but this time his shot is held by the keeper.

 

Milanda start the second half on the back foot and fawns is once again left exposed but comes out the winner on the one on one and O'Neill clears the danger. Milanda fail to learn their lesson from the first half though when a free kick is given on the right touchline. As the ball is swung in again no real challenge to attack the ball is made and the ball falls at the GA's centre half's feet and he slams it into the net off the underside of the bar for his second.

 

This goal seems to knock the stuffing out of Milanda and they are unable to perform the comeback of the first half. They continue to search for an equaliser but rarely threaten the GA goal and GA seal the game with two late goals. The first a header from 6 yards out and then an easy tap in from a cutback. On the day the better team won but Milanda can look to defending as set pieces as a major part in their defeat. On the plus side they can take great credit coming back from 2 goals down against one of the teams that will be challenging for the league this year.

 

MOTM: It was always going to be a tough game against one of the league's better teams. A good shift put in by all and new boy kevin greening made an impressive debut but for keeping his team in the game the award this week goes to Fawns for a string of saves.

 

----------

League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 4 DS Street League 1 (HT 3 - 0)

 

Scorers - Early, Johnstone, Coyle, Bradburn

 

Team - Fawns O'Neill Wilkie Addison (Preston) Williamson (Bradburn) Evans McColgan Binnie (Walker) Early Coyle Johnstone Subs Not used Grant, Russell

 

Hangover Saturday gave AC Milanda good reason to go out and get drunk all over again as they recorded a solid win over one of the form teams in the division. The Saturday prior to Santa’s arrival has a habit of turning into the nightmare before Christmas with players suffering after office parties or, worse still, not turning up at all. Milanda did have one or two selection problems caused by too much festive cheer but their opponents perhaps suffered more on this score after a team night out.

 

There had been doubt about the game due to heavy rain on Friday but the pitch wasn’t too bad, which is a credit to the Stepford ground staff, and the teams provided an entertaining 90 minutes.

 

The scoreline perhaps reflects a little unkindly on DS who worked hard throughout – none more so than ex-Milanda man Joe Malcolmson in midfield – but were not as clinical as usual with their finishing. Milanda were 3-0 up at half-time - it could easily have been 5-3 – and remained in command during a tighter second half.

 

The first goal was extremely well worked. Kevin Williamson fed Martin Coyle on the right and his deep cross to the back post found Ross Early who planted a firm header past the keeper.

No.2 was more route one in nature. Gerry Evans played a long ball over the top and Martin Johnstone got away from his marker to fire the ball low into the corner of the net.

 

Coyle missed a good chance to add to the team’s tally but just as his team-mates were imploring the management to “get him aff” he produced the goods. Johnstone did the spadework on the left and then played the ball back for Coyle to find the target.

 

At half-time the message was simple – this game isn’t over. The young and enthusiastic DS go full tilt for 90 minutes and it was important not to give them any encouragement to cut the deficit.

 

What do Milanda do? Give them a chance straight from kick-off with some sloppy defending on the part of Thomas Addison. Fortunately, DS failed to cash in and Milanda went about the task of increasing their lead.

 

There were some near misses but only one more goal, substitute Martin Bradburn coolly placing the ball into the corner of the net from close range after being set up by Johnstone. Malcolmson got his award for a terrific shift by scoring the DS goal from a free-kick late in the match.

 

MOTM: The defending was a lot better of late, with John Wilkie and Dave O’Neill looking cool and assured. Alongside them Addison had a decent game apart from that lapse at the start of the second half and a needless booking for the second week in a row. Keeper Fawns, too, played well and had one particularly good save with his feet in the first half. The five-man midfield performed to a high standard, Evans, Early and Williamson contributing goals or assists and Marc McColgan and Jim Binnie breaking up attacks with a superb work rate. Up front Coyle is getting back to something like his best form after injury and teamed well with Johnstone. Subs Bradburn, Scott Preston and Mark Walker also played their parts in the second half. Picking the man of the match is tricky from such a good overall performance but goals win games and the man who did more than anyone to provide them was Martin Johnstone so the accolade goes to him.

 

----------

League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 3 Andrew Watt 2 (HT 1 - 0)

 

Scorers - Early, Williamson, Coyle

 

Team - Fawns O'Neill Preston Addison Grehan Evans McColgan (Williamson) Binnie (Russell) Early Coyle Bradburn (Walker) Subs Not used Grant, Duncan

 

MILANDA left it late to record the win they deserved from a hard-fought and sometimes ill-tempered match.

Leading 2-0 early in the second half, they allowed Andrew Watt to get back on level terms as the momentum of the game swung in the opposition's favour. However, the players showed good character to turn things around again and take full points thanks to a late goal from skipper Martin Coyle.

 

A heavy pitch and tricky wind didn't make life easy for either side but Milanda dominated for most of the first half and should have had more than one goal to show for the amount of possession they enjoyed. Ross Early was the player who scored with a low right-foot shot across the keeper after being put through by Coyle in the 10th minute.

 

Other chances were squandered, notably when Kevin Grehan did well to dribble along the byeline and then shot into the side netting when a cutback might have produced a goal for one of his team-mates. "Are you Martin Johnstone in disguise?" chanted Coyle before being told to button it.

 

Andrew Watt came close to equalising from a move that began with Dave O'Neill being caught in possession. The ball flew around the Milanda box before a shot crashed off the bar. It was a lucky escape and the players were told at half-time they needed a quick second goal to kill off the opposition.

 

With the wind behind them in the second period, they pushed hard for it straight away and were rewarded in the 48th minute. Gerry Evans' cross into the box provided shooting chances for Martin Bradburn and Coyle but it was left to substitute Kevin Williamson, a first-half replacement for the injured Marc McColgan, to steer the ball home.

 

Unfortunately, this wasn't enough to finish the game because Andrew Watt were handed a lifeline in the shape of a penalty on the hour mark after O'Neill had been judged guilty of a foul in the box. It seemed a harsh award but the visitors took full advantage to cut the deficit. Fifteen minutes later Milanda lost concentration and Andrew Watt drew level when their unmarked striker headed home at the back post.

 

A bit of needle had crept into the game and referee Dan Boyle would have needed eyes in the back of his head to pick up on everything that was going on. But at least Milanda still had 11 men on the park to fight what would be a tense finale, the match official having only booked Jim Binnie and one of the Andrew Watt players for a bust-up over what the Milanda wing-back had seen as a bad challenge.

 

Andrew Watt's tails were up as they pushed forward looking for a winner but it was Milanda who got it from a quality move seven minutes from time. Grehan's head flick found substitute Mark Russell on the left and he played a perfect ball into the middle of the box where Coyle stretched to knock it past the advancing keeper. Job done - but it turned out to be a lot harder than it might have been.

 

MOTM: No failures again this week. Apart from the odd individual error the defending has come on a ton since the Kilpatrick Thistle game. Milanda were impressive in midfield, with Kevin Grehan in particular sparking a lot of attacks and Ross Early contributing his usual all-action performance despite being troubled by a niggling injury. Gerry Evans was the perfect wing-back, bursting forward whenever possible and always available to help keep the back door shot. Martin Coyle also had an excellent 90 minutes and was involved in all three goals. However, the man of the match award goes to Craig Fawns. On a difficult day for keepers he made vital saves at vital times. and had no chance with either of the Andrew Watt goals.

 

----------

League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 1 Invac 2 (HT 0 - 1)

 

Scorers - Johnstone

 

Team - Fawns Crawford Preston (Wilkie) Addison (Grehen) Evans Williamson Russell O'Neill Early (Walker) Coyle Johnstone Subs Not used Grant, Duncan

 

MILANDA missed an opportunity to go top of the table on a day when just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Players turning up late or not turning up at all disrupted the pre-match build-up and Milanda were so slow in getting out that another team had pinched their usual pitch.

 

Things went from bad to worse from then on, including key players Ross Early and Scott Preston having to go off, and Invac took advantage to record a deserved win. Milanda started well enough and at times moved the ball about smoothly but when the breakthrough failed to materialise they seemed to lose their way against powerful opponents who won their individual battles all over the pitch.

 

One of the best Milanda moves came in the opening stages when Mark Russell had a shot parried and Early hit the loose ball just wide. Then Martin Johnstone broke through and was cynically fouled by what may or may not have been the last defender. Referee Jim Breckenridge decided the culprit wasn’t the last man and showed just a yellow card. Martin Coyle took the resultant free-kick and was unlucky to see his effort clip the top of the bar.

 

Invac, who had always looked a threat on the break, took the lead when their best attacker was allowed to get a shot away at the edge of the box. Craig Fawns couldn’t hold it and the loose ball was knocked in. Kevin Grehan was introduced in place of Thomas Addison before the break in an attempt to improve the passing from midfield because the forwards were receiving little service.

 

It was important to get off to a good start in the second half but Milanda did the opposite and conceded again. A botched throw-in saw the ball bobbing around the edge of the box and two poor attempts at headed clearances before a free-kick was given away. The Invac player duly thumped it through the defensive wall and past Fawns who failed in his effort to clear the ball with his right foot.

 

It was a mountain to climb after that because Invac were pressing the ball at every opportunity and giving Milanda’s key men no room in which to work. There were one or two near things, including a superb ball across the six-yard box by Russell that found no takers. Milanda did eventually score a late consolation when Johnstone’s left-foot shot on the turn from inside the box was deflected past the keeper.

 

MOM: Invac didn’t heavy many more strikes at goal than the two they scored with but Milanda didn’t exactly created a barrowload of chances either. The creative players failed to shine and so work rate has to be the criterion for man of the match this week and on that score Kevin Williamson takes it, just pipping Dave O’Neill.

 

----------

Vince McGlinchey 1/4 Final

 

Scotsman 6 AC Milanda 1 (HT 1 - 1)

 

Scorers - Johnstone

 

Team - Fawns O'Neill (Preston) Crawford Wilkie (Grant) Grehan Evans Williamson (Walker) Binnie Addison Coyle Johnstone

 

A disasterous second half ended Milanda's hold on the Vince McGlinchey Trophy.

 

It could all have been so different in a first half with Milanda seeing 2 goal bound efforts cleared off the line. The first half saw two sides evenly matched going head to head with some meaty challenges flying in but amongst that there was some good football played. First blood went to Scotsman after Milanda failed to clear their lines and a cross to the edge of the 6 yard box found the Scotsman No 9 on hos own and his looping header found the net.

 

Milanda looked to have equalised when a Coyle free kick squirmed through the keeper's legs but a scramble on the line saw the defender clear via the post.

 

Milanda did equalise when a Williamson header found Johnstone on the edge of the box and his effort took a deflection of the defender and evaded the outstretched arm of the keeper. Milanda did look to have taken the lead before half time when Crawford got a header on target which may have crossed the line but a defender cleared and the ref waved play on. It was a very tight decision and a hard one for the ref to call. As it was the teams were level at HT.

 

Not much else to say apart from the 2nd half was completely shite and one of the worst performances Milanda have put in for a long time. No one came out with any credit and the hungrier team won the game quite easily in the end.

 

----------

League - Greenock

 

Ferguslie 1 AC Milanda 5 (HT 0 - 4)

 

Scorers - Coyle, Evans, Grehan, Johnstone, Bradburn

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston Addison (Grant) Scott Grehan Evans McColgan Bradburn Coyle (Williamson) Johnstone

 

What a difference a week makes. After the capitulation of last week Milanda put in a storming first half to take the game out of Ferguslie's reach and send Milanda to the top of the pile in Division A.

 

There was a strong wind blowing for this game on the banks of the Clyde and Ferguslie decided to turn round and play with the wind at their backs in the first half. It looked as if Milanda would be up against it for the first 45 but that's not how it turned out.

 

Milanda started well and sensibly countered the strong wind by playing football on the deck and they were rewarded after 7 mins when a Johnstone cross from the left made it through to Evans lurking at the back post. As he was challenged the ball broke into the 6 yard box and Coyle was first to react and slid in to smash the ball into the net. An excellent start continued when after 17 mins it was two. This time a cross from the right by McColgan that was allowed to run across the 6 yard box and it looked as if it would go harmlessly out until Evans arrived late at the back post and bundled the ball across the line.

 

Milanda were in complete control and Ferguslie were finding the wind a hindrance rather than a help as balls were running out of play all over the park. Milanda were pressing for more goals and Grehan did well to make himself room on the edge of the box but his shot failed to find the target. A few mins later though he was celebrating his first Milanda goal. A Bradburn pass putt Johnstone clear on the right and his cross into the box found Coyle and his cross/shot was turned in by Grehan at the backpost. Ferguslie claimed offside about 4 times during the move but the ref waved their protests away.

 

On 25 mins Brian Dunn fell for the 'In Only Fools and Horse what was Uncle Albert's first name?' joke. and anyone who just tried to think of the answer just punch yourself in the face.

 

The hilarity continued on the park after Preston got the break of the ball and was clear down the right wing but a sniper in the trees took him out and he stumbled to the turf in an excellent comedy fall style.

 

Ferguslie finally give Fawns something to think about after Addison gave away a free kick on the edge of the box. The effort is on target but Fawns saves with his foot before the ball is cleared up the park.

 

The 'football is fun morning keeps going when Bradburn is presented with a glorious chance to make it 4 when the Ferguslie keeper comes storming out of his box to clear as Johnstone threatened but only succeeded in sending it straight to Bradburn who has an empty net but from 25 yards pulls his shot wide.

 

From the resultant bye kick it is 4-0 as the ball goes straight to Johnstone who slides it calmly under the advancing keeper. Bradburn tries to claim an assist.

 

Sadly half time arrives as Milanda threaten to run over the top of a demoralised Ferguslie. During the break stand in captain Coyle is replaced by real captain Williamson.

 

The early moments of the 2nd half see Ferguslie try to get themselves back into the game but mostly their shots are high and wide although a quick free kick does hit the post.

 

Milanda weather the early storm and start heading towards the Ferguslie goal once again and should have made it 5. A great ball in from Bradburn sends Williamson clear one on one and although he takes it round the keeper he makes a complete arse of it. Another comedy moment. A few moments later and Bradburn is again the provider and his low cross sees a Williamson left foot shot reach the target this time but the keeper saves.

 

The fifth goal is only delayed a short time. A Grehan corner is cleared to the edge of the box but an attempted clearance from the Ferguslie player on only succeeds in putting it back into the danger area and Bradburn flicks it with his head into the net from 8 yards.

 

The game is coasting towards its inevitable conclusion when all hell breaks loose with 10 mins left. The Ferguslie centre forward, who had been leaving the boot in and was responsible for a number of late challenges throughout the match, was unable to take his own medicine when he was fouled and got up and proceeded to start boxing. The resultant scuffle saw a combination of those trying to sort out the warring factions and those wanting to get involved. The referee had an impossible task and in the aftermath the Ferguslie centre was correctly red carded along with Preston and Bradburn from Milanda. Whether their cards were deserved or not was hard to tell. The Ferguslie boss on the touchline, who was also a sub, was red carded for his part in the proceedings. He didn't take it well and was red carded at least one more time before eventually heading to the dressing room during unsavoury scenes. The whole incident was completely out of the blue as the game was played in a sporting manner and Ferguslie had long accepted the game was beyond them.

 

Order was eventually restored and the game restarted. Nine man Milanda pulled Williamson back into defence to partner Grant in a 92 (nearly 93) year old defensive partnership to see out the remainder of the game. They couldn’t however help Fawns keep a clean sheet when a ball bounced about the pen box after a corner and somehow found 3 Ferguslie players on their own and one of them got their consolation goal. The game finished without further incident and despite the flare up it shouldn't take away from an excellent Milanda performance where the only complaint was that they should have scored more goals. So top of the league and to stay there all Milanda have to do is win all their reamaining games.

 

MOTM - An excellent first half saw many candidates especially from the Milanda midfield who bossed the game completely. The 2nd half saw the defence more invovled and Walker after a quiet first half was much more in the thick of the action and made some good interceptions as Ferguslie pushed forward. This week's MOTM award though goes to Kevin Grehan who not only got his first Milanda goal but was involved in a lot of the excellent moves during the first half dominance.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 2 Garnethill Rovers 1 HT 0 - 1)

 

Scorers - Hardwick, Preston

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston Addison (Wilkie) Binnie Grehan Hardwick (Grant) McColgan Scott Bradburn Evans

 

MILANDA clung on to top spot in the Glasgow and District Saturday Morning

League thanks to a battling second-half performance.

 

The young and enthusiastic Garnethill players were well on top in the first 45 minutes but a combination of bad luck and poor finishing saw them end it with just a one-goal advantage. After the turnaround the game was a much more even affair but again the visiting team let good opportunities slip away while Milanda took two of their chances and walked off with the points. Over the piece no one in the Milanda camp would have argued had Garnethill taken a point but for some reason we appear to have become their bogey team.

 

Garnethill's goal was a poor one from Milanda's point of view. It came from a corner in the 18th minute and the close-range header could have been defended better.

 

Craig Fawns had some good saves in the first half and a slice of luck when one of the Garnethill players slipped the ball past him and it bounced back off the post into his arms. Milanda, with Englishman Adam Hardwick playing a trial on the right of midfield, were rarely seen as an attacking force in that opening period. A new front two of Gerry Evans and Martin Bradburn worked hard enough but chances were hard to come by and the only real threat came from a long-range Kevin Grehan shot that the keeper turned round the post.

 

Milanda looked much brighter after the restart and were unfortunate not to get back on level terms when Mark Walker's header from a Grehan corner just cleared the bar. But it was 1-1 on the hour mark. Marc McColgan did well on the left to get a cross in and although Bradburn couldn't quite get on the end of it the ball broke between Hardwick and a defender and the trialist was strong enough to make it his and thump his shot past the keeper from eight yards.

 

Garnethill were still making chances but their No.9 put one past the post with only the keeper to beat and then one of their defenders headed straight at Fawns with the goal at his mercy. At the other end the Garnethill keeper had a good save from a Scott Preston header and when the loose ball was fired back across goal by Hardwick it just had too much pace on it and Bradburn was unable to knock it home. Centre-back Preston came up trumps with 10 minutes to go when he arrived late in the box to side-foot a Grehan free-kick into the net with the calm authority of a striker.

 

Garnethill mounted the inevitable onslaught in the dying minutes to get back on terms. They claimed for a penalty when Jim Binnie pulled down one of their attackers but referee Jim Breckenridge awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. A borderline decision but probably the right one as it appeared the player's momentum had taken him inside the area.

Fawns and Co defended the free-kick and everything else that was thrown at them to clinch a welcome victory.

 

MOTM: Absolutely no failures on the day and all the players can be pleased with their contributions, including trialist Hardwick. Grehan and stand-in skipper McColgan were especially good and got through a power of work in midfield but man of the match goes to Preston - solid at the back and athreat whenever he went forward.

 

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League Glasgow Green

 

Glasgow Athletic 2 AC Milanda 2 (HT 1 - 2)

 

Scorers - Crawford, Walker

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston Crawford Binnie (Wilkie) Grehan Evans McColgan Scott (Duncan) Coyle Johnstone Subs not used Grant Williamson

 

Always a tough game against Glasgow Athletic and this clash was no different with both sides contributing to one of the best games of the season with some great play from both teams. A draw was a fair result in the end although both sides had chances to win it late on.

 

Milanda swept into a 2 goal lead in just 7 mins. The first came from a long throw that Athletic failed to deal with and Crawford took advantage of the hesitancy and from 12 yards out he slammed a low right foot shot passed the keeper. Athletic had a great chance to respond immediately as a free header in the 6 yard box was squandered when sent over the bar.

 

They were to pay for that miss a couple of mins later when Milanda went two in front. Coyle worked hard to win Milanda a corner on the right and Grehan's cross was met by the head of Crawford. His attempt was blocked but hung in the air perfectly for Walker to hook a right foot shot past a static keeper. A fine finish that took the wind out of Athletic for the next 10 minutes but it wasn't long before they started to get into the game again. Another free header in the 6 yard box was fortunately directed straight at Fawns who gathered easily. Sadly Milanda hadn't learned their lesson and another free header a few mins later looped over Fawns to reduce the deficit.

 

This was the start of concerted Athletic pressure and Milanda had a huge let off when an attempted headed clearance by Walker came back off the post and safely into the arms of Fawns. Athletic continued to press but the Milanda defence held firm and in one of Milanda's few forays up the park Scott was seen challenging the keeper for a cross then for the first time in his career was caught offside.

 

As half time approached Athletic continued to search for the equaliser and had another great chance just before the break when a one on one saw Fawns save with his feet and then collect the rebound that was shot straight back at him.

 

Milanda reached the break with their lead intact and during the break Duncan replaced Scott.

 

The restart saw Fawns immediately back in action when he has to be sharp to save from his own player at the near post.

 

Milanda tried to get themselves back into the game and Coyle won a free kick on the left. Grehan's delivery into the box was headed back across goal by Crawford and although Johnstone was first to it he could'nt get enough power behind his header to direct it past the keeper.

 

On 57 mins it was all square. Athletic beat the offside trap but the ball drifted wide allowing Milanda to get back in numbers but they failed to pick up the runner from midfield and he arrived late to get on the end of a cutback giving Fawns no chance in the Milanda goal.

 

Both sides wanted victory and Evans went on a slalom run avoiding challenges from all sides but couldn't release the ball in time. Athletic were doing a lot of good work but like Milanda couldn't deliver the final pass. Milanda felt hard done by on 77 mins when a questionable offside decision halted Evans run in on goal. On this occasion the ref got it wrong as the right back was slow to come out but he was on the opposite side to Evans so the decision was understandable.

 

It was Evans who almost won the points for Milanda when he collected a knock on from Coyle and his shot brought out a great save from the keeper. The ball landed back at Evans feet who by this time was on the ground. He somehow managed to get enough lift on the ball to get his 2nd attempt over the keeper but by this time help had arrived and a defender popped up on the line to clear. The Athletic keeper was again the hero a few mins later making up for his howler in the last game against Milanda. Milanda won a free kick on the edge of the box and a Coyle thunderbolt looked to be heading in before the keeper got down to his right to turn it away for a corner.

 

With only a couple of mins left on the clock it was Fawns's turn to be the hero when Athletic managed to finally get in behind the Milanda defence and from 6 yards put the Athletic player only had to pick his spot but he elected to blast it and from point blank range Fawns saved with his knees.

 

The last few minutes were tense moments for both sides as each side looked to snatch the points but in the end a draw was a fair result in one of the best games of the season. A game both sets of players should take great credit for. Either team could have won it in the last 15 mins but the draw keeps both teams in the mix for the title.

 

MOTM - Very hard to choose this week. A superb effort against a very good side. Fawns pulled of some vital stops especially the one in the last few mins. The defence held firm particularly during the onslaught after the first Athletic goal. Midfield pushed themselves to help out the defence and provide support to the front two who in turn ran themselves into the ground on a day where clear cut chances were at a premium. The winner though and by a whisker is Dave Crawford for not only getting a goal and being involved in the other but for some vital blocks, particularly one in the 2nd half that looked net bound until his intervention. An all round great team performance though.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 3 Islay 0 (HT 1 - 0)

 

Scorers - Johnstone, Walker, Evans

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston Crawford Scott Hardwick (Russell) Evans McColgan (Bradburn) Grehan Coyle Johnstone (Williamson) Subs not used O'Neill Wilkie

 

To say conditions were testing would be a bit of an understatement. A pitch that resembled a bog in places, blustery winds combined with occasional outbreaks of driving rain do not ideal football conditions make. That said Milanda coped admirably with what mother nature tried to throw at them on their way to a fine 3-0 win that keeps them clear at the top of Division A.

 

Islay started with the wind at their backs and were nearly gifted an early opener by Fawns who had a freash air swipe at a passback but luckily for him it wasn't travelling too fast and he was able to clear at the second attempt before any islay players could take advantage. As it turned out that was probably the most worrying moment for the Milanda goalie who had a very quiet morning.

 

Milanda's first chance fell to McColgan after a pass from Coyle gave him a shooting opportunity on the left hand side of the box but a sliding challenge took the sting out of his shot and keeper safely gathered. A beter chance presented itself on 7 mins. A Hardwick across the edge of the box was missed by the defence and found it's way through to Coyle but he hurried his shot and pulled it wide. Coyle was again presented with a chance when a Crawford pass found Grehan in space on the right hand side of the box. He left two defenders in his wake as he worked his way along the byeline before finding Coyle with his cutback but again Coyle pulled it wide. It just wasn't to be Coyle's day in front of goal when he again failed to find the target after a great cross from the left found Coyle in space at the back post but he got his jump all wrong and headed over the bar.

 

Scott then tried a shot from distance but surprisingly it didn't trouble the Islay keeper. Coyle then turned provider after breaking on the right and his pass found Grehan lurking on the edge of the box but again Milanda failed to find the target. Milanda finally got their reward for constant pressure when Grehan fed johnstone in the box and he cut inside and placed a right foot shot past the outstretched hand of the Islay keeper. A superb finish and the lead was well deserved.

 

It should have been two just before halftime. Milanda broke from the middle of the park Johnstone fed a pass through to Coyle who knocked it back to grehan on the dge of the box. Grehan returned the ball to coyle who had found room inside the box. As the keeper advanced to close down the angle Coyle saved him the bother by blasting it over the bar to round off a miserable first half with 4 attempts and all off target. It was another fine half of football from milanda and they coped with the conditions much better than Islay but should have had more than one goal to show for their efforts.

 

At half time Russell replaced the injured hardwick as Milanda now had the wind in their favour and they had killed the game off within the first 10 mins of the 2nd half. A long throw from preston was knocked on by Crawford and walker stole into header home from a couple of yards out off the underside of the bar. Two mins later and the points were safe. Russell fed Coyle on the left and he took the ball into the box and cut it back to Johnstone. He tried to manouvre a shooting chance but was quickly closed down but this left space for Evans and Johnstone slid the ball to his right and Evans thundered a shot in off the keeper into the roof of the net.

 

Islay then woke up Fawns when they launched a rare attack and fawns saved with his feet. Johnstone then broke on the counter attack but all his good work came to nothing when he put his efort past the post. Milanda then should ahve made it four when Johnstone got away inside the box and took it past the kkeepr who blatantly pulled him down. fawns trootted up from the back to take the kick but the Islay keeper made up for his rash challenge by saving Fawns's poor effort. The Islay keeper pulled off a fine save late on from Coyle as the game headed to its conclusion with the only other thing of note was McMillan's comedy fall on the touchline which saw him roll down the Stepford hill and get a good covering of mud for his trouble.

 

In the end a comfortbble win that keeps Milanda ahead of the chasing pack. Milanda now have completed half their games the first team to do so. At this stage points in the bank and although other teams have games in hand fixture congestion could maybe work in Milanda's favour.

 

MOTM - Another hard week to choose from a host of contenders. Good performances all over the pitch from Johnstone, Evans and Preston but this week the award goes to Mark Walker who has performed well since being converted into a right back and has also collected a couple of goals along the way as well as putting in some solid performances.

 

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League - Cowglen

 

Invac 3 AC Milanda 0 (HT 2 - 0)

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston O'Neill (Wilkie) Scott (Binnie) Grehan Evans McColgan (Bradburn) Russell Coyle Johnstone Subs not used Grant Williamson

 

Cowglen has never been a happy hunting ground for Milanda and from the first whistle on Saturday this record never looked likely to improve. Collectively a very poor performance and an average Invac completed the double over Milanda.

 

The warning signs were there as early as the first minute when slack play in the defence allowed Invac a chance but a tame shot was easily gathered by Fawns. The opening goal was only delayed a couple of mins and when it came it was simple route one A keeper's long kick out was nodded on and with Milanda claiming offside the Invac No 11. sped clear and finished calmly into the corner off the net. Good finish but it was a soft goal to lose so early in the game and one Milanda never recovered from.

 

Invac continued to do the pressing and under pressure Evans did well to knock a cross away at the back post. From the resultant throw in Fawns had to be alert to save. There was only one team in the game with Milanda only making the odd foray forward. It was no surprise when Invac made it two. Another long ball was nodded on allowing the Invac forward to get into the box. Grehan was back to cover but his rash challenge inside the box brought down the Invac forward and the ref pointed to the spot. Grehan claimed he got a touch on the ball but it looked a penalty from the sidelines. Fawns was given no chance as the pen was hit into the roof of the net. .

 

Milanda had it all to do and were given a chance when the Invac keeper, not for the first time, sliced a clearance under a challenge from Russell. Unfortunately by the time Russell realised where the ball was the chance had slipped away and his cross was cleared. The keeper again made a hash of another clearance but again Milanda failed to take advantage. Milanda's best chance came in the closing minutes of the first half. A Grehan corner reached Walker in space at the back post but his shot was high and wide.

 

Milanda started the 2nd half much better than the first and Russell just couldn't maneuver enough space on the edge of the 6 yard box to turn and get a shot on goal. Ten mins in and McMillan made some changes to try and change the flow of the game with Scott and McColgan being replaced by Binnie and Bradburn. Milanda's best chances seem to be coming from the Invac keeper who dropped a free kick from Walker but despite a few swings at the ball Milanda couldn't get a shot on target before Russell hits it over the bar.

 

The best Milanda chance of the second falls to Evans after a high ball from Bradburn hangs in the wind and the Invac keeper comes out to collect but misses completely. The ball gets stuck in the mud though and Evans is unable to get any real power behind his shot which is blocked on the line by the defender. Russell then goes on a run sidestepping a number of players before the ball finds its way to Johnstone who managed to get a shot on target and the keeper, for a change manages to hold onto it.

 

With 20 mins left the game is over as a contest and for the third time it's a long ball that does the damage. O'Neill gets his positioning all wrong as he watched the ball sail over his head. Fawns came out to narrow the angle but was caught in no man's land and the Invac player had a simple task of lobbing the ball into an empty net to secure the 3 pts.

 

The ref would have been as well blowing the final whistle there and then. The next 20 mins were uneventful and it was a dispirited Milanda side that trudged off the park. Invac were well worth their victory but Milanda had made their morning so much easier than it should have been.

 

Collectively it was a poor effort from Milanda. We sometimes slag other teams off for being out on the pitch warming up while we are still hanging around to get changed but it told on Saturday. Invac were out the blocks much faster and keener and we never really put them under much pressure during the game. At some points we were lucky to be second to some balls. Hopefully we can put this one behind us as we are much better than this. We should blame Coyle for winning the toss.

 

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League - Stepford

 

Kilpatrick Thistle 1 AC Milanda 1 (HT 1 - 0)

 

Scorers - Johnstone

 

Team - Fawns Duncan Preston Crawford Wilkie Russell Evans Grehan Bradburn Coyle (McColgan) Johnstone Subs not used O'Neill Grant Binnie Williamson

 

One of the tightest games of the season and the scoreline reflected the fact that there was little to choose between the two sides. A draw a fair result although it benefits others but a hard won point nonetheless.

 

Milanda manager McMillan decided to make a number of changes to the team to nullify the Kilpatrick threat. It took a period of adjustment while the team got to grips with this change and it was during that time Kilpatrick took an early lead. The Kilpatrick No 9, so often a thorn in the Milanda side, broke clear on the edge of the box and as Fawns came out to close him down he calmly knocked the ball over fawns into the net. The kind of start Milanda had hoped to avoid.

 

Credit to the team though as they got themselves sorted out and began to make in roads into the Kilpatrick half. Chances were few and far between throughout the game and although Milanda dominated the rest of the first half they couldn't create an opening. They were however denied a stonewall penalty when Johnstone was clearly brought down on the edge of the 6 yard box. A mystery as to why the ref didn't give it. As part of this period of pressure a cross from Preston put the Kilpatrick keeper under pressure and he was relieved to see Crawford's header deflected for a corner.

 

With both defences on top there was little of real note happening around either goal. Grehan had a shot from 25 yards that was only a few yards off target and Coyle saw a free kick on the edge of the box cannon off the wall. Despite Milanda's dominance they couldn't find an equaliser before half time.

 

The second half started much as the first ended with Milanda taking the game to Kilpatrick and a Grehan free kick was helped on by Johnstone to Bradburn but his header was straight at the keeper. At the other end slack play by Coyle on the edge of his own box allowed Kilpatrick a chance but Fawns was well positioned to pluck the ball out of the air.

 

Milanda finally got the equaliser they deserved after an hour. A long throw by Duncan tempted the keeper to come off his line but he lacked any conviction under a challenge from Bradburn and the ball fell to Johnstone to knock it home at the near post. it was no more than Milanda deserved and set up a frantic last half hour. The goal sparked some life into a strangely subdued Kilpatrick who had been fairly quiet since the first 15 mins. They should have done better when Preston was left with 2 forwards to deal with but a hurried shot from the Kilpatrick no 9 didn't trouble Fawns. McColgan replaced Coyle as Milanda aimed to close the game down. Kilpatrick's fitness and younger legs were beginning to push Milanda back and Fawns had to be sharp to save with his feet after a breakaway.

 

As the match neared the final whistle nerves were beginning to show and Milanda visibly tired as the young legs of Kilpatrick began to take control and push Milanda back. Some gaps began to appear and one ball flashed across the 6 yard box begging for a touch but it eluded 2 Kilpatrick players. Then in the dying moments a controversial decision by the ref saw Kilpatrick denied the points. A break on the left ended with the ball being knocked a long the 6 yard box and an open goal presented itself. It was an easy tap in for the Kilpatrick player and it looked as if all Milanda's hard work was going to to go to waste but it was saved by the ref's whistle as he blew for offside. Kilpatrick were understandably aggrieved and it was very hard to tell if it was the correct decision or not. Whether it was or not was irrelevant though as his decision stood despite angry protests from Kilpatrick that were to continue after the match and saw one of their players red carded 4 times. Milanda were grateful to hear the final whistle and collect a point against a team that has handed out a few thumpings in the past.

 

MOTM - In contrast to last week everybody put in a great shift and it was an incredibly hard decision to select one player from a number of candidates. There wasn't a poor performance on the park from the defence who kept the chances for Kilpatrick to an absolute minimum, the midfield who were given a very tough task but performed heroically, and the forwards who were mostly feeding on scraps but tracked back and helped out their midfield when required. After much deliberation this weeks MOTM award goes to John Wilkie. Given a sweeping role in the new system he took a while to adjust but once the formation settled down so did he and he made some important interceptions and was part of an overall impressive defensive display.

 

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League - Glasgow Green

 

DS Street League 1 AC Milanda 1 (HT 1 - 1)

 

Scorer - Grehan (pen)

 

Team - Fawns Walker Crawford O'Neill Russell Wilkie Evans McColgan Grehan Coyle Johnstone Subs not used Grant Williamson Scottt Addison

 

Another tough encounter for Milanda and another draw and again a fair result although Milanda probably more relieved to get a point than DS.

 

DS dominated the start of the game without making any real chances. Ex-Milanda player Malcolmson made a nuisance of himself but fFawns was rarely troubled. Milanda first effort to threaten the DS goal was a shot from outside the box by Evans but it sailed well over. Russell was much closer a few moments later when his left foot shot dipped just over the bar with the DS keeper struggling to cover it.

 

The deadlock was broken after sloppy play for Milanda just inside the DS half gave possession away and Malcolmson made the most of it as he cut inside and hit a low left foot shot. The shot wasn't particularly strong but it passed a few Milanda legs before reaching Fawns and he failed to get any contact and it was 1-0.

 

Milanda tried to get back into the game and Evans was inches from a cross in the 6 yard box and as Milanda kept the pressure on Crawford nearly got the equaliser with a toe poke that was only a yard wide. Fawns then made up for his earlier error with a fantastic double save. A ball across the 6 yard box was met at the back post and looked to be going in before Fawns got his left hand to it and touched it onto the post. the rebound fell kindly for another DS player and his shot also looked net bound until Fawns tipped it over for a corner.

 

As half time approached Milanda were given the perfect opportunity to level the scores. A Russell throw in found McColgan just on the edge of the box with his back to goal but a DS defender just barged him over giving the ref an easy decision as he pointed to the spot. Grehan calmly stroked the penalty home and that was the last action of a hectic first half.

 

Milanda were first to threaten in the 2nd half and Walker tries a left foot shot from the edge of the box but it didn't trouble the keeper who collected easily. DS then created their own chance but Fawns was perfectly placed to collect the header. As the play swung from end to end a great move between Coyle and Russell saw the latter hit a dangerous cross into the 6 yard box but Johnstone just couldn't get on the end of it.

 

Back again to the MIlanda goal and a bit of a let off. The DS no 8 slipped inside and with only Fawns to beat he hit it under the keeper but Fawns got a touch on it and it rolls behind for a corner but it hit the stanchion behind the goal and as Fawns turned round the ball bounced into his arms and the ref waved play on. At this point it was mostly DS who were pressing while Milanda relied on the breakaway. It is from one of those breakaways that Milanda created their best chance of the 2nd half. Johnstone made a superb run down the right and cut inside. His pass found Walker in space at the back post but he hit his shot wide.

 

O'Neill comes to Milanda and McColgan's rescue after a miscued headed clearance heads for the back of the Milanda net but O'Neill is on hand to clear. Fawns then tips a dipping shot from then edge of the box over the bar as DS searched in vain for a winner.

 

Milanda have the last chance of the game when an Evans cut back finds Coyle and his cross/shot heads in the direction of Russell but he's unable to control it and the ball is cleared.

 

A point apiece probably a fair enough result but Milanda have now only taken 2 out of the last 9 points available and any hopes of league success have probably gone with those dropped points. On the positive side another fighting performance by Milanda and with abit of luck it could have been all 3 points but DS are probably thinking the same.

 

MOTM - Like last week a quite a few contenders but for winning nearly every header and always there when required Dave Crawford gets this week's award. He also found his bangle so it was a good day all in for him.

 

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League - Glasgow Green

 

Bellahouston 2 AC Milanda 2 (HT 2 - 1)

 

Scorer - Own goal, Williamson

 

Team - . Preston Addison (Williamson) Grant O'Neill Wilkie Scott Evans Grehan Russell Coyle Johnstone

 

It was a rather depleted and understrength Milanda that took to the field. The days of 19 turning up are but a distant memory due to injury, work commitments and suspensions. Chris Preston made his first appearance of the season and Scott Grant started only his 2nd league game. Both teams were desperate for the points for different reasons. Milanda still with an outside chance of the title and although that seems unlikely as high a finish as possible is the target. At the other end of the table Bellahouston find themselves in a relegation fight so points were needed by both teams.

 

Bellahouston made the better start and with the game barely 5 mins old they took the lead. A corner from the right is dropped in at the front post which Preston punches straight back to the player who took the corner who hits another near post cross this time Preston can only palm it onto the bar and the rebound gives a Bellahoston player a free header from 4 yards.

 

Milanda nearly hit back straightaway when an O'Neill cross to the back post is left by the Bellahoston defence after a shout from their keeper who ends up scrambling to turn the ball round the post for a corner after misjusdging the cross.

 

Coyle then leaves his marker for dead in the middle off the park after a quick turn and lays the ball off to Johnstone who wins Milanda a corner. From the corner Milanda look to have equalised when O'Neill powers a header past the keeper but a defender appears to head off the line.

 

After this period of sustained pressure Milanda manage to find themselves 2 goals behind. Another corner this time to the back post finds a Bellahouston player unmarked after Coyle and Russell get in each others way and he steers his header past Preston.

 

Milanda then enter another period of pressure. First Evans crosses from the right but it is fractionally too high for Johnstone, then O'Neill has a shot from outside the box that isn't too far away, closely followed by a Russell cross that is begging for a taker but no one accepts. Russell then has another effort blocked by the keeper after a brilliant Coyle turn that completely baffles defender (and probably Coyle).

 

Then it's O'Neills turn again and he has a shot blocked and the spins takes it into Evans path but he can't find the net and the keeper saves. Milanda eventually make the breakthrough their pressure deserves and have a huge slice of luck in the process. Coyle controls an Evans cross into the box on his chest and gets on the goalside of the defender who manages to get a toe to the ball but all this does is send the ball into the top corner of the net with the keeper helpless. A cracking finish. Milanda nearly equalise just before half time when a Grehan corner is met by O'Neill but Addison is unable to get out of the way of the goal bound header and when the loose ball is knocked back towards goal Addison manages to header it over from 5 yards.

 

That is the last action of a busy first half.

 

The second half is much tamer and it's not until the 52nd min before thing liven up again. A swift Milanda counter attack sees Russell play in Coyle who returns the pass to Russell who has continued his run into the box. The keeper saves his first shot then the rebound comes back off the post.

 

With 25 mins to go McMillan takes off Addsion and pushes Williamson on to make 3 up front as Milanda search for the equaliser. The Bellahoston defence prove stubborn as Milanda throw everything at them. The pressure does finally get its reward when a trademark Johnstone run finishes with a low cross into the 6 yard box. Williamson is lurking a couple of yards out and directs the ball into an empty net to give Milanda a deserved equaliser.

 

Both teams search for a winner as both need the points for different reasons. Preston who had a reasonably quiet 2nd half had to be quick to turn away a shot at his near post. At the other end Milanda keep probing just can't make the vital breakthough and both teams have to settle for a draw.

 

Slack defending put Milanda on the back foot but it was a great effort to get back on level terms and on another day some of those other chances would have seen Milanda win this game quite easily. Another 2 points dropped though.

 

MOTM - He was Milanda's most dangerous attacker in the first half and had 2 goalbound headers cleared. Was solid in defence so this week's MOTm goes to Dave O'Neill and his new boots. Special mentions to Scott Grant who depsite a lack of games was comfortable in defence and Kevin Grehan who put in a great shift as he helped Milanda get back into the game. Good effort all round though.

 

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League - Lochend

 

Vale Utd 1 AC Milanda 1 (HT 0 - 0)

 

Scorer - O'Neill

 

Team - Fawns Walker Grant (Addison) O'Neill Wilkie Russell Binnie McColgan (Scott) Grehan Evans Williamson

 

MILANDA had to battle all the way for a point in their first ever meeting with Vale United. Vale, as their recent results had suggested, turned out to be powerful opponents and it took 100 per cent effort and concentration by every player in black and red to make sure something was taken from the game. In fact, Milanda might have had all three points if they had taken their chances but Vale would probably say exactly the same so a draw was about right at the end of 90 competitive minutes.

 

Vale’s main threat came from set-pieces on the day – their corner count must have been well into double figures – whereas Milanda’s chances tended to come from slick counter-attacks. It was ironic therefore that Vale’s goal was from a penalty and Milanda’s resulted from a free-kick.

 

With the regular front two of Martin Johnstone and Martin Coyle otherwise engaged and Scott Preston and Martin Bradburn still suspended, it was very much a changed Milanda line-up. Gerry Evans, who has been playing mostly in midfield of late, was given a striking role alongside Kevin Williamson who is winding down before hanging up his boots after a long and illustrious Milanda career.

 

Vale dominated the first half and their aerial threat caused Milanda a number of problems. Their No.9 missed a good chance right on the line, a free-kick resulted in them hitting the post and other efforts were blocked by the defence or keeper Craig Fawns.

 

At the other end, a Kevin Grehan corner hit the bar and other good chances slipped away. Williamson broke clear three times but was thwarted twice by the keeper and had another effort cleared off the line. Evans also got behind the Vale back line just before the break but a heavy first touch allowed the keeper to save at his feet.

 

The second half was much the same story but Vale broke the deadlock when Grehan’s rash tackle in the box resulted in a clear penalty that was coolly converted. Grehan made amends five minutes later with a chipped free-kick over a static Vale defensive line and defender Dave O’Neill took his time before firing the ball into the net from six yards.

 

Seven minutes later, a through ball by Mark Walker put Evans in on goal but he hurriedly shot wide. Vale had a number of headers off target and Fawns produced two excellent saves to keep Milanda in it. But the home team had another escape when Walker broke on the right and crossed for the unmarked Evans who headed wide with only the keeper to beat.

 

Vale complained long and hard about being denied another penalty in stoppage time after John Wilkie had challenged one of their forwards but referee Michael O’Brien had a good view of the incident and indicated the home player had thrown himself at the Milanda man. A controversial ending to a hard-fought game that neither side really deserved to win.

 

MOTM: Great team effort from numbers one to 11 but keeper Craig Fawns just edges the previous game’s winner, Dave O’Neill, for man of the match.

 

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League - KGV

 

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

 

Scorers - Johnstone, Preston

 

Team - Fawns Walker Preston O'Neill Wilkie (Grant) Scott (Addison) Evans Bradburn Grehan Johnstone Williamson

 

MILANDA brought their four-game sequence of draws to an end thanks to a late winner by Scott Preston. It looked like being five one-pointers for Milanda as they struggled to add to the Martin Johnstone goal that had nullified Renfrew's early penalty. But Preston celebrated his return from a three-game suspension by providing the winning goal for the second time this season. It was tough luck on Renfrew who deserved a draw and they were left to rue missed chances.

 

Renfrew made the better start and took the lead from the spot after just five minutes. Andy Scott was judged to have fouled one of the Renfrew attackers when all he was guilty of was a stumble that accidentally brought the player down.

However, the referee saw it differently and gave a penalty that was tucked away.

 

Milanda top scorer Johnstone, ably supported up front by Kevin Williamson, began to cause Renfrew all sorts of problems.

He teased and tormented opposition defenders with a number of good runs but on a big pitch his team-mates struggled to support him from midfield and most of his good work came to nothing. He was unlucky on one occasion, however, with a volley that the Renfrew keeper did well to keep out with the assistance of the frame of the goal.

 

Milanda began the second half with 10 men, Kevin Grehan having been forced to head back to the pavilion for an unscheduled pit stop, but they came more and more into the match. Renfrew's keeper did well to push away another Johnstone shot after a great run and some amazing footwork by the Milanda man. Then Williamson failed to get a good connection on a ball that broke to him in the box and the ball trickled wide.

 

A goal seemed to be coming and it duly arrived when Johnstone headed home a well-struck corner by Martin Bradburn from close range. Mark Walker was also in there challenging and he directed the ball towards goal but the Dubious Goals Committee awarded Johnstone his 15th of the season.

 

The momentum appeared to be with Milanda at this point but a couple of susbstitutions refreshed Renfrew and they began to look a threat. Some sloppy defensive play by Milanda players, some of whom seemed to be tiring, helped the home side create opportunities and they should have taken the lead from a second penalty.

 

Dave O'Neill brought down a Renfrew attacker a couple of feet outside the box but the referee gave a penalty rather than a free-kick. It was a hard decision to take, especially after the earlier spot-kick award, but at least the official didn't make it a double punishment by giving in to Renfrew's requests to send O'Neill off. Justice was done in the eyes of Milanda when Renfrew's spot-kick specialist saw his second attempt from 12 yards hit Craig Fawns' left-hand post and go wide.

 

The game could have gone either way after this. Fawns came to Milanda's rescue when he palmed away a shot he must have seen late inside a crowded box. With time running out it was Milanda who struck the killer blow. Grehan took a corner from the right and Preston outjumped everyone to power home a close-range header.

 

Milanda have played better and lost but everyone worked hard and it was nice to be rewarded with a rub of the green for a change.

 

MOTM: Martin Johnstone. Best player on the park by a mile.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 2 Glasgow Athletic 1 (HT 1 - 0)

 

Scorers - Grehan, Crawford

 

Team - Fawns Walker Crawford O'Neill Wilkie Binnie Grehan Preston (Williamson) Russell Bradburn Subs not used Addison Grant

 

Milanda stretched their unbeaten run to six games and have only been defeated once in 11 games. It was another hard fought and tight encounter. Conditions were less than ideal with driving rain and a strong wind which Milanda was against in the first half.

 

The conditions made the game very scrappy in the early stages. neither team could hold onto the ball and wayward passes were the norm rather than the exception. Milanda's first chance fell to captain for the night Crawford who was given a half chance after a Bradburn free kick was flighted into the box and Crawford was closest to it as it fell in the box but he couldn't get a solid enough connection on it and the keeper gathered.

 

At the other end Fawns had to be sharp when a corner made it all the way to the back post to find an Athletic player on his own but Fawns was in the right place to save his effort right on the line. Evans then made himself an opening when picking up a loose ball and running in on goal but his attempted lob sailed well over the bar.

 

Another corner was nearly was the undoing of Milanda when a near post flick came back off the bar. Milanda then took the lead just before the break when an Evans pass sent Bradburn clear and his run took him round the Athletic keeper. his shot though was headed off the line but from 12 yards out Grehan flighted a high ball back towards goal and this time the defender failed to clear the ball as mit moved in the wind and Milanda were ahead. Just before the half time whistle Russell was put through but from a tight angle the keeper saved his effort.

 

The second half was similar to the first with both teams creating chances. A Grehan cross was just inches too high for Bradburn who was free in the box. Fawns was called into action on a number of occasions to keep Milanda in front but he was helpless when the equaliser did arrive. Binnie was judged to have fouled an Athletic player in the box and the ref pointed to the spot. This time the offence was inside the box and for the 3rd game in a row Milanda conceded from the spot.

 

At this point the game could have gone either way. Athletic had two good chances from free kicks 20 yards out but neither worried Fawns unduly. Williamson, who had replaced Preston, sent Russell clear with Athletic claiming offside. Russell played on but had to be content with a throw in after the keeper forced the ball out.

 

The winner when it came once again, like Saturday, had Walker at the centre. A corner from bradburn on the right was only partially cleared and it fell to Walker 10 yards out. His shot was saved by the keeper but he could only push it away to his left and Crawford was first to react to smash it past the keeper despairing dive.

 

Athletic pushed for an equaliser but were frustrated by a dogged Milanda defence who were determined not to give up their hard fought lead. Their best chance came when their forward found himself on the 6 yard line with no one near him but he sclaffed his shot off the post. A bit of niggle crept into the game as Athletic began to get more and more frustrated but Milanda were not for moving though and defended brilliantly in the last 10 mins to take another 3 points.

 

A tough game in dire conditions. Both teams were missing players but Milanda just about deserved the win in the end.

 

MOTM: Hard one to choose. Defence were solid throughout and despite a late onslaught never allowed Athletic much time or space, midfield as ever worked tirelessly and upfront little reward or chances for their sweat and toil. This week though the award is going to Jim Binnie despite him giving away the penalty. Always a reliable man to have in your team and he typified the dogged resistance of the defence.

 

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League - Drumpellier

 

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

 

Scorers - Crawford

 

Team - Fawns Walker Crawford O'Neill (McColgan) Wilkie Russell (Binnie) Grehan Evans Williamson (Coyle) Bradburns Johnstone Subs not used Preston Grant

 

THE curse of Coatbridge struck again as AC Milanda finished another away game with AFC Columba empty handed. Milanda were the dominant side in the first half and had their fair share of possession in the second but paid the penalty for missed chances as Columba hit them with quick counter-attacks. Injuries to Kevin Williamson in the first half and Mark Russell in the second didn’t help but can’t be used as an excuse for a disappointing performance.

 

Martin Johnstone had a shot deflected wide in the early minutes and that summed up a night when his luck was always out in front of goal. He then laid on a chance for Martin Bradburn with a perfect cutback but his fellow striker’s shot was saved. Kevin Grehan fired a free-kick wide before Johnstone again threatened the Columba defence. This time, though, his header came back off a post. A Davie Crawford header went past from a Grehan corner, then Bradburn hit the ball tamely at the keeper after again being set up by Johnstone.

 

Milanda were often guilty of trying to play football on a pitch that wasn’t meant for it instead of getting the ball forward quickly to the front three. It was from the breakdown of one such piece of play in the 53rd minute that one of the Columba midfielders burst forward and beat Craig Fawns with an excellent long-range strike although it took a deflection on the way that took it out of the keeper's reach.

 

They almost scored a quick second but this time a header was tipped over the bar by Fawns. Johnstone had a powerful drive touched round the post and another effort finger-tipped over the bar before Milanda finally squared the match in the 64th minute. Grehan provided the delivery from a corner and Crawford outjumped everyone to nod home.

 

There was cautious optimism Milanda could go on and take full points at this stage but it was sadly misplaced. Another long ball stretched the defence five minutes later. Fawns came out but failed to clear properly and the ball was lobbed into the net. Seven minutes later Dave O’Neill was left for dead on the right by one of the Columba forwards and another well-struck shot sealed the points for the home team.

 

Milanda could have no complaints. Columba had fewer clear-cut chances put but the ball away three times and that, after all, is what this game is about.

 

MOTM: Davie Crawford. Defended well and popped up with another good goal.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 1 Vale Utd 5 (HT 0 - 2)

 

Scorer - Coyle

 

Team - Fawns Wilkie Crawford O'Neill Evans Addison (Grant) Grehan Preston (Walker) McColgan Coyle Johnstone Sub not used Scott

 

After a great run of results Milanda suddenly look as if the end of the season can't come quick enough. A lot of effort has been put into the last few months and it looks to have taken its toll as Milanda have lost their edge and sharpness. Today's game was an uphill struggle from the off as Milanda found themsleves 2 down after 4 mins and never really looked like getting back into the game. Coyle did have a chance between the 2 goals to mark his return to the starting line up but his effort was touched away for a corner.

 

Milanda did have their chances in the first half with Preston just inches away from a Grehan free kick, Mccolgan got an effort on target and Crawford couldn't kee pthe ball down when a half chance presented itself after a corner. Vale had their chances to increase their lead with a free header and swift counter attack thatt ended with the ball on the wrong side of the post.

 

Milanda lost Preston halfway through the half when he landed awkwardly after challening for a header and had to come off. It wasn't his morning as he'd taken a sore one in the back of the head earlier. Johnstone was then denied a good penalty claim when the defender looked to have fouled him in the box but the ref wasn't interested.

 

Milanda did start the 2nd half much better and Johnstone had a stinging shot knocked away for a corner. Then a few mins later Crawford watched his header cleared off the line but the game was all but over when Vale made it 3 on 55 mins. Milanda let the heads go down a bit at this point and it was no surprise when no 4 arrived.

 

Milanda did finally get a consoltion when Coyle shook free of his marker and drilled a right foot shot passed the keeper to give Milanda a little hope.

 

The crowd were then witnesses to the miss of the season. The Milanda backline got in a real mess and Fawns came out to collect and missed the ball leaving an open goal for the Vale forward but he somehow managed to screw the ball past the right hand post with an empty net right in front of him. It wasn't to make any real difference and Vale made it 5 with a couple of mins left.

 

Was just one of those mornings. Losing the two early goals sucked the energy out of the team and it was just too much of a mountain to climb.

 

MOTM: Too many players just never got going but Grehan in the Milanda midfield kept pushing forward and delivered some great crosses and gets the dubious honour of MOTM award in a 5-1 defeat.

 

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League - Lochend

 

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

 

Scorer - Grehan, Evans

 

Team - Fawns Walker Wilkie Crawford O'Neill Binnie Addison (Grant) Grehan Evans Coyle Bradburn (Clifford) Sub not used Scott

 

Milanda fought to the 90th minute but came up against a very good Ballieston side that showed why they are the Division A champions and so far unbeaten in the league.

 

Milanda started the gme better and should have taken the lead after 5 mins when Bradburn picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box. His shot wasn't the best but it was enough to take it past the keeper who was happy to see the ball come back off the post. The Milanda defence were given plenty to think about but coped with the pressure well giving Thistle little real sight of goal. That was until a goal out of nothing. A ball into the box looked an easy pick up for Fawns but he failed to scoop it up and an alert Thistle forward toepoked it ito the net. It was an undeserved blow to Milanda and they were lucky not to be 2 down a min later when the ref judged a Thistle player to be offside when the ball was knocked along the 6 yard line. The goal had given Thistle an extra spring in their step and they started to show why they were so far ahead in the league. Quick one twos, passing into space and supporting each meant Milanda players were having to work extra hard all over the pitch. Fawns was left to push a shot from 12 yards over the bar after a quick attack and stepover let in a runner from midfield.

 

Milanda survived ths run of sustained pressure and began to search for a way back into the game. Adduison had a shot from the edge of the box that he didn't quite catch right then Coyle broke free on the left but was quickly closed down before he could get into the danger zone. Then brabburn had Milanda's best chance of the half after aball from the left left him with only the keeper to beat but he rushed his shot and the ball sailed over the bar.

 

Milanda were to pay for that miss as Thislte drove up the pitch and Crawford was guilty of hauling aThistle player back in the box. A poorly struck penalty was saved by Fawns but before anyone could react the player who missed the panlty redeemed himself by hitting it high into the net.

 

It had been a hard first half for milanda but they had stuck to their task and competed well. The start of the 2nd half though was all Thistle. Three great chances were scorned in the opening 10 mins to make it 3 before a Walker shot from outside the box was milanda's first real reply. John Clifford came onto replace bradburn with Evans moving upfront. he was only on a few misn when a swift Thistle counter attack ended in goal number 3.

 

Milanda did get some hope when penlaty number two was awarded afer an O'Neill shot hit the arm of a Thislte defender. Grehan once again cooly dispatched from 12 yards. Grant then came onto replace Addison. Milanda's hopes of a comeback were soon over when it was 4-1 on 72 mins. They were briefly re-ignited when Evans rounded the goal keeper and scored from a tight angle to make it 4-2 but were quickly snuffed out when Thistle's 5th hit the net on 80 mins.

 

Milanda did have couple of good chances to cut the deficit with Evans and Coyle both presented with opportunities but one was aved by the keeper and the other cleared off the line.

 

No real complaints from Milanda about the result. Thistle are a very good side but if Milanda play the same way in the final 3 games there is no reason why they can't finish the season with 3 wins.

 

MOTM: Great effort from the whole team when it would have been easy to give up the ghost but they stuck to their task well. Some solid defending at the back, lots of closing down in the midfield and thankless running upfront but for the 2nd game running Grehan wins the MOTM award for keeping possession and trying to create something for the forwards on an evening whee time and space was minimal.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 0 Bellahouston 3 (HT 0 - 1)

 

Team - Preston Walker Wilkie O'Neill Scott (Addison) Evans Bradburn Grehan McColgan Coyle Malone Subs not usedGrant Williamson

 

It's all gone a bit tits up for Milanda in the last few weeks. A fine season is in danger of being forgotten as Milanda try to overcome a complete loss of form. On the face of it a game against the all but relegated Bellahouston should have been exactly the type of game Milanda needed to get back on the winning trail but that's not how it panned out.

 

Once again Milanda found themselves chasing the game after losing an early goal. A long ball in behind the defence caught O'Neill out and allowed the Bellahouston forward to make his run into the box and he hit his shot across Preston in to the net. A few mins later it should have been two when a break down the left ended with a cross into the box that just failed to find its man. Bellahouston continued to pressure Milanda and a cross to the back post found a player completely unmarked but luckily for Milanda he failed to hit the target with his free header.

 

Milanda finally found the way to the Bellahouston goal on 19 mins when a Walker header was cleared off the line. Then McColgan got one of Milanda's few shots on target. Stand in keeper Preston came to Milanda's rescue with a great stop from a low shot from 10 yards. Milanda's best chance of a poor first half for Milanda fell to Bradburn who was unlucky with a lob from the edge of the box.

 

Milanda were lucky to reach the break only one behind and were hopeful of stepping it up to recover the game but sadly the second half was probably worse than the first. A superb chested flying goal line clearance from Evans kept Milanda in the game but the game was all but over when Bellahouston did get a deserved 2nd on 62 mins. It was a bit harsh on Preston who had made a fantastic stop from a close range shot but he was unable to stop the rebound hitting the net. The rest of the half saw Milanda try to salvage something from the game but nothing was going right for them. If there were two options Milanda players always picked the wrong one. The inevitable 3rd goal came along for Bellahouston and they could have had 2 or 3 more if it wasn't for Preston and some last ditch defending.

 

It was relief when the final whistle finally sounded. To the casual observer if they had to choose the team fighting relegation it wouldn't have been Bellahouston. All credit goes to Bellahouston on the day. On that type of performance it's hard to see how they are almost certain for the drop. 5 or 6 nil wouldn't have flattered them. As for Milanda only two games to go and hopefully we can pick ourselves up and finish the season with a couple of wins.

 

MOTM: After that kind of performance normally the MOTM award stays in the cupboard but on this occasion it is making its way to Chris Preston for his efforts in keeping the score down.

 

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League - Crownpoint

 

AC Milanda 4 Renfrew 1 (HT 2 - 1)

 

Scorers - Johnstone, Wilkie, Grehan, Coyle

 

Team - Preston Binnie (Walker) Grant (Addison) O'Neill Wilkie McLaughlan Evans (McColgan) Grehan Coyle Johnstone Williamson (Capt) Russell

 

Kevin Williamson brought the curtain down on his 26-year AC Milanda career by leading the team to victory in the sunshine. The victory was nowhere near as convincing as the scoreline suggests but after a run of defeats just taking three points came as a relief. All the boys were hoping to send Williamson off into the sunset on a high and worked very hard to get the result but at 2-1 the game was very much in the balance and only some excellent goalkeeping by Chris Preston and resolute defending by the men at the back kept Renfrew Town at bay.

 

Milanda started the game well and made the breakthrough after 10 minutes. New boy Colin McLaughlan’s cross from the left into the box was only partially cleared and top scorer Martin Johnstone pounced to drill a low shot into the net.

 

Williamson had a shot over the top as the home team kept pressing but when the second goal came in the 22nd minute it was from an unlikely source. Sweeper John Wilkie launched a long punt forward and the keeper seemed to take his eye off it as he came out, allowing the ball to bounce over this head into the net.

 

Three minutes later, Renfrew pulled one back with a shot Preston touched but couldn’t keep out after Martin Coyle had given away possession in midfield. Milanda were told at half-time they had to cut out such mistakes and this side of the game was definitely better in the second period.

 

However, it was tough to actually get hold of the ball because Renfrew were pushing forward in waves. Preston produced some quality goalkeeping and there were some narrow escapes as the visitors failed to get the goal their pressure deserved. Milanda even managed to defend a free-kick on the six-yard line awarded after Scott Grant had been forced to pass the ball back to his keeper when in a tight spot.

 

At the other end there wasn’t a lot happening at this stage, although Williamson was just too high with a header from a Johnstone cross, Johnstone then hit a shot wide and Coyle was unlucky not to make more of an attack that saw his persistence win him possession of the ball from the diving keeper.

 

But goal No.3 in the 70th minute took the heat off. Kevin Grehan was the scorer after a corner kick was knocked into the air and Williamson was first to it and laid it back to Grehan and he curled it in at the far post as Coyle challenged the keeper. Six minutes later a 4-1 win was complete when Grehan took a free-kick from the left this time and Coyle rose majestically to head home.

 

All in all, a great day for the team and the departing captain in particular.

 

MOTM: There is an argument for giving the award to keeper Chris Preston for the second match in a row following a string of fine saves but John Wilkie just nicks it for some sterling defensive play and, of course, his goal.

Match Reports

 

WM Drummond - Espieside

 

AFC Columba 4 AC Milanda 3 (HT 2 - 1)

 

Scorers - Bradburn, Own Goal, Evans

 

Team Fawns Addison (O'Neill) Crawford Preston Binnie Walker Early (Grant) Evans Russell Bradburn Coyle

 

A TRIP to Espieside to play AFC Columba would not be high on Milanda's wish list as a way of officially starting the season and once again it proved an unhappy hunting ground.

 

Milanda got off to a bad start, losing an early goal goal while trying to play offside, and the defending was suspect throughout the 90 minutes. Martin Bradburn scored his first goal for the team to make it 1-1, producing a cool finish inside the box after good inter-play between Ross Early and Martin Coyle on the right. But the Coatbridge boys scored again to turn around 2-1 ahead, Craig Fawns stopping one shot but being powerless to keep out the follow-up.

 

Milanda certainly weren't out of it at any stage and were back level again when a Mark Russell cross was turned into his own net by one of the home defenders. But Milanda were caught out by another quick counter-attack to go 3-2 down and it was 4-2 from the penalty spot after Fawns had been forced to pull down a Columba forward as he was about to score.

 

Gerry Evans cut the deficit to 4-3 with a low shot that sneaked in at the corner of the net but, despite a late push, Milanda couldn't snatch an equaliser.

 

MOTM: Mark Russell gets the nod for a power of work on the left of midfield. He tried to claim Milanda's second goal but the Dubious Goals Committee, chaired by Martin Coyle, has ruled it must go down as an og because the ball was travelling across the box and not heading for the net when the Columba defender intervened.

 

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WM Drummond - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 5 Parklife 4 (HT (2-1)

 

Scorers - Williamson, Evans (2), Johnstone, Coyle

 

Team Fawns Addison Wilkie Preston Walker (Duncan) Bradburn Coyle Evans Russell Johnstone Williamson (Traynor)

 

With Columba's 3-1 defeat of Parklife on Tuesday Milanda only needed a draw to progress to the Vince McGlinchey Shield and a chance to defend the trophy they won last season. In an entertaining game Milanda made life difficult for themsleves until a last minute winner finally decided the game and ensured Milanda took 2nd place behind Columba.

 

It was all Milanda in the early part of the game with the best chance falling to Walker who was unable to direct his header on target after a sweeping Milanda move. The game livened up with 3 goals in 5 mins. Milanda made the breakthrough after a Coyle run down the right resulted in a cross across the 6 yard box but had no takers. Johnstone kept the ball in play and sent in a cross from the left which Walker could only get a touch on but it fell kindly for Williamson and his re-directed header caught the Parklife keeper wrong footed to put Milanda in front. A few mins later and it was 2-0. Milanda used their aerial power at a throw in and Williamson's knock on finally landed at Evans who still had a lot of work to do but he got enough contact on the ball to take it out of the reach of the Parklife keeper down at his left hand post.

 

With Parklife hardly venturing near the Milanda box and Fawns having little to do it seemed Milanda had taken a grip on the game but with their first real effort on goal Parklife got themselves back into the game with a shot from the edge of the box that Fawns failed to hold. Parklife came more into the game and looked for an equaliser but it was Milanda who had the best chances. A header from Preston was brilliantly tipped over the bar and the same player was denied again by the keeper when he pushed away another goal bound header. Bradburn also had a chance when he found some space on the edge of the box but couldn't get the ball under control and was quickly closed down. Milanda finished the half the better side but couldn't extend their lead.

 

The 2nd half started with another 3 goal blast. Parklife got an equaliser after some sloppy Milanda defending but Milanda's response was immediate. Evans notched his 2nd and Milanda's 3rd when Russell and Johnstone combined on the left and Johnstone's cross into the box found Evans unmarked 8 yards out and he buried his header into the top corner. A few moments later and Milanda were 2 in front. Russell collected the ball on the edge of the box and his left foot shot was touched onto the post by the keeper but Johnstone was lurking and smashed the ball into the empty net. At this point it should have been game over but Milanda never do it the easy way. Russell had a chance to put the game beyond Parklife but his shot was blocked by the Parklife keeper and his long kick out caught out the Milanda defence and from having a great chance to make it 5-2 it was suddenly 4-3 and Parklife sensed they had a chance and upped their game. They had had Milanda on the back foot and made this period of play count when they once again got back on level terms. Williamson could only get a slight touch on a Parklife clearance but it was enough to wrong foot his defence and it fell kindly to a Parklife forward who had clear run on goal and he took his chance.

 

With the game now finely balanced it was impossible to predict. Milanda's defence had to be vigilant and Addison, Wilkie and Preston were getting in their blocks in important areas. At the other end Milanda continued to squander chances with the Parklife keeper having a great game both making important saves and at one point coming out of 3 challenges on the edge of his box with the ball. Milanda should however have taken at least one of the chances that fell to Walker and Russell amongst others.

 

As the game entered the last 5 mins Parklife threw everything into attack as they knew they had to win the game. With time running out they broke down the left and Fawns was left one on one but he closed down the angle well and got a foot to the shot and it was cleared away as McMillan on the sidelines watched through his hands. With so many players pushed forward Parklife were always going to be vulnerable at the back and a counter attack found Milanda 5 on 3 and Coyle peeled off left and was in acres of space when he finally received a pass. As he stepped inside a desperate challenge he hit his shot low and hard into the bottom left hand corner and Milanda had finally secured second spot. Parklife tried to pick themselves up but they knew it was all over and the ref's whistle brought to an end an exciting cup tie that Parklife can take a lot of credit from as they pushed Milanda all the way to the final whistle. Milanda know they will have to play better once the league campaign starts but it was a victory that should have been more comfortable and we will have to take more of the chances that come our way.

 

MOTM: It was mixed performance all over the pitch and was a typical hot and cold Milanda performance. there were some great moves particularly in the first half and more should have been made of the openings. At the back there were some worrying moments and a lack of concentration led to a couple of the Parklife goals but generally the defence coped well as Parklife players ran past the midfield which left the defence exposed but for the most part they coped well and Adda, despite a great fresh air shot in the 2nd half, was just ahead of his defensive colleagues and takes this week's award.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 4 AFC Columbas 2 (HT (2-2)

 

Scorers - Johnstone, Russell, Preston, Early

 

Team Fawns Addison Wilkie (Early) Preston Traynor Bradburn Coyle Evans Russell (Binnie) Johnstone (O'Neill) Williamson Subs not used Grant

 

Milanda gained some revenge for their defeat two weeks ago in the WM Drummond Cup in a tough encounter with the serial moaners of AFC Columba. No decision too trivial to moan about and general banter more suited to the playground which is a shame as Columba when they concentrate on the game play some neat football.

 

On this occasion Milanda won the physical battle which then allowed them to play the better football. Milanda once again started well and were the dominant team and it looked like only a matter of time before they scored but like last week the opposition scored with their first real attack. Fawns was caught in no man's land after coming out for a ball he didn't get and a breakdown in communication with his defenders. All that was needed from Columba was an accurate lob towards the unguarded net which was delivered hitting the underside of the bar on the way in and once again Milanda had to do it the hard way. They didn't take long to get back on level terms though. Johnstone harried the Columba left back and relieved him of the ball. As Johnstone advanced into the box he got a couple of lucky breaks before a well placed left foot shot leveled the game. Milanda were in front within a few minutes when a Coyle flick beat the offside trap and this allowed Williamson to break clear on goal. The Columba keeper couldn't decide whether to come out or stay on his line and this allowed Williamson time to cut the ball back for Russell who took a touch before stabbing the ball home.

 

Milanda continued to dominate and forced a number of corners but couldn't make them count. Bradburn was unlucky when Russell perfectly picked out his run into the box but although he beat the keeper to the ball his touch pushed the ball round the wrong side of the post. Milanda's central midfield were scrapping for everything with Traynor and Coyle winning most of their battles while Evans was quietly effective at nullifying Columba's most dangerous player but as half time approached Columba equalised against the run of play. A simple goal it was too. A long ball over the top completely exposed the Milanda defence and Fawns could do nothing to stop a well struck finish.

 

The 2nd half was a much closer affair but Milanda secured the points with a quick fire double. First up was Preston who was unlucky with two headers last week but was not to be denied this week as he bulleted home a header from a Russell corner which the keeper never saw until it came back out the net. The points were secured after some great work by Coyle on the right. A Bradburn pass set him free down the right wing and he hit a tantalising cross into the box with the outside of right boot it hung in the air long enough for Early's head to force it over the line at the left hand post.

 

Columba tried to get back into the game but found the Milanda defence resolute and they created few real chances. They did get the ball in the net but the referee correctly blew for offside. Williamson was given a red face when Grumpy the Columba sweeper megged him on the halfway line but that failed to make him Happy and Grumpy followed it up with a cowardly elbow off the ball but like his free kicks it was off target. Coyle was also a victim of an elbow off the ball as Columba began to show their frustration. Milanda were forced to make changes when Wilkie was replaced by Early with Traynor moving back into defence, Russell then had to go off after a clash on the edge of the box to be replaced by Binnie. Johnstone then picked up an injury and O'Neill was Milanda's final substitution. It wasn't an ideal time for Bradburn to get injured and Milanda were down to ten while he limped off to get treatment. He eventually returned to the action but was limping heavily. Milanda saw the game out and started their league campaign with a win that was thoroughly deserved.

 

MOTM: A much more consistent performance from Milanda overall but still too many misplaced passes and lapses in concentration that puts the team under unnecessary pressure but an improvement on last week. Some solid performances in the midfield where the game was won and lost. Again it was another world class display from Addsion at the back that gets him his 2nd MOTM award in a row.

 

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League - Hamilton Palace

 

Andrew Watt 1 AC Milanda 5 (HT (0-4)

 

Scorers - Evans, Early, Coyle (2), Johnstone

 

Team M. Coyle M. Coyle M. Coyle M. Coyle M. Coyle M. Coyle M. Coyle (stand in captain) M. Coyle M. Coyle (M. Coyle) M. Coyle M. Coyle Subs not used M. Coyle

 

HAVING drawn all previous matches against Andrew Watt, Milanda were delighted to get the better of them for the first time at Hamilton Palace.

The foundations for a handsome victory were laid in a fantastic first half during which Milanda played some stylish football, scored four goals and could easily have had more.

Not unexpectedly they took their foot off the gas a little in the second period but still managed to score a fifth goal before their opponents grabbed a consolation effort.

 

The warning signs were there for Andrew Watt inside the first few minutes when Martin Coyle, surely one of the finest players ever to grace the amateur game, burst through the middle and was thwarted by the alert home keeper.

It was 1-0 after 12 minutes. A man of Coyle’s talent must surely have been involved in some way but the main man was Martin Johnstone who broke on the right and took route one to goal. His shot across the keeper was heading for the far corner of the net but stuck in a puddle and Gerry Evans nicked the glory by forcing the ball over the line after a tussle with a defender.

 

Two minutes later came the second. Scott Preston was the provider with a long throw that the effervescent Coyle headed against the bar, leaving Ross Early a tap-in goal.

Andrew Watt couldn’t cope and Milanda scored a third in the 25th minute. A sustained spell of attack that included some tricky play on the left by Mark Russell ended with Early setting up Coyle for a goal he put over the line with his chest. Is there any part of his anatomy this goal machine of a man can’t use to bulge nets?

 

No Coyle goal is anything less than top class but Milanda’s fourth was a stunning finish even by his supremely high standards. Another long throw by Preston, this time from the left, wasn’t dealt with by the home defence and when the ball fell to Coyle at the back post he fairly lashed it into the roof of the net.

Milanda should have had a fifth before the break when Thomas Addison won a challenge against the Andrew Watt keeper, who had raced outside of his box in an attempt to clear. Somehow Adda wasted his good work by shooting wide of the unguarded goal.

 

If only he could finish like Coyle. If only everyone could finish like Coyle the world of football would be a better place.

The half-time team talk was all about completing the job and making sure Andrew Watt didn’t find a way back into the game.

They came out with all guns blazing after the restart but didn’t cause the Milanda defence many problems.

The points were made absolutely safe in the 65th minute when a superb long ball by Addison sent Johnstone clear and he cleverly evaded the onrushing keeper before firing the ball into the empty goal. Unbelievably, Coyle wasn’t involved, although he could probably claim a hand in it on the grounds that he is continually encouraging Adda.

With 10 minutes left, a bit of aggro in the box prior to an Andrew Watt corner saw Milanda lose concentration and the delivery was headed home from close range to make the final score 5-1.

 

A minor disappointment on a very good day for Milanda and the the fans, including Andy Wilson, went home happy.

 

MOM: Absolutely no failures on the day. Craig Fawns had one excellent save with his feet in the first half and his defenders, Dave O’Neill, Scott Preston and Davie Crawford provided good cover. Adda, Breezer, Ross Early, Gerry Evans and Mark Russell controlled the midfield and Mark Walker, Jim Binnie and Scott Grant kept up the good work when they went on. Up front, Martin Johnstone led the Andrew Watt defence a merry dance and was unlucky not to get more than one goal. Coyle did get more than one and takes the man of the match award for this and his all-round performance which was reminiscent of Diego Maradona at his best.

 

CALLING ALL FOOTBALL LOVERS

 

Martin Coyle will be giving a talk on great goals he has scored in the living room of his home every night this week and for several weeks to come. No need to book. Just turn up, listen and learn. A must for all genuine football fans. All welcome except Adda. Admission free. £15 to get out.

 

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League - Lochend

 

Ballieston Thistle 3 AC Milanda 2 (HT (1-1)

 

Scorers - Johnstone, Walker

 

Team Fawns Traynor Crawford Preston Evans Early McColgan (Addison) Coyle (Binnie) Jackson Johnstone Walker Subs not used Grant

 

MILANDA came close to nicking a point from the reigning champions despite having to play most of the second half with 10 men. Thistle keeper Mark King made an instinctive save in the last minute to deny Martin Johnstone his second goal of the game and ensure his side kept all three points. Milanda perhaps hadn’t done enough to merit a point but the players certainly battled hard on a day when not a lot went right for the team. Scott Preston was ordered off for his second bookable offence - it was more like his fourth but who’s counting – and Milanda also lost Martin Coyle and Marc McColgan with injuries during the course of a tough and highly competitive second period.

 

It was perhaps a sign of things to come when kick-off had to be delayed for 15 minutes because referee James Carberry had gone to the wrong venue, Stepford rather than Lochend Park. Fortunately the grounds are close to each other and he was able to drive up stripped for action.

 

Having made an uncharacteristically sluggish start to the season, Baillieston seemed lacking in confidence in the early stages and caused few problems. They improved as the game progressed and had a number of shots at goal but Craig Fawns was rarely called into action.

David Jackson created an opening at the other end with a deep cross that found Coyle and his shot across the keeper just zipped past the far post. But it was Baillieston who took the lead after 36 minutes. The Milanda back line was caught square and a Baillieston forward crossed from the left for a team-mate to knock the ball home from close range.

 

It was a poor goal to lose. If the Milanda defenders were playing for an offside decision, something that is never a good idea when there are no linesmen, they got it badly wrong. If not, why was the player who crossed the ball not marked?

Seven minutes later it was 1-1 thanks to an excellent set-piece straight from the training ground (if anyone knows where this is, let me know). A good corner by Jackson was won in the air and nodded towards goal by Davie Crawford and Johnstone provided the finishing touch with his head from two yards. Baillieston tried to restore their advantage immediately with a shot that Fawns saved and Milanda made it to the break on level terms.

 

The home team were out-muscling Milanda in midfield and continuing to make chances and yet found themselves behind after 57 minutes. Gerry Evans won the ball on the right and sent over a magnificent cross to the back post where Mark Walker pounced to score with a diving header. Unfortunately, they lead lasted just two minutes. With Evans off the field receiving treatment for a leg injury, Baillieston scored a headed goal from a corner.

 

Evans returned but after 62 minutes, Preston was ordered off. Booked earlier for criticising the referee over Baillieston’s opener, he made a reckless, not to mention unnecessary, challenge on Baillieston substitute Colin Wilson near the halfway line and could easily have been given a straight red. Referee Carberry decided it was worth just a second yellow but the result was the same – Milanda were a man down. To make matters worse, Baillieston scored what proved to be the winner from the resulting free-kick. The marking was non-existent as Baillieston skipper Mark McManus strolled into the box and knocked the ball down for a team-mate to fire past Fawns.

 

To their credit, Milanda kept scrapping away and, as their opponents kept passing up chances, there was always the chance they could salvage something. Evans just missed with a cross-cum-shot and Ross Early fired over the bar following nice build-up play by Evans and Johnstone. But the best chance of the lot fell to Johnstone in the final minute. A flick by Walker left him with just the keeper to beat inside the box but King read his intentions and stuck out a foot to divert the shot and Thomas Addison fired the loose ball wide.

 

A disappointing day but at least Baillieston left the field knowing they had been in a game.

 

MOM: A close call this week because everyone worked hard but the outstanding performers were Davie Crawford in defence and Gerry Evans in midfield, both of whom helped set up a goal. In the final analysis, defender Crawford just edges out his rival for man of the match.

 

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League - Netherpollok

 

AC Milanda 1 Ferguslie 2 (HT (0-1)

 

Scorers - McColgan

 

Team Fawns O'Neill Wilkie Preston (Grant) Addison Traynor McColgan Williamson Evans (Scott) Johnstone Walker

 

A day where Milanda were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal. Just one of those morning that the scoring boots were left at home.

 

Milanda started well and were unlucky not to take the lead after Williamson met a Traynor corner but his downward header was well saved by the keeper who kept the scores level with an even better stop from McColgan a few mins later at the back post. Ferguslie then took the lead with their first real attack. The Milanda defence were guilty of ball watching and not marking up leaving 2 on 1 on the left. A crossfield ball found one of those in space and his cutback to the edge of the box was dilled home leaving Fawns stranded.

 

Milanda hit back and McColgan went close with a shot from 20 yeards that was only a few inches too high. Traynor then had a free kick on the edge of the box that he maanged to clear the wall with but the keeper positioned himself correctly and picked off the effort. It was a lot of effort from Milanda but they couldn't find a breakthrough and reached half time still a goal behind.

 

Ferguslie became a more dangerous team in the 2nd half and became more of a handful for the Milanda defence. The 2nd goal in the game was going to be crucial and when it came it was for the Paisley side. A kick out from the Ferguslie keeper caught Preston running back into position and he was unable to get his head to it. the subsequent bounce caught out O'Neill and bounced over his head to leave the Ferguslie forward clear. it looked as if he'd delayed his shot too long and allowed O'Neill back to tackle but he manged to evade the attempted block and his shot found the net.

 

Milanda then proceeded to miss some great chances. Johnstone, so often the reliable goalscorer had one of those mornings, A Traynor lob put him through one on one with the keeper but his lob was too strong and cleared the bar. Then another Traynor pass got him in behind the defence but his shot from the edge of the 6 yard box went wide. He was unlucky when connecting with a diving header but he couldn't quite direct it on target. Walker then had a chance from the edge of the box after a cut back by Williamson but he hurried his shot and the keeper watched as it sailed over the bar. It just wasn't going to be Milanda's morning and they were lucky not to go 3 goals down when a shot came back off the post. Milanda's morning was just about complete when O'Neill was given a second yellow by the ref in the dying moments of the game for a last ditch tackle that was just a little late.

 

As the ref was checking his watch Milanda did finally get on the scoresheet when a lob from McColgan had everyone including the goalkeeper thinking it was going over the bar but somehow the ball sneaked in under the bar but it was too little too late and the ref blew the final whislte as the game re-started. A draw would maybe have been a fairer result but Milanda only have themselves to blame after missing some great opportunities.

 

MOTM: Couldn't fault the team for effort and with a calmer head and a bit of luck in front of goal could easily have taken all 3 points but at least deserved one. One man helped push the team forward and created a few opportunites for Milanda to score and that was Brian Traynor who has become an important player since joining Milanda this season.

 

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League - Stepford

 

AC Milanda 3 Glenavon 0 (HT (2-0)

 

Scorers - Evans, Russell, Johnstone

 

Team Fawns Grant (O'Neill) Addison Crawford Binnie Evans McColgan (Scott) Early Russell Johnstone Walker (Williamson)

 

Milanda had a fairly comfortable morning as they took their place in the 2nd round draw of the GDSML Cup.

 

Early exchanges were fairly even in the opening quarter of the game with a lack of clear cut chances from both sides. Milanda first threatened when a Johnstone run along the byeline was cut back to Evans but his shot was defelcted out for a corner. Then Johnstone was involved again as McColgan sent him on his way but a defender managed to get in a last ditch tackle to put it out for a throw. At the other end Glenavon failed to test Fawns as he watched a couple of efforts harmlessly fly over the bar.

 

Johnstone was again given a half chance after slack defending but he failed to connect properly and his left foot effort was easily cleared. He was again involved in the next move after chasing a long ball and his cut back gave Early a chance but again the Glenavon defence were up to the task and blocked his goal bound shot. The resultant corner saw both Johnstone and Grant have efforts blocked in the 6 yard box.

 

Milanda sprung the offside trap when McColgan fed a pass through for Johnstone but he couldn't shake off the attentions of the defender. Fawns finally was called into action in the Milanda goal when Glenavon got their first shots on target but neither caused any real worry. A loose ball by Walker in the Milanda half provided Glenavon with their next chance and the shot from outside the box was only a few inches over the bar.

 

The deadlock was finally broken when the Glenavon keeper decided to come for a ball on the edge of the box but found himself in no mans land. The ball broke left to Russell who took it into the box before crossing for Evans who had an easy tap in from 8 yards. This led to a sustained period of Milanda pressure. First Walker was sent clear by Johnstone but his intended return pass was just cut out by the keeper. Walker was then left red faced when a wayward shot by McColgan landed at his feet 10 yards out and to the left of the goal but despite being unmarked he hurried his shot and it ended up going out for a shy. The Johnstone/Walker combination set up Evans for a chance but again the defenders got a block in.

 

Glenavon couldn't postpone goal no 2 for long. Quick footwork by Early on the edge of the box allowed him time to slip a pass through to Russell who ran along the 18 yard line and shook off a tackle before finishing with a low right foot shot into the corner. It was all Milanda as half time approached and the Glenavon keeper was happy to see Evans put an effort over the bar after he could only palm a cross away. The half time whistle blew and Milanda are much the better side in the first half.

 

The 2nd half continues where first left off. McColgan watches as his shot is only inches over the bar. Walker then gets a break when he is clearly offside but the ref waves play on but the Glenavon keeper finally decides to come out and block and as Walker stabs the loose ball to Johnstone the ref decides that he is offside. Walker then watches as the keeper pushes his shot over the bar from 14 yards.

 

Glenavon then squander their best chance of the game when their forward turns the ball past the post from 8 yards when unmarked. Milanda then make a double substitution when McColgan and Grant are replaced by Scott and O'Neill. Glenavon then pass up on another great opportunity when Fawns gets his right foot to a net bound effort as Milanda start to lose concentration.

 

Milanda make the game safe a few mins later when the subs combine to allow Johnstone to make it 3. O'Neill hits a back post cross from the right that falls for Scott who knocks it back to Johnstone who is unmarked on the edge of the 6 yard box and he guides it with his left foot into the net.

 

As the game enters the closing stages Milanda hit the post and an Evans snapshot goes over the bar but the result is not in doubt. A Glenavon player takes his frustration out on Binnie at a Glenavon free kick and is lucky the ref doesn't see his kick off the ball. As things calm down the ref brings the game to a close and Milanda are worthy winners.

 

Special mention to Evil Knieval on the motorbike. We had a quick chat and it was unanimous. You're a fud.

 

MOTM: It was all change for Milanda this week as they made five changes from the team that faced Ferguslie. Grant making only his 2nd start of the season had a good game in defence before coming off and Crawford was solid at the heart of the defence but it was the return of Early to the midfield that made the most impact. He brought much needed bite and dig into the midfield and can always be relied on to give his forwards support and he takes this week's award. Special mention to Martin Johnstone who worked his socks off up front.

 

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This week's game was sponsored by Diocalm