A season that promised a lot in the early games but never quite delivered.
Milanda did hit double figures 3 times
Gerry Evans bagged 8 goals in one game
In true Milanda style they managed to throw away a 4 goal lead and be losing 5-4 before eventually winning 6-5
Also kept 3 clean sheets in row.
Last appearances in a Milanda jersey for Dunn and Hyslop
Match reports are below stats.
(Milanda's score always comes first)
4 - 1
Reid, Coyle, Evans, Fawns
1 - 4
Red Star Ballieston
1 - 0
1 - 1
15 - 1
Evans (8), Coyle (2), Early (2), Williamson, Duncan, Crawford
DS Street League
11 - 1
Williamson (4), Evans (3), Early (2), Johnstone(2)
0 - 3
3 - 3
Williamson (2), Crawford
3 - 2
Preston, Evans, Coyle
8 - 0
Johnstone(3), Grant, Early, Reid, Binnie, Evans
2 - 3
1 - 1
GDSML Cup 2nd round
5 - 0
Evans(3), Coyle, Johnstone
2 - 2
DS Street League
13 - 3
Johnstone (4), Evans (3), Williamson(2), Coyle, Early, Murray, Preston
GDSML Cup 1/4 Final
5 - 3
Evans (2), Williamson, Reid, Crawford
0 - 2
1 - 4
3 - 3
Johnstone (2), Early
4 - 4
Johnstone, Early (3)
GDSML Cup Semi Final
1 - 2
1 - 0
5 - 2
Murray, Williamson (2), Johnstone (2)
2 - 4
1 - 0
6 - 0
Johnstone (2), Walker, Crawford, Coyle, Reid
4 - 0
Reid, Johnstone (2), Coyle
0 - 4
3 - 1
Johnstone (2), Early
3 - 2
Early, Johnstone, Crawford
6 - 5
Reid (3), Johnstone (2), OG
2 - 2
9 - 2
Coyle (2), Johnstone (3), Walker (2), P.Johnstone, Evans
5 - 1
Crawford, Evans, Early, Scott. own goal
5 - 4
M.Johnstone (2), Own goal, Coyle, Walker
William Drummond League Cup - North Kelvinside
AC Milanda 1 Argyll 1 (HT (1-0)
Scorer - Coyle (pen)
Team Fawns, Grant (O'Neill), Dullaghan, Preston, Binnie McColgan, Early, Coyle, Scott, Evans (Williamson), Duncan..
Milanda’s season kicked off with a League Cup tie against first division Argyll. Playing on a red blaes park was a nostalgic trip back in time for a few Milanda players but most, if not all players, would now prefer grass.
The game kicked off and it took both teams a while to adapt to the conditions and it was Milanda who were first to threaten when an Evans shot from the corner of the box flew narrowly over. At the other end Milanda were coping well with the Argyll threat with Dullaghan, Preston and Grant clearing up anything the midfield let pass which wasn't much.
Chances were few and far between but Milanda broke the deadlock midway through the half after a trip on Early in the box gave Coyle a chance to open the scoring. Not much arguement about the award after Early got on the end of an Evans pass and he was clearly tripped by an Argyll defender. it was obvious Coyle was going to take the kick after he ran 50 yards to collect the ball. The perfect penalty sent the keeper the wrong way and Milanda were deservedly in front.
Argyll upped the pace to try and get back in it but couldn't find the final ball when taking up good positions. They had one good opportunity after Grant committed a foul on the edge of the box for which he recieved a booking. The wall did it's job though and the free kick spun away to safety.
Milanda weathered this short spell of pressure and should have made more of loose ball at the other end. Coyle collected a wayward pass and beat his man as he moved into the box but despite two attempts he couldn't get the cross in and his final shot was pushed away for a corner.
The half ended with Milanda holding onto their slender one goal lead.
The second half saw Milanda continue to dominate without finding the killer second goal. Evans was unlucky when a Binnie pass caught him just offside as he calmly put the ball in the back of the net. Milanda made a couple of changes with O'Neill coming on for Grant and then Williamson replacing Evans.
Milanda proceeded to squander two gilt edged chances which were to return to haunt them. First up was Dullaghan who found himself one on one with the keeper after a fantastic run from his own half. Sadly the finish didn't match the move and he put his effort the wrong side of the post. Then Early was given a great chance when Coyle found him in space on the edge of the box but the ball just wouldn't come down in time and his hurried shot was scrambled away by the keeper. In between these chances Fawns gave Milanda boss McMillan a heart attack when he attempted to dribble round an in rushing Argyll forward after a back pass. Luckily he managed to throw himself on top of the ball when he looked to have gifted Argyll an equaliser.
The game headed towards its conclusion and it exploded into life with only a few minutes left. A Dullaghan challenge wasn't appreciated by the Argyll sub who decided to dish out his own punishment. Players from both sides tried to restore calm before the ref gave both players a red card. More importantly he gave Argyll a free kick. Milanda pulled everyone back into the area to defend the free kick but it still sailed into the 6 yard box without anyone attacking it. Even then it looked as if Fawns would collect but the faintest of touches by an Argyll player was enough to take it past Fawns and give Argyll an undeserved equaliser. Milanda could be accused of poor defending but it was a great delivery into the box and maybe the events preceding the free kick were enough to break concentration.
The final whistle blew a few seconds later and Milanda paid the price for not taking their chances
The result leaves the position in the table quite clear. If Milanda beat Deanpark by 2 or more goals then they go through, if it's draw then it's the consolation of the Vince McGlinchey and defeat will put us out of all the comps.
Man of the match – Despite his sending off which many thought was a bit harsh Dullaghan is this season’s first man of the match. There were a few candidates but his ability to break up play and get a foot in at the vital moment just put him out in front.
William Drummond League Cup - Mount Blow
Deanpark 1 AC Milanda 15 (HT (1-7)
Scorers - Evans(8), Coyle (2, 1pen), Duncan, Williamson, Early (2), Crawford
Team Fawns, Grant(Crawford), Dullaghan, Preston, Reid(Early), Duncan(Binnie), Coyle, O'Neill, Scott, Evans, Williamson
In an incredible morning Milanda broke their biggest winning margin record, Evans took the record for most goals in one game (subsequently we were informed Colin Stewart once scored 9 in a game, sorry Gerry) and to round it all off a dog had a dump in the Milanda penalty box.
It was that kind of morning.
No one could have predicted what was to happen over the following 90 mins especially when Deanpark took the lead after 5mins with their first attack of the game. Milanda were left looking for an offside decision that never came and paid the ultimate penalty when a shot from the edge of the box beat Fawns who hadn't even touched the ball up to that point. It could have been worse for Milanda when a few minutes later Deanpark again got behind the defence but failed to take their chance to double their lead and that miss was to be the turning point of the game.
From the resultant bye-kick Milanda attacked down the Deanpark left. A ball into the box was deflected and broke free and as Williamson attempted to gather the loose ball his heels were clipped and the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Coyle, successful last week against Argyll, stepped up to take the penalty and despite slipping at the vital moment his kick gave the keeper no chance and Milanda were level.
It was then time for the Gerry Evans show to arrive. The first of his eight goals was a result of Milanda springing the Deanpark offside trap which left Evans one on one with the keeper and he slotted calmly away to put Milanda in front and start his first sequence of goals. His second and Milanda's third arrived soon after. A long kick out from Fawns was lost in the sun and no one could get on the end of it but Williamson was first to react when it bounced and his header found Evans just inside the box and his left shot across the goal found the corner of the net. It was only a few minutes later when he bagged his hat-trick when a poor clearance from the keeper landed at Evans feet and he coolly finished.
It was Duncan's turn to get on the scoresheet when Williamson made himself some space on the left and his inch perfect pass into the box found Duncan who had made a lung busting run from the halfway line. He took it in his stride and slotted it past the Deanpark goalie. Even at this point it was clear that Deanpark were about to be on the wrong end of a thumping as they could do nothing to stop wave after wave of Milanda attacks.
Coyle then got his second of the morning after a neat 1-2 with Williamson which put him clean through. Deanpark defenders desperately tried to get back to tackle him but as they chased him down they were unable to get a tackle in as Coyle unleashed an unstoppable shot past the keeper for one of the best finishes off the morning. That made it 6-1 and the first half scoring wasn't finished yet. The Deanpark defence again failed to clear a long ball and Evans muscled a Deanpark defender off the ball and then trundled a shot into the net that in all honesty the keeper should really have saved but at this point he was wishing he was anywhere but between the Deanpark goalposts.
Apart from the first few mins of the first half Milanda produced some of the best attacking football they've played in years and Deanpark could do nothing to stop the onslaught. In the end it could have been more than 7. Coyle had another of his trademark runs through the Deanpark defence but somehow managed to screw his shot well wide, Evans had another one on one with the keeper but his shot came back off the post and Williamson took advantage of a slack pass to get himself into the box but had his shot blocked.
At half time Deanpark took pity on their keeper and replaced him for the second half. While Milanda brought on Early and Crawford in place of Reid and Grant
At 7-1 you may have thought Milanda would have taken their foot off the gas a bit but the introduction of Early and Crawford ensured Milanda didn't rest on their laurels. Within 10 mins Milanda had reached double figures.
Straight from the kick off Early took the ball for a run and his back post cross was knocked back across goal by Evans and Williamson had the easiest of tasks to nod over the line from four yards. Early then got himself on the scoresheet after a powerful run saw him cut inside and beat two men before hitting a right foot shot that the keeper got a hand to but couldn't keep out. It was then Evans turn to start banging them in again. His 5th and Milanda's 10th has failed to register on the webmaster's memory. All I know is he scored but recollection of events are non-existant, if anyone can jog my memory feel free.
His 6th and 7th were not long in arriving. His 6th was the result of good work by Binnie after a Williamson dummy left Binnie clear on the right and his backpost cross was easily headed home by Evans and he went onto bag his 7th with a right foot shot into the top corner. Wave after wave of Milanda attacks were raining down on the Deanpark goal but some desperate defending, good goalkeeping and some questionable offside decisions helped Deanpark stem the tide a little. Although Milanda did get the benefit of the doubt on one offside decision and Williamson found himself free on the left but after hurdling a last ditch sliding tackle he couldn't regain control of the ball and the chance was lost.
Another goal wasn't far away though and after some excellent work form Scott down the left his near post cross was superbly finished by Early for his 2nd of the game. Evans bagged his eighth and final goal of the morning after an almighty scramble in the Deanpark box after a corner. Crawford had about 3 attempts blocked before it spun out to Evans and he again finished in great style. As if things weren't bad enough for Deanpark they went down to 10 men after this goal when one of their players caught an elbow in the face and had to leave the pitch and with no subs to come on they had to face the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Their misery was complete when the 15h and final goal arrived. Early again did some good work and squared to Williamson whose shot was parried by the keeper but Crawford picked up the loose ball and slammed it into the net.
The final whistle brought some welcome relief for Deanpark who, to their credit, didn't resort to putting the boot in when it was obvious they were going to be on the wrong end of a thumping. In fact the highlight for them was probably the appearance of a Doberman who casually ambled onto the park and proceeded to leave a present for Fawns in his penalty box.
It was just one of those days for Milanda and Gerry who almost scored with every shot. unlike Andy Scott who failed to score with any shot. Overall a great display and although we can't get carried after one match if we play with that kind of spirit and skill we shouldn't be far away at the end of the season.
Man of the match – One of the easiest weeks ever to pick MOTM. Got to go to the dog having a dump. Nah obviously it goes to Gerry Evans for an outstanding performance that even Bruce would have struggled to better if he'd been there.
League - Crownpoint
D.S. Street League 1 AC Milanda 11 (HT (0-6)
Scorers - Williamson (4), Evans(3), Early (2), Johnstone (2).
Team Dunn, Crawford, Dullaghan, Preston(Grant), Early, Duncan, O'Neill, Scott, Evans, Williamson, Johnstone.
2 weeks, 26 goals for and only 2 against. What's going on? For the second week running Milanda reached double figures after giving new boys D.S. Street League a harsh lesson and torrid welcome to the GDSML.
Milanda lined up with Dunn in goals for his first Milanda appearance of the season and McMillan decided to go with three upfront.
Milanda took control of the game from the off and were soon in front when Williamson scored an opportunist goal after a poor throw out from the keeper. Williamson intercepted the throw and as the keeper came out to retrieve the situation he found himself in no mans land as Williamson flicked the ball over his head and headed into an empty net. Not the start Street League wanted and it was the start of a difficult morning as they crumbled under Milanda pressure.
Evans continued his goalscoring streak from last week when a flick on by Williamson after a great defensive header from Preston sent him clear and he neatly buried the ball past the keeper at his left hand post. He quickly claimed his 2nd after a break down the left set Williamson free and his pass inside found Early on the edge of the box whose first time ball was clinically finished by Evans with a low left foot shot.
Goal number four was route one football. A long ball from Crawford caught out the Street League defence and Williamson brought the ball under control with his chest before calmly stroking it over the advancing keeper. Goal number five was probably the best move of the game when Early and Scott exchanged a number of passes before Early cut inside on the edge of the box and hit an unstoppable shot past the keeper. Williamson should have had his hat trick when the Street League defence were again caught by another long ball but Williamson's finish was poor and the chance was wasted. A dubious offside decision a few moments later again denied him his hat-trick when he pounced after the keeper failed to hold a shot and he stuck the ball into an empty net but the ref judged him to be in an offside position.
As the half came to a close Johnstone was presented with a couple of chances but couldn't find a way past the DS keeper and Scott was denied by the keeper when he hit a net bound shot from a tight angle but the keeper managed to get a hand to it to knock it away. The 6th goal did finally arrive and Evans completed another first half hat-trick with a right foot shot from 12 yards.
Half time brought some respite for Street League who were finding it almost impossible to get anywhere near the Milanda goal. Milanda could easily have reached double figures in the first half but could be happy with their all round play.
The onslaught on the Street League goal continued in the 2nd half. Williamson finally completed his hat-trick with a header from 6 yards out after a Duncan corner was blocked but his 2nd cross was delivered into the danger area at pace and Williamson got to it first. Johnstone finally got himself on the scoresheet after a frustrating morning when he took advantage of a poor clearance by the keeper and he calmly rolled it past the keeper into the net. He scored his 2nd and Milanda's 9th when he beat the offside trap and again the Street league keeper was unable to prevent him scoring. Early was then given an opportunity to claim his 2nd but hit his shot wide when through on goal. He did make up for for that miss when hitting another great shot from outside the box that bulged the back of the net before the keeper moved. Milanda had hit double figures for the 2nd week running.
As Milanda took their foot off the gas a bit Street League began to finally make some chances of their own. They were awarded a penalty for their efforts when Dunn was judged to have fouled the Street league forward. Seemed a rather soft decision but little arguement from Milanda. Justice was done though when the kick was put past the left hand post. Street League did finally get some reward for their efforts when they broke free and although looking offside the ref waved play on and Dunn was unable to stop them scoring.
Veteran striker Williamson proved there was life in the old dog yet when he completed the scoring with his 4th of the game when side footing home a cut back from Scott with a few mins left on the clock.
No dogs crapping on the pitch this week but another solid performance from Milanda from back to front. The defence like last week were never under amy sustained pressure but coped with what they had to do and were involved in initiating a fair number of the numerous Milanda attacks. The midfield supported the attack well and helped out in defence when needed and upfront a return of 18 goals from the forwards over two weeks isn't too bad. Can't afford to be complacent though as we won't have it this easy every week.
Man of the match – Again the forwards provided the bulk of the goals. Williamson rolled back the years with four goals and Evans again proved deadly in the box with another hat-trick but MOTM goes to Ross Early this week for an outstanding performance in midfield. Always available to take a pass, make tackles and support his forwards.
League - Toryglen
AC Milanda 0 Allander 3 (HT (0-2)
Team - Walker, , Preston, Grant, O'Neill, Duncan (Scott), Early, McColgan, Binnie, Evans, Williamson (Reid), Fawns.
After the goal fests of the previous two games it was reality check time for Milanda as they suffered their first competitive defeat of the season. Allander, so often a difficult opponent for Milanda, deservedly left with a clean sheet and all 3 pts and Milanda can have little complaint.
As games go Milanda made heavy weather of this game from the off and had a first half they would rather forget. The first and probably best Milanda chance of the first half fell to Williamson. A Fawns cross from the right found Williamson in space at the back post but he hurried his shot and the chance was gone.
At the other end Allander were using the width of the park to good effect and were pulling Milanda's back three all over the place. As they began to exploit the gaps that were appearing they were unlucky not to take the lead when Walker managed to palm a shot on to the post and the ball ran along the goalmouth before being cleared. It was a warning Milanda failed to heed and another long ball wasn't fully cleared and as it was returned into the box Preston fouled Allander forward Dougie in the box and a penalty was given. From the resultant kick Walker had no chance and Milanda were one down.
Milanda attempted to get back into the game but were continually frustrated by Allander whose midfield and back four were closing Milanda down and never allowing Milanda to settle. It increasingly looked like Milanda would have to rely on the dead ball situations to get back into the game. The most dangerous of these was from throw ins but in what was to become the pattern of the game each throw in brought more frustration as Williamson, who won almost every header, watched as his numerous knock ons failing to be converted.
It was a frustrating first half for Milanda as even when they got to the byeline cutbacks just couldn't find a Milanda man and passes were going astray all over the park. Allander continued to press Milanda and on one of those attacks they doubled their lead. Another defence splitting pass left Walker exposed on a one on one but he managed again to deflect the shot onto the wood work, this time the bar, but Allander were quicker to react and simple tap in from a couple of yards increased the pressure on Milanda.
Fawns had a half chance when he got on to the end of a flick on but the ball wouldn't come down quickly enough and he hurried his shot that didn't trouble the keeper.
The half time whistle signaled the end of a desperate first half from Milanda and McMillan rightly got stuck into his team for their poor display.
The second half was unfortunately more of the same. more effort was applied but the game looked to have already run away from Milanda. Again Williamson was winning everything in the air from throw ins but the closest they came to a goal was when Evans skied a knock on over from 6 yards. It summed up the morning perfectly. Evans had one of Milanda's few other chances of the 2nd half when he rode a couple of tackles but his shot was well saved.
Milanda brought on Reid for Williamson in an attempt to change things but little changed and Milanda Allander finally pushed the game beyond them with a 3rd goal. A free kick was hit long to the back post and a simple tap in was enough to make the pts safe. It could have been more for Allander but Walker made some important stops to keep the score down while at the other end the Allander keeper was having a relatively easy time of it.
Milanda welcomed the final whistle and can have little complaint about the final result. Hopefully just one of those mornings.
Man of the match – After a performance like that there usually aren't any contenders but Walker in the Milanda goal deserves some recognition for his efforts. Made a couple of important stops in the 1st half and was unlucky to see his save at the second goal come back off the bar and leave an easy tap in. When Allander threatened to add to their lead in the 2nd he made 2/3 saves to keep the score down. Probably the only person on the park who can be pleased with his performance.
League - Hamilton Palace
Andrew Watt 3 AC Milanda 3 (HT (1-2)
Scorers - Williamson (2), Crawford.
Team - Fawns, Grant (Crawford), O'Neill, Preston, Reid, Coyle, Williamson (Early), McColgan , Scott, Evans (Duncan), Johnstone.
A case of two points dropped this week after Andrew Watt, in a re-run of last season's game score with almost the last kick of the game. Milanda only have themselves to blame for not killing the game off. Still on the positive side it was a much improved performance from last week.
Milanda took the first ten minutes to get over their hangover from last week and again seemed incapable of stringing any passes or moves together and it was no surprise when they went behind to an early Watt goal after a loose ball in a crowded box found it's way into the net. It was the wake up call Milanda needed and they started to play a bit of football as their passing game returned. Unfortunately moves were breaking down as Andrew Watt's offiside tactics caught out Milanda's strikers time and again. Although Evans did finally get an offiside call in his favour but couldn't get a strong enough shot on target and a few moments later Johnstone found himself in a similar position but again couldn't find a finish.
Milanda's pressure did finally pay off when a perfectly weighted pass by Coyle eluded two desperate lunges from Watt defenders before putting Scott free on the left. Scott took one look up and delivered an inch perfect cross into Williamson's path and he had the easiest of tasks knocking the ball under the keeper from 6 yards. A few moments later Williamson collected his second to put Milanda in the lead.
A long throw was aimed at the front post and a Watt defender got there first but his header only succeeded in knocking the ball back across his 6 yard box and Williamson lurking at the back post sent a header into the top corner to put Milanda in front. After last weeks frustrations at throw ins it was good to get a slice of luck for a change.
The rest of the half was mostly a battle in midfield with both defences clearing up anything that came their way. A half of few chances finished with Milanda still in front.
Only a few minutes ino the 2nd half and Andrew Watt were level. A diagonal through ball from midfield caught out the Milanda defence and a grateful Andrew Watt forward accepted the pass and finished well from a slight angle to make the game level. A few minutes later Crawford was introduced to the game in place of Grant and the substituiton had an immediate impact.
Milanda won a shy halfway into the Watt half and Evans launched a long throw in to the box which Williamson reached first and his knock on to the back post was headed into the net by Crawford, his first touch since coming on.
Milanda tried to finish the game off and Evans had a fantastic run that took him past most of the Watt defence and along the touch line before the ball hit Johnstone on the arm. McMillan then made his second change with Early coming on for Williamson. The game headed towards its conclusion and although Milanda couldn't get the killer fourth goal Andrew Watt were creating very little to worry the Milanda defence. Johnstone and Evans were doing some fine work as they held onto the ball and tracked back to help out the midfield and defence. Duncan replaced Evans to give Milanda some fresh legs and it looked as if the three points were safe but the last few mins seemed to take forever and a foul by Scott on the halfway line gave Andrew Watt one last chance to put pressure on the Milanda defence.
A long high ball is usually meat and drink to the Milanda defence but for some reason this one never got cleared and it spun in to the box finding a Watt player in the clear and he thumped it into the top left corner. It was particularly hard on Fawns who had one of his easiest afternoons but found himsllf having to pick the ball out of the net 3 times. The final whistle sounded moments later and Milanda had thrown away two points.
It was a hard one to take for Milanda and in many ways felt worse than last week when we were completely outplayed but this week 3 points should have been in the bag but as the old cliche goes the game lasts for 90 mins (or 95 in our case).
Man of the match – Was a better overall performance than last week without any real standout displays. The boss suggested Martin Johnstone for his effort and willingness to be available for his team matesso he is this week's MOTM
League - Crownpoint
AC Milanda 3 Club Sporting 2 (HT (1-0)
Scorers - Preston, Evans, Coyle
Team - Walker, Preston, O'Neill, Early Scott (Binnie), McColgan, Coyle, Williamson (Fawns), Evans (Grant), Reid, Johnstone.
Another stuttering display from Milanda but fortunately they emerged with 3 points after making life difficult for themselves.
It was a perfect start for Milanda when they took an early lead after a Reid corner was met at the backpost by some part of Preston's body and found its way into the net. Milanda failed to build on this though and like previous weeks found it hard to get any fluency in their game. CS were giving the Milanda defence problems with their pacey forwards but Milanda managed to keep them at bay for the first 45.
At the other end Reid was doing his best to provide ammo for the forwards. A few dangerous crosses were desperately cleared by the CS defence and Reid also won a couple of free kicks which didn't come to anything. A mostly forgettable first half ended with Milanda leading by preston's early goal.
The second half started badly for Milanda when Preston was beaten in the air and the ball fell into the path of an unmarked CS forward who took a few strides into the Milanda box and hit a low finish past Walker.
An odd few mins followed which saw Milanda lose two players to injury and regain the lead. First up was Scott who was hit hard by two CS players and sustained a leg injury that forced him to come off with Binnie taking his place. Then Williamson went down with no one near him. He gingerly got back to his feet just in time to see a Coyle pass send Evans through on goal and he shot under the diving keeper to put Milanda back in front. A few mins later Williamson admitted defeat and was replaced by Fawns. His injury later turned out to be soft tissue damage to the ankle and will keep him out for 6 weeks.
Milanda went looking for the killer 3rd goal and it came form Coyle after another excellent corner from Reid found Coyle unmarked in the 6 yard box and he easily finished.
The game looked dead and buried at that point but CS kept going and were rewarded with a 2nd goal with a couple of mins left on the clock. It gave Milanda a worrying few mins but they played out time and secured the three points.
And before I forget Dave O'Neill was playing.
It was another morning of hard work for Milanda but we played better than that against CS last season and lost 4-1 so we can't complain too much.
Man of the match – Mark Reid was the provider for two goals, swung in some dangerous crosses and wasn't afraid to take a player on. Did a power of work up and down the right wing and he takes this week's award.
League - Yoker
Crosslands 0 AC Milanda 8 (HT (0-3)
Scorers - Johnstone (3), Grant, Early, Reid, Binnie,Evans.
Team - Walker, Grant, Crawford, O'Neill, Binnie, Coyle, Early, McColgan, Scott (Fawns), Reid, (Evans), Johnstone.
Despite a heavy, rainsoaked pitch it was an easy morning's work for Milanda. Despite plenty of effort from Crosslands they just couldn't compete with Milanda.
1 min - Milanda take the initiative from the off and after some neat interplay an Early pass into Reid inside the box produces the first chance of the game but the keeper saves Reid's shot and Coyle's rebound effort is deflected for a corner. A perfect Reid delivery to the back post finds Johnstone unmarked and he bundles the ball over the line for a perfect start.
Goal number 1 - Johnstone lurks at the back post to score Milanda's first
2 mins - Reid plays in Binnie but the keeper is out quickly to block and the ball is cleared.
3 mins - Reid gets a chance inside the box but can't keep his shot down.
12 mins - Crosslands first real chance of the game when they win a free kick on the edge of the Milanda box but a poor effort doesn't trouble Walker and sails harmlessly over the bar.
14 mins - Goal number 2 - A short corner between Coyle and Reid gets the ball into the box but is cleared but straight back to Reid and his second delivery is headed home by Grant giving the keeper no chance.
Goal number 2 Grant completely unmarked heads into the top right hand corner of the net.
16 mins - O'Neill tries a shot from 35 yards. Don't think he'll try another one.
18mins - Scott tries an overhead kick. Don't think he'll try another one either.
Insert your own caption here
20mins - Early volleys just wide
Early puts just wide. Not sure what's going on with Scott and Johnstone though.
24 mins - After numerous chances goal number three finally arrives. A knock on from Johnstone finds Reid and he plays in Early who has burst through from midfield. Early delays his shot and when he finally shoots the keeper lets the ball trundle past him when he should really have done better.
Johnstone's wins the header that leads to Reid putting in Early for goal number three
26 mins - As Milanda threaten to run riot Coyle is unlucky as he puts one round the wrong side of the post.
27 mins - Johnstone sets up Reid but he shoots past.
43 mins - McColgan's turn for a shot but again he can't get it on target.
HT - As easy a first half as Milanda will have all season.
46 mins - Milanda start the 2nd as they did the first with Johnstone showing neat footwork and beating 3 players before placing a right foot shoot into the corner of the net.
47mins - It's soon 5 when Reid slams a loose ball high into the net from 5 yards.
Milanda did have to do the occasional defending
55mins - Scott is sent clear on the left and as he lines up his shot the keeper is already running off the pitch to retrieve it.
62 mins - Reid looks for his second but the keeper makes a good save from his right foot effort.
Milanda defence caught ball watching.
64 mins - Binnie decides to get his name on the score sheet with a shot from the edge of the box that the keeper sees too late.
65 mins- Adda on the touchline nearly kills Evans with a golf ball.
70 mins - Milanda make a double substitution with Evans (still suffering from shock) and Fawns replacing Reid and Scott.
80 mins - A superb Early strike from 20 yards comes crashing off the bar with the keeper beaten.
82 mins- A shaft of sunlight gets in Crawford's eyes as he misses a golden chance at the back post when he heads onto the post.
85 mins - Evans runs onto a pass from Early and takes his time before picking his spot for goal number 7.
Evans turns away after getting goal number 7
89 mins - Johnstone beats the offside trap and runs 40 yards before rounding the keeper and deservedly getting his hat-trick and Milanda's 8th
Johnstone rounds off a good morning's work and completes his hat -trick.
Couldn't have been much easier for Milanda. Crosslands provided little threat to the Milanda goal and Milanda werejust too good for them all over the pitch.
Man of the match – Some solid performances, Early again played to his usual high standard. Reid was involved in a lot of the important moves and had assists for 3 of the goals but this week the award goes to hat-trick hero Martin Johnstone who never gave the Crosslands defence a moments peace and took his goals well. Some people commented that his last MOTM award came across as grudged which wasn't the webmaster's intention, I just couldn't decide who should get it after me and took the boss's choice and while I'm at it I believe the ball through for Gerry's goal last week was from Martin J and not Coyle as i put in the report.
Hope that's cleared everything up and hope you're not getting a complex Martin.
League - Netherpollok
Ac Milanda 2 Strathclyde Uni 3 (HT (1-1)
Scorers - Johnstone (2).
Team - Walker, Crawford, Dullaghan, O'Neill, Binnie, Coyle, Early, McColgan (Fawns), Scott (Preston), Evans, Johnstone.
A re-arranged game with Strathclyde Uni that saw milanda create a barrowload of chances but it was to be just one of those mornings.
5 min - Milanda win a free kick 30 yards out but McColgan's effort goes over the bar.
Early free kick from McColgan fails to trouble Uni keeper
8 mins - Slightly against the run of play Milanda take the lead. Crawford's header from McColgan corner hits the bar and Early knocks the rebound back across goal and Johnstone heads it over the line although the Uni keeper nearly manages to keep it out.
10 mins - Lead is shortlived. A loose ball in midfield is sent goalwards by Strathclyde's number 6 and his left foot shot catches Walker off his line and levels the scores.
14 mins - It nearly gets worse for Milanda as Strathclyde break and should probably have taken the lead but shot is screwed wide of the left hand post.
16 mins - Evans looks to regain Milanda's lead when he gets in behind the defence and lobs the onrushing keeper. As he waits for the ball to come down to tap into an empty net the keeper scrambles back and punches it away for a corner
17mins - From the resultant corner Crawford heads wide when arriving late at the backpost.
This would have been better as a video but Scott brings ballet to saturday morning football
27 mins - Early is unlucky when his chip from 25 yards has the keeper beaten but it doesn't come down quick enough and hits the top of the bar.
33 mins - A Strathclyde free kick has Walker scrambling across his goal but it curls past.
Milanda face up to a Uni free kick
35 mins - Early has another half chance but shoots straight at the keeper.
40 mins - Early involved again after a corner is knocked back to him but his effort goes over the bar.
HT - Game remains 1 - 1.
46 mins - Dullaghan and Binnie combine to give Early a chance but his shot fails to hit the target.
48mins - Johnstone watches his header from a cross by Evans go past the post.
50 mins - Strathclyde take the lead. Crawford is beaten to a high ball and the flick on is well finished from the edge of the box.
55 mins - Should be 3-1 after a great run down the right is cut back but the forward fails to connect properly and Milanda are happy to see the ball go by.
Milanda put on the pressure from another long throw.
57 mins - Johnstone makes a great run into the box and despite a couple of tackles he emerges with the ball but there is no one in the box to take advantage of his cut back from the byeline.
59 mins- Johnstone tries his luck with a shot that the keeper saves well as Milanda pile on the pressure.
64 mins - It's not Early's day as his perfectly timed run leaves him one on one with the keeper. He rounds the keeper but delays his shot just a few seconds and two Uni players get back. Early's shot beats the first one but the second player scoops the ball off the line.
65 mins - Evans gets a chance on the right of the box but his shot is well over the bar. Milanda make a substitution when Preston replaces Scott.
66 mins- Finally Milanda get a deserved equaliser. A corner breaks to Johnstone 10 yards out and he controls it on his chest before calmly slotting it in the left hand corner. It's no more than Milanda deserve.
70 mins - Milanda go searching for the winner and Crawford can't believe he hasn't scored when the keeper saves from almost point bank range after a corner.
Crawford can't believe he hasn't scored.
No Milanda player can take advantage of the rebound
75 Coyle wins a challenge in the box that breaks to Evans but again the keeper denies Milanda
Another save by the Uni keeper.
76 mins - Completely against the run of play and out of the blue Strathclyde take the lead. The cameras missed this one but reports suggest an attempt from distance caught Walker by surprise and just sneaked over the line after coming off the underside of the bar.
79 mins - A stunned Milanda come fighting back and Johnstone sees a great chance go past the left hand post.
Johnstone tries to find a way through.
83 mins - Johnstone takes a great first touch in the box but again the keeper is his equal and pushes his shot away for a corner.
86 mins - Milanda win an indirect free kick after the ref penalises the keeper for picking up a backpass. The ball is touched back to Coyle but the wall does its job and he ball is cleared. Milanda keep going to the final whistle but it's clear it isn't going to be their day and Strathclyde Uni celebrate as the ref signals the end of the game.
Disbelief was the reaction in the dressing room afterwards. Strathclyde only had about 4 shots on goal and scored with 3 and Milanda had about 20 and scored with 2. Luck deserted Milanda in front of goal and we'll play worse than that and win.
Man of the match – A good all round team performance. Johnstone continues his scoring streak. Dullaghan looked sharp on his return to the team but this week's award goes to Coyle who is finally beginning to look like his old self. Made a number of his trademark runs and didn't do too badly for a one trick pony.
League - Mountblow
Kilpatrick Thistle 1 AC Milanda 1 (HT (0-0)
Scorer - Coyle.
Team - Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, O'Neill (Grant), Binnie, Coyle, , McColgan, Reid, Evans (Fawns), Johnstone.
The old adage that 10 men can be harder to beat than 11 was proved correct on the ash at Mountblow as Milanda struggled to draw with the unbeaten newboys.
When it was 11 v 11 in the first 15 minutes, Milanda seemed to have the upper hand on a big and bumpy pitch that made good football difficult. However, when the home side's No.8 Paul Cairney was sent off for using fouland abusive language to referee Dan Boyle in a dispute over a throw-in, the pattern changed.
Kilpatrick had a cause to fight for and were determined to take at least a point from the game. Despite having the bulk of the possession, Milanda didn't make the home keeper work enough. He had one good save from Dave O'Neill very early on but other chances were squandered. Gerry Evans missed the best of them, knocking the ball over from close range with just the keeper to beat.
Kilpatrick stunned Milanda by taking the lead early in the second period. No.11 Peter Potts picked up a clearance by Davie Crawford and beat three men on a mazy run before bending a low shot past Steve Walker and into the corner of the net. From then until the end of the game it was mainly one-way traffic towards the home goal but again the keeper was rarely tested.
Martin Johnstone missed the best of the chances, shooting wide when clear through, and Scott Preston hit the bar with a header from a corner. Milanda's only goal came from a Martin Coyle penalty after Kilpatrick No.5 Stewart Alderdice had needlessly handled a long throw.
A bad day but, considering Kilpatrick had another couple of chances on the break, Milanda went home consoling themselves with the thought that at least they hadn't lost.
Man of the match - Jim Binnie didn't put a foot wrong at left wing-back.
GDSML Cup - Wishaw
AC Milanda 5 Hamilton Wanderers 0 (HT (2-0)
Scorers - Evans(3), Coyle, Johnstone
Team - Walker, Fawns, Crawford, Preston, Scott, Reid, Coyle, Williamson(Dullaghan), Binnie , Evans, Johnstone.
Not ideal conditions for football but Milanda coped better with the swirling wind and ended up deserved winners in this 2nd Round tie.
It could have been different though if Wanderers had taken a few of the chances they created. In fact they should have opened the scoring when the bounce of the ball went their way just inside the Milanda half that wrong footed the Milanda defence and the Wanderer forward was left one on one with Walker. The forward's shot beat the advancing Walker but to Milanda's relief it cannoned off the post and the follow up shot by another forward was blazed high and wide. It was a real let off for Milanda and they threatened at the other end with a succession of corners but failed to make any of them count.
The opening goal finally arrived when Evans robbed Wanderers centre half and sped into the box before slotting the ball under the keeper. Wanderers had a great chance to level the game when a long ball found Wanderers 2 on 1 and when the ball was knocked back into the box it looked a certainty to be a goal but Walker got across his goal to save well from a poor header from the Wanderers forward.
Milanda heeded this warning and doubled their advantage a few minutes later when they sprung the offside trap that led to Evans having a clear shot on goal. his first effort was blocked by the keeper but his second effort with his left foot found a way past the defenders on the line. The goal caused some heated arguments in the Wanderers team and it was a few mins before they calmed down and play could be re-started. Continual moaning at the ref and each other was a theme of Wanderers performance and on another day could have seen more than a few players booked and near the end when they started to lash out a few red cards would have been justified.
Wanderers created a few more chances to get themselves back into the game but their finishing again let them down.
Milanda played with the wind behind them in the 2nd half and pressed Wanderers looking for the clinching third goal. Another succession of corners delivered by Reid caused Wanderers concern but they held firm and kept Milanda at bay.
Wanderers even made their own forays up the park but were finding it difficult to make headway against the wind although in one break the forward should have hit his shot early on the angle but again Walker made a good stop.
Milanda finally got the decisive third when a shot from the edge of the box was only pushed out by the keeper under pressure from Williamson and Evans followed it up to complete his hat-trick. Immediately Williamson was replaced by Dullaghan before the game was re-started.
Straight from kick off Wanderers pushed up the pitch and were unlucky to see a shot come back off the bar with Walker beaten. This was their last real chance of the game as Milanda took complete control and relaxed with a three goal cushion. It soon became four when Coyle got on the end of a cut back into the box and from 18 yards hit a low shot past the keeper.
Johnstone finished the scoring when slamming home from a few yards out when the keeper couldn't hold a close range header by Dullaghan.
Frustration got the better of Wanderers when they over-reacted to a couple of fouls in quick succession which the ref took a lenient view of but could have had more serious consequences.
The final whistle signaled Milanda's progression into round three and on a day where the weather played a major part Milanda can be happy with the victory.
Man of the match – Not a day for playing football but Milanda tried to keep it on the deck and play some kind of football but the wind made if difficult. Evans found his scoring boots again and scored a good hat-trick but Walker in the Milanda goal made some important stops at vital times and just pips him to this week's award.
League - Nethercraigs
AC Milanda 2 Renfrew 2 (HT (1-0)
Scorers - Coyle, Crawford
Team - Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, Scott, McColgan, Coyle, Binnie Reid, Evans, Johnstone.
Milanda's first game of 2007 wasn't one for the purists and a scrappy affair finsihed in a draw that was probably a fair result over the 90 mins.
1 min - Renfrew nearly take an early lead when catching the Milanda defence cold but a cut back from the byeline fails to be finished off.
14 mins - Evans just fails to hold the line and is correctly blown offside after a pass from Binnie
17 mins - Milanda have a shot in general direction of Renfrew goal but Coyle's efort sails well over the bar.
19 mins- Dullaghan fails to clear his lines and is grateful not to see a header open the scoring.
24 mins - Evans is nearly put through but Coyle's pass is just too strong.
28 mins - Johnstone picks up a loss clearance on the edge of the box and his volley just dips over the bar.
30 mins - Renfrew make space on the edge of the Milanda box but the final shot fails to test Walker and goes past the right hand post.
35 mins - A swift break by Milanda sees Preston join the attack and his cross from a Johnstone pass is well defended and goes for a corner.
38 mins Evans nearly breaks the deadlock when he latches onto a through ball but his toe poke beats the keeper but finshes the wrong side of the post.
40 mins - Milanda take the lead with a well worked goal. Evans finds himself in space on the left and his cut back lands perfectly for Coyle who takes it in his stride. Binnie manages to get in the way of his first effort but the rebound falls nicely for Coyle who strokes the ball home.
45 mins - Milanda almost double their lead on half time when Evans is denied by the keeper who rushes out to narrow the angle after he breaks into the box. A few seconds later McColgan has an effort from outside the box but can't keep the shot down and Milanda finish the half 1 up in a poor game of football.
48 mins - Renfrew waste a great chance to equalise. A break down the right has Milanda scrambling to get back and the cross into the box finds a Renfrew player in plenty space but his header fails to hit the target and goes over the bar.
50 mins - Another wasted chance for Renfrew when a cut back is hurriedly hit over the bar.
54 mins - Evans picks up loose ball on the edge of the box but his shot is well saved.
57 mins - Renfrew finally equalise when a long throw into the box is headed into the corner of the net.
58 mins- Johnstone shows some neat footwork in the box and creates himself some space but his shot is straight at the keeper.
67 mins - O'Neill replaces Scott.
69 mins - Coyle fires in a dangerous cross but no one can get on the end of it and it's headed away for a corner.
70 mins - From the corner a game of head tennis ensues before Preston heads the ball off the the top of the bar.
71 mins - Dullaghan gets in on the act but his shot goes past the post.
75 mins - Evans has a header after collecting a knock on from a throw. It's his last action as Fawns comes on to replace him.
79 mins - Fawns makes an instant impact as his long throw his headed into the net by Crawford to restore Milanda's lead. He tries to celebrate by pulling his strip over his head until he realises he can't get it over his stomach.
80 mins - The lead is shortlived. Walker fails to clear a corner and the ball bounces through to the 6 yard box where a grateful Renfrew player blasts the ball high into the net.
81 mins - Tempers begin to fray as the game enters the last 10 mins and Dave O'Neill is the victim of a very late challenge which sees the culprit booked and lucky not to be given a straight red. O'Neill is unable to continue and Grant is his replacement.
82 mins - Another bad tackle from Renfrew, as they begin to lose the plot, sees a bit of a scrum develop. Tempers are soon cooled by the referee but not before Preston gets so incensed he calls a Renfrew player a munchkin (ok an effin munchkin) much to the amusement of the sidelines.
88 mins - Milanda nearly secure all three points when Reid pounces on defensive indecision by Renfrew and hits the byeline but his cutback to Johnstone is well saved by the keeper at his near post.
Overall a draw was a fair result and neither team did enough to win the game. For Milanda it was a good test on their return after Xmas and hopefully the weather will allow some more games to be played in the coming weeks.
Man of the match – Plenty of effort but no real stand out performances this week. First person to send me a fiver gets this week's nomination.
League - Alexandra Parade
AC Milanda 13 DS Street League 3 (HT (4-2)
Scorers - Johnstone (4), Evans (3), Williamson (2), Coyle, Early, Murray, Preston
Team - Fawns, Dullaghan, Grant, Preston, McColgan, Coyle, Binnie, (Williamson) Early, Murray, Evans, Johnstone (Hyssie).
For the third time this season Milanda hit double figures and spare a thought for DS Street League as they have been on the wrong end twice having now conceded 24 goals against Milanda this season. Although in the end it was a convincing victory it didn't look like it after 30 mins when the game stood perfectly poised at 1-1.
DS had already spurned a number of chances, the best being a first minute header that Fawns clawed away, before taking a deserved lead. A static Milanda defence failed to intercept a cut back and a DS player slid in to hit the ball high into the net.
Milanda were struggling to get things going and facing a strong wind was making their job much more difficult. A loose pass by DS in the middle of the park brought Milanda level. McColgan collected the loose ball and sent Johnstone away into the box. He neatly rounded the keeper and before finding the net from a tight angle.
DS Street League created a number of chances to regain the lead with the best being a one on one break after beating the offside trap but Fawns was out bravely to save and this turned out to be the turning point of the match. A quick fire hat-trick from Evans, his 4th of the season, allowed Milanda some breathing space and knocked the fight out of DS. the first was the result of a keeper error that he pounced on. His second was after a long throw hit Early and landed at Evans feet and he thumped it home. His 3rd was a header from a Murray cross that nearly knocked him out.
Just before HT DS gave themselves a lifeline with a superbly executed free kick from the edge of the box that Fawns nearly managed to tip round the post but was only able to push it into the inside of the net.
After half time memory gets a bit hazy on the goal front and the order scored in so apologies in advance.
Milanda's fifth came from Johnstone after making himself some space on the edge of the box and hitting a curling right foot shot past the keeper. Johnstone also got number 6, goal description on a post card please.
Goal number seven was scored by guest star Murray making a rare appearance and even rarer was the fact it was from his right foot.
Straight after this goal Binnie was replaced by Williamson.
Johnstone got his 4th goal when a break left DS with 1 against 4 and Evans cross was dispatched by Johnstone to make it 8-2. It was his last action as the veteran's veteran Hyslop replaced him to add some pace up front.
Soon after Coyle got on the scoresheet when rising unchallenged and heading a McColgan corner into the net.
Double figures were reached when Early slammed a loose ball into the net from 8 yards.
DS to their credit kept going and managed to pull a goal back with a great finish at the back post from a corner.
Goal number 11 was a thing of beauty as the 95 year old partnership of Hyslop and Williamson combined to split the DS defence apart. A though ball from McColgan was superbly dummied by Hyslop and Williamson was left clear to beat DS's substitute keeper after the previous keeper was subbed with shock (ok it was an injured knee).
The goals kept on coming and Preston scored the best of the lot when he latched onto a DS clearance and launched it goalward from 35 yards and watched it clear the stranded keeper and dip in under the bar.
The scoring was completed when Coyle sprung the offside trap and as he drew the keeper he unselfishly cut the ball back to Williamson who had an eternity to pick his spot in an empty net.
The final score was a bit harsh on DS who for long periods in the first half were the better team and were a much better team than the last time Milanda played them but their heads went down very quickly after missing the one on one and then losing 3 quick goals before half time. For Milanda it was an excellent win and considering 3/4 regular players were unavailable they can be happy with their performance.
Man of the match – After 13 goals you would expect a forward to get the award but despite excellent performances all over the park this week's award goes to unsung hero and moaner extrodinaire Fawns. Had a couple of excellent stops and his save at 1-1 kept Milanda in front at a vital part of the game. Has been a very reliable deputy when Ted is unavailable although he still can't get a kick out to go within 20 yards of Murray.
GDSML Cup - Mount Vernon
AC Milanda 5 Garnethill Rovers 3 (HT (4-1)
Scorers - Evans (2), Williamson, Reid, Crawford.
Team - Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, McColgan (Scott), Coyle, Binnie (O'Neill), Early, Reid, Evans, Williamson (Fawns).
After a hard fought Cup tie Milanda eventually emerged victorious and marched onto the GDSML Semi Finals. Garnethill were as yet unbeaten in any GDSML competition and quietly fancy themselves as potential league winners this season. They also thought their young legs would be enough to beat the older legs of Milanda but in the end experience won the day.
On a park that was not conducive to pretty football both teams took a while to settle and wild clearances and tackles due to the conditions were a feature of the early part of the game. It was from a free kick after a rash challenge by Dullaghan that Garnethill took the lead.
The free kick was 5 yards inside the Milanda half and was driven into the box where a Milanda player got a touch on it but Garnethill's Campbell was quickest to react and placed his shot past Walker from 10 yards.
Milanda came to life and started to push Rovers back and they found it hard to cope with the Milanda presence at set pieces. It was from set pieces that Milanda hit Rovers with a quick 1-2. First came from a long throw that made it's way through to the back post where Evans scored his 20th of the season. A few mins later Milanda won a corner after the keeper denied Evans his second when he was through one on one. Evans didn't have to wait long though as he again found himself in a similar spot to the first goal ready to score number 2 from a header back across goal.
Rovers were finding it difficult to get out of their own half and went 3 -1 down when Williamson pounced after a harmless ball on the edge of the box bobbled around before the defender completely mis-hit his clearance and it fell to Williamson who was left with only the keeper to beat to score his 10th of the season.
Worse was to come for Rovers when a cross/shot from Evans was brilliantly turned over the bar by the keeper but from the corner kick Reid hit a curling ball to the back post that beat everybody and went straight into the net.
Rovers were happy to hear the Ht whistle and re-group themselves.
Milanda knew that Rovers would come at them in the 2nd half and looked to have weathered the initial storm when Rovers grabbed a life line. Milanda stepped out too late and left a couple of Rovers players clear. A cross to the back post was easily converted by Kennedy to make it 4-2 and it was game on. It got even better for Rovers a couple of mins later when a speculative shot by Campbell from the edge of the box caught Walker wrong footed and sneaked in at the post.
Rovers sensed a famous comeback and searched for the equaliser but the Milanda defence held firm and Walker had one outstanding save to deny them a fourth.
Finally Milanda came back into the game and started to create chances at the other end with Evans making himself some space on the edge of the box but couldn't get enough power behind his shot.
Milanda finally sealed the tie when another long throw hit Crawford on the back and with the keeper stranded it found its way into an unguarded net.
Rovers tried in vain to get something back but the fifth goal had taken the fight out of them and they created very little in the remaining 10 mins.
Overall Milanda adapted quicker to the conditions and used all their years of experience to great effect over a young and talented side. Unlike DS Street league last week they never gave up after being 4-1 down and it was to their credit they pulled themselves back into the game. The league encounters between the teams should be interesting.
Man of the match – An excellent hard working performance this week from Milanda and there were a few candidates this week. Given the battering the defence took in the 2nd half i thought they were immense and withstood wave after wave of attack. Ably supported by the midfield. Could really have gone to any of them but this week it goes to Dave Crawford for a fearless display in defence and scoring another vital goal at a perfect time.
League - KG5
Allander 2 AC Milanda 0 (HT (2-0)
Team - Fawns, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, Reid , Coyle,Williamson, Early(O'Neill), Scott (Grant), Evans, Johnstone.
Allander continue to be Milanda's bogey team when completing the league double with a 2-0 victory.
Not much to say about Milanda's performance. Pitch was virtually unplayable but was the same for both teams. Slack marking and passing saw Milanda lose two quick goals halfway through the first half. Apart from the goals it was a fairly even first half. Second half Milanda dominated possession for long spells but created few clear cut chances. Williamson had a header off the bar and Coyle hit the post and if either chance had gone in it might have pushed them on to get a point but plenty of huffing and puffing but Milanda were unable to break a stubborn Allander defence. Allander had one clear cut chance to make it three but a great chance was hit wildly past the post.
Overall Milanda didn't really deserve anything from the game
Man of the match – not many contenders this week and few can have walked off the park pleased with their performance but Shug tried to get things going and turned up all over the park as he pushed Milanda forward. Might not be much of a compliment this week but he was the webmaster's man of the match.
William Drummond Trophy - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 1 Renfrew Town 4 (HT (0-2)
Scorer - O'Neill.
Team - Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, McColgan (Scott), Coyle, Binnie (O'Neill), Early, Reid, Evans, Williamson (Fawns).
Yet again Milanda put in a below par performance and can't have any complaints about losing this cup tie. Just not happening for the team at the moment and although a number of first team players were missing on Saturday the team never got going.
Again cheap goals cost Milanda dear. Unable to clear their lines at the first and Williamson losing his man at the second gave Milanda a tough job. Again plenty of effort but lack of a final killer ball or any luck in front of goal combined to frustrate Milanda.
Like last week Milanda dominated the 2nd half for long spells and were once again caught on the break and unlike last week this time the chance was converted. Milanda at last got a break when being awarded a penalty but Coyle's effort was well saved and that extinguished any hope Milanda had of getting back into the game. A well taken 4th from Renfrew was not unexpected before a late goal from Milanda, that hit a number of bodies on the way in but we'll give to Dave O'Neill.
Like last week can have no complaints about the result and lets hope we can play our way out of this bad spell.
Man of the match – Andy Scott. Did nothing wrong the whole game and even went into the burn to get the ball.
League - Fullarton Park
AC Milanda 3 Andrew Watt 3 (HT (2-2)
Scorers - M.Johnstone (2), Early.
Team - S.Walker, O'Neill (Reid), Crawford, Preston, Dullaghan, Coyle, Early, Binnie, P.Johnstone(Williamson), M.Walker(Evans) ,M.Johnstone.
The 4th time these teams have met since Andrew Watt joined the league last season and four draws. A highly competitive game ended up with a share of the points. Milanda fielded two debtatants in Peter Johnstone (Martin Johnstone's brother) at left back and Mark Walker, a signing from first division Ballieston Thistle,up front.
Milanda decided that they they were going to start playing at 10 past 10 unfortunately Andrew Watt kicked off at 10 and had a 2 goal start before Milanda finally woke from their slumbers. First goal came from a Dullaghan error when he tried to let the ball run out at the corner flag but it was kept in by the Watt player and his low cross into the 6 yard box was knocked beyond Walker. A few mins later Watt doubled their lead when M Johnstone was disposessed in midfield and the resultant attack saw a great strike from the edge of the box go beyond Walker at his right hand post. Not the ideal start from Milanda.
Milanda got their act together and finally began to put the Watt defence under pressure and a stinging shot from Coyle was palmed away by the Watt keeper then Johnstone had a volley from the edge of the box that just went the wrong side of the post. The pressure finally told and Milanda reduced the deficit when a neat turn by Coyle on at the corner flag took out two Watt players and his cutback found M Johnstone on the edge of the box and his right foot shot caught the Watt keeper flat footed and nestled in the bottom right hand corner.
At the other end Walker got down well to touch a shot onto the post before Milanda got themselves level. A through ball saw Watt defenders standing claiming offside but the ref waved play on as Walker broke clear supported by Johnstone. As a defender tried to get back to tackle Walker he slipped a neat back heel into Johnstone's path and he gave the keeper no chance.
Milanda then pushed for a third before half time but couldn't find a finish. A tousy game finally exploded just before half time when a Watt player took exception to a Binnie tackle and decided to throw a few punches. The ref had no choice but to show him the red card.
The sending off didn't calm proceedings down and the ref had trouble controlling the game as both sides moaned and contested every decision and he was happy to bring the first half to a close.
In the 2nd half Milanda looked to try and take advantage of the extra man but instead found themselves behind once again. A corner from Milanda was cleared to the halfway line and O'Neill swung a foot at it but missed it completely and two Watt players were left to run through unchallenged and again an excellent finish saw Milanda go behind. The narkiness of the first half was never far away and Binnie was the recipient of a late challenge that went unpunished and then Reid was confronted by a Watt playyer who had already been booked and as he raised his hands it looked as if he would be the 2nd Watt player to be sent off as the ref brought his cards out but he decided to give him a talking too instead and the Watt player was subbed for his own good a few mins later.
Milanda continued to search for the equaliser but runs down the right by Coyle and Dullaghan failed to deliver the final pass. A deserved equaliser did finally arrive after winning a free kick 25 yards from goal on the left. Walker's shot hit the wall but spun into the box where Early used his strength to win the loose ball and his left foot shot/cross looped over the keeper's head and into the net. It was no more than Milanda deserved.
Both teams searched for a winner but real chances were few and far between. Milanda did have the best of the chances when Johnstone received a pass from Coyle inside the box but he hit his shot into the ground and didn't trouble the keeper then with a few mins left Evans was sent clear on the left but he chose to shoot when Johnstone was waiting in the middle and the keeper had closed the angle enough to get in a block. Milanda's final chance was from a Reid corner that Williamson met at the front post but his knock on across the 6 yard box was just a few yards too far for Crawford to connect and the ref blew his whistle when the resultant bye kick was taken.
Given Milanda's terrible start a draw was fair enough. Showed some character to come back from the first ten minutes and a much better display than the last 2 weeks. We can and will play better.
MOTM - A hard one to call this week with many still struggling to find their form but the battling in midfield from Early and Binnie helped Milanda in a tough game and after a toss of a coin Early gets this week's nomination.
League - Giffnock
Garnethill Rovers 4 AC Milanda 4 (HT (2-2)
Scorers - M.Johnstone, Early (3).
Team Fawns, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, M Walker, Coyle, Early, O'Neill, Scott, Evans (Duncan), M Johnstone. Subs not used: Addison, Grant, P Johnstone
Individual mistakes again cost AC Milanda full points when they could only draw with title-chasing new boys Garnethill Rovers at Huntly Playing Fields, Giffnock. As in the previous week's draw with Andrew Watt, Milanda had more of the play and scored excellent goals but continued the free gift policy at the back.
Garnethill are an excellent young side and were a bit unlucky not to get a draw at least with Milanda in the GDSML Cup but this time they were always behind and really should have been second best once more. Milanda were never behind in the match and opened the scoring after just three minutes. A Mark Walker corner from the right was headed down by Martin Coyle for Martin Johnstone to fire home from close range.
Garnethill levelled midway through the half when Davie Crawford allowed himself to be robbed of possession and a cutback from the right was fired into the corner of the net. Milanda's second goal saw Walker play Coyle down the right and his low cross was controlled by Ross Early and despatched into the corner of the net in clinical style.
The home side levelled when their No.9 wasn't closed down outside the box and allowed to hit a low shot that took a slight deflection as it zipped low past Craig Fawns.
All square at the break and Milanda had to play up the slope in the second period. However, it didn't appear to be a problem and when Early rose highest to head home another Walker corner at the back post it was advantage to the visitors for the third time.
Garnethill squared matters when one of their substitutes, who was heading away from goal, made sure he connected with defender Hugh Dullaghan and won a penalty. It looked an awkward challenge to those on the sidelines and, crucially, the referee but perhaps the attacker made the most of the situation. Fawns was beaten from the spot and Milanda had to start all over again. However, they battled hard to make it 4-3 when Garnethill failed to clear a corner and Coyle hit a post before Early pounced to fire in the loose ball. Milanda retained the advantage until minutes from time when a needlessly conceded corner wasn't cleared properly and one of the home players blasted the ball into the net from close range. It was a draw that felt like a defeat because the fourth goal was conceded so late in the match and such a pity that a brilliant all-round team effort had not been properly rewarded.
MOTM: There were some excellent individual performances once again. Mark Walker provided good width on the right and contributed to three of the goals, Martin Coyle never stopped working and creating space for others and Martin Johnstone gave the Garnethill defence headaches every time he got the ball, However, goals win matches and a superbly taken hat-trick wins the man of the match accolade for tireless midfielder Ross Early.
GDSML - Glasgow Green
Glasgow Athletic 2 AC Milanda 1 (HT (0-0)
Scorer - Evans.
Team Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, Reid (Williamson), Coyle, O'Neill, Binnie, Scott (Duncan), Evans , M Johnstone. Subs not used: Grant, P Johnstone, Fawns
A largely forgettable Cup semi final tie was played out at Glasgow Green with a swirling wind doing its best to prevent any real football being played.
Milanda had the benefit of the wind in the first half but it seemed to hinder more than help as passes were running out of play and forwards found themselves chasing lost causes.
The half was only notable for two clear chances, one for each side The first was for Glasgow Athletic when a quick passing move saw their striker in the clear and despite having plenty of time to pick his spot he skied his shot over the bar when he should have done better. At the other end Coyle latched onto a loose ball and beat the onrushing keeper to the ball but he got too full a contact on the ball and it unfortunately sailed over the bar.
That was about it in a forgettable first half.
The second wasn't much better with chances being few and far between. Milanda's Cup dream died with 2 goals in 2 mins. The first came after a ball into the box was only partially cleared and it was delivered back into the box and a shot from 8 yards found the net. A minute or so later a break on the right caught the Milanda defence square and as the cross was played across the 6 yard box it was easily despatched and gave Milanda a mountain to climb.
Milanda tried hard to get back into the game but Athletic defended well and repelled all attacks until 10 mins from the end when Coyle finally got free and hit a low cross to the back post that Evans slide in to give Milanda a chance of taking the game to extra time.
It wasn't to be though and in the end Athletic comfortably held on to take their place in the final and Milanda wishes them all the best in the final where they will face either Parklife or Ballieston Thistle.
MOTM: Hard one to call this week. Plenty of effort in difficult conditions. After deliberation we'll give this week's award to Scott Preston who had a commanding game in the Milanda defence but is still crap at predictions.
League - Glasgow Green
AC Milanda 1 Garnethill Rovers 0 (HT (1-0)
Scorer - Early
Team Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, Walker (Duncan), Coyle, Binnie , Early, Murray, Evans(Reid, Williamson (O'Neill). unused subs - Scott, Grant
Experience again won over youth in a hard fought match played on the massive astro turf pitch at Glasgow Green. Again, like Saturday, a strong wind played a part in the proceedings.
Milanda had the best of the early play and adapted to playing with the wind better than Rovers did defending it. Milanda were winning a lot of balls in the air and forcing rovers into last ditch defending which brought numerous free kicks and throw ins throughout the 1st half. It was from a high ball that lead to the only goal of the game. A long ball into the box was headed up into the air and allowed to bounce. Williamson was first to react and his header into the box found Early who took one touch and then volleyed into the top left hand corner of the net for a deserved opener.
This sparked Rovers into life and they began to pull Milanda's back three all over the pitch but a combination of great defending and poor finishing saw Milanda keep their lead intact.
At the other end Milanda continued to harass and chase every lost and it was from one of those that Evans got in behind the Rovers defence but his ball across the 6 yard box was intercepted by the keeper before Williamson could provide the finishing touch. Milanda's midfield were providing superb cover as the young legs of Rovers tried to push back into the game but Milanda had all the answers and went into the break a bit disappointed they were not more goals in front.
Rovers had the benefit of the wind in the 2nd half but it seemed to hinder rather than help in the opening 10 mins as long passes were carried out of play. For Milanda Coyle was helping relieve pressure on the defence by taking the ball for a walk and linked up well with Murray to try and create something. From one of these link ups Coyle brushed aside 3 tackles but couldn't quite deliver the final shot as he burst into the box. At the other end Milanda had a real let off when a through pass caught Walker in no man's land and the ball was lobbed over his head. It looked a certain goal until Dullaghan appeared from nowhere and his overhead kick cleared the ball from under the bar. An outstanding piece of defending.
A few mins later Rovers had their best chance for an equaliser when again the defence was caught out but despite having time the Rovers forward hurried his shot and Walker watched it as the ball went well wide.
Milanda continued to use their experience and at the other end won a number of fouls as Rovers dived in to tackles. From one of these free kicks Milanda had their best chance of the second half when Evans didn't quite connect with a scissor kick and the Rovers keeper was grateful to let it bounce up into this hands.
Rovers got more frantic as the game drew to a close and began to lose their discipline as the clock ticked down. This led to some erratic play on the park but Milanda coped easily with their forays forward and a hard evening's work was rewarded with the final whistle and clean sheet.
Milanda can be pleased as they get back to winning ways. Garnethill are a good, if inexperienced, side and it will be no surprise if they are promoted. Milanda once again showed that on their day they can beat anyone but a lack of consistency this season has proved their downfall.
Man of the match – Some great performances in midfield especially from Coyle and Early. The defence also played a huge part in this victory and Dullaghan stood out in that defence. An outstanding goaline clearance to keep Milanda in the lead and many other important interceptions means Shug gets this week's MOTM award.
League - Hamilton Palace
Hamilton Wanderers 2 AC Milanda 5 (HT (1-2)
Scorers - Murray, Williamson (2), Johnstone (2).
Team Fawns, Grant, Dullaghan (Preston,(Evans)), O'Neill, Scott, Duncan (Binnie), Coyle, Early, Murray, Williamson, Johnstone. unused subs - Walker
A tougher morning than Milanda expected as they faced bottom team Hamilton Wanderers. Despite it being a glorious sunny day a couple of Wanderers players played with gloves on. Rather bizarre.
Wanderers started off much the better of the two teams and had a few chances to take the lead before being awarded a penalty after Dullaghan was late with a challenge in the box. Fawns was given no chance from the spot and Milanda were one down. Wanderers continued to press Milanda and had two great chances to increase their lead but failed to hit the target.
Finally Milanda stepped up a gear and pushed Wanderers back. Early was unlucky with a header that hit the bar from a Duncan cross. Coyle and Murray were beginning to combine to effect down the left and it was from the left boot of Murray Milanda equalised.
A neat ball inside the full back left Murray in on goal at the left hand side of the box. The keeper came out to block but Murray mananged to find a gap at his near post to level the game. A few moments later Williamson had his left foot shot saved by the keeper before he put Milanda ahead.
Murray again was slipped inside the full back and again beat the keeper at his near post but this time the ball cannoned off the post. Williamson who had been following up stuck a foot out to try and steer the ball into an empty net but only succeeded in spinning the ball into the air. When the ball finally came down it had made it over the line and had put Milanda ahead. Definite contender for goal of the season.
The final action of the half was a header from Coyle that came back off the post.
Milanda should have made the game safe in the second half but poor finishing and solid goalkeeping kept them at bay. Johnstone gave Williamson an early chance but his shot from outside the box went past the post. Then Coyle was again foiled by the post after the keeper touched his shot onto the post then watched as the ball rolled back into this arms. Coyle then turned provider and set up Johnstone inside the box but again the keeper saved.
Wanderers had threatened little at the other end but a long ball caught out the defence and Fawns in the Milanda goal and Milanda were suddenly level again.
It was looking like one of those mornings for Milanda as chance after chance was passed up. That was until the last 10 mins when Milanda finally found their scoring touch. Evans who had come on for the injured Preston got the ball on the edge of the box and found Johnstone with a pass that sent him clear on goal and he clamly drew the keeper before picking his spot.
Evans then had a shot that the keeper touched away for a corner. Murray's delivery from the corner was perfect as Williamson rose to head home from 8 yards out. The scoring was complete when Johnstone rifled home from the edge of the box a few moments later to secure the 3pts.
Another stuttering performance from Milanda but they got there in the end. Wanderers certainly didn't play like a team bottom of the league with no points in the first 35 mins. Will need to improve for next week''s game against the team at the opposite end of the table.
Man of the match – He unlucky not to get on the scoresheet and had at least two off the woodwork and seems to have benefited from the return of Murray to the team. This weeks MOTM is Coyle who despite only having 'one trick' is a handful for any defender.
League - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 2 Kilpatrick Thistle 4 (HT (1-0)
Scorers - Coyle, Early.
Team Walker, Dullaghan, O'Neill, Crawford, Walker, Coyle (Reid), Early, Williamson, Murray, Johnstone, Evans. unused subs - Grant, Scott, Fawns
A match that sums up Milanda's inconsistency this season. The proverbial game of two halfs.
Milanda dominated a first half that should have seen them ahead by more than one goal. The goal itself was a rather odd affair as Coyle knocked back a cross towards goal at the 2nd attempt. it somehow eluded the keeper and dropped over his head. A number of players from each side tried to get a touch but the last one appeared to hit a Thistle player as it just crossed the line but the goal scorers panel decided to award it to Coyle.
Chances missed - best of the first half fell to Williamson who controlled a cross from Johnstone then proceeded to have a fresh air swing at the ball. A great chance scorned. Along with that Williamson had a couple of headers and a volley that went just by the post. Crawford had a goal bound header cleared off the line. A number of other chances fell Milanda's way but they couldn't make their dominance count and they were to pay for these chances in the 2nd half.
Milanda kicked off the 2nd half and 30 secs later Thistle had equalised. Milanda had handed the initiative to Thisle and never got it back. Although Milanda did have one chance as Coyle contrived to rival Williamson's poor miss when he missed from 5 yards out after the Thistle keeper couldn't hold a shot.
Thistle took great heart from their goal and soon had goals no 2, 3 and 4 in the bag and Milanda were down and out. A consolation from Early 5 mins from the end was never going to be enough to spark a fightback and Thistle gained 3 valuable points in their quest for the title.
Again consistency was Milanda's downfall. After a first half of total dominance we switched off at the start of the 2nd and paid the price.
Man of the match – Based on the first half a few were in contention but in recognition for his performances over the last few weeks and the 1st half on saturday this week's MOTM is Murray.
League - Drumpellier
Club Sporting 0 AC Milanda 1(HT (0-0)
Scorer - Grant (Pen).
Team Dunn, Crawford, Dullaghan, Preston(Grant), Early, Duncan, O'Neill, Scott, Evans, Williamson, Johnstone.
Not a morning for the purists. Always a tricky fixture for Milanda and turning up with the bare eleven didn't help their cause but depsite a hard and almost impossible pitch Milanda came away with 3 points and a clean sheet.
The first half was mostly forgettable as both teams had difficulty controlling the ball on the hard and rutted pitch. Neither keeper was put under any real pressure and the game had an end of season feel about it despite there being over a third of season's games remaining.
Chances for Milanda in the first half fell to Williamson and Johnstone but neither really tested the keeper. At the other end the Milanda defence coped fairly easily with any threat from CS.
The second half started much the same as the first until the CS were reduced to 10 men after an off the ball incident that saw Binnie of Milanda felled by an elbow. The ref didn't hesitate and produced a red card immediately and sent off the CS player for violent conduct. This was followed quickly by another CS player being booked for protesting and then their mananger was also given a warning by the ref.
This kicked the game into life as Milanda sought to take the advantage of the extra man. Milanda started to see more of the ball and were beginning to dominate the game but couldn't find a way through a well organised CS defence. That was until Milanda were awarded a penalty. A slide rule pass from Coyle sent Evans into the box but before he could decide on his next move he was fflattened by a tackle from behind. A definite penalty and there was little arguement from CS.
Usual penalty taker Coyle had the his duties stripped from him after missing a penalty against Renfrew Town a few weeks back and new taker Grant assumed the duties. After a first half free kick that he skied over the bar the Milanda team held their breath as Grant placed the ball and took his run up. They need not have worried though as he sent the keeper the wrong way and put Milanda into the lead.
This saw the best period of play in the whole game as Milanda looked for the killer 2nd but despite creating a few openings they couldn't find the net. The best of these efforts was a thunderbolt from Crawford from the edge of the box that the keeper turned round the post.
CS hadn't given up and kept pressing Milanda to the end but Walker and his defence held firm despite Dullaghan clearing across his own goaline which caused the Milanda manager and a few of his team mates palpitations.
Over the piece Milanda just about deserved all 3 pts but it wasn't a classic by any means.
Man of the match – With only 11 bodies eveyone had to commit fully to the cause. Plenty of effort on a terrible surface. Despite his age and lack of games Scott Grant had a solid morning and made a number of important interceptions and tackles and rounded of a fine display with a confident penalty so seeing as he's my lift in the morning this week's MOTM is Sclaffer Grant.
League - KG5
Parklife 0 AC Milanda 6 (HT (0-2)
Scorers - Johnstone (2), Walker, Crawford, Coyle, Reid
Team Walker, Fawns, Grant (O'Neill), Crawford, P. Johnstone, Evans, Coyle, Williamson (Reid), Walker, Scott (Murray), M. Johnstone
Parklife is usually a tricky fixture on the Milanda calendar but this was one of Milanda's easiest trips to Beardsen in a long time. Milanda still had to work hard for their victory but their efforts were well rewarded on a gloriously hot day.
Milanda started the game well and pressed Parklife from the first whistle. A succession of free kicks and corners were launched into the box but the breakthrough was proving elusive. Coyle was unlucky with a shot from the edge of the box that flew just over while a few other shots from the edge of the box were best forgotten about.
When the opener did arrive there was a little bit of fortune about it but Milanda had earned the break by this point. Coyle took control of a knock on from a shy and beat a couple of players on the edge of the box. He was finally tackled but the ball rebounded off his shin into the path of Johnstone who finished neatly into the corner of the net from an increasingly tight angle.
Number two came from Walker, who was scoring his first goal for Milanda. A corner was cleared but only as far as the edge of the box and Walker's volley took a slight deflection on the way into the net. At this stage Parklife were struggling to create anything at the other end other than a few corners.
A satisfactory first half for Milanda who should have had more goals to show for their superiority.
It wasn't long before Milanda sealed the points. A pass from Fawns found Crawford who had made a run from defence. His run took him past another couple of Parklife defenders before he dispatched a perfectly placed toe-basher into the bottom corner.
The heat began to take it's toll and MacMillan made the changes bringing on Murray, O'Neill and Reid for Scott, Grant and Williamson.
Coyle scored goal no. 4 with a back header from a Fawns throwin. Johnstone was sent clear by Murray to get Milanda's 5th and his second before the scoring was completed when a good passing move between Coyle, Walker and Murray was finished off with a through ball to Johnstone who squared the ball across to Reid for an easy tap in. Johnstone could have had his hat-trick when sent clear again but he shot into the side netting when the chance for another cut-back was on.
Don't think Parklife could complain about the result in a game that Milanda dominated for the majority and the second consecutive clean sheet for Milanda.
Man of the match – Another good team performance. Johnstone again played the solitary striker role well. Walker had his best game in a Milanda jersey but this week goalscorer turned winger Gerry Evans just gets the award this week for his tireless running up and down the right wing.
League - Mount Vernon
AC Milanda 4 Pursuers 0 (HT (3-0)
Scorers - Reid, Johnstone (2), Coyle
Team Fawns, O'Neill, Crawford, Dullaghan, Evans(Addison), Coyle, Walker(Early), Scott Murray, M. Johnstone (Williamson), Reid. Unsused subs P. Johnstone, Binnie
Probably another Milanda record. 3 clean sheets on the bounce. At any level of football that is excellent but at our level it's very rare even for the best teams. A surprisingly comfortable win for Milanda against a team that possibly had one eye on their cup final next week.
Milanda started brightly and played some excellent one touch football on a less than ideal surface. The Milanda pressure looked sure to lead to a goal and when it did but it will be one the Pursuers keeper will not wish to reminded of. A ball into the box looked an easy punt up the park for the keeper but as he swung a boot at the ball it took a cruel bobble and his kick was at fresh air. Reid was lurking for such a chance and had the simple task of putting the ball into an empty net.
It should have been 2 seconds later when a quick Milanda attack left Johnstone in on the keeper but the keeper made up for his error by managing to get a touch and push the ball away for a corner.
Johnstone didn't have to wait long to get goal number 2 though. A long throw to the back post found him unmarked in the 6 yard box and he buried his header into the top corner. He then got his 2nd and Milanda's third when he met a perfect near post corner from Reid and his header found a gap between the defender on the line and the keeper. Milanda were in easy street at this point and played some great football. Murray, Coyle and Walker in the centre of midfield were dictating proceedings along with Evans and Scott making runs from their wingback roles. Pursuers just couldn't cope with the movement from midfield or the runs from Johnstone and Reid upfront. At the back Fawns had very little of note to do thanks to the defensive trio of O'Neill, Crawford and Dullaghan who dealt with anything that came through to them.
Johnstone could have had his hat-trick when a volley from the edge of the box was just wide. Then Evans had a mazy run that took him from the halfway line into the Pursuers penalty box but his shot was well saved and he should maybe have cut it back for Coyle who had shouted himself hoarse looking for the pass.
As the half time whistle sounded Milanda could be pleased with their first half performance which was one of the best 45s for a long time.
Milanda took their foot of the gas a little in the second half and didn't quite match the levels of the first but they were still comfortably in control of the game. Coyle had a shot from the edge of the box but the Pursuers keeper was up to the task.
McMillan decided to make a few changes as the game entered the last quarter with Addison and Williamson replacing Evans and Johnstone. Williamson's height saw him win a few headers in midfield and it was from one of these that goal number 4 arrived. Fawns launched a bye kick into the centre circle where Williamson won the header and knocked it into Coyle's path as he made his run forward. Coyle controlled it with one touch before placing a perfect shot across the keeper into the net. Straightforward but effective football.
To Pursuers credit they didn't fold after this and were still looking for some consolation. It looked as if they were going to get it and ruin Milanda's clean sheet run when a hopeful through ball caught out the Milanda defence and left two pursuers players chasing the ball into the Milanda box. it looked a stick on for a goal but Fawns came out and spread himself and blocked the shot brilliantly and was relieved when the rebound was skyed well over the bar. This was to be the last bit of action as the ref blew his whistle.
Milanda seem to have found a bit of consistency and find themselves on the fringes of the promotion race but a tough game next week against Renfrew Town who still have title aspirations.
Man of the match – Many good performances this week and one of the hardest MOTM decisions this season. Dullaghan along with all the defence had a fine game. Milanda's midfield controlled the game and played some great football. Upfront Johnstone continues to find the net and is now only 1 behind Evans in the goal scoring charts but this week's MOTM goes to his strike partner Mark Reid who caused huge problems to the Pursuers defence with his pace. he was in the right place at the right time for his goal and swung over a number of dangerous corners that led to another goal. Just in case he thought i'd forgotten i did remember his shot in the 2nd half that went out for a shy.
League - KGV
Renfrew Town 4 AC Milanda 0 (HT (2-0)
Team Walker, Grant(Scott), Dullaghan, Preston, Binnie Evans(Williamson), Coyle(Duncan), Walker, Early, Murray, Reid. Unsused subs Addison, Fawns
League - Stepps
Strathclyde Uni 1 AC Milanda 3 (HT (0-3)
Scorers - M.Johnstone (2), Early
Team S.Walker, Addison(Duncan), O'Neill, Preston, P. Johnstone, Evans(McColgan), Coyle, Early, M.Walker, Murray(Scott), M.Johnstone. Unsused subs Williamson, Grant
A rather odd game this one.
Played on one of the biggest pitches in the league measuring at least 4 miles long and 2 miles wide it was the kind of pitch Milanda often struggle on. This proved to be the case for long spells in the first half as Strathclyde passed up a number of great chances in front of the Milanda goal. The old cliche about taking your chances when on top came back to haunt them as Milanda took the lead against the run of play.
Johnstone found some room on the edge of the box but decided to delay his shot on his right foot and looked to have given Strathclyde time to get back but he switched the ball to his left and hit a curling shot round the keeper for a great finish which the keeper could only stand and watch as it hit the net.
Milanda then welcomed back McColgan who replaced the injured Evans and was having his first run of action after a long injury lay off.
The pattern of the game stayed much the same with Strathclyde pressing and Milanda defending with the odd flurry up the park. This was the game continued until just before half time when a Milanda one-two killed the game off. It was Early who got the first after a lay off from Johnstone on the edge of the box which Early took forward a couple of strides before hitting a right foot shot past the keeper. A few moments later and it was 3-0 with Johnstone getting his 2nd after picking up the ball in the box.
Half time followed seconds later.
Strathclyde were down to 10men in the 2nd half when they lost one of their players to injury and had no replacement on the bench.
The second half was almost a mirror of the first except it was Milanda, who took advantage of the extra man and created a number of great chances but like Strathclyde in the first couldn't put any of them away. Johnstone had one off the post, Walker, Murray and Early all missed chances as well.
Strathclyde got themselves a consolation near the end when McColgan was short with back header to Walker and the ball was lofted over his head.
After the terrible performance of the previous week it was a huge improvement by Milanda who took the few chances they had in the first half which was just as well after the number they missed in the second.
MOTM - Solid performance all round. Mark Walker has been knocking on the door in a number of recent games since he pushed his way into the first team and gets the MOTM award this week.
League - Glasgow Green
Pursuers 2 AC Milanda 3 (HT (0-0)
Scorers - Early, Johnstone, Crawford.
Team Walker, Grant(Crawford), O'Neill, Preston, P.Johnstone, Duncan (Williamson), Coyle, Walker, Early, Scott(Murray), M. Johnstone. Unsused subs Reid, Binnie
Only a couple of weeks since these teams met when Milanda comfortably won 4-0. It wasn't going to be as easy this time round and a blustery wind didn't make things any easier.
Pursuers had the slight benefit of the wind in the first half but more often than not it just blew the ball out of the park and the teams on the next pitch kicked the ball as much as they did on our park.
First real chance of the game fell to Pursuers. A break down the right ended with a dangerous cross to the back post but a great saving header from P Johnstone prevented a certain goal.
Milanda started to get a foot in the game and a shot from Grant was palmed away by the Pursuers keeper and he was glad to see no Milanda players following up. Some great balls were being played into the Pursuers box but an assortment of Milanda players just couldn't get on the end of them. One ball across the 6 yard line eluded about 3 Milanda players when it only needed a touch. Then Early got in the way of a Scott shot in the 6 yard box. Scott should then have done better when another dangerous ball fell to him unmarked in the box but his control let him down and the chance was lost.
Surprisingly the half finished goalless.
The lack of first half goals was soon a distant memory as Pursuers took the lead early in the 2nd. A ball down the left caught out the defence and the forward had time to pick his spot as his shot went across Walker into the right hand corner.
Milanda's only took a few mins to respond when there was a bit of pinball in the Pursuers penalty area after a corner was floated in and Early was on hand to force the ball over the line via the bar. Only a couple of mins later Milanda were in front after M. Johnstone finished off a Milanda move.
It looked as if Milanda would then go onto make the game safe but Pursuers drew level once again when Milanda failed to clear a ball in the box and a Pursuers toe got a touch and found the net. It was then end to end stuff as both teams searched for victory. Two strong penalty claims were waved away. One in each box. Coyle was involved in the Milanda one but accepted the referee's decision with good grace and without any argument.
The game looked to be heading for a draw but Milanda made one final push and forced the first of 3 corners in the final mins. Murray floated in the first but it was headed away and gave M.Johnstone a chance to swing one in from the right. Williamson managed to lose his marker and powered in a header from the front post towards goal only to see the defender on the line get his knee in the way and it was cleared out for another corner. Again Johnstone floated it in but this time it was much deeper and Crawford rose at the back post and this time the defenders on the line could do nothing to stop the ball hitting the net. It was almost the last action of the game and Milanda were maybe a little fortunate to come away with all 3 points.
Man of the match – Difficult conditions with such a strong wind but Preston in the Milanda defence was solid and let very little by and as well as being joint leader in the prediction comp also gets this week's MOTM award.
League - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 6 Deanpark 5 (HT (3-0)
Scorers - Johnstone, Reid (3), Own goal.
Team Walker, Dullaghan, Crawford, Preston, Evans, M Walker, Early, Murray, Scott (P Johnstone), Reid (Duncan), M Johnstone. Subs not used: Addison, Fawns
MILANDA have been involved in some bizarre games down through the years and this one at Nether Pollok was right up there with the best - or worst - of them. Somehow in the space of around 20 minutes they managed to go from 4-0 ahead early in the second half to 5-4 behind and it took an almighty scramble to snatch the three points back in the late stages. It’s human nature for players to perhaps drop a gear when they have a commanding lead but for the entire defence to be posted missing whenever a corner or free-kick arrives in the box is completely unacceptable. Milanda were fortunate in the extreme to get away with such a sloppy spell but it perhaps sums up a season that promised so much. Scoring hasn’t been a great problem but teams that want to win titles and cups can’t leak goals in this manner.
There was no sign of the traumas to come as Milanda, playing a 4-4-2 formation, made a bright start. The Deanpark keeper made a good save from Martin Johnstone after he had fastened on to a long kick-out by Stephen Walker and fired in a powerful shot.
The keeper also saved his side when Mark Walker beat the offside trap to burst through on the right but was helpless after nine minutes when Johnstone cracked a 25-yard shot high into the net with his right foot.
Six minutes later it was 2-0 . Scott Preston pushed forward from the back and his perfect pass sent Mark Reid clear on the right-hand side of the box. The angle wasn’t the easiest but last season’s top scorer produced a clinical finish. The third goal came in 27 minutes. Reid worked a 1-2 with Johnstone on the left and then cut inside a defender before curling a beautiful shot away from the keeper Walker had an excellent low save to his left as Deanpark threatened on the break but other than that Milanda were never really in much trouble during the first half.
The players were warned at half-time that a good start to the second half was important so that Deanpark were not allowed any hope of getting back in the game. This seemed to have been taken on board and a goal in the 47th minute, one of the Deanpark players heading a long throw by Paul Murray into his own net, the points appeared to be in the bag.
However, then came the nightmare. Two minutes later, poor defending of a corner allowed Deanpark to get one back. Walker had a good tip over the bar as Deanpark, with nothing to lose, pushed forward looking for more goals. They got them – four of them – in quick succession as Milanda players stood around like statues as the visiting players attacked and won every set-piece.
Milanda, now 5-4 down, had a Johnstone goal disallowed for offside by referee Gordon Hay and it looked as if the team was about to record one of the most embarrassing results in the club’s history.
However, to their credit, the players kept fighting and with 14 minutes left Johnstone doubled his personal tally from close range after Deanpark had failed to deal with a Walker corner.
A point would have been better than nothing in the circumstances but Milanda weren’t finished yet and, with time running out, Johnstone provided an opening with a good ball into the box. Walker had first bite at it but couldn’t get his leg round the ball. Fortunately, Reid was right behind him and he lashed it home to complete his hat-trick.
MOTM – On a day when the villains were in defence and the heroes were to be found up front, Mark Reid wins the award for a terrific treble. The only thing he didn’t achieve on the day was finding the culprit who stole Davie Crawford’s expensive underpants.
League - Inchinnan
Deanpark 2 AC Milanda 2 (HT (1-1)
Scorers - Reid, Early.
Team Fawns, Addison(Walker), Grant, Preston, Scott, Duncan (Williamson), Dullaghan (Early), Murray, P. Johnstone, Reid, Coyle.
Milanda hardly managed to get out of 1st gear in this game but Deanpark couldn't take advantage of a Milanda side that were off the pace for most of the 90 mins. The game lacked any of the excitement and bizarre goings on from the fixture last Saturday.
The only odd thing was how Milanda managed to keep Deanpark from scoring for so long. Deanpark scorned two great chances before Milanda scored with almost their first attack. the first chance was the result of a breakaway and left Fawns one on one with the attacker but he managed to slow him down enough to allow defenders back. When the shot eventually arrived Preston was positioned on the line to head the ball to safety.
A few mins later Deanpark had an even better chance when Grant handled in the box and a penalty was awarded. Not one the taker will wish to remember as he skied it high and wide.
This prompted Milanda to try and attack the goal at the other end and Reid had a great chance when using his pace to out run the defence but his lob over the advancing keeper failed to find the target but he didn't have long to wait to make amends when the resultant bye kick was mis-hit and Reid stole the ball of the centre half as he tried to control it and this time he made no mistake with his lob and Milanda were 1up against the run of play.
Deanpark continued to dominate the game and passed up a number of further chances with again the ball being cleared off the line and desperate defending from Milanda. it was only a matter of time before the Milanda defence was breached though. A break down the left saw the ball cut back to the edge of the box and a first time shot left everyone stranded as it hit the back of the net and that was how it stayed until half time.
Some harsh words from Milanda boss McMillan at half time and he was looking for a big improvement in the 2nd half.
So a few mins in and Milanda are 2-1 down. Another break on the left and the cross to the front post was neatly dispatched from inside the 6 yard box although there was no challenge.
This prompted a change from Milanda when Early and Williamson replaced Dullaghan and Duncan.
The game began to flow from end to end as Deanpark tried to find the killer third goal but Milanda kept pressing for an equaliser. Reid had a couple of chances as he managed to get in behind the defence but just couldn't finish them off. A couple of cut backs across goal were just inches away from Coyle.
Milanda eventually got the equaliser when a long throw bounced around the penalty box before Early got a back heel in that somehow managed to evade a forest of legs and find the net.
Both teams searched for the winner. Williamson had a couple of headers that could have won the game. The first was the best of the two when a deep cross by Murray caught out the Deanpark defence who didn't come out in a line but his header looped over the stranded keeper and unfortunately the bar when he should have done better. his 2nd chance was a header from a tight angle that the keeper pushed onto the post and away for a corner.
At the other end Fawns was in fine form as he pushed away a net bound shot then cut out a dangerous low cross that would probably have been goal without his intervention.
Tempers started to get a bit frayed as the match neared its conclusion but the ref steadied the game with a firm hand and a game that threatened to erupt ended peacefully.
Milanda had one last chance when Reid found space in the box and his shot looked net bound but was just the wrong side of the post and the points were shared.
A fair result over the piece. Milanda didn't play well and were lucky not to be 2/3 at HT but picked it up in the 2nd and created a number of real chances but on the night just couldn't find the net.
MOTM – Quite a few below par performances but in goals Fawns once again showed that he can be relied on to make important saves at vital times during a game and he gets the MOTM award.
League - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 9 Parklife 2 (HT (6-1)
Scorers - Coyle (2), M.Johnstone (3), Walker (2), P.Johnstone, Evans
Team Fawns, Binnie, Grant, Preston (Addison), P Johnstone (Scott), M Walker, Early, Williamson (Evans), Coyle, M Johnstone. Subs not used:O'Neill, Duncan
As easy a day as Milanda have had all season as they proved too powerful for Parklife for the second time in a few weeks. In the away version of this fixture, Milanda huffed and puffed for quite a while before banging in the goals but this time the team clicked straight away and were 5-0 up inside 19 minutes.
On a heavy pitch that Andy Scott and his trusty fork had helped make playable, the home team took the lead after just seven minutes when Martin Coyle powered home a header from Mark Walker's corner. Two minutes later, it was 2-0, Walker taking a pass from Ross Early and slotting the ball in off the far post.
The third goal came after 10 minutes when Martin Johnstone beat the keeper to a Coyle pass and coolly stuck the ball away. Goal No.4 saw two defenders make a mess of clearing a Fawns punt up the middle, allowing the alert Coyle to shoot home.
Scott Preston headed a long throw from Paul Murray wide and striker Johnstone hit a post before the fifth goal arrived in the 19th minute. This was an embarrassing one for the harassed keeper who let a Walker shot squirm through his legs.
Parklife got one back from the penalty spot after Peter Johnstone had pulled down their nippy No.7.
Kevin Williamson had a header go wide and Johnstone hit woodwork for a second time but Milanda restored their five-goal advantage before the break when Peter Johnstone netted his first for the club. The left-back worked a 1-2 of sorts with brother Martin and, as Parklife stood back appealing for offside, ran forward to curl an excellent shot into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Ross Early missed a superb chance early in the second period, shooting wide with only the keeper to beat, and Martin Johnsntone had a strike disallowed for offside but the next goal came from Parklife.
Binnie pulled down one of the visiting attackers, a foul that brought him a booking, and the free-kick took the score back to 6-2. However, there was to be no Deanpark-style collapse, as Milanda finished the game with three more cracking goals.
Martin Johnstone made it 7-2 when he shot home from close range following a cross by Murray. The No.9 then completed his hat-trick by heading in a Walker cross. The ninth came from the boot of substitute Gerry Evans, with Murray again the cross provider.
All in all, a good day's work.
MOTM - No failures this time and the manager got through the 90 minutes without having to berate anyone for sloppy play - probably a first this season. Coyle and Johnstone proved a good front two and contributed five goals, while Williamson's power in midfield helped the team immensely. However, the award for this game goes to Mark Walker for his two goals, three assists and non-stop running in attack and defence.
As requested some comedy moments to add to match report.
Martin Johnstone after he rounded the keeper but couldn't get a shot so ran with the ball along the 6 yard line with defenders and keepers falling in front of him but still managed to hit the ball wide.
Paul Murray being cheered as he finally got a touch of the ball in the 1st half .
Andy 'the fork' Scott hoping Peter Johnstone would miss when clean through.
Coyle's shot that offcially went out for a bye kick but in truth was still in and trundling towards the corner flag. We'll gloss over the shot/cross with the outside of the boot that ended up being a clearance.
Gerry Evans first touch was a classic as the ball hit him on the back of the head as he was too fast for the pass.
As mentioned in the match report Ross Early's run from halfway had him clean though but maybe he had too much time and rolled the ball wide.
Not forgetting Williamson who anticipated the goalie's bye kick and majestically rose in the air unchallenged and headed it back the way instead of forwards.
League - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 5 Crosslands 1 (HT (2-0)
Scorers - Crawford, Evans, Early, SCOTT, Own goal
Team Fawns, Addison, Crawford, O'Neill, P Johnstone (Scott), M Walker, Early, Williamson, Murray, M Johnstone(Coyle) Evans(Reid). Subs not used: Grant
Turned out a fairly easy victory in the end but it took Milanda a while to get going but once in front never looked like being hauled back.
First goal came from a Murray throw that Crawford got a touch to and the keeper who had attempted to come out and collect had to watch it sail over his head into the net. No 2 was a disaster for the Crossland's centre half as he got caught in possession halfway in his own half and M Johnstone nicked in and stole it off him. He raced into the box and drew the keeper before passing the ball into Evans path who had the easy option of knocking it into the empty net.
Crosslands rarely threatened at the other end although Fawns did have one excellent stop to keep the score at. 2-0 and that was how it stood at HT.
It was soon 3 after half time when Early met an Addison free kick and headed it past the keeper at his near post.
Milanda then went on a competition to see how many times they could hit the post. Johnstone hit the post in the first half but Walker, Early and then Reid all hit the woodwork in the second before the game was made safe.
Coyle sent Scott clear on the left and his cross was knocked into the net by Reid.
There was just time to see the own goal of the season so far. About 35 yards out on the touchline the Crosslands defender decided to knock it back to his keeper and as a high and bouncing ball sped towards him he didn't know what to do and then watched as the ball took one final bounce right over his head and into the net. Classic stuff and contender for own goal of the decade.
Crosslands did get some cheer with almost the last kick of the ball when a corner was cleared to the edge of the box and the first time volley caught Fawns unsighted and found the corner of the net.
MOTM - A solid team effort that and the whole team should take a bow.
League - Netherpollok
AC Milanda 5 Hamilton Wanderers 4 (HT (2-2)
Scorers - M.Johnstone (2), Own goal, Coyle, Walker
Team S.Walker, Grant, Crawford, O'Neill, M Walker (Duncan), Early, Coyle, Williamson (Evans), P.Johnstone (Murray), M Johnstone Reid. Subs not used: Scott, Addison
Milanda like to do things the hard way. A match that on paper Milanda should win easily turned out to be anything but easy. Complacency might have been an an issue but this was soon thrown out the window as Wanderers were clearly up for it and hoping to spring a surprise.
Milanda started poorly and struggled to get any momentum. Wanderers on the other hand were stringing some nice passing moves together and were giving Milanda's backline a number of problems. They took a deserved lead when a corner was swung in and their No7. rose unchallenged at the back to power a header past Walker. Accusing glances were the order of the day for Milanda as no one admitted to this being their man.
Milanda awoke from their slumber and realised they had a game on their hands and made inroads into the Wanderers half. Reid had a half chance went put through on the edge of the box but his shot was high and wide.
Reid did have hand in the equalising goal when he sent Peter Johnstone free down the left and his pass found his brother in the box who turned his marker before placing a curling right foot shot into the net. This spurred Milanda on and a superb passing move between Coyle and Early ended with Williamson watching his left foot shot being turned round the post by the Wanderers keeper. From the resultant corner Milanda took the lead in fortunate circumstances. Walker sent in a corner that Coyle was first to and his header smacked off the underside of the bar but as it came out it hit the keeper on the back of the legs and ended up in the net. This should have set Milanda up for a comfortable victory but Wanderers stormed back to equalise when a free kick was misjudged by Walker and another free header was punished.
Milanda boss McMillan was not a happy man at half time and he expected better in the second half. Not sure how many were listening but Milanda found themselves a goal down after allowing the Wanderers centre forward to run 40 yards without a challenge before he hit a screamer of a shot past Walker at his near post. Things got worse as Wanderers scored number four when Walker got down well to block a shot from the edge of the box but was unfortunate that the ball fell straight back to the forward and this time he dispatched it under Walker's body. Not sure either team could believe the score at this point and for another 5mins it looked as if Wanderers would increase their lead.
Finally Milanda settled and got back into the game. A sweeping move from one end of the pitch the other saw Milanda reduce the deficit. Martin Johnstone did some fine defensive work on the edge of the Milanda box and fed the ball to Early who took the ball forward a few yards before hitting a great through ball to Coyle who nearly tore the net down with his finish. From this moment on it was all Milanda but stout defending and a lack of any luck around goal still saw Milanda struggle for the equaliser.
Milanda may not have had much luck in the first part of the 2nd half but they got a huge chunk of it in the lead up to the equaliser. Reid picked up a ball on the right wing but looked to have let it run too far and out of play but as the Wanderers player stood and claimed Reid carried on and sent a cross into the box that Walker hit first time into the net. Wanderers complained to the ref to no avail but they did commit the cardinal sin by not playing to the whistle.
After this there was only going to be one winner and Milanda piled forward at every opportunity and were rewarded when Coyle took the ball for a walk on the right, beat a couple of men before hitting a perfect cross into the box and Martin Johnstone was there to glance a header into the net to give Milanda, what looked at one stage to be a very unlikely victory.
Wanderers were a beaten team by this point and although Milanda didn't add to their total they eventually ran out comfortable winners and can take credit for fighting their way back into the game when they really looked down and out.
MOTM - Think we'll give it to Mr Happy this week. Scored one, made one and tried to claim the own goal but was influential the whole game. The last MOTM award for the season goes to Coyle.