League Cup - Stepford
AC Milanda 4 Bishopton 6 (HT 3-4)
Scorers - Kelly (3), Harley
Team:K O’Donnell, Di Folco, Evans, Thomson, McKenzie, Reid, Murray, R O’Donnell, Harley, Kelly, Johnstone. Sub not used: Fawns.
Milanda scored four excellent goals but ended up with nothing to show for it thanks to an inability to defend properly. The team also played a lot of good football over the 90 minutes and on another day should have taken at least a point against an experienced, very fit and well-organised Bishopton side. However, if you constantly gift goals to the opposition you can’t expect to win matches.
Keeper Kyle O’Donnell, man of the match in the previous League Cup game, couldn’t save Milanda this time because those in front of him did not provide the level of cover he was entitled to expect. He didn’t deserve to come off the pitch having conceded six goals. And Colin Kelly didn’t deserve to be a loser either after scoring yet another superb hat-trick. But lose we did and now we await the result of the final sectional game, Bishopton v Cambuslang ROK, to see if we progress into the quarter-finals of the consolation tournament.
The start to the match was ideal with Milanda going ahead after five minutes, Kelly firing home a Martin Johnstone pass after some good inter-play on the edge of the box. But we then shot ourselves in the foot five minutes later. Keeper O’Donnell threw the ball out to Ben McKenzie who lost possession, allowing Bishopton the simplest of equalisers. Five minutes more and further slack play allowed Bishopton to cut Milanda open down the right and make the score 2-1.
Back came the home side and Ryan O’Donnell headed on a Mark Reid free-kick for Greig Harley to score at the back post. Two more quick goals put Bishopton in the driving seat but Milanda kept plugging away and reduced the deficit to one again just before the break. Another Reid free-kick, another knock-on by O’Donnell and Kelly provided the finish. There was genuine cause for optimism going into the second half with a stiff breeze in Milanda’s favour.
However, defensive frailties surfaced again as Bishopton scored a ridiculously easy fifth goal. Milanda responded positively and Kelly completed his hat-trick with a curling shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box after being set up by Paul Murray. Murray almost provided the equaliser with a fierce shot that the Bishopton keeper did well to tip over the bar.
With Murray and O’Donnell getting a lot of the ball in midfield, Milanda looked capable of at least drawing the match. However, Bishopton scored a sixth and it was game over. Unless Milanda can tighten up at the back, it’s going to be another long and difficult season in what promises to be a highly competitive GDSML First Division.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Colin Kelly. Different class.