AC Milanda 1 Strathclyde University 2.
Scorer - Macdonald
Team - Mitchell, Fawns, Preston, Evans, Di Folco, Reid, Grehan, Galbraith (O’Neill), Murray, Macdonald, Harley (Allan). Sub not used: McPake.
Milanda slumped back to the bottom of the table and on this showing will find it tough to get out of trouble. Despite the fact Milanda took the lead and kept it for an hour, there was an inevitability about their opponents’ fightback. Without being disrespectful, this was not the best Strathclyde University side Milanda have ever faced but their fitness and determination – plus a huge slice of luck – got them through. The bottom line is they were beatable and Milanda couldn’t beat them.
The home side started the game well enough and scored after seven minutes. Paul Murray’s through ball was missed by the centre-half and Roddy Macdonald pounced to bury the ball in the Strathclyde net. Murray himself had a shot deflected wide a few minutes later as the home side kept up the pressure.
After 33 minutes, another Murray through ball bamboozled the visitors’ centre-backs and Macdonald broke through again but this time he failed to hit the target.
Milanda reached half-time with their lead intact, having had just one scary moment when one of the Strathclyde forwards missed his kick from close range after a cutback had set him up.
There was another escape early in the second period when a slip by Gerry Evans let Strathclyde in on goal but Ross Mitchell pulled off a magnificent save to deny his former team. A goal-line clearance by Murray then thwarted the students who were looking more and more of a threat.
After 62 minutes, the inevitable happened. A break down the left saw the Strathclyde winger fire over what looked like a cross but the ball struck the far post and bounced into the net for the equaliser. It looked like a fluke goal but they all count. Put it this way, if he meant it he’s a genius and there had been no sign that this was the case for the first hour.
Lifted by the goal, Strathclyde kept pressing and with 10 minutes left scored the winner from a needlessly conceded free-kick. That’s three games at least – Blantyre and Ashfield being the others that spring to mind - in which points have been lost to free-kicks that could have been avoided, so we have to start learning the lesson.
Apart from a shot by Greig Harley that went over the bar, Milanda rarely threatened in the second period and, like the general performance, that simply wasn’t good enough.
MOM: Roddy Macdonald grafted throughout the 90 minutes and took his goal well.