AC Milanda 1 Glasgow Islay 4
Team - Dunlop, Fawns, Evans (Di Folco), Preston, O’Neill, McPake (Galbraith), Macdonald, Reid, Murray, Chisholm, Harley (Allan). Sub not used: C McLaughlin.
MILANDA’S league campaign got off to a disappointing start with another lacklustre performance. Individual errors contributed to three of the Islay goals and in this division if you offer free gifts they’re going to be snapped up. The scoreline probably flatters the opposition a little but overall they were the better side. Milanda were second to too many balls, lost a lot of the aerial battles and generally didn’t look as hungry as Islay.
Losing aerial battles can be excused because Islay are a big, strong team but the other two reasons for this defeat give serious cause for concern. The bickering that went on within the team was not a good sign either and while a lot of it was down to frustration over the first two goals that were conceded, it’s something that has to stop. No one is deliberately making mistakes - if they are, we have more problems than we thought – so let’s show a bit more understanding and togetherness. We have lost some good players from last season’s squad and it will take time to get back to that level but infighting won’t take us there any quicker.
Islay started better and had a goal disallowed for offside and two that counted, courtesy of bad mistakes, inside the first 12 minutes. Milanda’s only effort of note in that period was a Gordon Chisholm header that just missed the target from Craig Fawns’s long throw.
An injury to Gerry Evans brought a reshuffle of the defence with sleep deprived new dad Gary Di Folco slotting in at left-back and Dave O’Neill moving to centre-back.
Milanda found a way back into the match nine minutes into the second period. A long throw by Paul Murray reached O’Neill and his looping header just cleared the stretching fingertips of keeper Andy Campbell. Milanda pressed for an equaliser and for a spell it looked as if they might get it. A ball by Murray across the face of the box just needed someone to get a touch and trialist striker Marc Allan had a chance after a mistake in defence but keeper Campbell pulled off a good save.
As so often happens, there was a price to pay for not taking these chances and Islay cashed in with two simple, late goals.
Things can only get better. We hope.
MOM: Scott Preston played solidly at the back and showed a great attitude in pushing Milanda forward in an effort to salvage something from the match.