AC Milanda 2 Blantyre 3.
Scorer- Macdonald (2)
Team - Reid, Di Folco (Evans), Preston (O'Neill), Chisholm (Galbraith), Murray, McPake (Harley), Grehan, MacDougall, McLaughlin, Macdonald, Allan.
MILANDA suffered their third league defeat on the trot but can count themselves unlucky not to have taken at least a draw. Considering they were without a recognised keeper – Mark Reid volunteered to take the gloves and did a good job – and that four players, including three of the back four, had to go off injured at various stages, it was a decent effort.
This was nothing like the previous week's capitulation against Red Star Baillieston, although the outcome was the same – nil points. It was particularly frustrating to lose to the last kick of the ball, especially as Milanda had been two goals ahead.The return of Kevin Grehan allowed Roddy Macdonald to be pushed up front in place of Gordon Chisholm who moved back to try to shore up a leaky defence.
The changes seemed to be working as Milanda made an excellent start. Macdonald scored two cracking goals inside the first 13 minutes, the first a deflected shot after good work by strike partner Marc Allan and the second a drive from Colin McLaughlin's perfect lay-off that gave the keeper no chance. Macdonald could have had a hat-trick but his third attempt at goal in the 20th minute, a header from Allan's cross, went over the bar.
Blantyre gradually came back into the game and scored twice in the eight minutes leading up to half-time. The loss of the two goals and an injury to Scott Preston, who had to be replaced by Dave O'Neill, meant the complexion of the game had changed dramatically by the time the teams turned around.
However, Milanda still looked fairly comfortable and had the better chances in a second period that saw Chisholm, Des McPake and Gary Di Folco, who were all having good games, hobble off injured. Macdonald fired just wide after a poor clearance by the Blantyre keeper, the lively Allan had a fierce shot palmed round the post and then Macdonald did brilliantly to set up an opening for Grehan who missed the target.
It looked as if both teams would have to settle for a draw when, with a minute to go, Milanda gave away possession in midfield and then had to concede a free-kick 25 yards from goal.
Blantyre left-back Zander Simpson, who had created their opener, then stepped up to curl the ball over the wall and into the net. It was a cruel way to lose.
Man of the match: Roddy Macdonald led the line brilliantly and scored two great goals.