Right place, Wright time!
Point 1 – 0 Aths
Point edged their way to victory over Aths thanks to a heroic last minute double save by the legend that is Alex Wright. The Reds, having dominated the early stages of the match, eventually scored through Sam Macsween, but were made to sweat by a determined Aths team.
The Reds came flying out of the traps and almost went ahead in 40 seconds. Good play by Stephen Kettings and Stephen Campbell ended with a cross being fired in towards Sam. The Red Wingman shot powerfully but Colin Macritchie blocked spectacularly to keep the scores level.
The Reds continued to attack and good chances came and were spurned by Stu “Onshore” Munro who shot wide, Elliot Rudall who shot wide and headed over, Sam who passed the ball wide and Alex Lamb whose goalbound header was cleared by Sam’s knee! Was it going to be one of these nights?
As the half wore on it was getting stressful on the touch line. Where was Scott with our sweets when you needed him? ( on a course on the mainland it turned out), Coach Mackay was getting frustrated as chances came and went. Ruari Miller was still drunk from a Stag weekend, hic, hic. Macca, who was with him on the Stag, was running the line although he was lucky we didnt’ask him to stand on one leg and touch his nose! Aths had their old faithful supporters Malcolm Macdonald and Angie along and they were beginning to get a bit more excited about the Hoops chances.
After about half an hour a straight ball over the top sent Jamie Fraser away for Aths but Wrighty was out like Usain Bolt to stop him. That was a warning for the Reds that Aths had a bit of pace up front. They also have MoJo who hasn’t lost his MoJo despite being older than me(!); he was beginning to find space in and around our midfield like the wiley veteran he is. At one point Coach Mackay asked me if Mojo was Pirlo. “Is Mojo Pirlo?”, he said. I think it was a rhetorical question so I didn’t say anything.
With half time approaching Aths attacked again and the ball fell to Ian Maciver on the edge of the box. Ian delicately volleyed the ball up and over Wrighty and off the crossbar. As the ball bounced down Scott Macaulay raced in to finish it off; Wrighty got up and blocked it and the ball spun around as defenders, attackers, supporters and Wrighty hacked away desperately. Eventually the ball was cleared to safety and the Reds sighed their way into the dressing room for a half time breather.
We told the boys that although Aths had created a couple of chances near half time, we should have been 2 or 3 up after 20 minutes. We told them to relax a bit more on the ball and try and be a bit more patient.
I didn’t get anything to eat or drink at half time as I was angry that we weren’t winning.
Point started the second half well and forced a corner after a couple of minutes. The ball was half cleared, Stephen “Ronaldo” Campbell expertly volleyed the ball toward goal through a forest of legs. Colin saved the shot but couldn’t hold it and Sam ran into finish it off. But no, Colin saved again, and from there another great scramble ensued as they both fell to the ground. Sam looked like he was breakdancing as he kicked thin air until he eventually made contact with the ball and it ended up in the net! At last. Point 1 v 0 Aths (48mins).
Whilst the Reds probably edged possession in the second half, Aths had some great chances and there was one in particular when Jamie Fraser raced clear, but Wrighty again came to Point’s rescue by blocking with his legs. At the other end Wally had a good chance following excellent play by Stu Munro and Sam, but he saw his shot blocked to safety by Colin. Reds captain Stu Flower wasn’t feeling 100% and so Rab replaced him. Shortly afterwards Angus Macdonald came on for Spike and Alexander came on for Sam as the Reds looked to freshen things up with their young Guns. Angus almost made an immediate impact as he strode forward and hit the outside of the post with a 25 yard left foot daisy cutter.
By this stage Wally had moved to the right and showed some unbelievable skill to beat 2 men on the bye line. He crossed for Rab but Scott Macaulay made a brilliant interception as the Rabster was about to score. The minutes ticked by as the Reds closed in on a 4th consecutive win.
Stu Munro was having an epic battle with Kyle from Harris who was doing a good job of standing up to the Reds target man. As the clock wound down Kyle was to have his chance at the other end. The clock read 93 mins as Aths won a free kick. The cross was half cleared to the edge of the box where Kyle was standing. He volleyed it hard and true toward the left corner of the goal. From nowhere Wrighty flew across and palmed away, the ball was returned and Wrighty kicked it away before Aths blazed over the bar! Phew. That was too close for comfort. Shortly afterward the ref blew for fulltime.
Point man of the match: Not many Reds at their brilliant best but Elliot and Alex Wright shone throughout.
Moment of match: That last minute save by Wrighty could prove vital.
Moan of the match: It would be great to get a bigger Red Army through the gates. Yes we have the grumblies and some more loyal troops but it would be brilliant to see more fans coming either to the Shed or the All Seater. We have some of the best players and bakers in the island! Come along and bring some friends.