GFSN Cup Match Report
3 - 2
Michael Black (15' pen.)
John Park (58', 66')
No.8 (31', 69')
Saturday 20 October 2018, 4pm, Peffermill, Edinburgh.
Hotscots: Scott Kitching (goal), Peter Candy, Blair Montgomery, Stu Sutherland (capt.), Richard Amos (Liam Middleton 35', Lee Roy 58'), Michael Black, James Turner, Gregor McMurty (Steven McIntyre 55'), Paul Fleming, Liam Neill, John Park.
Unsused substitutes: Stuart Mallen, Alicia Hartman
Merseyside Marauders: Starting 11 + 4 substitutes
Attendance: Dale McDonald, Craig Anderson
Conditions: Mild cloudy autumn afternoon, light breeze across the artificial 3G pitch
Manager Richard "Archie" Amos fielded a strong squad despite notable absences from Stevie Gray (bike accident, we wish him a prompt recovery!), Tom & Neil (globe trotting) and Fraser May (Green Party conference). Legendary Hotscots founder and former chairman Kev Rowe is off to the isle of Skye reaching for new limits... Archie has a plan built on a 4-5-1 formation: A centre back pairing of Stu S and Blair Montgomery flanked on the left by Peter and on the right by Archie himself; a busy midfield consisting of Michael Black and James Turner in a holding position, allowing Paul F to move wherever his creativity takes him, and Liam Neill and Gregor McMurty occupying the left and right wing, respectively; "Parky" the lone striker up front should hopefully receive plenty of assists and do what he does best, i.e. score goals.
The match started off cautiously with both sides passing the ball around, getting a measure of each other. On 14 minutes, Hotscots have the first shot at goal with Liam Neill blasting one on the left post. Soon after, he is in the 18 yard area again, dribbling through a tight defence, when he gets clipped. Referee Amo signals for the penalty spot. Michael Black converts in clinical fashion.
Marauders respond with a spell of attack led by their captain No.13, who wins a tough challenge past Stu Sutherland and fires a shot off target. On 30 minutes they win a dangerous free kick in the Hotscots half. The ball is headed off but fed back to marauding No.8 in the six yard area, who shoots diagonally across to beat Scott K.
Archie takes himself off, Gregor takes his place in right back and Liam Middleton comes on the right wing. The game is now perfectly poised and there are plenty of chances at both ends. Liam Neill makes darting runs on the left wing but his shots lack the power to trouble the Merseyside keeper. At the other end, Scott K gives us a fright when he attempts to clear a back pass from Stu S and is sharply blocked by a Marauder. The ball flies, thankfully, just over the bar. A minute later he redeems himself with a fantastic diving save. While the pace seems frantic and nervy at times, Hotscots manage to compose one lengthy passing sequence culminating in a shot by James Turner just over the bar. The last dangerous action before the break sees Marauders win a free kick and Scott K makes a comfortable save.
Half time score: 1-1.
Manager Archie emphasizes the need to keep working for the team and urges all players not to dwell on the ball too much.
The second half starts well for Hotscots with fast athletic runs on the left wing by Liam Neill, feeding Middleton for a shot straight at the goalkeeper, then attempting a shot of his own just over the bar. It's not his lucky day! Merseyside remain dangerous, especially captain No.13, contained with difficulty by the home defence. He earns a well placed free kick but hits into the wall, and a few minutes later the next attacking move finishes with a fine save by Scott K. We're approaching the one hour mark and Archie brings on Steven McIntyre for Gregor McMurty in right back. Hotscots suddenly break the deadlock: Peter sends a long pass to Parky who brushes a low curling shot past the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. What a beauty! Merseyside captain No.13 appeals for offside and argues with Amo. Bad mistake, he gets a yellow card.
While Lee Roy comes in for Liam Middleton, limping off with an ankle injury, Paul Fleming has a flourish and demonstrates some silky smooth touches in midfield. He feeds a perfectly adjusted pass to Liam Neill who promptly relays to Parky to slot the ball calmly into the net.
Just when the Hotscots are getting the edge, Marauder No.8 - did he sense the strengthening breeze ? - fires a wild cross into the air that looks set for the clouds, only for the ball to swerve above and over Scott K, standing a few yards out in front of his line, and to finish its mad trajectory into the back of the net. What a freak one!
With 20 minutes left on the clock, it's all to play for both teams who create a delightful spectacle of attacking football. Merseyside have a couple of dangerous set pieces: No.31 volleys a free kick just over the bar while No.8 heads a corner wide. Archie shouts anxiously to his team: "hold on". However, Hotscots are not content with defending: Paul F wins a corner, followed by a free kick conceded after an accidental handball by No.31. Liam Neill shoots low into the wall. With four minutes to go, high drama in the Hostcots 18 yard area: Marauders get a penalty after a foul on No.13! Shock! Scott K parries and a scramble ensues. Peter clears twice from the line and finally the ball is away to Paul F who launches a counter attack. Merseyside try again but can't get an equaliser. Amo blows the whistle after Parky has the final shot of the day punched into corner by the Merseyside keeper.
Final score: 3-2.
Joyful Hotscots celebrate the cup win. "Well done" says Archie. A quarter final weekend in Glasgow awaits you!
by: Michel Quiniou.