Riverside win 2-1 on very sticky pitch
By Sean Laird
Worms casts blacken the pitch as Saul and Tim fight for the first goal
The day started well as Terry Smith distributed a couple of pairs of extra stretchy socks, making it much easier to get ready for the game. Just as well as we needed all our energy to play on an exceedingly heavy pitch. Apparently the worms of Harrow Meadow have been casting furiously, leaving wee bits of new soil all over the pitch, good for future growth but not good for running around on.
The bright sun was also conspiring against us, low above the top goal for most of the game, making defending uphill very tough in the first half. Our fifteen available were out and ready on the pitch by 10am, whereas Lads of the village arrived in dribs and drabs and were out by 10:30am. It was a struggle to play good passing football, with the ball holding up and getting covered in mud providing an unpredictable bobble. Neither team managed to create good chances in the first half, with many frustrating off sides given. They had a couple of big lads at the back but were generally quite a short ball playing team, who only really threatened us on long balls into their mobile strikers. There were some very fierce tackles, Gary McKenna picking up an injury from one and Danny Fisher lucky to not get hurt by a reckless revenge attack from their number 8.
The downhill second half was better for us. Plenty of space opened up and we gradually found the discipline to play the easy balls. The first goal came from a nice move and diagonal pass from Tom Clisby to the Siamese Twins (Tim Leach and Saul Abbott) who touched the ball over the keeper and in. Neither Tim Leach nor Saul Abbott could confirm who had the last touch so they both claimed it. We kept pressing on and Saul Abbott gathered a long clearance and skipped past the keeper but just a bit too far. He turned back and played a lovely shot that hit the front post and bounced out to me. I got to it and then their big centre back came straight through the back of me for a foul. Clive instantly pointed to the spot for a penalty. Matt Griffiths hit an unsaveable shot low to the goalie's left to make it 2-0. Another injury to Danny Herriett caused us to rotate the team. We kept looking for number three but the Lads got the next goal from a long clearance and a good lob over Ollie Stretton that Steve Bosustow couldn't reach in time to keep out. We saw out the last two minutes to claim the victory in a hard fought game.