St. Marks Shoot-out Misery

Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2014

A disappointing performance at Rosewell 2 weeks ago had left a cloud of self-doubt hanging over us. To lose any game is disappointing, to do so and be charged with a ‘lack of stomach’ for a battle is all the more difficult to take. Yesterday our Team showed it has heart, character, desire and talent…against the biggest, most physical WWFC side Micky could pick on the day.

Despite losing on penalties, our heart-beat is strong…we remain focused on our key goals for the season, but also the long term. Make no mistake about it, we wanted to win yesterday…as was reflected in our performance and superb work ethic on the day. However, as strange as it may sound & seem to some, I firmly believe we gained more (in terms of the long term game) than we lost yesterday.

Post match (straight after extra time) Micky was kind enough to acknowledge we had been the better team on the day (as did Mr Whitehill himself, Peter McGauley). As a Coach and Manager you encourage and invite your players to ‘control the controllables’. After going down to 10 men, I believe we demonstrated our mental strength, we remained committed to playing our own brand and style of football on a big stage…something which bodes well for the future. Our collective fitness levels shone through…were there for all to see, as our players worked tirelessly to show for the ball, retain possession and aim to dictate the tempo of the game.

After a pretty scrappy opening 30 mins, when there was only a handful of goal attempts in the game, we finished the 1st half well on top, on the front foot. For me, the 2nd half started as the 1st half had ended…before we lost our talisman Cloudy, to our 1st red card. Was it a penalty beforehand…when Cloudy was fouled, who knows…on another day, it could have been given. However, most people would agree the defining moment turned out to be our 2nd red card for Hovie, who had produced an ‘mom’ level of performance on the day. Based on what people I trust have told me post match and today, it was a harsh decision.

Missing our top 3 pen takers in the shoot out made it all the more difficult, however, fair play to the Whitehill Welfare players who scored, the quality of their pens was very good. I’ve said it before, ‘The Welfare’ are an experienced, strong; physical and capable side.

We may have left without the cup, however, we left the arena knowing we had competed and left nothing in our tank. We go into the final furlong of the season damaged by the suspensions we will now face (added to the absence of several players due to injury). However, we also go into the final furlong with a huge desire that’s even greater on the back of yesterday and without a monkey or two on our back.

This team’s best days lie ahead, the core of this new side is still to reach it’s peak. Yesterday was another log on the fire, another experience banked on a more significant journey. Roll on Castle Douglas, when we will go all out to increase our lead at the top of the LL table.


Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 27th April
Opponent: Peterhead
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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