Management thoughts on our King Cup victory.

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Mike says –

“I was very apprehensive this week after our training session on Monday at the Academy. There was the absent injured of course (and good players they are) , the general wear and tear you always get at this time of the season but of more concern were two or three players who actually played last night but struggled to do anything on Monday. We have an important semi-final on Saturday so I won’t name all the names but one player’s hamstring was so sore he couldn’t even let Dougie Hewat give it a rub at training.  

Sam and I travelled to Falkirk stadium not only with more than one team down on paper but the topics of conversation before the game were 1) what do we do if so-an-so doesn’t make it through the warm-up and 2) what changes we would make if the “problem” players had to come off early on. Not the best way to prepare for a Cup Final against your biggest rivals in East of Scotland football.

Both teams looked nervous early on and strong penalty claim when their goalie collided with Omar after he’d knocked the ball past him aside, it took us a while to get the ball down and pass it. The game was still in flux when Gavin turned, made the big, initial stride only he has passed his midfield marker and drove at the Stirling back four. His weight of pass and Omar’s control and deft finish were the highlights of a first half which got better as it went on. Sam and I couldn’t believe we had the same 11 coming off the park who went on and that was a big bonus.

The first half hour of second half – no probably the majority of the second half belonged to the students. Their fullbacks, the right back especially got higher up the park and we struggled to retain the ball. Now they were chasing the game and we were protecting a lead but I still think we should have had more possession. At this stage of the season and with so many important games played mental tiredness becomes as big an issue as physical problems and we began to wilt a bit and give away too many silly free-kicks.

We took Jack off because of his hamstring but also so Chris Smith with his fresh legs could negate the right back and to get Omar’s energy more central. The second goal was not a direct result of the change and it was against the run of play but it was very welcome. The fact it was such a great finish gave everyone a lift on the pitch and off it and Eric Ewing sucked the air out of me in a bear hug as we celebrated. As the game went into its last 5 minutes the sloppy free kicks we had been giving away through fatigue cost us a goal and thanks to a great save from Chris Flockhart cost the students the extra-time they probably deserved. 

Sam and I were/are delighted with the character the boys showed last night and have shown all season. We know they can play, we know they have quality and experience, but having the bottle to force a result against quality opposition when your body is telling you should be lying in a bath or on a beach somewhere is something else. To say we are proud of them is the understatement of the season.”


Next Fixture

Date: 23/07/24
Opponent: Forfar Athletic
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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