Gordonians men’s 1st team produce their first win of the season to hopefully begin a climb up the league table.
On Saturday the boys travelled down to Glasgow off the back of five straight league defeats, knowing that nothing but a win would suffice as the team look to kick-start their season. Clydesdale were the hosts and are similar to the Pelicans in that they boast a young side, with some seasoned experience dotted throughout the team.
As the weather cleared nicely for the slightly delayed 14:30 push back, the game settled into a good rhythm. Both sides seemed to be easing their way into the game, probing the opposition yet both happy to keep the ball and try to build some good possession. Neither keeper was especially tested in the games early moments however Sam McGrath was alert and out quickly in the Gordonians goal to mop up a couple of Clydesdale through-balls, with strikers bearing down on him.
It was however Gordonians who drew first blood. A period of solid pressure on the Clydesdale defence allowed for that man Rory McCann to break down the left hand side. Good stick skills in the D allowed him to get the ball going across the goal, the ball then struck a defenders stick and looped high in the air towards the back post. It was at this moment that Ally Dougall stepped up to the plate. With no more than a second to react he produced the hockey equivalent of a bicycle kick and plucked the ball from the air and into the back of the net. This was much to the delight, and surprise, of his team mates.
The men in yellow almost doubled their lead as Jamie Conner did well to intercept the ball from the Clydesdale full back and feed Will Serle. With Will’s recent goal scoring form he was unlucky not to score and forced the keeper into a save.
HT Clydesdale 1-0 Gordonians
The Gordonians looked to start the second half with the same pressure and intensity that had awarded them with a goal in the first however it was Clydesdale who came out the better side. A short corner was well finished in the bottom corner and the score was levelled.
Gordonians replied not long after and Rory McCann produced another assist. This time he fed Fraser Yates who was extremely cool in front of goal and swept the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net. Again excellent build up play was the catalyst for this goal with the boys playing some fast flowing hockey.
Although playing well the boys were to be pegged back again thanks to a dubious umpiring decision as Ian Livingstone appeared to make a brilliant tackle only to be penalised, and another penalty corner awarded to Clydesdale. It seemed as though Clydesdale had been working on their short corners as they once again found the back of the net and once again the score was tied at 2 apiece.
Showing superb mentality the boys didn’t get down and replied back in brilliant fashion. This time it was Adam Walker's turn to get on the score sheet. Walker, who was deployed up front for the first time, had been terrorising the Clydesdale defence all afternoon with pace not unlike a young Obafemi Martins. Again it was McCann who fed him the ball, letting Walker do the work as he drifted past a defender and slotted the ball past a helpless goalkeeper.
It was to be a double delight for Gordonians as moment later they struck again. Man of the Moment Rory McCann was producing a Xavi like performance and carved his way into the D from the right hand side, leaving defenders in his wake. He unselfishly lifted the ball across the goal and Yates, who has a knack for being in the right position, was again there to finish the move off. As the ball came to him at knee height he was able to make good use of his cricket skills and flick the ball away as if it were going for four. It was another beautiful move from Gordonians who were now 4-2 up, with four assists for McCann himself.
The boys were playing well with Stuart Allan and Craig Harper cleaning up anything at the back and Graham Pittendrigh trapping aerials like they were footballs. However there was to be a slightly nervous finish as Clydesdale drew another foul in the D minutes from the end and followed their previous two successful corners with another good flick and goal.
Gordonians were however solid in their defending and set up a brick wall in the last few minutes that Clydesdale were unable to break down. As the finale whistle went there was relief as finally the team were able to put three points on the league table.
Credit to Clydesdale who contributed to a quality and highly entertaining match.
FT Clydesdale 3-4 Gordonians