Club fixture v Waverley Inveresk Trinity Sun 26 Feb 2012 Bangholm

Scottish Thistles took on a Waverley Inveresk Trinity (WIT) side comprising the young (teenage) to the still fairly young (40’s) while we just fairly bristled with experience, more experience and greater experience yet. The over 60, 65 & 70 age groups were evenly spread in the squad save for our guest goalie, Shaun Miller of CALA, who at XX still has XL years to go before he’s LX which is a bit late. But we’ll be late by then too! It was also pleasing to see that players had descended to the ground from all over Scotland with Glasgow, Dundee & Aberdeen pals joining a more local Edinburgh & Haddington contingent.

Captain Alan set the team up in a 3 – 5 – 2 formation with Philip, Lloyd & (Robbie) Robertson the uber experienced back row with Golightly, Auld, Burns, Bishop & McIntosh providing the engine in the middle with Smith & Morrice roaming forwards. Waverley had a man short to begin with so Bob Sangster volunteered to play for them in central defence while Stuart Robertson turned out for his club side to try to subdue the threat of the Thistles' midfield. This meant there were no substitutions and everybody was required, if not necessarily willing or able, to play a full game.

In a bright first half Thistles had the greater share of the ball with the better of the midfield exchanges. Bishop was always on the move while Burns was simply too hot to handle. Waverley nevertheless threatened but the three in the back line were exemplary with superb covering and tackling while Auld, McIntosh & Golightly supported in both defence and attack and, along with their other teammates, kept the pressure on WIT by intelligently moving the ball from one wing to another using the conduit of a back pass to a central defender. Ian Wilson would have been a proud man! This created several good chances to score and both Smith & Morrice worked and ran hard to find the space to either threaten to score themselves or to create openings for others. On a luckier day 3 or 4 chances could easily have been converted. In spite of all this waxing lyrical our goalie, Shaun, still had to make a few saves. However he was finally beaten when WIT won a short corner late on the first half when a clear shot only just got past him.

The second half started then with Thistles a goal down against the run of play but the half time break seemed to have dispirited them as on the restart their fine play was not so evident as it had been previously and the relative domination of the first period had gone. With the game more finely balanced chances went abegging at both ends but as time ran out it took a Doug Morrice special in the last minute to tie the match. Following a typical midfield charge by Bishop & Burns with McIntosh & Smith making life uncomfortable for the WIT defence Doug got the ball under control close to the goal mouth before drawing it back to give him space to coolly poke it past the goalie.

The final 1 -1 scoreline was a perfect result for a friendly game helping to ensure, hopefully, that another fixture between our clubs can be arranged again. Mention must also be made of Stuart & Bob who were at the thick of it for WIT with the former giving as good as he got against the Thistles midfield and the later shoring up his defence and getting some cracking & telling passes away to his forwards. Finally I have to say the umpiring by yours truly and a WIT WAG seemed to be suitably unprejudiced as nobody from either team had a kind word to say about it.

Scottish Thistles

S. Miller (guest), E Lloyd, A Philip, R Robertson, A Golightly, A Auld, P Burns, H Bishop, D McIntosh, D Morrice, J Smith. S Weir (umpire)

Waverley Inveresk Trinity

S Robertson, B Sangster plus 9 others.

Report by Sandy Weir