|Strathclyde Saturday Morning League:Division 1|
|19th August 2006
Barlia Sports Complex
|A.Dougall, K.McCann, McCaig|
|Team: Lunny, Sinclair, McInally, Z.Dougall, Thornton, A.Dougall (Stoddard) Neeson, K.McCann (Nugent), McCaig, Carey, (Docherty),McGinley. Unused Subs: McKenna, Herbison|
Windlaw opened the new season with a home game against Division 1 newcomers Hogganfield Thistle as the champions set out to defend their title. The serious stuff was now upon us and it was time to deliver a good performance but more importantly take all 3 points.
Manager Gary Wilson made some enforced changes from the week before with Zanda Dougall and Shug Neeson replacing Ian Baird and Danny McKenna. Goalkeeper John Lunny also came into the squad after spending the entire pre-season campaign on
the treatment table.
Windlaw started brightly and probed at the Hogganfield defence from the first whistle. The ball was being knocked about well and some good football was on display from the current champions. Windlaw had the new boys camped in their own half but after lots of good play and possession there was still no sign of a breakthrough. That was until Allan Dougall stepped up with a rare but superb solo effort to put the home side one nil up. After a neat one-two with David McGinley, Dougall nutmegged a defender and found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Dougall managed to get to the ball before the onrushing kepper and clipped it in off the far post. A fine goal to start the season.
Windlaw were unlucky not to have a second when Kevin McCann had an effort cleared off the line. A fine ball over the defence from Allan Dougall put McCann in and his lob over the onrushing keeper seemed goalbound until somehow the defender got back in time to clear off the line.
Windlaw were completely dominant in the first half and the 1-0 scoreline was slightly flattering for the visitors.
Half-Time: Windlaw 1-0 Hogganfield Thistle
The second half followed a much similar pattern to the first with Windlaw having the bulk of possession and forcing Hogganfield onto the back foot from early on.
The second goal arrived courtesy of Kevin McCann and it was an absolute belter. After David McGinley had 2 successive efforts blocked, Kevin picked up the rebound and unleashed a trademark unstoppable drive into the top right hand corner of the net. That goal will undoubtedly be in the running for goal of the season.
Windlaw continued to press and grabbed a third through last seasons top goalscorer Eck McCaig. The diminutive striker scored from close range but only after it took a deflection on the way in.
Windlaw were cruising now but were still looking for more goals. McCann almost grabbed a second with a carbon copy effort of his goal but this time it went narrowly over the bar. Scott Stoddard, an earlier replacement for Allan Dougall, should really have scored after a one on one with the keeper, but the hitman screwed his shot wide of the post. The unlucky frontman also had an effort cleared off the line, so it just wasn't going to be his day.
Hogganfield grabbed a late consolation as frontman Paul McCartney drilled a decent effort across Lunny and in off the far post. A disappointing way to finish the match but 3 points collected and job done.
Full-Time: Windlaw 3-1 Hogganfield Thistle
Verdict: A fine display from a Windlaw team who looked inconsistent during pre-season. The job was done efficiently with 3 good goals and some excellent performances on the day. However it is only day 1 of 26 and there is a long way to go so there is no point getting carried away after one good performance. This level of performance must be carried into each game and if it is, we might have a chance of retaining the title.
Star Man: TBC