|Soccerworld Scottish Amateur Cup Round 1|
|29th September 2007
St Margaret Mary's Secondary School
|Campbell, Millar, Mackay|
|Team: Lunny, McInally, McCann(Williamson), Thornton(McGregor) Carmichael, A.Dougall(Larkin), McGinlay, Taylor, Sinclair, Z.Dougall, Carey|
Oban Hold Off Strong Windlaw Challenge
Windlaw suffered a few pre-match blows when Eck McCaig and Brendan Bonnar were both ruled out and Ian Baird was also struggling with injury, although he managed to take a place on the bench. Allied to Danny McKenna’s suspension these were blows that the home side could well have done without. The width of the small pitch seemed to be causing the visitors concern before the game although a measure did seem unnecessary, given that Windlaw were fully aware of SAFA rules, especially as the same rules robbed them of the chance to play the tie at Barlia, one of the largest playing surfaces in the country, so this would be a game that both sides would have to adapt their styles to suit.
As the game began, both sides showed that they would adjust by getting the ball forward quickly to their forwards and put the defences under pressure. Oban played with 3 men up in the hope of pinning Windlaw back. There were little clear-cut chances until a mistake led to Oban opening the scoring on 15 minutes. After a ball bounced around Windlaw’s six yard box, a poor defensive header from McInally gave big Craig Campbell the chance to hammer home from close range off the underside of John Lunny’s crossbar. Worse was to follow 3 minutes later when a long throw from Oban’s right hand side caused chaos in the Windlaw box. As Allan Dougall swung to clear, he missed his kick and Keith Millar pounced on the error to rifle home a neat finish from 14 yards into the bottom corner. This was the cue for Windlaw to collapse but they showed their resilience and roared back at the visitors with a sustained spell of pressure. Kevin McCann fizzed throw-in after throw-in on top of Oban’s young keeper Douglas who looked decidedly nervy. A series of corners was also forced to no avail and when Windlaw did score on 36 minutes, it was in the most bizarre fashion. Oban defender Craik sold his keeper Douglas short with a pass-back and Davie McGinley shut the keeper down as he raced from his line to clear however his clearance rattled off McGinley’s legs and flew behind him into the net. Windlaw had the goal they richly deserved and had the initiative. Minutes later McGinley should have had his second when Allan Dougall’s brilliantly arched free-kick into the box found the hitman at the back-post, however his normally predatory instincts failed and he didn’t connect well enough to divert it into the net and the ball went past the post. Oban were relieved to hear the half-time whistle with the home side on top after their earlier defensive sloppiness.
The next goal in this game was always going to be decisive and both sides continued to press hard for it. The relentless pace of the game never let up and the lack of entertaining passing was more than made up for by the endeavour both sides showed, as play swung from end to end at a frantic pace. Neither keeper though had many big saves to make. On 65 minutes, Oban got the goal that finally settled the tie and it came from another long-throw that was flicked on towards the back-post and reached Allan MacKay whose superb thumping shot on the spin lashed past Lunny giving him no chance. Again, Windlaw never gave up and tried for the goal that would give them a fighting chance of a replay. Both sides had two penalty claims each turned down by referee Kerr who enjoyed a good game and tried to let the game flow at all times. For the final 10 minutes, Windlaw poured men forward to try to get the breakthrough but it was all in vein and Oban’s defenders coped well with the late barrage of high balls to see their side safely through to the next round.
Summing Up- Ultimately this was another Scottish Cup disappointment for the club as we felt this was a tie we could have won or drawn at worst. Congratulations to Oban who adjusted well to the challenging battle Windlaw put up. Oban fully punished our defensive lapses and at the other end, Windlaw should have made more of the amount of balls put in on top of a nervous young goalkeeper. That slight difference in quality makes the difference at this level of competition. After a hard-fought but fair battle, both teams deserve credit for producing such an entertaining tie at a difficult venue for football and we wish Oban well for their remaining matches in the tournament.
MOTM -Zanda Dougall-the big skipper was inspirational to the cause and attacked everything with total conviction and commitment. He showed exactly how big an influence he can have on his side.