Tantallon 3 DTI 3 – (Tantallon win 5-4 on pens)

Starting 11 vs DTI

Subs: Paul McNab (Andy McNab), Gavin Devlin (Ross Lewicki), Mark Thompson (Scott Keys)

Goals: Keys, Thomson (2).

A game in which… The Tally is a rollercoaster ride. It always has been and probably always will be. The lows are spectacularly low but this is balanced by highs so spectacularly high, that the entire squad requires drug testing when they happen. At The PSL Teamsports Arena on Saturday, Lance Armstrong was spotted outside the dressing room after the final whistle shouting “Who’s holding?” over the sound of players singing Tally Vic songs in the dressing room.

We never make things easy for ourselves and Saturday was no different. A shaky start saw the home side 2-0 down after 20 minutes conceding firstly from a low driven cross to the penalty spot which we didn’t stop coming in or manage to boot back out. DTI added a second from the spot after a challenge in the box by Jai Chitimbe. At some point they scored a third but it might have been before or after Johnny Thomson refused to give up on a ball, catching it before it went for a goal kick and lofting it into the box for Scott Keys to head home. The perils of The Chairman not taking any notes (and generally having a shocking memory) means someone else will have to clarify.

We’d grown into the game though and despite being 3-1 down at half time we’d actually played quite well. There were chances including a Mo Morrison free kick and a left footed drive from Andy McNab which fizzed over the bar at the Clarkston Road end. The cry of “TANK’S BAW” was heard all over the shop for clearance after clearance and Davie MacKay was buzzing about the park like a Mexican Jumping Bean. The team went out for the second half determined to get something out of the game.

We dominated the second half with probably our best performance of the season. Marky T came on for Keys and Paul McNab replaced his brother up front, mostly because his patter on the sidelines is so brutal that the other subs could take it no more. Captain for the day Ross Lewicki, the younger, better looking but far less fit Lewicki brother had burst his guts bombing up and down the wing and was replaced with Devlin who took to the park confused at being used as a wing back. With ten minutes to go everyone seemed confused about the subs and in terms of time, the game was getting away from us.

Step up  Big Gav to do what we’d hoped he would – winning the ball back high up the park on the left he played an exquisite pass into Thomson who fired home with 8 minutes to go. We grabbed the ball and center was taken and The Tally went all out for an equaliser. There were scares at both ends and time was running out fast.

Nico Leban picked up the ball at the back playing it into Mo’s feet. Mo got over the shock that someone had played the ball into his feet rather than at his face at 400mph, turning and finding Jai Chitimbe free out wide on the right. The ball came into the box and McNab and Thomson were there trying to get on the end of it.

While Paul fell over in the six yard box for no apparent reason, Thommo challenged the keeper – the ball fell loose. Flailing arms, legs, torsos. Panic. A chance. One last chance.

Our big striker smashed the ball home from three yards immediately running to the bench where absolute pandemonium broke out at a last second, last kick of the ball equaliser. There was only time for a quick center before full time and pens.

We, traditionally, are APPALLING at pens. Generally we miss about three of them and crash out the competition. On Saturday though we were clinical and thanks to a save by the feet of Paddy Loughran, Big Mo only needed to score to win the tie for Tantallon. He stepped up and placed the ball into the bottom left hand corner and The Tally were in the Quarter Finals of The Tommy Marshall Trophy.

Moment to Savour… Thommo’s equaliser has to be moment of the season so far. The Birthday Boy was still buzzing about it days later and so are all of we.

Head in Hands Moment… If there’s anything we’ve needed to improve on this season it’s slow starts to games. We still do. WE must get this right and quick.

PSL Teamsports Heros… There was not a single failure in the squad on Saturday and the subs offered brilliant support to the team throughout, especially Captain Jan “Zimmer Man” Lewicki who was laid up on the sidelines with a groin strain (and gout, and arthritis and possibly dementia).

On the sidelines… DTI were an absolute pleasure to play a game against. Really friendly bunch of guys who love their football. Like the vast majority of the teams in the league you’d play them any time for the banter and we wish them well for the rest of the season.

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