Tantallon 5 – Coatbridge Colts 1

Starting 11 vs Coatbridge Colts

 

Scorers: McNab, Thomson, Devlin (2), D.Bonaccorsi

Substitutions: John Neeson (Thomson), MacKay (A.McNab)

 

A game in which… One, two, three, four, five strikers. One of them in goal. A winger. Two attacking midfielders. A box to box midfielder and two defenders. How the hell do you get a team out of that? Cue head scratching all over the shop which ended up with a brain fart of somekind that made us decide to play a formation that hardly anyone has played since the end of the sixties. 424 and go for it. A simple team talk “F*ck it – lets go out and enjoy ourselves”.

It took only 27 seconds of the game to take the lead when Davie Bonaccorsi, who coincidentally has a haircut not seen since the sixties  or even earlier, whipped a ball in from the right which Andy McNab met at the far post to turn home. An explosive start to the game carried on into the first ten minutes and we knocked the ball about well threatening the visitors goal time and again before McNab turned provider and found Thomson at the back post with a dangerous cross. He attacked the ball with trademark determination to bundle the ball home at the far post. Captaining the team on the day it was Devlin, having a stormer of a game already, who found the net next running away with arms aloft for a typically passionate Big Gav celebration.

We didn’t have it all our own way though as when they had the ball Colts knocked it about well probing for openings. With a defense made up of only two actual defenders, an attacking mid and wee Neilly who “cannae play at centre half” it took us a bit of time to work out our shape and a couple of long balls threatened to fall in behind. We settled as the half went on and Big Gav was vocal in telling the guys to get things worked out back there. Our big Romanian central defender Nico Leban soon settled into probably his best game in a Tally Vic shirt and seemed to revel in playing alongside young Neilly. Lady luck was playing sweeper for us too as when Colts did get good chances they were skied over the bar, past the post or straight into the arms of young Paul who also made some vital saves under pressure.

A good open game of football with two teams who like to play the game the right way broke out and the action was end to end. All four front players had goals to their name by the end of the first half with Davie Bonaccorsi finding the net – something Rafa Nadal – who’s hairband Davie had borrowed for the match – tends to try and avoid.

At halftime we had a four nil lead then and made only one change with John Neeson coming on to make his dayboo. After a brief stint up front he switched with McQuade to allow him to partner Devlin. Colts kept going and for a brief period we went one up front to try and stem the tide. MacKay replaced McNab on the wing and kept our energy and creative tempo high. We showed determination and team spirit to ride out the tough times then got bodies forward again to try and kill the game off. Devlin added a second, attempting a cartwheel celebration, and was unlucky not to go on and get a hatrick. Throughout the second half the players talked to each other and sorted out problems on the park between them, encouraging and supporting each other. We looked odds on for a clean sheet as well but a slip Neilly could do nothing about saw Colts get one back late on in the game. Seasoned Tantallon fans probably thought there was a chance they might go on and win 6-5 but no – we had our first points in The Spring Cup (boing).

Moment to savour… The opening goal set us on our way and was the kind of move we were producing in our good spell at the start of the season. Good football and a good ball into the box with determination to get on the end of it.

Head in hands moment… When I realised I’d left the pen to write the teamsheets out in the car. That’s it.

PSL Teamsports Heros… Paul McNab, Jai Chitimbe, Nico Leban, Neil McGinley, Roddy Bonaccorsi, Davie Bonaccorsi, Richie McQuade, Mo Morrison, Andy McNab, Johnny Thomson, Gavin Devlin, Davie MacKay, John Neeson and on the sidelines Jan Lewicki and Alex McCallum – Alex for #FuggItLetsJustEnjoyWursel and Jan for a bit of man management with the subs and stuff.

On the sidelines… Colts are a great bunch of lads and Mark is an absolute gem of a boy who was nice enough to text after the game for some patter. Play the game the right way and we’re looking forward to the return leg. Maybe a pint after lads? Good to see wee Johnny Williams down to support the team as well yesterday!

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