Tantallon Victoria 6 – Hardgate 1

Starting 11 vs Hardgate


Substitutes – Davie Bonacorrsi (Ramsay-Lewis), Haig (Thomson), McGinley (MacKay), Muirhead (Devlin), Marky Thompson.

Goals: Reilly, #McQuadeForAlbion (4), Devlin (Chairmon’s Dubious Goals Panel Decision)

A game in which… The Tally made it three without defeat to carry on what has been our best ever start to a season. With Wilson suspended and Keys and Moses unavailable the management went for a four man midfield with MacKay (little) and Morrison (large) holding the centre of the park. Thomson returned to partner McQuade up front after a spell out serving pints to bored old men, checking his coupon and destroying his liver on a stag night in Liverpool. Lewicki moved forward into midfield with Jordan Ramsay-Lewis, who has a name that would make you sign him when playing lower league management on FM, making his competitive home dayboo at left back.

The Tally started slower than an old Rover on a cold December morning spending the first ten minutes camped in their own half. Struggling to keep the ball Hardgate went on the offensive and were rewarded with an early goal when something happened that will keep Cunningham off Twitter for the next three days. Trying to knock the ball past a forward it instead landed at the opponents feet and he smashed it home to take the lead. This woke the home side up out of our Saturday morning slumber and within minutes we were level when Reilly reacted first to a Ross Lewicki corner which the visitors failed to clear with a good finish from inside the six yard box in spite of the worst pair of boots I’ve ever seen.

Tally’s tails were up and they added a second when a long ball from Morrison deflected off Thomson into the path of McQuade who ran in to finish. It was only minutes before he added a second. Slipping the ball to Morrison who had his back to goal he continued his run. Morrison back heeled the ball into the box with the perfect weight and pace for McQuade to run on to for a typically clinical finish. Tally were dominant now and when Thomson hit the byline to cut the ball back it was McQuade again who was there for a simple tap in and his hatrick.

A three goal lead to take into the second half then but Hardgate were far from done and they battled for everything with the home side being put under pressure at times. Shearer in goal made three or four top drawer saves to deny the visitors including a great tip over the bar.  Clear cut chances to put the game to bed were at a premium. No game is dead in amateur football with a three goal lead, especially not for Tally teams past. The players kept working though and were eventually rewarded with a goal when Devlin bustled past a couple of defenders and tried to put the ball into the six yard box from a tight angle on the left. The ball deflected off a Hardgate defender and into the net. Was it his goal? Was it on target or was it a cross? To me it looked like it might have went in at the back post so we’ll give him it. I’m generous like that.

McQuade capped a Chairmon’s Mon of The Match performance off with a fourth goal late on.

Speaking after the game McQuade talked us through the goal. “Chris punted the ball up to me and I just ran. I was going to cut it back to Thommo…but I just smashed it in. Lol.”

Changes were made with Bonacorrsi (the one with the hairband not the one with the Pirlo haircut) McGinley, Muirhead and new signing Haig all coming on for the home side. The changes didn’t upset the balance, commitment or shape of the team with all but McGinley, who just concentrated on buzing about the park winning the ball back, being unlucky not to grab a goal.

A good solid home win for The Tally then. Teams play each other three times this season and we’ll have two very tough games against Hardgate to come later in the season.

Moment to Savour… Quado’s second goal was a peach – real class from him and Big Mo.

Head in Hands Moment… First ten minutes were a bit draining but what followed more than made up for it. Need to start better.

PSL Teamsports Heros… Tried to sell Quado to The Albion for £6m but they’ve not got back to me yet. He’s not worth £6m though – to us he’s priceless and it’s good to see him enjoying his football. Mo and Davie in the centre of the park were fantastic and Darren, Reilly and Stegsy are our backbone. Every single player in a yellow and green shirt could take something really positive away from their performance. Even Ross.

On the sidelines… Top marks to Alex for bringing the Swizzle mix sweeties today which were BOSS. It’s great to see injured players coming down to support the team cos no one wants to miss the action. Credit to the guys who are subs at the moment – there’s no moaning at all – in fact it’s the opposite. Team spirit is superb so lets keep it that way. I’m sure we will.

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