Erskine Bridge FC 1 – Tantallon Victoria 0

Starting 11 vs Bridge

Subs: Richie McQuade (Neil McGinley) John Neeson (Davie Bonaccorsi), Mark Thompson (John Thomson) Jan Lewicki (Paul McNab)


A game in which… to start with there wisnae even a pitch. Wee mix up which was quite amusing due to the fact we still got a park to play. The boy who booked it had phoned up and heard “10 to 12″ as in from 10am to 12am as an 11.50 kick off…ten to twelve…oops.

Anyway apparently if you listen to the chat, we are honking on astroturf. This never used to be the case. We used to be honking on grass but now apparently - we aren’t – and everyone texts IS IT GRASS????? in a pleading, almost desperate tone, they way they used to when they prayed for astro. To be fair we’ve taken a couple of right cuffings on the plastic this season so I suppose a bit of trepidation is understandable.

For the first time this season we’ve enjoyed something like consistency of selection for the last few games or at least something not a billion miles from it. Perhaps it’s this or perhaps it’s the fact the pressure is off and we’ve been playing for nothing but pleasure that our good recent form carried on to the Glasgow Green pitch. We started brightly looking nothing like the team that had been swept aside by Bridge in the corresponding fixture a couple of weeks before. We were energetic and tried to move the ball about and it stuck well up front with both Devlin and Thomson capable of dropping off to find space and take the ball into feet. Devlin was the main target man initially showing all the battling qualities for which he is renowned. Out on the left Andy McNab was finding space in behind the fullback and a few good chances came our way as a result. The best chance of the first half saw Davie Bonaccorsi hit the bar, the winger also left frustrated on several occasions with offside decisions.

A pretty even first half, but one in which The Tally had the better chances,  continued in the same vein for the second. McQuade was introduced for McGinley, who had played despite a suspected broken foot, with Thomson showing versatility to slot back into midfield. Tantallon had chances but the game was to be decided by a moment of controversy. McNab in goal had been injured making a very brave challenge in the box. A few minutes later he cleared a back pass and went down clutching his thigh. Bridge won the ball and played it forward and as his team mates shouted to put the ball out, having spotted Paul lying injured in the box, Bridges striker passed the ball into the bottom corner. There is obviously no requirement for the ref to stop the game, however the team were absolutely furious at what we thought was pretty unsporting behavior.

The game restarted with most of the Bridge team inviting us to score a goal to even things up but it’s not our way. We wanted to get back into the game off our own efforts and a valiant last ten minutes saw us try and battle back onto level terms despite having to bring on Jan Lewicki. In goal. And not even for a laugh or anything. His goal kicks are atrocious by the way.

We were denied a certain penalty in the closing stages for a challenge on McQuade but the game was to end in defeat. There was much to be positive about in the performance though and we continued to show good team spirit and looked solid at the back.

Moment to savour… When the rain went off. #monsoon

Head in hands moment… Realising Jan was going in goal just weeks after hip replacement surgery.

PSL Teamsports Heros…. Gav got the nod for MOTM but Nico and Reilly at the back were top drawer.

On the sidelines… Thanks to those who braved the rain to support the team.

Coatbridge Colts 1 – Tantallon 2

Starting 11 vs Coatbridge Colts

Goals – Moses, Jan Lewicki

Subs: Ryan McLean (Mark Thompson), Jan Lewicki (Jai Chitimbe), Thomas Jamieson (Scott Keys) John Neeson (Andy McNab)

A game in which… Tantallon were back in Lanarkshire on Wednesday night playing in yet another Spring Cup (boing) match this time against a Colts side who we had already beaten at home in the competition. Reilly returned to the side with Neeson moving into midfield to partner Moses while injuries to Loughran and Davie Bonaccorsi saw Paul McNab move back between the posts and Ross Lewicki push into wide right. Apparently it’s about 500ft up at Airdrie Academy and the wind was a factor as well as the very big but dry and bobbly pitch. Despite a load of space in the middle of the park it proved impossible to get a passing game going for any length of time with the ball either bouncing off in random directions or blowing away. Both teams suffered through this however The Tally did manage to get the ball into good areas particularly down the left to Andy McNab who did well to find himself in space time and again. There were chances for the red and blacks but we couldn’t find the finishing touch to our moves. Colts remained a threat at times but despite two changes from the weekend’s match the defence continued to work as a unit. Even early on Neeson was revelling in his central midfield role reading the game well and working hard to win the ball back before moving it simply on to team mates.

It was Colts who took the lead though scoring when the Tally felt that there had been high feet in the build up, Leban bravely putting a head into a challenge. Tantallon got back on even terms when Moses, possibly bored with players waiting to get in the box to shoot had a speculative effort from outside the box which flew over the keeper and into the back of the net.

The second half saw a number of changes of position and personnel as we tried to find a winner. McLean came on early and caused problems for the opposition with his pace before a CON TRO VER SHAL sub in the form of Jan Lewicki who went up top. Keys lasted only a couple of minutes with the embarrassment at this frankly insane move before having to be subbed off suffering from a brass neck.

Thomas “The Tank” Jamieson came on.

Thomas “The Tank” Jamieson received a yellow card.

Roddy Bonaccorsi looked gutted at this point having just lost his record for “fasted booked player in Tantallon history”.

Tank was to play a vital cameo though as it turned out – winning the ball at the back he drove forward and possibly even beat a man (not actually beat it should be added) before playing the ball into the feet of Jan. Jan and his brother linked up and put together one of our best moves of the game which resulted in Jan scoring the winner. He looked more amazed than any of us were (except possibly his brother) then as realisation hit him he ran off celebrating.

It was Tank though who still had a part to play in earning us three points as he headed a goal bound chance off the line at a corner.

A good result then after a game played in good spirits.

Moment to savour… The sound of Jan’s plastic hip grinding as he ran off to celebrate the winner was a joy to hear.

Head in hands moment… Realising that iPhone satnav is GARBAGE.

PSL Teamsports Heros… In all seriousness Jan’s winner was fantastic but Joe Neeson was different class in the middle of the park and a well earned MOTM award went to our Guiseppe.

On the sidelines… Great to see the Whinhall United boys at the game last night and Martin from The Ants as well who got the train and walked up a really big hill to be there. #Legends

Motherwell 2 – Tantallon 1

Starting 11 vs Motherwell

Goals – Chitimbe

Subs: Jan Lewicki (Devlin), John Neeson (D.Bonaccorsi)

A game in which… Tally made a 70 mile round trip to Wishaw in The Spring Cup (boing) and should have come back with a point, being denied by a goal that shouldn’t have stood. More of that later.

There were rabbits running about the side of the pitch as the match kicked off on Saturday with The Tally coming off the back of a good performance midweek against Premier League opposition. Despite a number of changes it was a competitive and battling performance from the off and suddenly the defence looks consistently solid as we stop wondering what’s offiside and what isn’t and instead concentrate on simply winning the ball when it comes at us. Leban has suddenly hit a vein of form and controlled the back four with Neeson alongside him. Tantallon had chances in the first half but were unable to convert them and good team work saw us go in at half time having played some 135 minutes without conceding a goal. Motherwell took the lead from a set piece midway through the second half and Tantallon replied with less than ten to go. Having changed to 3-5-2 to chase the game with Chitimbe moving into a central midfield role, the Zimbabwean born midfielder chested down the ball in the box at a Tally set piece and lashed the ball into the far corner. It was a well deserved goal for the visitors but we lost the point it should have earned us after Jan Lewicki was pulled down in his own box at yet another set peice, preventing him from clearing a ball which was dispatched into the Tally net by the Motherwell captain.

Moment to savour Fantastic celebrations at our well deserved equaliser. 

Head in hands moment… Embarrassing celebrations at a goal that never should have stood.

PSL Teamsports Heros… Jai Chitimbe was absolutely superb while Paul McNab was a constant thorn in the side of the opposition.

On the sidelines… Funniest moment of the game and possibly the season -

Ref books a Motherwell player -

“What’s your name?

“John Anderson.”


Cue HUNNERS of laughter.

Talked about Jet for a bit after that…

End of Season Celebration Game


As the season rolls to a close plans are afoot for a special celebration match to finish 2012-2013.

We’re inviting our friends from other #grassroots teams to turn out just one time in the famous black and red stripes of The Tally as we put together a Guest XI to play our regular team. Afterwards we will naturally enjoy a few beers together. It is after all a Tally day out.

So far the following players have expressed an interest in playing for our guest team.

  • Johnny Walker – Victoria Park
  • Graeme Murphy – Whitefield Rovers
  • Daniel Bryant – EK Thistle
  • Chris Dunnett – Postal United
  • Steff Murray – MK Dynamo
  • Chris Ward – Ralston AFC
  • Andrew Smith – Cresswell Lane
  • Garry Kyle – Cresswell Lane
  • Simon McQueer – Whinhall United
  • Chris Mcginty – Whinhall United
  • Martin Love – Whitefield Rovers B
  • Scott McGrory – Whitefield Rovers B
  • Andy Cameron – Blochairn Star
  • Gary Craig – Vale of Clyde U21

We still have space for about four subs to play for this team so if you play amateur and are a #ClosetTallyVicFan here’s your chance to add a game for The Tally to your fitbaw CV.


ICC 0 – Tantallon Victoria 0 – ICC win on pens

Starting 11 vs ICC

Subs: McLean, M.Thomson (A.McNab), Keys (D.Bonaccorsi), Jamieson, P.McNab (Devlin)

A game in which… Hands up if you like midweek games? *scans the room* Anyone? In the history of the club, midweek games have long been the ones that resulted in the most horrible defeats. So a Tommy Marshall Quarter Final against Premier League side ICC on a Wednesday night was a tough, tough fixture. A place in the semis the weekend at The Stade de Chateauxlait Barlia was up for grabs. A good win at the weekend had set The Tally up as well as possible but the Glasgow road network snarled up badly on the way to the game with some players being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half. Kick off was kindly put back by our hosts and Chris Reilly, after trying to park his car next to the pitch was the last player out ready to kick off with only seconds of a warm up.

Tantallon lined up 451 for the start of the match looking to keep it tight for the first fifteen minutes and ease our way into the game. ICC looked to go direct favouring a ball inside the right channel looking to use the pace of their wideman. It was a physical battle from the off and the players competed for every ball trying to break when we could. ICC had chances first half but were unable to take them. A key moment came at a corner kick where Roddy Bonaccorsi, guarding the left hand post, cleared a ball off the line that looked a certain goal. ICC had a better chance when they chipped Loughran at the edge of the box, but Reilly, who was superb from first whistle to last, burst a gut to get back and head the ball away from the gaping net.

The Tally had chances on the break and Andy McNab had a strike on goal that was taken by the keeper. We tried to work the ball wide but the home side were strong in their own box. Chances for both sides were few and far between as both sides defences showed real grit and determination not to conceed.

The second half was a battle in the same way as the first. The best chance for Tantallon fell to Paul McNab, who came on for the excellent Devlin. A ball over the back four saw Paul run in behind and drive towards the box with it. The keeper came out and The Tally striker tried to take the chance early forcing a vital save from the keeper. The Tally enjoyed long spells of pressure during the second half with ICC still proving a threat when they got the ball forward quickly. Moses in the centre of the park was the driving force behind attack after attack while also winning the ball back time and time again. Keys came on for Davie Bonaccorsi and proved a thorn in the side of the opposition as well as getting stuck into the physical side of the game. Marky Thomson was brought on for Andy McNab to freshen up the legs in midfield and he came on showing typical composure to help us keep the ball at a vital time.

In the dying minutes a fabulous challenge from Chitimbe in his own box stopped a likely goal and he along with his three defensive partners deserve credit for taking the game to penalties.

So it was that the game was to be decided from the penalty spot. ICC ran out 4-3 winners Big Paddy having done well to save one for us as he had done when we beat DTI. The players who stepped up to take the pens showed incredible courage to do so. We gave 100%. We gave it our best shot. All of the players deserve enormous credit.

Moment to Savour… Hearing the final whistle when you’d kept a clean sheet against Premier League opposition. Thinking a bit more luck might have won it for you.

Head in hands moment… Realising I hadn’t brought a pen at all to fill out the team sheets.

PSL Teamsports Heros… Every single player was absolutely magnificent tonight and deserve every bit of credit anyone wants to give them. Moses and Chris Reilly were immense. The whole back four was a rock and midfield and up front we battled for everything.

On the sidelines… Was great to see a few friends of the team come over to watch the game. As well as that the support through Twitter was absolutely fantastic tonight. I know the boys look at our mentions on Twitter and they see all the messages from people all over the UK and beyond. ICC were a good bunch of lads and very sporting at the end of that match. Good luck to Davie and the guys in the semi – go on and win the cup now.

We tried our best – for ourselves and for you who support us.

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!

Squad vs Motherwell

GK – Paddy Loughran

Defenders – Roddy Bonaccorsi, Thomas Jamieson, Jan Lewicki, Ross Lewicki, Chris Reilly.

Midfielders – Jaison Chitimbe, Scott Keys, Davie McKay, Mo Morrison, Moses, Mark Thompson.

Forwards – Davie Bonaccorsi, Ryan McLean, Richie McQuade, John Thomson.


The Pride of The Midlands…

West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal

It’s a tale often told, but worth repeating.

Tantallon’s links to The Black Country date back to February of 2011, when Dave Brook was in charge of Gornal Athletic’s Twitter feed and Mat Danks was chairman. Dave and Mat very quickly became  Tantallon supporters and in the July of that year I traveled with another good friend of the club to spend a weekend in Gornal hoping to catch The Peacocks playing at home. As it turned out a rather boisterous friendly the Thursday before left Gornal with so many injuries that the Saturday game was cancelled.

It didn’t stop all of us having a fantastic weekend together and I came back from there somewhat besotted with the place and the people. Mat came to our Christmas night out that year and in June 2012 I returned to The Black Country to visit both my existing friends there and a few new ones as well. At the end of last year Mat attended his second Tally Vics Christmas night out in a row.

I’d been unfortunate in suffering from depression during the time between my two visits down south and Dave and Mat were very good and supportive friends to me. Not only that but a large number of Albion fans,  Brummies and Black Country folk  mostly friends of Mat, had befriended me on Twitter. Many of them used to keep an eye out for my darker days.  I started following The Albion because it made me feel closer to people who I cared about in a place that had given me an escape from my demons.

To happier times then and in January myself and our manager Mo Morrison decided we would take a trip to see The Albion and for me to meet supporters who I’d spoken to for up to two years but never met in person. We chose the game against Arsenal and a waiting game began hoping it wouldn’t be moved for TV. As soon as we knew we it would be okay booked flights, hotel and then thanks to John Bayliss – the wonderful @WhallopAOTS on Twitter we got our tickets.

Me and Mo spent the next six weeks spending anything up to an hour a day talking about what we would do and where we would go, who we would meet and what it would be like. I even tried to teach Mo a little basic Black Country dialect cos he was worried about a language barrier.

Leaving on a jet plane

The day finally came and we headed to the airport to catch a plane to Birmingham. Both of us have a pathological fear of flying and I didn’t help matters trying to wind Mo up that the plane would be so crap that the pilots wore leather helmets and goggles. Couple of beers for courage and we were off though relieved it was a proper jet and not the little prop plane we thought it would be.

We arrived to be met by Mat Wright who is top man at our club partner Star14 and used to sit next to Danksy at school. Mat drove us to the hotel and then we headed out to see the sights of West Bromwich High Street starting off in the local casino.


We made our way up the High Street to Strollers and then into what’s possibly the worst pub I’ve ever been in, The Bowling Alley. Actually there’s nothing possible about that. It’s a defo. It was about this time that Mat told us an interesting little story about Danks and a Liverpool bench coat that I forgot to question him on the next day…

Wrighty was absolutely superb company for the afternoon and helped me discover that I actually like pork scratchings. We played darts, pool and I showed what a wimp I am on the boxing game machine in The Desi before we went for a quick change and then a dinner in The Sportsman Club. Dinner confused Mo somewhat as there were no plates or forks so we showed him how to eat BBQ Chicken Tikka the way they do down there. We were joined by Chris Lepkowski who was to play the central role in making the weekend special for the club, having already got us into the Birmingham Mail that day with a fantastic light hearted piece by Mike Lockley which you can read here.

At this point things went a bit wrong in a typical Tally Vic shambles as due to flat batteries on phones we missed Dave Brook at The Vine round the corner. We are gutted we missed Dave as he is the person who is responsible for us knowing anyone at all down there. When we did arrive there were a whole bunch of Albion fans and even Wolves supporter Russ Cockburn waiting on us. Sat in the corner was absolutely top lad Peter Bone who was proudly wearing his Tantallon Victoria replica shirt. Practically every person there of twenty something people was a Tally Vic supporter.

 Big Mo and Peter Bone

Mo, Wrighty, Me, Chris Cochrane

The beers and the patter flowed until late. When asked if, being horrendously drunk, I would make the game the next day I answered with an incredulous look, “Ahm f*ckin’ Scottish”.

Mo took the easy way out at 11 while me and Wrighty headed to the casino again trying to put the world to rights till about 3am when we returned to the hotel.

We were back in The Vine for 12 the next day and met more wonderful people enjoying some beers and more chicken tikka before heading off to the match with my absolutely dying of a hangover. It’s about a mile to the ground and we were soon in our seats just in time for kick off on a beautiful sunny spring day. It was a special moment for me to be there and I must admit that I felt very emotional.

The Hawthorns


On the walk up to the ground we had excitedly bought programmes knowing that Chris Lepkowski had very kindly arranged for a bit about our club to appear in them. We were absolutely buzzing at seeing our little grassroots club in an EPL programme but there was more to come. Chris had told us to listen out at halftime to the PA system. I’d been winding up Mo that he was to go on the park and take a penalty – “Will I f*ck”, was his response.

What actually happened was that The Albion very kindly announced our presence at the game and told everyone a bit about our club and our links to The Black Country. They mentioned The Strathclyde Saturday Morning League and our next away kit which will be in tribute to our friends in that part of the world. It was incredible to hear the team you run, that plays in a park, being welcomed to an EPL stadium and we wish to thank Chris Hall the Social Media Officer at The Albion and Dave Bowler who edits the programme for giving us a shout out.

I’m so happy for the boys who burst a gut and pay to  play for the club and grateful to The Albion that the guys know they got a mention and got to see the programme. It’s a wonderful recognition of their efforts and of their club.

We presented Chris Lepkowski with a “Lewicki 4″ replica shirt as a thank you from the boys which seemed extra appropriate as both our Jan and our friend Chris have Polish heritage.

Everything about the game was fantastic bar the result (well…apart from the bad ted behind me who was slagging Chris Brunt before he’d even had a touch). I loved hearing the fans sing “BOING BOING” which Baggies fans sometimes Tweet as us when we score too.

Dinner time was spent in The Vine again where we met up with Mat Danks, Gurdo Thandi and our Honourary Director of Chaos and General Mayhem Adam Smith – also known as Steve Zacharanda. Having finally got rid of my hangover the five of us headed into Brum to The Lord Clifden where we proceeded to drink ourselves into another stupor on cider slushies WHICH ARE THE BEST THING OF ALL TIME. Back at the hotel we met a group of Arsenal fans who’d heard the announcement in the stadium and sat drinking with us and talking about grassroots football  to 3am.

Sunday it was sadly time to go home, the day starting with a worrying question from Mo.

“Mate…what day is it?”

The taxi driver who took us to the airport sums up The Black Country to me. An Asian of Pakistani origins he saw himself as Black Country first and foremost. He was proud of the melting pot that is the West Midlands and how the different cultures intertwine. A wise man once told me of The Black Country – “Everyone is welcome – just bring your food, your drink and your women.”

Everyone we met over the weekend made us feel at home and a part of things.

On the plane back, we were already planning a return.

Thanks to: (in no particular order) Mark Hayward and family, Steve Nock, FabWBA, Shamps, Chris Cochrane, Chris Lepkowski, Mat Wright, Mat Danks, Adam Smith, Gurdo, The Croom Family, The Hoxton Raj, Aubrey Fellows, Beardy Biff, Peter Bone, Lisa Goodhall, Russ Cockburn, John Bayliss, Penners, Throstle Fantastic, Bald Baggie, Astlebridge, Chris Brownhill, Stuart Fisher, Lee Wickstead, West Bromwich Albion Football club  and everyone else who made us feel at home. 


Tally Delegation Heads for The Hawthorns


This coming Saturday Tantallon are on a free week in the league as Manager Mo Morrison and Chairman Davie Brown head south to celebrate our long standing links with The Black Country and attend West Bromwich Albion’s match against Arsenal.

On Friday night Davie and Mo will meet up with a number of Albion fans, and even a Wolves supporter, many of whom are long standing friends and supporters of the club.

The guys will be wearing club colours to The Hawthorns so if you see them at the game or in The Vine on Friday or Saturday please do say hi!

We are very much looking forward to having a drink and a laugh with what we call The Black Country Tally Vic Supporters Club, and thanking them for their friendship and support of our little club in Glasgow.

Come on you Baggies!

Come on you Tally Vics!

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.