Drumchapel United Under 21s vs Harmony Row Under 21s
West of Scotland 21s YFL Premier Division
Saturday 7th January 2012, John Paul Academy, 2pm
It was a massive league match to kick start 2012 and very important for both sides to start the year well. Harmony Row had a very good start to the season and were looking to keep up their level of performance. Drumchapel had only started to get the correct results before the Xmas break disrupted the momentum.
The visitors started the stronger of the two sides and appeared to have the edge on match sharpness. The midfield area was being dominated by Harmony Row and constant pressure was being put on the Drumchapel back line, particularly from the movement of Garry Sweeney and Louis Longridge up front. Harmony took a deserved lead after a through ball caught out Docherty and Young and was well dispatched by Scott Henry after using his pace to get in behind before leaving O'Boyle with no chance. Drumchapel were offering little for the first 20 minutes with both Monti cousins up top starved of any supply.
Then within a 10 minute spell the game completely changed on its head. A Kerrigan corner was perfectly met at the near post by MacFarlane ad the defender powered his header into the net. Moments later, Roberto Monti reacted quickly when Donnelly lost his footing and from just inside the penalty area, slotted the ball past the diving Calder. Carlo Monti had an effort from a free-kick and although his effort was deflected, the Calder fumbled the spinning effort before gathering at the second attempt. Drumchapel were 3-1 up after 28 minutes when a long throw from Brogan was nodded on by Boyle and flicked into the net by Kerrigan.
The home side were ecstatic and Drumchapel continued to press for the remainder of the half. Chris McLaughlan had faded out of the game with Boyle and Brogan seeing a lot more of the play. Drumchapel felt they should have been awarded a penalty when MacFarlane was kicked accidentally on the face under the crossbar as he went to nod the ball over the line. Despite the head knock, no penalty was given. Other long range efforts were made on the Harmony goal with Kerrigan shooting from outside the box and Roberto Monti having a long range effort but both sailed wide of the target. Drumchapel went in at half time by far the happier side.
HT: Drumchapel United 3-1 Harmony Row
A similar half would see Drumchapel win the match convincingly. However the start of the second half saw the match take another twist. It was Harmony Row that started brightly. From a Drumchapel corner, the visitors broke up field quickly and won a corner with Nicky Docherty getting back to concede. The defence switched off from the corner though and a short corner was taken quickly to McQuade and before anyone could shut him down the left back for the day swung in a shot that went through the bodies and past O'Connor to pull a goal back. 6 minutes into the second half and the match was level again. Brilliant footwork from Longridge, who had been threatening for a while managed to get away from MacFarlane before slotting the ball cooly past O'Boyle.
In the earlier stages of the season this is the moment that Drumchapel would have collapsed however after O'Boyle made a good stop to deny Longridge again, the home side started to press the opposition goal. A strike from Carlo Monti from just outside the box was fumbled by Calder to McCluskey then Roberto Monti. The striker touched the ball past the defender before being brought down in the box. Strong penalty claims were again waved away by the referee who thought that McQuade had taken the ball in his challenge. McCluskey was next up to have an attempt at goal but after a neat pass by Carlo Monti, the wingers shot was well tipped past the post by Calder. From the resultant corner, Drumchapel re-took the lead. Kerrigan swung the ball to the back post and Brogan powered a header toward McCluskey. After a first touch on the goal-line, McCluskey headed home from close range to regain the advantage for Drumchapel.
The visitors were rocked and Drumchapel continued to see a lot of the possession. Young and Kerrigan linked up well on the left before Young delivered a dangerous cross into the box that had to be diverted behind for another corner. MacFarlane almost got on the end of the corner to add another goal to his tally. Carlo Monti wrapped up the match with a fantastic finish near the end of the match. A routine long punt by O'Boyle sent Monti in behind the defence and after his control he lobbed the ball over the keeper into the back of the net.
Time ticked by and Harmony had a lot of the late possession but did not really penetrate the Drumchapel defence or cause any further problems. The referee brought the game to an end and Drumchapel celebrated their recent revival. It was a must win match for the home side if they were serious about creating a realistic challenge for retaining their league title. However, realistically if Drumchapel were to win the league, it would go down as the biggest come-back in the league's history.
FT: Drumchapel United 5-3 Harmony Row