Saturday 28th October – Carnegie 3rd XI v Edinburgh Uni 6th XI @ Woodmill High
This would be the fourth game of the season and our first home game against an Edinburgh University 6th XI team that last year finished the season in 4th place, just 6 points away from a promotion slot. As always when playing a young University team, it was going to be a game of fitness and pace against team structure and individual skill that would decide the outcome of the game. It is not often that we manage to field a full 16 man squad, especially since the 1’s had acquired our PC specialist Finlay for this week. But with everyone being available for this game and the welcome addition of Cameron Frame from the 2’s to the forward line, it looked as though we may be able to keep legs fresh and keep up with the young whippets.
From the first whistle the students made it abundantly apparent that they were up for the game as on their first attack of the game they were able to get three players into our “D” for back post deflections and if it wasn’t for a timely interception by Ross Inglis in front of the first angled stick it would have been 1-0 within the first minute! That however was the only scare that the Carnegie defence had to deal with in the first half as the majority of the Uni attacks were effectively stopped long before they got anywhere near the danger zone. To say that the Uni goalkeeper was riding his luck was an understatement. I am quite sure that there were voodoo sacrifices and black magic rites being performed in the team bus on the way to the game as shot after shot was saved, missed or cleared off the line by the defenders. It didn’t help that without the lethal drag flick services of Finlay Conroy, from the 6 penalty corners awarded in the first half, only three of them managed to find the target but none of which posed any threat to the Uni defence. Despite all this pressure, the half time whistle sounded with the score lines reading 0-0.
The second half started very much like the first ended with Carnegie attacking down both flanks but again being unable to find that killer touch in front of goal that would break the deadlock. After spending the vast majority of the game camped out in the Uni half and only having to deal with the occasional long ball clearance from the Uni defence, it was a Carnegie defensive error that allowed the students to gain the upper hand as a cross from the right across the “D” found a free man arriving at the penalty spot unchallenged to sweep the ball home past Robbie to make the score line 1-0 Edinburgh Uni. Despite Carnegie upping the pressure on the Uni defence with a four man forward line and a further 4 penalty corners, an equalising goal was not to be found even though from the last penalty corner of the game, a reverse strike from Ewan Forster was deflected over the stricken goalkeeper and was goal bound until the post man somehow managed to back pedal, spin and with his reverse stick deflect the ball away from the top right corner of the goal! It just wasn’t to be. Final score Carnegie 0, Edinburgh Uni 1
Was it the fact we had 16 players that caused problems during substitutions? Was it because we didn’t get to the baselines anywhere near enough? Was it that our transitions to the help side were too slow? Was it because our interlink play was missing with midfield? Or was is just that the Uni goalkeeper was a voodoo witch doctor who had placed a “thou shalt not pass” hex on his goal…Whatever it was, it allowed the students to leave Dunfermline with all three points and leave the whole Carnegie team scratching their heads wondering how that was possible.
Next game up will be a little trip down to Galashiels to play Borders Fjordhus Reivers 1’s on the 4th November.