25th October 2014
Scottish Junior Cup – second round
“Men against Boys” someone posted on the Pie and Bovril forum website last week, commenting on Bathgate’s inept performance at St Andrews. And by the end of this particular match, it was hard to disagree with that as a summation for this Scottish cup tie.
Although I felt the “Boys” held their own during a torrid first-half, where the phrase could have been more accurately applied to the disparity in build between the two sets of players, rather than as a comment upon their respective abilities.
For the Blantyre "Men" all looked just that important bit taller and more muscular than their Bathgate equivalents. Indeed, the visiting number Six and number Ten each looked at times not unlike two PE teachers being allowed to participate in a schools match.
The sides turned around at 1-1, but two swift goals scored by Blantyre just after the break killed the contest, and for Bathgate thereafter damage limitation was the aim. And, as the final score-line attests, they were not terribly successful.
I suppose the youthful Bathgate side should be praised for attempting to play possession football from the back – rarely did the ‘keeper kick the ball from hand. But ultimately the players did not really have the ability to pass the ball through their opponents’ midfield, and the Vics’ lads just pressed Bathgate to death, punishing every misplaced pass ruthlessly.
Blantyre looked a pretty decent side, although I have to say I have rarely, if ever, witnessed a side celebrate their goals in such a...well, intimate manner. I suppose you call this sort of stuff male-bonding or team-building these days, but each goal was greeted with such effusive displays of Manlove, I felt at time awkwardly like some voyeuristic Peeping Tom.
With the result, I am sure at time-up distributed around the Creamery Park turf were half-a dozen gently steaming puddles of testosterone.
Get a room, chaps.