Whitehill Welfare 1
Civil Service Strollers 3
Civil SERVICE STROLLERS maintained their recent run of good form with a comfortable 3-1 victory against Whitehill Welfare thanks mainly to dominating the second half with the advantage of a strong breeze.
The Strollers welcomed back their captain Russell Hogarth for the first time this season after a back injury while Whitehill had striker Wayne McIntosh back in their line-up after his two match suspension. Whitehill were also under the managership of Grant Carnie for the first occasion after he took over following the resignation of Rab Paget last weekend.
The match referee, Steven Nicholls, debated long and hard about whether the game should go ahead because of the windy conditions and eventually made the correct decision as both teams, particularly the Strollers, played some excellent football.
Whitehill kicked off with the wind behind them and immediately took the game to their visitors with two quick corners and a 20-yard left foot shot from Aaron Somerville which Paul Cadger held well. Whitehill then took the lead after only eleven minutes when Mike Herd took off on a superb run down the left before cutting the ball back from the bye-line and McIntosh ran in to flick the ball into the net from close range.
Jim Young was then brought down and from the resultant 25 yards free kick Herd brought out a good save from Cadger before Stevie Manson had a shot blocked by Gerry Burgess. The Strollers gradually edged their way back into contention with Craig Anderson firing over from only six yards then Craig Dickson tried his luck with a 30-yard effort which skimmed past the upright. The Strollers did equalise ten minutes before half-time when Michael Bruce pushed Anderson in the penalty box and from the spot-kick Liam Jack gave Darren Walker no chance.
The second half began with the Strollers on the offensive and after only five minutes a cross from the right by the impressive Paul Lynch was headed in at the front post by Alan Wilson. The same player almost added another but his 20-yard volley dipped narrowly over the crossbar. The Strollers dominated proceedings with John Dunn, Anderson and Danny Rennie all giving the Whitehill defence a torrid time. Then from a magnificent solo run, Rennie set up Anderson to score the vital third goal with a low shot from 16 yards.
“It was a great performance from our boys, especially in the second half when they worked their socks off and stuck to the game plan,” said Strollers boss Garry Aitchison. “The result proves that we can play a bit and while I’m not saying that we will win the league, we will certainly be trying to finish second.”
Welfare boss Carnie acknowledged the Strollers’ win by saying: “They looked as if they wanted it more, they worked harder than us and they fully deserved their win.
“Our players’ confidence is down and we’ve got to get back to winning ways. We made some mistakes but good players don’t turn into a bad team overnight so we’ll go again at training this week and be ready for next Saturday.”
Whitehill Welfare: Walker, Hall, W Kidd, Bruce, Bonthrone, Herd, A Kidd (Robertson 67), McIntosh, Somerville, Young (Boggie 77), Manson. Subs: Sinclair, Munro.
Civil Service Strollers: Cadger, Burgess, Hogarth, Jack, Jefferey, Dunn, Lynch (Shiels 89), Anderson, Wilson (Somerville 77), Dickson, Rennie (Inglis 85). Subs: Fraser, Burnside.