It was a first place versus second place clash today as St Roch’s made the short journey across Glasgow to Partick’s home ground at Lochinch. In their previous two encounters this season the honours have been shared with St Roch’s disposing of today’s hosts in the cup but being edged out by Partick in their first league meeting.
It was a strange experience for the visitors today as Partick’s pitch is lined in a combination of blue lines, white lines and even blue & white lines! In any event St Roch’s set about the game with their usual determination and organisation and refused to be overawed by the hosts unbeaten league record.
Indeed throughout the first half St Roch’s comfortably contained the league leaders with Nicolle Andrews in the visitors goal having very little to do. In fact on the half Hour mark it looked like the visitors would break the deadlock when, not for the first time, Partick’s defence struggled with high balls and Candy striker Mags McKenna raced clear of the centre backs only to blast her shot high over the bar.
Although St Roch’s were happy to let the hosts see a lot of the ball the visitors organisation and pressing meant that Partick soon resorted to hopeful long range punts up the park. With the seconds ticking down on the first half a momentary lapse in concentration at a corner allowed Partick to steal in and nick a cheap goal to go in one up at the break.
St Roch’s came out for the second half in a more attacking formation knowing they had to push on for the equaliser and straight from the kick off they had Partick under pressure.
Even though pushing players forward left more space in midfield the Roch’s defence never looked in any trouble throughout the second half. In fact on 70 minutes the visitors thought they had levelled the game only to see Nicky McDonald’s flick clawed away by the outstretched fingertips of the Partick keeper after some good work on the Roch’s left wing.
St Roch’s never gave up and kept pressing forward but struggled to get into a rhythm as the game was broken down by a series of niggling fouls.
Today was a tough lesson for the Candy Ladies but that’s football when you work incredibly hard and go away empty handed when at the very least they deserved to share the points.
Their focus now turns to welcoming high flying Blackburn Ladies to James McGrory Park where the grass is always green and the lines are always white.
Reported by St Roch’s Ladies
Picture: St Roch’s Ladies