Bellshill 1-1 Cambuslang Rangers
Rockware Glass Super League 1st Division
Saturday 7th September 2002
at Brandon Park
Bellshill and Cambuslang fought out an entertaining 1-1 draw at the weekend and what an advert for Junior Football this was. Both team served up a feast for the healthy crowd that showed up.
Cambuslang were forced into a number of changes from last week most notably was the return of keeper Alan Wardlaw who passed a fitness test on the morning of the game. The reserve keeper who had been playing recently was ruled out with a hip injury picked up in last weekends game vs. Hurlford. Manager Andy Cunningham gave new signings, James Fay and Alan Foster starting slots. They came in for Galloway who was suspended following his recent sending off and McCrae who dropped to the bench.
As the action got underway it was the visitors who had the first real effort at goal, Carmichael took the ball well on his chest and turned toward goal but fired his effort inches over. Cambuslang went long spells without having the ball but closed down the opposition well and worked hard for each other. Bellshill were almost gifted the opener when keeper Wardlaw miskicked a pass back but thankfully for him the ball spun wide of the post. Bellshill started to get to grips with the game and had a couple of chances in quick succession. The first came from the boot of ex Motherwell striker McGrillen but Wardlaw easily saved his shot. Dingwall then fired an effort inches wide. Lang had their keeper to thank once again when he finger tipped another McGrillen effort over the bar. Despite the constant pressure from the home side the Cambuslang defence were standing firm although there were occasions when they rode their luck a little. Lang had McGregor to thank on 20 minutes when he cleared Kelly's header off the line. Cambuslang were hitting on the break and a good move down the left saw McFarlane get to the bye line before cutting the ball back to the waiting Carmichael but he miskicked in front og goal and the danger was cleared. First booking of the game went to Lang's Kavanagh after one misjudged tackle to many. Last attack of the half fell to McGrillen but again he failed to test the keeper.
The second half was a much livelier affair with both teams creating numerous chances in front of goal. Cambuslang posted their intent early on and Webster forced the Hill keeper into a fine stop that was gathered at the second attempt. Cambuslang then saw Wardlaw pull of another fine stop when he parried away a Dingwall drive for the edge of the box, the big keeper seemed to aggravate his troublesome back but carried on. Cambuslang then went close through Carmichael who got on the end of a Paterson free kick but the effort went inches wide with the keeper rooted to the spot. This was clearly Cambuslang's best spell of the game but still they had nothing to show for it. another chance went a begging when a fine run by Dignam took him to the bye line and his cut back was met by Stoddart but his effort was well blocked. On the hour mark the Cambuslang spell of pressure paid off. Dignam latched onto a long ball by Webster and despite being forced wide of goal the wee hit man pulled the trigger and fired in an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net to stun the huge home support, it was no more than Cambuslang deserved at that point. Cambuslang striker Carmichael was then yellow carded for persistent fouling. He was a constant thorn in the Bellshill back line. Bellshill found themselves back in the game when McGrillen spun in the box to knock home from what looked an offside position but the goal was allowed to stand. Bellshill then laid siege at the Cambuslang goal with efforts reigning in from all angles. Three minutes after getting the equaliser, the home side must have thought they were about to take the lead, that was until Alan" The Cat " Wardlaw had other ideas. Bellshill sub Browne found acres of space in the Lang box and his free header looked gaol bound all the way until the timely intervention saw him somehow dive to his left and push the ball away, a quite stunning stop. Then with 5 minutes remaining the miss of the match. The problem here was Bellshill had too much time and couldn't decide what to do. it resulted in a goal line clearance from Foster who had no right to get there but he did and kept the score level. The same player who saw his header superbly saved then must have thought what going on here as his shot at goal was miraculously saved by Foster. Cambuslang could have sneaked it at the end when Substitute Mark Daisley pulled his effort from the edge of the box inches wide of the far post.
Wardlaw, Kavanagh, McGregor, Foster, Webster, Paterson, Dignam, Fay ( Daisley) Carmichael, Stoddart and McFarlane