Tuesday 21st July 2009, kick-off 6.30pm
Toryglen Regional Football Centre, Glasgow
Another friendly match and it was to be my first visit to the new Toryglen Regional Football Centre, an impressive complex, to see local side Rutherglen Glencairn play Cumbernauld United. Glens won promotion and the title from the Central Division One last season, the league that United will be playing in, and are preparing for life in Super First Division. Around twenty or so fans turned up in the heavy rain, that thankfully stopped for kick-off as there was no shelter. The referee was the last to show up and they were no linesmen for the game.
The Glens struck first, Paul McLaughlin tapping in at the second attempt after a chipped through ball caught out the Cumbernauld defence. There appeared to be only one team in it with the Glens very much of top and McLaughlin causing havoc in the United defence. A rather bizarre goal got Cumbernauld on level terms against the run of play, a deflected clearance spun up in the air travelling towards the Glens 'keeper. He shouted “it's coming, it's coming”, then after it bounced he changed his mind and yelled: “it's no!”, the ball ended up trickling into the net after the 'keeper, a defender and a striker all challenged for it.
McLaughlin continued to terrorise the United defenders and won a free-kick on the edge of the area after being tripped. He picked himself up and casually banged it into the far top corner, someone said: “peach!”, it certainly was. Half-time came and the sun peered through the grey clouds as the Glens made several changes to their side, McLaughlin sadly went off, I fancied him to get his hat-trick, but Paul McDougall replaced him, an entertaining character. I was also surprised to see ex-Spider Div Waters, who's presumably on trial for Glencairn at the moment, he captained the Hampden XI side to amateur cup glory last season but was still released by Queen's.
The pattern of play had changed dramatically and United were looking more likely to equalise instead of Glens running away with it, a bit of bickering amongst the Glens ranks as things weren't going they're way. But again, against the run of play the opposition scored, Glens were awarded a penalty after their tall central midfielder was tripped in the box, and McDougall coolly stroked it in (below, right). United continued to press on as the majority of the play was in the Glens defensive half, they were awarded a free-kick on the angle just outside the area. On the off chance I decided to video it, a wise move as it was hit into the far corner (below, left), similar to McLaughlin's first-half free-kick.
United were pushing for a late equaliser but time seemed against them, but not in the usual manner. I assume the pitch was only booked until eight o'clock as another team were waiting at the side of the pitch to begin training, and a horn had just been sounded to signal time-up. The referee blew his whistle soon after, but I made it around five or so minutes left to play. The Rutherglen Glencairn website has a match report.
Result: Rutherglen Glencairn 3-2 Cumbernauld United
Rutherglen Glencairn: Turner (McNeil), Kerr (Trialist), Paul (Barr), Trialist (Kane), Palmer (Trialist), Thompson (Trialist), O'Keane (Gentile), Hopkins (McShane), McArdle (Trialist), McLaughlin (McDougall), Carr (Trialist).
Cumbernauld United: unknown
Rutherglen Glencairn: Paul McLaughlin (2) and Paul McDougall (pen)
Cumbernauld United: unknown