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Match Report

Match Details

Match : 2nd XI v Armagh
Date : 2001-10-27
Venue : H
Score : 0-1
Scorers :

Match Report

By 2nd XI Captain

The weekend had been so far so good ,the 3rd s had won convincinally, the firsts had somehow scraped a 4-1 victory against Omagh. All that remained to complete the jigsaw was for the 2nds to go through the formality of taking points from Armagh 3rds.

Soupy was so convinced of victory he felt al he had to do was mention the oppositions name they didn't deserve to be here, they didn't even deserve to be on our planet never mind in our league.

The game began with EAHC on the front foot, enjoying long periods of possession in the oppositions 25. A few good chances fell to the way of Niel Johnston who performed admirably without the luck of the Gods.

After being unemployed for so long the defence had to be sprung into action, with a lightning break down the right Armagh suddenly found themselves one on one with Johnny Duncan. All the effort and might of wee JD was unable to stop the assault and Armagh accordingly went 1-0 up.

Was this to be the falling of Giants. Well yes it was. After Armagh took the lead EAHC began to play with more urgency but with little purpose. Giving the ball away in midfield as If it were a Halloween candy apple, putting the ball back on a plate in defence and giving it to Armagh to attack once more and failing to utilise valuable possession in attack.

The ever present and arguably frustrating changes of Soupy's regime soon followed. Paul Reid suffering from a knock some weeks earlier was moved to right mid then eventually taken off. Soupy came on expecting to stoke the fires of passion in the side but could only fan the smouldering embers and hope for a flash of inspiration.

We had our chances in the first half and arguably we had the better chances but if you are to win matches you have to take them. There are no points given for creating chances.

The second half began with Aaron relinquishing center forward to Stephen Duffin with Eddie Baird coming onto left wing. The second half started as an even affair until Niel Johnston asked The Umpire for the time, the answer he did not like , he seemed to be convinced that the clocks had already went back, but the umpire (David Menaul) was addimant the time was definitely 3.35 not 2.35 as NJ had expected. But NJ was still unhappy and once again requested that the umpire check his watch, DM became frustrated and offered NJ a yellow card for some rest so he could check his watch, but NJ was still unhappy and asked for a complete and final omission from the game, what is an umpire to do with such a loving and tender request Nj was sent to the sidelines were he continued to insist that the clocks had already went back. He eventually found that he was wrong after checking the time in the changing room.

There is a lesson for all players. No matter what time you think it is, the time that the umpire says it is, is the only one that counts. I am sure NJ will reflect with remorse at his ill timekeeping.

With NJ banished to the side a rethink was required,, AY came on at right mid leaving SC and SD to venture up front. There were occasional bursts of attack and a few short corners to be had but all in all Armagh had the better of the second half. Why?
Because we had a player sent off??? NO
Because they were better than us?? NO
Because they played as a team and wanted it more?? YES. YES. YES.

All teams have bad days. Bad teams only ever do have bad days.. Good teams take their bad days learn from them and look forward to the day when they can put it right. We will put this day right. I for one look forward to the return fixture when we can prove to Armagh how we can actually play Hockey. And I am sure that all players that gave their all share this prospect.

I would be foolish to say that I was happy with Saturday's performance, but there are always positives. Phil Irwin made a welcome return , Ivan McStea once again defied the laws of ageism. Paul Grant played in center midfield, found it hard, but never gave in.

If we are to succeed, which is a real prospect, we must learn to trust each other, believe in one another and pass to one another. The barriers to progress must come down and the bridge to success be begun, It will be built by the end of the season..

I truly believe that the side picked for Saturday was one of if not the best side I have had the pleasure of selecting in my 15 months as captain. The potential is frightening, but where did we go wrong. The side had never played together before, players were played out of position and directions to some players were at the best sketchy, at worst damn right humourous.

I will learn from Saturday as a captain. I must learn from Saturday as a captain.

We WILL take to the pitch against Ban next week with a renewed confidence, trust and belief in each other and we WILL be successful. Why? Because we deserve it. We work hard, tackle hard, and create chances.. But does merely deserving it mean it will come our way. NO... We must work tirelessly towards our goal, believing that we can and will achieve results that truly reflect the ability and desire of our team.

If we don't want it we will not get it. But I believe we do want it and we will get it. It may not be tomorrow, or the next day, or even the day after that but it will happen, with this team, it will happen.

We will achieve.

Team Lineup

Johnny Duncan
Paul Leitch
Gordon Gillespie
Tom Watson
Ivan McStea
Paul Grant
Paul Reid
Phil Irwin
Neil Johnston
Stephen Duffin
Stuart Campbell
Aaron Young
Eddie Baird

Man Of The Match

Ivan McStea