Edinburgh Caledonian Legends 1 – Bathgate Thistle 5
Match Day 2….Edinburgh Caledonian Legends Away.
Destination Meggatland may sound like something from Toy Story but local resident Ged ‘Buzz Lightyear’ O’Hara assured us it was a cracking venue for match day 2.
Two weeks prior, manager Mark Whelen’s concern was to pick a winning team from 20 available players, but things change quickly in football and some key players were missing from the group that travelled east. However, with Saturday team legend Stan slotting into the middle of the park, confidence was high.
A healthy squad of 15 plus Ged made it in the end meaning the substitutes bench would once again need to be a fair size. Some say games are won in the dressing rooms and unfortunately this one certainly was. As Davie Bell stretched his lungs so they would be perfect for screaming, gaffer Winston revealed that the home teams’ squad did not meet the criteria for this league and that they could not claim the 3 points. As a team we were more disappointed that the game as a contest was over but happy with the maximum points from our two away games.
We decided to go out and earn the win anyway, but as the match started we seemed in two minds. Passing was slack, positioning was poor and our energy levels seemed low. This led to the home side taking the lead albeit with a deflected shot that just was out or reach of Wynne.
1 nil down and we became vocal which seemed to increase our tempo. No clear chances were made and the first incident was when Ward was substituted after a clash with a home defender – probably one of these underage chancers – resulted in a burst nose. Admittedly it was a big burst nose, in fact a huge burst nose. Glasses were fine though.
As Bathgate gained more and more possession without working the goalkeeper it was only a matter of time before the strong midfield pushed forward. Keith ‘Moon Man’ McMeeking equalised with a 40 yard shot which seemed to confuse the keeper somewhat as he deflected it into the net. 1 – 1.
Bathgates defence had now sorted itself out and with good communication between Simon, Alec and Bishop. High balls were won and they held the line well ensuring Packie Dinger was rarely troubled.
Approaching half time and lightening seemed to strike twice; Moon Man pulled the trigger again from a similar distance putting us 1-2 up with 5 minutes to go before the break. It has to be said that the keeper had all the handling ability of Keith coming back from the bar.
With Bookie and Winston still roaring from the touchline a 1 goal advantage was never going to suffice. A missed opportunity by bloody nosed Ward who opted not to shoot but instead pass to the shrieking Davie Bell, lungs now at game pace, had clearly irked the management, points in the bag or not. He had Liam Goldie to thank however, as he gathered a pass from midfield skipping by two defenders and slotting the ball home at the near post for a 3 – 1 advantage at half time.
Some changes were made at the break with the energetic Abdoul coming on along with Pitbull. The US Pop Star was registered under Derek McMillan’s name and has impressed in training despite having the same shoe size as Warwick Davis.
With Stan controlling the midfield and Winston unleashing O’Hara from the bench the home sides defence was straining. Goldie once again found himself clear and closed in on goal, doing well to poke the ball into the far corner for a 4 – 1 lead.
O’Hara having been effective since coming on was soon hobbling off after straining his hamstring again and so despite the 3 goal advantage Manager Muks knows teams can change instantly in this league.
Finally Bathgate were awarded a penalty and as Liam Goldie had been replaced it was up to Keith to claim the first-hat trick of the season. Final score Edinburgh Caladonian Legends 1 – Bathgate Thistle 5. 6 points and top of the league with our first home game of the season coming up.