On Saturday City travelled to Edinburgh to face Grange 7ths.City had a depleted squad with holidays and injuries taking there toll. City travelled with the bare eleven including junior members Tyler Annan making his first team debut and William Tanton making his second appearance. Stuart Allan also came into the side after a couple of weeks out as did Fraser Burns. Missing from the previous week were Skipper Brent Walker, Fraser Graham and Colin Cunniffe.
City had set up slightly different than normal – as forced changes were required. Young Tyler Allan fitted in well at right back and “young” Duncan Griffiths as Centre Back/Sweeper partnering Ryan Green. This pushed Stu Campbell to left back. Midfield comprised of Bambino Burns at right midfield- Skipper Rintoul and Griffiths Junior in the middle with the young Tanton out wide left. This left Miller and Stuart Allan up front.
City started off well with some good possession – however it was difficult to break down a well organised Grange side that had about 7 men in defence from the outset. This meant there was little room for the forwards – but did mean there was plenty of room for passing around the back and across the midfield.
There was then a tussle on the far right where an experienced Grange defender decided he would take out City’s well trained Marine – the Marine Burns pushed aside the attack with ease – while umpire Maxl sent the Grange kamikaze behind the goal to calm down.
This depleted the Grange defensive resistance and with the one man advantage City finally found a way past the linebackers of Grange – a move up the right resulted in a pass to Griffiths to the top of the D – where the prolific goal scoring midfielder strode into the D and rifled a shot passed the helpless Grange goalkeeper. One nil to the City.
Not much else happened in the first half – the Grange keeper wasn’t really tested – and some moves broke down before City got to the D. One in particular where City were two on one with the Grange defence – Bambi burns looked to play Miller in one on one with the keeper – but the Grange defender stuck out his foot to stop the promising passage of play.
At half time there wasn’t much to say we could do better – however it was suggested that we play a more direct form of hockey – with the attackers pressing onto the posts more – as they were getting little space on or around the 25 yard line to the D.
Immediately after the restart this tactic paid off. One trick Tool roved forward and with Miller at the right post and Allan at the Left Rintoul fired in a defence splitting pass which Stuart Allan pushed into the goal – to give City a two goal advantage.
The majority of the second half was one way traffic – City had plenty of possession and the defence of Annan, Griffiths, Green and I want a goal Campbell were solid.
Griffiths added a third goal from a short corner – where he flicked the injected past low past the keeper left. Then shortly after he claimed his hatrick with another well worked short corner.
The game entered is closing phases – and from the last four short corners “I want a goal Campbell” came up – he wasn’t allowed a shot from the first two. But then the third skipper Rintoul let him have an opportunity – Campbell proceeded to welly a cracking shot narrowly wide of the keeper’s left hand post and then a few minutes later City were awarded another short corner – Campbell whacked it well past the other post. Two well hit shots – maybe he should try the trickler like Griffiths has perfected (for his second) and he will get that goal at long last.
The game was over moments later. This was a fine spirited performance – great to see the new recruits Tanton and Annan fit in well. Tanton again doing a power of running up the left hand side and tracking back. (Will just needs to learn what get behind the ball means) young Annan at right back seemed a bit nervy in the first half – but in the second came on to a good game linking well with Marine Burns who was patrolling the right wing.
The defence looked solid all game apart from one mad moment from Young Duncan Griffiths – but the situation remedied itself. Stu C – picked up the left back roll like a duck to treacle – I mean water. Ryan Greengo is learning the “Concept” of playing Centre Back really well – Rintoul distributed well today – Miller wasn’t at the races today – but it was hard for Miller and Allan up front to get into the game against the Grange very own Hadrian’s Wall. Allan Griffiths was the standout today – with three clinical finishes, Jones made a couple of good saves when asked upon in the City goal to keep a clean sheet – all in all it was a fine team effort again against a stuffy Grange side.
Onwards to another visit to Edinburgh next week this time to face the might of Watsonians.
Final Score: Grange 0 – City 4
Scorers: A Griffiths x3; S Allan x1