That moment when you realize is it Wednesday morning and you are about to receive the obligatory mail from our league Overlords about a timely match report! SHIT! The Lions had a slightly unusual feel on Saturday with a fairly familiar first team, although we were missing some lads who would have started, as Stevie mentions. No excuses though, we still had 17 in the squad including four lads on the bench I had never met before, never mind seen play before and as it transpired the mountain was a bit too high to climb with all of the changes. Games against Rangers are always blood and guts and there was some great battles raging around us on the day as usual. Beatt was enjoying himself running around causing bollocks, Daz and Tom (who was magnificent) were in amongst it all day but in the end it was the tale of two mistakes sandwiching two moments of class. Letting Sharples in for a one-on-one with the 'keeper is never a good look and a neat finish down to Anders left made it 1-0 pretty early on. Petesy was picking the ball up deep and driving in to a lot of territory and gradually the Lions started getting a better foothold in the game culminating in the equalizer, a direct free-kick from Fearsome Al, who incidentally I have met in a back alley in Boat Quay and it wasn't pretty. 1-1. Second half was much like the first, apart from Rangers getting more ambitious by pushing men forward, the aforementioned Beatt going up top and making some changes in midfield but for a while everything was as was. JJ came on to make his debut for the Lions and looked composed in beside Daz and all was well with the world until Nathan pinged what can only be described as an absolute peach of a header, got up well, met the ball at the highest point possible and looped it over Anders in to the far corner - no chance and 2-1 Rangers. Lions kept fighting, Petesy was like a mad fucker at this point every time he picked up the ball there was chaos but Rangers held. Sharples was brought down on the edge of the box running away from his own goal and a pen was given which was duly dispatched and game over. A good scrap all round and kudos to Rangers for performing on the day. Lions have a break this weekend for Paddy's Day whereby we shall promptly return a stone heavier in two weeks time to reconvene! See yiz at Boat Quay this Sunday. Hic!
Luck of the Irish….. To be fair, I love those lads. Infact, we all were delighted to win, but the same time, bittersweet to hamper the title challenge. We had SCC commenting on Facebook saying “Thanks” and Mally responding in a rather questionable overly nice gesture. That said – Ireland have the 6 nations in the bag. They were missing key players, O’Reilly, Moran, Lloydy and Sexton were all out. With them, we know it would have been a different game, but no complaints, they do what they do, get the head down and go toe to toe. Rangers started average, the word “scrappy” is always used in these games. There is not a lot of football and it’s huffing & puffing our way through the game. That said, Sharples was presented with a bit of a gift after a lapse in concentration from Lions to set us on our way to make it 1-0. Kieran has pulled some-what of a masterstroke in signing O’Reilly’s big brother “ Big Al “. Tell you one thing, I would not wish to piss that lad off in the back streets of Boat Quay. I reckon “Big Al” could take down Chuck Norris. Anyways, Big Al only lasted til half time before he clearly decided he wanted to have a beer and talk to his wee brother O’Reilly. Getting sidetracked – I should mention, before Big Al went for that beer, he popped in a free-kick 25 yards out that took a brief deflection that brought it past Oli in nets. Set the game up at 1-1 and brought us to the interval. Half time, Stevie and Mall talking as much Scottish nonsense as they could put together in 10 minutes, but the main aspect was to try and get on the ball more. Try to play football and look to let us find a foothold before we made any changes. Around 15 mins into the 2nd half, the changes began with bringing Fraser central and changing Sonny for Benny. Benny added width to the team, Fraser getting to be more direct with his pace. To be fair to Fras, he is being played everywhere at the moment and not really getting a settled gig, so we are looking to work on that. The lad’s work ethic is second to none and only downside for him this weekend was that Rangers lost 3-2 against a 10 man Celtic. Unlucky Fras. After 25 mins, we brought on Stevie for Jordan. With the game continuing to be scrappy, Rangers got a free kick around 40 yards out. Paddy stepped up and swung in a free kick that Nathan connected with back post. It has to be said, what a goal. Anders had zero chance. Nate hung in the air while leaning back and to be able to generate the power he did was fantastic. It seemed to hang in the air forever, but fantastic goal and brought Rangers to 2-1. We then got a penalty later, Sharples scored and it was 3-1. Game settled out and we saw it out. Gaelics – good luck lads for the rest of the season and in the cup semi-final too. Best, Stevie