Since joining the Kingdom league the one place that GPR have found the most difficult to get a win is at Strathmiglo. The line up again showed changes, Simpson in goal, a back four of McAllister, Davidson, Bremner and Graham. In the mid were Lindsay, Fraser, Adam and Muir. Up top it was Moncrieff and Ramsay.
On a warm day for football, Greig Park were first to settle and Lindsay was unlucky not to score with just a couple of minutes on the clock. As the half wore on GPR were on top as good work down the flanks from Lindsay and Muir had the home defence desperately trying to halt the supply to the strikers. 25 mins gone and T McAllister went close with a couple of efforts. As is the case when a team is on top, the team under pressure hit on the break and score against the run of play. On this occasion, poor defending from a corner and a late run from Strath’s centre back allowed him to strike a shot into the top right corner of the GPR net. Greig Park’s heads went down after that but made it to half time without further loss. Half Time Strath 1 GPR 0.
After a stern half time team talk, Greig Park came out more determined. An early Adam chance saw his shot go just wide. On the hour mark Greig Park were level, a well placed Adam shot from a free kick, found the bottom left hand corner of the net, 1-1. Normally, criticism of the referee fall on deaf ears, but the decision on seventy minutes to award Strath a goal when GPR keeper Simpson was clearly fouled is beyond understanding. Even the home team players thought it was a foul. 2-1 Strathmiglo. From then on the visitors huffed and puffed but could break down their defence. In the dying mins GPR conceded another when T McAllister managed to divert his header into his own net. Final Score Strath 3 Greig Park 1.
Converting chances and tightening up at the back is probably the message the coaching staff will be hammering home at training this week. No more midweek games gives the team an opportunity to iron out any probs. Next Saturday 3rd September sees Kinross visit Windygates for a Glendale Plastics League game.
For the last of this, start of season midweek games, GPR headed to Coalton of Balgonie to take on the Scotia. McAllister, Graham, McNeill, Ramsay and McGuire all returned to the starting line up.
Right from the start Greig Park put the pressure on and within ten minutes they were two goals to the good. The first, after six minutes saw Gary Davidson find Moncrieff with an accurate pass and the in form striker made no mistake with a curling shot inside the right hand post. The second arrived two minutes later and was an almost carbon copy of the first. This time it was Kyle Graham who beat a couple of defenders on a mazy run and after beating the same two again slipped a pass to Moncrieff who scored with another shot into the net. After taking a deep breath the game settled down a bit as the young Scotia team tried to play a passing game. Simpson in the GPR goal was relatively untroubled by their attacks.
On the half hour mark it was three, Muir and McNeill combined well down the right and set up a chance for, you know who, Fraser Moncrieff made no mistake. 3-0 GPR. Mark Ramsay was brought down as he bore down on goal, Moncrieff took the spot kick and gave the goalkeeper no chance. Greig Park were on easy street by this time and with four minutes to go till half time they scored a fifth. This time it was Muir and Ramsay who combined to create the chance and when the ball was crossed into box, who was waiting !!, no this time it was Kyle Graham who scored with a looping header. Half Time 5-0 GPR
With the game won, Greig Park made a couple of changes at the start of the second half, Moncrieff and Drummond making way for Nicholson and Adam. After a shaky start McGuire began to take command in the midfield and more chances came their way, but no more goals. Lindsay was next on and Graham took a rest. Gilbert then Price replaced McNeill and Ramsay as Greig Park saw out the game without too much drama. Final Score Scotia 0 GPR 5
Next up for Greig Park is an away game against Strathmiglo Utd. always a very difficult place to get a positive result.
The midweek games come thick and fast for GPR and next up is Bowhill Rovers, always a tough game when these two go head to head. Again work commitments and injuries mean changes in the GPR line up. Graham sat out due to suspension, Cramb and Davidson both returned to the starting line up.
The game started with a bang. Within half a minute the visitors were in front, keeper Simpson was adjudged to have brought down the speedy winger. The same guy sprung to his feet in time to slot the penalty into the net 1-0 Bowhill. For the next fifteen to twenty minutes GPR had to withstand a lot of pressure as the visitors pushed forward looking to increase their lead. In fact there was twenty mins on the clock before Greig Park threatened the Bowhill goal, a sweet move between Adam and Lindsay set up a chance for Moncrieff whose shot was well saved by their keeper. As the half progressed GPR started to drag themselves back in to the game and Drummond, Muir and Fraser all went close. After a prolonged stoppage the away team goalie was barely able to continue after a collision with Moncrieff. The resultant injury time at the break was three minutes old when Greig Park snatched an equaliser. A free kick on the right from Fraser was met by new signing McBride who directed a firm header into the net. Half Time 1-1.
If the home team spent the majority of the first half under the cosh then things started to change virtually from the restart as the Windygates boys got tackles in and got at their opponents.Ten minutes gone and GPR got their noses in front. A great run and cross from Muir wasn’t cleared and Konner Lindsay was on hand at the back post to control the ball and score with an a shot from a narrow angle. 2-1 GPR.
It was end to end stuff after that as both teams played some neat football that the crowd enjoyed, the GPR defence were resolute, especially when having to cope with a number of free kicks into the box. Although injured, the Bowhill goalkeeper got his fingers stung by a Moncrieff rocket that he managed to tip onto the bar.
With other results on the night showing that a number of teams are capable of beating the so called top teams it makes for an exciting start to the league campaign.