Hockey club outclassed

Suzi Higton

Glasgow 0 – 4 Strathclyde

Despite a deserved optimism from GUHC Men’s 2nds, following their recent resounding 8-1 victory away against Livingston, the squad failed to equal a highly charged Strathclyde side who dominated against their league rivals in their BUSC League fixture.

The hosts kept play level into the first half with effortless connectivity down the left wing, making the most of dummy balls to outwit Strathclyde’s defence. This advantage however proved to be short lived, with play quickly shifting to their opponents who began to settle into their stride.

A momentary lapse of concentration in the Glasgow defence at the twenty-three minute mark allowed their rivals to slam a shot just wide, with numerous rebound shots going begging. Glasgow keeper Iain Oliphant played a prolific role for the hosts, with numerous spectacular saves to keep the score line within touching distance throughout the first half. Despite being able frustrate Strathclyde’s attacking formation during the first twenty minutes, their rivals began to hammer in bullet shots past an increasingly precarious defence.

Glasgow’s only scoring opportunity of the match came minutes from the half time whistle with a free hit ten yards out from goal; the attacker’s shot scuttling inches past the keeper and being immediately pounced on by the home side’s frantic defence, crowding round the ball to force it out of play and away from their opponents.

Inevitably, the deadlock was eventually broken by Strathclyde, who capitalised on a poor clearance, giving the visitors the chance to smash a ferocious shot past the the helpless keeper, putting the visitors in front at half time.

In the second half Strathclyde continued their dominance from the outset, with some clumsy defending from Glasgow resulting in multiple short corners. Despite a couple of inspired breaks, most notably Andy Nicoll and Rob Johnson making space for creative passing in the midfield, Strathclyde relentlessly closed down their rivals and continued to dominate possession as full time approached.

Glasgow’s increasing desperation became apparent in conceding a careless penalty, after an illegal block saw the visitors coolly place another past the keeper to render the game out of reach for the tiring Glasgow squad.
The hosts’ inability to recycle free balls in midfield proved to be their undoing and two further goals sealed the game for their notably stronger opponents.

Despite last minute pressure for a consolation goal, Glasgow were forced to admit defeat at the final whistle. Team captain Leo Howes was optimistic after the match telling Guardian: “It was a very strong side we were against, so I was pretty pleased. We could have a marked a little closer and tighter and passed a bit quicker but apart from that I was quite happy.”


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