Glasgow 1-4 Girvan
Harry Tattersall Smith
A great man once said, “Football is a funny old game,” but the laughter was conspicuous in its absence from a muted Garscube faithful, as they saw their team clinically dismantled by a superior Girvan outfit in the first round of the Scottish Cup.
It was a day on which Glasgow will come to rue a failure to exploit their early domination. Girvan arrived with an air of complacency; perhaps expecting a team of academics to lack bite, yet Glasgow began with a ferocious tenacity that obviously rattled the Ayrshire outfit. With Girvan obviously floundering in the face of incessant Glasgow pressure, the University began with such a creative flare that saw them control the early exchanges, with the visitors left to simply chase shadows. Orchestrated by the majestic Chris O’Day, the captain pulled the strings as Glasgow tormented their West-Coast neighbours. It seemed that after only five minutes Glasgow took a deserved lead.
Richard Moyes, a constant irritant to the Girvan defence, pounced on hesitation and his precise through–ball saw Scott Devenney burst through. Although the talismanic number nine saw his original effort parried, he had the composure to coolly slot home the rebound after good interplay with Calum Leith.
It is often said that teams can be guilty of scoring too early, and for Glasgow this was very much the case. If Girvan had been guilty of underestimating their opponents then the fear of being the first ‘cup-shock-casualty’ soon saw the visitors regain the composure that had previously been so sorely lacking.
Girvan started the match as exponents of the long ball philosophy, bombarding the Glasgow box with crosses which were dismissively dealt with by the unyielding Gavin Fergusson. Fergusson consistently put his body on the line with a blood–and–thunder performance at the very heart of defence.
If Girvan were perhaps naïve with their early endeavors, it was when they started playing precise passing football that they started to ooze the class that has seen them begin the season in such scintillating form.
It was from a fortuitous corner that they hauled themselves level. Keeper Ashley Brown, who had an afternoon to forget, flapped at a hopeful cross and Michael Moffat was on hand to head into an empty net.
A moment of madness from usually reliable Brown, and after that it really became a question of what the final score would be. Girvan took the lead through a moment of sheer beauty. It was Joga Bonito at its purest. The strike partnership of Moffat and Darren Mitchell tormented Glasgow all afternoon, and it was a instinctive move between the pair that saw Girvan expose the fragile University defence.
A crisp move culminated with Mitchell cushioning a header through to his partner who lashed home from a narrow angle.
The second half began in the same vain as the first ended, with wave after wave of Girvan pressure. At times they displayed a quality of football that one does not associate with the lowest echelons of the Scottish Leagues. There were sighs of relief all round as Moffat again went close to completing his hatrick but saw his snap shot cannon off the upright. The build-up had seen the ball ricochet off the referee, and it would have sparked a controversial aside to what was ultimately a pulsating game of football.
The game was put to bed in comical fashion, a corner from the right saw Goalkeeper Brown palm the ball into his own net in a bizarre incident that will see the young stopper haunted for life.
A seemingly harmless long ball landed at the feet of the devastating Mitchell, and he rounded two defenders before slotting home to cap off a sublime personal performance.