As Glasgow took on Aberdeen, spirits were high. Given their superior position in the league, the match should have been a straightforward win. However, throw a cup tie into the mix and anything can happen.
Glasgow started the game well, mounting an early attack against a sloppy Aberdeen defence. This culminated in Stewart Bracegirdle hitting the post with a powerful strike after a break down the left of the field. This pressure continued as Andrew Yates played an incisive ball through the centre that Ewan Thompson should have converted.
A slip from the Glasgow midfield provided Aberdeen with a chance and goalkeeper Mark Hutchenson was forced to make an excellent save. Glasgow quickly responded by pressing the Aberdeen side. Captain Rob Tyler lashed an effort wide, and his effort was quickly followed by two successive penalty corners but they just could not find the backboard. It was evident even at this early stage that Glasgow were going to have trouble breaking down a resilient Aberdeen defence.
Aberdeen continued to make the odd break during the next fifteen minutes but their midfield appeared less competent than the back four. One bout of pressure from the Aberdeen side saw Hutchenson make another impressive save and Stewart Law was on hand to scramble clear and swing momentum back in Glasgow’s favour.
After a fairly even spell of play with both teams playing defensively, Glasgow saw their chance and broke down the Aberdeen defence, winning a penalty corner. A Tyler straight strike was deflected by Thompson to give Glasgow a well-earned lead of 1-0. Moments later they were let off as a sharp Aberdeen run up the left saw Hutchenson again forced to make an acrobatic save.
Having dropped a goal behind, Aberdeen appeared to pick up the pace. The Glasgow midfield had to work hard to assist their defence as Aberdeen continued to pick up free hits and corners in the Glasgow half. Some sloppy passing and a few bad tackles from GU made Aberdeen’s job easier; and again Glasgow were forced to rely heavily on their goalkeeper at times.
After a strong start for Glasgow, the half-time whistle came as a welcome relief for the side. Re-organsiation was definitely required if they were to maintain their 1-0 lead.
Glasgow began the second half well, dictating the pace and pushing forward. Aberdeen were also buoyed, however Rod Anderson almost breached their previously strong defence with his fast pace and was unlucky not to score. Rob Tyler continued to play a central role throughout, moving the ball forward and switching the play successfully for his team.
As the ball moved from end to end, both Aberdeen and Glasgow had chances to score. Aberdeen looked, at times, unlucky to be a goal behind. However, sporadic breaks from Glasgow showed a high level of class: Tyler and Marty Jennings both should have doubled the home sides lead.
The intense pace was maintained throughout the game and a late surge from Aberdeen required three consecutive saves from Hutchenson to guard Glasgow’s narrow lead. However, as the Glasgow defence began to tire, Aberdeen pounced. A cruel late strike brought the score-line to 1-1, and Glasgow were lucky to fend off more pressure from the Aberdeen side. Having defended well throughout, Glasgow now seemed at a loss as to how to cope with a determined attack from Aberdeen. Two final minute penalty corners and another great save from the sublime Hutchenson saw Glasgow finish the second half as they had the first — relieved that the score-line was not worse.
Placed well above them in the league, Glasgow will be disappointed to have achieved only a 1-1 draw with the Aberdeen side. Given the defiance shown by Aberdeen, perhaps this match will serve as a wake up call as the team challenge for promotion.