Robbie’s View

Monday August 17th 2015

It’s been the up and downs of football this week that’s for sure.

We wanted a reaction from the players on Wednesday night after our defeat up in St Andrews and we certainly got one. We started the game really well and missed a couple of chances and might have had a penalty when Kieran was clipped in the box. We then found ourselves 1-0 down out of absolutely nothing but credit to the players they showed great character in coming back and putting ourselves infront with two great finishes from Archie and Deano. At the point in the game just before half time we were well on top and pushing for the third goal but it didn’t come.

Second half and Nitten had a wee spell at the start of the half but we started to take control again and though we rode our luck when they hit the bar and they missed their late chance to equalise we thoroughly deserved the win and we could relax a bit when we finally got a penalty and Deano stuck it away.

We were looking to take confidence from that to the game Saturday and although we didn’t play as well or had the same intensity as Wednesday I thought there was absolutely nothing in the game. Linlithgow were excellent for the first 15-20 minutes of the game and we struggled to get to grips with their movement. The goal comes from a mistake by us but there was nothing you can do about the finish, a great strike from Batchelor.

After that we started to get a grip on the game even though we suffered a massive blow with Al Horne suffering a fractured cheekbone. With Johnny B, Fraser, Wayneo and Tobin missing we were down to the bare bones especially at the back but I thought Liam McKenna helping us out as a trialist came on and did fine for us at right back for someone who hasn’t played for a long time.

Big Kieran had a great chance for us to equalise after a great move down the right but Ally Adams made an important save as we continued to have plenty possession and pressure but no clear cut chances. The second half continued in a similar vein but then Linlithgow scored out of nothing. Debatable free kick from half way, where Kieran picked up his first booking, which led to an offside not given from a knock down from the free kick and cleared for a corner. Corner comes in and we don’t deal with it and Coyne puts it in after a scramble in the box.

After that the main talking points were Kieran’s sending off, Ally Adams inside/outside the box when he caught the ball and myself getting sent away from the dug out.

When I spoke to Kieran after the game he said there was no contact from Adams but thought it was coming so as strikers do was going to roll the challenge. When he realised that there was no contact he tried to get up and play on but the ref had already made his decision and he was off. To be fair to the ref it was the right decision.

With regards the Ally Adams outside of the box call, it’s impossible for the ref to give it as he can’t see it but the reaction of the fans on that side along with our players tells me it must have been close. Someone has said to me they thought he was outside the box but his hands and ball inside, I was also told that he was clearly a yard out his box, either way if there was linesman there it would have helped in this instance.

My own sending off I apologise for but I genuinely feel I didn’t say anything out of turn, certainly didn’t swear or was abusive to the referee which was verified by a Linlithgow supporter behind our dugout. Another offside decision wasn’t given and perhaps it was sarcastic shout of “are we not playing offsides today” but it didn’t merit the sending off in my book when a hell of a lot worse had been said on the day. I think if you asked my players and bench I was trying to keep everyone calm yesterday and also to the keep their discipline so it was a shock when it was me that was punished! The players fund will get my fine for the red card as we have that in place for red and yellow cards for dissent. The game fizzled out after that, the players plugged away to the end and perhaps Linlithgow could have picked us off but they didn’t.

I’m not going to be too critical about the referee as for me the main problem yesterday was having no linesman at the biggest game of the day in the East Super League. It’s hard enough for a young referee to control the game at that level without having to make calls on throw ins, offsides, etc. It’s amateurish in my opinion and both teams along with the referee suffered because it.

No excuses again though, it was the same for both teams and there is no doubt in my mind Linlithgow are going to be up there come the end of the season. We have to pick ourselves up again and have another difficult couple of games coming up with Penicuik away and League Champions Kelty both I expect to be challenging too. On the player front, Al looks like he could be out for a while, how long will become clearer after a hospital visit tomorrow to determine whether an operation is required or not. Wayne is still a couple of weeks away with his broken foot and Tobin will be back for Saturday. Johnny B will be back for Wednesday and hopefully Fraser will make it too. A couple of big performances needed this week in what has been a tough start for us but I’m sure we will get a reaction from the players again.

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