Giffnock cup run ends after 2nd half collapse.

Giffnock 1 – 10 Gairdoch

Goals: Joseph

After a battling and competitive first half in freezing conditions at Norwood Park – Giffnock ended up soundly beaten by the better team leaving their hopes of lifting the Scottish Cup broken until next season.

A tiny flicker of snow fell from the slate sky as the referee got this 4th round cup tie underway as Giffnock welcomed the strongly-tipped Gairdoch outfit from their Falkirk base for this winner-takes-all fixture. The home team made a very bright start and Harrisons early effort denied only by the bar was a clear message of intent that Giffnock meant business. Giffnock made most of the early play pressing Gairdoch and jockeying for the ball – but on the stroke of 5 mins, and very much against the run of play, the visitors scored after a clean ball through caught the defence off-guard. Gairdoch with their tails up started pushing forward and if hadn’t been for Coach John ably assisting the referee with offside calls there could have been more goals, but it was Giffnock that struck back when young Joseph pounced on a goalkeeping error to cutely slot home with his left foot from 10 yards out. Game on!

Giffnock were having a lot of joy up the left flank with Jake, Joseph, and Jamie working hard to win the ball back and push forward. Gairdoch continued to press and brought out a couple of fine saves from Jack along will some dogged defending from Gabriel and Kieran. Despite conceding 2 further goals in the 20th and 25th minute Giffnock maintained their discipline and determination and carved out several good chances – the best of which saw Max and Jake link nicely to set up Joseph but the first touch saw the ball drift slightly too far in front of him to get a shot away before the keeper came out to block. A freekick from Harrison in the 35th minute was controlled nicely by Kieran who managed to turn his marker and get a shot away – the deflection and resulting corner pinging off the underside of the Gairdoch bar as the visitors scrambled to clear their lines.  The ref brought the first half to a close – and the Gifnock boys came off rightly feeling that they were very much in the game after a very committed 40 mins of football, especially from the defence who had limited the chances of the visitors very effectively.

Whilst it was bitterly cold – alas it wasn’t cold enough to freeze the ink in my pen – and so its with no small amount of sorrow that I have to bring you news of the 2nd half. The collapse didn’t start right away – Giffnock started the half well and for the first 10 minutes were playing good football and keeping Gairdoch at bay. The difference in quality was beginning to tell, but a goal from Giffnock at this stage and the match would have been blown wide open. Unfortunately once the 4th goal came on the stroke of 50mins for Gairdoch the only thing blown wide open was the hitherto solid Giffnock defence, midfield and attack – and a further 6 were conceded by marauding Gairdoch forwards before the ref brought the match to a welcome conclusion with the score at 10-1 to the away team.

It was always going to be a tough fixture – Gairdoch are a strong team with a lot of good players – but the first half performance from Giffnock proves, once again,  that they have the skill and physicality to compete. There were a lot of very good, very committed performances from Giffnock players today in the first half especially – and, when the perennial problem of the 2nd half discombobulation is solved, there is no doubt that Giffnock will get back to winning ways.