Harmony Row 2007s hosted Drumchapel Reds in the Paisley, Johnstone and District Youth League on Saturday morning as the visitors made the short journey to Sir Alex Ferguson Park near Govan. Heading into the match, the two sides were neck and neck in the table but after Drumchapel’s 3-1 victory, a six-point gap between themselves and today’s hosts has now opened up.
Kai Davis opened the scoring for the visitors four minutes in with a precise first-time finish before his teammate Conor Maloney made it two from a free kick moments later. The Row were then reduced to ten men 12 mins in, the resulting penalty being slotted home by Maloney to make it 3-0 Drumchapel. The visitors then got a man sent off themselves before half time and despite Scott Johnson’s late strike for Harmony Row, Drumchapel walked away with all three points.
The first few opportunities of the game fell to Harmony Row, Jamie Farish’s powerful volley flew just over the bar in the opening minute. Scott Johnson was the next to see his effort stray off target.
Despite this early dominance from the hosts, it was Drumchapel who took the lead. A sweeping attacking move saw the ball be played into Kai Davis at the back post and the attacker finished with precision on his weaker foot, cleverly directing the ball back to where it came from to open the scoring in four minutes.
Moments later, Drumchapel would double their money. A free kick was awarded to the visitors just outside the area and Conor Maloney would step up to the spot. The tall, imposing midfielder, struck the ball low and hard into the net to give his side a 2-0 lead just seven minutes in.
After this goal, there was yet more action in what was a vastly lively opening period as with 12 minutes gone, there was a red card for Harmony Row. In an off-the-ball incident inside the box, Mitchel Newall appeared to head-butt an opponent resulting in the referee giving a penalty and a red card.
Maloney stepped up for the visitors and accurately slotted into the right bottom corner to put his side three in front.
Following this flurry of early incidents, the match began to even out and although they had a man less and were three down, Harmony Row stood firm. They then began to come back into the match towards the end of the first half, striker Arran Grant being magnificently denied by Drumchapel’s keeper Ben McConalouge from close range.
Then right on half time, Drumchapel would be reduced to ten also. A flashpoint in the middle of the pitch eventually saw the scorer of two of the visitors’ goals, Maloney, be sent off for a second bookable offence. Nevertheless, his team still went in at the break three goals to the good.
The second half began evenly. Both teams were able to neutralise and suss each other out with the fact they both now had the same amount of players on the pitch making for a closer contest.
Substitute Ryan Hasnaou went close for Drumchapel into the second half although his low effort on the spin was saved well and diverted onto the post by Liam Broughton in the Harmony Row goal.
The hosts then grew into the match towards the end with Max McGowan hitting the bar from inside the box after a delightful ball was played over the top for the midfielder.
Chances were becoming sparse by this point although that was a testament to how well both teams were defending yet with 13 minutes to play, Harmony Row gave themselves a lifeline.
Captain Scott Johnson, who had just returned from a broken foot injury, had a shot from inside the six-yard box initially saved after some neat interplay down the left-hand side although he was there to gobble up the rebound. The score remained 3-1 with just under a quarter of an hour to go.
Harmony Row pushed for opportunities in the closing stages however it was Hasnaou who almost made it 4-1 to Drumchapel late on. The forward managed to get the break of the ball on the counter-attack but the angle was too tight for him.
As a result of this missed chance, there was still hope for the hosts however two tremendous defensive moments from Drumchapel made sure they preserved their three points.
Kyran Duffy was played in behind the visitors’ defence however McConalouge made a vital save in the one-on-one situation. Then just seconds later, Grant was staring down McConalouge however defender Euan Francis made one of the best last-ditch challenges you’ll see across any division and age group of Scottish football this weekend.
After Francis’ admirable challenge, a corner was given to Harmony Row although Drumchapel would defend it stoutly and walk away from Sir Alex Ferguson park with all three points.
As a result of today’s victory, Drumchapel now moves six points clear of Harmony Row in the table. The importance of the three points today cannot be underestimated for the visitors who were utterly lethal in attack in the early stages. Harmony Row did have several chances to get back into the game late on yet due to some heroic defending, were denied.
Assuredly, both sending-offs were pivotal when they transpired but as the match went on, the players let the football do the talking in what was a hugely entertaining match.
Harmony Row Player of the Match: Craig MaConnacher
Playing at centre back for Harmony Row, Craig MaConnacher stood out. The defender was strong as ever in the tackle and anticipated everything that came his way.
Going forward, he was comfortable when taking the ball out of defence and certainly had an eye for a pass.
Drumchapel Reds Player of the Match: Kai Davis
Opening the scoring early on, Kai Davis caught the eye on the left-hand side for Drumchapel.
The frontman was constantly willing to cut inside on his right foot yet got his goal with his left, adequately slotting into the bottom right corner early doors with a calm and collected finish.
Magic Moment – Harmony Row
Captain Scott Johnson got Harmony Row’s only goal of the game with said strike undoubtedly rejuvenating the hosts going into the closing stages.
Leading by example, Johnson didn’t give up after seeing his initial effort be saved and followed in to score on his return from an injury layoff.
Magic Moment – Drumchapel Reds
Kai Davis’ opener was a very well-taken goal although the build-up to it was even better.
After withstanding some early pressure, Drumchapel stood firm and with a fast-paced attacking move, broke the deadlock through a wonderful first-time finish from Davis.
Harmony Row 2007s
Drumchapel Reds 2007s
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