Derek Adams failed to make the start and Shaun Fagan filled the gap. Jason Dair suffered an ankle knock early on and was replaced by Kevin MacDonald. Suddenly it was apparent that we had a very young team on the park. The old hands of Leitch, Bollen, O’Donnell and Adams were watching from the stand.
Captain (for the evening) Craigan had another magnificent defensive performance though the defence started a bit slowly.
We then started to stamp some authority on the game. In fact by twenty two minutes we were taking the fifth corner under the eyes of the away support in the South Stand. But we had no clear cut chances. Scott McDonald continued to impress and in one move he beat two just outside the box but fell. He still managed to poke the ball to Clarkson to present his fellow striker with a half chance. Hammell saw a powerful shot fly over the bar as the half time whistle was due.
We had two excellent opportunities early in the second period. Burns found himself released with only the keeper to beat but his attempt was hit into Preece’s midrift. The Clarkson was presented with an unchallenged header from eight yards but he missed the target. Had we blown our chances?
The game was characterised by high balls, forwards chasing long balls and by stout defending.
With twenty minutes remaining Craig made his long awaited return when he replaced McDonald and later Wright came on for Fagan. The manager’s decision bore fruit with six minutes remaining. Craig ran on to a through ball and reached the deadball line just inside the left edge of the box. The box was fairly busy but his cut back cross found Kenny Wright nine yards out and dead centre. His shot found the back of the net and the game was won. That was his debut goal for the first team and it followed Paul Quinn’s debut strike at the weekend. Great were the celebrations.