Sevco 5088 were once again embarrassed on the road, this time at Shielfield. The Borderers had had an apathetic and slipshod start to the season, impressing virtually no-one, but yesterday they could say – without a trace of self-deception – that they should have won the game. The match follow-followed an increasingly familiar pattern: Little scored early for Sevco, who then decided that they couldn’t be bothered with the rest of the game. Fraser McLaren equalised for the Northumbrians in the second half, and had a second, perfectly good goal disallowed for a “foul” on Neil Alexander that only referee Mike Tumilty saw.
Had this been an SPL game, the tabloids would have been all over Tumilty’s Facebook and Bebo looking for evidence of the whistler wearing a Rangers top 25 years ago and the phone-ins would have been jammed with paranoid calls about establishment conspiracies. As it is, it’s the Third Division and no-one cares.
Well, I say no-one, but the Sevco board will be nothing other than thoroughly chaffed-off at another excruciating showing from their over-paid, remarkably self-regarding squad. McCoist has been targeting five or six more signings before Friday, as if signing half an SPL team to compete in the Third Division isn’t enough already. Looking at his parallel-universe signing policy, it seems as though “Coisty” and his bloated backroom would prepare for a six-month trip to the North Pole by buying in copious supplies of pith helmets, Benghazi shorts, and quinine. His fish-out-of-water side will continue to struggle away from home in this league, and I doubt the new club’s owners will tolerate much more of such turgid fare.
On Saturday, a first half downpour at Ochilview saw John Coughlin’s Shire washed away like cheap roughcast. Hellgin pummeled in three goals without reply, and even a face-saving trading of goals in the second half – the Moray Blacknshites ended up 4-1 winners – couldn’t mask the big gap between the sides. Ross Jack’s side head for next Saturday’s Ibrox encounter at the top of the Third Division table.
Goals were very hard to come by in what seems to have been a pretty miserable remaining three games in football’s windowless dungeon: the Spiders, having used up all their luck against the Gable Endies the previous weekend, were gratifyingly sunk at Balmoor by the Fishy Jailers, Rory McAllister netting a late-ish penalty. The Gable Endies and Annan Agricultural, meanwhile, re-wrote the dictionary definition of “pointless” after a sterile goalless tryst at Links Park.
The phrases “commanding passing performance” and “Duff Jimmy’s Bully Wee” are very rarely seen together in the same sentence, but there we have it. “Chucky” Watt got the game’s only goal in the first half but, other than the briefest of late spasms on the Binos ECG cardiogram, Greig MacDonald’s hapless patient was pronounced dead at the final whistle. Having been lulled into a false sense of security by skewering a woeful Annan Agricultural on the opening day, the Binos have since been given a painful lesson in how difficult it is to escape from the basement.
Your prolix correspondent always enjoys a good cup draw, and we are already looking forward hugely to the end of September and the second round of the Scottish Cup. There are some real ties to savour in yesterday’s pairings – Sevco have to travel to the chocolate and gold heartland of Forres Can-Cans; the Shire have to go up a dark alley at night in the Broch; the poor semi-pros of Wick High School have to take a week off work for their trip to Shielfield; and Irvine Medda travel to Hampden.
These are the highlights of a draw with few if any unremarkable ties, and the mountainside state-owned Extended Metaphor and Unlikely Juxtaposition smokestack of the “Partizan” co-operative is already working at full capacity in preparation for that weekend’s column. Stay tuned!