Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Glen meet a goalie who thinks he's Archie

Glenurquhart 0 Caberfeidh 3

Its been a little while since the Wing Centre has been so despondent after a result and yet so full of admiration for the character who created his despair. Step forward Archie the Goalie, hail -keeper to the Earl of Cromartie.
Now it would be unfair to make Archie the Goalie into a folk hero because he managed to break Glen hearts with a series of saves , especially in the second half of Saturday’s diabolical experience, because then he would become a pin up in Strathglass which is a fate the Wing Centre would not wish on anybody. Archie’s second name will not therefore be disclosed by the present scribe because if this were done his home life would become very difficult. The Glasaich would be sending him fan letters and looking him up in the phonebook to ring him up with words of congratulation. Suffice to say that Archie had a daft day- a King Midas day: everything he attempted turned to gold.
Cabers took an early lead through Kevin Bartlett ( the original Cabers Bartlett must have cycled over with Columba on a cow-hide bike) and Stewart Krysanowski : good goals but careless defending. A familiar Glen experience . But we can recover from that except when we play Lovat. From that early point in the match the onus was thrown on Cabers to begin defending- and Archie was inspired.
The first half saw him diving about like a dervish to get his hand to balls, deflect powerful drives past into the sheep-park , and generally shout at his defence because they were merely tackling for the ball and not committing suicide to smother attacks. If they were to recast the film “300“, bags Archie for the part of Leonidas, King of the Spartans. Indeed the Wing Centre almost chose as headline this week “Hail Archie, King of Sparta” except that would have forced him into making a range of classical allusions that would take too much effort to produce considering the game was a defeat.
The second half was not much better : Cabers had only two shots on target throughout the whole period while Archie was smothering shots at the post, diving across to thwart Lewis Maclennan and Neale Reid. As always luck favoured the opposition-Lewis Maclennan struck the bar while a low drive from Calum Fraser beat Archie and looked from the window of the kitchen to be a good goal but was ruled out by Referee Astie Cameron. No complaints really-if Astie says its offside then its offside no matter how much the Wing Centre might wish reality to be different.
At a crucial stage in the proceedings , the Wing Centre went for a stroll along the sidelines and bumped into a pair of escapees from Beauly. Fraser Ross and Davie Mackay were smiling just a little too broadly at the discomfiture of your correspondent.
The Wing Centre, though his heart was bleeding, affected to be cheery and some pleasantries were exchanged.
Then Davie said “ Not a bad goalie, the Cabers goalie”
There was obviously a trap involved in this statement because the Wing Centre knows from long experience that Davie Mackay says sentences the way Gary Kasparov plays chess. He thinks two , sometimes three utterances ahead.
At that moment the man in the green jersey and the baseball cap dived to his right and palmed a rasper past for a corner. Archie was beginning to swagger and show off.
“He’s doing OK,” admitted the Wing Centre.
“Beauly put -what was it- four past him” said Davie. Then he paused “but that was only up at Castle Leod and maybe he wasn‘t in form that day”
It was obvious Davie wanted the Wing Centre to admit that it was five so he counted to ten.
“We got three up there ourselves,” said the Wing Centre, breathing in deeply.
“Well maybe there’s still time” said Davie ,as if he knew that the Wing Centre himself knew in his heart of hearts that there was not.
By that time Cabers supremo Robbie Taylor could be seen writing out a subs card.
“Going to sub the goalie?” asked the Wing Centre.
“Do you want me to go on myself?” asked Robbie.
That was the remark that made your correspondent realise that the game was well and truly up. He remembered Robbie making an even better series of point blank saves than Archie was making now. What if Robbie went on and turned back time with a defiant last ten minutes that would have had the Glasaich laughing even more than they would be laughing when they heard the result from Stewart Mackenzie on Radio Scotland in a hours time?
The Wing Centre turned away from the field and started to stack the chairs abandoned by Glen spectators who had lost the will to spectate. There was a collective groan. Kevin Bartlett had seemingly hit a long range high shot filled with hope and speculation that had somehow entered the net. The time on the stadium clock was 88 minutes. It was Cabers second shot at goal in the second 45.
At that point the realisation suddenly came to the Wing Centre of how good Ron Fraser actually was. No matter how poorly the Glen played against Cabers -either here or there- whether the service he got was poor or merely adequate, Ron would score more than the rest of the squad would let in. It was a simple formula for success and one hundred Archies would not have made any difference.
Buoyed up by that thought, the Wing Centre went to take down the new corner flags only to discover that Geordie had beaten him to it. But then that’s usually the case.
And the picture at the top. Nothing to do with the report: Archie's desire for anonymity saw to that. However it is proof that the Glen and Strathglass really do get on-Bob Geddes praises Davie Stewart for playing well. But why are John Mackenzie and Dave Calder praying?Oh - and as usual Murph thinks that the photo is all about him. As if!!

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