Glasgow Island tasted victory in a major competition within their league association for the first time in eight years last Saturday.
The GCFA League Cup was won by the island exiles with seconds to spare, and for the second time in the space of eight days, it was the boot of Zander Macdonald from Point that won the trophy, having been the only scorer in the Acres Boys Club Cup final vs Westside the weekend prior.
GI have had their work cut out for them in this contest. Having, themselves, come runners-up in their league association which consists of 32 teams, they had to dispatch of the 3rd placed team, the league winners, the 4th placed team and the 5th placed team on the way to cup glory.
Saturday’s opponents, Albion AFC, had pipped GI to the league title by a solitary point in 2015, so they were familiar adversaries. The final took place at Petershill Park in front of a decent crowd, with a number of Glasgow teuchters turning up to support.
The game itself was a very close affair, with no goals in a tense first half. Glasgow Island’s Ian Greer had passed up a glorious opportunity when he skied the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score but, a couple of half chances and long-range efforts aside, it was the only incident of real significance.
However, an opportunistic strike from king goals himself, Fraser Macleod, early in the second half gave GI the lead they craved, but they were unable to build on it.
Glasgow Island’s backline of Derick Macleod (Back), Andrew Dunn (Lochs), Tom Lawrence (United) and local boy Kris Lucas had been impressive, but on 79 minutes the advantage was cancelled out by some dogged attacking by Albion which resulted in the ball being rifled into the bottom corner of the net and it was back to all square.
This setback nearly became a lot worse a minute later as a wicked counter from Albion ended up with their centre forward through one-on-one with Graeme Sneddon in the Island goals, but the big goalie made a heroic block and the danger was cleared.
This scare seemed to give GI a jolt, and the remaining ten minutes turned into wave after wave of Island attacks. Zander Macdonald brought out the best of the Albion keeper with a left foot piledriver on the turn, while Eriskay’s Ali Macdonald managed to head an effort away from goal when it looked for all the world he would power it in from 6 yards.
It was clear Albion were holding on for the final whistle, and it looked like this would happen, until Zander popped up with 90 seconds remaining to coolly slot home a cross that evaded all before it landed at his feet and send the GI boys into wild celebrations.
These continued shortly after when the final whistle went, and the boys stepped forward to collect their first major silverware since 2009. Of the team that played that day, Derick Macleod and Andrew played the 2017 final while Stevie Macleod (Back) remains in the GI squad, although he was at sea on Saturday past.
Fraser Macleod was awarded man of the match and the team retired to their sponsor, The Snaffle Bit, to continue the celebrations that have been a very long time coming.