by Adam Gordon
Iochdar Saints 10 Southend 2
– Close game descends into biggest defeat of the season for Southend
– MacIsaac scores from the halfway line in goal fest
Iochdar Saints reclaimed top spot in the league with an emphatic victory over Southend at Linaclate. After a frustrating first-half display, in which they opened the scoring, but missed several decent chances, the reigning league champions found their shooting-boots to rack up an incredible tally of nine goals in the second half.
Strangely, the match was evenly poised for much of the first half and indeed up until the hour mark, following Andrew MacIssac’s (Reebs) goal early in the second half. That goal had briefly drawn Southend level at 1-1, after Joseph MacInnes had headed Saints in front in the first 45. Unfortunately for the visitors, in scenes reminiscent of Dave Narey’s opener for Scotland against the mighty Brazil in the 1982 World Cup, the goal for Southend only served to awaken their opponents.
While it is fair to say the standard of Iochdar Saints’ play was not quite comparable with the attacking verve displayed by the likes Eder, Zico and Socrates against Scotland that day, the ruthless efficiency they displayed in dismantling their opponents was certainly on a par with the sensational South Americans.
Colin Scott’s neat lofted finish from a tight angle restored Saints’ lead, before Angus Campbell’s (Nooie) cool finished, albeit unchallenged, made it 3-1 and opened the floodgates.
At this point, Saints had the game by the scruff of the neck and despite spurning a couple of chances to extend their lead, it wasn’t long before they got their fourth of the match. A great chipped-effort from around 8 yards out by MacInnes, his second of the game, effectively ended the match as a contest. The glut of goals, however, had only just begun.
Harry Luney grabbed a fifth for the home team, before a fantastic long-range effort for Southend reduced the deficit to three. Andrew MacIssac’s speed of thought from kick-off caught the Saints goalkeeper off-guard, and with a spectacular strike, that Charlie Adam would have been proud of, the talented striker found the net from the half-way line to make it 5-2.
Much like his first goal, MacIssac’s strike spurred the hosts into action once more. Two quick goals, firstly from Nooie, who scored a penalty to register his second and Saints’ sixth of the match, and then another from Brendan MacPhee (Baba), who found ample space inside the Southend box, before easily beating the visitors’ goalkeeper from close range, further enhanced the home side’s lead to five goals.
Scott Matheson then helped himself to a brace, the first; an easy finish after some good build-up play, before he rounded the now beleaguered Southend goalkeeper to score his second, which made the score 9-2 to Saints.
Harry Luney still had time to score his second and Saints’ tenth of the match, an easy header from around 12 yards out, from a corner, which marked the end of a barely believable and breathless match. With 12 goals in total, the score line had changed dramatically over the course of the game, from 1-0 after 45 minutes, to then 1-1 after an hour, with the game finishing with the final result of 10-2 after 90 minutes. Incredibly, 10 goals were scored in the final 30 minutes of the game.
A rampant performance by the reigning champions ultimately overshadowed what had been a promising and spirited showing for long periods by Southend. A combination of sharp attacking play from the hosts and naïve defending from the visitors contributed to what was a highly entertaining and memorable match.
Shots on target: 20
Shots off target: 10
Yellow cards: 0
Red cards: 0
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 2
Yellow cards: 0
Red cards: 0
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Scott Matheson – The Saints player helped himself to a brace, linking well with his teammates and was a real nuisance to the Southend defence in an good all-round performance.