Inverness Clachnacuddin v Stenhousemuir at Grant Park, Inverness on 29.11.08
Homecoming Scottish Cup Third Round Att 350
Clachnacuddin 0 Stenhousemuir 5 [Dalziel 13,2,7, Desmond 63, Hampshire 90]
Games against Highland League opposition are usually fraught with danger especially up north and this was always going to be a test of the Warriors character.
It did not look great when everyone arrived at the park to see that it had been frost bound earlier in the day and still had a whitish coating. The pitch though probably benefited from the fact that the grass had been fairly long for this time of year and was soft though there was the odd spot or two when the bounce was not consistent. Everyone was probably happy that after the long journey that the game was going ahead when games all around that area were being called off.
The Warriors started with purpose trying to pass the ball around though they took the lead in a more direct fashion when a high ball in the 13th minute by Paul Tyrrell was not dealt with properly by the Clach defender Steven MacDonald who had been pressurized by Robert Love and the ball left into the path of Scott Dalziel who swept the ball into the net from outside the box.
The Lilywhites almost drew level in the 21st minute when a shot by Gordon Morrison was tipped round the post by Scott Bennett. From the resultant corner the Warriors made a swift break to the other end with Love playing an integral part before setting up Andrew Brand. The midfielder did not connect properly with his first effort and that was blocked by keeper David Harrison but he had a second chance to score when the rebound fell in his vicinity, this time however he fired over the bar and more crucially for Brand he was caught in a challenge by a Clach defender and suffered an injured ankle and had to be stretchered off the field of play.
The Grant Park side once again tested Bennett in the 25th minute when a superb snapshot by Morrison was brilliantly saved by the Warriors custodian.
Three minutes later the Warriors extended their lead when Craig McEwan fed Robert Love on an overlapping run and his pinpoint cross picked out Scott Dalziel who made no mistake heading home his and Stenhousemuir’s second goal and the striker was unlucky not to get a first half hat trick with another close effort before the interval.
The second half saw the Warriors continue to have the territorial advantage and Love almost increased the lead in the 58th minute when a burst of speed left the Clach defenders for dead but his shot was saved and then the rebound was fired over the bar by Kevin Motion. It was not long before the Warriors went three up though as they scored again in the 63rd minute. Once again Scott Dalziel was at the heart of it and his shot was only pushed across goal by Harrison and Stevie Desmond was quickest to react to place the ball into an empty net. To their credit the Inverness side did not let their heads go down and Morrison squandered a chance to get a consolation goal when he picked up on a loose ball but he shot wide of the target with only the keeper to beat.
Scott Dalziel was presented with an opportunity to get a hat trick from the penalty spot after Craig McEwan was felled in the box after nimble footwork took him away from his marker at the corner flag only to be chopped down. Dalziel took the chance with both hands sending Harrison the wrong way from the spot.
He had little time to celebrate however as he was chopped down by a very late tackle from behind a minute later and the culprit Colin Williamson was very lucky to escape with only a caution.
In the last minute of the game the Warriors went nap when Stevie Hampshire who had replaced Dalziel fired home a shot from just inside the box to seal a fine performance
Inverness Clachnacuddin – Harrison, MacCuish, McKenzie [Lawrie 32][b70], MacDonald, Williamson [b82], Lewis, Watson, D.Ross, Morrison [b51], Rutherford and C.Ross [Kellacher 74]. Other sub used – Naismith for ?? Subs not used – Clark and Aitchison
Stenhousemuir – Bennett, McEwan [Lyle 80], McGroarty, Thom, Ovenstone, Thomson, Love, Brand [Desmond 22], Dalziel [Hampshire 82], Tyrrell and Motion. Subs not used – Shirra and Renton
Referee – Gary Hilland
Assistants – Stevie Pullar and Ronnie Wright
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