The Irish were on the road for the second game of the Group Section and looking to build on an impressive win from the previous week versus Lanarkshire Amateurs. Arriving at Newmains Amateurs ground it was clear from the off that the surface would not suit the passing game the Irish have adopted. For a pitch mainly used for Junior level it left a lot to be desired. This certainly didn’t take anything away from a very entertaining game for any neutral watching.
Newmains took the lead in 7 minutes when a ball over the top was controlled by the clearly offside number 9 and dispatched across goalkeeper Griffin into the far corner. This set the tone for a refereeing performance which can at best be described as baffling.
The goal gave Newmains a taste for blood and the Irish keeper had to make several good saves to keep us in the game.
The Irish grew into the game however and levelled the game on 41 minutes. A free kick from Lewis Maitland into the box found Martin Rice and he smashed a mid-air volley into the net. Two goals in two games now for the big striker.
Glasgow Irish started the second half with a lesser intensity and but for some poor finishing from Newmains could have been behind again. The game was turned on its head however when a flick on from Martin Rice found its way through for left winger Connor Jack who managed to get in behind the Newmains defence and lob the keeper. A fantastic finish from our young forward.
With the Irish 2-1 up it was a case of settling down and seeing the game out. Injuries to two of our players forcing substitutions didn’t help our cause however and Newmains deservedly drew level on 82 mins. A nothing ball into the box was misjudged by two Irish defenders presenting a gift for the Newmains midfielder. 2-2.
Having already booked 6 Glasgow Irish players the referee went a step further in showing Mark Cleary a straight red card for the slightest of pushes on an opponent. Only adding to his woeful performance which both teams had to endure.
The game passed without any further incident and the Irish can feel fortunate to have escaped with a point in what was a messy game.
Man of the match was striker Martin Rice.
Special mention to Shaun Munro, Richard McCabe, Tony Owens and Connor Jack who impressed.
Now onto Thursday’s fixture where we travel to Stepford Playing Fields to play Glasgow Rangers Amateurs in a 19:00 kick off.
Mon the Irish.