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SAFL Premier 2
Tarbert FC 2 – Easthall Star 1
On Saturday February 3, Tarbert welcomed Easthall Star to Cil Andreis for their first match since the tragic sinking of the Nancy Glen fishing boat.
Both teams and a huge home support took part in a two minute applause before the match for the men who are still missing, one of whom, Duncan MacDougall, was a huge part of Tarbert Football Club for more than 30 years.
The game kicked off at a frenetic pace with emotions running high and challenges flying in all over the park. Soft conditions underfoot and cut in the turf meant that it wasn’t going to be a day for silky passing football, however the opening goal of the game was a fine piece of play.
Tarbert battled well to win the ball in midfield and a defence-splitting through ball allowed Johnson to race into the box and square for the unmarked Nikki MacDougall to tap home.
Going behind seemed to stir Easthall Star into life and the rest of the first half was a tough defensive shift for the home side. A couple of fine saves from Selfridge in the Tarbert goal kept the home side ahead of the team sitting third in the league table until the half hour mark when a fairly tame effort managed to slip into the Tarbert net.
Further gutsy defending followed to ensure that the half time score was 1-1.
Inspirational words at half time increased the tempo in the second half and Tarbert took more control of the ball. Some half-chances came and went but the bulk of the play was centred around tough tackling and each team battling to regain possession.
Some feisty challenges were flying in, and this would come to boiling point later in the game, but on the hour mark Tarbert took the lead for the second time in the match. Hesitation in the Easthall defence allowed MacKinnon to nip in and round the keeper before slotting into the empty net and sending the home crowd into raptures.
This was no more than Tarbert deserved given the effort and application shown throughout the match and proved to be decisive in the end. The last half hour of the match was full of fouls as the away side grew more and more frustrated and it came to a head with 15 minutes to go as Selfridge and the Easthall forward became involved in confrontation and were both shown straight red cards.
One further chance fell to Tarbert late on to seal the result but in the end 2-1 was enough for the 3 points, and a fitting end to a very emotional day. Every player did their former captain proud, and will hope that this type of performance can continue for the remainder of the season.
This weekend Tarbert are away to Port Glasgow. Fundraising efforts will continue in support of the Nancy Glen campaign, with various raffles and other events underway.
Any contributions are most appreciated and welcome at this difficult time.