SATURDAY’S Superleague match against Hall Russell United proved a struggle for Longside who never got to grips with the conditions which were difficult for both sides.
The three goals conceded were bad mistakes defensively, but Longside can take solace from excellent performances from Calum Davidson and Nico Marchi who both worked tirelessly throughout without getting any rewards.
Craig Bruce can count himself unlucky as the two yellow cards he got were just but there must have been at least another eight challenges which deserved the same fate.
Early on Bruce got to run the whole length of the park before firing in a shot which Thomson saved easily. A corner for the home side was half cleared and when it was played back into the box, Mitchell tried a snap shot but it was straight at Thomson.
Halls took the lead in the 10th minute when the Longside defence failed to get the ball clear and it landed for Mathew Whitfield to score from close range. With 21 minutes gone Longside’s Bruce was yellow carded for a rash challenge in the middle of the park.
The home keeper Simpson got lucky when he miskicked a clearance but it landed at one of his own players. Park tried a snap shot from the edge of the box but he couldn’t find the target. A Carrol; corner found Whitfield who powered in a header but it was straight at Thomson.
Marchi and Whyte combined up the right to earn a corner for Lonjgside, Bruce took a short one to Whyte and his cross was deflected for another corner. The scond kick from Bruce was cleared out to Park on the edge of the box but his shot went straight to the keeper.
Whyte made a good run up the right before being fouled, Marchi took the free kick but no-one could get on the end of it and Simpson gathered easily. A good move for the visitors should have brought a goal for Longside when Davidson and Marchi combined to set the chance for Cardno but he scooped his shot over the bar.
Longside finished the half strongly and a Cardno shot came back off the bar before Usher fired the ball into the empty net but the referee’s assistant ruled offside. In the 45th minute Carroll fired a 25 yard free kick over the bar.
Longside made a double change at the start of the second half when Usher and Whyte were replaced by Campbell and Elrick. Black did well to clear from Bruce as the striker looked set to score. With 53 minutes gone a poor clearance from Thomson fell kindly for Cameron Bruce and slotted the ball into the empty net.
The visitors cause became even harder ten minutes later when they were reduced to ten men after Bruce received his second yellow card. Calum Davidson sent Campbell clear with a superb pass but his shot went narrowly wide. A Davidson corner fell for Marchi whose shot was blocked by Simpson before being cleared.
Shaw went clear for the home side but his attempted lob was saved by Thomson at full stretch. Marchi did well again to turn but his shot was deflected for a corner which came to nothing.
The scoring was complete in 81 minutes when Shaw held the ball up before finding Stuart Carroll and he swept the ball home from 12 yards. Longside were awarded a free kick just outside the box, Elrick fired the kick over the top.
This Saturday Longside are at home to Banks O’Dee in the Superleague (ko:1.30pm).
Longside: Thomson, Black, Bruce, Beddie, Craik, Cardno, Whyte, Park, Marchi, Usher and C.Davidson. Subs: Panton, Elrick, Danton, Butcher and Campbell.