Sep 14 2011 by Colin Paterson, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Monklands Men's Hockey Club
GREENOCK 2 MONKLANDS 0
MONKLANDS were given a harsh introduction to life among the big boys after beginning their National League campaign with a defeat.
The Coatbridge men went down to Greenock in their opening Third Division fixture of the season on Saturday.
Two goals in the opening period put paid to Monklands’ chances although Sheila Moodie’s side performed well after the interval.
Goalkeeper Andy Watt was missing for the game at Largs so George Armstrong donned the body armour and minded the net.
Greenock started strongly but clear cut chances were few and far between in the early stages.
A flurry of penalty corners were won bythe hosts as the halfprogressed but they found Armstrong in inspired form between the posts.
At the other end, Colin McAdams and David Aitken were often isolated; the well-marshalled Greenock defence limiting goalscoring opportunities.
The opening goal arrived from a set-piece with a Greenock free hit catching the Monklands rearguard action on the hop.
The ball was promptly fired into the area with a Greenock attacker appearing to deflect it into the bottom corner of the net.
Monklands rallied in a bid to find an equaliser but in doing so, left more space for Greenock to exploit.
The home side doubled their advantage when a clever ball was picked up by a Greenock midfielder who fed his team-mate with the resulting shot beating Armstrong.
This was not the opening Monklands were hoping for although a McAdams effort was smothered by the Greenock keeper.
Monklands were more resilient in the second half but the hosts dominated in terms of possession and controlled the midfield area.
Only once did Moodie’s team test the Greenock keeper, who was equal to the task when he slid out to thwart McAdams.
Monklands captain Andy McKellar said: “We can certainly take heart from the second-half performance when we were more of a match for our opponents.
“However, we’re disappointed with our inability to retain possession and the lack of chances we created throughout the 70 minutes.”
Monklands welcome FMGM Monarchs to Dalziel Park in their first home match of the season this Saturday.
Man of the match: George Armstrong.