Millennium Champions: Junior does it again
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Friday, 8th January 2010
It's fair to say Junior Mendes likes scoring against Airdrie. He once scored a hat-trick against them and before this game his only goal of the season had been scored against the Diamonds. By the end of it he'd taken his tally to three!
It was time to get back on track after losing to Ayr and only drawing with minnows Morton. With the SPL on a winter break, the spotlight turned on the first division leaders - and it didn't take us long to respond.
After just a couple of minutes, Steven McGarry went on a fine run before being poleaxed by Paul Jack. As the North Bank howled for a foul, referee Mike McCurry allowed play to continue. It turned out to be a good decision from the official - for once - as Mendes collected the ball before lashing it past Scott Thomson to give us the perfect start. Unbelievably, Jack only got a talking to for his horror challenge.
That should have set us up for an easy afternoon, but sadly we still had Derek Scrimgour in goals as Ludovic Roy was injured. Sure enough, just a few minutes later, Scrimmy made a mistake that led to a set-piece being conceded, from which Alex Neil headed in the equaliser.
The place was a bit nervy after that, with both the players and home support a bit unsure of themselves. Fortunately, Junior resolved that at the start of the second half when he amusingly slipped the ball between Thomson and his near post.
To make sure there'd be no slip-ups, McGarry got the third with a quarter of an hour left. Tom Brown played the ball through for him to run onto and he coolly dinked it over Thomson for a strike boss Tom Hendrie said Kenny Dalglish would have been proud of!
McGarry had another few chances to add to the tally, seeing one crash off the woodwork, but it didn't matter. We were back in business.
Unfortunately, a tactic to switch the next game against Clydebank from Cappielow to Paisley - allowing us a Saturday game - backfired when the pitch froze. As a result, it was another fortnight until we played Falkirk at bogey ground Brockville.