A hat trick from Cammy Lepper wasn’t enough for Air3 Radio, as they lost 5-7 to Brig Newspaper in the inter-media societies football match.
The game was played in front a capacity crowd of well over 10 people. It was this enormous crowd that drove the players on, with songs, shouting, and the occasional dance from Lauren Marriott and Lauren Kirk.
The game started off nervously, with neither side able to stamp their authority on the game. Both sides had a few half-chances, before a long ball saw Brig score a scrappy opener. Defensive errors saw Brig double their lead a few minutes later, before adding a third just before half-time. Brig’s Calum Williamson ran the show for Lucy McLellan’s men (and ladies), with some good dribbling, whilst Fraser Morrison was a rock, playing as an anchor man for Air3. Sam Marsh, Air3 goalkeeper, was vocal in his instructions, organising his defence with unorthodox shouts of “Eyes up!” every time Brig were on the attack.
Air3, winners of “Best Society” at last year’s Clubs and Socs ball, grabbed a goal back before halftime, following a good attacking move, but Euan Simpson, Air3 Radio captain, was visibly angry at his side’s performance, and let his feelings be known to his team at the break.
Air3 were poor going forward, with some bad decision making in the final third, limiting dangerman Andrew Baxter to very few chances. Baxter was evidently frustrated at his lack of chances, with his frustration shared by many in the Air3 team. Andrew Henderson was solid in goal for Brig, and was one of the reasons why Air3 were so poor in front of goal during the first half.
Simpson’s message to his team at the break was to tighten up, and whilst most of his language is unrepeatable to a family audience, it seemed to have the desired effect, with Air3 looking a lot tighter at the back.
However, with talisman Baxter off the field, Air3 conceded twice in quick succession, forcing Simpson into making wholesale changes to his lineup.
It was the skipper who went back into goals, and he saved a Craig Wright penalty on the hour mark, with a good diving stop to his left hand side. This sparked an Air3 revival, with a smart finish from newcomer Cory Thomas bringing the game back to 5-2, before an own goal made it 5-3. The best goal of the day followed, as Andrew Baxter played an incisive, defence-splitting, 40 yard through ball to Cammy Lepper, who took the ball and powered it past the Brig goalkeeper, sparking hopes of an historic Air3 comeback.
However, it was not meant to be, as two quickfire goals, caused by Air3 bombing forward, put the game out of sight. Rob Adair put in some fine tackles for Brig, whilst Andrew Baxter thwarted Brig on several occasions with some outstanding tackling.
7-5 was how the game finished, with Craig Wright and Cammy Lepper both bagging hat-tricks for their respective teams.
The sponsors (well, Lauren Marriott and Lauren Kirk) chose Cory Thomas as Man of the Match, overlooking the outstanding Fraser Morrison, as well as the metronomic Baxter in midfield, who had an impressive pass completion rate of 92%, as this pass completion map shows.
Air3 skipper Euan Simpson was proud of his team’s performance, as he took questions in the post-match press conference.
“We played with heart and determination but at the end of the day it wasn’t enough. Our defence was sometimes non-existent but we put up a good fight”
“Stand out for me was Fraser Morrison who commanded the centre with great attacking and defensive knowledge. He made some fantastic tackles that really kept us in the game. He also showed some skill out there really making Brig work hard to get the ball off of him’
“Brig might have won this one but at the end of the day we walk away being the better club. If you look at the teams alone we fielded those who have no split loyalties while Brig had to loan out some from AirTV and from our club. Craig Wright especially is proof of how great Air3 is, we raised in through our academy and he was incredible for Brig. They really need to sort their prospects soon if they want to remain competitive”
With such an entertaining game, all eyes are now set towards the rematch, with Simpson and his side determined to seek revenge in the return fixture.