Headline Makers Revisited – Greenock HSFPs AFC (Season 2014/15)

Our 2nd season in the CSAFL Premier started well as we faced 2 former foes from our SAFL days with a 2-0 Home Victory against Aikenhead and a midweek 4-0 victory away to Postal. Things then took a turn for the worse for us over the next few games as we took Heavy defeats to away to Harestanes 5-2 and Drumchapel Ams 6-3. That was broke up by a 1-1 Draw away to St Pats but 2 further heavy Defeat 5-1 at Home to Colville and 5-0 away to Wellhouse which had us in a pretty bad place. The joy of the CSAFL Premier had us travelling to face the Current champions Bannockburn next and we travelled with a shadow squad having drafted in some help to get a team on the park. At 2 nil down at half time things were not looking so great but a spirited 2nd half saw Alan McCabe pull one back and the returning of Gordon Smith grabbed 2 late goals as we snatched the point in a game that in hindsight was a bit of a turning point.

We exited the League Cup in September to a very impressive Blantyre Celtic side 3-1 at the Battery but kicked off our West Cup Run as we ran over Ayrshire side Drongan 13-0 at the Battery. September saw a Battling 2-2 draw at the Battery with a top Harestanes side.

The Scottish Cup kicked off October as we struggled through round 2 with a narrow 2-1 win v Cadzow Welfare. Blantyre away was next up and we again fell to a defeat 5-2. We then Welcomed Drumchapel FPs in the West Cup 2nd round and ran out comfortable 6-1 winners. Campsie Minerva the week after continued our really poor league form as we lost out 4-2.

November it was the Scottish again to kick us off as we welcomed Dundee based giants Riverside to the Battery expecting a really tough test but we blew them out the water early on and ran out comfortable 8-0 winners. We followed that up by getting a good league win 5-2 away to Eastfield and followed that up with another good win in the West Cup 3rd round in Dunoon 4-0. We then picked up a point away to Aikenhead in a hard fought 2-2 draw, before a 2-0 Win in the Cinema Cup 1st Round away to Mearns completed November

December it was the visit of another top League Dundee based side as Barnhill came to the Battery and suffered in a similar fashion to Riverside as we ran out 9-0 winners. The week after it was West Cup action as we faced Saturday Morning side East Dunbartonshire who made us work all the way as we sneaked through 3-2 on a typical miserable day at the Battery

2015 Kicked off with another visit from Drumchapel FP’s this time in the Scottish cup and we ran out 2-0 winners in some horrific conditions at the Battery. The was followed up in January with League game with Campsie (1-1) and St Pats (3-1) where we grabbed 4 hard fought points.

February kicked off with an absolute cracker as we welcomed Ayrshire giants Hurlford Thistle to the Battery in the Scottish Cup. They’d knocked us out the year before with a 92 minute penalty so we knew what we were in for. We showed up on the day and blew them away 7-4 in the end but we were always well in front and a few late goals make that look like a closer affair. The week after we welcomed yet another Ayrshire side Ardrossan CR in the West Cup and despite playing the last half hour with 10 men we ran out 3-1 winners. The Week after it was our turn to travel to Ayrshire to face a young and impressive Hurlford Amateurs side in the West Cup last 16. We ran out 4-0 winners on a very heavy park but the score line was definitely a bit harsh on the hosts. The week after it was cup duty in the M&M trophy away to Arthurlie where we ran out comfortable 5-2 victors

March we welcomed eventual League and Scottish Cup winners Harestanes to the Battery. In a really hard fought match we exited the Scottish with a 3-2 defeat. We had to pick ourselves up quickly as next up it was the West Cup ¼ Final at the Battery against Clark Drive. It was a cagey affair and we got the eventual winners in the 1st period of Extra time when Michael McColgan forced the ball home from Close range to set up a Semi Final at New Douglas Park with Hurlford Thistle. The week after it was Drum Utd in the Cinema cup and we won 5-0 to move to the quarters. The final game of March saw us pick up 3 great points with a 3-1 win away to Colville at Dalziel.

April started off with a defeat as we exited the M&M Trophy away to Possil YM going down 4-3 but followed that up with a 3-1 win away to Ashvale in the Cinema Cup quarters. We then lost out again in the league at Home to Drumchapel Ams 3-1. The month finished up with the trip to New Douglas Park to face Hurlford thistle. There was to be no repeat of the goal fest was saw early in the Scottish and a great bit of individual brilliance from Michael McColgan in the 1st half saw him score the goal that turned out to be the winner at take us to our 1st West Cup final since 1996.

1st May 2015 will go down as a very memorable date for the club as faced fellow CSAFL Premier League side Colville Park in the West Cup Final at New Douglas Park. We started brightly and 6 minutes in Michael McColgan headed home a cracking Gary Loughran free kick. In the 65th Minute a moment of absolute brilliance from Stephen Burden saw him skip past several challenges and fire home a stunning strike to double our advantage. Colville pulled a goal back 5 minutes later to make the final stages nail biting but we managed to hold on to pick up the West cup for the 1st time in 78 years.

The season was not over and we returned to league action the week after with a 4-2 win at home to Postal. We then faced Blantyre Celtic in the Semi Final of the Cinema cup at Cambuslang. 2 fine strikes from Jamie Bradley were enough to see us get to our 2nd Cup Final of the season. 3 quick fire home league games followed and we won all 3 game. 1-0 v Wellhouse, 6-2 v Eastfield, then 4-1 v Bannockburn. We rounded up our league season with a 2-0 home win v Blantyre Celtic.

The season finale came on Monday 1st June 2015 as we made the trip to Airdrie’s excelsior stadium. It didn’t start well when we got caught in heavy traffic and didn’t get to the stadium until 6.45 for a 7 KO. We got over that and managed to eventually get going in the game. Gary Loghran gave us a half time lead when he capitalised on a mistake by the Postal Keeper. 2nd half we were fairly comfortable and Michael McColgan doubled the advantage before Loughran grabbed his 2nd to secure our 2nd Cup win of the season.

West Cup

1st Rnd – Drongan (H) – 13-0 – Kevin Brown (5), Stuart Higgins(2), Alan McCabe(2), Stephen Burden, Gary Loughran, Barry Munro, Michael McColgan

2nd Rnd – Drumchapel FP’s (H) – 6-1 – John Forsyth, Andy McEwan, Gary Loughran, Stephen Burden, Gordon Smith (2)

3rd Rnd – Dunoon (A) – 4-0 – Kevin Brown(2), Stephen Burden, Alan McCabe

4th Rnd – East Dunbartonshire (H) – 3-2 – Kevin Brown(2), Gary Loughran

5th Rnd – Ardrossan CR (H) – 3-1 – Stephen Burden, Michael McColgan, Kevin Brown

6th Round – Hurlford Ams (A) – 4-0 – Gordon Smith, Jamie Bradley(2), OG

Quarter Final – Clark Drive (H) – 1-0 (aet) – Michael McColgan

Semi Final – Hurlford Thistle (N) – 1-0 – Michael McColgan

Final – Colville Park AFC (N) – 2-1 – Michael McColgan, Stephen Burden

West of Scotland Amateur Cup Winners

John Forsyth and Jamie Bradley

Opening goal in the West Cup Final

West Cup Goal Scorers
Winning goal in West Cup Final

Cinema Cup

1st Rnd – Mearns AFC (A) – 2-0 – Gary Loughran(2)

2nd Rnd – Drumchapel Utd (H) – 5-0 – Gary Loughran(2), Andy McEwan, Gordon Smith, Michael McColgan

Quarter Final – Ashvale Vics(A) – 3-1 – Gordon Smith(2), Stephen Burden

Semi Final – Blantyre Celtic (N) – 2-0 – Jamie Bradley(2)

Final – Postal Utd (N) – 3-0 – Gary Loughran(2), Michael McColgan

Cinema Cup Winners
Neil Rankin and John Forsyth
All information and photographs provided by Greenock HSFP AFC Official Mr Chris McAllister.     www.ghsfc.com

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