Atrocious weather conditions meant an early pitch inspection at Lawsondale which failed, so this North of Scotland Cup second round clash was played at junior club Hermes’Uniconn Park.
Halli have been on a decent run, but this was a real test against one of the strongest sides within the AAFA.
The team was set up defensively in hope of holding the strong attack of Woodside, forming a 1-3-2-3-1 set up with G.Fulton returning at the back. N.McDonald, Simpson and N.Duncan behind a duo of Wilson and Young, R.Fulton, Brown Webster were tucked in behind solo striker Laing. Sct Marlow was in goal and on the bench were C.MacDonald, Howieson, Hunter, S.Jaques and S.Duncan.
Underfoot conditions we OK but the drizzling rain was incessant as play commenced.
Halli enjoyed a decent settling in period but slowly Premier League stalwarts, Woodside, began to pressure them from around the 10 minute mark. Halli dealt well with this and restricted them to long range efforts. In fact, it was Halli who had the first half chance when N.McDonald, up for a throw-in, collected the ball in from the right and curled in a left foot shot which drifted through to keeper Noble.
Disaster struck after N.McDonald boobed when attacking a ball into the Halli area. Keeper Sct Marlow, shouted albeit late, but N.McDonald went for it and as he collided with his own keeper, the ball rolled free and set up an easy tap in from a Woodside man 0-1.
It was vital Halli did not let this error bother them but, of course, Woodside now took heart and pressed forward. Sct Marlow had to make a double save off a corner and was heavily involved as Halli defended tigerishly.
There was a respite when a great run from Wilson was picked out by Webster, Wilson should have hit it early but he cut inside and curled his shot wide. This buoyed Halliburton and another good attack was put in place on the half hour, a four-fiveman link seeing Woodside scramble a good ball in from R.Fulton. Halli then again put together a neat move with N.McDonald taking a ball into him from R.Fulton he then sent a curled effort goalwards, but Noble held it. A superb tackle from Halli’s Simpson halted a Woodside attack on the 18-yard box, great defending, before Wilson blocked then Sct Marlow pounced to collect.
A gig chance for Halli waswhen Webster, not renowned for his heading prowess, found himself unmarked at the back post but his effort went past(H.T.0-1).
A fast start from Woodside had Halli on the back foot, but theyrode the storm. Sub C.MacDonald was seeing stars after he took a full volleyed clearance off the side of the head, then R.Fulton hurt his neck when clearing a deep cross into the Halli box.
Woodside broke down the right and a cute backheel from Neil saw N.McDonald cover well to boot to safety.
On the hour it was Halliburton on the attack, Wilson’s rasping shot going just over the top. Moments later it was Wilson trying his luck with a left foot overhead effort straight at the keeper.
Sct Marlow made an important stop when he got a foot to a low effort from Neil, then Halli completely wasted a free kick when Laing sent it in to the back post and absolutely no one went near it.
Woodside saw an effort booted off the line by S.Jaques then Sct Marlow got down low to hold a skidding shot from distance.
Miss of the season then came about in the 75th minute R.Fulton pinged in a drive which the keeper parried straight to C.MacDonald who, with the goal at his mercy, contrived to blast it over from six yards out.
Hunter was introduced for N.McDonald as Halli went for it, going man for man at the back and pushing two up top. Soon after this change, Halli were screaming for either a goal or a penalty when a ball was driven goalwards, hit a defender on the hand and crossed the line. The referee waved away all appeals.
A superb run from Webster saw him cut inside to find Laing, he laid it off for R.Fulton who took too long to shoot.
it was all Halli in the closing stages and the Woodside team were definitely pressed into rearguard action.Simpson was waved forward in a last gasp attempt to grab the leveller, Webster then swung in a great cross which was scrambled away, play raged on and into the 94th minute the ball fell to Laing who drilled one agonisingly close but it was not to be.
The man of the match award went to Halliburton goalkeeper Scott Marlow.
Woodside :- Noble ; Banks : Simpson : Donald : Neil : Hutchins : Lepkowski : Thomson : Donaldson: Main : CraigSubs : Brown :Ross : Forbes : Davie : Ferguson