Despite the Clyde match being called off, fans part of Bully Wee United still had a very eventful weekend in representing the club.
The supporters team was making a debut appearance in the IFA UK Cup, with an away tie against Abbey United, the fans team of Cambridge United.
As you can imagine, organising such a trip is not an easy task but preparations were eventually finalised for a squad of twelve to make the journey. The club contributed to the effort by providing access to its minibus, which the majority of the team planned to travel on with a highly dedicated departure time of 3am on Saturday.
Unfortunately, heavy snow on Friday night meant one member of the party could not reach the bus and the remainder faced a difficult decision about whether or not to set off and brave the conditions. They did just that, but an extended journey time of over 8 hours led to a delayed kick-off at 11.30am and, incredibly, meant just a 15-minute preparation time for nine of the team after reaching the car park. Not to mention the fact that the pitch was only just playable after a very cold night in the south east of England!
The match did start though, with neither side having any idea what to expect. It soon became clear, however, that a close contest was about to unfold.
Midway through the first half, striker Michael Quigley capitalised on a goalkeeping mistake to make it 0-1 to Bully Wee United. The Clyde lads, some playing in unfamiliar positions, continued to play with a fantastic team spirit and created the majority of chances on goal. The lead could not be doubled though and it led to a very nervous final quarter of the match, not helped by a few players struggling with injuries and cramp with no subs to call on.
BWU held on though for an unexpected victory and passage into the Second Round draw on December 19th.
It was a match played in great spirit and Abbey United continued to be superb hosts afterwards, firstly by providing access to the Blue Square Premier match between Cambridge and Altrincham.
To round of a memorable weekend, both squads enjoyed the city’s nightlife until the early hours of Sunday morning. The English side are keen to play a return friendly match and all are hopeful this will happen in 2011.
The Bully Wee United team are pictured above before kick-off:
BACK (l to r): David Meldrum, Craig Shand, Sandy Telfer, Kieran McReynolds, Graham Forrest, John Alexander.
FRONT: Michael Quigley, Graeme Percy (capt), David Stirling, David Alexander, Richie Duncan (player-manager).