Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Women's Rugby Firmly On The Rise

Click on the picture below for my interview with Rosalind Murphy of Edinburgh Uni and Scotland rugby teams. The article was published in The Student.

Edinburgh Athletes Go For Gold

Click on the picture below for my article on Edinburgh Uni athletes who are travelling to India to compete in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Raith Rovers 2 v 1 Falkirk [Match Report]

Click here or read below for my match report on Raith Rovers v Falkirk. It was published on the official Raith Rovers website.

Rovers Battle Hard To Beat The Bairns

Raith Rovers 2-1 Falkirk
25 Sep 2010: Irn Bru Scottish 1st Division

Raith Rovers kept the pressure on table-toppers Dunfermline Athletic this afternoon as they came from a goal behind to win 2-1 against Falkirk.

Falkirk took an early lead after Raith defender Laurie Ellis hesitated a moment too long, allowing Ryan Flynn to nip in and put the away side ahead.

Rovers turned up the heat and found a more than deserved equaliser, when Gregory Tade capitalised on a mistake by Robert Olejnik and placed a shot into the empty Falkirk net.

The second half was a stale affair but after Falkirk fans were soaked by sprinklers in front of the McDermid Stand, Rovers found the winning goal when Willie Dyer fired in a long range effort to secure three points for the Starks Park side.

Raith almost scored a lucky goal after just four minutes when Stephen Simmons hit a cross-cum-shot, only to see his effort narrowly miss the target.

However, it was the away side who took the lead first. Mark Stewart threaded a fairly harmless pass into the Rovers box but Ellis seemed to be caught in two minds and missed the ball. Flynn didn't need any further encouragement as he slotted the ball past David McGurn with ease.

Rovers responded in positive fashion when Iain Davidson headed narrowly wide and Craig Wilson saw his long range effort whistle past the post. However, the Starks Park side appeared to have lady luck on their side as Falkirk failed to find the net after two stramashes in the Rovers box.

Allan Walker then saw his free-kick well saved by Olejnik before Raith had a golden opportunity to equalise on the 36th minute. Wilson crossed a delightful ball into the Falkirk area but Mark Ferry and Tade found themselves in the way of each other and the ball trickled out for a goal kick.

One minute later, Raith's frustration turned to joy as Falkirk defender Brian McLean and Olejnik were caught in two minds after a long ball up the pitch and Tade capitalised on the indecisiveness, nipping in and coolly passing the ball into the back of the empty net.

Rovers now had a spring in their step and put Falkirk under tremendous pressure for the remaining minutes of the first period, but Walker, Wilson and Simmons couldn't find the net with their efforts.

Just two minutes before the break Rovers had a penalty claim dismissed by referee Steve Conroy as McLean clearly handled the ball in the box, but the whistle blower suggested it had been ball to hand.

The second half began at a slow pace and aside from a tame Carl Finnigan effort, the first moment of entertainment in the half arrived fifteen minutes in when the Falkirk fans at the front of the McDermid stand received a soaking from a sprinkler. Chants alleging the lack of soap and water to be found in Falkirk quickly ensued from the amused home support.

Unfortunately the second half witnessed play becoming bogged down in the centre of the pitch, but this all changed twelve minutes from time.

Dyer was given far too much time and space down the left wing and he fired a speculative effort into the Falkirk goal. As Dyer's shot was heading towards goal, substitute Iain Williamson appeared to distract Olejnik as he cut across his line of vision and the ball rolled into the bottom corner of the net.

Steven Pressley urged his side on in search of an equaliser and John McGlynn responded by bringing on defender Mark Campbell for his first appearance in a league match since a 2-1 defeat to Greenock Morton in January.

Falkirk's pressure was dealt with well by the Kirkcaldy side, as they limited their opponents to one last chance when substitute Mark Millar fired a freekick into the Rovers box but McLean could only head past the post.

Raith sit one point behind leaders Dunfermline at the top of the League table and are now five clear of third placed Falkirk.

Pictures © Jim Foy
written by Will Lyon

Friday, 24 September 2010

Soundpool - Mirrors In Your Eyes [Album Review]

Click here or read below for my review of Soundpool's new album entitled 'Mirrors In Your Eyes'. It was published on PureGrainAudio.com
  Soundpool - Mirrors In Your Eyes

Soundpool's record label, Killer Pimp, start off their biography of the band with a sentence containing the words "explosive third album." They have it wrong, completely wrong. Mirrors In Your Eyes is not 'explosive,' but wish-washy and dreamy. Although it did not come as a surprise to see them signed to the same label as A Place To Bury Strangers, to be fair to the latter, they actually provide moments of magic that keep you interested.

Although the above paragraphs may come across in a negative fashion, Soundpool are actually a decent band. The music is soft and melodic thanks to some lovely smooth bass-lines, slithering synthesizers, harmonic vocals and relaxed drums. You would be hard pushed to find a 'weak' song or indeed a terrible one.

While taking each song as one single entity is fine, a problem arises when you stick them all together. It would be too simplistic to say all the songs are the same, but unfortunately that is the term that Mirrors In Your Eyes will be labelled with. You hear the first track and greet it with open arms, but three tracks down the line you have forgotten that there is any music
playing at all.

It is the perfect record to fall asleep to as it glitters and glistens over your ears, but it really fails to keep the listener's attention. All the album needed was one or two tracks to take a different direction or just a change of pace. Unfortunately Soundpool have failed to do so and therefore produced a boring album.

Rating: 5 / 10

Track Listing:

01. Mirrors In Your Eyes
02. But It's so
03. Kite Of Love
04. Makes No Sense
05. Sparkle In The Dark
06. I'm So Tired
07. That Sunny Day
08. Shelter
09. Listen

Run Time: 45:56
Release Date: 04.27.2010

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Whirlwind White Is Back

Click on the picture below for my interview with snooker legend Jimmy "Whirlwind" White. It was published in The Student.

What Is The World Coming To?

Click the picture below for my column article on lies, conspiracies and cheating in the world of sport. It was published in The Student today.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Aberdeen v Raith Rovers [Preview]

Click here or read below for my preview of the Co-operative Insurance Third Round fixture between Aberdeen and Raith Rovers due to take place tomorrow night.

Aberdeen FC v Raith Rovers FC 22/09/2010

After two goalless draws in league business over the last two weeks, Raith Rovers aim to knock top flight Aberdeen out of the Co-operative Insurance Cup on Wednesday evening at Pittodrie. It was just seven months ago that the Rovers travelled up to Aberdeen and knocked Mark McGhee's men out of the Scottish Cup.
          There's no doubt that McGhee will be more determined than ever to make sure that the result isn't repeated this time around.
          However, it won't be an easy task. Aberdeen played very defensive tactics against Motherwell on Saturday as they drew 1-1, because key players such as Peter Pawlett, Fraser Fyvie, Sone Aluko and Andrius Velicka were all missing through injury. It is likely that McGhee will be without all four of those players on Wednesday too.
          The Rovers still have long term absentees Dougie Hill and Mark Campbell on the sidelines, although Campbell played 45 minutes of the reserve game last week which is encouraging for the Kirkcaldy side.
          Mark's brother, Martyn recently spoke to Will Lyon, who was writing and reporting on behalf of the 200 Club. Martyn confirmed that his brother was still struggling after his car crash in February and is unlikely to feature against the Dons.          
          "He's got a wee bit to go. He's still taking it easy, trying to build it (His knee) up. It's been a long process but at the end of the day it's something you would take, he was very lucky!"
          Mark has been at the Rovers since 2006 and Martyn revealed that rumours of his brother joining him at Ayr United over a season ago were unfounded. "There was talk about that at one point because he does a lot of miles. But he decided he wanted to stay at Raith as he was enjoying it so much, the travelling wasn't much of an issue."

Players to watch........
Aberdeen - The Dons are suffering numerous injuries to their flair players at the moment, although former Rover Paul Hartley will be looking to dictate play in the middle of the park.
Raith Rovers - Obviously Gregory Tade will be the one to watch as the Frenchman scored the goal that knocked Aberdeen out of the cup last season. Meanwhile, at the back Grant Murray and Laurie Ellis will be determined to keep a sixth clean sheet in a row to help the Rovers progress to the next round.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Snooker Stars Set For Glasgow Showpiece

Click on the picture below for my interview with snooker star Alan McManus ahead of his appearance at the World Open tournament set to take place in Glasgow over the next week.

It was published in The Student today.

Former Uni Stars Live Life In The Big League

Click on the picture below for interviews with former Uni stars Jamie Redman and Scott Fusco which were carried out by Alistair Shand and myself.

The article was published in The Student today.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Campbell's Car Crash Nightmare

Click here or read below for my interview with Martyn Campbell in relation to his brother's injury which he sustained in a car crash seven months ago.

It was published on The Away End. 

Campbell's Car Crash Nightmare

Two weeks from now, Raith Rovers will face Aberdeen at Pittodrie for the first time since they humilated The Dons with a 1-0 win in last year's Scottish Cup Fifth Round.

Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell, the stand in captain at the time for crocked midfielder Iain Davidson, was tragically hurt in a car crash just days before the replay fixture and could only cheer the famous Rovers victory from his hospital bed.

Seven months down the line it looks as if the big center half is likely to miss this CIS Cup Third Round fixture because he is still suffering from the injuries sustained in the accident.

Martyn Campbell
Martyn Campbell, a center half for Ayr United, explains his brother's fight for fitness to make the Aberdeen game.

"At the moment it doesn't look as if he'll be playing at the minute.

"He was just taking it week by week but then one of his knees was giving him a bit of pain so he went to see a specialist.”

The specialist's prognosis was to slow down the training that Mark was undertaking, which was a major set back as the 32-year-old felt he was just weeks away from first team football.

However, Martyn feels that his brother should just be thankful for his life after he was cut out of his car by emergency services after the accident.

“He's now just taking it easy and he's just light running and stuff.

“He'll be gutted (if he misses the Aberdeen game) as they're flying at the moment, but he was very lucky and at the end of the day it’s something you would take.”


Despite their well known tendency to lose against lower league opposition, Aberdeen beat Second Division Alloa Athletic in the last round. A home tie against First Division Raith was their reward and there's no doubt that the SPL side are the favourites to progress in the competition.

Rovers beat local rivals East Fife in the first round, but they will take confidence from the fact that they have already taken one SPL scalp this season, after a 1-0 win over Hamilton Academical in the previous round.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Scotland v Liechtenstein [Match Preview]

Click here or read below for my preview of Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifying fixture between Scotland and Liechtenstein.

Time For Scotland To Bring The Flair

The scene is set for Scotland's crucial clash against Liechtenstein at Hampden Park on Tuesday.

It's a game that has been labled as a 'must win' for Scotland ever since the SFA confirmed the Euro 2012 qualification fixtures in February of this year. 

If anyone expects this to be a complete walkover for the boys in blue, then they should think again as on their day Liechtenstein can compete.

After all, just one month ago the 141st ranked side held Iceland to a 1-1 draw in Reykjavik.

However, Scotland are ranked by Fifa exactly 100 places above their visitors and the bookies have had no problems deciding a favourite.

Scotland must take confidence from the fact that Liechtenstein hardly possess world beaters in their side.

However, their most capped player is Mario Frick and the 35-year-old currently plays for Swiss Super League side FC St. Gallen. He's scored 14 international goals and despite coming to the end of his career, can still be a threat.

The majority of Liechtenstein's players ply their trade in their home land which is nothing to boast about due to their sides competing in the lower echelons of the Swiss leagues.

Scotland on the other hand contain English Premier League players such as Darren Fletcher and the lively James McFadden.

McFadden is one of the players described by Scotland boss Craig Levein as a 'flair' player and he is expected to start against the Liechtensteiners.

Unfortunately for the loyal Tartan Army, Scotland were severely lacking flair and excitement on Friday evening as they began their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign with a 0-0 draw against a stuffy Lithuania side.

Barry Robson suffered a terrible night after many poor free-kicks attempts and Scott Brown struggled to be involved in the match.

It is expected that Levein will look toward McFadden and other attacking options such as Graham Dorrans and Kris Boyd for the all important fixture on Tuesday.

Anything less than three points will probably mean that Scotland's qualifying campaign is over before it started. If so, more points will be required off 31st placed Czech Republic and European and world champions, Spain. This will be something that Scotland wish to avoid.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

We're Class On The Grass

Click on the picture below to read my interview with Martin Bavidge of Peterhead, ahead of his side's Alba Cup Quarter Final clash against Stenhousemuir on Sunday. It was published in today's Scottish Sun.

Give Us A Break

Click on the picture below for my interview with Ayr United stopper Martyn Campbell ahead of his side's visit to Partick Thistle in the Alba Cup Quarter Final.

It was published in today's Scottish Sun.

We Are Linn It To Win It

Click the picture below to read my interview with Steve Hislop ahead of East Fife's Alba Cup fixture against Queen of the South.

The article was published in The Scottish Sun today.

Board Right To Axe Dick

Click the picture below to read my interview with Scott Boyd ahead of Ross County's Alba Cup fixture against Forfar Athletic.

The article was published in The Scottish Sun today.