Edinburgh-based LGBT football team HotScots FC have been reflecting on a successful season in which they finished second in the Gay Football Supporters’ Network top division and lifted the Northern Cup.
Promoted from the second division last season, HotScots recent win over London Romans rounded off a triumphant return to the GFSN top flight – their runners-up spot being all the sweeter as they finished ahead of fellow Scots Saltire Thistle.
HotScots went into the match against Romans knowing that a win would keep their title charge alive – so long as Leicester Wildecats were able to get a result against table-topping Birmingham Blaze. London Romans proved to be formidable opponents – not surprising from a club that has won the GFSN Cup in recent seasons – and they started the game on the front foot, causing problems with their pace and passing from midfield. Early Romans pressure required HotScots’ Neil MacKenzie and Tom Chalmers to clear off the line from corners.
Romans took the lead shortly after, when a ball over the top was ran on to by the Romans left winger who coolly slotted past goalkeeper Scott. A tactical change at this point levelled the playing field and allowed HotScots to proceed on the attack. A ball forward from Tom Chalmers was received well by Paul Maxwell until he was taken down unceremoneously 40 yards from goal. Tom curved the following freekick into the backpost where Craig Anderson nodded the equaliser home. Just as things looked to be on an even keel at the halfway point, a ball through split the HotScots defence and Romans went on to score their second. At half-time HotScots trailed 2-1.HotScots made their intentions clear at the start of the second half, registering several shots on goal within minutes. Finally, a defensive blunder from the Romans allowed Paul Maxwell to loom down on goal, slotting a composed finish into the corner of the net.
Romans attacked with unrelenting pressure, with a good old fashioned goalmouth stramash seeing Fraser May and Michael Black clearing and tackling in vital positions. Romans perhaps should have retaken the lead but failed to make their chances count.
It was HotScots, instead, who struck the fatal blow. Paul Maxwell found himself bearing down on goal once more, producing another relaxed finish into the corner of the net. The goal proved decisive, ensuring a 3-2 win for the Scots.
Unfortunately for HotScots, in spite fo their efforts Leicester lost 5-3 meaning the GFSN First Division title went to Birmingham Blaze. HotScots, with their final game to play, are four points behind the Midlands team. While the championship has evaded them this year, confidence is high and the club hopes it can go all the way in 2016-17.
HotScots also secured the Northern Cup on Saturday with a 6-4 victory in the final over Yorkshire Terriers in a classic “game of two halves”.
HotScots forward Tom Chalmers, who is also a committee member, told KaleidoScot: “We’re very proud to have come back into the top league this season and been so successful. Obviously finishing in 2nd place in the top league of GFSN football is a great achievement, but we’ll be looking to push on next year to go one step further and win the title.”
“We’ve only lost one league game all season, and are extremely happy with our performance in the Northern Cup.”
“Next season is about pushing on. We’ve got a good team together at the moment and hopefully we can turn the momentum of this season into a league title and further success”
Further information on HotScots FC can be found on the club website.