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Oban Saints 02s 7
Campbeltown Pupils 02s 0
A depleted U16 Pupils team, with many players a year or two younger than the official age faced a strong Oban opposition with a full squad.
The scoreline belies some great Pupils’ play, in a squad including six U15s and one U14. A few missed opportunities in the first half saw Saints finish two goals to the good.
Despite the differences, Pupils held Saints at bay for 16 minutes. Matthew Lang managed a good move but was repulsed by Saints defenders Blair MacFarlane and Jude Bain.
Saints made the breakthrough in the sixteenth minute when Aaron McKay skinned youngest man on the pitch, Campbeltown’s Euan Dott, on the right before sending a cut-back from the bye-line to Lennon Campbell who fired a right foot finish from twelve yards into the top corner.
The visitors responded well and came close through Elliot Gemmill, who had a close range effort deflected into the side netting by Blair MacFarlane.
Fraser MacBrayne made a real nuisance of himself from a long punt from Archie McKellar in the twenty sixth minute.
The big centre forward forced his way into the Saints box and, from the corner of the six yard box sent a low shot across Jake Weir and inches wide of the far post.
Unfortunately Pupils keeper Archie McKellar wasn’t quite so assured with his handling, two minutes later, allowing a speculative Jordan Norman effort from twenty five yards to slip from his grasp and squirm into the net.
Campbeltown lifted themselves again and ended the first forty minutes camped in the Saints half forcing a succession of corner kicks and finding themselves on the wrong end of a tight offside call from Referee John Scott as Elliot Gemmill threatened to break clear.
Despite having the upper hand for the majority of the first half Saints could count themselves slightly fortunate to go into the interval two goals to the good as with better finishing the visitors could well have been on level terms.
From the 52nd minute it was the Saints match.
After a neat turn on the edge of the box, Forgrieve who already has an Argyll and Bute Cup winners medal in his trophy cabinet, celebrated his fifteenth birthday in style with a shot that was too hot for McKellar to handle.
The more experienced Saints tightened the screws a little further with a storming 57th minute run and left foot finish from Aidan MacPhee.
60 seconds later Saints notched their fifth from a 25 yard Craig Millar shot which flew past the keeper to the back of the net.
Saints notched a quick-fire double in the 68th and 69th minutes with birthday boy Gavin Forgrieve having a hand in both.
In the first move, Euan Finlay latched onto Forgrieve’s ball and tucked a low finish across Pupils keeper McKellar and into the bottom corner for Saints sixth goal.
60 seconds later Forgrieve sent Aidan MacPhee racing into the left hand side of the box who was thwarted at his near post by McKellar.
The rebound fell kindly for Andrew Law who lofted the ball into the six yard box where Cameron Clark stooped to head home for Saints seventh.
Despite being outplayed, for long spells, in what was a good advert for youth football in Argyll, Campbeltown Pupils will be pleased with the showing of their young players.
Also providing a major boost for Pupils was the performance of Calum McKillop making his first appearance after eighteen months out injured.
There are no games scheduled for tomorrow but there maybe some friendlies during the festive break.
Archie McKellar saves Lennon Campbell’s penalty kick. NO_c51pupils01_Archie McKellar saves Lennon Campbell’s penalty kick
Euan Finlay and Euan Dott. NO_c51pupils02_ Euan Finlay and Euan Dott
Cameron Clark and Elliot Gemmill. NO_c51pupils03_Cameron Clark and Elliot Gemmill