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Campbeltown Pupils 0
SAFL Premier Division One
Without a win in the last four fixtures, the McFadyen sponsored Campbeltown Pupils must be wondering why fine early season form has deserted them.
The simple truth is no one is immune from the ravages of the great game of football. They must redouble their efforts in search of points to get this season back on track.
Thoughts of challenging for the league title seem a long time ago, and with most of the division very evenly matched, the demise in form has given rise to another challenge – keeping away from the lower half dog-fight.
Any hope that home advantage would be the key to victory was blown away in a howling gale of wind and rain, the second fixture on the trot where conditions and fortune would dictate the winner.
To their credit, Neilston adapted much better to the atrocious weather, and with control of the ball almost impossible, it was simply down to who wanted it more on the day.
On reflection, the away side’s decision to secure the advantage of the wind in the first half proved inspirational.
When Thomas McCrory found space to rifle the ball home from the edge of the box in the 23rd minute, it began to look like a very long day for a strangely subdued home side.
The Pupils found it difficult to get enough controlled possession to carve out a goal threat, but an angled drive from Donald McCallum sent the visiting goalkeeper scrabbling as the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post.
It was a case of clock watching as the Pupils tried to restrict the visitors to a single goal advantage at half time.
A mix up in the centre of defence allowed the experienced John Stimson, time and space, to cleverly chip Coffield in the home goal and put his side two ahead with ten minutes of the half remaining.
Turning with the wind at their backs, the home side laid siege to the Neilston goal.
Lack of controlled possession was the home side’s downfall as the visitors manfully filled the last third of the park to restrict the number of clear cut chances.
You could say that Neilston fought their way to a much needed win; however, they even had the temerity to produce the best move of the second half.
A jinking run down the left flank which stopped the home side’s comeback in its tracks.
With the Pupils guilty of losing the ball in midfield, George Thomson weaved his way into the box to dink the ball over the stranded goalkeeper to give his side an unassailable advantage.
Try as they may, the home side never looked likely to turn their non-stop pressure into goals, but when they did break through they found a very capable goalkeeper who was hell-bent on keeping a clean sheet.
The Pupils will look to put this one behind them, and, after a seven week break from football can definitely put this latest defeat down to being ring rusty.
Nevertheless; they must look to find form soon when they meet Port Glasgow tomorrow.
John McCallum weaves past a Neilston player last Saturday. 50_c03pupils02_john mccallum
Aerial action. 50_c03pupils06
Keith Mitchell is in control. 50_c03pupils07_Keith_mitchell