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Campbeltown Pupils 2
Scottish Amateur Football League – Premier Division 1
The Pupils clocked up three points against second-placed Rutherglen in another nervous, but nevertheless breathless, encounter at Kinloch’s AWP last Saturday.
Not a classic like the previous week, but a welcome victory for the McFadyens-sponsored home favourites, with four points from the last two matches relieving some of the pressure created by a recent uncharacteristic run of poor form.
Even more encouraging is the fact that this was achieved by a squad that was severely stretched by a number of call-offs, a victory for stubborn resistance after a whirlwind opening quarter by the home side.
Starting in similar fashion to the previous week, a sweeping move from back to front eventually released Gary Grumoli on the attacking left, the Pupils striker racing clear to drive a shot off the goalkeeper to open the scoring in the 8th minute.
It was all one-way traffic at this stage, and the home side looked in the mood as they continually opened up the Rutherglen defence, almost at will.
Things got even better when the Pupils were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, prompting Martin McCallum to step forward and take charge of the award.
Spotting that the wall was badly positioned, the Pupils fullback steered the ball wide of the defensive line and into the bottom corner of the net.
Two-up in the first 20 minutes and completely on top, the game swung surprisingly in the direction of the visitors with a simple through-ball that looked suspiciously offside.
Nevertheless, the Rutherglen striker was in no mood to debate as he raced clear to score a crucial goal against the run of play, the ball almost saved by Reid Anderson as he parried the shot before it reached the net.
The advantage had suddenly shifted and it was the visitors’ chance to turn the screw.
Not concerned with the finer elements of the game, the visitors played a direct running style that should have brought an equaliser shortly before half time.
A corner kick was headed back across the box, and from a perfect position in front of goal the striker managed to steer the ball over the top from point-blank range.
The second half became a war of attrition with neither side taking control of the football, but the home side, ably led by Robertson and Burns at the heart of defence, was in no mood to surrender the advantage.
Facing a strong breeze for 45 minutes, this was a victory for teamwork and effort, a gutsy second half from everyone in a Pupils shirt and one they should be proud of.
Amateur football sometimes depends on how much heart you have – on this occasion the Kintyre side had courage in bucketfuls and it paid off.
Over the 90 minutes the Pupils were the better side in possession, but it was a close run match.
Campbeltown Pupils have no match this weekend.
Donald McCallum fights for possession of the ball. 50_c06pupils02_donald mccallum
Keith Mitchell takes the ball from a Rutherglen player. 50_c06pupils03_keith mitchell
Sary Rahma in action on Saturday. 50_c06pupils04_sary rahma