Late agony spoils fine Pupils’ performance

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Rossvale 2

Campbeltown Pupils 1

SAFL Premier 1

How the visitors never took something from this game remains a mystery.

There’s little to choose between most of the side’s in Premier Division One, but the McFadyen sponsored Campbeltown Pupils will be happy to see the back of a team they have outplayed on two occasions this season, only to finish both encounters with absolutely nothing.

The Pupils were all over the home side for long periods in both halves, only to concede a late goal and the points at the crucial eleventh hour.

The home side’s tactics were pretty basic, feeding long balls to two willing runners in hope of a breakthrough, however; they found the Pupils back four in outstanding form.

Mark Barrett and Keith Mitchell remained unmoved at the heart of defence and fullbacks, Allan and Wylie, almost impossible to turn in the wide defensive positions.

The Pupils once more operated a 4-2-3-1 system, tactics that with every game seems to suite the overall make-up of the squad.

Liam Renton and Ryan Deans played as cover in front of the back four, it not only adds defensive quality, but also allows other players the springboard to attack.

Ryan Deans had the first real opportunity of the match, cutting in from the left to see his parting shot cannon off the goalkeeper’s legs and run to safety.

Donald McCallum proved the visitors’ most creative player, reaching to the dead-ball line on a number of occasions before sending the ball invitingly across goal – unfortunately, there were no takers for the simple tap-in.

Typically dogged in defence, Rossvale suddenly broke up-field and were rewarded for their adventure with a goal against the run of play.

Once more it was a nothing ball over the top, but Keith Mitchell was adjudged to have made contact with the forward and the resultant penalty kick was duly dispatched without hesitation.

The home side nearly doubled their lead on the stroke of half time, a corner kick to the back post being sweetly struck goal-wards only to whistle wide of the junction between post and bar.

All to play for in the second half of a closely fought match, the Pupils found early success with Gary Grumoli and Fraser Wylie combing well on the attacking left, but surprisingly the home seemed entirely happy to defend in dogged fashion and pick up the scraps on the counter attack.

At last, the breakthrough arrived for the visitors and the architect once more would be McCallum.

Tight skills from McCallum released Gary Grumoli in on goal, his parting shot deflecting off a defender into the path of Sary Rama.

The quick-silver forward reacted first and swept the ball home for a fine and thoroughly deserved equalising goal.

The visitor’s happiness turned to misery in a few minutes, and everything hinged on a free kick lofted aimlessly down the throat of the visitor’s defence.

Jamie Burns – deputising in goal for the absent last line of defence – seemed to be unsighted as he came to collect the ball, the leather rebounding agonisingly to the incoming MacMahon who won the match  with minutes remaining.

It was really hard on Jamie Burns; normally the club centre half, who came to the club’s rescue by volunteering for duty between the sticks.

He played really well throughout the game and hardly deserved this piece of really bad luck.

The management team is happy with the progress of the new system, adding that the club has played much worse and ended up winning.

Six league matches to go, four away and two at home – so here’s to a rollercoaster of a finish.

The Pupils have no match this weekend.

Sary Rahma in action in Campbeltown three weeks ago. 50_c06pupils04_sary rahma

Gary Grumoli in action against Rutherglen. 50_c06pupils07_gary grumoli Photos by Hannah O’Hanlon.