Cruel crossbar strike may have cost the match

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Campbeltown Pupils 1

Castlemilk 3

SAFL Premier Division One

This was a massive disappointment for the home side, as Castlemilk came from behind in the final ten minutes to snatch the points.

It was a furiously fought match at Kinloch Park – a game that the Pupils had led from the 18th minute of the first half.

The visitors had the lion’s share of possession in the first period, but the local favourites created the chances in a half played at a frantic pace between two sides of immeasurably contrasting styles.

The home side started the game extremely slowly and were under the cosh from a side playing the ball quickly to feet; nevertheless, the Pupils defence coped well.

With the exception of a one-on one which Alastair Ferguson managed to divert to safety, the visitors never looked like turning their fine possession play into goals.

It was no surprise when the first real chance of the match came the way of the home side, a breakout led by Lee Allan who played the ball to the strong running Martin McCallum.

Bursting forward, McCallum swept the ball across goal only to see Ryan McConnachie’s header go agonisingly over the top.

The breakthrough was only delayed, as Martin McCallum stepped forward in the next attack to drive the ball home from an edge of the box free kick.

Controversy reigned for a moment when Sary Rahma seemed to have his legs taken from behind, the quick-silver striker first to his feet only to be grounded by a despairing lunge from the visiting goalkeeper.

The decision favoured the last line of defence, but there was a huge sigh of relief from the visitors as the referee waved play on

The second half was very similar to the first 45 minutes, but the home side began to turn the screw in the final quarter.

The Pupils looked good for all three points when a thumping Gary Grumoli header crashed off the underside of the crossbar.

A second goal was needed to put this game to bed, and when Sary Rhama was unceremoniously taken out inside the box a penalty looked the likely outcome.

You could say it was the ‘stonewall’ variety, but the whistle never came and the play raged on.

Ironically, from the very next move Castlemilk were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, resulting in a smart run to space and perfectly executed header to bring the scores level.

With time running out, a visitors corner on the attacking right, was a case of déjà vu when the ball beat everyone to be headed goal-wards with just enough momentum to cross the line for an away win.

With seconds remaining, the Pupils poured forward to try and retrieve a point, but lost a third when central midfielder Grant ran free, for the first time in the match, to put the game beyond doubt.

Campbeltown Pupils are scheduled to play Kinross from Perthshire in the Scottish Cup tomorrow. Please see social media or match posters for information.

Gary Grumoli celebrated this strike a moment too early it hit the crossbar and bounced out. 25_c40pupils05

(Inset photo) Gary Grumoli’s header failed to cross the line. 25_c40pupils04_2