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Lochgilphead Red Star 2
Campbeltown Pupils 2
SAFL Premier Division One
A game of two halves is an old football cliché, but nothing could be more accurate in describing a tumultuous Argyll derby that ended with a share of the points.
With both Campbeltown Pupils and Lochgilphead Red Star desperate for league points, it was always going to be a hard fought affair, at Ropework Park last Saturday.
Anyone who witnessed this encounter would have been royally entertained by two teams giving everything in pursuit of the ultimate prize.
The McFadyen sponsored Pupils started the game on the front foot, winning the lion’s share of possession and looking for an early breakthrough goal to gain match advantage.
However, they found the home back four in an uncompromising mood, their grim determination soon rewarded when a swift counter attack down the attacking right produced the first goal of the match.
Breaking at pace from the back, the ball was played diagonally into the path of the wide midfield runner who immediately transferred a fine ball across the box to leave his centre forward with a simple tap-in.
Although against the run of play, this goal gave the home side renewed belief and the tables were truly turned when another fine move produced a second home goal.
This time it was a break down the opposite flank, the ball once more delivered across the box with accuracy.
Desperately trying to clear his lines, Lee Allan could hardly avoid contact with the incoming ball and it flew into the back of the net to give the home side breathing space at the break.
It looked an uphill struggle for the visitors, nevertheless, local derbies are always torrid affairs and the second half would prove to be exactly so.
The Pupils came roaring out of the traps to produce a memorable comeback, dominating possession for the second half with a performance that almost lifted them to victory.
This was a team performance from back to front, but special mention goes to Donald McCallum for his unselfish front running in difficult circumstances.
Indeed, it took a bit of magic from Donald to pull his side back into contention.
A harmless ball through the middle seemed to be well-covered by the home centre-half and goalkeeper, but a timely intervention allowed McCallum to flick the ball beyond the two defenders and another deft touch found the back of the net.
Minutes later the visitors had a strong claim for a penalty kick turned down, but the defender was adjudged to have played ball first and the game raged on.
The equaliser finally arrived after another fine move, with Martin McCallum sending a pinpoint delivery to the near post where it was rammed home by the incoming Ryan Deans.
It was all hands to the pumps for the home side as they tried to hang on and it took a miraculous save by the home goalkeeper in the dying minutes to give his club a share of the points.
A deft header looked net-bound all the way, but the ‘keeper’ clawed the ball to safety from under the bar.
Both sides played their part in an entertaining game, a fine advert for Argyll football as each retired with a deserved share of the points.
Campbeltown Pupils are once more on their travels tomorrow, this time to Port Glasgow for another important league fixture.
Fraser Wylie is nailed by a pair of Red Star players watched by a large contingent of travelling Campbeltown support. 51_a08RedStar01
Ryan McConnachie faces a tough tackle. 51_a08RedStar02