Five-star show from Pupils on the road

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Carlton YMCA               0

Campbeltown Pupils 5

SAFL Premier Division 1

Campbeltown Pupils stormed to a five-goal victory last Saturday away to SAFL stalwarts Carlton. A high-energy showing in Paisley saw the McFadyens-sponsored side run out convincing winners.

With the match going ahead at the Kibble’s grass park despite the heavy rain overnight and during the week leading up to the game, the surface was in surprisingly good condition, allowing the Pupils to get into their attacking flow early on.

Up against a home side not lacking in height and physical stature, the Pupils had to be ready to contend with some lofted early balls from back to front by the hosts, whose game plan seemed to be to get the ball to their forwards as quickly as possible, but the Pupils’ defence of Fraser Wylie, Ross Souden, Ryan McConnachie and Stuart Crossan, stood up to the task well.

The Feathers Inn-sponsored Pupils quick passing and individual pace and skill in the final third caused the hosts problems early on, and Ryan Gilchrist and Gregor McFadyen, and both had almost identical attempts to score, but snatched at their shots at the vital moment.

However, the Kintyre Park side would not be denied for long, and scored after 16 minutes through a sharp passing move that released Gregor McFayden, who buried an arrowed shot from the edge of the box to continue his excellent goalscoring form.

Then, the visitors made it 2-0 after 25 minutes, when an enterprising move out of defence found right-back Crossan, whose ball through to Johnny McCormick allowed the right winger to cut inside onto his left foot and release a thunderous first-time drive into roof of the net for a great goal, his second of the season.

After seeing their deficit doubled, Carlton for their part put their Kintyre visitors under a bit of pressure from several corners and free kicks, but the Pupils’ defensive discipline continued to win over.

Into the second half, the Pupils made it 3-0 when Donald McCallum scored another great goal, in a move started by Liam Renton, whose in-swinging corner was cleared to the edge of the penalty box where the ex-Dumbarton man McCallum made space to drive a deflected shot into the top corner of the net.

At this point in the match, all three subs were used, with Ellis Robertson and Michael McKinlay replacing the excellent deep-lying midfield pairing of Ryan Gilchrist and Liam Renton, and Ross Brown entering in the fray in a direct swap with winger McCormick.

The youngster Brown quickly got involved to create the Pupils’ fourth goal, outpacing the Carlton full-back to draw out the last defender and square the ball across for Scott Souden to cheekily chip the ball over the home keeper into the net.

The rampant Pupils completed the scoring in the 85th minute after hesitation between a Carlton defender and his keeper allowed McFadyen to nip in, touch the ball round the keeper to score a simple but well-earned second goal, for his brace on the day, and his fourth of the season.

At the other end, the Pupils were determined to get their second consecutive clean sheet in league action, and while young keeper Alistair Ferguson spilled a deflected free kick in the latter stages, he bravely dived at the feet of the striker to smother his effort. The Pupils management noted how Ferguson’s kicking and distribution was first-class throughout the match.

A Pupils spokesman said: ‘It was a great team effort, with our attacking players working together to cause problems all game. At the back, we defended high balls and direct play really well.’

The Pupils are in league action again tomorrow (Saturday) when they welcome Argyll rivals Lochgilphead Red Star. Kick off is 2pm, with Kintyre Park the expected venue.


The Pupils’ Liam Renton on the ball with Ryan Gilchrist looking on at Saturday’s match in Paisley. NO_B42footy01