Everything but the goal – again – for Pupils

Pupils players Keith Mitchell, front, and Ellis Robertson, back, in action last Saturday.
Pupils players Keith Mitchell, front, and Ellis Robertson, back, in action last Saturday.

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Campbeltown Pupils 0 
Glenvale FC 2
West of Scotland Football League – Division Four

Campbeltown Pupils were left hurt at home again last Saturday after a smash-and-grab defeat to league rivals Glenvale.

The visitors lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with two second-half goals, arguably against the run of play.

The McFadyens-sponsored Pupils started brightly, with right wing-back Scott Souden seeing an effort clip the bar after a fantastic move involving several passes.

Glenvale struggled to create chances in the first half as the Pupils enjoyed the majority of possession, without really penetrating the home defence, despite some excellent efforts on goal from distance from Donald McCallum and the returning Ryan Deans.

Into the second half, the Feathers Inn-sponsored Pupils continued to search for the so far elusive goal in front of a healthy home crowd of more than 100 supporters, not scared off by the prospect of heavy rain.

Sean Grady, fresh from his decisive goal the weekend before against Harthill Royal, rounded the Glenvale goalkeeper but couldn’t get an angle on goal, and the move fizzled out.

Soon after, Keith Mitchell advanced brilliantly from left wing-back, his buccaneering run, then low cross finding Scott Souden ten yards out, but his effort went agonisingly wide, shaving the post on its way out.

Two minutes later, Glenvale were ahead. A deflected strike sent Alasdair Ferguson the wrong way to hand the visitors the initiative – against the run of play, it must be said – and the Pupils struggled to find their composure thereafter, conceding a quickfire second goal after a low cross from the Glenvale left-back was met at the back post and bundled in despite Ferguson’s attempts to save.

The Pupils have been missing several first-team players during the past fortnight. Liam Renton (hamstring), Gregor Croll (groin) and Martin McCallum (knee) continue to miss out. And the league’s use of only three subs compared with the permitted five in amateur football has stretched resources more thinly, so it is credit to the Pupils’ reduced squad that they have earned four points away from home and competed well in the home games versus BSC Glasgow and Glenvale, unlucky not to take any points from either fixture.

The expansive Kintyre Park pitch is in fantastic condition but is a difficult space on which to chase a game. And so it proved for the Pupils as they toiled in the heat and struggled to mount attacks with any fluency in the closing stages.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Pupils travel to take on former SAFL Premier Division rivals Finnart, now a West of Scotland Football League member club since their switch from the Caledonian League. Kick off is 2pm. Follow @PupilsAFC on Twitter for match updates.

Campbeltown Pupils thank Dalziel Decorating for sponsoring last Saturday’s match.

Pupils squad v Glenvale: Alasdair Ferguson; Keith Mitchell, captain; Ross Souden; John McCallum; Ellis Robertson; Ross Souden; Ryan Deans; Stuart Crossan; Donald McCallum; Gregor McFadyen and Sean Grady. Subs, all used: Michael McKinlay; Ross Brown and Conner McMurchy.