Pupils knocked out of Strathclyde Cup

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Campbeltown Pupils 1
Harmony Row 4
West of Scotland FL
Strathclyde Cup second round

Campbeltown Pupils suffered a disappointing home defeat last Saturday at the hands of Govan outfit Harmony Row.

A slow start saw the Pupils concede two goals in the opening 20 minutes, both arising from similar situations where the Pupils were stretched in defence and undone by smart finishes after cutbacks from wide positions.

An injury to recently-returned full-back Jamie Burns midway through the first half necessitated a switch from right-back to left-back for Martin McCallum, a good creative outlet for the Pupils on the day.

However, McCallum had to be on his guard to help his team at the other end after a Harmony Row striker rounded keeper Craig Lamont, but the striker’s side-footed finish did not have the pace and the recovering McCallum cleared the ball off the line.

Michael McKinlay, himself playing through the pain barrier, slotted in at right-back, and the Pupils steadied the ship slightly before the half-time interval arrived.

However, there was further bruising for the Pupils on the pitch with only 50 minutes played, when Harmony Row made it 3-0, after a ball, again from a wide position, was turned home first time into the roof of the net.

The match was then put well out of the Pupils’ reach after the visitors scored their fourth goal with an hour played.

A similar rout to the Pupils’ 6-2 defeat to the same visiting team on league duty in early September looked to be on the cards.

The final 25 minutes of the match was positive for the McFadyens-sponsored Pupils, thanks in part to the introduction of Conner McMurchy in attack.

The young forward asked questions of the Harmony Row central defensive pairing, and when he latched on to a high delivery into the box from a free kick wide on the right, he turned provider for sweeper John McCallum to side-foot firmly home from close range to get the Pupils off the mark.

Into the latter stages, the scores could have been higher on both sides, prevented only by good saves from both Lamont in the Pupils goal – who had travelled from his Edinburgh home to play for the team – and the Harmony Row keeper, who showed strong hands to divert a shot from Rhys Casci, the previous weekend’s hat-trick hero against Harthill Royal, wide of his right-hand post.

The match sponsor was Wee Toon Trends.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Feathers Inn-sponsored Pupils return to league action, welcoming old SAFL rivals Finnart, recently moved to the WoSFL from the Caledonian AFL, to Kintyre Park.

Kick off is at 2pm. For more information, find @PupilsAFC on Twitter or Campbeltown Football on Facebook.