Precious three points for battling Pupils
CAMPBELTOWN Pupils went top of the league last Saturday with a hard-fought win away to Neilston.
After a patchy run of form seeing them take only two points from their previous three matches, the McFadyens-sponsored Pupils named a strong starting line up, knowing a win was vital to maintain their promotion push towards the SAFL’s top tier.
They were given the ideal start with less then a minute played, when Scott Souden pounced on a knockdown inside the box from a Pupils head to smash the ball high into the net from just three yards out. Frustratingly, some porous defending at the other end saw the hosts equalise with a smart finish from 18 yards out, a precise side-footed effort into the bottom righthand corner of the net beating Pupils’ keeper Craig Lamont.
Worse could have followed for the Pupils after Lamont appeared to have brought down a Neilston forward in the box; however no penalty was given and the attacker presented with a harsh-looking yellow card for simulation by referee Robert Doolan.
Soon after, the Pupils took the lead for the second time when a clearance from a corner broke to central defender Lee Allen 25 yards out.
The 21-year-old guided a superb rightfoot effort around the onrushing ruck of players and beyond the Neilston keeper’s grasp, before wheeling away in celebration.
It was the boost the Pupils needed and they looked a calmer outfit before the halftime interval.
Meanwhile, the hosts’ grass park had been rain-lashed the previous evening and became heavier as the first half wore on. The Pupils’ management was therefore keen to see the team grab the next goal and see out the match.
With just over an hour gone, the Campbeltown side did just that, making it 3-1 when Ryan Deans set John McCallum on his way into the penalty box, and with the hosts’ goalkeeper approaching he squared the ball for younger brother Donald McCallum to sidefoot into an empty net.
Disappointingly, the Pupils were made to sweat during the final 20 minutes after a Neilston free-kick was spilled, and a home forward pounced to fire the ball into the Pupils’ net.
However, the Feathers-sponsored Pupils created some decent chances in the latter stages themselves - albeit they were perhaps guilty of some poor decision-making in the final third, and ultimately held on for a valuable three points.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the Pupils host Rossvale, from Bishopbriggs, in another tough league fixture. Kick off is at 2pm.
For venue confirmation of Kintyre Park or Kinloch AWP, please visit Campbeltown Football on Facebook or on Twitter: @PupilsAFC
Campbeltown Pupils’ squad v Neilston: Craig Lamont, Keith Mitchell, Jamie Burns, Lee Allen, Martin McCallum, Gregor McFadyen, Gary Grumoli, Donald McCallum, Ryan Deans, Scott Souden, John McCallum. Subs (both used) Andrew McKellar and Ellis Robertson.
Pupils goal-scorer Scott Souden in action earlier this season. 50_c33pupils06