Last minute goal de­nies Saints away win against Gold­en­hill

The Oban Times - - Sport -

SAFL Premier Di­vi­sion

SAINTS some­how con­trived to snatch a draw from the jaws of vic­tory in an en­thralling match at Cly­de­bank High School last Satur­day af­ter­noon. De­spite be­ing a goal ahead and two men to the good with only 10 min­utes re­main­ing, Saints couldn’t see the match out and con­ceded a cheap headed last minute equaliser giv­ing the home side an un­likely but de­served share of the points.

Gold­en­hill started the stronger of the two sides and had Saints pinned back in their own half dur­ing the open­ing ex­changes with­out really threat­en­ing the Saints back four too much.

The visi­tors opened the scor­ing in the 12th minute when an ex­cel­lently struck Don­ald Camp­bell shot from the cor­ner of the 18-yard box brought out a ter­rific div­ing save from Scott Ren­nie low down to his right.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Gowdie the big keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Ross Mait­land who coolly picked out Craig MacEwan on the six-yard line with MacEwan tuck­ing the ball into the net.

Frus­ta­tion In the 25th minute MacEwan came the width of the post away from dou­bling his tally. Mait­land made a good run for­ward on the Saints left and de­liv­ered a tempt­ing cross which MacEwan did well to head goal­wards, how­ever, much to the frus­tra­tion of the Saints con­tin­gent on the touch­line, the ball struck the in­side of the post and dropped into the grate­ful arms of keeper Scott Ren­nie.

Saints’ sec­ond goal came in the 35th minute with the two hold­ing mid­field­ers, Wil­lie Gem­mell and Paul Kerr, com­bin­ing for a rare goal for Paul. Gem­mell sent a per­fect de­liv­ery from the left to­wards the back post where Kerr had made a late run to send a sen­sa­tional header back across the goal­keeper and into the top cor­ner of the net.

Saints ended the first half seem­ingly well in con­trol of the match but look­ing back rue­fully on the missed chances which could have seen them al­ready out of sight.

Saints didn’t have long to enjoy their lead as it was wiped out in a blis­ter­ing start to the sec­ond half from the home side. In the open­ing minute, Saints con­ceded pos­ses­sion from their own throw-in on the left. Daniel Gib­son raced into the in­side right chan­nel past a stat­uesque Saints de­fence and squared for James Gal­lagher to tap in at the back post.

Barely 60 sec­onds later the Gowdie drew level when Gib­son pounced on a spec­u­la­tive ball over the top split­ting David McArthur and Dene Cas­sells.

The Gowdie winger fired in a low shot which Thomas McCul­loch got both hands to but couldn’t keep out low down at his near post.

The home side com­pleted the turn­around in the 53rd minute when a deep cross from their left was nod­ded down at the back post by Daniel McKenna into the path of the un­marked James Gal­lagher to com­plete his hat-trick with a sweet right foot fin­ish past the help­less McCul­loch.

De­spite this set back Saints re­fused to let their heads drop and came close al­most im­me­di­ately when Dean Smith made good progress to the dead ball line and sent a tempt­ing cut back which ag­o­nis­ingly bi­sected the runs of MacEwan and Camp­bell in the cen­tre.

In the 57th minute Gem­mell stung the palms of Scott Ren­nie with a rasp­ing long range ef­fort which the big keeper did well to hold with Smith wait­ing to pounce on any han­dling er­ror.

The Gowdie had adopted a higher de­fen­sive line in the sec­ond half and af­ter a couple of tight calls from Mr Hay, Saints fi­nally sprung the home side’s off­side trap with a per­fectly timed MacEwan run onto a David McArthur through ball. MacEwan drew the keeper and squared to Mait­land for a sim­ple tap-in to re­store par­ity.

Barely a minute later, Saints hit the wood­work for the sec­ond time when Mait­land got on the end of a Kerr pass and hit the in­side of the post with the ball be­ing scram­bled be­hind for a cor­ner kick.

Mait­land flighted in an ex­cel­lent ball from the Saints left which eluded ev­ery­one in the cen­tre but was well con­trolled by Cas­sells at the back post, who turned and fired in a shot which was blocked on the goal-line and hoofed to safety.

Curl­ing pass Saints got their noses back in front in the 75th minute by once again spring­ing the Gowdie off­side trap. Gem­mell be­gan the move with a de­li­cious curl­ing pass set­ting Mait­land off on a run in the in­side left chan­nel. Mait­land won the foot race with the Gowdie full back Steven Dock and cut the ball back to Gem­mell, who thun­dered in a fierce right foot shot which this time was too hot for the keeper to han­dle and the ball broke loose to Smith, six yards out, who ea­gerly gob­bled up the op­por­tu­nity to re­store the lead for Saints.

The home side mo­men­tar­ily lost their heads with sub­sti­tute striker Chris McGrath re­ceiv­ing a straight red card for aim­ing a kick at Jamie Gra­ham and de­fender Jack Ben­nett pick­ing up a sec­ond yel­low for a petu­lant kick at Smith as he lay on the ground ,hav­ing been brought down on the half way line.

With the match seem­ingly safe, man­ager Alex Craik made a couple of changes re­plac­ing Mait­land and Smith with Shaun MacIver and Al­lan Mackay.

With the clock tick­ing down and the killer fifth goal elud­ing them Saints seemed to panic and dropped deeper and deeper invit­ing the nine men of Gold­en­hill onto them. A suc­ces­sion of need­less fouls gave the Gowdie the chance to launch long balls into the box which, al­though Saints man­aged to deal with their fail­ure to fully clear their lines meant the ball kept com­ing straight back.

In­evitabil­ity It was, there­fore, with a large dose of in­evitabil­ity that the home side equalised in the 89th minute from a long throw on the Saints right level with the 18-yard line.

The Gowdie piled ev­ery­body into the box for the long throw and Da­mon Gray looped a free header be­yond McCul­loch and into the net for an equaliser for which Saints have only them­selves to blame.

At the out­set a share of the points against an im­pres­sive Gold­en­hill side on a 10-match win­ning streak would not have been a bad re­sult but the man­ner in which the late equaliser was con­ceded against nine men leaves the re­sult feel­ing more like a de­feat than a draw.

Man­ager Craik was gut­ted at the re­sult.

He said: ‘ We played really well against a good Gold­en­hill team. I’ve got no com­plaints about that. How­ever, the start of the sec­ond half was a dis­as­ter, los­ing two poor goals.

‘We bat­tled back into the game and when they went down to nine men we should have been ex­pe­ri­enced enough to run down the clock but we in­vited them on to us and we failed to clear our lines prop­erly on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions and the in­evitable hap­pened.’

Saints will be hop­ing to re­turn to win­ning ways on Satur­day when they take on Fin­nart in a premier di­vi­sion league game.

The match will take place at the Oban Com­mu­nity 3G Pitch with a 2pm kick- off.

Match re­port and photo: Derek Black

DRAW: Dean Smith, No 9, fires Saints into a 4-3 lead af­ter Gold­en­hill keeper Scott Ren­nie fails to hold a Wil­lie Gem­mell thun­der­bolt.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.