Hamil­ton heartache as Saints bow out in Scot­tish Cup semi

The Oban Times - - Sport -

OBAN Saints had their hopes of a Scot­tish Ama­teur Cup Fi­nal ap­pear­ance crushed by cup hold­ers Colville Park at New Dou­glas Park, Hamil­ton, last Satur­day.

For the sec­ond year run­ning, the Scot­tish Cup ad­ven­ture came to an end at the semi-fi­nal stage with a frus­trated Saints con­tin­gent once again feel­ing they could and should have done bet­ter.

De­spite tak­ing a de­served first half lead, Saints couldn’t hold out against their vastly ex­pe­ri­enced op­po­nents, con­ced­ing two sloppy goals be­fore fi­nally suc­cumb­ing to a killer third goal from Scot­tish ama­teur in­ter­na­tional striker David McKay.

Saints kicked off at­tack­ing the north stand of the Su­per­seal Sta­dium but quickly con­ceded pos­ses­sion with Dene Cas­sells hav­ing to re­main strong to see out a Stephen McDe­vitt long ball look­ing for James Miller. Miller was again the tar­get on the Colville right in the sec­ond minute where Scott Mait­land made the block to con­cede the first cor­ner kick of the match.

In the ninth minute, Colville cen­tral de­fender James Mul­vay came in late on Craig MacEwan mid­way in­side the Colville half with ref­eree Ross Holms con­tent to give Mul­vay a warn­ing rather than is­sue a cau­tion. Wil­lie Gem­mell’s free kick was headed clear by Mul­vay who to­gether with Thomas Air­lie and Kenny Mar­shall made up a solid back three for the Mother­well men.

Myles McAu­ley made a driv­ing run from mid­field in the 12th minute, mak­ing good progress on the left be­fore the com­bined at­ten­tions of Mul­vay, McDe­vitt and Paul McLaugh­lin forced the ball out for a throw-in. Saints kept the pres­sure on from Scott Mait­land’s throw with Brian Mackay work­ing the ball across to the over­lap­ping David McArthur who fired in a low shot which Ryan Ward did well to turn round his left hand post for a Saints cor­ner.

It was Ward to the res­cue again for the cup hold­ers from Wil­lie Gem­mell’s cor­ner kick. Jamie Bradley forced the ball out to the edge of the box which Don­ald Camp­bell re­trieved and linked up with Myles McAu­ley and Brian Mackay to cre­ate an­other shoot­ing op­por­tu­nity. Space opened up for Don­ald 16-yards from goal but his curl­ing right foot shot was well held by the Colville keeper div­ing to his left.

Saints con­tin­ued their good spell with David McArthur’s run up the right touch­line be­ing halted il­le­gally by Jamie Bradley. Wil­lie Gem­mell’s free-kick was again headed out, this time to the right, where Craig MacEwan tried to trick his way along the bye-line and into the box. Craig got past Thomas Air­lie and was scythed down just in­side the box by James Mul­vay but Mr Holms spot­ted a shirt pull by Craig on Mul­vay and gave the de­ci­sion in favour of the big Colville de­fender.

Colville had the ball in the net in the 20th minute but were de­nied by an off­side flag. Don­ald Camp­bell pulled back James Miller mid­way in­side the Saints half giv­ing dead ball ex­pert Dar­ren Miller an op­por­tu­nity to put the ball into the dan­ger area. Miller’s deep cross found the head of Jamie Bradley whose down­ward header was tucked away from six yards by Paul McLaugh­lin who, for­tu­nately for Saints, was flagged off­side by the stand side as­sis­tant ref­eree.

Saints took the lead on the half hour mark from a long Thomas McCul­loch free-kick af­ter James Miller had been pe­nalised for a shirt pull on Scott Mait­land.

McCul­loch’s long ball from level with his 18-yard line wide on the left was knocked on by Paul Carmichael to Craig MacEwan. Craig held off chal­lenges from Kenny Mar­shall and James Mul­vay be­fore find­ing Don­ald Camp­bell 25-yards from goal. Don­ald threaded an ex­cel­lent first time pass to Paul Carmichael in the in­side left chan­nel who timed his run to per­fec­tion to beat Thomas Air­lie’s claims for an off­side flag. Paul raced into the box and lifted the ball left footed from ten yards over the ad­vanc­ing Ryan Ward and into the roof of the net to edge Saints in front.

Colville tried to hit back straight from the restart with James Miller lift­ing a de­cent ef­fort from 18- yards over Thomas McCul­loch and onto the roof of the Saints net. Then a loop­ing Stephen McDe­viit header from the cen­tre cir­cle sent Paul McLaugh­lin rac­ing through the mid­dle with Dene Cas­sells for com­pany. Af­ter a good tus­sle, McLaugh­lin went sprawl­ing just out­side the Saints’ box, but not be­fore he had been pe­nalised for a shirt pull on the Saints cen­tral de­fender. There was an anx­ious mo­ment for Saints as ref­eree Holms con­sulted his as­sis­tant who ap­peared to have flagged in favour of Colville. How­ever, Mr Holms was happy to let his ini­tial de­ci­sion stand.

Saints were caught out in the 42nd minute when try­ing to play the ball out from the back af­ter an­other deep free-kick, this time from James Mul­vay. David McArthur played a risky ball to Brian Mackay who was robbed by Jamie Bradley com­ing in on the blind­side. Bradley played a one-two with Christopher Craig and picked out Paul McLaugh­lin in space in­side the box. McLaugh­lin turned well and tucked a neat fin­ish in­side Thomas McCul­loch’s right hand post to bring the cup hold­ers level. This was a bit­ter blow for Saints to con­cede such a sloppy goal un­do­ing a good first half per­for­mance, how­ever, full credit to Colville who ruth­lessly ex­ploited the slip-up.

Af­ter five sec­ond half min­utes, Paul Carmichael won a free-kick wide on the Saints left and ten yards in­side the Colville half. Brian Mackay peeled off to the left to ac­cept Wil­lie Gem­mell’s free-kick and quickly re­turned the ball to Wil­lie 25-yards out who, from a promis­ing po­si­tion, didn’t get hold of his shot and sent a tame ef­fort well wide of tar­get. In the 58th minute, af­ter break­ing up a Colville at­tack, Saints built a good pass­ing move through the mid­dle. Myles McAu­ley linked up with Brian Mackay who rolled the ball up to Paul Carmichael 12-yards in­side the Colville half. Paul held the ball up well and laid off to Craig MacEwan who lofted a ball for­ward look­ing for Brian Mackay who had con­tin­ued his run. Un­for­tu­nately Craig’s pass was too heavy and skipped away from Brian and safely through to Ryan Ward in the Colville goal.

In the 63rd minute, Brian Mackay robbed James Mul­vay eight yards in­side the Saints half and wide on the left. Mackay sent Paul Carmichael rac­ing through the in­side left chan­nel with Kenny Mar­shall and Garry Tier­ney in pur­suit. Mar­shall forced Paul wide who couldn’t get a shot away and a great chance was lost.

With 20 min­utes re­main­ing, Saints man­ager Alex Craik made his first sub­sti­tu­tion, bring­ing on Matthew Kelly to re­place Brian Mackay.

Dis­as­ter struck for Saints in the 72nd minute when a bizarre own goal gave Colville a mas­sive slice of good for­tune that they could scarcely be­lieve. A Wil­lie Gem­mell free kick from just in­side the Saints half was too heavy for Paul Carmichael and bounced harm­lessly through to Ryan Ward. The Colville keeper launched a kick from hands up­field and, af­ter some head tennis in the cen­tre cir­cle, Colville worked the ball out to James Miller on the left. Miller lifted the ball over the head of David McArthur and into the Saints box for Jamie Bradley who got there just be­fore Scott Mait­land and flicked the ball past Thomas McCul­loch on the six yard line. The ball trun­dled to­wards the goal line with Dene Cas­sell’s look­ing set to clear the dan­ger. How­ever, Dene’s hooked clear­ance can­noned off Myles McAu­ley and into the net leav­ing both in­cred­u­lous and Saints star­ing down the bar­rel.

From the restart, Wil­lie Gem­mell sent a long ball from the cen­tre cir­cle look­ing for Don­ald Camp­bell on the right. Don­ald was crowded out by Garry Tier­ney and James Miller who re­ceived a rap on the an­kle for his trou­bles which earned Don­ald a yel­low card which would even­tu­ally prove costly.

Things went from bad to worse for Saints in the 75th minute when Myles McAu­ley was harshly pe­nalised for hand­ball when the ball ap­peared to strike him on the chest. Dar­ren Miller rolled the ball out to Stephen McDe­vitt on the right who lofted a di­ag­o­nal ball from 30-yards into the Saints box. Deadly striker David McKay got in be­tween David McArthur and Marc Mac­cal­lum and from 12 yards guided a per­fect header in­side Thomas McCul­loch’s left hand post to stretch Colville’s ad­van­tage and leave Saints fac­ing a mon­u­men­tal task to get back into the game.

Saints fresh­ened things up by with­draw­ing Wil­lie Gem­mell and in­tro­duc­ing Ross Mait­land on the right wing with Don­ald Camp­bell drop­ping back into mid­field. Colville also rang the changes with Stephen Bur­den com­ing on to re­place James Miller. With nine min­utes re­main­ing, Saints man­ager Alex Craik re­placed Paul Carmichael with Dean Smith.

The game was up for Saints when they lost the ser­vices of Don­ald Camp­bell with five min­utes of nor­mal time re­main­ing. Don­ald took ex­cep­tion to a fly­ing el­bow from Jamie Bradley when the pair con­tested an aerial joust on the edge of the cen­tre cir­cle. Ref­eree Holms had an ex­cel­lent view of the in­ci­dent but didn’t see any­thing wrong with Bradley’s chal­lenge. Mr Holms also had a clear view of Don­ald’s re­tal­ia­tory two-handed shove into the chest of Bradley and promptly pro­duced a sec­ond yel­low card for Don­ald.

Colville were con­tent to run down the clock and record a de­served 3-1 win and make it to their sec­ond Scot­tish Ama­teur Cup fi­nal in two years.

Saints sec­re­tary David Buchanan said: ‘ The boys are very dis­ap­pointed but what an achieve­ment it has been for the club, and the town of Oban, for this group of play­ers along with man­ager Alex Craik and his coaches to have reached the semi-fi­nal of the Scot­tish Ama­teur Cup two years in suc­ces­sion. This year’s com­pe­ti­tion started with 573 teams so it’s been a tremen­dous achieve­ment and ev­ery­one in­volved de­serves credit. We were beaten by a bet­ter team on the day and we wish Colville all the best in the fi­nal.’

Saints re­main on cup duty this Satur­day when they wel­come Port Glas­gow to Glen­cruit­ten in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy. Kick- off is 2pm with ref­eree John Stobo in charge.

Pho­to­graphs and match re­port: Derek Black.

Play­ers from Oban Saints and Colville Park shake hands be­fore last Satur­day’s Scot­tish Ama­teur Cup semi-fi­nal at New Dou­glas Park, home of Hamil­ton Ac­cies.

Paul Carmichael opens the scor­ing for Saints.

Brian Mackay and Don­ald Camp­bell con­grat­u­late Paul Carmichael on his goal.

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