Mar­shall Cup Fri­day night fi­nal for Saints

‘ There will be no com­pla­cency on our part and Easthall will be given the re­spect they de­serve’

The Oban Times - - Sport -

Oban Saints travel to Glas­gow’s east end this Fri­day evening, May 26, to face Easthall Star in the fi­nal of the Scot­tish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy.

The Pre­mier Di­vi­sion One base­ment boys clinched their place in the Fullar­ton Park, Toll­cross, fi­nal with an em­phatic 5 - 0 win over cur­rent Ar­gyll and Bute Cup hold­ers Dunoon just along the road at Step­ford Foot­ball Cen­tre last Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Easthall Star’s run to the fi­nal has pro­vided a wel­come dis­trac­tion for their young team which has recorded just one league win in a dif­fi­cult sea­son which sees them rel­e­gated for the first time in the club’s 26 year his­tory.

Af­ter a first round bye, Star kicked off their Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy cam­paign with a second round com­fort­able 3 -1 home win against Pre­mier Di­vi­sion 2A team Castlemilk.

It was Pre­mier Di­vi­sion 2A op­po­si­tion again in round three where Star re­turned home vic­to­ri­ous from a po­ten­tially tricky trip to Greenock af­ter an em­phatic 7 - 2 rout of Broomhill.

Star’s name came out of the hat first for the quar­ter fi­nals with Pre­mier Di­vi­sion 2A yet again pro­vid­ing the op­po­si­tion. A bat­tling 3 -1 win over Hou- ston se­cured a home semi-fi­nal against Dunoon with whom Star had shared eight league goals five weeks ear­lier.

De­spite the fi­nal 5- 0 score, the semi-fi­nal would also prove to be a close af­fair with a red card for Dunoon and a man of the match per­for­mance from the Star goal­keeper be­ing ma­jor fac­tors in the home side’s vic­tory.

Saints jour­ney to the Scot­tish Am­a­teur Foot­ball League Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy Fi­nal also started at the second round stage where they trav­elled to Port Glas­gow to face old ac­quain­tances Port Glas­gow OBU which re­sulted in a com­fort­able 6 - 0 win thanks to a hat-trick from Craig MacEwan, a brace from Paul Carmichael and Don­ald Camp­bell get­ting on the score­sheet.

Even­tual Pre­mier Di­vi­sion 2B cham­pi­ons Arkle­ston Bar­rhead proved a tougher nut to crack in the third round with the Oban side even­tu­ally win­ning 3-1 with goals from Craig MacEwan (2) and Don­ald Camp­bell. The quar­ter-fi­nal brought Saints soli­tary home tie in this sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion with Port Glas­gow, also of Pre­mier Di­vi­sion 2B, pro­vid­ing the op­po­si­tion. Saints won 4-1 with goals from Craig MacEwan, Dene Cas­sells, Don­ald Camp­bell and Fraser MacFar­lane.

In a break with tra­di­tion, this sea­son’s Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy semi-fi­nals were not played at neu­tral venues but rather were sub­ject to a draw which gave Hilling­ton home ad­van­tage. The Oban side marched into the fi­nal thanks to an­other hat-trick from Craig MacEwan and an own goal in a 4-1 win.

The only pre­vi­ous meet­ing be­tween Saints and Fri­day’s op­po­nents also came in the Jimmy Mar­shall Tro­phy in a first round tie at Step­ford Foot­ball Cen­tre on St Valen­tine’s Day 2015. The Oban side even­tu­ally won 4-1 but were made to fight all the way for the hard-fought win.

Fri­day’s fi­nal at the home of three time Scot­tish Ju­nior Cup win­ners Vale of Clyde must be played to a fin­ish on the night with penalty kicks to de­cide the win­ners if the sides can­not be sep­a­rated af­ter 90 min­utes.

Ref­eree in charge is Jimmy Lit­ster from Lochgilp­head.

Saints man­ager Alex Craik is look­ing for­ward to the game and should have a full squad to choose from. He said: ‘As the pre­mier di­vi­sion team, we are ob­vi­ously be­ing made favourites to re­tain the tro­phy we won last year, but we won’t be tak­ing any­thing for granted.

‘ We’ve been favourites be­fore in two cup fi­nals and lost both of them so there will be no com­pla­cency on our part and Easthall will be given the re­spect they de­serve.’

Gold­en­hill 2 Oban Saints 3

Last Wed­nes­day evening, Saints trav­elled to the Don­ald De­war Cen­tre, Drum­chapel, to take on Gold­en­hill in a league match and the squad re­turned home with a hard-fought 3-2 win un­der their belts.

Scott Mait­land opened the scor­ing on the half hour mark to give Saints a de­served 1- 0 lead at the break.

Da­mon Gray equalised with a su­perb strike be­fore Paul Carmichael put the vis­i­tors ahead again with a well-taken goal in the 67th minute.

The home side equalised again through Gray, but Paul Carmichael net­ted the win­ner with 14 min­utes re­main­ing when he turned his marker be­fore curl­ing a great shot past the help­less Gold­en­hill keeper.

Saints had to play the last 12 min­utes with 10 men af­ter Dene Cas­sells re­ceived his second yel­low card of the match.

East Kil­bride 4 Oban Saints 1

The Oban side played their third game in eight days when they trav­elled to take on East Kil­bride last Satur­day.

With sev­eral play­ers un­avail­able, Saints strug­gled to cope with a slick-mov­ing home side and found them­sleves 2- 0 down

Foot­ball

early in the game. Wil­lie Gem­mel lost pos­ses­sion at the edge of his own box al­low­ing David Hep­burn to slot the ball home for the first goal.

The Saints play­ers were claim­ing for a foul on goal­keeper Thomas McCul­loch for the second goal, but the ref­eree waved away the protests and al­lowed Stu­art McMil­lan’s goal to stand.

Man­ager Alex Craik changed the for­ma­tion which brought the vis­i­tors back into the game and Craig MacEwan re­duced the deficit with a su­perb curl­ing shot to make the half time score 2-1.

Saints were play­ing good foot­ball in the second half but way­ward fin­ish­ing and poor de­fend­ing cost them dear with East Kil­bride scor­ing two more goals in the second half to make the fi­nal score 4-1 - a game to for­get for the vis­i­tors.

Re­ports and pho­to­graphs: Derek Black. Gold­en­hill keeper Ross Clark saves from Paul Carmichael, but the Saints’ striker went on to net a dou­ble in a 3-2 win for Saints.

The Jimmy Mar­shall Cup.

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