Youth and experience combine for Pupils victory
With a team shorn of nine players from their previous encounter with Lochgilphead Red Star, the local favourites looked forward to this encounter with a little trepidation. However, they need not have worried, as in the breech came eight eager youngsters and a stalwart from the past to rescue the day and deliver three points to take the home side to the top of the league with two games played. It was an assured performance on an immaculate Kintyre Park from the McFadyens-sponsored Campbeltown Pupils, a day when the home side completely outplayed their opponents, but the visitors somehow kept the game alive with last gasp defending and not too little grit and determination. After a number of penetrating runs, Sary Rahma at last found his mark on the end, a clever through ball from full back Bailey Freeman, the mercurial striker outstripping the defence to fire the ball into the bottom corner for the opener. Ryan Deans can count himself unfortunate after he produced a mazy run from the edge of the box, drifting past a number of challenges before his parting shot was smothered by a grateful last line of defence. However, it was only a reprieve for the visitors, as Freeman once more released Rahma, whose blistering pace and fine finish delivered the second goal on the cusp of half time. The home side decided to sit-off the opposition in the early part of the second half, a tactic that allowed the visitors to come more into the game. With the home defence in retreat, midfield player Tom Johnston found space to unleash a powerful drive at goal, only to see a magnificent one-handed stop from young Alasdair Ferguson in the Pupils goal. The opposition’s long throw tactic was beginning to cause problems for the home defence and, after a mix-up, the ball dropped kindly for John Martin, who stabbed the ball home at the second attempt to reduce the leeway. The comeback looked on, but a fine move down the attacking left saw Liam Renton release Fraser MacBrayne into space, the youngster showing maturity beyond his years to square the ball to Rahma, whose blistering drive tore into the roof of the net for the striker’s hat-trick. A two-goal cushion should have been enough to bring victory for the home side, but FC Argyle’s determination produced a second goal with eight minutes remaining and the fat was once more in the fire. It was an all-round team performance from the Pupils, and there were no weaknesses whatsoever in the ranks. Shaun Grumoli – out of retirement again – did himself proud with an assured display, and his partner at the heart of defence, Ellis Robertson, had an outstanding 90 minutes. Final word came from Gary Grumoli; his run on goal in the final minute ending with a cracking finish into the bottom corner for the Pupils’ fourth and victory-sealing strike. This was a day to remember for the young Pupils graduates – a day when they all came of age. Campbeltown Pupils travel to Ferguslie tomorrow (Saturday), in what promises to be a difficult game as per usual for league points.
Out-of-retirement Shaun Grumoli battles for the ball. 50_c37pupils02
Sary Rahma scored a hat-trick. 50_c37pupils01
Young players like Calum McKillop kept their eyes on the ball. 50_c37pupils05