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Oban Saints look to make it 11 wins in succession this weekend when they travel to the foot of the Kilsyth Hills and Lanarkshire’s most northerly town to face Kilsyth Community in the West of Scotland Cup third round.
Formerly known as Kilsyth Amateurs, the long-established North Lanarkshire club decided on a re-branding for this their 56th season in amateur football and became part of Kilsyth Community Football Club whose aim is to bring all age groups in the town under one footballing umbrella.
The renaming coincided with the decision to end a long and successful relationship with the Central Scottish Amateur Football League for Kilsyth, where they were 2003/04 Premier Division Champions and 2005/06 McAvoy and McIntyre Cup winners, and begin a new chapter in the Caledonian League.
Kilsyth appear to be settling in well to their new league where six wins from seven matches sees them in third position, six points behind leaders Eaglesham but with two games in hand, and well placed to mount an assault on the Division 1A title.
Coming just a little too early in the season for Kilsyth was the challenge of facing Oban Saints old foes Thorn Athletic in the Douglas Smith League Cup. A convincing 5-1 away win for the Premier Division leaders set them on their way to a quarter-final clash with Dumbarton Academy FP and left Kilsyth making up the group section H numbers along with Strathclyde University and Weirs Recreation.
In the major cup competitions, Kilsyth reached the third round stage of the Scottish Amateur Cup thanks to a first round walkover and a 3-1 away win at Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur Football League Championship B side Renfrew. Unfortunately for Kilsyth, they came up against near neighbours Central Scottish Amateur Football League big guns Eastfield in the third round where, despite a spirited performance from the visitors, a solitary second-half goal was enough to see Eastfield progress.
In the first round of the West of Scotland Cup, Kilsyth were taken to extra-time by Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division Two high fliers Glynhill Moorcroft before squeezing past the Renfrew men by the odd goal in seven.
Round two produced an identical scoreline but without the need for an additional 30 minutes. Clydeside Athletic of the Glasgow Colleges Football Association Premier Division were the visitors to Kilsyth Sports Field and raced into a 3-1 lead before a stirring comeback, including a last-minute winner sealed a third round home tie for Kilsyth against Saints.
In round one of the competition, Saints were scheduled to play Rannoch at Glencruitten but the Greater Glasgow League outfit elected not to fulfil the fixture handing the tie to Saints by way of a walkover. Round two saw Saints travel to the Toryglen Regional Football Centre in the shadow of Hampden Park to face Uddingston of the Strathclyde Saturday Morning League and, in an exciting encounter, the D & K Lafferty-sponsored Oban side squeezed through 4-2 after extra-time. Craig MacEwan and Lewis Cameron scored for Saints in the regulation 90 minutes which ended 2-2 but two extra time goals from MacEwan and Donald Campbell meant Saints progressed to round three.
Saturday’s match at Kilsyth Sports Field will be a major test for Saints and must be played to a finish on the day with extra-time and penalty kicks coming into play to decide the winner if the two sides cannot be separated after 90 minutes.
Taking charge of proceedings is experienced referee Derek Dempster of the Central Scottish Amateur Football League.