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With the start of pre-season upcoming for Oban Saints GG, the newly established second team received a call late Thursday for a last minute game against Campbeltown Pupils for the following day. With both teams eager and some assistance from Jimmy Lister the game was able to take place at the neutral ground of the Ropework, Lochgilphead, which was in excellent condition.
With this new team having a strong focus and nucleus of younger players alongside some experienced, the Saints management team travelled with a 14-man squad, which included nine teenagers along with a couple of first team squad members, including the last-minute inclusion of first team co-manager Donald Campbell on the comeback trail after his end of season injury. He was a welcome sight before the new season in the Central league begins. Also in the squad were experienced duo of Ross Maitland and Alex Craic.
Despite being a pre-season friendly to give some much needed match time to all, it did not take long for either side to show they both wanted the win in typical Argyll derby fashion.
Having travelled with a pre-made plan in regards to team substitutions in order to give all players the same amount of game time and a chance to have a look at, Saints stuck to this making three changes after 30 minutes with the score standing at 0-0 at half time.
The second half began in much the same fashion, with the challenges and effort from both teams becoming more apparent, which referee Jimmy Lister controlled to the usual high standard before it could boil over.
In the 78th-minute a soft free kick awarded on the left by-line was whipped in by the Pupils and Saints were caught napping as the ball ended up in the back of the net.
This reversal seemed to spur Saints on, and the coaches were particularly delighted to see the younger players roll up their sleeves up in order to stand up and be counted to get back into the game.
Saints got a well deserved equaliser when a pin point pass to Ross Maitland from Gavin Forgrieve sent the Saints veteran through on goal and he showed the experience and class to put the ball in the back of the net to make the final score 1-1.
Manager Donald Black said: ‘Tonight showed the boys what’s in store for the season ahead in regards the jump from youth to senior football.’