Saints GG go second in the league

Rory Dowd in action at a rain-swept Oban community pitch last Saturday.

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Immediately following the first team’s Central Scottish Amateur Football League Division 1B victory over nearest challengers Blantyre RGM and, in even further deteriorating weather conditions, Oban Saints Greater Glasgow Premier Amateur Football League side took the field for their third division clash with Giffnock Soccer Centre Amateur Reds.

In sheets of rain blowing in on the strengthening wind from the school end, after twice coming close to opening the scoring in the early stages through Rory Dowd and Martin Bonar, Saints fell behind to a swift counter attack goal.

Parity was restored when Martin Bonar, still nursing a split head from a training ground accident, slid in bravely to knock home from close range.

The young visiting team enjoyed the better of the remainder of the first half and it was the hosts with Alex Craik, Keith Millar and Dean Smith bringing valuable experience to the side who were the happier to reach the interval all square.

Saints were an altogether better proposition in the second half and deservedly got their noses in front when central striker Dean Smith raced through on the end of a Daniel Croarkin pass to calmly slot past the advancing Giffnock keeper.

There were second-half run-outs for all four of Saints’ youthful substitutes’ bench when Craig Easton, Lewis Buchanan, Martin Rennie and Jamie Anderson replaced Martin Bonar, Fraser MacFarlane, Rory Dowd and Nathan Allan respectively.

After hitting the crossbar with a curling, dipping effort into the strong wind, Dean Smith made the points safe from the penalty spot after he had been upended in the box.

The win maintains Saints’ unbeaten Greater Glasgow Premier Amateur Football League record and lifts them to second place in Division Three, one point behind leaders Kirkfield United but with three games in hand.