Saints’ march halted by shining Star

Red Star defender Coll MacCalum keeps a close eye on on young Saints GG midfielder James Beaton.

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Oban Saints GG 0
Lochgilphead Red Star 3

Eager to test themselves against considerably more experienced opposition the match got off to a bad start for the young Saints side.

Defending a fifth-minute corner kick a thumping Angus Lewis shot smacked Alan Buchan in the face before hitting the big striker on the arm.

Referee Rae correctly pointed to the penalty spot from where Red Star right winger and dead ball specialist Andrew Weir made no mistake to give the visitors the lead.

Saints keeper Murdo MacKenzie was in inspirational form and produced the first of a string of excellent saves in the 25th minute to deny Stuart MacLean.

The visitors struck again in the 42nd minute after veteran defender Craik had turned an Andy Weir right wing cross behind for a corner kick.

Kyle Cooper and Ben Forbes in action.

Weir’s delivery from the right was headed away but only as far as Red Star youngster Zander MacKenzie, who lashed an unstoppable shot across a well-beaten Murdo MacKenzie and into the top corner of the Saints net.

The young Saints side passed up a terrific opportunity to half the deficit going into the interval when Keir MacLean, with the goal at his mercy, blazed wide of target from six yards after an excellent run and cutback on the right wing from Robert Johnstone.

Any faint hopes the home side may have entertained of a comeback were cruelly extinguished in the 78th minute when Ciaran McPhie pounced on a slack pass out from the back and raced through on goal to calmly slot the ball past Murdo MacKenzie for the third and final Red Star goal.

Saints kept plugging away but, in keeping with the general theme of the afternoon, all too often the final pass went astray making life easy for their Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division One opponents.

There was one final test for Red Star keeper Ally Lewis in the 85th minute with the youngster taking great delight in keeping his clean sheet intact by pulling off a fine save to deny Kyle Cooper after good work on the Saints right from Lewis Buchanan and Daniel MacCuish.

Despite being faced with more experienced and accomplished opponents the Saints management team of Donald Black and Robert Johnstone will be disappointed that their young charges failed to produce the quality play they are capable of.

Report and photos: Derek Black