Saints GG bounce into the lockdown

Two of the promising Oban Saints youth players Louis MacFarlane and Kyle Cooper.

Want to read more?

At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.

To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now

Match report and photographs: Derek Black

Oban Saints GG Blues 3

Oban Saints GG Reds 5

Oban Saints Greater Glasgow team manager Donald Black could have had no idea that his hastily arranged bounce game at Oban High School last Saturday afternoon would be the last football action his charges would enjoy before Argyll and Bute’s proposed new level one Covid-19 status would be cruelly snatched away.

The shock announcement from the Scottish Government on Saturday evening that the entire country would be subject to level four restriction from December 26 saw the first minister put the ball firmly on the slates, ruling amateur football strictly off the agenda for several weeks.

Despite the frustration of the unexpected football shutdown, Saints GG can at least console themselves that they were able to keep playing until the last gasp.

Manager Black and coaches Brian Forgrieve and Scott Buchanan called on the services of some of the younger members of the first team squad as well as calling up some rising stars from the club’s youth set-up to assemble two evenly matched sides for an entertaining encounter

Oban Saints GG Blues: Murdo MacKenzie, Craig Livingstone, Louis MacFarlane, Cammy Clark, Kenneth Black, Keith Millar, Gavin Forgrieve, Lewis Buchanan, Rory Dowd, Keir MacLean, James Beaton, Lewis Campbell, Garry McIvor.

Oban Saints GG Reds: Innes Horne, Ruaridh Horne, Ryan Barclay, Lewis McPhee, Andy Moore, Martin Bonar, Daniel MacCuish, Ruaraidh Buchanan, Fraser MacFarlane, Kyle Cooper, Zander Craik, Cammy Hill, Andrew Nicol.

Keir MacLean opened the scoring for the Blues in the fifth minute tucking a good finish under young Innes Horne in the Reds goal after good work on the right from Lewis Buchanan and Craig Livingstone.

Reds midfielder Martin Bonar drew a good save from Murdo MacKenzie with a crisply struck 28-yard shot in the eighth minute before Daniel MacCuish curled a left foot shot inches wide of MacKenzie’s right hand post 60 seconds later.

MacCuish set his sights on goal again in the 11th minute with young Louis MacFarlane, who along with all of the youth team players, impressed in more experienced company, getting a vital touch to deflect MacCuish’s effort wide for a corner kick.

Influential Reds midfielder MacCuish trotted over and found the head of central defender Lewis McPhee from the corner flag.

Unfortunately McPhee’s header failed to trouble Murdo MacKenzie and landed on the school roof giving Saints coach and school janitor Peter MacCallum an extra task to retrieve the ball on Monday morning.

MacCuish produced another excellent delivery from a 20th minute corner kick after Cammy Clark had blocked a Fraser MacFarlane shot behind.

On the end of MacCuish’s swing in from the right was midfield partner Martin Bonar, who steered his header the wrong side of Murdo MacKenzie’s left hand post.

The Blues doubled their advantage in the 22nd minute with an excellent left-foot finish from the corner of the 18-yard box by young Lewis Campbell son of former Saints legend Colin ‘Shuggie’ Campbell.

The Reds were off target once again when Kyle Cooper cut in from the right and angled a low shot across Murdo MacKenzie but wide of the far post.

Martin Bonar was once again the target for a Daniel MacCuish corner kick and finally found the target for the Reds sending a header looping just out of Murdo MacKenzie’s reach and into the net to halve the deficit in the 25th minute.

Inside the first minute of the second of the three 30-minute periods, Lewis McPhee hauled down Rory Dowd with newly qualified referee Alex Craik correctly spotting that the challenge was made fractionally outside of the Reds’ 18-yard box. The Reds’ defensive wall did its job and stood firm to block Dowd’s free-kick.

The Blues re-established their two-goal cushion in the 35th minute after good work on the right by Gavin Forgrieve and Lewis Buchanan.

Forgrieve found Garry McIvor on the edge of the D and he rolled the ball into the path of Kenneth Black.

The Blues’ skipper showed good strength to hold off the challenge of Ruaridh Horne and poke the ball left footed under Reds’ goalkeeper Innes Horne.

Two minutes later the Reds began what would be a stirring comeback with Cammy Hill finding the net after young Ruaraidh Buchanan cut in from the right and found Ruaridh Horne in support inside the 18-yard box.

Horne turned away from Cammy Clark and picked out Cammy Hill, who slammed the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.

The Reds’ equaliser in the 47th minute owed much to the endeavour of Daniel MacCuish on the left.

MacCuish evaded three challenges on his way to the bye-line from where his cutback arrived nicely into the stride of Ruaraidh Buchanan.

Buchanan beat the dive of Murdo MacKenzie but not the crossbar. Fortune favoured the attacking side and Cammy Hill got to the rebound ahead of Louis MacFarlane to complete his brace.

One minute into the final 30 minutes Daniel MacCuish worked a one-two with young Zander Craik which took him into the box where Murdo MacKenzie was at full stretch to push MacCuish’s left-foot shot round the post for a corner kick.

The Reds got their noses in front for the first time in the match in the 69th minute through Zander Craik. The young striker was sent through the inside right channel by Daniel MacCuish and held off the challenge of Cammy Clark to fire a low shot across Murdo MacKenzie and into the far corner of the net.

MacCuish and Craik combined again for the final goal of the afternoon. With youngster Andrew Nicol also involved on the left, the Reds worked the ball into Craik who picked out strike partner Kyle Cooper who fired high into the net to complete the scoring.

Referee Craik, who acquitted himself well on his debut, brought an entertaining encounter to an end leaving Oban Saints GG manager Donald Black encouraged by the work rate of his players and impressed by the contribution of the youth players.