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St Patrick’s GG 2
Oban Saints GG 3
Oban Saints Greater Glasgow team, fresh from their recent win over Helensburgh, played a friendly against St Patrick’s FP second string at Dumbarton Common last Saturday.
This provided a good test for the young Oban side against arguably the top team in the Greater Glasgow league set up.
With a lot of the regular squad missing for various reasons, Saints lined up in a 3-5-2 formation with former youth keeper Cammy MacMillan pulling on the goalkeeper’s jersey again. He was protected by Gary Macuish, Alex Craik and Nathan Allan.
On the wing back roles were Aaron McKay on the right and captain Kenneth Black on the left. Cammy Clark was joined by Matty Kelly in midfield with Gavin Forgrieve making up the trio. Cammy Hill and Rory Dowd partnered each other up front with Kyle Cooper the lonely sub.
Saints started off brightly and took the lead when they forced a corner after 12 minutes. Gavin Forgrieve sent a good delivery to the back post where Cammy Hill out-jumped his marker to send his header into the net.
Saints were dominating the ball with Cammy Clark outstanding in the middle of the park.
The visitors increased their lead when a well-worked move down the left saw Kenneth Black cut the ball back to Cammy Hill who struck a tremendous 20-yard rocket past the stranded keeper.
Manager Donald Black made his first change of the afternoon on 30 minutes by bringing on young Kyle Cooper who replaced Rory Dowd up front. This change gave Saints a different attacking option with the young striker’s pace and tenacity giving the home rearguard plenty to think about.
Half time 2-0.
An excellent footballing performance in the first half from the young Oban side made way for a more gutsy ‘backs to the wall’ performance in the second half as St Pat’s laid siege on the Saints’ back line in search of a comeback.
Long throws were a danger throughout from St Pat’s stalwart centre back Mark Docherty.
In the 54th minute, the home side broke through with a ball across the Saints’ goalmouth, then cut back from the left for an easy tap-in for Liam Cavan to haul St Pat’s back into the game.
Hard work was the order of the day as Saints had to show grit and determination to maintain their lead against ever increasing St Pat’s pressure.
Saints increased their lead when Rory Dowd robbed the St Pat’s midfield of the ball and found Kyle Cooper who rounded the keeper and struck his shot towards goal. An excellent interception saw the shot blocked, only for the ball to fall kindly for Aaron McKay who slotted home for a crucial 88th minute goal to give Saints a 3-1 lead.
St Pat’s never say die attitude was evident as they immediately raced upfield and scored a second goal from Dylan Malloy with only seconds left on the clock following another long throw from Docherty. Kyle Cooper had to come off with a nasty cut after an accidental clash of heads during the goal.
After one additional minute the referee blew the whistle on a competitive friendly resulting in an excellent 3-2 win for the young Oban side against quality opposition.
St Pats now play their Spring Cup quarter final against Newshot while Saints GG will continue to keep the games coming over the pre-season.