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Saturday December 4, 2021
Greater Glasgow Premier Amateur Football League
Giffnock Soccer Centre Amateurs Reds 1 – 1 Oban Saints GG
Oban Saints second string travelled to Thornliebank last Saturday, December 4 to face bottom of the table Giffnock Soccer Centre Amateurs Reds.
Three points separated the pair at the foot of the Greater Glasgow Premier Amateur Football League Division 3A table at the start of play and a goal-a-piece ensured the positions remained unchanged after ninety evenly contested minutes.
Kieran Hendry gave Saints GG a sixty eighth minute lead however with a second league victory of the season tantalising close Skipper Calum Brook levelled for Giffnock in stoppage time to notch his side’s first league point.
With the first eleven having no fixture Saints GG Manager Donald Black was able to call on the services of first team squad members Gavin Forgrieve, Ruaridh Horne and Thomas McCrindle. The Oban Saints youth set-up was also called upon and Andrew Barclay, Ruaridh Buchanan and Lewis Campbell were handed places on the substitutes bench.
Saints GG lined up with Murdo MacKenzie in goal behind a back three of Ruaridh Horne, Captain Kenneth Black and Thomas McCrindle. Across the five man midfield were Craig Livingstone, Gavin Forgrieve, Martin Bonar, Cammy Clark and Dylan Anderson. Up front were Lewis Buchanan and Aaron McKay. On the substitutes bench were Andrew Barclay, Ruaridh Buchanan, Lewis Campbell and Kieran Hendry.
Oban Saints GG starting eleven:
Murdo MacKenzie (GK)
Kenneth Black (Captain)
There was an early set-back for Saints when Cammy Clark went over his ankle in the centre circle after eight minutes signalling the introduction from the bench of Kieran Hendry.
Hendry’s nineteenth minute cross-field pass picked out the run of Craig Livingstone whose right foot shot was well saved at his near post by Giffnock keeper Scott MacLennan. Opposite number Murdo MacKenzie was called into action immediately thereafter when the home side swiftly counter-attacked. Andrew McKerlie’s long ball up to Schwan Nuri saw the Giffnock striker get the better of Saints Skipper Kenneth Black but not Murdo MacKenzie who saved well to his right.
MacLennan needed two attempts to hold Lewis Buchanan’s twentieth minute shot as the heavy morning rain which forced a number of fixture cancellations finally abated.
A twenty ninth minute Aaron McKay foul on Matthew Coyle gave dead-ball expert Iain McIntosh the chance to measure another excellent delivery into the Saints box which Euan McDiarmid headed wide at the far post under pressure from Dylan Anderson.
Kieran Hendry robbed Stuart Lemay as he tried to usher the ball over the bye-line for a thirtieth minute goal kick. Hendry then beat Scott MacLennan at his near post however Referee Michael Fox harshly disallowed the goal for a Hendry foul on Lemay.
Sixty seconds later Saints had the ball in the net again when Aaron McKay tucked away a Lewis Buchanan cut-back from the left however Mr Fox made it two disallowed goals in as many minutes when he ruled Buchanan offside.
In time added on for first half stoppages Dylan Anderson’s strong running on the left took him to the bye-line from where he picked out Kieran Hendry. Hendry spotted the supporting run of Martin Bonar and rolled the ball into the big central midfielder’s path however Bonar’s usual keen eye for goal deserted him on this occasion and his shot hit the side netting.
Saints started the second half well without testing Scott MacLennan with Craig Livingstone heading a Dylan Anderson cross wide and Kieran Hendry sending a decent effort dipping inches over the crossbar after cutting in from the left.
Gavin Forgrieve’s jinking run into the Giffnock box on the hour mark was brought to a halt by Euan McDiarmid whose challenge sent Forgrieve tumbling. Referee Fox, much to the bemusement of the entire Saints contingent, saw nothing wrong with McDiarmid’s challenge and dismissed the loud appeals for a penalty kick.
Aaron McKay’s low sixty fifth minute shot across Scott MacLennan beat the Giffnock keeper’s right hand but also the far post as the breakthrough continued to elude Saints.
The deadlock was broken in the sixty eighth minute when Kieran Hendry beat the Giffnock offside trap to get on the end of a Dylan Anderson through ball. Scott MacLennan came out to the edge of his box to intercept the pass but Hendry got there before him and calmly slotted the ball into the unguarded net.
Ruaridh Buchanan replaced Dylan Anderson after seventy seven minutes joining brother Lewis in attack with Aaron McKay moving to left wing back.
Hearts were in mouths on the Saints touchline when Sam Webb’s speculative eighty first minute effort from wide on the left looped high over Murdo MacKenzie before landing on top of the crossbar and bouncing behind.
Ruaridh Horne made way for Andrew Barclay with nine minutes remaining with the youngster joining Kenneth Black and Thomas McCrindle in the back three.
The Buchanan brothers strike partnership was brought to an end in the eighty sixth minute when Lewis made way for yet another Saints youth product Lewis Campbell.
The home side kept pressing but Saints defended well and just as it looked as though Saints had done enough to secure the victory two valuable points were snatched from the right at the death. Martin Bonar got back to help out his defence and concede a ninety second minute corner kick. The delivery from the left was headed back in the direction it came from however a second delivery looped over the Saints defence and was met perfectly at the back post by Giffnock Skipper Callum Brook whose header from two yards arrowed back across Murdo MacKenzie and into the net.
There was barely enough time left on the clock to restart the match and Mr Fox brought proceedings to a close with honours even.
Oban Saints GG have no fixture this coming Saturday while the first team return to Central Scottish Amateur Football League Premier Division action with a visit from Gartcosh United.