Fixture: KSC Barca v Largs Colts U14
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA League Cup
Venue: Kilwinning Sports Centre
Date: Saturday 6th February 2016
Largs Colts travelled down to Kilwinning to meet old rivals KSC Barca in the first round of the league cup. With many games off due to the horrendous weather, killing off pitches all over the place, the Colts side welcomed the fact the game was on astroturf, which suits the style of football played by the boys.
Colts started strongly and had the hosts under pressure early. On three minutes, a neat ball was played through to Brown and just as he was about to pull the trigger, he was taken down for a clear penalty. Unfortunately for the Barca defender the referee had no option but to show the red card and they were down to ten men. Bainbridge stepped up to take responsibility and struck it well to the keepers left, but the keeper pulled off a fantastic stop to keep the scores level.
Using the extra man to their advantage, Colts kept up the pressure and on seven minutes a free kick from 35 yards was struck by Smith and it just cleared the bar with the keeper helpless. A few minutes later Brown was played through though the keeper saved well. Was it going to be one of those days for Colts?
Smith then received a ball from Brown and struck for goal, just wide of the target. Colts were dominating play, as you would expect with the extra man. Bainbridge then tried to chip the keeper but again it was well taken. R.Coupar struck from distance, again on target, and again saved well. Smith and Blair then had efforts just wide of target. Just before half time keeper Irwin tried to take a quick goal kick and put it straight to the Barca player 20 yards from goal. Fortunately for Largs the striker couldn’t hit the target. A major let off.
Half Time: KSC Barca 0-0 Largs Colts
Largs were frustrated not to capitalise on the extra man and started the second period just as they had begun the first. A neat move down the right played in Blair who had his effort saved. Barca were getting more of the ball at this stage and they had an effort from a free kick which went wide of the target.
Blair then went on a great run for Largs and tried to finish with the outside of his right foot when power may have been a better option. The midfield four in particular were working very hard to break up play and to set up chances. On 39 minutes a ball by R.Coupar found Brown who couldn’t get enough power on his header and it was saved.
After relentless pressure, the deadlock was finally broken when a good move resulted in Cormack striking for goal. When the keeper could only parry Brown was on hand to put the ball into the empty net. The goal was a huge relief for everyone as it looked like it was going to be one of those days for Colts.
Colts looked to get a decisive second and it was Bainbridge who created space and struck with power only for the ball to crash off the bar. The rebound fell to Cormack who struck and it came back for Blair with the ball just evading the speedy striker and the chance was gone. On 52 minutes Brown made way for J.Coupar with Smith moving up front.
Barca came back into the game at this point and were a threat with Weir clearing well and using his pace when required. Barca had a couple of corners and with just five minutes left and a goalmouth scramble looked like it would result in the equaliser but thankfully for Largs, they somehow managed to clear.
Barca kept up the pressure and Colts played on the counter attack. Although there were further chances Colts played out the remainder of the game for a hard earned, if nervous, win.
Full Time: KSC Barca 0-1 Largs Colts
Despite nobody being at their best for Largs, everybody deserved credit for the victory over a stuffy KSC Barca side. This was a workmanlike performance from the Largs boys. The midfield worked tirelessly, and the defence are due great credit for the clean sheet against an opposition that haven't failed to score this season.
Man of the Match was a close call though is awarded to Cormack for tremendous effort in closing down the dangerous Barca winger and at the same time getting involved offensively including the crucial goal.
Colts now have three home league games to look forward to starting with the other KSC side in KSC Thistle. As the league moves to the half-way stage Colts remain in second place and will be looking to keep the strong record going. If you can make it along any of the next three Saturdays Colts play at Barrfields with a 10:30 Kick Off and would really appreciate the support.
Largs Colts: Irwin (GK), Barbour Loudon, Weir, Leishman, R.Coupar(C), Bainbridge, Cormack, Smith, Brown, Blair. Subs: J.Coupar, MacNeil, Florence.