Fixture: Largs Colts v KSC Thistle - U14
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA
Venue: Barrfields, Largs
Date: Saturday 13th February 2016
After Cup duty last week against KSC Barca, Largs Colts were back in league action at home to the other KSC side in KSC Kilwinning Thistle. With McTaggart on holiday and Robson injured, Colts lined up with Irwin in goal, a back four of Loudon, Leishman, Weir and Barbour. A midfield four of R.Coupar, Bainbridge, Cormack and MacNeil, who was making his first start for some time. Up front Colts went with the trusted pairing of Smith and Brown. Beginning the match wrapped up warm on the bench were J. Coupar and Florence.
Colts decided to use the cold and strong breeze in the first period and were quickly on the offensive. With less than a minute played Colts had won a corner which was delivered by Bainbridge to Smith, who then found Brown inside the box and the shot went just wide of the post.
Colts kept up the pressure with a number of corners the closest of which hit the near post directly from Bainbridge. Smith then struck from distance and it just cleared the bar with the keeper beaten.
No more than a minute later and Colts took the lead when a good cross from Smith found Leishman going in a the back post for a neat finish. KSC Thistle almost equalised when the tricky striker beat both Barbour and then Weir before striking just wide of the right hand upright. A bit of a let off for the home side.
On eighteen minutes, Colts doubled the lead when Bainbridge made a trademark powerful run into the box and struck his effort well. The keeper did well to parry his effort, but could only push the ball into the path of Brown, and the striker was on hand to tuck the ball away for Colts second of the game.
KSC Thistle were feeling the full effect of a Colts team playing at the top of their game, and it was that man Leishman again who made it three. The ball was half cleared by the KSC defence and Leishman struck from 25 yards into the corner of the net for his second and Colts third.
The last chance of the first half fell to Cormack, as he rattled the upright after a corner from Colts was cleared to the edge of the Thistle box.
Half Time: Largs Colts 3-0 KSC Thistle
Into the second half and J.Coupar braved the cold to take to the pitch in a straight swap for MacNeil. KSC Thistle had the advantage of the strong breeze and Colts setup with a high line to combat the risk.
In the early stages there were no clear cut opportunities for either side before Leishman, who was carrying a knock, was replaced by Florence with Colts moving to a back three.
Colts made the game safe with twenty minutes remaining. A very good passing move ended with Florence finding J.Coupar who laid the ball into the path of Smith and the striker finished superbly into the bottom right corner of the net.
Colts really turned on the style after this with some outstanding short passing football. One move had around 20 passes from wide well inside the Colts half all the way through before the final shot went just wide of the target.
Colts were occasionally under pressure with Thistle playing well on the break, though Irwin and his defenders were well set on keeping that clean sheet. With little over five minutes remaining, J. Coupar, after some nifty footwork had set himself clear, fed Brown and the big striker finished in some style to wrap up a superb Largs Colts performance.
Full Time: Largs Colts 5-0 KSC Thistle
A really big step up in the performance level from Largs Colts from their outing last week against KSC Barca. An excellent display in penetration football and fantastic finishing from the boys. Also, only one goal conceded in four games in 2016 so far. Irwin and his defenders can be very proud of that.
Man of the match this week goes to Bainbridge. His all round display an absolute joy to watch. However, the whole team were excellent. The boys are still very much in the hunt for the league title, and with our next two games being at home we need to make these count. Get yourself down to support the boys.
Largs Colts: Irwin (GK), Barbour, Loudon, Weir, Leishman, R.Coupar(C), Bainbridge, Cormack, MacNeil, Smith, Brown Subs: J.Coupar, Florence.