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Five star performance from unbeaten Coatbridge Rovers

Coatbridge Rovers 5

Dang 10, Croal 32, 71, Corns 43, Ngambet 50

Camelon Thistle 0

  • Sunday, 12 April 2015
  • Airdrie Leisure Centre
  • Under 15´s
  • Cumbernauld and Kilsyth League

Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author

Coatbridge Rovers extended their winning streak in the league to 12 with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Camelon Thistle.
Three goals in the first half gave Rovers a comfortable advantage that they never looked like losing despite a battling display from Thistle.
Before the game the league table had these clubs just one place apart in second and third but Rovers were undoubtedly the favourites following their 4-0 victory against Thistle earlier in the season and they looked like favourites right from the off when Paul Croall’s through ball unleashed Pierre Dang who shot agonisingly wide of the left post.
Dang got a second chance to get Rovers off to the perfect start just a minute later when he cut in from the other wing and fired just wide of the right post this time. His pace and movement across the back line was causing the Thistle defence trouble from the word go.
Having survived the early pressure, Thistle got their first opportunity of the match through Alex Hutton but his shot didn’t trouble Aaron Pyott in the Rovers goal.
An inventive bicycle kick by Dang sent Liam Corns through but the driving wind and rain made it difficult for the Rovers player and his shot went over the bar. Dang and Corns switched roles for the next attack and Thistle had their goalkeeper Robbie Connelly to thank for tipping Dang’s shot onto the post and out for a corner.
The opening Rovers goal was on the way and it was that man Dang who eventually got the breakthrough. A hopeful long ball from captain Anton Dunlop in defence caught out the Thistle backline and Dang didn’t let this chance pass by, slipping it past the keeper and into the bottom corner.
Thistle weren’t out of it yet though and Ross Fairley twice set up Hutton in search for the equaliser. First from a cross that Hutton couldn’t quite get on target with the header, and then Fairley’s through ball was cut out by a great last-ditch tackle from Dunlop before Hutton could get on the end of it. The Rovers captain was proving a vital player in both attack and defence.
Sensing Thistle might be close to finding a way back into the game, Rovers stepped up the play and put some breathing space between the teams with the second. A Brad Lappin corner was met by Croall whose header was perfectly placed to leave the keeper no chance. 
Undaunted, Thistle produced their best football of the match when Rhys Campbell won the ball in midfield, played a one-two with Fairley and then fired off a long-range effort that had to be tipped onto the post by an outstretched Pyott. Campbell was having a good game in the middle of the park for Thistle, always solid in the tackle while also being their main creative outlet.
As they did earlier in the match however, Rovers responded to this pressure by stepping up a gear and getting the third. Croall’s pass to Dang was at an awkward height for the striker but he produced a delightful flick towards the onrushing Corns who took it in his stride and buried it past Connelly.
The goal came a few minutes before the half-time whistle and gave Thistle a mountain to climb in the second half.
  • Half Time:
  • Coatbridge Rovers
  • 3-0
  • Camelon Thistle
Fired up by their three-goal lead, Rovers began the second half the way they’d finished the first with Corns forcing a good save from Connelly and then substitute Harry Ngambet hitting the post from close range.
Ngambet didn’t have to wait long for his goal, however. A physical presence up front, the striker muscled a Thistle defender off the ball and slotted home to make it four. Only on trial, Ngambet’s goal and performance will surely have given Rovers’ manager Gary Flint no option but to sign him up.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, Thistle hadn’t given up and Brad Cochrane and Fairley both went close from distance.
Campbell had continued his good performance for Thistle into the second half and their best opportunity of the 45 came when he played through Steven Ford. Ford managed to round the goalkeeper and must have thought he was about to get one back for his team when suddenly Gerard O’Hanlon appeared from nowhere to get a block in and force the ball round the post. It was a great piece of defending but highlighted the lack of luck for Thistle who, despite the score, were not playing badly.
Ford was involved in everything for a spell; first coming close again after Fairley’s free-kick was headed onto him by Cochrane, and then showing his defensive side by heading clear a Rovers corner.
Rovers captain Dunlop could be heard calling for his team to compose themselves and to play the football they were capable of. He did his best to encourage a passing game but wasn't helped by the rough conditions.
The final goal came with 20 minutes to go. A good exchange of passes between Croall and substitute Euan McLean gave Croall the opportunity to get his second, which he took with ease. It was a knockout blow for Thistle and Rovers were unlucky not to increase their lead in the last quarter.
After a surging run down the left wing by Ngambet the striker looked isolated, but rather than wait for support he simply bulldozed his way through the defence before hitting the side net. Then he linked well with McLean to put through his strike partner Dang, but unfortunately Dang couldn’t get the second goal his performance deserved.
The last real chance of the match fell to to McLean who capitalised on a loose ball in the Thistle defence and was unlucky to see his effort hit the post.
It was an excellent result and performance from Coatbridge Rovers who have now won all 12 of their league matches and will feel confident about winning their games in hand to leapfrog leaders New Stevenson.
Camelon Thistle won’t be too downhearted despite the defeat as they showed great heart to keep fighting and performed better than the scoreline suggests.
  • Full Time:
  • Coatbridge Rovers
  • 5-0
  • Camelon Thistle


Coatbridge Rovers
Camelon Thistle
21. Aaron Pyott
2. Daniel Fearon
4.Aidan Cairney
5. Harry Ngambet
6. Marcus Hampson
8. Anderson Bell
9. Brad Lappin
10. Gerard O'Hanlon
11. Anton Dunlop
12. Paul Croall
15. Euan McLean
16. Pierre Dang
17. Callum Barclay
19. Liam Corns
1. Robbie Connelly
2. Steven Ford
3. Rhys Campbell
4. Aiden Binnie
5. Steven Beurskens
6. Ross Fairley
7. Ben McWatt
8. Connal McCallion
9. David Selkirk
10. Keiran Findlay
11. Alex Hutton
12. Jaimie Roddan
14. Brad Cochrane
15. Aiden Wilson
16. Andrew Fraser
17. Sean Mackenzie
Star Player
Coatbridge Rovers
Camelon Thistle
Pierre Dang was a handful for the Thistle defence from the first minute to the last. If it wasn't for some good goalkeeping and some bad luck he'd have scored a lot more than just one.
Tenacious when forced to defend and creative when allowed to roam forward, Rhys Campbell was the driving force behind almost everything positive for Camelon Thistle and his work-rate was second to none.
Magic Moment
Coatbridge Rovers
Camelon Thistle
As well putting breathing space between Rovers and Thistle, the third goal came at the perfect moment just before half time. It was a lovely piece of skill from Dang that released Corns who finished perfectly - a great team goal.
Rhys Campbell came so close with his long range effort that was tipped onto the post by Pyott. A couple of inches further away and Cambell, who won the ball to create the opportunity in the first place, would have fired Thistle back into contention.
Club Views
Coatbridge Rovers
Camelon Thistle
Gary Flint said "The boys did really well, we've been working very hard, that's us still unbeaten in the league and we took the goals really well today so it's decent. It's still along way to go, still 9 games we've got left in the season so hopefully the boys just keep working hard. They've done really well at training and are doing well in their games as well so hopefully we get there in the end."

  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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