In what was one of the closest run title showdowns in any of the DDYFA leagues, Pitfour 2003s emerged victorious at the top of the D S Rennie League table. As well as their league title triumph, they also lifted the Dundee West Anniversary Cup and the J Duffy Cup. We caught up with manager David Allan to find about their super season.
In the 2015/16 season, Pitfour narrowly missed out on the league title, but picked up silverware in the form of the Diamond Jubilee Cup and at the beginning of the 2016/17 campaign, Allan’s side were looking to build on the previous year’s success.
“After coming so close to winning the league last season, we were determined to try and go one better and win the league this season, which we did by winning our last league game against Fairmuir. Doing well in the cups is always nice and winning two cup finals as well was a lovely bonus.
“The players knew that if they played to their potential as a team then they would be successful this season. It was very hard to maintain but they have an excellent attitude and this carried them through.”
The race for the title went down to the wire, with Pitfour, Arbroath and Fairmuir all in with a shout of being crowned champions going in to the closing weeks of the season. In the end, Pitfour finished two points clear of second place Arbroath, and six points clear of Fairmuir in third.
And Allan knew that the matches against their two nearest rivals would be crucial in deciding the destination of the league title come the end of the season.
“There is very little between all three teams with each of us knowing that whoever took the most points in these games would probably win the league. We lost 3-0 to Arbroath at home then drew 2-2 with them in Arbroath.
“We managed to beat Fairmuir 4-0 home and away. We gained seven points out of the possible 12 in games against each other. Arbroath gained five out of 12 and Fairmuir gained four out of 12.”
It was their 4-0 victory at home to Fairmuir that finally sealed the league title, and this match also featured Allan’s moment of the season.
“Our striker Alistar Alcorn scored a screamer in our must win final league game against Fairmuir. This put us 2-0 up with less than 15 minutes to go and I managed to relax slightly knowing that the league was coming our way.”
Alcorn was a key component of Pitfour’s title winning side, as he found the net 39 times over the course of the season. And he felt that second place Arbroath provided his side the toughest test.
“We had lots of hard games against them. The first won we lost 3-0, the next one won 5-3 then drew 2-2 and won 2-0 in the final.”
Alcorn and his strike partner Jordan Turnbull contributed over 70 of the 150 goals Pitfour scored this season, and there are two of his 39 strikes that stick out in Alcorn’s mind.
“Either the one against DUSC, which was a solo goal, or the one against Ferry in the cup final.”
While Pitfour were prolific in front of goal, it was their immense defensive record that saw them over the line in the big matches. With just 44 goals conceded in all competitions and five clean sheets in 12 league matches, Pitfour are proof that good strikers will win matches, but good defenders win championships.
One of the players that marshalled the defence was captain Andrew Allan. He felt that his sides success came from: “A combination of determination and a must win attitude going into every game along with our team’s ability of playing great football.”
It was one of the captain’s defensive colleagues, Rory Cromwell, that was his unsung hero of the season.
“He never asks for attention and doesn’t score often but he is an attackers worst nightmare. It’s as though he’s everywhere on the pitch no matter where you look.”
As for top scorer Alcorn, he picked an unorthodox unsung hero.
“Our coach David. He’s a great help and encourages the boys to play their best and if it wasn’t for him there would be no team.”
Despite winning the treble, Pitfour were denied the chance to add the Wellgate Cup to their trophy cabinet by fellow treble winners Dundee West. And it was their matches against Dundee West that captain Allan felt were the toughest of the season.
“Our toughest opponents this season were Dundee West, who we played twice in the Wellgate Cup, and lost in both games in very tough matches that could have gone either way. We were unfortunate to miss out on a win on either game.”
David Allan also felt that Dundee West were a good test for his side.
“Both games were very close against Dundee West and could have gone either way. They have some excellent individual players in their side, but play well as a team.”
With the 2016/17 season done and dusted, top scorer Alcorn is setting his sights on surpassing this seasons success.
“I want to win the four domestic trophies, the East Region Cup and do well in the Scottish Cup.”
Pitfour’s captain is equally ambitious.
“We want to win the league again, retain our trophies and hopefully have a long run in the Scottish and East Region Cups.”
While both players are clearly not short on confidence, their manager knows that matching their ambition will be easier said than done.
“A longer run in the Scottish Cup would be great to do, but is not a priority. We lost to Rossvale from Glasgow 3-2 in the third round of the Scottish Cup. This was our most disappointing result of the season as we felt we were the better team but lost out to two own goals and a debatable penalty.
“Like any cup competition, you want to go as far as you can. The East Region Cup has some very good Fife teams playing in it, so to get to the final will be tough.”
Captain Allan had this to say to his teammates on the back of Pitfour’s incredible campaign.
“Thanks to the coaches for their commitment and dedication. If it wasn’t for them this wouldn’t be possible and thanks to my teammates and their parents for turning up to every game and trying their hardest to get the results and hopefully we can have another great season."
Top goal scorer Alcorn added: “Keep up the hard work and David, try to turn up for training on time.”
While the manager had this to say to his players and their parents.
“Thanks to all 16 of my players for putting in such a fantastic effort in winning the treble. Their skill and determination to achieve the treble was tremendous and they have made my job easy this season in knowing that every team I sent out or every change I made in a game would be supported by all the players in the squad.
“They are a great bunch of boys who all get on very well together, especially so when considering the team is made up of boys from Scone, Perth, St Madoes, Errol, Inchture and Longforgan. A special mention must also go to the parents and friends of the boys who have supported them tremendously over the last two seasons.”
The 2003 age group is one of the most competitive around, which really highlights how impressive Pitfour’s achievement is. Both Arbroath and Fairmuir have talented squads that have scored goals for fun this season, but Pitfour’s defence have given them the edge in the matches against their title rivals.
In goal, Archie Kelly-Barton is one of, if not the best, goalkeeper in the league. And while he isn’t the busiest of goalkeepers, he always seems to pull off the important saves when required. In front of him, Andrew Allan and Rory Harrower have struck up a partnership that even the best of strikers have struggled to breach.
Up front, Alistar Alcorn and Jordan Turnbull have struck up a formidable partnership that has caused every defence issues this season, while the skilful Ben Clos offers a different attacking dimension from the right of midfield.
Next season, Pitfour will more than likely be involved in a four-way race with Arbroath, Fairmuir and Dundee West for the league title and domestic cups. While they will be seen as the ones to beat by every team in the 2003 league, they have the strength in depth and the character to go and win more silverware in the coming seasons.
As for the East Region Cup and Scottish Cup, any side that fancies themselves to go and win these competitions will want to avoid Pitfour, who should be backing themselves to go and challenge for at least the East Region Cup.
Pitfour 2003 Treble Winning Squad: Archie Kelly-Barton, Rory Harrower, Dylan Wright, Ben Clos, Kairn Brand, Charlie Edward, Ross Cameron, Andrew Allan (c), Ethan Thom, Oliver Farquharson, Matthew Glen, Jordan Turnbull, Jamie McRae, Alistar Alcorn, Jacob Edwards, Rory Cromwell