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Magnificent seven from Largs Colts as they close the gap at the top

Written by  Largs Colts 2002

Fixture: Largs Colts v Galston Youth FC U14
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFL U14
Venue: Barrfields
Date: Saturday 28th November 2015
After two late call offs Colts made a couple of changes to the starting line-up for yet another important league fixture. McTaggart and Loudon, both out with illness, were replaced by Wilson and Barbour as Colts strength in depth came into play. Galston came into the game on the back of four wins and a draw in their last five games where they netted 35 goals so Colts knew they were in for a tough test on a wet and windy Saturday morning at Barrfields.
Galston won the toss and decided to start with the elements in their favour. Indeed it was the visitors that started the better of the sides with Weir called upon early to clear up a dangerous attack. Colts have at times been profligate in front of goal, though today was certainly not one of those days. On four minutes Bainbridge took the ball down the left and played a lovely weighted pass into the area for big striker Smith who had to sprint to reach the ball. His first touch was superb to round the keeper and calmly slot the ball into the back of the net for the opener.
On seven minutes, Smith looked to return the favour with a square ball to Bainbridge to strike just wide of the target. The three more advanced midfielders in R.Coupar, Bainbridge and Cormack were winning the ball and dominating play at this stage of the game with ease. Indeed it was Bainbridge who received the ball on the left and struck sweetly into the corner of the net for Colts second and the midfielders’ second goal in two games. Adding goals to his game was the only piece missing for the impressive midfielder and Bainbridge is quickly putting that right.
Galston are an excellent footballing side and were still in the game at this stage though the Colts defence was minimising chances for the visitors. When Galston did break through, keeper Irwin was on hand to save well and preserve his clean sheet.
Colts were really dominating this game with excellent possession and creating numerous chances. The closest the Colts had come to a third goal so far was with 26 minutes on the clock, a measured through ball from Bainbridge found Brown to strike for goal, though the ball flew just wide of the target.
Wilson was next to strike at goal from 25 yards though it was well taken by the keeper. With half an hour played, Leishman, who looked to be clearly fouled, had to leave the field to be replaced by J.Coupar, with Cormack switching to left back and Brown into midfield.
 Just one minute later it was Bainbridge the provider again in setting up Smith to finish well for Colts third. Just before the break a corner from Galston needed a strong save by Irwin for another Galston corner which again was saved by Irwin to keep the sheet clean at the break.
Half Time: Largs Colts 3-0 Galston
Colts started well in the second period with R.Coupar threading an early ball through for Smith, though the keeper came off his line quickly to clear well. Galston then had a great chance to get a goal back when their left winger dinked his way past a couple of challenges and struck the ball towards goal. Thankfully for Colts it flew wide of the target.
With eleven second half minutes played it was that man Smith again showing great composure inside the 18 yard box when he went through on goal, and dinked the ball delightfully over the helpless Galston keeper to complete his hattrick.
On 51 minutes the Galston keeper cleared straight to R.Coupar just inside the centre circle. The midfielder took it first time and struck for goal, and it looked as though it was heading into the back of the net, however the keeper deserves great credit for retreating well and collecting the ball, preventing Colts from further extending their lead.
Less than a minute later Colts failed to clear and the Galston striker took advantage to reduce the deficit. Colts keeper Irwin just couldn't get the luck to keep that clean sheet he so deserved for his performances this season.
J.Coupar was next to fire and effort towards goal after some excellent footwork, though again the keeper saved. Robson then made way for MacNeil before striking sensation Smith netted his fourth of the afternoon with yet another clinical finish.
Smith almost grabbed his fifth of the game on the hour mark as R.Coupar played a wonderful ball through for the striker, but his first time shot sailed inches past the post.
Galston were playing some very good football in the match, and the small amount of chances they had were not down to poor play, but the sheer quality of the defending from the Colts defenders. They nullified any half chances Galston were looking to create, and squandered them out on numerous occasions.
With 5 minutes to play, J.Coupar layed the ball back for Blair who played it Smith to flick back to J.Coupar. The skillful striker flicked the ball over the defender and struck it powerfully, but just over the bar for what would have been an outstanding team goal.
Less than 5 minutes to play J.Coupar played the ball to Bainbridge who finished well from a tight angle for his second to make it 6-1 to the Colts.
With the last kick of the ball, Colts made it 7-1 as Smith unselfishly turned provider as he squared the ball to J.Coupar to roll the ball home for a magnificent seven for Colts on the day.
Full Time: Largs Colts 7-1 Galston
This was an outstanding performance from the Largs boys in terms of work rate and desire. The conditions were difficult and the opponents strong though on the day Colts hard work won through. It’s hard to single out players given the outstanding team performance though Cormack was tireless, Bainbridge was excellent in passing and finishing and Smith was clinical in front of goal.  The boys vote went to Smith for his four goals and general play which was excellent – arguably his best performance in a Colts jersey.
Galston will without doubt beat some of the top teams in the league this season as they have some excellent players though were just beaten by a hungrier Colts side on the day.  Credit to the boys and the coach, Hugh McNeillie, for the way Galston play the game which is great for the boys’ development.
With this result Colts stay second, five points behind leaders AC Irvine with two games in hand with Colts travelling to play the unbeaten league leaders next week in the biggest game of the season so far.
Special thanks to W & J Brown for being our match sponsors on the day.

Largs Colts:  Irwin (GK), Robson, Barbour, Weir, Leishman, R.Coupar(C), Bainbridge, Cormack, Wilson, Smith, Brown.  Subs:. J.Coupar, MacNeil, Blair.
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