Fixture: Largs Colts v Rosebank United - U14
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA
Date: Saturday 27th February 2016
Largs Colts continued the run of home games by welcoming Rosebank to the carpet surface of Barrfields on lovely sunny winter’s morning in Largs. Colts made one change to the line up from last weeks starting eleven with Irwin in goal, Loudon and Barbour as full backs with Weir and Robson the central pairing. The usual personnel took up the midfield and striking positions namely R.Coupar, Bainbridge, Cormack and McTaggart, in midfield with Smith and Brown up top. Leishman, J.Coupar, Blair and Florence made up the squad of 15.
Rosebank had mixed results in the league though with comprehensive wins against top sides in KSC Barca and Valspar, Colts knew they would have to be on top form to get a result. Rosebank started brightly and had the Colts defence tested in the first two minutes. The first real chance came Largs way in the eighth minute when Brown created space for himself before spinning and shooting just wide of the target.
Seconds later and Colts did have the lead. The goal kick was controlled by R.Coupar who fed the ball into Smith. The big striker got past the visitors defence and although he could have struck for goal he laid a perfect ball across goal for Brown to tap home, superb setup play by Smith. 1-0 Colts.
Bainbridge was on the receiving end of a number of fouls and on 11 minutes, following another free kick, Weir put in a great ball into the box, but there were no takers from Colts. The Largs side have been on top form in recent weeks and the passing football at times was a real joy to watch. Smith then struck for goal on 18 minutes though it was just wide.
Just over 20 minutes into the match and Rosebank unfortunately lost a player to injury. Colts looked to take advantage of the visitors being temporarily down to 10 men and a well worked move seen R.Coupar play in Loudon on the left, and the left back was through on goal, however the keeper kept the score at 1-0 with a superb save.
On 29 minutes Colts had another clear cut chance when Smith setup Brown though he somehow missed the target. When Rosebank did put pressure on the Colts defence the back four and keeper Irwin were composed and commanding with Robson in particular standing out.
On 32 minutes and again it was the Smith, Brown combination for Colts. Smith made a good run and layed the ball off for Brown through again the ball stayed out when it seemed easier to score. Brown is normally a clinical finisher and can be happy he is getting into the right positions with more goals to come. Smith then had to leave the field just before half time for treatment before the referee brought the first half to a close.
Half Time: Largs Colts 1-0 Rosebank
Colts were very much the dominant side in the first half though with only one goal in it, Colts knew a fast start in the second half was crucial to put the game to bed, and they did so in some style. Just two minutes in and this time it was Brown the provider for Smith who finished superbly for Colts second of the game.
A minute later and there was real controversy. A good ball played in the powerful Rosebank striker. Weir however is a match for anyone at the back for Largs and he slid in to take the ball cleanly before passing the ball to Cormack. With the ball a good couple of seconds away the Rosebank striker kicked out at Weir. Unfortunately the referee did not see the incident and Weir was lifted from the field and shortly afterwards on his way to hospital. This really affected the Colts players with the coaches on to keep everyone calm at what was a very poor act from the Rosebank striker.
Back to the football and Leishman came on to replace Weir with Loudon switching to the heart of the defence. At this stage Bainbridge was getting more influential with strong runs down the left side. 49 minutes into the game and Smith put in a great ball for McTaggart who got his head to it but headed just wide of the upright.
Two minutes later and Colts made it three. This time it was a free kick and as the ball reached the back post Leishman was well advanced to score his third goal in as many games – a great return from the skillful and speedy full back. Colts were now dominating and it was Bainbridge with an excellent run down the left which was finished neatly into the bottom right corner for Colts fourth.
J.Coupar replaced Cormack and was involved in linking play with Bainbridge though the keeper saved well. Colts also brought on Blair and Florence for Barbour and Smith. With just over 5 minuts to play, Brown found J.Coupar inside the box, and he then struck for goal but for a good save from the keeper. Bainbridge was alert to the rebound but the keeper blocked once again.
McTaggart, who was carrying a knock, was then replaced by the returning Smith for the last five minutes. Colts finished the game strongly with a Smith free kick just over the bar before Florence played a lovely ball to Brown to finish to make it five for Colts.
The game, which had the flashpoint moment, had a few hard challenges being made. Blair can consider himself very unlucky to be booked when clipping the Rosebank winger shortly after coming on. Into injury time and Colts made it six when Bainbridge struck from the left and although the keeper got hands to it Florence was there to follow up and slot home.
Full Time: Largs Colts 6-0 Rosebank
The relatively good news is that Dylan Weir has only a badly bruised and swollen calf and has been told to rest for a four week period. Weir, a super fit athletics champion, is likely to defy doctor’s orders and hopefully be back within the month. The less said about the incident the better suffice to say there is no place for that in youth football.
On the football side Colts were dominant. All fifteen players took to the field again and all contributed fantastically well. On the day the coaches were unanimous that central defender Robson deserved the Man of the Match with a commanding display of aerial strength and some excellent passing out from the back.
Colts remain top of the Ayrshire league with this victory Colts have now managed five clean sheets in their six competitive games in 2016, scoring 29 in the same period – impressive stuff from the improving locals. The Largs boys have 14 games to play and at this stage it would appear to be between Colts, AC Irvine and Valspar for the title, though Barca, Galston and Boswell might have something to say about that. Next week Colts host Cumnock on Saturday 5th March at Barrfields with a 10:30 KO. All support would be most welcome.
Largs Colts: Irwin (GK), Barbour Loudon, Weir, Robson R.Coupar(C), Bainbridge, Cormack, McTaggart, Smith, Brown Subs: Leishman, J.Coupar, Florence, Blair.