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Largs Colts continue march towards league title

Written by  Largs Colts 2002

Fixture: KSC Barca v Largs Colts U14's
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA
Venue: Kilwinning Sports Centre
Date: Saturday 16th April 2016
For the third weekend in a row Colts made the trip to Kilwinning, this time to face a strong KSC Barca side who were still potential contenders for the league title. Colts had some difficult decisions to make in terms of line up, given recent performances, but they stood by the side that started the last few weeks. Irwin had the gloves behind the central defensive pair of Weir and Robson. The full backs were 
Barbour and Loudon, right and left respectively. The midfield four had R. Coupar, Bainbridge, Cormack and McTaggart. Up front, again, were Smith and Brown after they both netted doubles last week. The squad was completed by subs J. Coupar, MacNeil,
Blair, Leishman and Florence. 
The KSC pitch was sloped and bumpy and something Colts would need to get used to over the coming weeks as they play a number of away games. The early play was open with the first attempt on goal from R. Coupar, who shot just wide of the target. 
In the tenth minute Smith made a good run to receive the ball inside the box but he was well covered by the ‘keeper who claimed the ball, and Smith, at the same time. Five minutes later Cormack found space inside the area but could only put the ball just over the bar. Colts had a scare in the 18th when Barbour’s pass back was short but the pace of Weir came to Colts rescue. 
Colts were piling on the pressure at this stage with Smith and Brown both coming close before Robson was clearly pulled back by the ‘keeper when he looked certain to score only for the referee to wave away the claims. Smith then played in Brown, for an effort on goal, before a great move down the left, involving 
Bainbridge, Smith and Brown, found the head of Cormack. However, his headed attempt flew inches past the post. 
Barca were only in the game occasionally but demonstrated that they are a very capable side. Colts had to react well, in the 25th minute, before breaking back up the field for Brown to tuck the ball into the net after R. Coupar had forced an error in the Barca defence. Barbour was getting forward well, down the right flank, and successfully created an opening for Cormack to shoot, but his attempt went just wide. 
Barca pushed once again, as the first half drew to a close, before another quick Colts break, down the left, saw Brown neatly play the ball for Bainbridge to run onto and slot home the game’s second.
Half Time: KSC Barca 0-2 Largs Colts
Barca started the second half very well and were the better side for the first 10 minutes. The home side won a couple of corners though Colts dealt well with the aerial threat. In the middle of the park R. Coupar was controlling the play well for Colts with plenty of options available left and right. 
In the 45th minute Brown had a chance, which he couldn’t take. However, just a minute later a square ball found Brown 10 yards from goal and, with the keeper advancing on the Colts striker, Brown deftly chipped the ball over the keeper and into the net to make it 3-0. 
McTaggart, playing in an advanced position, then found himself defending superbly well to clear a dangerous looking Barca move. 
Colts were back in control and a neat move from Bainbridge, Smith, and then to Brown opened up another opportunity. However, once again the shot was wide of the target. 
Bainbridge was more influential in the second period and, following a good run, he fired a shot wide of the mark. The Barca keeper then pulled off a great stop to deny Brown his hat-trick. Goalkeeper, Irwin, had little to do but he claimed well from a Barca corner when he was called into action. 
In the 65th minute another Barca corner did find the head of a tall defender though, thankfully for Colts, the ball cleared the bar. 
With two minutes left, Smith and Bainbridge combined well before Smith struck only for the keeper to, again, save well. Colts created further chances but weren’t able to increase the margin before the final whistle sounded.
Full Time: KSC Barca 0-3 Largs Colts
All things considered this was another excellent performance and result. KSC Barca are a strong, physical side and they were determined to make it hard for Largs. Colts though have the ability to stand up to the physical side and at the same time move the ball quickly and it was this that was the difference between the sides. R. Coupar had another very strong game in the middle and was ably supported by McTaggart, 
Bainbridge and Cormack. At the back all four defenders played very well with Barbour and Loudon offering well in attack. Robson and Weir also ably supported Irwin in keeping another excellent clean sheet. The front pair of Smith and Brown started playing a little too far wide but, when they moved into a more advanced central role, created well. It was a close call for man of the match but the clinical Brown, with two goals and an assist, took the honours.
Colts have now won their last twelve games in a row and remain two points behind league leaders AC Irvine. The Largs boys now have a number of midweek games to play, as well as Saturdays, with the first being a trip to face a tough Ayr Boswell side on Tuesday 19th April, followed by another away day at Coylton on Saturday.
You can follow the boys’ progress on twitter (www.twitter.com/largscolts2002) @LargsColts2002 or on the website at www.clubwebsite.co.uk/largscolts2002
Largs Colts:  Irwin (GK), Barbour, Loudon, Weir, Robson R.Coupar(C), Bainbridge, Cormack, McTaggart, Smith, Brown  Subs:  MacNeil, Leishman, J.Coupar, Blair, Florence.
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