Grange Academy produced a stunning come back from 2-0 down to grab a late late late 3-2 win away at Loudoun Academy. Luckily, I was on hand to witness this thriller first hand...
The Grange - my current school - and Loudoun - the school I would have enrolled in had my parents not divorced many moons ago - already had a personal feel to the game. Moreover, most of the Loudoun squad are friends and ex-teammates of mine from Boys Club football; Truly, this was set up for a game that could not be missed. With considerable knowledge of both sides, I have to admit I thought the Grange had a stronger side with a fuller squad, but you can never underestimate a Loudoun Academy side.
Of course, it was Loudoun who raced into an early lead. Elliot Kenny converted from the spot after the referee dubiously awarded a handball against Rory Jamieson. Kenny did well to score, as was up against Shaun Newman, Ayr United U-19s goalkeeper, who has a good track record of saving penalties.
It was 2-0 less than one hundred seconds later! Mattie Balls chased down Newman and his hardwork played off, as Balls got the rub of the ball as it ricocheted off of him and into the goal! Mattie was one of my ex teammates, and I think Shaun - one of my good friends - perhaps underestimated how quick he is!
It took Grange a while to get going. They were constantly pinned back, and the Loudoun captain Adam Houston (another ex teammate, who won my player of the week award between Bellfield and Southside) again was excellent.
It took the Grange twenty minutes to create anything, but with their first shot on goal they pulled one back! Jamie McNair darted on to a flick on from Grant Forbes before bearing down on goal and nutmegging goalkeeper John Hamilton. John is a great keeper (he's another ex-teammate) and I think Jamie can be proud to have finished well past him.
Bizarrely, that's really all there is for first half action. For school matches you play shorter halves anyway, and neither keeper was forced into action after McNair's goal. It became a midfield battle, with Loudoun constantly on top, with Connor Kirk and Steven Lindsay in particular impressing. Again, the latter is a former team mate, and he is an outstanding player who was given too much room to play in the first period of the game.
Half Time Loudoun Academy 2-1 Grange Academy