Fixture: Largs Colts v Valspar FC
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA U14's league
This top of the table clash kicked off in the sunshine on the astro, down in Largs, with both teams determined to take the three points. Largs went with two up front, showing their intent to put pressure on the Valspar defence. They started the livelier, creating the early chances, all of which where well defended by the resolute hard working Valspar back line and the safe handling of McKenzie Hill.
Valspar were now growing into the game and creating chances of their own. Ron Mooney made a good run into the box firing into the side netting, Lewis Glass delivered a lovely cross, which Ron Mooney met with a bullet header only for the Largs keeper to pull off an excellent reaction save.
This lifted the Valspar team and they gradually wrestled control of the game from Largs deservedly putting them under pressure. Another chance was created by the lively Lewis Glass, which their keeper tipped round for a corner. The resulting corner kick was swung in too close to the big Largs goalie.
In what was now a very evenly contested game of football, between two very good teams who were both fighting for every ball and defending for their lives, clear cut chances were at a premium. The Largs Number nine tried one from distance that the in-form McKenzie Hill had to dive to his right to save & gather well on the line.
A late first half free kick was awarded to Largs on the left hand edge of the Valspar box. The ball was whipped into the near post but McKenzie was again on hand to push it round for a corner. The corner was well defended and the first half ended 0-0 with absolutely nothing between the teams.
Half Time: Largs Colts 0-0 Valspar FC
It was Valspar that started the better in the second half as they created a couple of decent chances. Craig Findlay, who's determination and work rate was outstanding having just tracked a player back to the edge of the Valspar box, was then back up the other end shutting down a defender, winning back the ball, and playing in Lewis Glass, who couldn't quite get his shot away. Glass was then shut down by Largs, summing up the work rate and determination on display from both teams.
During this period Valspar were edging the game and had three different shots on goal all saved well by a very good Largs ‘keeper. All were put out for corners but unfortunately we just could not find the all-important first goal. Another quick break away by Connor Purvis found Murray Thompson in the box and his first time shot was again well saved.
Both midfields were working tirelessly battling to try and control the game. Chrissy Callander, in particular, was all over the park and had won three or four free kicks for his endeavours. Neither defence allowed the forwards any time, or space, on the ball and, at this stage, it was hard to see where a goal would come from.
Largs were awarded a free kick, about 25 yards out, but their big number nine put it over the bar. Afterwards a decent cross found a Largs player in the box who smashed his shot goalwards only for McKenzie Hill to pull off a wonder save, somehow pushing it up onto the bar and out for a corner.
Largs whipped a good ball in from the corner and their number nine managed to get his head on the ball, which agonisingly bounced down and under McKenzie making it 1-0 to Largs.
It was an excellent reaction to going behind by the Valspar team pushing forward to find the equalising goal. Connor Purvis made a great run down the wing and kept his composure to pick out Craig Findlay in the box, who stuck it away to make it 1-1
It was a great game of football, with every player on both sides giving everything to win each ball. The game ebbed and flowed with one team on top and then the other – boys’ football at its very best.
Valspar pushed forward again desperately looking for that winning goal. It so very nearly materialised when Connor found Lewis, who broke down the wing and picked out the on rushing Murray Thompson in the box. We all held our breath as his fierce volley narrowly went over the bar. It was great build up football and just so unlucky.
The next chance fell to Largs when the ball dropped to their number nine in the box. With the Valspar defence quickly closing him down he fired over the bar. It was very nervous and tense, certainly watching it on the sidelines, as both teams were still going for the win. It could honestly have gone either way.
Full Time: Largs Colts 1-1 Valspar FC