Youth football: Bute YFC claim point from thrilling draw

Matthew Leitch recovers from a knock during the first half of Bute YFC's season opener at home to Clarkston on Saturday. The injury had no lasting effects - Leitch went on to score a hat-trick in the 5-5 draw.
Matthew Leitch recovers from a knock during the first half of Bute YFC's season opener at home to Clarkston on Saturday. The injury had no lasting effects - Leitch went on to score a hat-trick in the 5-5 draw.

Matthew Leitch scored a hat-trick as Bute YFC’s under-16s secured a point in a thrilling 5-5 draw at home to Clarkston AAC in their opening league game of the season on Saturday.

The visitors took the lead with a soft penalty six minutes into the game, but Ronan Officer bundled in the equaliser midway through the first half.

Clarkston regained the lead with a goal which looked well offside just four minutes later, but Leitch’s close-range header had Bute level just before the half-hour mark – and a second Leitch header on 35 minutes have Bute a 3-2 interval lead.

Clarkston pulled level at 3-3 just two minutes after the restart, but Leitch completed his hat-trick on the hour after good work by Ryan McTaggart and Max Allan.

A defensive mistake allowed Clarkston’s number ten to complete his hat-trick in the 70th minute, and the visitors looked to have bagged all the points when they took a 5-4 lead with only six minutes left.

But Bute kept battling away and Nico McBride’s corner was bundled over the line by Lex Elliott with three minutes remaining to give the home side a well-earned draw.

* For a full report on Saturday’s match see this week’s issue of The Buteman – on sale from Thursday, September 13.