Glenvale Reds was the latest team to come to Bute to play the under 16s, writes coach Roddie Leitch, as the local side aim for a load of points before the Christmas break in eight weeks to bolster their title push in the new year.
Glenvale came across the water in fine form themselves though and were aiming to be the first team in over 15 months to take all 3 points away and if not for some inspired goalkeeping from Bute Youth Football Coaching’s goalkeeper Jordan Leitch they would have.
From the very first minute Bute were on the back foot, but some poor finishing from the Glenvale centre forward, who probably could not believe the space he was in, kept it 0-0 early doors.
A fine 1 on 1 stop from Jordan and another stop minutes later from a low drive kept the home side in the game.
All the boys didn’t really look at the races and it was really only niven shaw and vice captain Ewan Mulholland who got pass marks in the first 20 minutes. Ryan Driver who was wide on the right also played well and it was his fine run with a dangerous cross which was the highlight of the first half hour for the home team.
Ciaran Woods, with Kyle Menzies at centre half, were struggling to cope with the two Glenvale strikers and attack after attack from the visiting side who were unlucky not to be in the lead. Liam graham was moved from left back to centre mid and hit a beauty from half was which beat the keeper. At half-time the score was 1-0 to Bute.
The second half started the way the first half had and it was all Glenvale who must have felt very hard done by, but with ten minutes gone a through ball took a deflection and kicked up onto Ciaran’s hand resulting in a penalty. A well taken penalty gave diving Jordan no chance and evened things up at 1-1.
Niven Shaw was taking the game to Glenvale single handedly and was unlucky with a low drive with 25 minutes left. It was only a blip for Glenvale though who immediately came on the offensive again winning a corner on the right. A neat cross-in found the smallest person on the pitch unmarked who powered a header into the corner of the net to take a deserved 2-1 lead.
Ciaran Woods then made things worse and picked up a second yellow ten minutes before the end and the ten men of Bute looked like picking up their first home defeat in over 15 months.
As a team we have always decided that if you are getting beaten late on you may as well be well beaten than go out with a whimper, the boys really picked up the pace.
The final five minutes looked like the team we have all year and we pushed five players up front with only Kyle and Josh Cowan in defence.
A great ball in from CJ late on with a well-timed flick from Lewis Miller resulted in a corner with minutes left. Niven played in a great cross which the keeper parried onto his own crossbar and with big Jonah Templeton thundering towards it there was only ever going to be one winner. He made no mistake from 6 yards and scored to make it 2-2.
The game finished at 2-2 and the boys can count themselves very lucky to come away with a point and keep their 15 month unbeaten run intact.
Too many players just looked like they didn’t care and really need to take a look at themselves. The basics are there but the boys need to learn that points just don’t come they need to be earned.
Thanks again to Delta Foods for sponsoring the game, and well done to man of the match Jordan Leitch.