Bute YFC’s under-15s produced a real five-star performance to win 5-0 away to North Kelvin United on Saturday.
The Knightswood team went into the game five points better off than their island visitors, and having beaten a raw BYFC team 5-0 in Rothesay back in September they would have gone into the game in confident mood.
But Bute, too, went into the match on a high, having won 8-0 away from home against Langcraigs seven days previously, and they were keen to turn that September loss around.
The loss of keeper Ryan Craig to shinty, however, was a big blow to the team, who have been settled during their recent period of good form, but Jordan Leitch took Ryan’s place between the sticks in a move which allowed us to play an attacking side.
The game started brightly for both sides, with all the players thriving in sunny conditions on a decent grass pitch, but it was Bute who should have broken the deadlock when a fine pass from CJ McMillan in the middle of the park sent Andy McErlean through, only for the team’s top scorer to uncharacteristically miss the target.
The next big chance fell to Liam Graham, who should have done better after a great run through, but his tame shot failed to trouble the Kelvin keeper.
In fact it was Andy’s new striking partner, Niven Shaw, who broke the deadlock when he met a great corner from Liam with a header that was sweet as a nut into the bottom corner.
The great Bute travelling support were then treated to a fine display of football from a team who were playing well from back to front; after another couple of misses from Andy it was left-winger Liam who made it 2-0 when he smashed home a long-range effort after 25 minutes.
And Andy put his early misses to bed when he bagged his 20th goal of the season - a remarkable tally considering it took him six games to open his account - sliding the ball home after a rocket shot crashed off the bar and rebounded to him with the goal at his mercy.
With a 3-0 lead at half time and the points reasonably safe, a number of changes were made to allow the boys to get some much-needed game time.
And it was a move right off the training pitch which earned Bute their fourth, Ciaran Woods and Jonah Templeton breaking up a North Kelvin attack and playing the ball in to Scott Harvey; he moved it on to CJ, who in turn found Liam on the left, and Ryan Driver made a run to the back post to tap in Liam’s pinpoint cross.
Liam completed the scoring late on with his second of the day and Bute’s fifth to round off an excellent day’s work for the island team.
Well done to CJ McMillan for his man-of-the-match award, and to Jordan Leitch for standing in for Ryan in goals and keeping a clean sheet.
Thanks also to ‘Big Dave’ for getting the kids home and to Delta Foods for once again sponsoring the match.
A special mention must also go to the travelling support, which seems to get bigger every week - it’s great to see so many parents coming to watch their kids play, and the effort does rub off on them.
The boys have a one-week break this Saturday for the Easter weekend. Enjoy!