Jonah Templeton attained his second man of the match of the season in Bute Youth Football Coaching’s Under 15s first ever win in the Paisley and District league, writes coach Roddie Leitch.
The boys have been knocking on the door for weeks now, and if it had not been for shutting down in games for 10-15 minutes each week, may have had a win long before now.
Everything seemed to point to a bad day for the home side when other sporting commitments and holidays saw the squad without a recognised keeper and without influential midfielder CJ McMillan. Liam Graham stepped up to take his place between the sticks and a new look 4-3-3 formation to accommodate the changes.
The boys were up and ready to go at 6.40am to travel to Eaglesham for a 10am kick off against Stamperland Juniors, and after nearly three hours of travel arrived a bit weary and tired. A good warm up though on a stunning day soon blew the cobwebs away and the game started well.
Bute came up with a few good chances, but as in previous weeks could not convert them. Josh, Jordan and Craig made up a solid midfield, with Ryan, Andy and Lewis making the running up top. An early injury to Lewis saw him make way for Jack Reynolds who started giving the home side problems almost immediately.
It was against the run of play, though, that Bute fell behind, after a corner was not properly cleared the ball was bundled past Liam into the net to see the home side take a mid-half lead. The boys pressed for an equaliser but the half time whistle blew. 1-0 Stamperland.
The boys started well in the second half with Jonah and Ciaran playing well in defence which gave the midfield a chance to shine. Jack Reynolds chased down a lost cause and managed to square it into the middle, leaving Ryan Driver to smash it home from close range to make it 1-1.
It was one way traffic for the next 20 minutes with the boys playing some of the best football they have played this season. Andy McErleans thunderbolt from 18 yards, which flew into the net, gave the boys a deserved 2-1 lead.
The early start and all the hard work had taken its toll. With the strikers and midfielders running on empty it was up to the back four of Ronan, Jonah, Ciaran and Niven, along with debutant keeper Liam to save the points. Tackle after tackle the boys made as Stamperland were pressing for an equaliser. The save of the match coming late on when a fine low drive from the number 14 made its way through a ruck of players, Liam seeing it late got down low to his right and parried it away to safety.
The referee gave man of the match this week to Jonah Templeton for a great defensive performance, but everyone this week was superb.
Next week sees the boys travel again with an away game to high flying Hillwood. Travel arrangements will be announced when sorted.