Bute Youth Football Coaching’s under-17s lost 4-3 to St Andrew’s BC at Inverclyde Academy on Saturday.
The island side reached half time 3-1 down despite hitting the crossbar three times, and faced an uphill struggle after conceding a fourth early in the second period, but staged a brave fightback and forced the hosts to play seven at the back in the closing stages to protect their slender lead.
St Andrew’s opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a well taken header, but Bute levelled with their first attack of the day, Kieran Fenner playing in Nico McBride whose inside-out pass picked out Matthew Leitch to round the keeper and roll in the equaliser.
But the home side opened up a two-goal advantage at the interval thanks to two goals which looked suspiciously offside, and with Bute facing the prospect of playing into the wind in the second half the islanders were left with a tough task - which was made even tougher when St Andrew’s added a fourth.
Coach Roddie Leitch changed the Bute formation to a 3-4-3 in the hope of changing the game, and the switch soon had an effect, with Scott McAlister sending a looping header into the net after a flurry of corners from the visitors.
Bute went on to dominate the closing half hour, and McAlister reduced the leeway further from the penalty spot after Leitch was brought down, but despite laying siege to the St Andrew’s goal and hitting the crossbar for a fourth time, the visitors were unable to snatch an equaliser.
* Full match report in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, October 31.