|CB||5||Andy Ward (c)|
|CM||7||Ross Ballantyne (vc)|
Friday night football as the Colts returned to Lowland League duty, welcoming BSC Glasgow to Broadwood on a cold and blustery evening under the lights. Despite their recent Scottish cup disappointment at Stirling Albion the Colts came into this one looking to extend their impressive Lowland League unbeaten run to 3 calendar months, their last defeat coming on September 9th.
Two changes in the starting lineup, George replacing Doohan in goal and Black coming in wide with Broadfoot dropping into midfield, Munn the man missing out.
The opening stages of the game provided nothing of any real note in either goalmouth with neither keeper called into action. BSC certainly shaded the play, pressing harder and moving the ball sharper than their hosts, but in reality the only moment of note was the match official being asked by the players to change his top as he'd decided to wear the same colour as the 10 Colts outfield players, apparently in order to avoid wearing the same colour as the goalkeeper. After receiving a few passes it became clear that perhaps wasn't the correct decision so play was stopped as he changed.
To add to that colour confusion that Colts played in their away black kits and kicked against their normal side first half, with BSC wearing yellow. There may have been a few double take moments for any home fans turning up late!
Midway through the first half and the first effort on target came from Black as O'Neill delivered a fine cross that just evaded Selkirk centrally, Black round the back drawing a fine save at the near post from BSC keeper Moore. And Black was the man who came close again moments later as he latched onto a fine Kirwan delivery from the left but headed over the bar under little pressure when he may feel he should have at least made the keeper work.
At the other end BSC had caused plenty of problems for the home defence, getting into several good positions but unable to test George in the home goal, not making the best of their fine build-up play. And given some of that play it was perhaps a surprise that the opening goal, for the visitors, was a scrappy one coming from a set play, rather than from some of that play.
A somewhat soft foul awarded on the Colts left gave BSC the opportunity to deliver into the box. The away side had many fine deliveries from wide during the game, this one not one of them as it appeared short and narrow side. The Colts defence though failed to deal with it, the forward keeping it alive by flicking into the area, where the Colts passed up another opportunity to clear before Corrieri saw his deflected effort sneak into the corner from 12 yards with George helpless as he was moving the other way.
A moment of good fortune for the visitors, but based on the play in the game hard to argue it wasn't a deserved slice of luck at that point as they were certainly on top, Colts somewhat lethargic and paying the price with the goal.
As half time approached O'Neill showed some nice footwork on the left to move past two defenders into the box but couldn't find anyone with his cross before Black forced another save from Moore in goal with a low shot to his right which the stopper gathered comfortably.
Half time and BSC went in with a 1-0 lead, Colts certainly underperforming as a group with Broadfoot and O'Neill the two in the first half who had looked most likely to provide a spark for the home side. It was certainly going to take an improved second half from the Broadwood men to get themselves back into the game.
From the off, while still not playing to the level they have reached previously, the Colts were better. Moving the ball quicker, pressing better individually and as a unit, more aggressive and going forward looking more dangerous.
O'Neill was first to test the BSC goal, cutting inside from the left and firing an effort narrowly wide of the keepers' right hand upright. Broadfoot was unlucky as a fine run from deep saw Moore in goal rush out and reach the ball just before he could nip it round him before Black narrowly missed out at the back post, rescuing the ball and turning to set up Broadfoot for a fine strike that was blocked away superbly by the defender as it looked goalbound.
The BSC skipper picked up a bizarre yellow for requesting that the assistant “pay attention”, which rather set the tone for what came later.
Before that though Munn replaced Barclay in midfield for the home side and his introduction proved to be that catalyst for the Colts, the little midfielder moving the ball quickly and injecting a little bit of tempo into the home sides play.
The equaliser came from a corner, Broadfoot delivering an excellent ball from the right which Oliver met in the centre, the ball finding the bottom right hand corner. Some dubiety about the goal as neither Oliver nor Selkirk know which one of them got the final touch (one for the dubious goals panel!), but none-the-less the Colts were back in the game and from this stage on there only looked to be one winner, the home side looking fresher than their opponents.
Selkirk and Black had efforts on target before Foggin replaced Duncan which allowed Kirwan to move to right back. That change was telling as the fullback played a fine interchange with Munn, Broadfoot and Selkirk, the ball delivered superbly across goal where O'Neill arrived at the back post. Six yards out the attacker did all he could, getting a fine effort on target with his left, but Moore in the BSC goal scrambled all the way across his line to make an excellent diving save to deny the Colts.
Then, a moment of controversy. The assistant flagged for offside but was over-ruled by the man in the middle as the ball rolled out for a Colts throw. BSC were clearly unhappy at the call and as the throw was taken into the feet of O'Neill the defender came right through him from behind with a frustrated kick out, no real intention it appeared to take the ball (the only bad tackle in the game).
A stramash ensued with the Colts players unhappy at the challenge and the BSC players unhappy at the officials.
When things settled the official rightly showed the yellow card for the initial challenge. Such was the number of players involved and really the nothing nature of it, it could have been left at that. But the official pulled in Ballantyne and the BSC midfielder, potentially not realising he had picked someone who had already been yellow carded, booking one from each side, meaning a rather harsh red for the BSC player and a yellow for Ballantyne.
And as is generally the way in these situations, the numerical advantage lasted less than 5 minutes as Ballantyne was shown a second soft yellow moments later for an adjudged hand ball on half way, reducing both teams to 10.
The home side still looked intent though to push for the winner, McDonald replacing Black and making his debut for the club with a little over 15 minutes remaining. Ten minutes later he scored his first goal for the club, Selkirk cushioning a fine lofted pass into his strike partner's path, McDonald hitting first time with his left into the corner with the aid of a slight deflection.
2-1 to the home side but there was still drama to come as BSC won a free kick 25 yards from goal. Skipper Gray, probably the best player on show on the night, stepped up and cracked a wonderful free kick flush off the crossbar with George helpless. Colts cleared away to safety and saw out the remainder of the game for a 2-1 win, making it 7 unbeaten in the league over 3 months (1 defeat in 11 all in) and 3 wins in a row in the Lowland League.
Not a vintage performance by any means, but on the weight of chances created, particularly in the final third of the game, the Colts did enough to grind out the result. They will certainly need to perform better if they want to extend this run as their final fixture of 2015 seems them travel next Saturday to take on champions Edinburgh City and Meadowbank.