|CB||5||Andy Ward (c)|
|65||14||Adam Asghar (Trialist)|
|17||Ross Ballantyne (vc)|
Part two of their Lowland League double header with Gretna 2008 saw the Colts travel to a blustery Raydale with Wednesday's commanding display at Broadwood fresh in the memory. On a difficult surface and with the wind a major factor this was to be a totally different, if equally pleasing for different reasons, game for the visitors.
One enforced change in the starting lineup saw Munn replace the unavailable Broadfoot in Central midfield, Ballantyne and Asghar coming in on the bench.
From the off the game was bitty, the wind and a sometimes fussy official leading to a stop (lengthy for every goal kick at the dressing room end given length of time taken to retrieve the ball) start affair with neither side really managing to find any fluency.
Colts though had the better of what was precious little in the way of goalmouth action with O'Neill firing just over from 25 yards, Hunter slipping narrowly wide from a Kirwan cross to the near post and O'Neill seeing his effort from a free kick awarded for a backpass blocked out for a corner. From said corner Oliver volleyed a flat Munn delivery narrowly wide.
At the other end Fahey was reasonably comfortable, despite numerous free kicks being hurled into his box the home side never managed to get anything on target before the Colts took the lead from one of the few passages of passing play in the game.
Hunter and O'Neill did well to rob the Gretna backline, the ball finding its way to Barclay who played a perfect pass into the run of his fellow midfielder Black on the left. Black drew the keeper before slotting back across him with his left foot into the bottom corner for 1-0 Colts.
A moment of panic almost immediately though as the home side looked for an instant response, a cross from the Colts left headed against his own crossbar by Munn from 12 yards, the Colts defence reacting quickest to clear, but a let off for sure.
1-0 at half time, the only other moments of note bookings for Hunter and Selkirk for trips, Barclay for dissent and the home number ten for a nasty looking challenge on Ward.
Into the second half which played out in a similar fashion. Aside from a free kick from distance well saved by Fahey Colts were reasonably comfortable, creating a few chances to extend their lead through Selkirk, O'Neill and Barclay but not managing to test the keeper.
There was though an excellent shout for a penalty as the home defender slid to block Hunters cross inside the box, a cross which never came as Hunter sold the dummy, as the forward turned he was tripped by the defender still on the ground from the previous attempted slide. No intent to bring Hunter down, but bring him down he did all the same, the officials between them deciding no penalty.
Colts did make the game safe though when a fine run across the area by Hunter was found with a slide rule pass, Hunter showing great awareness to pick out Selkirk 20 yards out who opened his body and curled into the top corner with his right beyond the outstretched keeper.
Further half chances came and went for Colts and with Oliver and Ward at the heart of the home defence having an excellent afternoon defensively the home side never really looked like mounting any sort of comeback, the game petering out to a 2-0 finish.
The only other moment of note the home number ten, already on a booking, fortunate not to see red for a wild swipe on Munn as the Colts midfielder ushered the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Not a game for the spectators, with little in the way of football and the hugely stop start nature, but from a Colts perspective being able to win ugly is just as impressive as being able to win pretty, the two games in the space of four days ample representations of both. With four games remaining it keeps their pursuit of fourth place in their own hands as they remain a point ahead of East Kilbride with a game in hand.
No game next Saturday for Colts, their next fixture a trip to Threave Rovers, on their best run of the season with 2 wins and a draw in their last 3 games, on Tuesday April 5th.