GK1Jordan Bell (Trialist)    
 RB2Michael Oliver   
 LB3Richard Kirwan   
 CB4Alan Benton   
 CB5Andy Ward (c)   
 CM6Ross Ballantyne (vc)   
Off60RM7Robbie Duncan   
Off65CM8Jamie Barclay   
Off80CF9Gary Espener   
 CM10Andy Selkirk   
 LM11Stephen O'NeillScorer  
On65 12Jamie Broadfoot Yellow Card 
  13Kenny Giles   
  14Robbie Burns   
On60 15Dom O’Halloran   
  16Ian McIntyre   
On80 17Sean Brown   

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08/08/2015  |  League

Cumbernauld Colts   1  v  2  Edinburgh City

Three days shy of one month since their first training session and the league’s newcomers found themselves with the task of welcoming last season’s runaway Lowland League winners Edinburgh City, who have won their opening two fixtures in their title defence, to Broadwood for game number two of the Colts season.

On paper this was a tough ask for the Broadwood men, not helped by losing 3 players to Injury as a result of their exertions in Wednesday’s opening fixture to Whitehill, McCurley (knee), D. Brown (wrist) & Black (muscle) all ruled out. S. Brown and McIntyre, who only arrived back from holiday the day before, were added to the squad along with Under 20’s keeper Kenny Giles.

That meant 2 changes to the starting lineup, Barclay coming into midfield and Bell starting in goal for a home side who started the game brightly, pressing their opposition well and moving the ball confidently when in possession.

Player Photo
Colts starting lineup v Edinburgh City

In the opening stages, despite both sides enjoying good spells of possession neither keeper was troubled, Ballantyne for the Colts the first to register a shot on target as he curled into the hands of the keeper from 25 yards out following good play on the left between O’Neill and Kirwin.

Edinburgh were forced into an early substitution as a result of an injury sustained and their midfield as the teams traded blows, the visitors working a good passing move down their right that needed skipper Ward to get a toe on the pullback to stop a certain goal from close range.

The Colts were also making chances down their right with Duncan and Oliver linking to deliver a cross smuggled out for a corner on the stretch by the City skipper. From the corner Ward narrowly missed connecting from 6 yards, the ball just too high.

As we reached the midway point in the half the Colts took the lead and when it came it was the second in a week from Stephen O’Neill. The Colts midfield and defence squeezed their opponents, winning the ball high up the park with O’Neill skipping beyond the fullback with ease. As the covering midfielder looked to muscle him off the ball the tricky wide man drove beyond him, cut square 6 yards out and curled wonderfully into the top corner on the angle, the keeper helpless.

The visitor’s claims for a foul fell on deaf ears and the Colts, deservingly, held the lead.

There was an early scare for the home side after going in front as a slide rule pass from just outside the area played in the fullback running off the shoulder of Duncan, his cross cleared away by Benton before dangerous forward Allum could get to it. And there was a huge slice of luck for the home side to follow as a near identical move saw the fullback rattle a drive off the inside of the post with Bell helpless.

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The Colts too though were still an attacking force, Selkirk seeing his header from 6 yards gathered by the keeper following Ward’s delivery from the left before Michael Oliver drove forward from right back, linked with Duncan and showed great feet to skip between 2 defenders before drilling low to the keepers left with his left foot.

As the game approached the half things were looking positive for the home side, but as was the case on Wednesday they conceded an equaliser on 40 minutes. With City in possession on the left Allum made a clever offer diagonally, the long ball over the head of Kirwin at left back finding the run of the striker on 18 yards. Allum pulled the ball down with his right before checking back inside along the 18 yard line and unleashing an unstoppable drive with his left into the top corner, Bell in the home goal helpless.

It was a body blow for the Colts, who had been the match for their more experienced visitors throughout the half, but plenty for the home fans to be optimistic about as the whistle went for half time, the teams going in at 1-1.

Into the second half and the pattern of play was much the same as in the first, both teams having spells on top and creating chances, but without being able to put the ball in the net.

For the Colts a wonderful run down the left by Kirwin found the run of Barclay 6 yards out, the City defence smothering the ball away for a corner with a last ditch tackle. From the corner Barclay saw his header cleared by the defender but it fell for Duncan on the edge of the area who shot through the bodies from 18 yards, the ball cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.

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At the other end Edinburgh were denied taking the lead by an unbelievable save from Bell, reacting superbly to a point blank header and diving to his right to tip onto the crossbar, the clearance completed by Oliver. A save the keeper really had no right to make and one that kept the Colts believing they could take all 3 points from the game.

Oliver had to look sharp moments later to smuggle the ball away from a good run by the City substitute before O’Halloran, who had replaced Duncan, cut inside and drove narrowly over the bar from 20 yards with the keeper watching on helplessly.

Broadfoot, who had replaced the tiring Barclay, made a quick introduction to the game linking well with Espener and Selkirk before feeding O’Halloran wide, O’Halloran skipping beyond the tackle and pulling back towards Selkirk, the ball again smuggled away as the striker set to tap home.

Bell in the Colts goal gathered comfortably from a shot from distance before another drive forward from Kirwin picked out Broadfoot in the centre, his effort from 8 yards blocked away. And the attacking midfielder was involved moments later, played through on goal he turned his man well but couldn’t get the ball out of his feet for a strike when 1v1 with the keeper, the defence again getting across to block the effort.

Brown replaced the hard working Espener with 10 to go and nearly found himself through on goal, a lack of sharpness following his break catching up with a player who would normally drive away from the tackle in such circumstances, but the young forward was unfortunate moments later as he did get on the end of a through ball and knock it round the keeper, going down looking for a penalty. It looked soft, at best, the match official uninterested.

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As the clock ticked to 90 minutes it was the home side looking the more likely, pushing for a winner, but there was to be heartbreak as City snatched a last minute winner. A long clearance as the Colts attacked looked like it would be gathered comfortably by Kirwin, but the fullback made an uncharacteristic mistake letting the ball slide under his foot and into the path of Allum. The forward drove forward 20 yards and as the Colts defence tried in vain to cover he drilled into the bottom corner on the angle from 12 yards, sparking wild celebrations from the visiting contingent.

Harsh on the home side is an understatement, the final whistle blowing after a minute or so and depriving the Colts of any real opportunity to mount a comeback in a game where a point was the very least they deserved for their performance.

So, for the second time in a week the harsh nature of this league has been highlighted, Cumbernauld in a position where if games lasted 80 minutes (2x40), they would have 6 points having scored 3 and conceded nil. Given how quickly this squad has been assembled though everyone at the club must take great encouragement with how they have acquitted themselves in their first two games, particularly against the champions.

Next up is a trip to Forthbank to take on Stirling University on Wednesday night, kick off 19:45.