x1Kenny Giles   
 x2Blair Bateman (u20)   
 x3David Brown   
Off45x4Danny McAlistair (u20)   
 x5Ryan Milne (u20)   
Off80x6Ryan Flannigan (u20)   
 x7Dylan O’Hagan (u20)   
 x8Fraser Sheridan   
 x10Conor McAteer (u20)   
Off78x11Cammy McKay (u20) Yellow Card 
On45 12Michael McGaraghan (u20)   
On78 14Josh Devine (u20)   
On80 15Mark Anthony Byrne (u20)   

12/02/2016  |  League

Cumbernauld Colts   0  v  2  Preston Athletic

Colts hosted Preston Athletic in a league encounter with the men from the East having visited Broadwood in the League Cup section earlier in the season when the home side ran out 2-0 winners. The Preston team sheet showed a number of changes from their previous visit and it was clear that the Cumbernauld side were facing a team at the limit of the under 20 age group and including the allowed over age players. The Colts also showed some changes and welcomed back Bateman, Milne and Mckay although Pirrie and Fergus were left out as they were likely to have starting berths with the first team the following day. The Cumbernauld side also had young Andrew Smart on the bench, reward for his fine performances in the under 16 side this season and showing a clear indication that the development team continues to look for talent within the club.

The Cumbernauld side started brightly and enjoyed the better of the early exchanges. Passing the ball well they took the game to Preston and looked like they were intent to make up from their disappointing defeat at Spartans the week previous. The youngsters probed at the Preston defence but failed to make any real chances in this period of the game.

Preston adopted a very physical, direct and industrial approach to the game and gradually hauled themselves back into contention and indeed started to take the upperhand. With some of the Colts youngsters finding difficulty in dealing with the Preston approach and becoming unsettled with their style of play, the visitors created a couple of chances which Giles done well to save. However midway through the half, Preston went in front when the Colts attempting to pass the ball from the back got caught and allowed the visitors to sweep a ball in from the left and in behind the home defence. Bateman managed to almost clear the danger with a last ditch sliding tackle, but the ball broke kindly for the Preston striker, and with Giles already committed, he slipped the ball into the net.

The game continued in the same untidy fashion and the visitors went further in front on the stroke of half time. A move on the right caught the Colts defence slightly square and when the ball was screwed across the goal, the Preston midfielder ran unmarked from the left to meet it at the back post and easily make it 2-0.

Half Time 0-2

Some wise words and a couple of positional changes saw the Colts come out in the second half with the intent to salvage something from the game. The youngsters began to deal with their Preston counterparts better and began to enjoy the majority of possession. However the Preston rearguard were resolute and the home side created little to worry the visitors.

Late in the game the home side did open up the visitors with some good passing and released the trialist on the left. He had a clear run in on goal but hit his shot at the keeper with the goal at his mercy. This was the last incident of note and the referee brought proceedings to an abrupt end.