The Colts entered the game against New Town rivals East Kilbride FC against a back drop of disparaging comments made by the opposition manager, which suggested that a strong referee was needed for the game which would be a �physical battle�. He also hoped that his players would not be singled out for �rough treatment� as they were in the previous fixture but that he expected the Colts to adopt a similar approach in today�s game. Harsh word to say the least from an experienced professional, the Colts since joining the league have been seen as a breath of fresh air and have been praised by a number of teams for their free flowing passing game, their young side does not have a physical player in its ranks, which may be seen by some as a weakness.
Mr Stark�s comments may or may not have had a bearing on the outcome, however this was certainly being questioned when the young inexperienced referee made a decision to send off Gavin Lachlan for a tackle that had little to no contact, this certainly left the Colts fans thinking Mr Starks mind games had played a part. This decision ended the encounter as a contest, which up until that point had been an evenly balanced game of chess with both sides seeking to find a way to unlock their opposition�s defences.
The first half action got underway in 4 minutes when Colts� Lachlan tried a shot from distance which failed to trouble the opposition keeper. East Kilbride responded with a free kick attempt on the Colts� goal but their wall stood firm. The game settled in to a midfield battle for the next 15 minutes with Colts� seventeen year old, Anthony Eadie seeing a lot of that action in his first start for the club. East Kilbride increasingly began to impose themselves on the game aided by some poor passing by the home side but it was the Colts who created the only other chance of the half when they were awarded a free kick when Fergus was manhandled at the edge of the box as he broke through. The home fans were left baffled as to why no card was shown to the East Kilbride defender as he had clearly prevented Fergus from driving into the box and having a clear shot at goal.
The resultant free kick came to nothing however and both teams left the park at half time with no goals to show for their efforts
The second half commenced with neither side making any changes and it was East Kilbride who started on the front foot with a couple of early corners that were defended well by the home side.
The whole direction of the game was altered on the 50th minute however when the referee decided to make his mark on the game by sending Colts� Lachlan off with a straight red card for what he deemed to be serious foul play. Suffice to say, he was the only one in the ground who thought so as it was clear that Lachlan had made attempts to avoid the collision and had very definitely not left his foot in!
This injustice was compounded almost immediately when Gibbons for East Kilbride latched onto the resultant free kick and lashed the ball home after driving into the Colts� penalty area.
Colts responded quickly and where unlucky not to draw level from a Holme�s shot from distance after he had cut inside from the right. Colts then came close from a corner kick and were hard done to by the referee when he failed to see a blatant hand ball in the East Kilbride penalty area.
10 man Colts� efforts began to take a toll on their legs and this was shown by East Kilbride�s� second goal when the home defence failed to cut out a through ball to McNeil who calmly rounded Purves in the Colts� goal before slotting home in the 69th minute.
A flurry of substitutions culminated in a 3rd goal for East Kilbride when, with his first touch, Prunty netted with his head after meeting a cross into the box by Strachan. Not to be outdone by his team mate, substitute Declan Hughes netted for the away side with the pick of the goals when he rattled a 30-yard shot into the top corner.
A disappointing result for the young Colts� side who had given as much as they got from the league champions, unfortunately on the day their cause was not helped by an inept display of refereeing.
Next up is another home game on Friday night against Gretna FC 2008, 7.45pm kick off under the Broadwood Lights.