Queens Colts 5 Grange Rangers IIs 1
The Colts returned to action for their first game in three weeks. Grange Rangers 2nds were the visitors on the coldest day of the season so far. In a biting cross-field wind with intermittent snow showers the Colts started brightly, forcing several corners and testing the opposition keeper with decent attempts. Paddy White in central midfield was the key man in much of the home team’s passing movements and it was he who began the sequence that led to a text book goal when the ball was ultimately squared from the left and tapped home by top scorer Morgan. Several guilt-edged chances went unconverted before a second goal for Queens arrived. Returning forward Jonny Boyd was allowed too much space in the box by a struggling visitors defence and he duly converted at the near post to give the students what looked like a comfortable lead.
Grange reacted very well and gradually began to threaten the home goal with occasional breaks down the flanks. Slack defending on one of these occasions allowed them to register a goal – a well struck effort which eluded Empsall and flew into the top corner. The Queens keeper had to be quick off his line to block another Grange effort soon after and in doing so received a hand injury (broken finger). The ship was steadied when lively winger Kyle McCullough came off his wing to head a bouncing ball over the keeper and neatly finish off into the open goal to give the Colts a richly deserved 3-1 half-time lead.
Left full-back Hugh Maguire replaced the unfortunate Empsall in goal for the second half with sub James Farahmand filling in for the defender. The home team dominated possession for a long period of the half without carving out too many clear opportunities. Maguire looked comfortable in goal on the rare occasions he was tested – his good kicking and distribution also noticeable. Queens introduced Garcia and McKeown from the bench to give the team some fresh legs which marked the beginning of a much improved spell. McCullough dribbled his way through what appeared to be the entire Grange defence and blasted high into the net to make it 4-1 and in the closing moments after another mazy run – when he could have completed his hat-trick – McCullough unselfishly passed to Jack McKeown allowing him to score his first goal for Queens. A frozen ref blew for full-time soon after the fifth goal.
This was an impressive performance from the Colts who continue to play attractive attractive football week after week. Nine Freshers and five second year players made up the squad today which bodes well for the upcoming Crowley Cup. Top performances from the likes of Morgan, Devlin, White, McCourt and Lynch but once again McCullough was the pick for man of the match.
Next up for the Colts is a trip to the seaside at Holywood where they will hope to continue this very good form.
Scorers: McCullough (2), Morgan, Boyd and McKeown.