Colts miss late penalty but remain unbeaten.
Manager Ian McArthur was forced into making six changes from last week for this tricky away game against a much stronger Ravenhill line-up than the one which started two weeks ago at The Dub. Injuries, promotions and unavailability meant first chances for a bevvy of new freshers who once again rose to the challenge and produced a performance that on the day merited more than one point.
A rainbow festooned the Co Down skyline as the Colts kicked-off their first away game of the season at the Billy Neill Soccer Centre. Once again the youngsters made a bright start to the game with both wide men causing problems for the Ravenhill defence. Playing the ball out from the back the Colts took the lead when a clever ball from McCourt found new centre forward Boyd. Following superb control and a one-two with Morgan, Boyd unleashed a sublime thirty five yard pile-driver which left the keeper clutching air as it hit the back of the net. A stunning debut goal from the former Sullivan Upper man.
Further good chances came and went. The Colts’ transition play was fabulous and only the killer touch around goal prevented a comfortable half-time lead.
Ravenhill – although better after the interval – rarely troubled the Queens defence and any corners and free kicks were dealt with calmly by a once again impressive back four. Following a piece of broken play the Colts conceded their first goal of the season when Ravenhill’s right wing back followed up his own well-saved effort to equalise at the far post. The students responded well and but for a couple of dubious off-side calls may well have taken the lead. With ten minutes remaining the Colts left winger was upended in the box after a mazy run and the ref pointed to the spot. Callum Rennie, usually a good striker of the ball, stepped up but dragged his shot wide. Rennie looked to have won the students another penalty moments later but in keeping with most of his afternoon the ref let the home players influence the decision.
In the circumstances this was a valuable away point for the Colts who will take their unbeaten record to Whitehead next weekend for a league game against The Eagles. The depth of the freshers’ squad is impressive and competition for places will be a feature this season.
Peter Morgan was the pick of several top performances with McCourt and Enwright showing real leadership all afternoon. Seven points out of nine is a fantastic start. The group as a whole are playing the game the right way and team spirit is building nicely.
MOTM: Peter Morgan