Joy at the seaside for youngsters. Colts go top.
The Colts travelled to the Antrim Coast on Saturday for the replay of the injury-abandoned early season game with Whitehead Eagles. Manager McArthur was able to field his regular eleven with the exception of injured winger Kyle McCullough. Michael Moseneke switched to the flank and Peter Morgan partnered Iman Ghafffari up front.
The students faced a stiff breeze in the first half but after weathering some early attacks from Whitehead the youngsters began moving the ball around smartly, keeping it on the ground and breaking with effect on both flanks. Andrew Gawne in goal kicked superbly into the wind and mopped up many over-hit through balls comfortably. The students stoutly defended a number of corners from sporadic Whitehead attacks before Gawne was forced to touch a goal-bound shot onto the post to keep the score level.
Queens were playing some very attractive football and after initially losing the ball Moseneke recovered it and slipped a sublime pass to Ghaffari in the box. The striker calmly slotted home to give the Colts a deserved lead. Soon afterwards a home defender almost put through his own goal as the students pressed for a second. Enright and McCourt dealt manfully with numerous high punts from the Whitehead keeper and the students took a 1-0 lead into the interval.
With the wind now behind them the students largely dominated the second period – continuing to work the ball on the ground rather than lump it. Paddy White and Liam Devlin were the source of much of the students best moves and both were unlucky not to score as Queens pressed for an insurance goal. The Whitehead keeper was being tested regularly and it was no surprise that The Colts increased their lead when after tremendous tenacity Gaffari scored his second goal of the afternoon – hooking the ball into the net after dispossessing a defender just outside the penalty area. Queens hit the crossbar twice in a period were Whitehead struggled to contain some customary flowing football by the skillful students. From a well taken corner on the right Peter Morgan got in front of the keeper and lashed the ball high into the net to the delight of the travelling fans.
Queens pressed hard for further goals but good keeping and the woodwork kept the tally at 3-0. Whitehead had a wonderful chance to register a late consolation goal but Gawne saved brilliantly to preserve the clean sheet.
A terrific team performance which moves The Colts into first place with four games remaining. Next up is a visit to Groomsport on Thursday evening and another away game at Greenisland next Saturday. Top performers on the day were Paddy White and team captain Niall McCourt.