Joy at Stormont for clinical Colts
The Colts travelled across town to the leafy home of Civil Service on Saturday for the first stop on a six match road trip which will end their season.
Civil Service fielded a very strong and experienced team which bore no resemblance at all to the squad who the Colts easily overcame at the Dub in December.
Once again late cry-offs, field trips and injuries meant a reshuffling of the pack for Queen’s who once again used every available player. Robin Renwick was drafted in to the back four to partner John Nutman. Robbie Reid moved up to right midfield allowing Niall Greenlees to play in a central position. Sam Kyle got another start up front alongside Carlos Alvarez.
In disastrous circumstances Queen’s went behind after only a couple of minutes when a cross from the right was headed past Lewsley by the Service centre-forward. However, the reaction from the students was excellent and as the half progressed Queen’s largely controlled the contest. Good inter-play down the right flank by Reid and Riley produced a half-chance for Kyle but he was unable to get any power behind his effort.. wide players White and Reid were in top form and both were heavily involved as the students pressed for a levelling goal.
Carlos Alvarez had a shot turned onto the post by the Service keeper and it seemed only a matter of time before the students would tie things up. Finally Greenlees floated corner from the right which found Nutman who had ghosted in at the back post and the centre-back calmly slotted home from close range. Queen’s continued to play some lovely football as an excellent referee brought the half to a close at 1-1.
The message from the management was “More of the same” but some slack marking at a corner early in the second period allowed Service to take the lead. Once again the youngsters reacted well to going behind. Greenlees and Bravo dominated the midfield area – running with the ball to great effect and spraying passes to the sides and front. Queen’s forced several corners and the home keeper produced magnificent saves from both Bravo and Alvarez.
Manager McArthur introduced his two substitutes for the last twenty minutes and Queen’s went all out to get something from the match. Alvarez narrowly missed when through on goal but when presented with a similar opportunity moments later he did not disappoint – restoring parity with a well-taken left foot strike into the far corner of the net. “Go for the win” implored McArthur from the sidelines and the students duly continued to try and find a third and decisive goal. Greenlees almost scored with a lofted effort before Alvarez set up a team-mate for what looked like a a straightforward chance but the Service keeper made a tremendous block. With time running out Nutman dispossessed the Service centre-forward before playing a clever long pass to White on the left. White fed Andrews inside the box. Andrews held off his marker brilliantly and played a clever through ball which was hammered home by Bravo to give Queen’s their first lead of the match. The students comfortably saw out the remaining minutes and celebrated joyously at the end – a thoroughly deserved victory.
Niall Greenlees and John Nutman were the standout players in what was another fabulous all-round team performance from the youngsters. The team is playing an attractive brand of football and showing great energy and determination.
The Colts are in action again on Tuesday against Kelvin OB at Dixon Park 6.30 and travel to Greyabbey next weekend to take on Rosemount.
Civil Service 2 – 3 Queen’s Colts