Colts humbled at the seaside.
The Colts took an unbeaten run of four games to Greyabbey on Saturday for what was always going to be a tough game against fourth paced Rosemount 2nds. The Easter holidays, unavailability and injuries meant that several key players were missing from the normal Colts’ line-up. Conor Lally was in goal but work commitments meant he had to leave at half-time. Forward Carlos Alvarez was press-ganged into playing as a defender and full-back Robin Renwick partnered him in another make-shift defensive unit. Midfielders Sam Kyle and Tim Nelson were asked to play up front.
Islandview Park is a scenic venue with a good playing surface and Queen’s took to the field in glorious sunshine hoping to continue their excellent recent form. A strong breeze was blowing off the sea and the plan was to play against it in the first half to protect the volunteer keeper in the second period. However, Queen’s lost the toss and started the game playing with the elements in their favour.
Rosemount fielded a blend of experience and youth and began the game in determined fashion – winning tackles in midfield and causing the students problems in transition – but the Colts had the first opportunity of the game when Andrew White could not get enough contact on a header and the ball drifted past the far post. Rosemount took the lead soon afterwards when Queen’s failed to deal with a left wing attack and a home team forward slipped the ball past Lally. Moments later it was 2-0 to Rosemount. Robbie Reid brought down an opponent just inside the box and referee pointed to the spot. Lally saved brilliantly but the taker followed up to nod the loose ball into the corner unopposed.
Miss-placed or overhit passes were the order of the day for the visitors who struggled to get any sort of foothold in the contest. Jack Meegan tried manfully to make an impact down the left. His excellent cross presented Kyle with a magnificent chance but the youngster headed narrowly over the crossbar. Scoring the third goal was crucial to any hopes the students had of a recovery but it was Rosemount who got it when a long throw-in was dealt with very poorly by a stunned Colts defence and an unmarked forward tapped the ball into the net from close range to complete a disastrous first half in which the students were uncharacteristically tentative and lacking in combativeness.
Fintan Devine took over in goal for the second half and a stern team-talk from the management about meeting the physical challenge and doing the fundamentals seemed to have been heeded as Queen’s finally started stringing some passes together. A particularly fussy and inconsistent referee compounded an already difficult afternoon on a day when almost everything that could go wrong went wrong in spades.
Rosemount put the Colts’ defence under enormous pressure with high balls and crosses into the box. Devine in goal bravely defended his goal on several occasions but was often left exposed by a tiring and overworked defence. After a skirmish in the box Robbie Reid was adjudged to have handled the ball on the line following a great initial save by Devine. The unfortunate Reid received a second yellow was sent off by the referee reducing the students to ten men. Shortly afterwards Robin Renwick was forced off the field with a tight groin.
It was now one way traffic as Queen’s tried unsuccessfully to hold a rampant home attack at bay. A fifth goal arrived followed by a sixth shortly afterwards. Substitute Anton McSherry showed a bit of fight and determination and the welcome return of long-time injury victim Liam Devin added a bit of badly missing bite in midfield. However, as tiredness inevitably kicked in Rosemount added three more late goals to inflict and embarrassing and heavy defeat on the students. In truth all but a couple of players reached anything like their normal level on what was a horrible day at the office.
The Colts’ have an early opportunity to put this aberration behind then when they visit Newtownbreda on Tuesday evening (6.45). Hopefully some valuable lessons will have been learned and the lads can channel their disappointment into a much improved performance in a few days time.
Rosemount 2nds 9 – 0 Queen’s Colts