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Lochgilphead Red Star 0 – Oban Saints 2
Just three weeks after their last encounter, Oban Saints and closest neighbours Lochgilphead Red Star met at Lochgilphead Joint Campus on Saturday November 14.
Both sides were pleased to complete another 90 minutes while the majority of their respective league rivals remain sidelined.
Referee Jimmy Litster ensured strict matchday protocols, including no changing facilities or supporters inside the perimeter fencing, were followed.
Star passed up a good early chance in just the third minute when skipper Aaron Moore sent over a tempting cross which Chris Hart headed wide of Graham Douglas’ left hand post.
Saints responded with a Gavin Forgrieve cross from the left which Aaron McKay at the back post headed back across the face of goal but just in front of the onrushing Matty Kelly.
Red Star had Ciaran McPhie back in their ranks for this fixture and the young striker tested Douglas in the 15th minute with a snap shot from the edge of the box.
The home side were defending well and it took until the 21st minute for Saints to register their first effort on target.
Saints kept probing for openings and skipper Craig MacEwan flashed a 24th minute diving header wide of target from a Cammy Hill cross curled in from the corner of the 18-yard box.
Young Red Star keeper Ally Lewis used his feet to good effect to take an Aaron McKay right wing cutback off the toes of MacEwan, and full back Coll McCallum made a vital interception on the half hour mark to stop a through-ball reaching Hill before once again being in the right place at the right time to block a Matty Kelly shot from 20 yards.
Graham Douglas was called into action in the 36th minute, saving well from a Chris Hart shot after the Red Star striker had shaken off the attentions of Kerr Newbigging and Scott Maitland.
Saints finally found a way past Lewis in the 39th minute but Aaron McKay’s effort hit the crossbar before being thumped to safety by Kyle Selfridge.
Martin Bonar replaced Scott Johnston for Saints while Chris Hart made way for Innes Meikle for the second half.
Meikle was quickly involved in the action, heading over the Saints crossbar after good work on the right from McPhie and Andy Weir.
The deadlock was broken in the 57th minute from a quickly taken free kick by Cammy Hill after Martin Bonar had been brought down in the centre circle by James McGuiness. Hill spotted Aaron McKay in space, who cut into the box and picked out MacEwan, who was foiled from six yards by Lewis. The keeper couldn’t hold the shot, and the ball eventually fell to Gavin Forgrieve, who tapped home from four yards.
Nine minutes from time Saints midfielder Bonar, a key member of Red Star’s 2018 Premier Division Two title-winning side, passed to MacEwan, who beat the keeper with a deft chip from 28 yards.
Match report and photographs: Derek Black