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Oban Saints 4
Lochgilphead Red Star 0
Oban Saints secretary David Buchanan was grateful to close neighbours Lochgilphead Red Star for stepping in at short notice to provide the opposition at Oban High School 3G pitch last Saturday afternoon after Callander Thistle called off.
Strict matchday protocols, including no changing rooms and no supporters inside the perimeter fencing, were followed by both sides.
Two first half goals each from Lewis Cameron and captain Craig MacEwan gave Saints a fairly comfortable victory over a Red Star side featuring a number of youngsters which bodes well for the future of the Mid Argyll club.
Lewis Cameron opened the scoring in the 13th minute, giving Red Star keeper Ally Lewis no chance with a free-kick from 24 yards.
The visitors were dealt a blow when they lost skipper Aaron Moore through injury after 20 minutes, allowing young central midfielder Keiran Caskie a run-out on his first team debut.
A Red Star foray into Saints’ territory saw Ryan Caskie run on to Andy Weir’s ball over the top, but Saints’ veteran keeper David Dunlop forced Caskie into looking for a cutback which Ruaridh Horne intercepted, mopping up the danger.
In the 24th minute, Saints captain Craig MacEwan headed home to double the home side’s advantage.
Saints kept up the pressure and four minutes later added a third with MacEwan completing his brace.
A second change and first team debut for the visitors came on the half hour mark when young Woody Hoad replaced Ryan Caskie on the right of midfield.
Ten minutes from the break Horne sent David Beaton scurrying forward to cross for Lewis Cameron, who cushioned the ball home.
Saints posed nowhere near the threat in the second half and the visitors gained in confidence as the match progressed with Lee MacLean impressing in midfield.
Red Star gaffer Colin Weir made it a hat-trick of debuts when he gave hard-working central midfielder Angus Lewis a rest and sent on Craig Aitken. The young full back made an instant impact, racing forward on the left to fire off a shot which Dunlop was pleased to see fly over his crossbar.
The visitors deservedly kept their second half clean sheet intact when Lewis saved with his feet to deny James Ford from close range.
Red Star’s preparations for the new Scottish Amateur Football League campaign continue with a trip to Bute on Saturday July 17 to face Rothesay Brandane.
Saints winger James Ford is denied by Red Star keeper Ally Lewis. no_a28RedStarPics02