The Ants were 90 seconds away from winning the D&K Lafferty Contractors Oban Saints tournament in what was a great day at Mossfield Stadium and Glencruitten.
The Ants started off the day with a 2-0 victory over Alloa Athletic 19s in a 15 minute a half format, KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI opening the scoring in the first half before his brother PAWEL LESZCZYNSKI scored a goal of the season contender with his first touch, coming off the bench to rifle a 25 yarder right into the top corner giving the Alloa keeper no chance.
Our second match of the tournament saw us face off against Hamilton Academical 19s who had us under pressure for pretty much the full half hour, but FRASER WILLIAMS bundled home a Kris Littler throw in as the game approached injury time to give the Ants a 1-0 win and six points from six.
Our third match of the tournament had us face Dundee United 19s and a poor first half saw United take a two goal lead into the break but the Ants rallied in the second half, reducing the deficit almost immediately after the break after great play between Connor Milne and Johnny McKay saw the latter jink through 3 or 4 players and cut the ball back to FRASER WILLIAMS to lash into the net from a yard out. Despite creating a good number of chances after this, the Govan men couldn’t find an equaliser and United held on to hand the Ants their first defeat in the tournament.
The fourth match was vs South Lochaber Thistle and the Ants got back on the winning track with a 2-0 win, KAMIL LESZCZYNSKI scoring a goal at the end of the first half, and the start of the second to give us a chance of winning the tournament going into our last game which would be against tournament hosts Oban Saints.
The Ants final match took place at Mossfield Stadium and it was Oban Saints who took the lead when Donald Campbell smashed home from the edge of the box. The Ants levelled 5 minutes later when GARY MCGARROCH netted from the spot after being brought down, then the Ants took the lead when FRASER WILLIAMS gave the Saints keeper no chance with a rasping shot from inside the box to put the Ants 2-1 ahead. It remained 2-1 until the final 90 seconds when a crazy spell saw Oban score twice to run out 3-2 winners, leaving the Ants hopes of winning the tournament in tatters.
It was to be Hamilton Academical who would win the tournament after a 1-0 win v Dundee United in the last game of the day saw them beat the Tannadice youngsters on goal difference by 2 goals. The Ants finishing 3rd a point behind both sides
Speaking to the Ants website after the game Ants gaffer John Kelly said “Firstly I would like to thank Oban saints for the invitation to play in this tremendous tournament. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the Royal Hotel for putting the squad and committee up and looking after us again and also to marbill coaches for there first class transport.
The tournament its self was yet again fantastic. The teams were much more competitive than last year which made for a even better tournament.
We took up a depleted side but I cant be any more prouder of my boys for the effort they put in and to come within 90secs of winning the tournament shows you the mentality our squad has.
I think we were just physically drained at the very last minute but for me the trip was yet again another success for us and I hope the people who came to Oban with us enjoyed it.”
Heres hoping we can, if invited, hold on a bit longer next year and bring the trophy back to McKenna Park