SFA South Region Challenge Cup - 1st Round
|Winner(s): No winners|
|£295 carried forward|
|Depleted Streamers show character to earn a point |
Result: Spartans EoS 1 : 1 Coldstream // EOS Premier Division
Three days after the resignation of Neil Oliver as manager, a threadbare Coldstream team showed "great character and commitment" to pick up a valuable point away to Spartans Reserves at Ainslie Park.
With caretaker manager Phil Johnson listed as the only substitute and several players carrying knocks, the Streamers were down to the bare bones. But they dug deep as a team to come from behind after being on the back foot for most of the first half.
Spartans were 1-0 up at half time, but John Crawford equalised from close range on the hour and then hit the post as Coldstream applied late pressure in an attempt to snatch an unlikely winner.
Johnson said: "The lads showed great character and commitment. I'm proud of them. It is a difficult place to come at the best of times, but particularly when you've lost your manager and there are so many players missing.
"Some of the lads were carrying knocks and others were not fully fit, so to come from a goal down and get a point was a very good result."
Dean Powling returned to the starting line-up at right-back, while midfielder Regan Graham was asked to fill in at left-back.
Sean Simpson returned in the centre of midfield in his first appearance in over a month due to an ankle injury, while Craig Heugh was handed his first start in over a year following his recent recovery from a broken collar bone.
In attack, Stuart Coyle started despite a tight hamstring and John Crawford was carrying a back strain. But with a long injury list already, there were no other options for Johnson, who had to list himself on the bench as an emergency substitute.
Spartans dominated territory and possession in the first half, but Coldstream kept a good shape and defended well.
The home side were restricted to long-range shots from outside the box and crosses which, for the most part, were dealt with comfortably by goalkeeper Mark Walters and outstanding centre-backs Kieran Ainslie and Michael Allan.
But just when it seemed as though Spartans were running out of ideas, they found an opening. It came on the half hour from a wicked cross whipped in from the right. Although Walters made a great save to stop the first header, Jamie Dishington pounced on the rebound to slot home from close range.
Spartans deserved their lead for monopolising possession. But the goal forced Coldstream to be more adventurous in an attempt to get something out of the game.
The Streamers made a positive start to the second half and grabbed an equaliser on the hour when a corner fell into the path of an unmarked Crawford at the back post and he made no mistake by firing into the net from four yards.
With Stuart Coyle's hamstring injury getting worse, he was immediately replaced by Johnson before play restarted.
Had their been another sub, Sean Simpson would have been next. But he moved up front instead so that he could battle on and see out the 90 minutes.
At the back, Ainslie and Allan remained solid and Walters pulled off a terrific save to keep the score at 1-1. But despite tiring, Coldstream pressed forward in the last 20 minutes, Heugh cutting in from the left to cause the home defence problems.
As the game stretched, Crawford headed against the post and Coldstream created other half chances. But Spartans also had more space to threaten too.
In the end, Coldstream were happy to take a point.
Coldstream: Walters, Powling, Graham, Allan, Ainslie, S Simpson, Rutherford, Hebdon, Crawford (C), Coyle (Johnson 61), Heugh. SUB - Johnson.
|Neil Oliver parts company with Coldstream |
Manager Neil Oliver has resigned after nearly ten months in charge at Home Park.
The former Duns boss took training at Home Park last night, but contacted chairman Steve Wright this morning to announce his decision to stand down.
Oliver said: “I’ve lost that drive to do well. The club have been excellent to me since I’ve been here and the players have applied themselves well.
“But when you lose that drive and motivation it is not fair on the club and the players to continue.
“I’d like to thank the club for the opportunity they have given me here and wish the club and the players all the best for the future.”
Coldstream chairman Steve Wright added: “We would like to thank Neil for all his efforts since he joined us last season.
“It is disappointing that things didn’t work out, but we wish Neil well for the future.
“We now need to concentrate on making the rest of the season a success."
Phil Johnson will take interim charge of the team, assisted by Stephen Roughead and Jimmy Taylor, for Saturday's match away to Spartans Reserves. The club committee will meet on Monday to discuss what happens next.
Coldstream are currently second bottom of the East of Scotland Premier Division after losing at home to bottom club Stirling University Reserves on Saturday.
Oliver, who lives in Berwick and played for Berwick Rangers, Blackburn Rovers and Falkirk during his playing career, took over in February following the resignation of Andrew Gibson and kept Coldstream in the Premier Division last season.
Pictured right - Neil Oliver.
|Students record first league win over lacklustre Streamers |
Result: Coldstream 0 : 2 Stirling University Reserves // EOS Premier Division
Coldstream’s momentum came to a halt as they became the first Premier Division team to drop points to Stirling University Reserves.
Two goals from man-of-the-match Elliot Sutcliffe gave the visitors a deserved win against a depleted Coldstream side missing a host of key players .
Neil Oliver’s men went into the game in reasonably good form having followed a solid performance in the Scottish Cup defeat to Edinburgh City with four league points from two away games in the capital.
But this was a fixture they would have expected to win given the poor start Stirling have made to the season. The Students went into the game with no points after six league games. They finished it still bottom, but just one point behind the Streamers.
To compound what was a miserable day for the Home Park club, injuries to two more key players mean the squad is being stretched to its limits.
Conor Devaney has been playing through the pain barrier in recent weeks, but the midfielder’s hernia took its toll shortly before half time and he had to be replaced. He needs an operation and is likely to be out for six weeks.
Striker Kris O’Neil called off on the morning of this match having sustained a metatarsal injury in midweek which will sideline him for a similar length of time.
They join defender Greg Hay and midfielder Ben Jackson on the long-term injury list. Jack Hay and Jonny Simpson were both suspended for this game and, for different reasons, won’t be available for another month.
Trialist Rudy McLeod was handed his debut at right-back, while midfielder Andy Douglas was drafted back in before he leaves to go travelling down under. New players are needed urgently.
Stirling may be short of confidence, but they had the edge over Coldstream in terms of fitness and sharpness.
Sutcliffe, a beanpole striker, caused the home side all sorts of problems with his superb link-up play. But his opening goal, a weak shot from the edge of the box which wrong-footed Coldstream goalkeeper Mark Walters, was a bad one to lose.
The home side created a couple of half-chances shortly before the interval. But Sutcliffe’s second goal, which came after Coldstream gave the ball away on the halfway line, wrapped up the points. His powerful strike flew into the top corner from 18 yards.
Coldstream: Walters, McLeod, Hebdon, Allan, Ainslie, Douglas, Rutherford, Devaney, Graham, Crawford (C), Coyle. SUBS - Heugh, Johnson.
Pictured right - Craig Heugh is back in a Coldstream shirt and made a second half appearance on Saturday following a long term shoulder injury.
|Streamers receive additional £10,000 grant for improvements |
The club recently received a £10,000 grant from Awards for All Scotland to replace the boiler and heating systems and alter the pavilion & interior space.
Our other main funders for the project were as follows;
Scottish Football Partnership £20,000
We are delighted with how Home Park is looking following this help and would like to thank all of our funders who have made it all of this possible. The improvements off the pitch are something to be proud of as we continue to take Coldstream Football Club onto the next level.
|Simpson dismissed for goal celebration as Streamers record first league win |
Result: Craigroyston 1 : 3 Coldstream // East of Scotland Prmeier Division
Jonny Simpson was sent off for swearing during his celebration after opening the scoring for Coldstream.
Coldstream collected their first East of Scotland Premier Division victory of the season, despite playing for an hour with ten men.
Simpson was sent off for swearing at an opponent immediately after opening the scoring on the half-hour when he collected a sublime cross-field pass from Kris O’Neil to sweep into the net.
The forward, who had already been booked, swore during his goal celebration.
But Neil Oliver’s ten men doubled their lead before half time when Jake Rutherford showed pace and strength to hit the byline and cut back for John Crawford to stab home from close range.
Regan Graham’s corner was sliced into his own net by a Craigroyston defender early in the second half to make it three, but the home side pulled one back within a minute and went on to dominate territory and possession.
Coldstream’s 10 men kept their shape well and defended stoutly. Goalkeeper Mark Walters was called on to make a couple of excellent saves as the pressure mounted, but for the most part the men in blue were comfortable soaking up the pressure and hitting on the break.
As Craigrosyton piled forward, Rutherford, Crawford and Josh Hebdon all came close to grabbing Coldstream’s fourth goal on the counter attack.
Pictured right - Jonny Simpson was dismissed for a second bookable offence during his goal celebration.
Coldstream: Walters, Powling, Hebdon, Ainslie, Allan, Devaney, J. Simpson, Rutherford, Crawford (C), O'Neil, Graham. SUBS - McLeod, Coyle, Johnson, Douglas, Heugh.