'He was the best player on the park' - Camelon Juniors' under-20s ace earns praise from boss Gordon Wylde despite defeat

Camelon Juniors manager Gordon Wylde reckons his side’s performance against St Andrews in the King Cup third round on Saturday afternoon bodes well for the future, despite watching the Mariners eventually lose out 3-1 to the Fife outfit.
Kevin Fotheringham was one of Camelon Juniors' senior stars involved in the tieKevin Fotheringham was one of Camelon Juniors' senior stars involved in the tie
Kevin Fotheringham was one of Camelon Juniors' senior stars involved in the tie

A host of the club’s under-20s were thrust into first-team action due to a handful of players being cup-tied, and the boss was full of praise for their efforts against Robbie Raeside’s team.

"I wasn’t too disappointed despite the result,” Wylde said. “We had wholesale changes again for obvious reasons due to things like players being cup-tied. We had four of our under-20s come into the team and they stepped up to the mark.

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“The spine of the team ended off being younger boys and they stood up to the test from a really physical side. The best player on the park was our 17-year-old centre-half James Mallon. He dealt with an experienced old-fashioned junior striker well.

St Andrews United forward Lewis Sawers’ nets from the spot in the first half, scoring past Camelon Juniors’ Nathan Kuhn to make it 1-0 to the away side (Pictures by Scott Louden)St Andrews United forward Lewis Sawers’ nets from the spot in the first half, scoring past Camelon Juniors’ Nathan Kuhn to make it 1-0 to the away side (Pictures by Scott Louden)
St Andrews United forward Lewis Sawers’ nets from the spot in the first half, scoring past Camelon Juniors’ Nathan Kuhn to make it 1-0 to the away side (Pictures by Scott Louden)

“Ryan Wilson stood up and scored our penalty too and these guys had an impact on the game.

“There was nothing in the match and the application of the young lads really gives me hope for the future and it helps me going into next season – you plan ahead and I am now thinking maybe we don’t need as many coming in if your own can step up.

“Chopping and changing doesn’t help either when you are looking to build a winning team but it is something that cannot be helped in the cup.”

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The Mariners now take on table-toppers Glenrothes on Saturday as they look to avoid a double East of Scotland relegation. Camelon currently sit in 12th spot in the First Division, four points above the drop zone, but having played four more time than Lochore Welfare in 14th position.

Five of Camelon Juniors' under-20s squad played their part against St AndrewsFive of Camelon Juniors' under-20s squad played their part against St Andrews
Five of Camelon Juniors' under-20s squad played their part against St Andrews

Wylde admits that the King Cup tie wasn’t all that important in the scheme of things. “We need to stay in this division and that is the only thing I care about at the moment,” he said. “ We have a massive game on Saturday against top-of-the-table Glenrothes.

"I think we will give them a game and that playing a team up the top end will suit us as they will hopefully attack us and allow us to not just play against a packed defence.

"We’ve played the teams around us and they make it so difficult to play any sort of football.”