RHU Amateurs kicked off their 2020/21 Caledonian League campaign with a convincing 6-1 victory over Rothesay Brandane last Saturday.

Stewart Maule’s side showed few signs of rustiness at the DCF Park, in what was their first competitive game in more than six months.

In wet and windy conditions, not what would normally be associated with the opening day of a league season, the hosts raced into a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to Shaun Wallace’s header and a composed finish from Kyle Sharkey.

But the young Rothesay side posed enough of a threat up front to persuade Maule that a two-goal margin wasn’t going to be enough, and the Rhu coach opted to shake things up at the break, going with two up top for the second half as Callum Smith partnered first-half goalscorer Wallace.

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And the switch paid off in style for the home side as Smith netted four second-half goals, including a penalty, as Rhu pulled away from a Rothesay side whose legs began to tire as the match went on.

The only downer on an otherwise flawless performance was a late consolation that ruined Rhu goalkeeper William Brown’s hopes of a clean sheet, as Rothesay converted a spot-kick of their own through skipper Sean Lawrence.

Despite that minor blemish, Maule said afterwards that he was delighted with his team’s performance and believes there is more to come as the weeks go on.

He told the Advertiser: “In the first half, because we hadn’t really played together, we hummed and hawed in places.

“Rothesay put up a great fight but we went in 2-0 up and tweaked the formation at half-time to give the guys up front a wee bit more space and have the midfielders running on and in behind and that worked a treat, especially for big Callum.

“Some of the football we played in the second-half was great, especially on that surface.”

The Rhu boss also praised Rothesay for turning up with the weather conditions the way that they were, knowing showering and changing facilities would not be an option.

He continued: “Everyone was stinking which is why I have the upmost respect for Rothesay!

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“To come over and make that journey knowing that it’s raining, we’ve got a grass park and they weren’t getting a shower shows how much these guys love their football.”

Other first division results on Saturday were: Doune Castle 0-4 Callander Thistle; Finnart 11-0 Holytown Colts; Milton 4-1 Kilsyth; St Joseph’s 4-3 Westerlands.

Meanwhile, Helensburgh FC have learned details of their opening fixtures in the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL.


The competition’s first league matches were due to be played this weekend, before the latest restrictions banning non-professional contact sports, but Helensburgh had a free week because of the odd number of teams in division one.

Burgh’s first scheduled league match of the season would have seen Lochwinnoch outfit Calderglen visit Hermitage Academy on Saturday, October 17, before the local side travel to Glasgow University A seven days later.

As with all senior, junior and amateur football competitions across Scotland, however, the current rules aimed at controlling the spread of Covid-19 state that no spectators are allowed to attend any of Rhu or Helensburgh’s fixtures until further notice.

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