Cards spoil youth game

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FIVE players were red carded in the Redpath Albion v Dunbar under-17 youth league clash at Pilrig Park, which the home side eventually won 7-1.

Match referee Chris McGregor had a very busy time sending off three from Albion and two more from Dunbar.

Several others were booked in this game and the "riot act" was read to the Albion squad by team coach Robbie Huxtable at the finish of a very untidy game of football.

Bradley Glasgow scored four of Redpath's goals but the result was overshadowed by the dismissals, mostly in the second half.

This further example of problems at under-17 level followed on the previous week's abandoned Sunday Amateur game at the Gyle Park. Whatever the code of conduct is in the different leagues at minor-grade level, there is a deeply worrying pattern that standards are dropping and in further gloomy news, three more teams folded in the youth leagues – Haddington United FC 21s, Balgonie Scotia 21s and Edinburgh South FC Stars 13s.

These three teams folding will further cut the numbers in leagues but this has been going on for years now. Other teams join leagues prior to the start of each season, then withdraw after paying their fees, further frustrating match secretaries who have then to make up new sets of fixtures for league and cup competitions.

Edinburgh South were quoted a figure of 51.10 to use training facilities in a local primary school and it must be said the pitch at Pilrig Park is not very good, despite the high cost of hiring it by Albion in their ongoing bid to engage with local young people.

Bryan Maughan is the leader of the progressive Redpath club which takes a full part in all community activities in Leith, but it is an almighty struggle for them to find the money to pay for the use of the local school as a base.

Nonetheless, Albion have made great progress over the years and they are now also an established football club in the city.