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Keith Football Club test SPFL Elgin City in pre-season friendly and Kynoch Park manager Craig Ewen has high hopes for summer signing and ex-Islavale defender Scott Barron

By Craig Christie

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Keith have signed a talented local player with a desire to improve himself in the Highland League, says manager Craig Ewen.

Keith FC manager Craig Ewen. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Keith FC manager Craig Ewen. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Scott Barron made the switch from north junior championship winners Islavale to Kynoch Park this summer, and made his first appearance for the Maroons in Tuesday’s bounce match at Elgin City.

Keith boss Craig Ewen was pleased with the 23-year-old centre back’s first outing and believes he can continue to develop his game at a higher level.

Barron faced up to City’s summer signing from Fraserburgh, Ryan Sargent, and managed to keep him off the scoresheet as the Black and Whites won 4-2.

Keith new boy Scott Barron gets to grips with Elgin attacker Ryan Sargent in his first outing for the Maroons. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Keith new boy Scott Barron gets to grips with Elgin attacker Ryan Sargent in his first outing for the Maroons. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

”I thought that was a pleasing debut for Scott, stepping up,” said Ewen.

“He obviously had an excellent year (at Islavale) and there’s going to be differences for him at this level.

“You saw it in the first half in terms of the fact that he was up against League 2 opposition and trying to deal with the physicality of Ross Draper at a setplay. I don't think he was facing that too much at Islavale, or the running power of Sargent who was a top end player in the league last season.

“But the thing is, he’s young and hungry and he’s got the desire to go and improve. He’s a Keith boy who wants to play for Keith and I was pleased with that debut.

“I thought he was pretty assured, a good communicator and he looks like he will put everything on the line, which is my type of boy so I’m hopeful he will do really well.”

Draper’s first half header, a Russell Dingwall penalty and a Brian Cameron goal past stand-in Maroons keeper Connor McLeod put Elgin 3-0 up, before Keith staged a revival.

Murray Addison’s spectacular volley pulled one back and although Ryan MacLeman made it 4-1, the visitors struck again through young sub Callum Robertson and were unlucky not to add to their tally in the later stages.

“It was quite a strong Elgin team so as much as we are never happy to be losing a game, in terms of how we competed I was pleased and we certainly looked fit nearer the end of the game. There wasn’t any let up from us.

“That was a beauty of a goal from Murray, like a scissor kick and he was sharp for the half he was on.

“We are missing five or six. (Goalkeeper) Craig Reid is in Costa Rica on holiday and Connor McLeod came in and he had some good saves and did himself no harm against a good side.

“There were some young boys who came on. The boy who played the second half, Callum Robertson got the second goal and he was a real buzz bomb in the middle of the park.

“He’s been with us the last year, he was out on loan.

“In the first half we were maybe a bit too negative and wanting to go too direct with it. We just need to try and be a bit braver because if you’re not going to do that in the friendlies, it’s not going to transpire into the league matches.

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