Jan 20 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Friday
GRETNA boss Stuart Rome was left in awe as one of his teenage debutants stole the show at the weekend.
Kyle Metcalfe, aged 16, made his debut from the start as Rome’s side came from behind to beat Edinburgh City 2-1 in the capital on Saturday.
Metcalfe scored his side’s second in spectacular fashion and Rome said he was absolutely delighted with the youngster’s performance.
He beamed: “Young Kyle was absolutely fantastic on Saturday and his goal was something special.
“If his goal was being recorded on Sky Sports then it would have been getting a lot of attention.
“If they had caught a 16-year-old scoring a goal like that then they would have been showing it every half hour.
“He cut in from the right wing, under pressure and just lost his marker before firing an unstoppable shot across the keeper and into the top bag – it was fantastic.
“His coach in the youth side said he does this every time he’s in training but to bring that into the game on the day is where it counts.”
Rome added: “We had four 16-year-olds in the squad for Saturday and Kyle played the full 90 minutes.
“The level of committment that all these young lads show is just brilliant and they should be given massive credit.
“We have struggled badly with injuries and suspensions this season and these boys have dug us out a hole.”
Rome was highly impressed with his side’s reaction after going behind against Edinburgh City early in the first half.
He said: “Edinburgh City couldn’t get near us for the full game.
“Apart from their goal they didn’t trouble our goalkeeper once and we were well in control and could have scored more.
“We continually caught them on the counter and I am a bit disappointed we never scored more, actually.
“They are a physical side, especially when they are not winning, but I always say that you can’t kick what you can’t catch.”
The Gretna manager had only 10 senior players going into Saturday’s win and faces a similar, albeit less extreme, problem for this weekend.
The Raydale Park side host Tynecastle tomorrow but will be without Dan Rayson after the striker was sent off against Edinburgh City.
Rome welcomes David Renyard, Matty Brown and Russell Parker back for tomorrow’s game but insists that the young lads still deserve their first team place.
He said: “We’ve got these senior lads which is great but who’s to say they will be back in?
“The young lads like Kyle don’t deserve to lose their place so the senior players will just have to wait.”
Rome added: “Tynecastle are a very strong and good side so we know the kind of game we are in for.
“They are comfortable on the ball but work extremely hard off it too so we will need to be at our best.
“And as well as this they have brought in a new management team which always has an effect on the players.
“They are sixth in the league but that is probably a false position.”