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Falkirk Athletic win ten goal thriller reach Lady Darling final

Falkirk Athletic 6

Russell 1, 40, Arbuckle 23, McCourt 28, 84, Walton 46,

Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A 4

Leslie 1, Muir 15, 30 Gallacher 21
  • Saturday, 22 March 2014
  • Forthbank
  • Under 21´s
  • Lady Darling Cup - Semi Final

James Black | YFS Central Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

There's a cliche about anything being possible in cup football and if ever an example was needed then this was it. Falkirk Athletic made it to the final of the Lady Darling Cup in a game that had 10 goals, another disallowed and a 'keeper finishing the game playing as an old fashioned outside right. 
It was Falkirk Athletic who took the lead after 28 seconds when Martin Russell slid home a cross from wide on the right which caught the Rose A defense napping. 
The Bonnyrigg defense wasn't the only one who hadn't quite woken up yet as Falkirk allowed Darren Leslie to equalise almost instantly after Harry Tranent couldn't quite get on the end of a cross. 
As the first half settled down it was Bonnyrigg Rose who took the game by the scruff of the neck and looked to take the lead when David Gallachers cross was met by a strong Tranent header which was held well by James Penman in the Falkirk goal. 
Just a few minutes later Tranent scored the second for Bonnyrigg when another header was neatly dispatched beyond the unfortunate Penman after a nice cross by Russell. 
Rose continued to dominate the first half and scored a third on 21 minutes when Gallacher curled one past Penman into the bottom right hand corner after some tenacious wide play by Gary Nicholson. 
Falkirk Athletic stopped the match from running away from them just two minutes later when Jamie Arbuckle capitalised on some defensive confusion to bring the score back to 3-2. 
Following arbuckles goal the momentum swung back in Falkirks favour and Scott Blair was unlucky to head just over from a corner but the renewed pressure ultimately lead to Falkirks equaliser in the 28th minute. Connor McCourt showed fantastic determination to win the ball back high up the field and placed the ball into the far corner to draw his side level. McCourt had been involved in everything Falkirk had done up to this point and thoroughly deserved his goal. 
Just as the first third of the game passed the seventh goal of the afternoon was scored. Nicholson played a simple cut back into the path of Darren Muir who calmly rolled the ball home to restore Bonnyriggs lead. 
With five minutes left of the first half Falkirk clawed level once again. A nice series of passes through the Falkirk midfield, involving Connor McCourt unsurprisingly, let Russell fire home his second and level the scores once more.
  • Half Time:
  • Falkirk Athletic
  • 4-4
  • Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A
Just like in the first half Falkirk went straight up the park and scored. A shot from outside the area by Jamie Walton squirmed past Grant Sandison. Walton had done well to win the ball back wide on the left and then cut inside onto his right foot and took a shot.
The second half took on a far different tempo from the first as both teams seemed a lot more pragmatic in their build up play and occasionally a little frustrated at thier ability to really penetrate either sides midfield.
Ryan Davidson forced a remarkable save from Penman when his 25 yard strike was tipped onto the bar and out for a corner.
McCourt thought he had sealed it with ten minutes to go but his effort was ruled offside and gave Bonnyrigg hope of a fightback.
Unfortunately Falkirk did make sure of it 3 minutes later when McCourt snuck the ball past Sandison to assure his side a place in the final.
Bonyrigg threw everything at it, including keeper Grant Sandison who ended up playing yp front for the final few minutes, but it wasn't to be their day.
Both teams deserve full credit for playing such an attacking game and while one or two mistakes may have played a part in the scoreline neither side played poorly and will look to have a strong push towards for more trophies come the end of the season.
  • Full Time:
  • Falkirk Athletic
  • 6-4
  • Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A


Falkirk Athletic
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A

1.  James Penman
4. Craig Stuart
5. Jamie Arbuckle
6. David Watson 
7. Martin Russell
8. Jamie Walton
9. Craig Irvine
10. Connor McCourt
11. Craig Morrison
18. Kevin Clarke
14. Christopher Jess
15. Rohan Hamilton
16. Matthew Johnston
17. Scott Blair
20. Jordan Gray

1.  Grant Sandison
2. Harry Tranent
3.  Stuart Duncanson
4.  Ryan Davidson
5.  Darren McTeirnan
6.  Darren Leslie
7.  Ross Gunning
8.  Calum Kerry
9.  Bruce Galloway
10.  Davis Gallacher
12. Duncan Muir
21. Liam McCathie
14. Gary Nicholson
15. Craig Rennie
18. Jordan Gunning
17. Steven Ferguson

Star Player
Falkirk Athletic
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A
Connor McCourt. Full of drive and determination. Key to all of Falkirk athletics attacking play and fully deserving of getting his name on the scoresheet.
David Gallacher. Hard working midfielder show several flashes of great intelligence only let down by the execution sometimes. A vital part of his sides attacking play and with Darren Leslie the main attacking threat from midfield.
Magic Moment
Falkirk Athletic
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A
Connor McCourts winning goal. Afer being 3-1 down Falkirk players had every right to think this wasn't going to be their day.
The first minute equaliser. Conceding an early goal is rarely a good thing. Luckily for Bonnyrigg Rose they pushed on and fired themselves into a 3-1 lead. Darren Leslies equaliser was key to them getting back into the tie.
Club Views
Falkirk Athletic
Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A
Connor McCourt, Falkirk Athletic said: "We're hapy with the win and probably deserve overall. We started poorly but turned it around and now we can hopefully co on and win the cup and league"
David Gallacher, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic A said: "Lads were brilliant in the first half but you can't concede 6 goals in a cup game and expect to go through. I think if we'de have kept our lead until half time we would've went through but it wasn't to be the case."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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