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Milton hit five in victory over Stenhousemuir

Stenhousemuir CFC 1

Shearer 48

Milton FC 5

Cairney 4, 28, Ryan 30, 60, Reid 51
  • Saturday, 16 May 2015
  • Larbert High School
  • Under 14´s
  • FVFDA League

Jack Thomson | YFS Falkirk Senior Reporter
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

Scotland national team boss Gordon Strachan was recorded this week stating that the solution to producing better ball players at grassroots level is simple: “Hours and hours of practice. If you want to be better than the other group of players, you have to work twice as hard.” He went on to qualify that statement with, “That doesn’t just mean footballers running about closing down. It is working with the ball all the time.”

The FVFDA League clash between Stenhousemuir Community Football Club and Milton Football Club under 14s would have provided the Scotland gaffer with ample encouragement as players on both sides showed a willingness to put their foot on the ball. As is often the norm in Scottish youth football, the weather conditions favoured neither side with blustering winds and buckets of rain but that was not to deter either team from showing spectators that they were capable of playing football. 

The game kicked off at a high intensity as both teams competing at the top end of the table looked to find their bearings on a difficult grass surface at Larbert High School. Milton were marginally sharper in the early stages and it took just three minutes for the away side to register their first shot on target when Connor Reid found himself clean through on goal following a hopeful long ball. Reid showed delicate close control to steady himself but did not connect cleanly with the effort, allowing Robbie Lyall to make the save. Milton would not have to wait too much longer to open the scoring, however, as the ball fell to Declan Cairney on the right edge of the penalty box in the fourth minute. Cairney showed no hesitation to rifle a low effort beyond Lyall at his near post. The tempo and high line adopted by Milton was paying dividends early on. 

The early opener undoubtedly spurred Milton on as they began to grow in confidence in midfield, switching play with aplomb and moving the ball well in congested areas. Cairney continued to look lively hugging the by-line on the right flank and in the ninth minute would find himself with an almost identical opportunity to his opener but this time slicing the ball over the crossbar. 

Stenhousemuir looked to retaliate to the growing pressure with a tidy interchange between Dylan Young and Max Rintoul, releasing Tiwi Daramola. The forward was not helped by the surface, however, and lost his footing as he bore down on goal.

Daniel Ryan began to ease himself into the encounter, dictating the tempo of the match, and in the 18th minute a fantastic bursting run down the right flank from the midfielder created enough space to direct a teasing ball across the face of the goal. Ryan’s teammates just could not get on the end to convert. Milton’s Lewis Morrow excelled in holding on to the ball and stretching the play, freeing up Ryan and Cairney to continue to threaten on the attack. 

Stenhousemuir had their hands full at the back but were defending well, putting bodies on the line to maintain a 1-0 scoreline. In addition to working hard in defence, they showed graft at the other end of the pitch with Ross Buchanan hassling the opposition in the final third but being crowded out on more than one occasion. In the 25th minute, Rintoul displayed tenacity to break into the opposition box but was thwarted by the Milton defence as his effort on goal was blocked and the resulting loose ball cleared to safety. 

The desire shown by Stenhousemuir to even the scoreline only seemed to motivate Milton to extend their lead. A looping ball into the box in the 28th minute forced Stenhousemuir goalkeeper Lyall to come off his line and attempt to punch clear the danger. He couldn’t make clean contact with the ball, however, and Cairney was waiting to pounce and slot home from six yards for his second of the morning. Just two minutes following the restart and Milton had a third. Connor Reid showed excellent improvisation to flick the ball over his head on the by-line into a dangerous area and Ryan could not believe his luck as he thrust his head onto the ball to nod home his first goal of the game. 3-0 to Milton and the boys in blue were good value for their lead. 

Stenhousemuir had an excellent chance in the 31st minute to pull one back. An awkward bounce meant Milton goalkeeper Alistair Wallace spilled a free kick into the path of Jake Shearer who could not react quick enough to direct the ball on target from close range, lifting the ball just over the bar. 

Milton were growing in confidence with intricate one touch passing but Stenhousemuir sensed there was still a way back into this league tie. A short pass back from Brandon Morrow provoked Wallace into racing off his line to smother and keep it at 3-0 going into the break for the away side. An excellent display of bravery from the goalkeeper. 

  • Half Time:
  • Stenhousemuir CFC
  • 0-3
  • Milton FC

A change of goalkeeper at half time saw Nathan Cowan enter the fray for Stenhousemuir and he would have just as much to do as his predecessor. Daniel Ryan was the reason why. A mere minute following the restart the midfielder drilled an effort towards goal but Cowan got down well to his right to collect the ball. Ryan was not discouraged, however, and struck the post in the 40th minute when the ball broke to the menacing midfielder on the edge of the box. 

In the 41st minute, Milton won a corner which was whipped in from the left with pace and accuracy. Daniel Tilley latched on to it on the stretch but just prodded the ball wide. Three minutes later and it was Reid’s turn to hit the woodwork as he cracked the bar with a half volley from the edge of the area. Cowan would have to stay alert for Stenhousemuir. 

It had been a frustrating day for Stenhousemuir’s Tiwi Daramola thus far but in the 43rd minute the attacker demonstrated his ability to cause problems for Milton by dropping deep to receive the ball. The striker showed exquisite intelligence and control on the turn as he fired in an effort inches past the right hand post from 25 yards. Daramola seemed determined to remind Milton that Stenhousemuir were still in this game when, minutes later, he was the first to react as Shearer’s free-kick bounced in the box. The forward’s effort was blocked for a corner. 

Everyone associated with Stenhousemuir was visibly heartened by the turn in the tide and they were rewarded in the 48th minute when Shearer’s consequent inswinging corner from the left was caught in the wind and ended up in the back of the net to make it 3-1. A lifeline for Stenhousemuir. 

Stenhousemuir were in the ascendancy as Daramola received the ball on the right weaving in and out of the Milton defenders before testing the keeper from range with a cleanly taken left footed strike. It was end-to-end stuff as both sides showed pace and intention on the counter. 

As Milton’s Reid began to display real innovation on the ball, Daniel Ryan decided to take matters into his own hands in the 51st minute by cutting into the Stenhousemuir box from the left and striking a low effort towards goal. Cowan reacted well to save the ball with his feet but Reid was waiting at the back post to place the ball into the empty net and restore Milton’s three goal lead. 

A fourth goal for Milton seemed to take the sting out of Stenhousemuir’s tail and it became clear that their opponents were beginning to enjoy themselves. In the 57th minute an Arsenal-esque attacking move saw wonderfully neat combination play between Cairney and Tilley, before the ball was moved in field to Reid. A touch to compose himself allowed Reid to switch the play with the outside of his foot into the path of Ryan. The midfielder broke towards goal and drove a shot which was superbly turned over the bar by the outstretched palm of Nathan Cowan. Rapturous applause ensued by the parents and coaches of both teams. 

Milton did not have to wait long for their fifth. On the hour mark a long free kick into the box was fumbled by Cowan in the difficult conditions and Ryan was on hold to smash the ball into the net for a well-deserved second of the afternoon. The away side were not content with a four-goal deficit as they entered the final ten minutes and continued to put pressure on the Stenhousemuir backline. Tilley once again displayed a level of artistry on the ball six minutes from time as he moved delicately in field from the left and curled an effort marginally beyond the far post.

The final opportunity of the match was to come for Milton seconds before the full time whistle. Daniel Ryan almost secured his hat-trick after receiving a low pass from the right, expertly allowing the weight of the ball to roll across the front of his body before stroking the ball with his left foot against the bar. Stenhousemuir Community Football Club will have been relieved to hear the final whistle. Despite a spirited work rate, it was just not to be their day. 

  • Full Time:
  • Stenhousemuir CFC
  • 1-5
  • Milton FC

Lineups

Stenhousemuir CFC
Milton FC
1. Robbie Lyall
2. Logan Smith
3. Cameron Dick
7. Dylan Young
8. Jake Shearer
9. Andrew Fleming
10. Kyle Millar
11. Tiwi Daramola
12. Ross Buchanan
14. Blair Hume
15. Jack Stevenson
16. Kieran McKinnon
18. Mitchell Wallace
19. Nathan Cowan
20. Max Rintoul
1. Alistair Wallace
3. Daniel Tilley
5. Connor Reid
6. Lewis Morrow
7. Brandon Morrow
8. Thomas Garry
11. Calum Gow
12. David McKail
16. Callan Carpenter
18. Craig Palmer
20. Daniel Ryan
22. Callum Sinclair
26. Declain Cairney
Star Player
Stenhousemuir CFC
Milton FC
Dylan Young - Worked tirelessly for the home side despite events not quite going their way on the day.
Daniel Ryan - A persistent thorn in the side of Stenhousemuir CFC who thoroughly deserved his double.
Magic Moment
Stenhousemuir CFC
Milton FC
Tiwi Daramola's deft movement and balance on the turn as he lashed a long range effort just beyond the far post showed the striker is clearly capable of brilliance.
Milton will have been disappointed that their sublime example of passing and combination play in the second half could not be finished off with a goal but it was certainly a moment that excited the spectators.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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