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Callander Thistle lift cup with victory over Milton

Callander Thistle 3

Campbell 11, S Buchanan 31, G Buchanan 68

Milton FC 1

Findlay 16
  • Sunday, 24 May 2015
  • Recreation Park, Alloa
  • Under 13´s
  • Forth Valley FDA Cup final

Jack Thomson | YFS Falkirk Senior Reporter
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It was a quiet opening ten minutes of the Forth Valley Football Development Association Cup final with both teams finding their bearings on the artificial surface at Recreation Park in Alloa. Milton will have been feeling confident following their recent confirmation as league champions, while Callander Thistle will have fancied their chances at a cup upset. 

It was not to be quiet for long however. The match was kickstarted into life in the 11th minute when Callander drove a low corner in the direction of Gavin Campbell. The forward controlled the ball on the turn before being clipped by his marker. No sooner did Campbell hit the deck before the referee pointed to the spot, a stonewaller. Campbell brushed himself down and controlled the adrenaline rush to roll the into the back of the net. The Milton goalkeeper diving in the opposite direction.

Milton responded with the swagger of champions, looking to thread the ball through the eye of a needle. A series of almost inch-perfect through-balls were intercepted by Thistle before Milton found their breakthrough. In the 16th minute a lobbed ball over the top found Calum Findlay in space in the box. Findlay allowed the ball to bounce before demonstrating exquisite technique to half volley the equaliser into the roof of the net. 

The leveller opened up the encounter and Thistle were back on the offensive in the 19th minute. Innes Manders switched a diagonal pass to Reuben Lazell on the right . The wide player darted menacingly into the box and sent a teasing ball across the face of goal which bounced around before being cleared by the Milton defence. 

The next clear-cut opportunity would arrive in the 27th minute. Lazell’s trickery on the right was rewarded with a corner. The midfielder’s deep cross took a bounce before Campbell attempted an effort. The striker was perhaps a little off balance as he lifted his strike over the Milton crossbar.

Innes Manders then decided to test his shooting boots with a couple of efforts from range. The first dropping just wide of the left post and the second effort deflecting before being gathered by the goalkeeper.

With 30 minutes on the clock Lazell once again showed good close control, interchanging well with his teammates before poking an effort towards goal. The goalkeeper doing well to hold. A minute later Thistle went ahead for the second time. Steven Buchanan was released in on goal. The midfielder showed excellent composure under pressure from Milton’s defence to slide the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

Milton almost equalised for a second time when Josh Hope demonstrated vision to play in Jack Stevenson. The centre midfielder burst towards the goalmouth but knocked it just past the post to ensure that it remained 2-1 going into the interval.

  • Half Time:
  • Callander Thistle
  • 2-1
  • Milton FC

Milton made a bright start to the second half and had an early opportunity when Jack Stevenson burst into the box with pace but the midfielder could not make clean contact with his strike. Just two minutes later, Patrick Elliot received the ball on the left and played a perfectly weighted pass in behind for Josh Blyth to pursue but excellent backtracking from Thistle’s Aaron McCallister allowed the defender to avert danger with a strong challenge.

Milton were undoubtedly encouraged by the improvement shown as they started to peg back Thistle. Stevenson was beginning to find his feet in midfield, breaking up play well and mounting counterattacks. In the 42nd minute a free kick was defended well by Thistle but they could only clear as far as Elliot on the edge of the penalty area. A strike low and hard was collected comfortably by Thistle’s Ewan Gerry.

In the 44th minute, Thistle came close to extending their lead. Campbell and Buchanan interchanged with ease, giving Campbell the space to race towards goal. Milton’s goalkeeper was sharp off his line to clear the danger. 

It would then be Milton’s turn to cause problems as tenacious work from Blyth created time and space for Findlay but his effort with the inside of the foot just dropped past the far post. 

Thistle were perhaps the team showing better composure in possession but Milton’s direct attacking style still proved to be troublesome. In the 57th minute Stevenson moved the ball infield to substitute Reece Ferguson. Ferguson, on the park a matter of seconds, knocked the ball through to Blyth but Thistle keeper Gerry was off his line quickly to narrow the angle. The keeper was having a fine day.

Milton thought they had found their much sought-after equaliser in the 59th minute. Blyth found himself clean through on goal but his deft finish past the goalkeeper was adjudged to be offside by the officials. 

That moment was to be a turning point as Thistle sensed they would need a third goal to wrap up proceedings and secure victory. They almost had it in the 61st minute. Gary Buchanan fed Campbell with a delicate pass but the striker placed his effort wide of the left post. Agonisingly close for Callander Thistle. 

Milton would have to roll the dice and throw more men forward as the full-time whistle approached but Thistle were organised and dogged in their defensive duties. With players committed in attack for Milton, a Thistle counterattack would prove deadly and so was the case in the 68th minute. The goalkeeper collected and launched a long ball forward, allowing Steven Buchanan to race clear with just the onrushing keeper to beat. A touch to compose himself meant that Steven Buchanan could lift the ball over the goalkeeper into the path of the supporting runner and namesake Gary Buchanan to smash the ball into the empty net. With less than two minutes left to play, Callander Thistle had secured their victory in the FVFDA Cup with a spirited performance. 

  • Full Time:
  • Callander Thistle
  • 3-1
  • Milton FC


Callander Thistle
Milton FC
1. Ewan Gerry
2. Ben Roubeck
3. Ross Shearer-Richards
4. Aaron McCallister
5. Reuben Dimmer
6. Innes Manders
7. Reuben Lazell
8. Steven Buchanan
9. Gavin Campbell
10. Jay Morrison
11. Gary Buchanan
14. Aaron Isaacs
2. Josh Clark
5. Keigan Flannagan
11. Reece Ferguson
15. Ruben Campbell
17. Ryan McGeough
18. Calum Findlay
19. Josh Blyth
20. Morgan Milne
22. Chris O'May
23. Patrick Elliot
24. Jack Stevenson
25. Kyle Taylor
27. Josh Hope
28. Cameron Weir
30. Jack Graham
Star Player
Callander Thistle
Milton FC
Gavin Campbell - Was a persistent threat for Callander Thistle moving into the channels and creating space for his teammates.
Jack Stevenson - Showed his value to the Milton team by working hard to break up opposition attacks and create opportunities for his own team.
Magic Moment
Callander Thistle
Milton FC
The third and final goal which clinched it for Thistle was a lovely bit of play from Steven Buchanan before he selflessly passed the ball to Gary Buchanan.
Calum Findlay's first-half strike demonstrated excellent movement and finishing ability.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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