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Resilient Drumsagard FA eventually see off Arbroath Lads Club in Scottish Cup

Drumsagard FA 5

McKinnon 1' 13' Rushbury 29' Hunter 45' Gillespie 51'

Arbroath Lads Club 2

Kwiatek 12' 18'
  • Sunday, 13 December 2015
  • Bent Park, Hamilton
  • Under 13´s
  • SYFA Scottish Cup

 
Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author
 

Cole McKinnon’s first half double set Drumsagard FA on the road to victory despite the brave efforts of Arbroath Lads Club. Goals from Andrew Rushbury, Lyell Hunter, and Kyle Gillespie eventually sealed the win after Bartosz Kwiatek’s brace had kept the visitors in the tie almost until half-time.

 

Arbroath faced a long journey down to Hamilton for this fifth round Scottish Cup tie, which had been called off last week due to Storm Desmond and despite conditions still not being perfect (it rarely is in Scotland in December!), both sides were keen to get the match played.

 

It took less than a minute for Drumsagard to live up to their pre-match billing as favourites. Left-back Ben Duncan found himself deep in opposition territory and as his ball bounced neatly in front of McKinnon, the attacking midfielder struck it sweetly on the half-volley into the corner of the net.

 

The Lads Club boys didn’t let their heads drop however and began to get the ball on the floor and look to pass it about. Despite conceding the early goal, Arbroath continued to play the game mostly in the Drumsagard half, playing a high line of defence and looking to attack down the wings. Connor MacFarlane linking up well with Kwiatek down the right as a sign of things to come.

 

Key to Drumsagard’s game however was their pace on the break and they looked to exploit this on every occasion. Kyle McDonald cut in from the right wing and his shot looked goalbound but for a fantastic diving save from Shaun Watt. The referee gave a throw-in, with the Arbroath coaching staff half-pleased to avoid the corner and half-disappointed that Watt wasn’t getting the credit he deserved.

 

There would be plenty more opportunities for the youngster to show his class, however. McDonald was causing havoc with his pace and movement down the right and he almost created the second with a flicked cross to Rushbury arriving late at the back post but he headed wide.

 

Despite most of the chances falling to Drumsagard, Arbroath were still seeing plenty of the ball and eventually fashioned out a chance of their own which they finished clinically. Unsurprisingly it came via the quick feet of MacFarlane down the right who used stepovers to great effect to reach the byline. His low cross looked to be heading into the arms of Annan Lung in the Drummy goal but Kwiatek showed great speed and quick-thinking to bravely nip in front of him and flick it into the empty net.

 

It’s a cliché that teams are at the most vulnerable just after they have scored but Arbroath fell into the same old trap and were behind within a minute of drawing level. McKinnon burst through on goal and a great save at his feet by Watt looked to have stopped the danger, but Arbroath failed to clear their lines and when the ball broke back to McKinnon he made no mistake with his second attempt.

 

The home side looked to extend their lead with some good play down the left through Rushbury and Lewis Kilpatrick resulted in Duncan firing in a low effort that was turned away by Watt at his near post.

 

It looked to be an even more important save when his side broke up the pitch and grabbed another equaliser moment later. A loose ball in the middle of the park took an awkward deflection off a Drumsagard player and sent in spinning over the defence who were caught cold. One player who wasn’t caught cold was Kwiatek who raced through to collect it and, one-on-one with the keeper, calmly slotted it past him then watched anxiously as it just rolled into the far corner. A composed finish under pressure.

 

They might have been the underdogs but Arbroath were battling bravely and despite being starved of opportunities, Kwiatek’s clinical finishing meant they were well and truly in the game.

 

Drumsagard once again looked to rally after conceding the goal, Rushbury’s one-touch layoff to Hunter bringing another good save from Watt who got some help from his captain Nairn Beaton to get it clear. Hunter then turned provider with the through ball to Dylan Campbell but Watt was out quickly to smother.

 

As the chances piled up for Drumsagard, it was quickly turning into the Shaun Watt show. First he pulled off a terrific save diving to his left from McKinnon’s edge of the box shot, then he denied the attacking midfielder with an absolutely world class one-handed diving stop from close range, with the Drummy number 10 wondering just what he had to do to beat this keeper and get his hat-trick.

 

Watt could only keep his side level for so long however. After denying McKinnon again from long range, Rushbury struck the rebound harmlessly across goal but again the Arbroath defenders didn’t take the opportunity to get it clear and when it was crossed back into the six-yard box Rushbury was waiting to knock it home. Coming not long before half time, it was a devastating blow for Arbroath who had done so well to keep themselves in the tie despite intense pressure from the home side.

 

Kwiatek almost got them on level terms again before the whistle after forcing his way across the right byline, but his shot was kept out by a combination of Lung and post.

 

Drumsagard took the lead into half time. Their extra man in the centre of the park giving them time to pick a through ball for wingers Campbell and McDonald or up to lone striker Rushbury, with McKinnon always busting a gut to get up and provide support. Arbroath on the other hand, while always seeing plenty of the ball, looked to play it short more often than their opponents and as such were struggling to create the same number of chances, with conditions not conducive to the passing game and Drumsagard seeming to have an advantage physically and numerically in the middle.. 

  • Half Time:
  • Drumsagard FA
  • 3-2
  • Arbroath Lads Club
The second half began as the first had ended, McKinnon going on a magnificent solo run from the centre of the park that took him to the left wing then back in again across the front of the 18-yard box before he fired his shot over. Still full of energy despite an action packed first 35 minutes, the Arbroath defence looked like they were chasing shadows when McKinnon got into a rhythm. 
 
Watt was still the last line of defence for Arbroath and, after comfortably collecting Hunter’s header, was forced into a two-handed diving save from right-back Lewis Gray. The keeper couldn’t do it all himself however, and had McFarlane to thank for heading McDonald’s shot off the line following a corner. 
 
Drumsagard’s fourth goal was a matter of time as they began to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Arbroath looked to be tiring and were being forced deeper and deeper, with the Drummy midfield beginning to dominate possession for the first time in the match. The goal eventually came via a set-piece. Duncan’s effort was parried by Watt but only as far as Hunter who doubled his side’s lead.
 
In a bid to reply, Arbroath moved Beaton from defence into midfield, trying to take advantage of the defender’s athleticism and physicality, not to mention his ball-playing ability with his side struggling to win the midfield battle.
 
The Lads Club’s best chance to get back in the game came from a simple punt from back-to-front however. Kai Cooper’s long ball over the top was chased down by Kwiatek but Lung showed good awareness to get out to it first and clear the danger. 
 
With the game being played in front of the Arbroath box, the tie was sealed when Gillespie forced his way through the defence and powered home his side’s fifth. It wasn’t undeserved for his side who, in the second half particularly, had begun to show the kind of supremacy that was expected of them pre-match.
 
McKinnon was still chasing the hat-trick his performance deserved but with the game petering out after it became 5-2 he was restricted to long range efforts which came to nothing. Arbroath hadn’t given up by any means and McFarlane almost broke clear but was stopped in his tracks by Gray.
 
A late move by Murray Thomson and Rushbury almost gave Liam Finnigan his side’s sixth, but he was denied, inevitably, by Watt.
 
Drumsagard qualify for the sixth round of the Scottish Cup with a disciplined victory against a side who didn’t make it easy for them. Ultimately it came down to the home side relying on their class showing through over the whole piece.
 
Arbroath’s cup run comes to an end with a display of great courage and spirit and a couple of special individual performances that almost dragged them through single handedly.
  • Full Time:
  • Drumsagard FA
  • 5-2
  • Arbroath Lads Club

Lineups

Drumsagard FA
Arbroath Lads Club
1. Annan Lung
2. Austin Sime
3. Ben Duncan
4. Lewis Gray
5. Jude Rodger
6. Kyle Gillespie
7. David Tacey
8. Lyell Hunter
9. Liam Finnigan
10. Cole McKinnon
11. Dylan Campbell
12. Kyle McDonald
14. Andrew Rushbury
16. Aaron Grew
17. Lewis Kilpatrick
18. Murray Thomson
1. Shaun Watt
2. Nairn Beaton
3. Aiden Hutton
4. John Gallazzi
5. Kai Cooper
6. Nairn Macdonald
7. Connor McFarlane
9. Mason Anderson
10. Leo Boath
11. Lewis Hutton
12. Aiden Smith
14. Jack Bledowski
16. Bartosz Kwiatek
17. Jarvis Chalmers
Star Player
Drumsagard FA
Arbroath Lads Club
Cole McKinnon - Playing in the hole behind the attack and in front of the midfield, McKinnon managed to influence the entire game from start to finish. As well as grabbing the opening two goals, he was a key creative influence for his side.
Shaun Watt - The main reason that Arbroath stayed in this match as long as they did. He pulled off a string of top saves, in particular his one-handed, close range dive to knock McKinnon's fierce drive over the crossbar in the first half. His saves gave his side the bedrock to mount a real challenge in this tie and he's unfortunate to be on the losing side.
Magic Moment
Drumsagard FA
Arbroath Lads Club
Drumsagard got the tie off to the best possible start with McKinnon's half-volley in the opening minute giving them the lead.
Aside from Watt's saves, Bartosz Kwiatek did more than could be asked of him up front and his excellent front post gamble to get ahead of the goalkeeper and give his side the equaliser showed a combination of intelligence, pace, and skill.
Club Views
Drumsagard FA
Arbroath Lads Club
Sandy Tacey, coach: "Delighted with the result, I thought it was a cracking game of football and I thought both teams played fantastic. We were creating chances and their keeper was absolutely outstanding.

After the second half I thought we were perhaps the stronger side and continued to make some chances but all in all a fantastic game of football. I just hope the boys can continue to play the way they've been playing as they've been very strong in the competition and if they continue to play like that then I'm sure they can go far."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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