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Cleland survive the storm to progress to the semi's

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Fixture: Kirkintilloch Rob Roy v Cleland Boys Club
Competition: Jackie Morton Memorial Cup 1/4 Final
Date: Saturday 19th December 2015
 
With the weather conditions providing a challenge for both sides, chances were at a premium as Cleland progressed to the Semi Final of the Janice Morton Memorial Cup with a 1-0 victory at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.
 
Cleland were up against it before the game even started as with only thirteen players available, 2 of them were carrying injuries. Against all the odds the boys rose to the challenge to overcome a very good Kirkintilloch Rob Roy side.

The game started slowly with Rob Roy taking advantage of the wind and controlling the game early on. They were firing shots from distance that were testing Cleland keeper Craig Harvie but he was more than equal to them on many occasions.
 
As the half went on Cleland defended well against the fierce wind but nearly feel a god behind if it weren't for the crossbar coming to the rescue. Straight up the other end it was the visitors turn to hit the woodwork as Dominic Small hit the post from a great move. Connor Phairs and Greg Taylor also went close for the village men as the half ended a stalemate.
 
Half Time: Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 0-0 Cleland Boys Club

The second half began with Rob Roy on the front foot, but the Cleland back line of Jamie McNab, David Fagan, Declan Bell and Marc Cutler stood firm to protect their clean sheet.
 
The Cleland defenders eventually were given some rest bite as the visitors took the lead. Great trickery from Cleland's left winger Aiden Rooney, allowed him to drive into the box and square the ball for poacher Connor Phairs to stab the ball home and send the men from the village into dreamland.

The Cleland tails were up, and efforts from Rooney almost gave them a two goal cushion with limited time left in the game.
 
Rob Roy at this point had been nullified by the Cleland back line as the visitors created more chances. Good interplay between Connor Phairs and Reece Watson resulted in a header from Rooney that looked net bound  but only for the Rob Roy keeper to somehow pull off a world class save to prevent his side from going two nil down.
 
The energy levels were running low and eventually the referee signalled the end of the game to send the Cleland boys into raptures.
 
Full Time: Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 0-1 Cleland Boys Club
 
Cleland now face a trip to Rossvale Milan in the semi final. With the confidence booming from this victory, the belief is there and the final is in the sights.
 
 

Kieran Green | YFS South East Region Journalist

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