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Cross fires East to 3rd place in Schools' Inter-Regional Cup

East Region 2

Cross 16', 34'

West Region 1

Callaghan 35'
  • Friday, 15 January 2016
  • Toryglen Regional Football Centre
  • 15's Girls
  • Scottish School's Inter-Regional Cup

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

An evenly contested game saw the East region claim third place in the Scottish Schools’ Inter-Regional Cup with a 2-1 victory over West. A Morgan Cross double was enough to seal the game, despite a consolation goal from the superb Abby Callaghan for West who more than made a game of it.

While the winners trophy had already been handed out to South East, there was more than just pride to play for with the watching SSFA members deciding what players would get a call up to the trials for the national squad.

Much like the final before it, both sides struggled to exert any dominance in the opening stages, with each side probing and pushing but failing to keep possession and mount a serious attack.

West came closest to a breakthrough when Callaghan burst out left and sent a teasing cross over for Leah Mulrine who was inches away from making contact. They then turned a defensive corner into an attacking threat, with Mulrine’s clearance from her own penalty box being chased down by Rosie McQuillan, but Isla Brown was alert to the danger for East and prevented the shot.

Callaghan and Mulrine combined in a carbon copy of their earlier play, but this time Mulrine got the shot away and watched as it hit the inside of the post and rolled agonisingly clear across the line. Mulrine had found acres of space as the East defence stepped up but the finish was marginally off.

They hadn’t posed much of an attacking threat in the opening quarter of an hour but East took the lead when Morgan Cross skilfully ran onto a through ball and slotted home. It might have been slightly against the run of play but it was a well taken goal and it seemed to calm East down and they settled into some good football.

The lead was almost doubled within minutes as Rebecca McGowan burst through the midfield with some neat footwork and a silky run but her shot was well blocked by Cara Henderson and Cross’s effort on the rebound was too high.

With East beginning to apply some serious pressure following the goal, West were forced to rely on counterattacks. Carly Girascoli’s clearance sent McQuillan clear of the East defence who had pushed right up into the West half. There were calls for offside but McQuillan was still in her own half when the ball was played and she sprinted towards goal. As the East defence caught up with her on the edge of the box she squared it to Mulrine whose shot  was well saved by Megan Sidey.

Cross was the main threat for East and she almost capitalised on a mixup at the back, but Jade Baillie in the West goal got back in time to stop the ball rolling over the line.

Rachel Wolecki’s pass gave Cross another chance to shoot before the break but Henderson got in the block for West.

  • Half Time:
  • East Region
  • 1-0
  • West Region

They might have been a goal up but East looked hungry for more in the second half and came out looking sharp. Cross’s neat turn and first time pass found Niamh Gavin who went for the chip but it was a comfortable save for Baillie.

There was no doubting the ability of Cross who created the second goal all by herself. Dispossessing a West defender she sprinted into the box and struck it low into the bottom corner, beating Baillie at her inside post to give East a two goal cushion.

West had moved Callaghan up front in a bid to get her involved where it mattered but in truth East looked a class above in the second half and West had Baillie to thank for keeping her side in the game. First Phillipa McCallum did brilliantly to ride the challenge of Francesca Crilley before crossing to Cross who tried to take it on the turn but didn’t connect as well as she’d have liked and gave Baillie the chance to save. Then after McGowan flashed one wide, she turned creator for Olivya Turner but this time Baillie pulled off a fantastic diving save to her right to palm it away.

It looked like the goalkeeping had paid off when Callaghan grabbed the goal to get West within touching distance. McQuillan started the move to Mulrine who repaid Callaghan for her excellent passes earlier in the game with one of her own and Callaghan accepted it gratefully, hitting it low across the keeper into the far corner.

With fifteen minutes to play there was plenty of time to look for an equaliser but they couldn’t find the key to unlock the East defence again, with Erin Ross and Nieve Simpson holding firm at the back.

In the end it was East who came closest to extending their lead with Ellie-Jai Reid’s shot flashing just wide. They had enough to see out the game but both sides left the pitch with their heads held high and plenty of players from each team had shown the watching SSFA scouts what they had to offer.

  • Full Time:
  • East Region
  • 2-1
  • West Region

Lineups

East Region
West Region
1. Megan Sidey
2. Isla Brown
3. Erin Ross
4. Nieve Simpson
5. Leah Fleming
6. Chloe Headland
7. Rachel Wolecki
8. Rebecca McGowan
9. Ellie-Jai Reid
10. Phillipa McCallum
11. Morgan Cross
12. Olivya Turner
14. Aimee Headland
15. Cerys Davidson
16. Niamh Gavin
17. Zoe Moreland
18. Zoe Petrie
1. Jade Baillie
2. Francesca Crilley
3. Kara Chalmers
4. Carly Girasoli
5. Cara Henderson
6. Eleanor Howard
7. Abby Callaghan
8. Claire McFarlane
9. Yasmin Boyce
10. Rosie McQuillan
11. Dionne Polland
12. Olivia Robertson
14. Leah Mulrine
15. Aimee Manchett
17. Lauren McCulloch
18. Laura Lalakova
Star Player
East Region
West Region
Morgan Cross - She not only scored both the goals for East but she constantly looked a threat all across the frontline, popping up on the wings to run at defenders and always providing an out ball during the spells when her side were under pressure. An excellent performance, full of running.
Abby Callaghan - She was undoubtedly the most influential player on the pitch for West, whether it be creating chances or finishing them. She went up front in the second half, in a move that clearly paid off as she scored the goal, but unfortunately she saw less of the ball which is always a downside when you have a player of this quality.
Magic Moment
East Region
West Region
Morgan Cross's second goal showcased her tenacity to attack the opposition defence and win the ball for herself as well as her calmness in front of goal to slot home.
West came within an inch of taking the lead through Leah Mulrine who had to watch as the ball cruelly hit the inside of the post and rolled across the line and out to safety. If that had went in while West were so clearly on top it would have been a very different game.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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