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Airdrie battle past Moorlands to reach last four

Moorlands BC 0

Dunbar 48'

Airdrie United BC 1

  • Sunday, 05 February 2017
  • Hamilton Palace
  • Under 19´s
  • inspiresport SYFA Cup - Quarter Final
Airdrie survived a late onslaught from Moorlands Boys Club to reach the semi-finals of the SYFA Cup.
A goal early in the second half from Ross Dunbar was enough to see the Diamonds edge a closely fought encounter.
The game was played at a frantic pace and almost saw a goal in the opening two minutes. A ball played over the top found Moorlands’ Aaron McNeil wide on the left who hit a spectacular dipping volley, only for Airdrie keeper Tony Sharkey to tip it onto the crossbar.
Moorlands struck the bar again just minutes later, when Sean Monaghan shifted the ball onto his left foot and fired a shot from 20 yards against the woodwork.
Both teams struggled to keep hold of the ball and find a rhythm to their game, with some tasty challenges flying in. But Moorlands continued to create the better chances. This time striker Cameron Ralston dragged a shot just wide on 16 minutes after a good run by full-back Aiden McElhinney.
Airdrie managed to stem the tide thanks to some brilliant defending and combative midfield play, limiting the Uddingston side to fewer chances as the half wore on and creating a few of their own.
After 38 minutes striker Declan Wood showed good skill to beat two defenders and get sight of goal, only to have his shot blocked at the last second by the Moorlands’ defence.
  • Half Time:
  • Moorlands BC
  • 0-0
  • Airdrie United BC
The second half began as the first had: with a near miss from Moorlands. A corner was swung in after two minutes and was missed by everyone except Michael Clarke who stole in at the back post but could only put his header over the bar.
It was a miss that would prove costly. Just a minute later Airdrie won a throw in on the left which they launched into the box. The ball bounced to the back post where Ross Dunbar was waiting to squeeze the ball over the line and give the Diamonds the lead.
But Moorlands almost bounced straight back. Winger McNeil used his pace to charge down the left and fire a low cross into the box, but with the goal gaping Mark McNulty pulled his shot wide of the post.
Again neither side was able to find fluency in attack, and the ball readily changed possession.
However, just shy of the hour mark Airdrie almost doubled their advantage. A free-kick from Andrew Kennedy was met by goal scorer Dunbar, but his header came back off the crossbar.
The final half hour was dominated by Moorlands as they pressed desperately for an equaliser. But a combination of some stout defending and poor finishing kept them at bay.
McNeil cleverly fashioned himself two chances in two minutes but neither troubled Sharkey in the Airdrie goal.
Then, on 70 minutes, a free-kick whipped in by Jack Caldwell was nearly deflected in by an Airdrie defender. While two minutes later Ralston turned his man brilliantly in the box but saw his shot saved by Sharkey.
With 9 minutes left to play Airdrie could have sealed their victory when a corner was met on the half volley by Christopher Lang, but the ball went just over.
Moorlands grew increasingly frustrated as it became clear it was not their day. Some great link up play 3 minutes from time by McElhinney and McNeil on the left allowed Ralston to run free in the box. But he sliced his shot wide from a tight angle.
This turned out to be the final chance of the match as Airdrie’s heroic defending managed to hold out through 9 minutes of stoppage time to earn a precious victory.
They now have a cup semi-final to look forward to whilst Moorlands will be left wondering how they managed to lose the game.
  • Full Time:
  • Moorlands BC
  • 0-1
  • Airdrie United BC


Moorlands BC
Airdrie United BC
1. Graeme Milne
2. Aiden McElhinney
4. Mark McNulty
5. Dean Robertson
6. Greg Melvin
7. Sean Monaghan
8. Logan Jackson
11. Michael Clarke
12. Aaron McNeil
14. Adam Berry
15. Jonathan Walker
16. Jack Caldwell
17. Cameron Ralston
23. Marc Skelton
1. Tony Sharkey
2. Blair Findlay
3. Ross Henderson
4. Sean Mullen
5. Reagan McDonald
6. Jack Taylor
7. Christopher O'Kane
8. Kieran Devine
9. Marcus Boyce
10. Declan Wood
11. Andrew Kennedy
12. Liam Dillon
14. Connor Campbell
15. Ryan Donn
16. Ross Dunbar
17. Christopher Lang
Star Player
Moorlands BC
Airdrie United BC
Aaron McNeil - Showed good pace and skill to create chances for his team.
Ross Dunbar - Put in a tireless performance and popped up with the crucial winning goal.
Magic Moment
Moorlands BC
Airdrie United BC
Aaron McNeil's volley in the first half was a spectacular effort and was unlucky not to find the net.
Ross Dunbar's goal proved to be the winning one and secured Airdrie's passage to the semi-finals.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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