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EK Burgh take the spoils in terrific Scottish Cup battle against Bonnybridge

EK Burgh 7

Fish 21, 43, 56, Whittingham 66, Anderson 69, 79, McNeill 81

Bonnybridge YFC 6

Mackie 8, Buchanan 17, 20, 90, Noble 42, Aitchison 63
  • Sunday, 03 September 2017
  • The Jock Stein Centre, Hamilton
  • Under 17´s
  • Under 17s Scottish Cup

A thrilling Scottish Cup first round clash between EK Burgh and Bonnybridge YFC took place at the Jock Stein Centre in Hamilton, with EK running out winners in a 7-6 goal-fest.

With the game level at 5-5 heading into the final 15 minutes, two quick-fire goals from EK put them in control before a late consolation gave BonnyBridge hope at the death.

Hat-tricks for either side through Alex Fish and Ross Buchanan was only part of the story in a ding-dong encounter that looked as though it was getting away from EK for large spells.

Both sides cancelled each other out well in the opening 10 minutes, but it was Bonnybridge that stormed into life in the first half with three quick-fire goals.

Elliot Bullough's deep free-kick was missed by the EK defence, with Neil Mackie waiting at the back post to nod home.

EK were then getting caught out too often through the impressive movement of Buchanan, who constantly got in behind on a number of occasions.

The striker bagged a brace in three minutes as he lashed home a high effort into the net when one-on-one, before cooly sliding another shot past Matthew Todd for 3-0.

EK hit right back. A deep cross from a Luke McNeill free-kick was nodded back across goal by Murray McLoy. Fish was waiting to pounce with a clinical right-footed effort that found the bottom left-hand corner.

The goal brought about a short period of pressure from EK. Fish was working well up front and trying to make moves. He nearly got in between the defence and goalkeeper before sliding at the final moment, whilst Adam Wilson had a header well blocked by Josh Rankin.

Buchanan continued to look menacing on the counter for BonnyBridge despite the EK resurgence. He again got the run on the Burgh defence before lashing wide, with his movement continuing to cause EK all sorts of problems.

Frustratingly for EK, they lost another goal from a free-kick to the back post. This time Danny Noble rose to put Bonnybridge three ahead once again.

Yet EK refused to go in at the break with that deficit, and Fish was alert to latch onto a loose ball, run in and dink a lovely finish over Nathan Cowan to reduce Bonnybridge's lead to two before the break.

  • Half Time:
  • EK Burgh
  • 2-4
  • Bonnybridge YFC

It always felt as though EK were just a step or two behind Bonnybridge throughout the first half, but the second half was a totally different affair. EK were throwing challenges in and winning the second balls - something they weren't doing in the first 45. 

Samuel Herd sent a dangerous cross in that was missed by three Burgh players at the back post. Minutes later, the energetic Blair Anderson was sent through, but as he charged in on the left-hand side of the goal, he blazed his effort over.

It looked as though EK's bright start to the half was going to go unrewarded. However, a long throw was allowed to bounce and went to the back post for Fish to grab his hat-trick by firing into the opposite corner.

With EK back to within one goal, credit must go to how Bonnybridge reacted. They again took control, but EK's back-line were starting to limit Buchanan as the centre-backs took control of the balls being played in behind them.

David Aitchison should've done better when he fired a free header over from yards out, but Bonnybridge were starting to look threatening again.

Back-to-back moments of inspiration on either side kept Bonnybridge's lead to one goal. Firstly, Aitchison blasted home a terrific free-kick from around 30 yards out, before Calum Whittingham responded with a sensational free-kick strike of his own from even further out. These really were moments of genius that have to be appreciated - simply two thunderbolts that fully deserved their rewards.

However, EK were back in the game and really putting pressure on a tired looking Bonnybridge outfit. The increasingly influential Anderson was finding space in the final third and always looked a threat, with the driving runs of Whittingham causing Bonnybridge problems in the defensive third.

Whittingham chased a lost cause that led to a collision between Cowan and one of his centre-backs. Whittingham had time to pick out a cross to Anderson, who calmly slotted home to level matters.

It was no surprise Anderson then came up with the next goal as another throw in was allowed to bounce too often in the Bonnybridge box. Anderson seized on the confusion with a powerful low strike that put EK ahead for the first time in the tie.

Momentum and energy was all with EK at this stage as Bonnybridge looked to have tired.

Luke McNeill then put EK 7-5 ahead as he bundled home a deep Anderson cross after initially hitting the post.

EK looked like seeing the game out well. Yet in a final few minutes of madness, Anderson was sent off for a kick at Mackie before Buchanan sealed his hat-trick as he tapped home a long ball that bounced and looped over Todd.

In the end, EK did see the game out, showing tremendous character to turn around a match that looked beyond them for most of the first half and some of the second. 

Bonnybridge played some tremendous football in the first half. They were deservedly ahead at the break with the star for them being Buchanan. His hat-trick was vintage lone-striker play, with some good energy to their football as a whole. They shouldn't be too disheartened after a very credible display.

  • Full Time:
  • EK Burgh
  • 7-6
  • Bonnybridge YFC

Lineups

EK Burgh
Bonnybridge YFC
1. Matthew Todd
2. Sam Sprott
3. Samuel Herd
4. Josh Cairns
5. Andrew Hughes
6. Jordan Mime
7. Calum Whittingham
8. Adam Wilson
9. Alex Fish
11. Murray McLoy
12. Sam Neilly
14. Grant Airdrie
15. Luke McNeill
16. Calum Owens
18. Sean Middleton
19. Brian Duncan
24. Blair Anderson
2. Aidan Feighan
3. Josh Rankin
4. Danny Noble
5. Jordan Jack
6. Cameron Dick
7. Ben Thornham
8. Neil Mackie
9. Adam Binnie
10. Dylan Young
11. David Aitchison
12. Ross Buchanan
14. Ben Harper
15. Robbie Gregg
16. Elliot Bullough
20. Nathan Cowan
Star Player
EK Burgh
Bonnybridge YFC
Alex Fish - At key moments in the match it looked as though EK were out of it. This was where Fish stood out as his head never dropped. Seizing on opportunities he sniffed out a couple of goals for his side with some ruthless finishing, and this kept EK in it. There were so many other notable performers though, with Whittingham and Anderson so impressive in the second half.
Ross Buchanan - His first-half performance was sensational. Not just did he get a hat-trick over the 90 minutes, his movement in the first half was a constant thorn for EK. He was given some terrific service by the likes of Dylan Young and Adam Binnie, and he made the most of it. Exceptional performance from him, despite not seeing as much of the ball in the second half.
Magic Moment
EK Burgh
Bonnybridge YFC
Whittingham's stupendous free-kick really brought the energy back to EK when it looked like all hope was lost. It was almost in line with the centre-circle, yet the midfielder showed outrageous confidence with a powerful strike into the top corner.
Again, it was another free-kick. Aitchison set the bar with a whizzing strike from a good 35 yards out that looked to have taken the game away from EK. What happened afterwards was forgetful for BonnyBridge, but that moment certainly wasn't. A fantastic strike from a clearly technically gifted player.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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