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Port Glasgow stun Motherwell with last minute victory

Motherwell FCCT 1

Wilson 40

Port Glasgow 2

McAuslan 60, Gavin 90
  • Sunday, 15 October 2017
  • Muirhouse, Motherwell
  • Under 17´s
  • Cumbernauld and Kilsyth League Division B

A last minute winner from Ciaran Gavin earned Port Glasgow all three points at Motherwell in a Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Division B bout that went right to the wire.

Port Glasgow had the first chance of the match within a minute when Josh Lafferty burst down the left wing and whipped in a cross to Ryan Phillips whose shot glanced past the face of the goal.

The visitors had another effort when they won a free kick on the right side. Reuben Ballingall swung in the cross which was half cleared and his rebounded strike was routinely saved by Jay Elliot in the Motherwell goal.

Motherwell had their first significant opportunity when Steven Reilly picked up possession outside the box, lobbed the ball up for himself and attempted a looping kick which Port keeper Lewis Lafferty managed to get a hand to.

Josh Lafferty continued to cause problems for Motherwell during the early exchanges as he marauded down the left flank unchallenged. He laid the ball on to Josh McAuslan on the corner of the box who blazed the ball over the bar as the away side turned the screw.

Port Glasgow were dominating proceedings, pressing higher up the pitch and holding a larger portion of the early chances on goal. Port could have taken the lead when a long kick out from Lewis Lafferty evaded the whole midfield and latched on to Josh Lafferty in a dangerous position. The striker got his shot off early encouraging a smart save from the Motherwell stopper.

Motherwell had resorted to shooting from distance when in possession at this stage and Jordan Wilson tested the goal from 25 yards out but the attack was well matched by Lewis Lafferty.

Josh Lafferty found himself one on one with the keeper when he ran on to a neat flick on but his attempt was parried away by Elliot. There was an almost identical opportunity moments later when the attacker lashed an attempt on goal but Elliot got down low and stretched to save with a strong right glove.

Port Glasgow kept knocking on the door without any success which was testament to the performance of Elliot in goals who was proving equal to any problem the visitors could muster. Port were enjoying a lot of possession in the final third but couldn't capitalise. To their credit, Motherwell were being street wise in defence by not taking any chances and evading the danger by clearing their lines nice and early.

Ballingall burst through the middle of the pitch but his early stab from outside the box was dealt with again by Elliot. Motherwell had the chance to put themselves in front from a corner when the ball landed to Blair White but he scooped the ball over the bar from close range.

The home side would take their chance soon after on the 40th minute when a searching clearance up the park found Matthew Cummings in the counter attack who laid it onto Andrew Wilson to his right. Wilson dashed into the box unchallenged and calmly passed it into the back of the net by the stranded goalkeeper.

Port Glasgow reacted immediately as Josh Brolly got on the end of a corner and his low drive had every right to burst the back of the net before it was met by the outstretched foot of Elliot who saved his side again.

The ref blew to signal the end of a first half where Port Glasgow had dominated possession but were unable to make the most of their chances. Motherwell had proven to be clinical when it mattered as well as resolute at the back and they took a well earned lead into the second period.

  • Half Time:
  • Motherwell FCCT
  • 1-0
  • Port Glasgow

McAuslan had the first shot of the second half for Port but it went high and wide of the target. Motherwell started the half with a lot more purpose and looked confident in possession now that they had a lead to build on. 'Well were pressing higher up the pitch than before and caught their opposition in possession a few times in dangerous areas.

Port Glasgow found their rhythm again as the half wore on and a long goal kick from Lewis Lafferty bypassed the home defence and landed to the feet of Phillips who rounded the keeper and rattled the ball off the post. The rebound was scuffed at and the 'Well rearguard managed to put the ball out of play for a corner.

Port will have been frustrated that they had so many opportunities to make a breakthrough and were losing focus in the final third when it mattered. The away side were making plenty of chances but Motherwell were finding weakness in the Port defence that they couldn't find in the first half.

The visitors continued to pepper the Well goal and it was down to some great last ditch defending from Motherwell that it took them so long to equalise.

It was a case of cometh the hour cometh the man when McAuslan finally got the goal for Port Glasgow on 60 minutes. The midfielder darted down the right wing, drove past his defender and poked the ball under the on rushing goalkeeper.

Robbie McLay almost put his side ahead again in spectacular fashion when he ran onto a short free kick in the centre circle and rattled the ball towards the goalkeeper. The ball took a lucky bounce off Lewis Lafferty's leg from 40 yards out as Port Glasgow got out of jail.

Motherwell decided to shuffle the pack at this point substituting Wilson and Cummings for Declan Gemmel and Toby Petersen.

Port Glasgow won a free kick on the right corner of the opposition box after a brash tackle on one of their players. Ballingall whipped in the cross and it was met with the head of Phillips from a yard out who missed the target.

McAuslan was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Liam McElwee.  McLay had an ambitious overhead kick attempt quashed in the box as both teams raised the tempo going into the final stages of the game. Motherwell's number nine was well amongst the action as he tried to drive his team on to victory and had a free kick saved by the goalkeeper moments later.

As the match threatened to grind to a halt Port Glasgow snatched the victory at the death with a  thumping header from Gavin. Unlike so many opportunities that had gone before, Gavin was able to seize his chance and break the hearts of the home side who had held fast for 90 minutes.

The referee blew for time in Muirhouse to confirm the misery for Motherwell who had battled hard all afternoon to stay in the match. It looked like it was never going to happen but in the final minute Port Glasgow eventually took their chance to score past the ever impressive Elliot.

Port Glasgow were 11th place in the league before kick off but should climb after getting six points from their first three games. Motherwell are yet to get off the mark after five matches despite coming close this afternoon.

  • Full Time:
  • Motherwell FCCT
  • 1-2
  • Port Glasgow


Motherwell FCCT
Port Glasgow
1) Jay Elliot
3) Liam Tonner
5) Jordan Ferrie
7) Matthew Cummings
8) Blair White
9) Robbie McLay
10) Toby Petersen
11) Andrew Wilson
14) Steven Rielly
15) Declan Gemmell
16) Greg McLuskey
18) Callum Smith
33) Jordan Wilson
1) Lewis Lafferty
2) Scott MacLeod
4) Ciarin Gavin
8) Josh McAuslan
9) Ryan Phillips
10) Josh Lafferty
11) Jack Anderson
12) Shaun Grierson
13) Reuben Ballingall
14)Liam McElwee
15) Jack Purdie
16) Josh Brolly
17) Jamie McIntyre
Star Player
Motherwell FCCT
Port Glasgow
Motherwell goalkeeper Jay Elliot was undoubtedly the most impressive performer on the day. His first half performance inspired the outfield players to take the lead against the run of play. Unfortunately, despite keeping up the good work in the second half, Elliot eventually conceded two late goals. It speaks volumes that he started the match in a bright yellow strip and finished with it covered in mud. Pulled out all the stops to save his team countless times.
Josh Lafferty was the key man behind every Port Glasgow attack, particularly in the first half when the Motherwell defence didn't have an answer for him. His speed and direct style caused the home side problems all afternoon and he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet at least once.
Magic Moment
Motherwell FCCT
Port Glasgow
Robbie McLay executed an audacious back heel as he broke out of defence with the ball to start a counter attack. McLay looked one way and sent his opponent running in the opposite direction as he flicked it to his team mate behind him. A lovely piece of skill in a game that was scrappy at times due to the unfortunate wind conditions.
The last minute winner from Gavin will have sent a wave of ecstasy and relief over his team mates. Port Glasgow could have gone ahead earlier but to leave it so late made it all the more special.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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