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Arthurlie defeat Gartcairn in thriller to reach Scottish Cup Final

Arthurlie Juniors 1

Macneil 90+4, Garner 110, Wiseman 118

Gartcairn Academy 1

Moore 30
  • 3-1
  • Sunday, 08 April 2018
  • Benburb Junior Football Club
  • Under 21´s
  • Scottish Cup

Gartcairn Academy met Arthurlie Juniors in this rearranged Scottish Cup semi-final at Benburb Juniors Football Club, that attracted a huge crowed for a eagerly anticipated match.

Arthurlie defeated Milngavie 2-0 to reach this stage, whilst Gartcairn beat Murieston United 4-1 to reach the semi-final. The game began at a frantic pace, with both teams trying to put an early marker down with some heavy challenges and quick passing.  

Luke Kelly had the first chance of the match for Gartcairn when his free kick was deflected just over the bar from 25 yards out. 

Despite the quick start, it was a quiet beginning to the game in terms of chances as both sides cancelled each other out with some strong defensive work. 

Gartcairn had the first big chance to take an early lead after 15 minutes, after some great work on the left side from Josh Moore, he was able to cross for Jordan Shaw and he was only inches away from putting his team in front.

Arthurlie slowly started to get a foothold in the game and their first real chance of note came after 25 minutes. Lwis Garner's header was brilliantly saved by the Scott Matthews in the Gartcairn goal from close range and he was able to gather the ball at the second attempt. 

At the other end, Shaw was then denied by the Arthurlie goalkeeper Mark Parson only minutes later, who also produced a great save from close range after some more good work from Moore.

Gartcairn deservedly took the lead after half an hour, and it was a special goal for the big occasion. From almost 30 yards out, Moore, the best player on the park so far, struck a wonderful, knuckle ball free kick into the top corner that left the goalkeeper with no chance. 

 Arthurlie responded well to the set back but despite their pressure on the Gartcairn goal they couldn’t create any clear cut chances and it was a frustrating first half for them.

It was the team in blue and white that finished the first half the stronger but they couldn’t add to their one goal advantage before the whistle. 

  • Half Time:
  • Arthurlie Juniors
  • 0-1
  • Gartcairn Academy

The second half began at a much slower place than the first, as both teams sized each other up and didn’t take too many risks in the opening stages. It was up to Arthurlie to to take the game to their opponents. 

Dan Johnstone of Gartcairn received the first booking of the semi-final, for a late lunge on Lee Roulston. 

The first chance of the second half fell to Connor Burns, as he unleashed a shot from 25 yards out that just went over the crossbar, with the Arthurlie goalkeeper helpless. 

With half an hour to go Arthurlie were attempting to create chances and put pressure on the Gartcairn goal but were simply struggling to break down a stubborn, well organised defence.

It was to be Gartcairn with the next big chance and it could have killed the game off with only 20 minutes remaining. Craig Wright broke through the Arthurlie defence and with runners either side he decided to shoot from the edge of the box but his effort crashed against the post and away to safety. 

Although it was Arthurlie that needed the equaliser it was Gartcairn that were pushing for the second to kill the game off. Shaw had a good chance for the team in blue and white, but his strike was deflected just wide with the keeper scrambling. 

There was a late red card for Gartcairn as Johnstone received a second yellow card for a late tackle with only seconds remaining as he attempted to stop Arthurlie grabbing a very late equaliser.

However, from the resulting free kick Arthurlie were awarded a last minute penalty kick for an apparent foul by Scott Burns. 

It was top be Michael Macneil, the captain, who stood up to take the penalty and he held his nerve to send the semi final into extra time, to spark wild celebrations from the Arthurlie support.

  • Full Time:
  • Arthurlie Juniors
  • 1-1
  • Gartcairn Academy
Arthurlie started extra time with all the momentum, not only scoring a last minute equaliser but also with a man advantage so they were expected to go on and win the semi-final.

Despite this they couldn’t press their advantage home and the first half of extra time went by without much incident, as both sets of players seemed to tire and may have been satisfied with penalties.

Halftime of Extra Time: 1-1.

Gartcairn had a brilliant chance to score what would surely have been the winning goal but Shaw, who had an excellent afternoon for his team, was denied by a great save from the Arthurlie goalkeeper.

Only minutes later, it was Arthurlie who had the chance to win it and they took their opportunity. After some good work from Roulston on the left hand side, the ball fell to Lewis Garner on the half volley and he finished superbly to give the goalkeeper no chance and score what was almost certainly the winning goal.

Despite some pressure in the closing minutes from their opponents, Arthurlie sealed the victory with only seconds left as James Wiseman curled in a great free kick.

The referee blew his whistle to send Arthurlie into the final and seal a dramatic victory, and to also spark jubilant scenes from the support.

Gartcairn can be proud of their performance and will perhaps feel aggrieved about some decisions that went against them, but it is Arthurlie who advance to the Scottish Cup Final.

Final Result: 3-1

Lineups

Arthurlie Juniors
Gartcairn Academy
1. Mark Parson
2. Lewis Mcilreavy
3. Michael Docherty
4. Michael Macneil
5. John Bruce
6. Michael McGoldrick
7. Blair Hughes
8. Ross Urquhart
9. James Wiseman
10. Jack Doherty
11. Lewis Garner
12. Christopher Kennedy
13. Lee Roulston
14. Sean Ross
15. Michael Connelly
16. Ryan Anderson
1. Scott Matthews
2. Jay Brindle
3. Calum Roger
4. Scott Burns
5. Adam Watt
6. Conor Lyttle
7. Josh Moore
8. Dan Johnstone
9. Craig Wright
10. Jordan Shaw
11. Luke Kelly
12. Connor Burns
14. Ciaran Reilly
15. Paul McAllister
16. Damiel McGowan
17. Luke Tuite
Star Player
Arthurlie Juniors
Gartcairn Academy
The star man for Arthurlie was their midfielder Lee Roulston. It was clear from the start that he was comfortable on the ball and he was able to keep the ball moving throughout the match. On a big occasion he passed the ball well and was involved in the second goal for his side, overall a strong performance from the central midfielder.
The star player for Gartcairn was Jordan Shaw, who despite not scoring in the match put in an excellent performance for his team. He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet several times and on another day he could have had a hat-trick. Despite this he continued to work for his team for the full 120 minutes.
Magic Moment
Arthurlie Juniors
Gartcairn Academy
The magic moment for Arthurlie was Lewis Garner's goal, which effectively sealed their place in the final. It was a fantastic, left-footed finish from Garner and the celebrations from his teammates proved that they believed that they had made the final.
The magic moment for Gartcairn was the wonderful goal by Josh Moore in the first half. His brilliant 30 yard free-kick looked to have sent his team into the final but it was not to be for the team in blue and white despite a battling performance.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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