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Gartcairn do the Double

Gartcairn Academy 2

Johnstone 70, Moore 90

Eastwood Juveniles 0

  • Sunday, 13 May 2018
  • New Tinto Park
  • Under 21´s
  • Kenwil Print & Design Cup

Gartcairn Academy lifted their second trophy in as many months on Sunday when they triumphed over Eastwood Juveniles to win the Kenwil Print and Design Cup.

Daniel Johnstone’s second half goal was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle in what was a hotly-contested final.

Gartcairn kicked off on a gloriously sunny afternoon at Benburb’s New Tinto Park and both side flew out of the traps in an energetic start to the game.

Each side was desperate to gain the upper hand which resulted in a frantic beginning to the game.

The first chance of the game came when Steven Hastie galloped down the left wing, outstripping the defence and driving towards the near post, forcing Scott Matthews to parry the ball behind.

Gartcairn then responded with a good opportunity of their own. Some slick passing down the left channel released Luke Kelly, who beat his man before cutting the ball to the edge of the box. Josh Moore was waiting but fired his effort straight at Ryan Truesdale in the Eastwood goal.

Academy were enjoying most of the ball during the opening exchanges, with their defence pushing up towards the halfway line in an attempt to control proceedings.

Moore had a chance to open the scoring when Kelly played a short corner to him from the left. The winger beat one defender before firing an effort at the near post, but Truesdale was equal to it.

A minute later Gartcairn went close to finding the net, once again from a corner. This time, Kelly swung the ball towards Scott Burns at the back post. The centre back headed back across goal, but none of his teammates could get the touch the ball needed to cross the line.

Hastie continued to look dangerous for Eastwood and admirably pressed and harried the Gartcairn defence as the first half progressed.

By the half hour mark most of the play took place in the Juveniles half and they struggled to maintain possession, preferring to try and hit Academy on the counter.

Calum Rodger looked particularly dangerous going forward from left back and played a crucial role in Gartcairn’s next attack. A neat pass found Kelly in the box with his back to goal, when the winger teed up Ciaran Reilly. The attacker took a touch before hitting a low shot, which the goalkeeper smothered comfortably.

Moore had another chance to open the scoring minutes later when Reilly’s pass found him unmarked at the back post, but the right winger saw his shot trickle harmlessly wide of the far post.

Gartcairn upped the intensity as the match approached half time, spurning a number of decent opportunities. First, Reilly fired a tame shot from distance wide of the far post. Then, with a couple of minutes remaining, Moore beat two Eastwood defenders down the left before seeing his near-post effort parried behind for a corner.

The referee then called time on an entertaining first half. Gartcairn could probably feel a little aggrieved to have gone in level, but Eastwood would have to improve to stand a chance of winning the cup.

  • Half Time:
  • Gartcairn Academy
  • 0-0
  • Eastwood Juveniles

Eastwood got the second half underway with a renewed intensity and put Gartcairn on the back foot from the start.

Juveniles began to control more of the ball and in Ross Donnelly, always had an outlet when moving up the pitch.

Gartcairn were inches away from taking the lead when Reilly slipped Moore through for a one-on-one, but the winger had strayed just offside.

Johnstone struck an effort from distance around the hour mark but the midfielder was slightly off balance and his shot sailed wide of the far post.

Five minutes later Hastie spurned a glorious opportunity to put Eastwood in the driving seat. The striker got on the end of a lobbed pass into the box and slipped the ball past Matthews, only to see it go just wide of the far post.

A few minutes later, Eastwood fell behind after an unfortunate defensive mix-up. Moore and Johnstone had a two-on-two against the Juveniles defence and at the moment Moore attempted to slip the ball through to his teammate, the two defenders fell into each other. A delighted Johnstone scampered through on goal, calmly knocking the ball past the onrushing Truesdale before passing the ball into an empty net.

Substitute Craig Wright nearly doubled the Gartcairn advantage a minute later when he charged down the left wing and fired at goal, but the angle was too narrow to seriously trouble Truesdale.

The match intensity was upped by Eastwood once again as they desperately searched for a way back into the game.

Declan Kelly could have levelled the scores when he cut inside from the left and leathered a shot at the Gartcairn goal, but Matthews did well to hold the ball.

Some quick passing and movement released Hastie down the left wing moments later, with the forward driving dangerously into the box. He cut the ball back, trying to find a teammate, but the Academy defence cleared the ball behind for a corner.

Gartcairn were playing with less intensity now, happy to soak up pressure and attempting to hit Eastwood on the break.

Juveniles were attacking with a clear sense of urgency and almost got an equaliser a few minutes from time when Luke Hamilton connected well with a half-volley, only to drag his effort wide of the near post.

Then, with just moments remaining, Gartcairn got their second and sealed the win. A long ball to the back post reached Wright, who immediately cut the ball back across goal. Moore sprinted to reach the ball before smashing it in at the far post, giving Truesdale little chance of reaching it.

The referee then blew his whistle to signal the end of the game and the delighted Gartcairn players rushed onto the pitch. It was a tightly-contested, frantic game but in the end the best side won.

  • Full Time:
  • Gartcairn Academy
  • 2-0
  • Eastwood Juveniles

Lineups

Gartcairn Academy
Eastwood Juveniles
1. Scott Matthews
2. Jay Brindle
3. Calum Rodger
4. Adam Watt
5. Scott Burns
6. Conor Lyttle
7. Josh Moore
8. Daniel Johnstone
9. Jordan Shaw
10. Ciaran Reilly
11. Luke Kelly
12. Craig Wright
15. Connor Burns
16. Keir Turnbull
17. Kyle Rea
1. Ryan Truesdale
2. Kieran O'Donnell
3. Gavin Campbell
4. Ryan McFadden
5. Thomas Greene
6. Chris Leask
7. David Woods
9. Ross Geddes
10. Declan Kelly
11. Steven Hastie
12. Chris Monk
14. Ross Donnelly
15. Mark Patterson
17. Kieran Fitzpatrick
Star Player
Gartcairn Academy
Eastwood Juveniles
Daniel Johnstone - scored the game's opening goal and always looked a threat when driving forward from midfield. Linked up well with the Gartcairn attack.
Steven Hastie - pressed the Gartcairn defence well and led the attack for Eastwood. Was unfortunate not to give his side the lead in the second half.
Magic Moment
Gartcairn Academy
Eastwood Juveniles
Daniel Johnstone's goal was scored at a crucial time and the midfielder showed great composure to coolly slot the ball home.
Declan Kelly's attempt from cutting in from the left , beating two players in the process, was an excellent piece of skill and could have levelled the scores on another day.
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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