It was Burnbank FC vs Pro Football Academy in the final of the McCartney Scott Cup final, played at Wishaw Juniors.
For most, if not all of these boys. it will have been the biggest games of their careers so far, albeit at a very young age, but I’m sure the nerves were huge as the teams came out for kickoff.
The game began in frantic fashion, with both sets of teams understandably desperate for a fast start but with a strong wind both sides struggled to keep the ball in the early stages.
There was a long delay early in the match as the Pro Football keeper went down after a goal kick and after some treatment he had to be replaced by sub keeper Liam Glavin.
The first real chance fell to Burnbank as Darren Odonohue was sent clean through by captain Terry Dolan and he looked a certainty to score but Lewis Campbell produced a brilliant last ditch tackle to deny him.
Burnbank were the better team in the opening 15 minutes, winning several corners in a row but they couldn’t find the breakthrough.
In their first real chance of the game, PFA took the lead after 20 minutes. A flick from a free-kick fell to the feet of Alex McKay who despite getting clattered by the Burnbank keeper, managed to squeeze the ball in and put his side in front.
This gave his side the confidence and momentum they were looking for and it only took another 5 minutes for Pro Football to double their lead. Cian Murphy was given too much space in the middle of the park and he played a great ball over the top of the Burnbank defence for Mckay and he finished well under the goalkeeper to grab his second of the final and give his team a huge advantage.
Pro football were beginning to dominate the match, passing the ball well and not giving their opponents anything.
It looked like Burnbank’s best chance to get back into the match was from corners and they created a good chance from successive corners but captain Dolan couldn’t quite direct his header goalwards.
Burnbank finished the half strong but couldn’t test the Pro Football goalkeeper and would need something special in the second half to turn the final around.