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Saturday, 19 November 2011 17:57

Spartans defeat Thistle to earn place in last 16

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Spartans FC Under 17s
Gleniffer Thistle BC Under 17s 
Competition: Scottish Cup 4th Round
Venue: Spartans Academy
Date: 19/11/2011
Author: Danny Scott
Both teams at Spartans Academy were worth a place in the last 16 of the under 17s Scottish Cup but Spartans’ Sean Stewart’s volleyed winner proved enough to separate these talented sides.
Had Thomas McGaughey’s half volley after 85-minutes gone either side of Mark Horsburgh in the Spartans’ goal the result might have been different.
Paisley’s Gleniffer Thistle showed no sign off weariness as both teams started the game with intent and intelligent play. In a closely fought opening Spartans’ almost landed the first blow with a sweeping counter attack arching from right back Alistair Chrisp, through Spartans right midfield and ending with a shot from just inside the left hand side of the box that Scott Vallance somehow clawed away as Spartans’ fans raised their arms in anticipation.
They were again frustrated 10-minutes later as the contest opened up. Vallance showed valour to dive at the feet of Bonar to block a follow up shot from the advancing Spartans only to see the ball squirm out to Stewart at the back post whose shot rolled across the line but wide.
Missed chances can upset a team’s concentration and so it proved here. On Thistle’s resulting counter, Connor Macdonald looked up halfway inside Spartans’ half and hit a perfectly judged diagonal pitch into the channel for Thomas McGaughey to volley Gleniffer in front.
The lead lasted less than 5-minutes. A high floated corner from Scott Bonar found Stewart in space at the far post and he made no mistake with his header to level the tie.
The remainder of the half was exhilarating stuff. In a carbon copy of Gleniffer’s goal McGaughey volleyed again at Horsburgh but the keeper’s wondersave low to his left preserved parity in the tie.
It was a testament to the quality of the play that both teams defended well yet created great chances. Gleniffer’s forward line must have grown tired of Bruce Gorrie’s red hair appearing in their peripheral vision to snuff out attacks. While, at the other end captain Stobo put in a leader’s performance marshalling his backline well.
Chances were missed or brilliantly saved at both ends. The lightening quick Bradley Raiker anchored Spartans’ midfield brilliantly, time and again using his close control and blistering pace to drive at Thistle’s defence. One such burst saw Raiker carry the ball 30-yards before splitting Gleniffer’s defence with a reverse pass that Bonar casually flicked in the air before volleying goalward from the edge of the area. Vallance again saved well.  
In a second half that lacked the quality if not the intrigue of the first, Matthew Fender almost found the bottom corner of Spartans’ net with a 20-yarder minutes before Matthew Underhill’s flick found Stewart in the box and in enough to slam the eventual winner across Vallance and into the far side of the net.
Spartans were thwarted by Vallance and bad luck as they looked to seal the tie in a frantic episode which saw the influential Scott’s header saved and Moore’s follow up hit the post. Gleniffer somehow survived.
In error they had brought two number 12 strips  with them and Thomas McGaughey seemed at times to be doing the work of two men. He would have deserved his second goal but Horsburgh’s save in this impressive match ensured that it was Spartans who could finally raise and keep their arms aloft at the final whistle.
Full Time: Spartans FC Under 17s 2-1 Gleniffer Thistle BC Under 17s 

Spartans FC Under 17s
Gleniffer Thistle BC Under 17s
1. Mark Horsburgh
4. Peter Mair
5. Bruce Gorrie
6. Alistair Chrisp
7. Bradley Raiker
8. Lewis Scott
12. Scott Bonar
14. Elliot Mitchell
15. Martin Lackie
16. Sean Stewart
17. Ross Harris 
2. Gregg Veitch
3. Marc Kustra
9. Harry Moore
11. Matthew Underhill
1. Scott Vallance
3. Mark Hewitson
4. Alexander McFarlane
5. Andrew Stobo
6. Nathan Aird
9. Donald Thomson
10. Connor Macdonald
12. Thomas McGaughey
14. Matthew Fender
15. Andrew Guthrie
16. Colin Brennan
11. Ross Thomson
12. Ryan Anderson
17. Aaron Trench
Givova are an Italian sportswear brand (click here to see range) who cover all tiers of the game, from Serie A's Chievo Verona and Catania, to grass roots. They have hit Scotland so look out for YFS team members in their Givova kit at your game!
Givova UK Man of the Match: Bruce Gorrie
Givova UK Man of the Match: Matthew Fender
Last modified on Tuesday, 09 July 2013 18:12
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