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In football, you win some... and you lose some! And that was certainly true in the 4th round of the Scottish Schools FA Shield clash between Linlithgow Academy and Turnbull HS, from Bishopbriggs. And for me personally!
It was a good game and it certainly was not a wasted journey for the team from Bishopbriggs. Not at all as they were deserved winners of this very good game of football. Bishopbriggs were much more passionate in their play than Linlithgow and on their way to an impressive win, they played some really very good football with excellent individual performances into the bargain.
Nothing should be taken away from the high quality displayed by the team from the west of Scotland. They led by only 1-0 at the halfway stage of a game played in freezing cold conditions. The Linlithgow defence played brilliantly in the first half to keep the score down but Turnbull HS could, and possibly should, have scored more goals in the first half their only goal was a long time coming, but it was a real beauty when it did arrive. A scything passing move saw the ball switched from Connor Stewart to Callum Holland and the big, impressive Turnbull HS No 10 laid the ball on for Luke McCall to score.
There was action galore in both goalmouths, but Turnbull HS were the more dangerous side when on attack. Linlithgow had to rely on breaks to put pressure on the visiting defence, but they found Turnbull HS No 2, Reece Blair, a huge hurdle to overcome along with his colleagues in defence. So, only 1-0 at the break and with the freezing cold wind in Linlithgow’s favour, they came out of the blocks at the start of the second half and it was the turn of Turnbull HS’s defence to defend their goal.
Things looked good for the West Lothian school, but then the proverbial ‘roof fell in’ on them. The Linlithgow defence was all over the place in a purple patch for the visiting side during which they scored three goals. Luke McColl it was again, who was set up to score his side’s second goal after more good play from Calum Holland. A brilliant through ball from Turnbull HS’s Chris McLeod allowed Calum Holland to outpace the Linlithgow defence on the right and this good young player finished off brilliantly and Turnbull HS were 3-0 in front.
Holland scored his side’s fourth goal after another good pass from Chris McLeod. Trailing 4-0, Linlithgow fought back and they went close on several occasions, but this just was not their day. Turnbull HS keeper, Matthew McGettighan, was in great form for the visitors and the goalkeeper produced several great saves as the home side mounted attack after attack on the away goal. With time running out, Ian Laver did manage to find a way through the Turnbull HS defence to score and make it 4-1.
Then a terrific free kick from Ryan Batchelor crashed off the Turnbull HS crossbar and Batchelor did get the chance to show off his powerful left foot shots with a free kick to the left edge of the 18 yard box and he powered a great shot in to the bottom right hand corner. Turnbull's final goalscorer was Callum Stewart, rounding off their tally.
So it was 5-2 at the finish and well deserved it was for Turnbull HS. Their three goals in the second half put the game beyond Linlithgow HS. On the old hard, hockey surface at the West Lothian school, it was a surprisingly good game.
Good luck to Turnbull HS in the fifth round. They have in them to go on and win the Scottish Shield for their age group.
Full Time: Linlithgow High School 2-5 Turnbull High School