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Tuesday, 04 June 2013 12:58

Impressive Lanarkshire seal National Trophy success

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Rose 58
Smith 68


U15 SSFA National Trophy - Final
Spartans Academy, Edinburgh

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Lanarkshire deservedly won the Scottish Schools FA's Under 15 National Trophy, with a polished performance and 2-0 victory over Dundee. Second half goals from Jack Rose and Ian Smith were enough to secure the prestigious trophy for the boys in red.

Dundee had been edged out of Group 2's top spot by North of Scotland, but their victory over the group leaders on the final day saw them pip local rivals Angus to the runners up spot. They then won a dramatic quarter final 4-3 against Forth Valley, before seeing off Ayrshire 1-0 in the semi finals.

Lanarkshire also came runners up in their section - Group 4, with Forth Valley coming out on top. However they came into their own in the knockout stages, beating Edinburgh 4-1 and firing six past North of Scotland.

For Dundee, many of their squad had sampled a national final just weeks before. Seven of their players came from Dundee United SC's Scottish Cup finalist team in the form of Darren Clarkson, Alex Gibb, Jordan Hornby, Callum Cook, Jordan Elder, Nathan Tosh, Derryn Kesson. They were hoping for better fortune on this occasion, having fell narrowly 3-2 to Edinburgh's Hutchison Vale at the Excelsior Stadium earlier this month.

Lanarkshire had a pretty formiddable lineup out themselves, with a forward line that would send shockwaves to any set of defenders. Semi final hero Ian Smith and Hearts team-mate Josh Moore provided an abundance of firepower. Not to mention the headline making Jordan Allan, who smashed records when making his debut for Airdrie United's first team aged just 14.

Lanarkshire were the quicker of the two teams to settle and had the first opening of the match. A cross from the right found Josh Moore inside the area and his volley offered good technique but provided little power to trouble Darren Clarkson in the Dundee goal.

The momentum continued with the Central Region outfit and it wasn't long before they had their first clear sight of goal. Jordan Allan found a pocket of space between the two centre halves, showed an excellent turn of pace, and only a fine stop by the legs of Clarkson denied him the game's opening goal.

Moore and Smith both had efforts as the Lanarkshire pressure was sustained. Moore forced another save from Clarkson, whereas Smith couldn't find the target. Smith was just off target again moments later, as Allan's fantastic industry on the left worked an opening for the Hearts striker.

Dundee hadn't been without possession, they were just struggling to convert it into any real threat in the final third. The Taysiders had in fact forced six corners throughout the half, but Kenny Giles remained untested in the Lanarkshire goal as the half time whistle blew.

Half Time: Dundee 0-0 Lanarkshire

The second half kicked off and immediately Dundee showed a greater sense of attacking purpose. Greg Warwick appeared to be in the clear within two minutes of the restart, but the onrushing Giles forced him wide and eventually the Dundee striker ran out of space to get his shot away.

At the other end Smith was once again at the centre of things, seeing his goal disallowed for offside. It was the correct decision but another warning shot to the Dundee rearguard.

Dundee continued to build on their joy in the Lanarkshire final third. A set piece from the left was met by the head of Warwick. The run was superbly timed but the header was just off target. A let off for Lanarkshire.

Lanarkshire responded well and with 58 minutes on the clock finally broke the deadlock. A lofted cross from the right couldn't be gathered by Clarkson and Jack Rose was quickest to react, slotting the ball into an unguarded net before wheeling away to celebrate.

Moore slide a shot just wide of the left hand post, as Lanarkshire sought a second goal which would surely put the game out of Dundee's reach. Whilst it was 1-0 anything could still happen and Dundee produced their best move of the match to show they were far from down and out. A string of passes resulted in Ryan Lamond laying off Alex Gibb, and the DUSC Scottsh Cup final two goal hero whistled a shot just wide of the right hand post.

Five minutes later, Lanarkshire did get their second goal. Smith had the freedom of the Dundee penalty area and picked his spot, half-volleying the ball past the helpless Clarkson to make it 2-0.

An incisive counter attack saw Craig Fox pick out Allan, who swept a fantastic 40 yard cross-field pass in the direction of smith. Cool as you like, the forward lofted the ball over Clarkson, only to see his effort cannon square off the bar and to safety.

It mattered little, as the final whistle blew minutes later. Lanarkshire were crowned national champions and deservedly so. They just had too much for a very good Dundee side to cope with on the day.

Full Time: Dundee 0-2 Lanarkshire

Dundee Lanarkshire
1. Darren Clarkson
2. Liam Gibb
3. Ryan Lamond
4. Paul Callaghan
5. Callum Walls
6. Cameron McMahon
7. Derryn Kesson
8. Sean Gallacher
9. Greg Warwick
10. Alex Gibb
11. Jordan Hornby
12. Nathan Tosh
14. Jordan Elder
15. Cameron Hoskins
17. Dominic Duffy
18. Ryan Smith
1. Kenny Giles
2. Joshua Payne
3. Aaron Gray
4. Lewis Clark
5. Aidan Bickerton
6. Ronan Hughes
7. Craig Fox
8. Jack Rose
9. Ian Smith
10. Josh Moore
11. Jordan Allan
12. Calvin Cowie
13. Ewan Walker
14. Nicky Barr-Keenan
15. Aaron McNeil
16. Marc Kelly
In a frustrating evening for Dundee they defended well for long periods and Ryan Lamond put in a good shift at full back.
Nearly all of the red jereseys had a shot at this award, but Jordan Allan edges it - he was outstanding throughout.
Last modified on Tuesday, 20 August 2013 23:29
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