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Sunday, 22 September 2013 17:14

Vale breach Antonine wall in thrilling cup tie

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Antonine BC

Vale of Clyde
Murphy 66


U21 Scottish Youth FA Cup - R1 Replay 
Mountblow Sports Pavilion, Dalmuir
21 September 2013
Author: Ronnie McGowan
In a compelling first round Scottish Youth FA cup replay at Mountblow , Vale of Clyde eventually found a gap in Antonine’s defensive wall to win the tie by the narrowest of margins. John Paul Murphy’s strike mid-way through the second half was the only goal that separated the teams which left Antonine’s coach John Miller, rueing their missed chances.
The home team opened by winning a corner in the second minute which set the pattern for the early part of the game as they sought to gain control. Both teams were trying to settle to an early rhythm with contrasting styles of play. Antonine opted to probe the Clyde defence with long balls with midfielder David Brannagan prominent, moving between midfield and pushing forward, as the home team pressed.
Alert to the danger of conceding territory Vale’s captain Joe Bradley assumed a deeper role in an attempt to break the early dominance won by the Dalmuir team.
Antonine won a series of corners from which no clear cut chances emerged as they mounted attacks on the Vale’s defence. This was proving to be a hard fought physical encounter and when Gavin Miller was brought down forty yards out Antonine applied further pressure from the ensuing corner but once again the Vale’s rearguard held firm and cleared the danger.
The Vale’s rare forages into Antonine’s goal area usually involved Dylan Hendry’s darting runs fed from the controlled play of Bradley.
David Brannagan saw a twenty five yard effort just off target on the twenty minute mark while a counter attack saw Vale’s Hendry brought down but the free kick from thirty five yards sailed high.
On the half hour mark it was beginning to look as if Antonine’s constant pressing would pay off as Ryan Kerr just failed to make contact when the ball rebounded from goalkeeper Darren McNeil and this was quickly followed by a Kerr header ending up just past the left hand post as Antonine anticipated opening their account.
This activity round the Vale’s goalmouth was quickly followed by Graham McKay releasing Kerr through the middle that left him clear on his own but the keeper was quick off his line to block Antonine’s best chance of scoring.
On forty minutes Bradley took a heavy challenge for which he received treatment and as the first half came to a close there were signs that Antonine’s stranglehold on the game was loosening as twice in quick succession Vale of Clyde showed some purpose as they moved forward. First from a throw-in on the left Darren Simpson saw a low flashing shot move sharply just wide of Sean Gibbons right hand post, then this was followed by a low ball across the face of the home goal that asked to be put into the net.
The first forty five minutes ended with Antonine’s territorial superiority missing that all-important first goal breakthrough.

Half Time: Antonine BC 0 - 0 Vale of Clyde 
A light drizzle descended from the Kilpatrick hills as the sides’ started the second half bringing with it a change in the balance of possession as the Vale of Clyde set about asserting more authority on the game. This was evident when central defender Andrew Sharp was given free rein to run unimpeded into the heart of the Antonine defence where he combined well with Hendry and Gavin Miller, another sign that the away team were in a more forceful frame of mind. Clyde were now pressing more as their play going forward became more inventive with Bradley being pivotal to the play-making. The increased forward movement resulted in a good move between Hendry and Paul Hewitt but the final shot was cleared.
Antonine countered with a forty yard run by Miller then Cameron Harkins was brought down twenty yards from the Vale’s goal. Graham McKay saw his free kick strike the wall before Brannagan shot the rebound over the bar from the edge of the box.
On the hour mark Kerr dispossessed Sharp and found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat but the chance was lost as the shot went wide. This was a real let-off for the Vale.
Determined to maintain their second half impetus Vale then made a double substitution which seemed to have an immediate galvanising effect on the team. Christopher Phee was quickly involved in some good defending and going forward with purpose and direction.
The game was opening up as Antonine’s Gregor Cree crossed and Kerr just failed to make contact in front of Vale’s goal but within a minute of this escape the visitors took the lead. A good move through the middle involved Stephen Peat and Bradley as they combined to release John Paul Murphy into the box where his low shot found the net. It had been coming.
The team from the East End of Glasgow were now in control but Antonine were still dangerous in attack and in the seventieth minute David Tolland was released down the right flank only to see his cross headed high by Miller.
As the game entered its latter stages play was swinging from end to end and in the eightieth minute Antonine’s Cameron Harkins sent Miller through where he was stopped by a strong challenge from the Vale defence.
With five minutes remaining Gavin Miller won a corner in a duel with Jay Stevenson. The resulting cross was touched on for another corner by the goalkeeper before the Vale defenders cleared their lines. With both teams challenging for everything, the final minute saw a shot from Stewart McLure skid low past Antonine’s left hand upright.
After the final whistle, John Martin said, ‘It was a good tight game but you have to take your chances’.
A relieved Vale of Clyde’s Peter Philips commented that ‘these were two hard fought contests’ while paying compliments to the Antonine team and said he expected the two further league games to be just as competitive.
Full Time: Antonine BC 0-1 Vale of Clyde


Antonine BC Vale of Clyde
1. Sean Gibbons
2. David Tolland
3. Cameron Harkins
4. David Brannagan
5. Calum Bryan
6. Gary Rogers
7. Gavin Miller
8. Jay Jenkins
9. Ryan Kerr
10. Gregor Cree
11. Dominic O'Neill
12. Rory McNicoll
14. Fraser Murray
15. Graham McKay
16. Gary Scouller
17. Jordan Gilchrist
1. Darren McNeill
2. Stewart McLure
3. Greg Robertson
4. Gary Storrie
5. Jay Stevenson
6. Stephen Peat
7. Dylan Hendry
8. Joseph Bradley
9. Paul Hewitt
10. Darren Simpson
11. Christopher Fraser
15. John Paul Murphy 
16. Frankie Owens
17. Michael McKay
18. Christopher Phee
19. Andrew Sharp
 David Brannagan, who asserted his authority throughout the team.
Joseph Bradley, for his creative influence on the game.
Last modified on Sunday, 22 September 2013 23:12
Ronnie McGowan

Ronnie McGowan | YFS West Region Journalist
Author's Bio | Articles by Author | [email protected]

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