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National Competitions (563)

Ten minutes to go, one goal in it, and a whole lot more than just a place in the Scottish FA Youth Cup quarter-finals at stake as Dean Ritchie stepped up for the third penalty of the game. The penalty may not have been bad, but Jay Cantley was equal to it.

In a ferocious Edinburgh derby at Oriam, where bookings felt more frequent than clearcut chances  - it was a missed opportunity that the Jambos were made to rue. 

Goals from Ryan Shanley and Mackenzie Weir either side of the interval had Hiberian two goals to the good, however lapses of concentration gave the home side a route back into it - if it wasn’t for the heroics Cantley that is.

Hibs certainly started the brighter of the sides, however they suffered a blow when Jayden Fairley limped off a few minutes after a nasty challenge from Aaron Hickey. Callum Wilson was the man to come on in his place.

The first chance of the game fell to Ryan Shanley of Hibs. Bearing down on goal, the forward could only drag his effort wide of the far post, much to his frustration. He then almost caught keeper Harry Stone off guard with a dipping effort from range, that had to be tipped over at the expense of a corner. 

Hearts striker Leeroy Makaovra went close with an impressive acrobatic attempt, before, on 23 minutes, the hosts smacked the crossbar following a scramble from a corner. 

The hosts very much grew into the tie and their best chance of the half fell the way of Chris Hamilton six minutes before the break. The big centre half met a dangerous ball in from the right firmly, and despite heading back across goal, Cantley scrambled over to deny.

It wasn’t until deep into stoppage time that referee Daniel Graves pointed to the spot: for the first of three penalties in the match. Skipper Kane O’Conner picked out namesake (almost) Josh, who neatly spun away from his man, and would’ve rounded the keeper too if he wasn’t dragged down by the right arm of Stone. 

Shanley was the man with the responsibility of firing his side ahead, and he did just that, despite a brief scare as Stone, diving to his left, got a hand on it - however he could only push the ball into the side netting as Hibs led at the break.

Kilsyth Athletic emerged victorious on penalties against Banks O'Dee Albion to progress to the Quarter Final of this year's Under 15 inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Cup.

Penalties were forced to decide the tie after the sides could not be separated in normal time as the game finished 3-3. Jamie Connelly scored the opener before a Joseph Bevan double had the home side 3-0 with half an hour left to play. However, Albion fought back with goals from Conor Sibson, Liam May and Elliot Brodie which brought the sides level to take the game to extra time.

Nonetheless, extra time still could not split the two teams. Joseph Bevan restored the Kilsyth lead with nothing short of a wonder goal, but amongst the celebrations, Liam Hogg was shown a second yellow card. Yet again, Albion came back and with two quickfire goals from Ryan Fraser and Bailey Milne and had their first lead in the game in extra time. On the stroke of half time, Kilsyth were reduced to nine men as Ciaran Clark was sent-off for a late challenge. But Louis Campbell, with moments left, nodded home from a corner to force penalty kicks.

Aiden Conway produced three great saves in the shootout for Kilsyth and sent the home side through to the Quarter Final to conclude an enthralling cup tie.

Kilsyth started the game on the front foot and their pressure paid off with 17 minutes on the clock. Robert Lang advanced with the ball on the left-hand side and found himself inside the Banks O'Dee Albion half before making a cross-field ball which found Jamie Connelly, who brought the ball down on the edge of the box and shifted the ball onto his right foot before smashing a shot into Archie Mackay's far corner.

Kilsyth continued to press and were unlucky not to double their lead when Joseph Bevan collected the ball on the right wing as Albion failed to clear a corner. Bevan whipped a ball across goal which Kirk Marshall just couldn't turn goalward.

But with just four minutes to go in the half, Kilsyth had a second goal. Again, Lang started the passage of play on the left and again played the same cross-field pass for Jamie Connelly. This time the midfielder had the intelligence to head the ball down the right-hand side for Bevan who cut back inside and from just outside the penalty area, unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom left corner.

A first half winner from Lyall Booth was enough to settle a close contest between Aberdeen and Hearts, as the young Dons lifted the first trophy of the new youth academy competition.

Cove Rangers’ Balmoral Stadium played host to the showpiece event, in front of a healthy crowd of expectant supporters for both teams.

Aberdeen made the best of the early running. Midfielder Kevin Hanratty, who was influential throughout, had a couple of long-range shots at goal, looking to test the Jambo’s nerve. Both were easily smothered. At the other end, neat link up play through Hearts’ Jai Charleston-King almost put Ryan Schiavone in the clear, but goalkeeper Tom Ritchie was alert to the danger.

On eight minutes, the first real chance. An Aberdeen freekick from the left by Ramsay was driven low, evading the gloves of Harris Spratt. The outstretched leg of Chris Aikamenze was not enough to force the ball home though, as the striker saw his effort cleared by the Hearts defence.

The Edinburgh side were having chances of their own, and were particularly threatening down the wings. On 21, right-back Sean Docherty won a freekick on the edge of the box. Charleston-King delivered a good curling ball, but skipper Arron Darge could not make a clean connection on his header. On the half-hour, some clever interchange on the left would put Leon Watson free. His shot blocked.

Then on 32, the breakthrough. Aberdeen’s Simone Zanda got the ball on their right. His first cross was deflected away to Hanratty on the edge, who fed him again. On the second attempt, the bouncing ball reached a gambling Lyall Booth, who pounced between defenders to turn the ball in for 1-0.

Late in the half, Hearts had a penalty claim waved away when Schiavone went down, whilst the Don’s Aikamenze flashed a header wide off a Calvin Ramsay cross. The players sought half-time warmth: the game simmering nicely at the interval.

Sunday, 18 November 2018 22:53

Leith cross Clyde obstacle to enter final 16

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Leith Athletic forwarded their name into the last 16 of the U16s Scottish Youth FA Cup thanks to a 3-0 victory over visiting Clyde SOF in Edinburgh. A combination of consistent strength at the back and goals at backbreaking moments ensured the capital side progressed with confidence.

This was a game that took some time to warm up. Against the backdrop of a blinding setting sun, it was not until the 15th minute that either team had a keeper concerned. Leith’s Robbie King dribbled across the park from right wing to left touchline to cross, leading to captain Ethan Wynne’s 18 yard effort being parried out of the top right corner by Clyde keeper James Graham.

It was a crisp strike by Wynne, yet not as eye-catching as team mate Rhys McMurdo’s free kick seven minutes later. 25 yards out and just left of centre, McMurdo drove a shot that Graham did fantastically to touch onto his post. Alas for Graham, respite was short-lived: the same attack saw a cross fall to an unmarked Sulaiman Ashraf, and his deflected shot opened the scoring.  

At the other end, for all the Glaswegian’s running and effort, they were finding no softness in the home defence. Not only was this an organised unit, but fullbacks Ryan Campbell and Ewan Howie were keen to run and weave forward. Indeed, Campbell had a go himself that Graham parried away to his right.

Leith’s second, like their first, followed a fine free kick, this one a foot wide left from Ashraf. When the goal kick was eventually won in midfield, McMurdo surged past multiple men on the left wing. His cross came to Ashraf, then on to King, who pummelled a bouncing ball into the roof of the net from six yards. 2-0 and six minutes until the half.

And on the half it was nearly three, as Cameron Stewart almost gained reward for his own skilful and effective central performance. A sweet move - Howie, to King, to Ashraf - put Stewart breaking beyond the back line from midfield. The pass, however, was centimetres too heavy and he was unable to lift the ball over the sliding Graham.

A ruthless performance from Johnstone Burgh earned them a spot in Round Five of the Scottish Cup as they blew Dundee West away in the City of Discovery.

The visitors reached the semi-finals of this competition last season and took just three minutes to open the scoring. Murdoch Henry’s low cross was met by Paul Hoy, who had a simple finish from close range to put his side ahead.

A handball at the edge of the box presented Dundee West with the chance to hit back straight away, but Ben Garrick curled his effort over the bar.

Johnstone Burgh made Dundee West pay with a free kick of their own on the 10-minute mark as Ryan Fitch’s low delivery from the right was missed by everyone in the box en-route to the net.

Ryley Duncan had the chance to pull one back for Dundee West when he was slipped in down the right, only to mistime his effort. It would prove to be a costly miss as Nathan Hunter sent the ball downfield, where it was collected by Henry, who slotted a shot past Michael Smith.

Johnstone Burgh weren’t finished there as they netted their fourth shortly after. Smith did well to keep out Hoy’s effort, but the ball broke the way of Henry, who forced it over the line from close range.

Smith denied Hoy once more before Morgan Harrow’s goal line clearance denied Henry his hat trick.

The visitors did add a fifth before the break and did so in spectacular fashion, as Robbie Edgar rifled the ball into the top corner from 25 yards to compound Dundee West’s misery.

Sunday, 18 November 2018 14:57

Vale into fifth round with Elite win

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On a chilly day at Heathryfold Park, Sunnybank Elite of the ADJFA welcomed last years Scottish Cup winners Hutchison Vale in what was one of the stand out games at under 14s age group, a big crowd turned up for the fixture with both sides going well in their own respective leagues.

Sunnybank Elite and Hutchison Vale both played some exciting football with some chances for both teams in the opening exchanges of the game. Jackson Sweeny had a chance for Elite just over the bar, Jamie MacLeod had a good chance for Vale which also went over the bar.

Vale took the lead on six minutes, a great ball came in by Mason Renton into a very dangerous area when it was met by Mario Granell who headed a fine header into the middle of the net beyond the Elite backline to open the scoring for the Edinburgh side.

Eight minutes later, it was 2-0 when a long range free kick wasn't dealt with by the Sunnybank backline and Mason Renton who chipped a fine effort into the back of the net to put Hutchison in a more comfortable position in what was a good start by the visitors.

On 24 minutes, it was 3-0. Renton was having a fantastic game for Vale and another great delivery made it's way into Granell again with both players combining again like the first goal and Granell made no mistake once again guiding the ball home.

Sunday, 18 November 2018 06:35

Arthurlie into fifth round with Colony win

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Three second half goals were the difference as Arthurlie Cantera made the long trip from the west region with a place in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup earned. Credit has to go to both sides and Colony Colts who did well to reach this stage of the competition had a valiant effort both in the tournament and in the game itself, however it wasn't to be on the day for the Inverurie side.

Arthurlie Cantera currently sit third in the CSFA Under 19s A league and definitely had the favourites tag heading into the game. The visitors had plenty of the ball against a determined Colony side who never gave up, some of the football Cantera played was exciting on what was a muddy surface at Davidson Park, Inverurie, Colony Colts have had a mixed share of results in the ADJFA so far this season with hard work a massive asset.

Lee McCallum had a fantastic start to the game for Arthurlie and will feel aggrieved not to have opened the scoring within the first quarter hour of this contest, the midfielder had a shot straight at Duncan Bridger before he got past a Colony defender and fired a good effort at goal which was denied by an outstretched save by Bridger.

Arthurlie opened the scoring on 25 minutes. A fantastic corner kick came in by Conor Bolger into a dangerous area and two yards from goal, Lee McTernan was able to guide the ball home beyond the Colony Colts defence to give Cantera the lead which was deserved after all their patience and attacking play in the lead-up to the goal, Arthurlie were also dangerous from set-pieces and they made it count when it mattered.

On 39 minutes, Colony Colts had levelled after the referee awarded the Inverurie side a free kick for a pass back in what was a great position for the Colts. Cameron Fraser fed in Daniel Cowie whose lightening effort on goal smacked off the post and into the net past a packed Cantera defence to level matters up.

Saturday, 17 November 2018 19:10

Kerse United battle back to progress in Scottish Cup

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Kerse United progressed to the fifth round of the Inspiresport Scottish Youth Cup with a 4-2 victory over Glenburn MW. A hat-trick from Euan Wilson and a goal from Calum Watson sealed the home side their progression in the competition. Glenburn went ahead twice with goals from Cameron Jess and Sean Strickland, but the visitors came up short and bowed out at the fourth-round stage.

Kerse started the stronger and almost opened the scoring within five minutes. Aidan Cathcart released Euan Wilson through on goal, he knocked the ball past William Wallace in the Glenburn goal and looked to have an open goal to tap the ball into, but the striker was thwarted by Sam Robson who came up with a last-ditch tackle to stop his side going behind.

Kerse then went close again with efforts from Mason Binnie and Warren Furness, which never troubled Glenburn keeper Wallace.

However, Wallace was called into action in the next sequence of play, when Binnie collected the ball on the right-hand side and dribbled into the box and past the defence but his effort at goal was saved well by Wallace down to his right.

On 22 minutes, with their first real chance of the game, Glenburn took the lead. Rhys Ritchie did well to hold off his markers 35 yards from and play a ball through for Cameron Jess who collected the pass in the box and had a shot on goal which was well saved by Kerse's Thomas Kay, but the ball ricocheted off of one of his near by defenders and trickled into the net to give the away side the lead.

Ten minutes later. Kerse United were level. A good pass from the left wing by Calum Watson through the Glenburn back line for Euan Wilson who allowed Wallace to come out of his goal and the striker poked it past him to equalise not long before half time. 

Glasgow City beat Dryburgh comfortably to lift the SWF U17s Scottish Cup. It was an emphatic performance by the favourites, who played some fantastic football all game. The standout performer had to be Lucy Sinclair, who's hat-trick sealed the game for the Glasgow side at Oriam.

Glasgow City came into this final, beating everyone in their path, including big wins over rivals Celtic and Rangers, while they also put four past Hibernian in the semifinals, leading up to this big game.

Dryburgh Athletic had been on fantastic form during their cup run. Previously, they had beaten Montrose, Broxburn Colts, Raith Rovers and Murieston in the semis. Most notably they scored 10 against Montrose, and nine against Raith Rovers.

Right from the beginning, Glasgow asserted their dominance, taking complete control of the match. The underdogs Dryburgh did well to suppress the first couple of attacks. However, Glasgow City were gifted the opener seven minutes in when Dryburgh keeper Lily Cassells mistimed her touch and was tackled by Lucy Sinclair who knocked the ball into the back of the net.

Seven minutes later, Glasgow City quickly followed up with a second. It was Taylor Hamill who crossed the ball into the area, picked up by Sinclair. She took one touch, opening up space for the shot. The keeper was rooted, as Sinclair went off to celebrate.

Sinclair completed her hat trick on the 18th-minute mark. Hamill again put in a brilliant low ball into the danger zone, right to Sinclair who misses her first shot, but failure to clear the ball cost Cassells as she is tackled by Sinclair, who passed it into the open net.

From deep, Sinclair displayed her range of passing, as she pinged a ball expertly so, into the path of Natasha Hoole on the right wing. Hoole on the run, put in a brilliant cross onto Hannah Scott, who's header went agonisingly wide.

Another chance came shortly after, with Hamill who did well to hold up the ball, knocking the ball on for overlapping full back Shanna Hynes, who's cross found Mhairi Crooks inside the box, who saw her shot go just wide once more.

It was clearly going to be tough afternoon for the Dryburgh side, who had failed to create any real offense in the opening half hour. Their defence however could not be at fault for Glasgow's fourth, as another bit of one touch passing, found Natasha Hoole on the edge of the box, who's brilliant strike beat the helpless Dryburgh keeper.

Cassells however, made a brilliant save to her bottom right in the 32nd minute, after another dazzling display of fluid attacking football by the Glasgow side. Shortly after however, they were awarded for their efforts. A mistimed Dryburgh header, sent Mhairi Crooks through on goal, and she made no mistakes, comfortably slotting the ball home to make it 5-0.

It was clear on the day, that Glasgow City were the better side, but an unusual lapse in concentration gave Dryburgh a lifeline only one minute before the interval. Nyla Murphy had found herself in space, playing a perfectly weighted through ball right between the two Glasgow center backs to Gabrielle Watt, who placed the ball into the back of the net. This goal was met by roaring cheers of encouragement by the Dryburgh faithful.

A cold Thursday afternoon in Inverurie isn’t many people’s idea of a source of entertainment but when there’s an under 15’s National Trophy game with eight goals to see, exceptions can be made.

Aberdeen City went into this one knowing they needed a win. Having fallen 4-1 to North of Scotland, this was their final of two games in Group One. This was Aberdeenshire’s first game in the competition, with their game against North of Scotland still to come. Two sides will progress to the next round from the group of three.

It was obvious that City needed the result, as they started off the better of the two sides, showing an obvious ability to pass the ball quickly and effectively.

Within the first ten minutes Shire’s Scott Coull had a couple of half chances. The first saw Coullround the keeper, but he was crowded out by defenders before he could get a shot off.

The second opportunity was blocked by a City defender’s leg, leading to the first corner of the game – a set-piece City would make the most of.

Matthew Petterman’s corner was whipped in with pace and Tom Dalziel’s near post header clipped the post on its way into the goal, giving City a crucial lead.

As odd as it sounds, City might have regretted scoring so early, because it was Dalziel’s goal that sprung Shire into action.

Aberdeenshire began to find their feet almost as soon as City had taken the lead. It took them twenty minutes to almost equalise in style. Zane Laird’s corner ricocheted in the box, the ball found its way to Jamie MacLellan who’s ambitious overhead kick needed a strong hand from Jamie Shingler to push it over the bar.

Just over ten minutes later, Shire found the equaliser they had been hunting. Coull had drifted out wide, where the player that had initially started centrally was having a far bigger influence. Coull’s low cross was met by Laird at close range to draw the scores level.

The score lines remained level at half time – but plenty more goals were to come.

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