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Central Region (149)

All Saints were the deserved winners in this hot-headed Glasgow Schools Cup Final. A dominating performance in the midfield from Nathan Fell secured the trophy, with the tough-tackling captain scoring two and setting up another.

It started scrappily at a sun-soaked Loreto. Tackles and aerial challenges were flying in and it wasn’t long until one header resulted in a goal. All Saints skipper Fell bulleted a long throw into the box, and Merci Ngoy was on-hand at the front post to nod in the opening goal after only 14 minutes.

Holyrood almost hit straight back. Anton Neely’s free-kick caused the All Saints goalie trouble, and the ball bounced high around the six-yard line. Dan Martins rose a leg, and the referee gave a penalty for high feet. Neely stepped up again, and hit his penalty low to the left, but keeper McClellan was fully behind it and kept the Saints ahead.

One or two chances were exchanged with Merci Ngoy and Fell again testing the Holyrood keeper, but there was nothing Aaron McKissock could do to keep Fell’s next shot out. 

The referee played a good advantage in midfield, allowing Scotland Schoolboys’ star Fell to control the ball, knock it past his man and curve a shot into the bottom corner with the outside of his left foot. It was a sublime piece of skill, and it doubled All Saints lead on the half-hour mark. 

But, Holyrood were able to hit back just before half-time. Ikenna Anunobi broke through after a great ball from Shakhar Kamal and won a corner. Centre-half Danny McGeever lept through the air and powered a bullet header into the net. 2-1 going into the break.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 10:25

Gartcairn do the Double

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Gartcairn Academy lifted their second trophy in as many months on Sunday when they triumphed over Eastwood Juveniles to win the Kenwil Print and Design Cup.

Daniel Johnstone’s second half goal was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle in what was a hotly-contested final.

Gartcairn kicked off on a gloriously sunny afternoon at Benburb’s New Tinto Park and both side flew out of the traps in an energetic start to the game.

Each side was desperate to gain the upper hand which resulted in a frantic beginning to the game.

The first chance of the game came when Steven Hastie galloped down the left wing, outstripping the defence and driving towards the near post, forcing Scott Matthews to parry the ball behind.

Gartcairn then responded with a good opportunity of their own. Some slick passing down the left channel released Luke Kelly, who beat his man before cutting the ball to the edge of the box. Josh Moore was waiting but fired his effort straight at Ryan Truesdale in the Eastwood goal.

Academy were enjoying most of the ball during the opening exchanges, with their defence pushing up towards the halfway line in an attempt to control proceedings.

Moore had a chance to open the scoring when Kelly played a short corner to him from the left. The winger beat one defender before firing an effort at the near post, but Truesdale was equal to it.

A minute later Gartcairn went close to finding the net, once again from a corner. This time, Kelly swung the ball towards Scott Burns at the back post. The centre back headed back across goal, but none of his teammates could get the touch the ball needed to cross the line.

Hastie continued to look dangerous for Eastwood and admirably pressed and harried the Gartcairn defence as the first half progressed.

By the half hour mark most of the play took place in the Juveniles half and they struggled to maintain possession, preferring to try and hit Academy on the counter.

Calum Rodger looked particularly dangerous going forward from left back and played a crucial role in Gartcairn’s next attack. A neat pass found Kelly in the box with his back to goal, when the winger teed up Ciaran Reilly. The attacker took a touch before hitting a low shot, which the goalkeeper smothered comfortably.

Moore had another chance to open the scoring minutes later when Reilly’s pass found him unmarked at the back post, but the right winger saw his shot trickle harmlessly wide of the far post.

Gartcairn upped the intensity as the match approached half time, spurning a number of decent opportunities. First, Reilly fired a tame shot from distance wide of the far post. Then, with a couple of minutes remaining, Moore beat two Eastwood defenders down the left before seeing his near-post effort parried behind for a corner.

The referee then called time on an entertaining first half. Gartcairn could probably feel a little aggrieved to have gone in level, but Eastwood would have to improve to stand a chance of winning the cup.

Thursday, 29 March 2018 13:25

Title chasing KSC Kilwinning defeat Giffnock Alba

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KSC Kilwinning Rangers 09’s pulled off an impressive win, scoring three times on their travels to Giffnock Alba in the PJDYFL 1999 division three.

The first half was a tight contest, although there were no real chances to note.

Alba, sitting tenth could leapfrog Giffnock Roma and Rutherglen Glencairn Juniors into eighth place with a win. Meanwhile, with a host of games in hand, Kilwinning knew a win would help them heap pressure on the three sides ahead of them, including first place Glasgow East BC.

Alva Academy were crowned FVSFA league champions at a sunny Ochilview stadium in Stenhousemuir in a 4-1 victory over St Mungos High School. An impressive first half performance coupled with a well drilled second half proved too much for St Mungos, who despite getting a goal back was unable to derail the eventual champions.
 
It was St Mungos who got off to the brighter start; a corner kick which met a Saints head bounced off the bar and was cleared by the defence who had an early wake-up call. Another corner a few minutes later nearly broke the deadlock but an unfortunate touch off of the knee led to a goal kick to Alva.
 
Seven minutes into the game, St Mungos continued to look the brighter side with an overhead kick attempt squandered in by the thankful keeper.
 
Despite all this St Mungos pressure it was Alva who took the lead, a screamer from the right wing in what looked to have been a cross, ended up chipping the keeper and finding the net. Jack Fisher didn’t care though, a superb goal to put his team in front.
 
Minutes later Alva doubled their lead, Adam Hutchison went on a mazy run, taking on several defenders before firing it past the on-rushing keeper with a composed finish into the back of the net.
 
St Mongos nearly fired straight back with Luke McAlpine picking up the ball from the switched off defence, but keeper Jason Foord produced a good save to stop the attacker.
 
With just under twenty minutes played, Alva seemed to grow into the game, looking the more confident on the ball and most dangerous to score. The St Mungos player’s frustration seemed to get the better of them and they began to resort to long balls which led to nothing.
 
Alva added a third just before half time to add more frustration to the St Mungo’s players. Kris Kelly played his way out of trouble with some trickery before squaring it to Dylan Smith who made no mistake in side-footing it past the keeper and putting Alva 3-0 up at the break.
It was Lornshill Academy who became Forth Valley U14s league champions at a sunny Ochilview stadium in Stenhousemuir and they did so in some style. Opposition Grangemouth High School ran them close towards the end of the first half but Lornshill proved much too strong and won the game 6-4.
 
The first corner of the game brought with it the first goal, a Tom Hatelyesque corner floated into the box by Lornshill’s number 3 saw him score straight from the corner kick, a deep ball curler over the keeper and nestled inside the back post. A wonderful goal.
 
Lornshill doubled their advantage fifteen minutes into the match with some lovely build up play which led to number 6 rounding the keeper and laying it off to number 17 who smashed it past the helpless keeper from close range.
 
In the early stages of the game it was nearly all Lornshill with the Grangemouth defence struggling to cope with the counter-attack but Grangemouth eventually found their feet and started to create some chances of their own.
 
The game had a healthy audience with classes from both schools backing out the main stand in support of their school and the players seemed to thrive off the atmosphere their fellow class mates created.
 
Grangemouth finally converted one of their earlier chances when Kyle Neish broke through the defence thanks to a lovely through ball to take it past the keeper and put Grangemouth on the target on the 24th minute of the match.
 
Grangemouth almost got the equaliser straight from kick off when a free kick from Ciaran Heeps was just headed over the bar from Connor Ramsey.
 
Lornshill almost made Grangemouth pay for their missed opportunity when they ran up the park, catching the defence off guard before shipping it to the wings. Number 17 crossed the ball into 12 who just put it past the left-hand side of the post.
 
But it was to be Grangemouth to find the next. Heeps picked up a loose pass from outside the box and unleashed a screamer to take it over the head of the helpless keeper and draw the match.
 
As half time approached it seemed as if the teams would head into the break on level pegging but another wonder strike from Lornshill’s number 12 made sure that wouldn’t be the case. Picking up another slack pass from the right wing, he brought it onto his left and let rip from some distance to restore their lead.

The two sides met in a sunny Springfield for a 12pm kick off in Division B of the Under 14 Central Scotland FDL. Celtic kicked off the encounter, but it was Jerviston who were quickly on the front foot, pressing the Celtic defence high up the pitch hoping for a mistake. They forced one in the second minute when confusion in the defence led to the ball falling to Tony Mullen in the box, but the strikers near post shot was easily saved by Blair McKay.

However, a minute later Mullen did not make the same mistake capitalising on another Celtic defensive mistake to pick up the ball, drive goalward and smash past a helpless McKay. In the 7th minute Mullen scored his second of the game when he was well found rushing through the middle of the pitch on a Jerviston counter attack. He then managed to hold off his marker and retain his composure to slot the ball into the bottom left hand corner.

A minute later Celtic almost halved the deficit when Aidan Gallagher’s through ball found Sharo Abdullah on the counter attack. However, he was only able to get a flick on the ball, after being pressured by a combination of defender and goalkeeper, and his shot was scooped up by Dominic Leary.

As the first half progressed Celtic began to dominate proceedings with their beautiful Tiki-Taka style, with Jerviston looking to counter from a Celtic mistake with their high intensity pressing. Celtic’s pressure nearly paid off in the 32nd minute, when a free-kick found Robbie Neill in the box, but his attempt was well saved by Leary. Soon after that chance the referee blew the half time whistle, with Jerviston going into the interval 2-0 up.

It was Déjà vu as Finnart Boys Club overcome Albion Rovers 2-1 for the second time this season to progress into the semi final of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth League Cup.

The previous meeting between the two had been in the league, with both sides being in a good run of form since that match. Finnart had amassed an impressive five wins in a row with their most recent being a 9-1 win against Dalziel. Meanwhile, Rovers were on a seven game winning streak including a 9-1 win away to Sauchie Juniors in their last game.

Albion Rovers kicked off the first half of the 2pm kick off at a sunny Glasgow Green shooting left to right. Despite this it was Finnart who took the early initiative with Mark Taylor bursting through on the counter attack in the 4th minute. The tall striker managed to get away from the Rovers defence and round the onrushing Reece Thomson but was unable to stop the ball from going out of play.

A minute later, lovely wing play from Barry Peters left him with space in the box to pick out Taylor at the back post, but again he was unable to convert and hit the side netting. Rovers best chance in the opening exchanges fell to Captain Nick Mullen who found the ball at his feet in the box following a free-kick. However, he ended up firing his shot straight at Ross Fisher, who saved easily.

In the 11th minute Taylor tested his luck again, this time cutting in from the left to the edge of the box and unleashing a powerful effort goalward. However, it was well blocked by the Rovers defence and though initially spilled by Thomson, he eventually gathered. Rovers best chances continued to come from free-kicks and another one in the 18th minute found Robbie Kilpatrick at the back post and his header was well saved by an alert Fisher.

Rovers then began to start dominate with their aerial bombardment through corners and free kicks. They did put the ball in the back of the net in the 20th minute with Kilpatrick powering past Fisher but the referee ruled out the goal, due to a foul in the box. They again came close in the 35th minute with a free kick finding Mullen in the box but his header was saved by Fisher, as the first half ended 0-0. 

 

 

What had the potential to be a very close cup tie ended up being anything but as Stenhousemuir produced a great performance to beat Hamilton Accies 8-0 and win the Under 15's (a) League Cup.
 
Hamilton actually entered the match as narrow favourites having beaten Stenhousemuir 2-0 earlier in the competition at the group stage. But as is so often the case, form can go right out of the window in a cup final.
 
It was Hamilton who started the brightest as well. Two minutes into the match Ross Whitelock put in a cross towards the path of Rory Fitzpatrick who could only send his shot wide of goal.
 
Stenhousemuir had a great chance after five minutes when Luke McAlpine was played through on goal but unfortunately put his shot straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.
 
That chance marked the beginning of a tense 10 minutes where each side was just trying to get control of the match after a lively start. It wasn't until the 16th minute until we had our next chance when Rory Fitzpatrick was played through for Hamilton but his shot was saved at the Stenny 'keepers feet.
 
The game had its first goal after 27 minutes when a corner for Stenhousemuir taken by Kyle McDougall was dropped by the Accies 'keeper, allowing Callum Wylie to poke home for the opener.
 
Defending corners was proving to be a problem for Hamilton and it was from another corner that Stenhousemuir had their second goal of the afternoon. The corner was drifted into Euan Arthur who had a free header to nod easily into the back of the net.
 
Hamilton were shaken but still trying hard to get back into the game. Two minutes later Dylan Ramage ran the length of the park but sent his long shot wide. It was a frustrating one for Kai Fitzpatrick who was perhaps in a better position to take on the shot.
 
Stenny's third goal came on the stroke of half-time as McAlpine rounded the 'keeper and unselfishly played the ball across to his teammate Callum Churchill to slot into an empty net.
 
 
Cumbernauld Colts produced a stunning performance at Ochilview Park to secure the Under 14s Central League Cup by beating Motherwell FC Community Trust 5-1.
 
It looked set to be a very entertaining game on a cold Sunday morning in Stenhousemuir, with both sides coming into the match on good form. Motherwell are well in the hunt for the Under 14's Central League title and Cumbernauld have only lost one game all season.
 
Despite this it was a slow start to the game, with both teams trying to get a sense of how the other played, meaning that chances were few and far between in the opening stages.
 
Motherwell were the first to strike the ball in anger towards goal after five minutes when a shot by Lewis Simpson was fired well over the bar.
 
The Well came a lot closer on the 12 minute mark when a corner found its way to Luke Mitchell who was left all on his own but could only send his shot wide of the goal.
 
Two minutes later the Colts had a chance of their own to get excited about when Jamie Connelly was played through on goal. The striker tried to place his shot underneath 'keeper Jason McCorquodale's legs only for the Well stopper to save with his feet.
 
Both sides were reall starting to create chances and the Colts made one count on the 26th minute when the ball bounced into the path of Ciaran Clark after a great run from Jon Millerick. Clark set himself and fired a half-volley into the net for the lead.
 
Cumbernauld started to take control of the match and five minutes from half-time had a great chance when a cross-cum-shot from Joseph Bevan nearly got a toe poke from a teammate only to go behind for a goal kick.
 
Motherwell were dealt a hammer blow one minute from half-time when Cumbernauld doubled their lead when a great one-two between Bevan and Clark opened up the Well defence for Bevan to send his shot under the keeper and into the net.
Sunday, 14 January 2018 21:39

Agony for Airdrie as brilliant Blantyre lift the cup

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A Ross Docherty header sealed the Regional Cup for Blantyre Soccer Academy in a tense final against an unlucky Airdrie BC side.

The teams walked out under the floodlights at Ochillview in hope of cup success and to use this as a catalyst for their respective league campaigns.

It was a frantic opening to the game, Airdrie playing some decent football and forcing Blantyre stopper David Malarky into a couple of good saves, one with his feet from Blair Cole’s drive into the box before Calum Murray flashed his header wide.

Blantyre started to get into proceedings more after coming under heavy pressure in the opening ten minutes, Ross Docherty displaying good work on the ball but could only put his shot wide.

Both teams were playing good football but neither were able to break down the resilient defences that left the game at a stalemate. Thirty minutes in however it was Blantyre who would go ahead, despite Airdrie beginning to dominate the ball again.

It was all down to Aaron Henderson, who started and finished his own move, playing the ball out to Anthony Hampson before getting the ball back and slamming it into Brodie McGale’s top left hand corner, leaving him no chance.

Airdrie would be level before the break, a deflected cross hitting off a few Blantyre bodies before despite Malarky’s best efforts, could not keep the ball out of the net as Airdrie dragged themselves back into the game.

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