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Killer start clinches Clydebank's cup place

Clydebank FC 6

Fitzpatrick 3', 20', Clunie 5', 80', Hay 55', Masterton 70'

Fairmuir BC 2

Abbot 51', Taylor 73'
  • Saturday, 31 October 2015
  • Clydebank High School
  • Under 15´s
  • Scottish Youth FA Cup

 
Simon Ritchie | YFS West Region Reporter
Articles by Author | Contact Author
 

The perfect start ensured Clydebank FC breezed into the fourth round of the Scottish Youth FA Cup with a 6-2 victory over Fairmuir BC. Two goals in the first five minutes from Ruairi Fitzpatrick and Robert Clunie knocked the wind out of the away side and Fitzpatrick’s second made it 3-0 at half-time. Steven Abbot gave Fairmuir a lifeline, but a Derek Hay strike, a goal for James Masterton and a second for Clunie, either side of a spectacular long-range Jay Taylor consolation effort, meant Clydebank ran out comprehensive victors.
 
Getting an early lead is always important, especially in cup ties, and Clydebank took no time at all to get in front. Steven Collins’ measured free-kick from the edge of the box brought out a fine diving save from Connor Reilly, but with the Bankies players following in hoping for a rebound, Fitzpatrick was left with an easy finish.
 
Not content with one, Clydebank doubled their lead within two minutes. This time it was Robert Clunie down the right channel with a shot across goal that looked like it took a deflection off a defender under pressure from Hay in the middle before nestling in the bottom corner.
 
Fairmuir looked shell-shocked and were unable to cope with the pace and creativity of the Clydebank attack. Clunie looked to drop deep and pick up the ball before spraying it wide to either Collins or Shahine Rebika, or to play the through pass over the top for powerful striker Hay to bully his way on to.
 
More sustained pressure followed for the Bankies but when the third goal came it was a piece of individual determination that earned it. Fitzpatrick went up for a header at the halfway line, won it with a strong challenge, then was first onto the loose ball. With space opening up in front of him he drove forward unchallenged and kept his cool to pick his spot in the bottom corner as the keeper rushed out.
 
The early bombardment had rattled Fairmuir into making some early changes in personnel and tactics, but it was failing to stop Clydebank from running through at will. Their only chance of an outball to take some pressure off their defence was using the pace of Abbot and Keiran McWilliam. Throughout the first half they were the only positive for Fairmuir as they always looked to link up and make something happen.
 
Unfortunately for them the Clydebank defence held firm and restricted them to mostly long range efforts and prevented them reaching through balls. The defence had their goalkeeper to thank however when Abbot raced onto McWilliam’s ball over the top and his shot on the half-volley was well-blocked by the onrushing Andrew Campbell. It was another example of the excellent understanding between the two pacey Fairmuir players.
 
Unfortunately for Clydebank, Clunie, who had been one of their star performers, had to be subbed after taking a knock, with James Holt replacing him. Holt almost made an instant contribution, but his free-kick was narrowly over.
 
At half-time it looked like the tie was over as a contest, with Clydebank worthy of their three-goal lead and probably disappointed they hadn’t created more from the positions they were in. They were just missing something on their final ball and cutting edge. Fitzpatrick in the middle of the park was both goalscorer and creator as well as being tough in the tackle. Fairmuir were desperately needing to get more support to Abbot and McWilliam who were looking increasingly isolated yet still the most likely to create something special.
  • Half Time:
  • Clydebank FC
  • 3-0
  • Fairmuir BC
After their disappointing start to the first-half, Fairmuir looked a different proposition in the second. A bright start gave McWilliam an opportunity which he fired over and then just when it looked like he had made space to fire off a shot with a lovely turn, Clydebank defender Calum Craig recovered with an excellent last ditch block. 
 
The match was a lot more open in the second 45 as Fairmuir pushed to get back into it. Clydebank’s short passing and moving gave way to more direct football from both sides with the game bypassing the midfield. Suddenly Fairmuir were getting more support to the frontmen with Connor Mitchell and Liam McCord making a real difference pushing forward from midfield.
 
They were thrown a lifeline when an error at the back let Abbot pounce on a loose ball and lift it over the substitute keeper Callum Wallace for 3-1.
 
Then they should have closed the deficit to a single goal when Billy Young’s free-kick was half-cleared to McCord on the edge of the box but he put it over. 
 
The warning signs were there for Clydebank that this game wasn’t as done and dusted as it might have looked at one stage. Ashton Russell, the right back, had a quiet game in the first half with not much to do defensively, but as the game went from end-to-end he was increasingly involved at both at the back and down the wing. His overlapping runs always a valuable outball for his teammates. 
 
You felt the next goal was crucial and it was Clydebank who extended their lead. John MacLeod’s superb solo run down the left wing, as he held off a defender and rode the challenge of another, ended with him playing the perfect cutback to Hay, who hadn’t had much luck in front of goal before this, to slot home his side’s fourth. It was all about the run from MacLeod, however.
 
With the three-goal lead reinstated it looked a long way back for Fairmuir. Holt had two chances to make it worse for the Dundee side, first heading over from a corner and then capitalising on slack play at the back to smash the crossbar.
 
Both teams were struggling to keep a hold of the ball and it was frantic end-to-end stuff, with neither team stamping their style on the play.
 
A free-kick straight from the training ground almost gave Fairmuir a second. Liam Courtney laying it off for McWilliam to cross to the backpost where the waiting Jay Taylor didn’t get enough on his header and it was hooked clear by Robbie Sutherland.
 
As if to sum up the frenetic and unexpected nature of the game, the two number fives exchanged goals of unexpected quality. First Clydebank’s Masterton found himself in space in the box to take a touch and the curl a lovely shot into the far top corner past Reilly’s despairing dive.
 
Then Jay Taylor, Fairmuir’s confident, ball-playing, centre-half, controlled a punt on his chest and unleashed a 30-yard dipping volley that dropped just under the crossbar to make it 5-2.
 
That wasn’t the end of the scoring however as there was still time for Collins to play in Clunie, who had recovered from his earlier knock, to make it a brace for the day, coolly taking his time before picking out the far corner for number six.
 
It’s Clydebank who advance to the next round of the cup with a result that, thanks to their dream start, was rarely in doubt. 
  • Full Time:
  • Clydebank FC
  • 6-2
  • Fairmuir BC

Lineups

Clydebank FC
Fairmuir BC
1. Andrew Campbell
2. Ashton Russell
3. Daniel Moran
4. Calum Hannah
5. James Masterton
6. Robbie Sutherland
7. John Macleod
8. Robert Clunie
9. Steven Collins
10. Shahine Rebika
11. Ruairi Fitzpatrick
12. James Holt
15. Calum Craig
16. Derek Hay
18. Aidan Kearns
19. Callum Wallace
1. Connor Reilly
2. Liam Courtney
3. Billy Young
4. Barry McMillan
5. Jay Taylor
6. Vincent Edmonds
7. Mike Connelly
8. Conner Mitchell
9. Steven Abbot
11. Keiran McWilliam
15. Ahmad Drammeh
17. Jack Wrench
18. Liam McCord
21. Hayden Burr
23. Dylan Ross
25. Jackson Marr
Star Player
Clydebank FC
Fairmuir BC
Ruairi Fitzpatrick - His first half performance was excellent and he was at the heart of everything for Clydebank. Although he wasn't as effective in the second half when the game got more direct, his goals and creative play in the opening 45 were enough to seal this award for him.
Steven Abbot - Abbot's pace and directness was a constant thorn in the side of the Clydebank defence. He has a natural understanding with Keiran McWilliam and they play to each other's strengths.
Magic Moment
Clydebank FC
Fairmuir BC
Pick of the goals was Fitzpatrick's second which he created himself out of nothing but his sheer strength of will and dogged determination. Winning the header in the middle of the park and being first to the loose ball before running the full length of the half and having the composure to slot home. Fantastic.
Jay Taylor looked like a classy player even before he controlled the ball on his chest and rattled home a thirty-yard screamer but that certainly added to his promise.
Club Views
Clydebank FC
Fairmuir BC
Jim Hannah, Coach: "They did well at the start, got the passing moving and got a couple of goals up. Abbot and McWilliam had a lot of pace for Fairmuir, but our defence did well and eventually caught up with them. Hopefully we can get another home draw. We got to fourth round last year so we'd like to progress further this time."
  • Match report and photos copyright Youth Football Scotland.
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