North Lodge Park provided the setting of the North region 2000’s Scottish Cup semi-final derby between Lewis United Youth and Banks O’Dee Albion. It was Banks O’Dee who secured their place in the final with a hard-fought 3-2 win. Their goals were scored by Hamish MacLeod, Mark Reid and Calum McKenzie, while Lewis’ goals were scored by Mitchel Foy and Liam Duncan.
A minute’s silence was observed before the kick-off for sixteen year-old James Stewart, who sadly lost his life following a battle with cancer earlier in the week. The Banks O’Dee team, many of whom had known James personally, sported black arm bands.
Banks O’Dee had the first chance of the game after pressing forward with a series of passes. Connor Wood arched the ball towards the goal from wide to the right but hit the top of the net.
Albion then looked to have opened the scoring with just two minutes played as Jason Ritchie chipped the ball in past Lewis United goalkeeper, Euan Morrison, from close range but the flag was up and the goal disallowed for offside.
However Lewis were soon pressing and had their first chance of the game through a free kick at thirty yards. Cameron Cook sent the ball into the box where it brushed past the defensive wall and was knocked wide.
Lewis continued to create chances with Jap Leiper putting a great ball through for Liam Duncan but Banks O’Dee goalkeeper, Vitali Sahhalevtis, raced forward to smother the ball.
Mark Reid and Calum McKenzie linked up for Banks O’Dee, with McKenzie pressing forward but Cook cleared before he could make a shot at goal. Albion were then awarded a corner. Calum Beattie sent the ball into the box where Wood struck it just wide.
Duncan and Leiper made another break for Lewis but Sahhalevtis once again raced forward to clear the ball before either player could take a shot at goal.
Banks O’Dee were awarded a free kick at twenty-five yards. Calum Beattie sent the ball into the box where Hamish MacLeod got a touch on it to send it into the net and open the scoring in the twenty-first minute.
Albion were quick to press on with their lead and in the twenty-third minute, Reid raced past the defence and into the box where he slipped it past Morrison and into the net to extend their lead.
Lewis United were instantly looking to fight back and Duncan found space and laid the ball back for Logan Johnstone at twenty-five yards but Sahhalevtis kept the ball out.
A corner provided another chance for Lewis, and Kyle Smith sent the ball into the box. It was initially cleared by Albion’s defence but Kyle Smith continued to look for a chance and shot from twenty-five yards and wide to the right but Sahhalevtis made a fantastic save to prevent Lewis from scoring.
However Lewis soon saw the benefit of their insistent attacking play, with Duncan and Leiper setting up some interchanging play. Leiper drove the ball down the wing and into the box, crossing the ball to Mitchell Foy who tucked it into the net in the twenty-ninth minute.
Eager to extend their league again, Wood passed the ball out wide to MacLeod but Johnstone looked sharp in defence to deny MacLeod the opportunity to shoot. Albion were then awarded a free kick at twenty-five yards and wide to the right which Beattie sent into the box but Lewis United cleared the danger to close the half.