Youth Football Scotland reporters Claire Guilline, David Reid spoke about the main talking points pre-match, half time and at full time at the Lewis United v Banks O’Dee Albion under 16s Scottish cup semi-final.
It is 16 Scottish Cup finals in 16 years for Banks O’Dee Albion and coach Bruce McGregor's 5th Scottish Cup final with Albion as a coach. A great achievement and Bruce is a great lad and let’s face it, a tactical genius!
Claire and David received the team lines from Alan Cook at Lewis United and Patrick Ritchie from Banks O’Dee Albion and we invited former Lewis United player Kieran Simpson to gather his thoughts on the game who is now playing for Peterhead BC.
So David, Claire and Kieran spoke about the game in one of the stands at North Lodge Park, Formartine and David asked Kieran, “What his first impressions were on the game as he has seen both sides.” Kieran replied saying “Both the sides are really evenly matched, I think the forward turns will be really important and there will be a lot of saves made by the goalkeepers.”
David then said, “Your father, Mark Simpson used to play here, this must be a good ground for you is it?” Kieran came back saying “Yeah I used to watch him all the time and I hope it’s a great game to watch today and whoever comes out on top will win the game.”
David then asked Claire on the facilities available at Formartine United when she said “The facilities here at Formartine United have improved over the last year, and it’s a fantastic ground which is used in the Highland League and both teams will be keen to take advantage of the atmosphere here and try and push for victory in the semi-finals today.”
Claire then announced the team line-ups for Lewis United which were as follows: Euan Morrison, Logan Johnstone, James Robson, Jay Leiper, Kyle Smith, Gregor Thom, Cameron Cook, Liam Duncan, Alex Kelly and David Edwards and Mitchell Foy with bench being: Brian Mair, Adam Smith, Aaron Leslie, Calum Mitchell and Adam Joji.
David asked Kieran his thoughts on the line-up when he said “There’s a couple of surprises in there however I think it’s still strong to go out and win the game and I think they have the ability in midfield and going forward and they are strong in defence. “
For Banks O’Dee Albion we have: Vitali Sahhalevits, Jason Ritchie, Cameron Imrie, Calum Beattie, Ben Ross, Alasdair Shrive, Hamish McLeod, Mark Reid, Calum McKenzie, Lewis Duffy and Connor Wood with bench as follows: Andrew Wood, Joseph Bisset, Shaun Cameron, Greg Pirie and Cameron Ross.
Kieran shared his thoughts on the line-up again when he said “Yet again, a really strong team and they have shown that in the last couple of years especially in the league and they are a really hard team to beat and it will come down to whoever performs best.”
It was 2-1 Albion with Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid giving Albion a two goal advantage before Mitchell Foy reduced the leeway for Lewis. David and Claire shared their thoughts starting with Claire when she said “It has been a close game and Banks O’Dee Albion have been quite dominant however Lewis getting their goal back will give them a fighting chance in the 2nd half and also give them a little bit of confidence. The goal was a turning point for Lewis and something for them to build on and they will be looking to put more pressure on Albion now”
Claire then asked David what his thoughts were on the performances of both sides when he said “Albion have just shaded the overall play in the 1st half, the Albion coaching staff would have stated pre-match to start the game well and they did with goals from Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid before Mitchell Foy pulled one back, if Albion keep it going then they will be in Airdrie come May.”
Claire then asked David what both managers will be saying just now when David replied back saying “Well for Lewis they have just got a goal back so Brian and Keith will be trying to get the boys up for it again and to build on that goal, for Albion it will be a theme of keep going.”
Who will be key? David says “You could single out any player however you look at Lewis and they signed players from Albion in the summer and I think Logan Johnston, Kyle Smith and Gregor Thom will be vital and they will be eager to push the boys on a little, as for Banks O’Dee Albion we already know what Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid are all about however it could be down to the goalkeepers Euan and Vitali.”
It has finished Lewis United 2-3 Banks O’Dee Albion at North Lodge Park, Pitmedden with Albion probably just coming out on top over the 80 minutes.
David asks Claire what her view on the game was when she said “In the 2nd half, Lewis pressed on more and they managed to get that equaliser that they desperately needed and really brought themselves back into the game.
“Banks O’Dee Albion was the stronger team and got their goal to take the lead again and really didn’t give Lewis any more chances from there on, credit to Banks O’Dee Albion who managed to hold on.”
David then asked Claire if she felt Lewis United were denied a stonewall penalty at 2-2 when she said “I didn’t have the best view so I am going to stay neutral and say it could have gone either way.”
Claire then asked David for his view on the game when he said “Lewis must have gotten a bit of a talking to at half time because they came out in the 2nd half a lot stronger than they did in the first half and they were denied a stonewall penalty which if it was given and they scored it they could have went onto win the game.
“Fair play to Banks O’Dee Albion though who took advantage of the referees’ decision and take the lead once again thanks to Calum McKenzie.
“Albion used their experience to full advantage and I think it’s a little bit too early for Lewis United however don’t be surprised to see Lewis bounce back next season.”
What do you think Banks O’Dee will do to prepare for the final? David replied saying “Well the final isn’t until May however Albion now have a bit of time to wait for the winner and also to get themselves ready for the showcase event however Albion will be eager to get more success before then.”
“I spoke to Patrick on Monday and he said that you can’t buy experience and Albion put that to full dividends today and Bruce will put his experience across to the players before the game, Fauldhouse and Rossvale lie in wait.
“Albion know all about Rossvale and I have heard a lot of good things about Fauldhouse so that will be an interesting semi-final however it’ll be whoever wants it most on the day.
Star players from either team? For Lewis either Mitchell Foy or Liam Duncan and for Albion, I was expecting a lot more from the Lewis United midfield and Alasdair Shrive and Ben Ross were outstanding for Albion.
David then spoke to Claire there is a guaranteed Aberdeen representative in the final when she replied saying “The under 13s got beat from Leith Athletic however there is the possibility of two teams going through from the North region to Airdrie in May and I’m pretty sure Albion 16s will do the ADJFA proud.”